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When the Uber app came out, it was a revelation that changed everything. All of a sudden, people could take a ride from one place to another, without paying the often prohibitively expensive price of a cab. If that wasn’t an amazing enough advancement in technology, we’ve moved even further, and you now have multiple choices when it comes to ridesharing.
The rideshare industry is now a two company battle – Uber vs. Lyft. That means there are plenty of people trying to decide which one is best. Which one is cheaper? Which has the shortest ride times? Which is easier to use? Here’s a quick guide to Uber vs. Lyft — the differences, the similarities, and the things that make each unique.
Uber vs. Lyft – How do the Uber and Lyft apps work?
Essentially, ridesharing with Lyft or Uber is just an extension of taxi services, but easier and cheaper. Though taxis have been very common for many years, they can be extremely expensive, and people don’t often have the money to take taxis to and from work every day. Ridesharing, however, is more of a connection between drivers and riders directly. Riders pay less as a whole, and Uber or Lyft take a cut of the fare, leaving the rest for the driver. Lyft generally takes less of the fare from the driver than Uber.
Uber and Lyft both use an app to facilitate their services. On both apps, you put in your pickup address and destination address, and it calculates an approximate price; once you confirm that you’re willing to pay that price, it sends out a driver to pick you up and drop you off. Once you’re done with the ride, you can rate the driver on a scale from 1-5 stars, add a tip, and send the driver a comment if you appreciated something specific.
The apps also provide extra information about the ride and options for your trip. For example, the app calculates the ETA and stores the payment method, and allows you to choose from a range of ride types that include regular sedans, suvs, and luxury cars. They calculate extra costs, such as extra time that the driver waits for the rider, and surge costs. They also have 24/7 support, which allows you to contact them with any concerns (through the app only usually), from lost items to payment issues.
Early on, there were many differences between Uber and Lyft, especially when it came to pricing and certain app features. However, as both companies have grown, they’ve become essentially the same. While certain things like surge costs may vary between the apps at different times, they all have the same capabilities — things like being able to request a specific class of car, leave a tip, and see your ETA before booking the trip. This means that it mostly comes down to personal preference, or which app is cheaper when you need a ride.
Uber vs. Lyft – How do you use the Uber app?
Using Uber is a very straightforward process; the app is designed to work with the user, no matter what operating system they’re using. Upon opening the app, you’re given a field to enter in your destination, upon which it automatically calculates how long it should take for you to be picked up, as well as how expensive the trip will be. Once you confirm the trip, they send out the request to the driver, and you’re ready to go.
Uber also provides extra features that can be helpful to some riders. Some of the most-used features include the ability to schedule some trips well in advance, the ability to create a record of business trips, and the ability to create a “family profile,” where you can manage and keep track of your entire family’s Uber usage. You can also choose to use a Spanish-speaking driver, a driver with a wheelchair-accessible car, or a driver that can provide additional assistance if necessary.
Payment is simple with Uber; they take credit or debit cards, PayPal, Uber gift cards, Apple Pay, and in some places, college campus cards. Like many other apps striving to gain a large user base, you can also get discounts when you refer people. Those who use your referral code get $5 off their first three rides, and you get $5 off your next ride as well. Between the simple setup, simple payment, and extra features, using Uber is an extremely user-friendly process, and that’s how they intend to keep it.
Uber vs. Lyft – How do you use the Lyft app?
For many people, when they think of rideshare services, they think of Uber. However, that has stopped being true across the board with the rise of other services, and one of the biggest ones is Lyft. Though their capabilities are mostly the same, they have a definite difference in terms of appearance; while Uber is all black and silver, giving off a very professional vibe, Lyft is bright colors like pink and purple, catering more toward the younger crew.
When you open up the Lyft app, you’ll be asked to confirm your pickup address first, then choose where you’d like to be dropped off. It will show you an estimated time for your drop-off, as well as about how long it should take to get a driver to your pickup location. You choose what saved payment method you’d like to use and confirm the ride, and the driver shows up at your door.
Taking A Ride Using The Lyft App
Similarly to Uber, Lyft also has some extra services they offer to make rides more simple and useful. In keeping with the design, which is aimed toward a younger crowd, Lyft allows you to edit your public profile to add a little bit about you, as well as your hometown and favorite music. Though it doesn’t usually do much, you might end up with a driver who has your favorite artist playing when you get in the car!
Lyft takes multiple payment options, and also allows for PayPal, debit or credit cards, Apple pay, and gift cards. Promos work a little differently, too; depending on what city you’re in, the discounts you end up with could be more or less than another city. There are also different discounts that are applied when a driver refers someone. All in all, Lyft is looking to capitalize on the fact that Uber is a little bit more reserved and “high-class” by appealing to people’s sense of fun.
Uber vs. Lyft – Which one should I be using?
When it comes to the all-important question of, “Which is better?” there’s unfortunately no clear-cut answer. Uber tends to have more options when it comes to car type, but Lyft may have a higher promo rate in your area. Lyft may be cheaper during surge times, while Uber may be cheaper at a base level. There’s really no way to say that one rideshare system is better — they both provide different things, and your personal interpretation of those things will make you gravitate toward one or the other.
As it stands now, it’s always a good idea to have both on standby. Just make sure you’re considerate to the other rideshare users in your area — “playing the system” by placing a request on both, then canceling the one that will take longer, is extremely rude, and does nothing but drive up the price. Both of these great rideshare apps give you a large amount of information before you ever request. Take advantage of that information and make your own choice every time.