We’ve talked side hustles before and how everybody should have one. So, if you’re still figuring out how to take over the world with your own business, then you can raise your own venture capital, make some spare money and give yourself some thinking time by working for Lyft.
You can also really work on your delivery, your pitches, your confidence while you drive for Lyft. You can do all this with random members of the public, people you will never see again. And this is a real opportunity.
Some people have turned it into full-time work, too.
Of course, you shouldn’t drive for Lyft or Uber, you should drive for Lyft and Uber. In fact you should work for more than two.
There are plenty of other on-demand ride hailing and delivery services. We’ve got a full list of the best ones to complement your Lyft and Uber work down below.
Who can drive for Lyft? And who should?
When I was younger, I worked behind a bar and even did food deliveries myself. Looking back, it helped me develop my customer service skills, my flirting and even my casual banter. Now? I would drive for Lyft in a heartbeat.
It’s a democratic job where anybody over the age of 21 can start right now and pay the bills with hard work and a little cunning.
If you’re unemployed, self-employed or even working full-time, you can choose your own schedule and earn serious money that will take a lot of pressure off you. It can even give you the seed money for your big idea if you’re an entrepreneur with a dream.
All entrepreneurs should do it, too, because meeting people from both sides of the tracks will really boost your social skills.
You’ll learn how to relate to relate to just about anyone. That’s an invaluable talent.
Basically, taking on this humble work will make you grow as a person and it will put money in your pocket, pay for your car and it will even stop you going out and spending money. It’s an all-round win and if you haven’t considered it then you really should.
If you are in a rut, sign up and drive
If you have just been dumped, you got fired yesterday, whatever it is, then sign up and get out the house. You can earn money,stop crying and drinking hard liquor, or whatever it is you’re doing, and get your life on track right away.
It’s a great distraction and it makes you accountable, which is good when you’re feeling down. It’s a small step, but a totally actionable and easy step that will improve your life right now, which is what this site is all about.
How much do Lyft drivers make?
Lyft reckons you can make $35/hour and it is possible, but it’s more likely to work out somewhere between $20-30. Factor in your costs, too, and they will be much more for an older V8 luxury car than it will for a modern hybrid.
Seasoned drivers seem to earn $600-$1200 a week, which sure beats unemployment and could be the difference between paying the bills and failing dismally.
How to boost your income driving for Lyft
There are also a number of ways to boost your income much higher, through driver referral programs,handing out your promo codes to every customer and even starting your own blog and Youtube channel.
1. In Car Advertising
Try Vugo, if you have a tablet at your disposal. Hook it up and you can show ads to your riders and potentially earn $3 an hour. It all adds up and some drivers reckon on $500 a month.
TripCam is another option that aims to provide a five-star service for your passengers and additional revenue for rideshare drivers.
Other than that, be friendly, entertaining, do whatever you have to do. Bond with your customers, learn the essentials of customer service and treat it like a chance to hone your conversation skills. If you bond with the rider, then you’ll get tips and you might even meet interesting people who could help you in the future.
2. Always give your passenger your promo codes
Give them your Uber or Lyft promo codes. They won’t work with every customer, but you can get a $10 or $20 payout for absolutely nothing if they do. Your passenger might save money, too, and they’ll give you five stars.
So it’s worth making it a part of your routine.
3. Water and gum can pay off
Keep water and gum in the car, give it away to people and they’ll tip you much more than it costs.
4. Focus on the details
It should go without saying that your car should be spotless and you should be dressed professionally and looking fresh. But, well, people don’t…
A suit might be going too far, unless you’ve gone for a real luxury car and then you absolutely should suit up. Give them the full limo experience for Uber money and they will tip you and rave about you. Find out where to get cheap designer suits here!
But at least wear a shirt and pants, though. Show them you’re taking it seriously.
If you want to go next-level Lyft driver, then keep a cooler in the trunk with a variety of cold drinks.
Then do a final detail of the car for fingerprints on windows and other crud and put a cold drink selection for your passengers. Blast air conditioner or essentialoils through the car, too. It’s a cheap touch, but it looks and smells good for the next passenger. Blast yourself with aftershave or deodorant too.
5. Be fun and relaxed, these are skills you can practice
Have fun with your customer if they want, leave them in peace if you get that vibe, but always ask them how they’re doing and give them the chance to talk to you.
You’ll get better at relating to people from all walks of life and it’s a great skill that can even help you later on.
Let them hook their own music up,too. People love you for that.
Then, let them know you will give them a five-star review. That is a clever psychological trick, because they’re beholden to you and most people feel obliged to return the favor.
Some people think a four-star review is pretty good, but enough of those can get you terminated from Lyft and Uber. Gently suggest a five-star review like this and you’ll probably get it.
6. Lyft drivers can make more money with driver referrals
With the driver referral scheme, it’s almost pyramid marketing and you can get paid a lot more to find other drivers than you can for driving. You can make that work for you if you have a big social media following, or build one.
