How Much Money Can You Make with Lyft?


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
I was an early adopter when the so-called sharing economy became a thing. When companies like Lyft, Uber, and Airbnb came into the scene, I found an opportunity to make money by driving for other people or even renting out the spare room in my house.

Participating in the sharing economy has been pretty liberating (and lucrative!) for me when I need to augment my income. Since I can manage my own hours, that means I can spend more quality time with my family. The earnings have been pretty good, too. It won’t make me a multi-millionaire (or even just a millionaire), but I make good money this way. Plus, I love meeting all sorts of interesting people during the day – that is definitely a bonus.

One of my best-earning side hustles has been driving for Lyft. While I don’t drive as much as I used to, for a long time, Lyft was my primary side hustle. If you’re keen on being a ride-sharing driver, I’ll be writing about my experiences driving for Lyft. In this article, I’ll also talk about how to make money with Lyft. I will also answer the question is being a Lyft driver worth it? Read on!


The Benefits Of Driving For Lyft

First, let’s answer an obvious question: what’s the point of driving for Lyft when you can drive for a taxi. You can find lots of answers online, but I’ll share my personal answer: driving for Lyft gives me more flexibility. I can set my own hours. Of course, to earn, you need to be available as much as possible, but I’ve always valued life-work balance. Driving for Lyft allows me to achieve that.

Also, it was super-easy for me to apply to become a Lyft driver. It only took me two hours to get my Lyft application done. While I’ve never applied to become a taxi driver before, I heard that the application process can be pretty long and tedious.

That isn’t to say the application process for Lyft was haphazard. Lyft is still pretty stringent when it comes to applications, and they have a series of rules and regulations to ensure driver and passenger safety. They have a pretty strict no-alcohol and drug policy for active drivers. So that’s a good thing!


Do You Make More Money With Uber?

The next question you’re probably asking is why drive for Lyft over Uber. The latter is definitely more of a household name than Lyft, right? Well, Lyft has some advantages over Uber, namely:

  • You can receive tips on Lyft. With Uber, the booking fee is all you make.
  • Surge prices (called “Primetime” on Lyft) are better with Lyft – but not so high that they turn-off potential passengers.
  • Lyft has a more relaxed (but still professional) internal culture. I always felt Uber was a bit too cutthroat and intense for my liking.
  • These aren’t life-changing reasons, but they’re good enough for me. They’ve kept me on board with Lyft all this time.
  • Lyft pays around 25% higher than Uber.


Who Can Drive For Lyft?

I already mentioned Lyft has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs. Beyond that, just about any licensed driver with a car in good condition can drive for Lyft. But they do have specific requirements. They are:

  • You own a smartphone and mobile internet
  • You need to be 21 years old or above
  • Possess a valid driver’s license during your entire stint driving for Lyft
  • Pass the required DMV and criminal background checks
  • Passed local city requirements

Your car also needs to meet certain requirements. They are:

  • Has valid plates, and is registered
  • Has valid insurance with your name on it
  • Passed local city requirements
  • Lyft will subject your car to 19-point inspection, and your car needs to pass that inspection

Beyond those concrete requirements, I also think people with certain personality traits will be better suited for driving for Lyft. The best Lyft drivers are hard-working, possess great endurance (driving can be tiring!), have a great sense of direction, and are responsible. I can’t emphasize that last item enough. When you drive for other people, their lives are pretty much in your hands. So you gotta be a safe, responsible driver.


Making Money With Lyft: Earning Potential

Now, we’ve gotten to the most important part of this article! Your earnings will depend on a few things, namely how many hours you can dedicate to driving for Lyft (and how much time you can spend driving on-peak hours). Lyft docks two types of fees whenever you get paid: a platform fee and a service fee. These fees comprise Lyft’s total commission for each booking you get.

I have no doubt, I could have made a living driving for Lyft if I put my mind to it. But chose to scale back a bit and make this a part-time hustle, mainly because I enjoyed pursuing other earning methods. But needless to say, there’s a pretty good amount of money to be made driving for Lyft! So if you’ve been considering driving for Lyft, give it a go!


How To Make Good Money With Lyft

So you can make good money, but there are certain things you need to do to “optimize” your earning capacity on Lyft. They are:

Always maintain your car – a breakdown can be costly – both in terms of the cost of repairs, and the cost of missed earning opportunities. So you gotta stay on top of your car maintenance at all times.

Try to maintain a high rating – Lyft has incentives for drivers who get good ratings, so always try to provide a good service to passengers. Be polite, and make sure their experience riding your car is always a positive one.

Drive during peak hours – I’ll admit, I hate driving during rush hour traffic. That is why I never drove for Lyft full-time. But if you want to maximize your earnings, I recommend you drive during peak hours. It’s a bit more stressful, but your earnings will be higher if you drive during this time.


How To Apply As A Lyft Driver

Wanna give this a shot? I hope you do! To start your Lyft journey, head to their site and download the Lyft app on your smartphone:


Once you’ve registered, you can start the driver application process. From there, you will have to go through the application process. Also, make sure you have all the relevant requirements before you start the process.

Good luck!
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