According to Lyft’s Economic Impact Report, the ridesharing company has provided more than 1 billion rides and totaled over $10 billion in earnings for its drivers. It’s also worth mentioning that 90% drive for Lyft on a part-time basis.
Read on to learn about the benefits of the service for drivers and get the scoop on Lyft car requirements.
What is Lyft?
Lyft is an alternative to your local taxi cab service that lets passengers request rides from local drivers from a mobile app. The app matches passengers who enter their pickup location with vetted nearby drivers who can take them almost anywhere they want to go within the service area.
The attraction of Lyft for passengers is that you can virtually hail and pay for the ride without cash, they’re widely available and they normally cost less than a taxi. In fact, a cost analysis by Business Insider found that getting around town using only a ride-sharing service like Lyft would be cheaper than owning a car for one-quarter of Americans!
What’s the difference between Lyft and Uber?
Lyft and Uber are both leading ride-sharing service providers today. Let’s take a look at three key differences between the two.
Lyft and Uber operate in different service areas. Lyft currently only operates in the U.S. and Toronto, Canada. Uber, on the other hand, operates in America and dozens of other countries. If you’re a digital nomad who spends a fair amount of time abroad, this means you may have more opportunities to drive internationally on the Uber platform.
The two ride-hailing companies also calculate fares slightly differently. Lyft imposes a base charge plus a per-mile and per-minute cost. Uber fares are calculated upfront or immediately after a ride and are usually determined on a base rate plus a rate that factors in the ride time and distance.
The classes of services offered, while similar, also vary between the two services. For example, Lyft offers service classes such as the Original Lyft, Lyft Plus and Lyft Premier. Uber has the uberX, uberXL and uberSUV classes, to name a few.
Why should you drive for Lyft?
Over 1.4 million people drive for Lyft in total, according to Lyft’s Economic Impact Report. The draw for many of these drivers is the ability to be their own boss, meet new people and make extra money while doing something that comes naturally to them on a flexible schedule.
You can accept ride requests at whatever time and date and however often it works for you, be that on weekday evenings or weekend mornings and either part-time or full-time. Simply open the app in Driver mode, tap to accept a ride request and then go pick up the passenger. There’s no need to invest in a rental car if you choose not to because Lyft lets you transport passengers in your own car.
Lyft can also deposit your earnings directly into your account so you finally say goodbye to pesky paper paychecks. You can earn even more by driving during peak times or by receiving generous tips. Passengers can tip you via the app, so there’s no need to deal with a box of cash tips. Lyft’s tipping system means that 100 percent of the tips you earn from passengers are yours.
What are the Lyft driver requirements?
Ready to hit the road and drive for Lyft? You’ll first need to meet the following Lyft car requirements:
- Be at least 21
- Own an Android or iPhone smartphone
- Have a clean driving and criminal record. Lyft will do a DMV check and a national and county background check during the approval process. So, be prepared to provide your Social Security number and a valid driver’s license that is at least one year old.
- Have a car with in-state licenses plates, four external door handles and a minimum of five total seat belts. You must be willing to undergo a 19-point vehicle inspection so that Lyft can confirm the safety of your car.
- Meet any other state-specific Lyft car requirements
- Be a covered party on an automobile insurance policy
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MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.