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Lyft vs Uber Driver Pay – Winner Takes All

Looking to get into ridesharing and make some money driving around but don’t know what service to choose? Lyft and Uber are going to be your two main choices but which one would be better? Which would you be able to make more money with?

In this short post I’ll be going over Lyft vs Uber driver pay so that you know what you are getting yourself into before you get started.


How They Calculate Pay

The first thing that I want to go over is how they actually pay you…. what is the equation for how much you will make per trip? To understand this I’m going to have to go over how they calculate the fares that riders will have to pay for rides.

Uber

Uber drivers get paid 75% of their riders’ fares, with Uber taking the other 25%.

How much are the fares? UberX is the most common rideshare service provided by Uber so this is what I’ll use as an example. As you can see below there are several components that make up the total fare price. There is the Base Fare, the Per Minute charge, Per Mile charge, Booking Fee, and then there is a minimum Base Fare that you will not get paid less then along with a cancellation fee.

The amount that these fees are will vary depending on where you live. The example above is for Pittsburgh, PA. Here the minimum fare price is $6.95. So even if you drive someone just 1 mile they will still have to pay that $6.95, which you will get 75% of ($5.21).

Lyft

Lyft takes the same commission out that Uber does at 25%. Meaning you are left with 75% of the fare again. However, Lyft also gives you the ability to earn more. If you make a certain number of rides in a weeks you will get a Power Driver Bonus, which will increase the amount you make per ride.

For Lyft the fare works a little bit different than Uber’s. Their regular old Lyft service is the most commonly used so I will use this as an example.

As you can see below the fare consists of a Pickup Charge, Per Mile Charge, Per Minute Charge, and I don’t know if you can see what the small print says, but a $2.20 Service Charge also applies. And then there is the $5.50 minimum fare price along with the $5 cancellation fee.

And once again, this example is for Pittsburgh, PA, but the rates will vary depending on location.

How Do The Fares Match Up?

For my example here of Lyft vs Uber fares in Pittsburgh, PA, they are very close.

  • Uber Base Fare = $1.30, Lyft Pickup Fee = $1.30
  • Uber Per Minute Charge = $0.15, Lyft Per Minute Charge = $0.15
  • Uber Per Mile Charge = $1.05, Lyft Per Mile Charge – $1.10
  • Lyft Additional Service Fee =$2.20

Ok, so the minimum fares for Uber and Lyft are as follows: Uber = $6.95, Lyft = $5.50. But because Lyft also charges a $2.20 service fee their minimum total price would actually be $7.20, which is more than Ubers and better for drivers. Other than that they are pretty much the same when looking at how much they charge, other than the 5 cent difference in the Per Mile Charge here in Pittsburgh.

The two things you should take away from all this that I just went over is that with Lyft you are guaranteed a higher minimum pay per ride due to the service fee that they charge riders, and that with Lyft you can make a higher percentage of pay per fare due to the Power Driver Bonuses that they offer.


Tips?

Tips can be a deal breaker, and unfortunately for Uber, Lyft runs away with the trophy on this one.

Uber makes it very clear to their customer base that they do not have to tip drivers. Additionally there is no way to tip in the app. Riders would have to tip out of pocket. These two factors lead to there being very few tips for Uber drivers in general.

Lyft on the other hand doesn’t go around telling everyone they don’t need to tip. And they do include a way for riders to tip in the app. This makes it very easy for riders to tip and because of this drivers get more tips with Lyft.

The amount you can make in tips varies a lot. From reading forums online I found that most drivers get tips around 50% of the time or so and its usually $1 – $5, with higher tips being for longer rides generally. This varies a lot like I said but is always a nice little pay boost.


What Drivers Are Saying

One site that I always use when looking into the earning potential of different jobs is Glassdoor. They are an independent review site where any worker can post reviews, salaries, etc. So in an industry like ridesharing where salaries are elusive and unknown, you can get a good idea of what you are looking to make from other salaries people have posted.

I took a screenshot of the salaries for both Uber and Lyft drivers that you can look at…

Uber Salaries

Lyft Salaries

As you can see, Uber drivers report making around $14 – $15/hr on average and Lyft drivers report around $16 – $17/hr.


One Thing That’s Important To Know

One thing that you might not think about or be told has to do with the demand for these services. The demand for Uber rides is much higher than that of Lyft. Uber was the first to market and their marketing seems to be working much better. Their user base is very large and Lyft’s cannot really compare at this point, although it is growing.

What this means is that there is less opportunity to drive for Lyft. There aren’t as many people looking for rides which means there aren’t as many people you can make money off of by giving a ride.

Along with this however there also aren’t as many Lyft drivers out there which you will have to compete with for rides. So just because there isn’t as high of a demand doesn’t necessarily mean there as good opportunity for you to make money.


Final Thoughts & Who Should You Drive For?

So who wins the battle of the pay? Well… with Lyft you can make more money per trip and then you can get tipped on top of that, not to mention they seem to treat their partners better than Uber.