Start small. Sell the life to your passengers and use the time to hone your pitching and sales skills. Sell them on the extra money, the freedom to choose your own hours and the fact that your car has turned into a moneyspinner.
Sign up your passengers as drivers and you can make up to $200 every time. So it’s well worth the effort to see if they have a car themselves and going from there.
When you’re into your stride you can make videos giving advice to novice drivers, or just vlogging about your own life behind the wheel. Tie this into affiliate programs and you can spend less time driving and more time promoting your own personal blog and social media.
7. Promote your ride sharing business with social media
Trade up, mix up your tactics, analyze what works, publish your results and promote your work through Youtube, if you can handle the cringe, or a blog. Get active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
There are a few determined and marketable drivers that are sharing their tactics and creating another side hustle off the back of their on-demand driver jobs. It’s pretty clever when you think about it, and a blog, Youtube channel and more won’t take that much time or money to create.
If a blog and various social media channels help boost your income by another $1000-$2000 a month, which is perfectly achievable in the long term, then it’s definitely worth your time.
8. Learn rideshare skills from the best
We’ll get in to how to make money with affiliate marketing deals, Adsense and Youtube sponsorship that can combine to create a healthy supplement to your income another day.
But first, learn how to be a great driver, and get the basics of self promotion, here:
- The Ride Share Guy: He’s the most famous blogger and video creator on the rideshare scene. He has numbers to back up his assertions and he’s pretty well respected.
- The Rideshare Professor: He knows his stuff and will give you some valuable tips on how to earn money, from referrals and rewards, as well as driving hours.
- Rideshare Tips: Solid, actionable advice on getting started with Uber and Lyft.
9. Surge charging: Don’t chase, but be there
Get familiar with surge charging times and locations. Then you can really cash in on fares that are two or three times higher than normal and can be as high as six times the standard fare.
The zones are clearly marked in red, but you need to know where will be busy at which times. Get to know your city and hang out in the right places.
Play Uber against Lyft, too, and make sure you’re getting the best possible returns all the time.
At weekends, the nightlife is a fairly safe bet. Business districts in rush hour and airports at unsociable hours can also be winners.
But you need to learn to feel the pulse of your own city and make sure you’re at the heart of the action every time you head out.
There are sites that can show you surge zones from the past week in your area, including this one.
Some experts advise against chasing the surge charges, too, but really you need them to make big bucks. The point is to be there, not to chase them like a headless chicken. Plan your week, find parking spots that have a great proximity to the fares and see which zones work out.
Uber vs Lyft: Who pays drivers more?
An investigation by Therideshareguy.com revealed that Uber pays more than Lyft in most of the US.
It does depend on your city, though, so have a look at the spreadsheet that site spent a long time creating and make sure you’re focusing your efforts on the most money.
Apps that make ridesharing run smoother
Get a mileage tracking app, for a start, as you can claim back $0.54c for every business mile at tax time. A single six-hour stint can yield a $100 tax deduction. So, you don’t want to leave this to chance.
MileIQ and Sherpa are generally considered the best mileage tracking app for rideshare drivers, although you do have to pay the $47 upgrade with MileIQ if you log more than 40 trips and Sherpa is a paid service as well. Others like Stride.
Quickbooks is arguably the best software to keep track of your income and expenditure. That will save you days of crying come tax time, so do it as you go with the smartphone app.
What Are the Requirements To Drive For Lyft?
You have to be 21 and have held your US driving license for at least a year. Also, Lyft do a check and the following will get you rejected:
- More than three moving violations in the past three years (e.g. accidents, traffic light violations)
- A major moving violation in the past three years (e.g., driving on a suspended license, reckless driving)
- A DUI or other drug-related driving violation in the last seven years
- Any driving-related convictions in the last seven years (e.g. hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)
They also reckon they do criminal checks and violent crimes, serious felonies, drug-related crimes, sexual offences and certain types of criminal damage will rule you out.
Surprisingly, your car can be more than 10 years old in some states, as long as it has four doors and it’s in good condition. There are a long list of requirements here, but they’re all pretty obvious.
What about insurance? Are you covered to drive for Lyft?
Lyft has taken out its own additional insurance to cover you for commercial liability up to $1 million, so you need your own insurance, but you can also rely on Lyft to have you covered if something goes seriously awry. It’s worth checking with your own insurer, though,and beefing up your cover if required.
What’s the Best Car To Drive for Lyft?
Ideally, an electric one. Your ‘fuel’ will be more or less free and it creates the right impression. You don’t have to get a Tesla Model S either.
You can opt for a Kia Soul EV that comes with a real attractive $199 a month lease deals. It only has 91 miles of range, which will inevitably cost you fares in the end while you hit the charging station, but it’s a cheap electric vehicle that looks the part and shouldn’t cost you anything to run. It also has solid storage and proper seats and doors in the back.
The Kia is a fun-looking crossover. It’s a shrunken SUV that fits the role perfectly. Go big on the color and this is a bold little car that your customers should love.
