Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 09:47 am
How to Become a Lyft Driver
Deciding to become a rideshare driver is only half of the battle. Next, you need to determine which company you want to drive for. One of the most popular brands is Lyft. As Uber’s top competitor, the company has expanded rapidly, adding millions of new riders.
Fortunately for you, this means they’re in constant need of drivers.
Unless you’ve driven for other rideshare companies in the past, you’re probably wondering how to become a Lyft driver. While the Lyft application process is pretty straightforward, there are a few factors you need to consider before and after applying. If you’re ready to join Lyft, this guide will explain everything you need to know.
How to Know if Lyft Is the Right Match for You
Not everyone is cut out to become a Lyft driver. To ensure you don’t waste your time pursuing a career that you’ll end up hating, it’s important that you do your research. Before you take the next steps in the Lyft driver application process, take a closer look at what the job entails.
What Do Lyft Drivers Do?
Lyft drivers are the force behind the company’s rideshare services. As a driver, you’ll accept ride requests from Lyft passengers, pick them up, and then deliver them to their destination. For each journey, you’ll earn a specific rate.
Qualities of a Good Lyft Driver
While there isn’t a set-in-stone test that you can take to determine if being a Lyft driver is right for you, there is a correlation between certain personality traits and success in the industry. The top drivers are equipped with these qualities:
- Excellent Customer Service Skills: A commitment to the satisfaction of passengers is a vital trait for Lyft drivers. Ratings play a factor in your success with the company, and if you’re invested in giving your passengers a positive experience, you’re more likely to achieve consistent 5-star ratings.
- Well-Organized: As a freelance worker, you’re responsible for paying your own income taxes and setting your wage goals. To ensure you’re setting yourself up for success, you need to keep track of your payouts as well as potential tax deductions, such as mileage and vehicle maintenance. For these tasks, you need to be incredibly organized and keep accurate records on a regular basis. To help in this area, many drivers download a mileage tracker.
- Friendly Demeanor: Friendliness is another important quality of being a Lyft driver. Even when riders don’t want to have a conversation on their journey, a simple greeting at the beginning and the end of the ride will ensure they enjoy their time in your vehicle.
- Comfort Behind the Wheel: You also need to be comfortable driving for hours on end. Full-time Lyft drivers are likely to spend eight to ten hours in the driver’s seat every day, while part-time drivers are likely to hit at least 10 hours a week. If you’re uncomfortable driving or can’t sit for long periods of time, then becoming a Lyft driver may not be the best choice for you.
- Ability to Multitask: As a Lyft driver, you’ll also need to multitask. While you’re working, you’ll need to navigate to your destination based on the directions given in the app, carefully watch the road, and communicate with your rider all at once. Being able to accomplish all three tasks at the same time is an absolute necessity for rideshare drivers.
- Self-Motivated: As an independent contractor, you also need to be self-motivated. Since you don’t have a boss or schedule to follow, you’re the only one responsible for your financial survival. This means that you should have the motivation to not only work hard, but push yourself to meet your goals.
While you don’t necessarily need to encompass all of these traits, they can be used as an identifier of your future success as a driver. If you possess these qualities, it increases the likelihood that you’ll not only enjoy your job, but that you’ll also be good at it.
Potential Earnings of Lyft Drivers
Lyft calculates each driver’s earnings using a three-part process. The pricing equation is composed of a base fare, a per-mile fee, and a per-minute earning. Each of these rates is location-specific, so what a Lyft driver earns in Seattle is vastly different than what one would earn in St. Louis or Los Angeles.
When there’s a high number of Lyft ride requests, the company activates a service known as “Prime Time.” During this period, drivers receive an increased rate for each ride they accept in the area. The system is designed so that the standard fare is multiplied by a particular percentage, which is determined by the level of rider demand. The current prime rate will be displayed on the app at the time of ride acceptance.
On top of Prime Time increases, Lyft offers a reward program for highly motivated drivers. The Power Driver Bonus sets weekly requirements, such as a minimum number of rides and a high acceptance rate, and each week that you meet the criteria, you get a bonus. The system usually has three or four tiers, so you can actually earn up to an additional $50 – $400 per week. Lyft Power Driver Bonus amounts and requirements differ from city to city.