However, the downside of course is that there isn’t quite the demand for Lyft as there is for Uber. So you might not be able to get as many rides with them. But of course this depends greatly on your location and the amount of drivers in that area that you are going to be competing with.

Overall I would recommend Lyft over Uber when it comes to the pay. They have a higher minimum fare rate, allow you to get tips through the app, and have higher salary reviews on Glassdoor and other sites I have looked at. They seem to be the better choice and the choice with happier drivers without a doubt.

Another thing you have to take into consideration here however are the expenses that come with the job. I wrote a post here on Uber driver expenses that you can read. The same apply to Lyft drivers.

Anyways, that’s it for my post. I hope you found this informative and helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns leave them below and I’ll get back to you soon 🙂

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Lyft Background Check Requirements – What You Should Know

One of the most feared parts of the application process to become a Lyft driver is the background check. Just like Uber, Amazon Flex, and all the other similar companies, your past will be investigated if you want a job.

The Lyft background check requirements are pretty much the same as the background requirements for Uber, if you are familiar with them. And these requirements are what I will be going over in this post. By the time you are done reading this you should know whether you are going to pass or fail.


The 2 Different Background Checks

Driving Record

It is inevitable that Lyft is going to check into your driving record. You are going to be driving around as a partner using their name so of course they aren’t going to want bad drivers.

Criminal History

Lyft cannot accept any individual that applies. You may be a good person and have done some not so good things in the past but unfortunately this could be too much of a liability for lyft to consider you. Because of this they will have a somewhat in-depth background check performed on every applicant.


The Requirements

In order for you to meet the requirements to become a lyft driver you must NOT have any of the following on your driving record, nor in your criminal history.

Driving Record

  • More than 3 violations in the past 3 years. This includes minor accidents, failing to stop at traffic lights, going through stop signs, etc.
  • One major violation in the past 3 years. This includes reckless driving incidents, driving without a license, driving with a suspended license.
  • A DUI offense in the past 7 years.
  • A drug related driving offense in the past 7 years
  • Driving related criminal offenses. This includes hit & runs, etc.

Criminal History

Applicants’ criminal histories will be looked at going back 7 years in most cases. In some states they will look back even further. National and county databases will be looked into as well as local courthouse records. If you have any of the following on your records you will be disqualified.

  • Violent crimes
  • Felonies
  • Drug offenses
  • Sexual offenses
  • Theft or property damage offenses (minor thefts are admissible)

Certain cities may have different requirements for the criminal background check. For example in New York City the background checks are conducted by Taxi and Limousine Commission and you will pass or fail according to their standards.

Have a Misdemeanor or Felony that Is Right Around 7 Years Old?

If you have a misdemeanor that happened close to 7 years ago, but not quite, you may get away with it. Lyft may let it slide, but I wouldn’t chance it. Just wait it out until 7 years have passed.

And if you have a felony that is just over 7 years old there is always the chance that you will be disqualified for it.

The point I’m making here is that there are no concrete rules to this that Lyft provides to the public and it is still confusing even to me when I see that some people fail and others pass when there doesn’t appear to be much difference. The only sure way to find out if you are going to pass or fail is to consent to the background check and find out for sure.


How Long Does The Background Check Take?

Lyft gives you the timeline that your background check will take anywhere from 3-10 days. This will vary depending on several variables. These include the amount of applicants that Lyft has at certain times as well as your personal history. For example.. if you have a criminal history with several offenses that are “passable”, it may take longer to look into, whereas if your background is clean as a whistle it should be rather quick.

Generally I would say that applicants can expect their background checks to clear within 5 days.

If it is taking longer than 7 days then you might want to contact Lyft’s support team, and if its longer than 10 days then you definitely want to get in contact with them. There is always a chance that you might not have receive the email that they sent to you or that for some reason its just taking extra long. Whatever the reason the support team can help. But be patient, Lyft’s support is pretty notorious for being not very supportive.


Didn’t Pass? Try This

If for some reason you didn’t pass and you think that there was an error or that you should have passed for one reason or another you can contest the outcome.

What happens is you will get an email that tells you that you didn’t pass and you will also receive instructions on how to appeal this decision. Just follow the instructions and wait on the next decision.

Alternatively, you can reapply to Lyft and re-consent to a new background check after 3 months. So if you had a criminal conviction that will pass the 7 year mark by 3 months you should just wait to reapply.


You Will Have More Background Checks

One thing about driving for Lyft is that you will have to pass these background checks every year. You will receive an email notification or a notification inside the app that tells you that you must consent to an annual background check. You will have to consent to this in order to keep driving.

This is usually nothing to worry about and the only way that you would fail it is if you had driving incidents or criminal offenses in the past year that are unacceptable. There is always the possibility that the first background check skipped over something that would have disqualified you and the second time around they catch it and disqualify you. This could always happen but it is very uncommon.


Questions?

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please leave them in the comment section below. I am sure there are some things that I left out of this post that need some attention so if there is any information you are looking for regarding the background checks just leave them below.

I will get back to you within 24 hours 🙂