Alternatively, spend a little more and get the Chevy Bolt. That does 238 miles on a charge and will easily cover your needs. if you live in a State with solid ta incentives for EVs then you can get a real steal if you can finance the car.
You will never have to pay for another tank of gas and this car could pay for itself many times over if you work Uber, Lyft and the food delivery services like a champion.
Look at a plug-in hybrid, too, because you can take your pick of some serious luxury cars like the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus RXh. You could just as easily do the job with a Prius, though, and then you don’t need to worry about the range as the range-extender engine can take the strain.
If you’re leasing or buying a new car to head into the ride-hailing business then do your sums carefully before you splash out on a Tesla Model S. It could easily pay for itself and be the perfect marketing move, or it may turn into a huge mistake that you’re paying for in 10 years.
But again, if it’s in good condition then you can drive more or less what you want as long as it’s a 2007 or later model. That gives you a lot of leeway and you could look for something with character.
What if you can’t get a new car?
First, get a cool car. Spend wisely and get something that punches above its weight. Or go really quirky and compete on pure character.
A 2010 Mercedes-Benz S Class can be yours for around $20,000, although repairs will be heartbreakingly expensive. Alternatively, get the 2008 Audi S8, the Ronin car, and go for the full hardcore sports limousine.
Look at a 2010 BMW 7 Series for around $15,000 or the likes of the 2012 Audi A6 for the same money.
Make sure it’s clean, the engine won’t melt in 1000 miles and that the bodywork looks like a luxury car should. Then, when you buy it, give it some serious TLC in the wash and wax department. Make that car shine like it just left the showroom, shampoo the seats and carpets and make it shine. Then keep it like that.
You’ll make an impression and get a better rating.
A Chrysler 300 C could do the job and get you a badass reputation, because it looks like a gangster’s car and you can pick one up for a little more than $10,000. A creative vinyl wrap could turn one of these Bentley-esque bruisers into a real local celebrity.
Some drivers have got really creative in other ways. One put a chalkboard finish on his car and when it’s parked he invites the San Francisco public to add their own drawings and messages. Another driver gives out goody bags of candy and trinkets.
Another Lyft-affiliated entrepreneur has fitted club lights, a fog machine and a karaoke machine to his car. Angel Lozano screens comedy shows in the headrest-mounted TVs in his Range Rover and people often extend the trip to finish the performance.
Then there is the Uber master, Ollie B, who raps for a Youtube audience and actually makes far more than a simple fare in the end.
What if your car is too beaten up for Uber and Lyft?
First, consider credit, as long as you treat your car like a business and spend every spare hour making money out of it then it can be the smart way to go. With all the incentives that a Tesla Model S gets in terms of tax breaks, together with the fuel savings, it can be worth financing the car, or leasing it. The seven-seat Model X could also be a useful sell.
If you live in Colorado or California then really crunch the numbers on an EV. You get so much help in some States that it’s almost a no-brainer and buying,say, a Chevy Bolt outright could cost as little as $25,000. A loan for that amount really isn’t that bad considering you have the car and a business plan.
You can become a car dealer too
But let’s say you’re going to bootstrap your business.You, my friend, have to work your way up. Start with the parcel delivery services that don’t worry too much about the physical appearance of your car. Hustle, save money and become something of a car dealer, as well as a driver.
Alternatively, do a fair deal with a relative to rent a car for your Uber an Lyft work. This is a short term solution, though, and there’s always the risk that you crash someone else’s car.
Set hard goals, learn the system and put in the hours. Starting from literally the bottom is the ideal time to decide that in two years you will have a Tesla Model S, or a Mercedes S-Class, and you’ll be raking in $6000 a month. Focus on those goals, work backwards from them and then engineer your own future.
Who else should you drive for?
Via is a new service in New York that is making headway and there will be more challengers for Uber and Lyft.
UberRUSH is now delivering parcels on demand, which is a great opportunity to earn more money with less stress than transporting passengers.
Roadie is fighting for a share of the on-demand delivery pie too. Sign up for everything and see what works for you! Do the same with Kanga and Amazon Flex is offering $18-25 an hour and should have a serious amount of deliveries.
CanaryDelivers is set to send weed to people’s doors and they’ll need delivery drivers. Elsewhere you can deliver flowers, food and just about anything else.
Grubhub, Postmates and Doordash are both good options for food delivery, which can complement your work with Lyft and Uber to turn driving round your home city into a full-time job.
One guy made more than $150 in three hours, covering less than 20 miles, thanks to the generous tips on big food orders. So you might find that’s a far better way to work in your city and you spend less time on Lyft and Uber.
Learn more about it here.
How long will ridesharing jobs last?
Not that long is the brutal truth. Soon, autonomous vehicles will do the driving for us and that means Lyft, Uber and the rest just won’t need people at the wheel. So, this is really only suitable if you’re ready to go hard, save money and use it to launch the next business or find work when the time comes.
Autonomous cars are already on the road in beta tester form and they really could be a part of everyday life within five years. So, if you want to be a full-time driver, then go for it right now.