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Want to earn extra income? Who doesn’t, right? Working as a rideshare driver with Lyft is one of the most popular ways to earn money. So the big question is: how much do Lyft drivers make? We asked Scott, a successful Lyft driver in Los Angeles, to answer what it is like driving with Lyft and other common questions. This way, you can learn all about driving with Lyft and other Lyft driver requirements.
Why Drive With Lyft?
Well, it’s a pretty easy and fun way to make some decent extra income. You’re providing a much-needed transportation service to passengers who can’t drive, don’t have access to a car when they need to go somewhere, or don’t want to deal with the hassles of driving themselves. You get to meet all kinds of interesting people during your travels and get paid to do it from the comfort of your own car. And, as we’ll discuss in a moment, you get to be your own boss.
Scott, the Lyft driver we interviewed for this article, summed up his reasons for becoming a rideshare driver in one sentence:
“To make extra money and help out people who need to get from point A to B.”
One of the biggest benefits of being a rideshare driver is that you work as an independent contractor. You don’t sit in an office all day, no one is barking orders at you, and you don’t have to follow a strict 9 to 5 schedule. As an independent contractor rideshare driver, you can:
- Decide how many hours a day or week you want to work.
- Decide what time of day you want to work and where you want to work.
- Take breaks whenever you want during the day or night while you’re working. Want to grab a cup of coffee and relax for a bit? Turn off the rideshare app on your smartphone and enjoy your mochaccino. When you’re sufficiently caffeinated, turn the app back on and start accepting ride requests again.
Here’s what Scott says is the biggest positives about being an independent Lyft driver:
“Basically, It means I have the flexibility and freedom to make my own schedule. That’s one of the best benefits of working for Lyft.”
Click HERE to join Scott and the rest of the Lyft driver community and start earning on your own schedule.
How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make?
Most Uber and Lyft drivers earn an average of around $15 to $20 or more an hour, minus expenses like gas and routine maintenance on their cars. If you work as a Lyft driver, you can earn as little or as much as you’d like to.
Some rideshare drivers do earn over $1000 a week. This amount depends on many different factors, including:
- How many hours the driver works per week. More hours = more money.
- How much the driver earns per hour, which in turn depends on the number of rides the driver gives per hour and the mileage of each ride.
- Bonuses at busy times and gratuities given to the driver by passengers
- Location (different cities have different fees)
- How much you pay for gas while working your shift
“It varies widely based on traffic and timing. This new bonus zone that Lyft recently implemented has dropped my pay for sure! I guess I receive between $15-$25 hourly gross. And I try to work 6-8 hours, sometimes longer.”
By the way, the new bonus zone that Scott mentions is Lyft’s Personal Power Zone, which has replaced Prime Time, which was Lyft’s version of Uber’s increased fee Surge Pricing. The designated zones are busy, high demand areas where drivers receive guaranteed bonuses for picking up passengers. The Lyft app will automatically tell drivers the bonus amount they’ll receive per ride if they stay and pick up passengers within that certain zone.
Here is an example of Scott’s earnings on June 28, 2019:
He made almost $215 in just one day, which came out to about $24/hour!
However, let’s say Scott works an 8 hour day and earns an average of $20 an hour, that’s $160. If he works Tuesday through Sunday, an average of 8 hours a day, that would be around $160 x 7 days = approximately $1,120 a week. Not a bad payday for helping people get from point A to point B!
We are very grateful for Scott volunteering his earnings for us!
Click HERE to join him and the rest of the Lyft driver community and start earning on your own schedule.
Is Driving With Lyft Safe?
When you’re a rideshare driver, you are inviting strangers into your personal car at all times of day and night. This could be during the morning or afternoon rush hour, or at 3 am on a Saturday night after the local bars close down. It’s rare, but you might sometimes get unstable or unruly passengers as your fares. We asked Scott how he handles situations that involve difficult passengers:
“First off, staying calm is key. Take a mental step-back, assess the situation, and go from there. I haven’t really had any emergencies or difficult passengers. I do have to deal with the occasional drunk passengers who take a bit longer to get out of the car because they want to finish the story they’re telling me. But I chalk that up to me being a good listener.”
Scott’s right. Staying calm is the best thing to do. As a Lyft driver, you have the right to not pick up an intoxicated passenger (or a whole group) or end the ride if you feel that your safety is threatened. Here are a few safety tips we’d like to give you:
- Fastening seat belts is a must! They prevent injuries during an accident and keep unruly passengers in their seats.
- You can always request that a passenger sits in the back with their seatbelt fastened.
