How To Make Money Driving For Lyft | Guide

Giving someone a lift and earning some cash is not only a side hustle, but a Lyft lifestyle.

Any side hustle is better than no side hustle — it offers an option to earn extra money, save more money, and also build the right investment portfolio. The question now is, does it come easily for Lyft drivers?

Expenses and taxes will take a big cut out of how much you can earn driving with Lyft, so if you want to earn more, you need to understand how to make money driving for Lyft by minimizing expenses, being smart in the business, and other details which we’ll share in few lines to come.

About Lyft

Lyft is a quintessential transport company that operates in the United States and Canada.

You can access Lyft service via their mobile app. Users set up a personal profile with a name, phone number, other information, and payment preference, which could be a credit card, e-commerce payment system, or, in some cases, cash. After each ride, the rider may be given the option to provide a gratuity to the driver, which is also invoiced to the customer’s payment method.

On Lyft, drivers provide a vehicle, which could be owned, rented, or leased. Furthermore, drivers must meet requirements for age, health, car age, and type, have a driver’s license and a smartphone or tablet.

Before you’re approved as a Lyft driver, you may be required to pass a background check and subject your vehicles annually for safety inspection and approval. Lyft provides basic vehicle insurance.

How To Be A Driver On Lyft

To get started on Lyft, you need to meet requirements for age, health, car age, and type, have a driver’s license and a smartphone or tablet.

Ideally, filling out basic information (like your mobile phone number, driver’s license, and other documents) takes less than 30 minutes. Then a few more things need to happen such as:

Vehicle Inspection: If you’re using your own car, you will need to pass a Lyft inspection to make sure it’s road-ready. We’ll help you find a location and schedule an appointment.

Background check: A background check is always done to review your driving history. This can take a few days to be completed.

What Are Lyft’s vehicle requirements?

  • A minimum of five seatbelts, including the drivers.
  • Passes any inspection required by your city or state.
  • Not titled as salvage, nonrepairable, or rebuilt.
  • Meets vehicle age requirements in your city and state (typically 2005 or newer).
  • Cannot be a taxi, stretch limousine, or on Lyft’s list of prohibited subcompact vehicles.

Once your car satisfies these requirements, you should be thinking of how much you can earn as a Lyft driver and how to achieve that.

How Much Can I Earn As A Lyft Driver?

The amount you make as a Lyft driver is often based on the time and distance of each ride according to your city’s rates. When lots of people are requesting rides — during commute hours or after a big concert — you can earn even more. Therefore, you might not earn enough if you’re lazy. (30 Passive Income Apps to Make Money While Away)

Additionally, they also offer driver incentives to help you make extra money on top of each ride. Passengers also tip through the app — those are 100% yours.

How Much Are Lyft Drivers Paid?

Unlike the passive income model, your pay as a Lyft driver is reliant on the amount of work you put in.

In order to understand how much Lyft drivers earn, you need to remember that your payment is made up of four factors: time, distance, tips, and bonuses.

For each minute and distance, you drive, your money counts based on your city’s per minute rate and per-mile rate. On the other hand, when passengers tip you for superior services, you can keep 100% of those earnings. You can also earn bonuses from referrals, during busy times or busy day

Nonetheless, the major source of a Lyft driver’s earnings comes from time and distance.

Learn more about how driver pay works and how to track your weekly earnings in the Lyft Driver app.

How To Make Money Driving For Lyft

Once you get listed as a Lyft driver, you start earning as you drive. But then, you can earn much more just by putting up your A-game and being intentional about the job.

Rideshare expert Harry Campbell shares how he has made enough money in the ridesharing industry that he was able to quit his full-time job as an Aerospace Engineer. Sounds crazy, right?

However, driving with rideshare organizations such as Lyft doesn’t always equate to the same massive earnings. Nonetheless, rideshare experts will tell you that there are things you can do to increase your earnings as a Lyft rideshare driver.

So, if you’re thinking about driving with Lyft or you’re currently driving with Lyft, here are the top 10 tips on how to make money driving for Lyft:

#1 Choose to Drive During The Busiest Time

The busiest times to drive are normally a happy hour, rush hour, and evening party hours.

For you to earn more in business, you have to be smart. One of the key benefits of being a Lyft driver is that you can always combine the job with another.

However, to make the most money from driving with Lyft, you have to sensibly identify the busiest hours and make yourself available during those times.