Lyft drivers are paid on a weekly basis. The company applies payouts on Tuesday mornings. Depending on your bank provider, the money is deposited into your account instantly, within a few hours, or within a couple of days. With most banks, the money is in your account within 24 hours. Lyft also offers an instant pay option, Express Pay, which allows immediate access to your earnings.
Lyft’s Driver Requirements
Having the desire to become a Lyft driver doesn’t ensure that you meet the company’s requirements. To qualify as a Lyft driver, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Age: All Lyft drivers need to be at least 21 years old.
- License: You also need to have had your driver’s license for at least a year before you apply to become a driver.
- Good Driving History: You need a clean driving history. Your record can’t display any license suspensions within the last three years, and no serious drug- or alcohol-related charges within the last seven years. As far as speeding tickets, there need to be fewer than three violations on your record within the last three years.
- Acceptable Criminal History: Lyft requires that drivers have a clean criminal history. This means that your background check needs to be free of all violent and sexual crimes.
Lyft also places restrictions on the vehicles that can be used for their rideshare services. These qualifications include:
- Insurance: All vehicles must be fully insured to be approved, and you also need to be insured on the policy.
- Registration: Your vehicle’s plates also need to be up-to-date.
- Seating: Lyft’s minimum seating requirements are five (including the driver) and go up to eight available seats (seven passengers).
- Doors: All vehicles need at least four doors to provide driver and passenger convenience.
- Age: Unlike Uber, the age restrictions of Lyft-associated vehicles vary by location. During the application process, the system will automatically provide the eligibility requirements for your area.
Check out our page on Lyft vehicle requirements for more information and to see if your vehicle qualifies for Lyft XL (larger vehicles) or Lyft Lux (high end vehicles). If you don’t have a vehicle, you can still drive for Lyft by renting a vehicle through Lyft Express Drive.
To pass Lyft’s application process, you need to meet the company’s minimum requirements as well as the rules set in place by your local municipality.
Lyft Driver Alternatives
The main alternative to Lyft is Uber. Fortunately, the Lyft vs. Uber battle is one that benefits drivers. Since drivers at both companies are independent contractors, they can technically drive for both services at the same time. This approach widens the available market in the area because you’ll have access to both Lyft and Uber riders. You could boost your earnings significantly with this approach.
If you don’t meet the Lyft requirements as a result of age or vehicle style, there are other alternatives. Uber’s eligibility criteria for rideshare drivers is similar, so it’s unlikely that you’ll qualify for that service if you don’t meet Lyft’s.
However, delivery services, like Uber Delivery (formerly UberEats) and Postmates, have fewer driver and vehicle restrictions. If you’re primarily looking for extra income, you may want to consider becoming a scooter charger for Bird or Lime.
The Benefits of Being a Lyft Driver
Choosing to join the Lyft fleet comes with multiple benefits. Some of the advantages of working with Lyft include:
Be Your Own Boss
The biggest appeal of rideshare companies, like Lyft, is that drivers operate as independent contractors. Being self-employed provides a significant amount of freedom regarding the schedule you work. As your own boss, you choose when and where you want to operate instead of relying on a manager to dictate your daily tasks.
Virtually Unlimited Earning Potential
One of the top reasons people decide to become a part- or full-time rideshare driver is the potential earnings. While true success won’t happen overnight, a quality driver will quickly learn the ropes and determine the most efficient operating times in their area. As a result, you’re provided with an opportunity to make a significant amount of money every week.
As a Lyft partner, you’ll get many perks in the form of entertainment and lifestyle discounts. Most impressively, the company provides their drivers with access to a variety of educational resources, like financial aid services. You can also get reduced rates on financial services and professional tax guidance, and the Lyft Driver’s Reward Program aids drivers with fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.
How to Become a Lyft Driver
If Lyft still sounds like the rideshare company for you, it’s time to take on the Lyft driver application. You can start your application with a Lyft promo code worth up to $1000 by clicking HERE. Then follow the instructions below to complete your Lyft application and get on the road.
1. Create Your Account
To create an account, you’ll enter your phone number.
2. Enter Your Information And Lyft Driver Promo Code
Then, enter your name, email, driving city and your promo code. Ours is MOVER if you’d like to use it. In order to be eligible for a Lyft sign up bonus of up to $1000, you must enter a code when you start your application. Lyft does not allow you to add a promo code later.