- Keep pepper spray or a personal taser within reach just in case. Do some research to make sure you’re not violating any local ordinances.
- Install a dash cam to record audio and video during your rides. This will record everything you and passengers do or say in your vehicle.
- A cell phone mount will allow you to glance at and reach your cell phone without distracting yourself while driving. Dash cams and cell phone mounts may be tax deductible, by the way
How Do I Contact Lyft Support?
All rideshare companies recommend that your first call should be to 911 in case of an accident or an emergency while you’re driving. But for non-emergencies, there may be times when you need to contact Lyft Support. You can do this directly through the Lyft Driver app. Lyft support is a great way to find out answers to general questions that might pop up during your shift.
- Lyft policies.
- Vehicle requirements.
- Promotions, payments, bonuses.
- Airport information.
- Difficulty finding a passenger at their pickup location.
Scott is a fan of Lyft support. We asked him if he ever had to reach out for help:
“The couple of times I’ve needed them they’ve responded very promptly. It usually had to do with someone leaving something behind or asking whether or not they did.”
How To Maximize Your Income With Lyft
When you drive with Lyft, you’re actually working for yourself. In other words, you now have your own rideshare driving business, and you’re the Boss, the CEO, the Head Honcho, the Big Cheese, etc. You want to make your rideshare business is profitable, and that you keep as much of your profits in your pocket as possible.
Here are a few simple ways to increase your rideshare income:
- Take advantage of high demand periods. Accept as many rides as possible during peak times like rush hour, Friday and Saturday nights, early morning when bars are closing.
- Conserve gas between rides. If you complete a ride and you don’t have another already waiting, find a safe, comfortable location and park. This way, you’re not wasting gas driving around town waiting for your next ride request.
- If you live near or in a crowded metropolitan area, make that your base of operations. You’ll get a lot more ride requests there than if you’re somewhere in a less crowded suburban spot.
Scott gave us these suggestions when it comes to earning as much as possible while driving for Lyft:
- “I usually make more at night now that Lyft has gotten rid of their surge pricing. Drivers should pick an area where you know there are lots of people needing rides pretty much at all times of the day. For example, I live in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, which is halfway between Hollywood and downtown LA. It’s always busy, so I try to do my shifts mainly in this area because ride requests are pretty consistent.
- The more rides you give the more money you make, especially if you get some decent tips.“
Are There Negatives To Driving With Lyft?
We’ve discussed all the positives to being a rideshare driver. But, let’s face it, every kind of gig has some negatives. Some negatives that are associated with rideshare driving include:
- Strangers in your car. Most passengers will be polite and fun to meet, but some will be messy, unruly, or just plain annoying. That’s just part of the gig, though!
- Wear and tear on your personal vehicle may require expensive maintenance. HyreCar can help you avoid this problem by putting you behind the wheel of a good quality rental car.
Scott did have a few things to say about the negatives of being a Lyft driver, mainly regarding the new Personal Power Zones:
“Well, the pay has recently been affected. In the past, surging used to give you, let’s say, 25% more of a payout for your ride in a busy area at the very least. But now, that bonus is no longer based on a percentage. So if the ride is any more than a couple of miles, the bonus is less.”
“You have to drive into certain areas, and these are much fewer and further between than the surging on the driver app map ever was. The new bonus structure actually concerns me because I know passengers are still getting charged more but the drivers aren’t seeing nearly as much of that.“
What Does it Take to Be a Successful Rideshare Driver?
Someone with a positive attitude, and an open mind. Someone with the ability to be a good listener who can entertain others in a joking manner will go a long way as a rideshare driver.”
And finally, we asked Scott, “is Lyft is a good company to work for?,” and if he recommends being a Lyft driver to someone looking to earn some extra income. Here was his answer:
“Again, if someone has an open mind, and a positive attitude, I would absolutely recommend being a Lyft driver, either as a part-time side gig or as a full-time job. It’s a great way to make extra income.”
Click HERE to join Scott and the rest of the Lyft driver community and start earning on your own schedule.
To sum up, we think the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to being a Lyft driver. But the gig is not for everyone. If you don’t want strangers in your car, you might be better off working for a food or grocery delivery service like DoorDash, Postmates, or Instacart. These are all fun and easy ways to earn extra income as an independent contractor.
We hope that the information we gave you, along with Scott’s opinions and suggestions, will help you decide if being a Lyft driver is the right gig for you.
Happy Lyft Driving from your pals at HyreCar!
Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
By Rob Izenberg – HyreCar Staff Writer