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 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 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 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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