3. Choose: Drive Your Car Or Rent A Vehicle
The next step is to choose whether you want to drive for Lyft using your own car, or rent a vehicle through Lyft Express Drive.
4. Provide Vehicle Information
If you’re going to be driving your own car, the Lyft application will prompt you to provide your vehicle’s details. This step includes the year, make, model, the number of doors, color, and number ofseatbelts. As long as the information provided meets their requirements, you’ll move onto the next step in the Lyft driver application process.
5. Enter Your Personal Information
Once the company knows you have a qualifying vehicle, they want to know more about you. For this step, you’ll need to provide all of your personal information, including your legal name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and social security number (so they can run a background check).
6. Background Check
Next up, you’ll need to authorize a local and national background check. The company provides a full disclosure so that you’ll know exactly how they’re using the information. If you hit “Acknowledge,” they’ll use the information from the previous step to access your DMV records and perform a complete background check.
7. Arrange a Vehicle Inspection
Unlike Uber, Lyft has you sign up for a vehicle inspection (if your market requires it) during the application process. This approach helps you save time because you can hit the road as soon as your application is approved. You are not required to go to to Lyft’s suggested inspection location. You can have your inspection performed by any licensed mechanic. You may even be able to have your inspection completed over video chat by using Rideshare Mechanic.
8. Upload Your Documents
The final step is to upload some documents. Document requirements vary by location, but you’ll at least need a copy of your driver’s license and insurance. Most markets also require you to upload a valid registration. See our Lyft vehicle requirements page for the specific document requirements for your market. After uploading your documents, you just have to wait for approval. This can take anywhere from one day to a few weeks. Most drivers are approved in five to ten days.
9. Hit the Road
Once you receive your approval email from Lyft, you can officially hit the road and make some money. They’ll provide you with full details on how to accept your first ride as well as how to navigate the app successfully.
If you feel like driving Lyft is for you, to begin your application with our promo code and receive a Lyft sign up bonus of up to $1000, simply click the Join Lyft button below.
How to Ace Your Lyft Driver Application
Tackling the Lyft application won’t take you very long, but there are ways to ensure that you put your best face forward. Here are a few tips to ace your Lyft application:
You’ll need to provide the company with your personal information as well as documentation, so organize all of your paperwork ahead of time. This will reduce the time needed to apply as well as ensure that you have everything you need.
The company verifies all of the information you provide with a background check and vehicle inspections, so don’t try to cheat the system. Doing so will definitely earn your Lyft application a denial, and it could also inhibit your ability to work with the company in the future.
The sooner you schedule your vehicle inspection, the faster you’ll be approved. Lyft utilizes the inspection process to ensure that your vehicle meets all of their requirements, including insurance. As a result, be sure to take proof of licensing, insurance, and registration to your appointment.
Reaching Your Full Earning Potential As a Lyft Driver
While you can’t control the market and ride demand in your area, you can set yourself up for success. Taking the initiative and educating yourself on the industry will provide you with the upper hand. Here are a few tips for reaching your full potential as a Lyft driver:
Put in the Effort With Riders
Rideshare driving is a very customer-centric job, so you need to focus on making your customers happy. Along with general niceties, take an interest in their lives and also know when they’re not interested in carrying on a conversation. You can also consider offering refreshments, like water, to your riders. Simply making the effort will take you far in this industry.
Work to Achieve and Maintain a High Rating
You should also strive the earn and maintain the highest Lyft driver rating possible. Higher ratings make you eligible for the higher tiers within Lyft’s rideshare service offerings, which results in increased fares. Communicating with riders and practicing excellent customer service will help you achieve this goal.
Use Your Resources
There are so many resources available to Lyft drivers, from how-to guides to tips and tricks. At Rideshare Central, our ultimate goal is to help rideshare drivers achieve ultimate profitability. Here are a few helpful guides to support you along your journey:
- Tips For New Lyft Drivers
- Independent Contractor 101: Dealing With Estimated Tax Payments
- How to Fit Your Side Hustle Into Your Daily Routine
- Where To Find Riders When It’s Slow
By utilizing these and other resources, you can educate yourself on how to become the best entrepreneur, thus increasing your potential earnings. If you’re ready to get started with Lyft, click the button below.