The question now is, what are Lyft’s busiest times? Nights and weekends. At nights and weekends, people are always on the move to go spend time having fun and will always be in need of rideshare services. Often times, most passengers cherish a fully spent moment devoid of driving duties.

Using rideshare services like Lyft allows passengers to fully get engaged socially without having to think of their car. Therefore, working on the busiest days is a honey pot waiting to be tapped into.

#2 Drive a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

The less money you spend on gas is an addition to the amount of money you’ll have left in your pocket — it’s as simple as that.

Therefore, driving a fuel-efficient vehicle will help you transport your passengers without having to spend massively on fuel.

In addition to having a fuel-efficient car, you need to pay attention to the points below:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Drive moderately – don’t take off quickly or brake quickly
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained and perform regular tune-ups and oil changes
  • Don’t have extra, unnecessary weight in your car or trunk
  • Minimize air conditioning use when possible by parking in the shade or using a sun protector to keep your vehicle cooler inside
  • Know the quickest routes to destinations. Google map is at your service.

#3 Use a Mileage Tracking App

Installing a mileage tracking app helps you keep track of all the miles you drive with Lyft so that you can maximize your yearly mileage deduction on tax returns — which in turn helps you maximize profit.

Here’s a list of mileage tracking apps you can consider:

#4 Go For Odd Hour Rides

A good number of rideshare drivers don’t show up for an emergency or early morning runs like; quick drive to the airport, rushing someone to the hospital, dropping someone off for a party in the late hours of the night not knowing that these situations are capable of fetching you a good sum of money.

RELATED POST: How to make Extra Money Driving with Uber on Weekends

#5 Locate your biggest market

Knowing where your biggest market is and moving to that point will help you be of great service and make more cash while riding Lyft.

For instance, if you live in a college town, you’ll definitely find a lot of riders on or near the college campus. Another good market to explore are local spas and resorts.

Knowing where the riders are in your area, will help you maximize visibility and availability. So, stay close to popular destinations where riders may need a quick ride home, and earn more money.

Lyft assigns clients to the driver who can get to the rider’s destination the soonest.

#6 Refer Potential Passengers and Drivers to Lyft

Once you become a driver with Lyft, you’ll be given a personalized code to your name. Anytime you use that code to refer potential drivers or potential riders to Lyft, you’ll get a referral fee from Lyft.

Lyft pays $10 once you refer riders and up to $750 for each Lyft driver you refer. To refer people, you need to hand out your personalized card with your name and code on it.

You can also give your card to those who may want to create a side hustle channel through Lyft.

Attending social events such as concerts, trade fares, and bars will be a good avenue to share your Lyft referral cards. Remember, the higher your conversion rate the higher you earn.

#7 Keep the customer experience at 100%

If you want to maximize your income as a Lyft driver, give your customers the best of service, in the sense of comfort and good driving.

You might want to ask if riders can make specific requests for particular drivers — well, they actually can’t. Their power lies in the ratings and the tips that might follow.

Therefore, making sure your customer gets a pleasant experience increases your chance of earning a 5-star review and making some good cash in form of tips. Customer satisfaction is good business.

To this end, you need to keep your car clean and install some facilities you know customers are likely to demand or what is acceptable like car phone chargers, garbage bags, snacks, water, etc.


#8 Have a Good Attitude

The aforementioned points won’t sit well if the driver doesn’t have a good attitude. In order to give riders the best, you need to have a friendly, welcoming, and pleasant attitude. It will also be in your best interest to know when to put them out.

A good and warming introduction will do no harm, you can also tell the rider that you have water, a car charger, etc. In all, be formal and wise in your dealings.

#9 Ask and Advertise for Ratings

Politely asking for a 5-star rating isn’t much to ask for especially when it comes after great service.

Some Lyft drivers have signs that hang over the back of the front seat that tells the rider to give nice ratings if the driving is pleasant.

Be sure to let the riders know that you will be giving them good ratings too. You can unwittingly say something like “Thanks for being a great rider, I’ll be sure to give you a 5-star rating.”

#10  Network with riders

Networking with riders will help keep and expand your pipeline of opportunities.

In doing this, learn to apply wisdom and know when to pull the plug. Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new, and you can learn tons of new things by sparking up random conversations with people.


Driving for Lyft is often presented as an easy way to make money: sign up, then drive. But the reality is quite different from the semantics. You need to consciously apply smartness in order to maximize earnings as a Lyft driver.

One good strategy to adopt is identifying the busiest days and making yourself available on those days.


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