Lyft Driver 2017 Guide

Interested in being a Lyft Driver?

So you need a part-time or full-time job with flexibility and good pay, right?

Check out our comprehensive guide below which details driver pay, requirements and how to fill out the application.

How to Become a Lyft Driver

Applying to drive for Lyft is simple!

lyft driver guide

If it’s easier for you, you can also apply to become a driver online.

So, you’re probably wondering how much do Lyft drivers make, right?

We’ll cover all that and more with our detailed guide to being a driver below.

Lyft Driver Promo Code: DRIVEGYFT (up to $2,000 Sign-up Bonus)

Pro Tip:

No Car?  No problem!  Rent a 2015-2016 Prius with Breeze and earn up to $35 an hour driving for on-demand services such as Lyft, Uber, Postmates, Rinse, Instacart Etc.  It’s time to start making money on your own terms and calling yourself boss!

Note: If you plan to utilize the Breeze program to rent a car then don’t apply to Lyft or Uber until they instruct you to do so.  When you apply for Lyft use driver promo code: DRIVEGYFT.

Join Breeze

Why Become a Driver for Lyft?

Lyft Driver Viewpoint

No matter what walk of life you’re from, you can fit in with Lyft while making good money.

Choose your own hours!

You don’t have a schedule you must adhere to such as with a traditional job, so you can work around your life.

That type of flexibility is hard to find for many busy people.

Whether you’re working another job, have kids or just don’t want to be at the mercy of a rigid schedule, these Lyft jobs are perfect for you:  drive on your own time!

You can control how much money you make, which is a huge benefit.

drive-with-uber

If you only need a little bit of spending cash, you can drive just a few hours here and there.

If you’re looking for a full-time job, you can make up to $35/hour driving as many hours as you choose.

There’s more…

You can also qualify for a slew of bonuses and additional monetary perks that only drivers for Lyft can take advantage of.

We’ll discuss all of them in detail.

New Driver Bonus Chart

In order to qualify for the driver bonus, you must complete the listed “Ride Requirement” within the “Time Requirement” period in that specific city.

CityBonus AmountRide RequirementTime Requirement
Baltimore$2005030 Days
Columbus$103030 Days
Indianapolis$103030 Days
Inland Empire$503030 Days
Lake Tahoe$103030 Days
Los Angeles$2,00050060 Days
New Jersey$30010030 Days
New Orleans$503030 Days
Orange County$2,00050060 Days
Phoenix$505050 Days
Pittsburgh$1003030 Days
Portland$1505030 Days
Reno$103030 Days
San Francisco$2,00050060 Days
Silicon Valley$2,00050060 Days
Sacramento$3507530 Days
Seattle$15010060 Days
Tucson$103030 Days
Washington, D.C.$2005030 Days

Steps to Qualify for up to $2,000 Cash Bonus

You’ll qualify for a new driver bonus of up to $2,000 when you complete the ride requirements in a certain timeframe for some markets.

  1. Read this entire guide for helpful information about driving for Lyft
  2. Start this Application or use the Lyft app (step-by-step screenshots below)
  3. Use Lyft driver promo code: DRIVEGYFT to qualify for the promotional bonus

Bonus amounts are determined by the location of the applying driver.  We created a bonus chart below to find out how much you would get.

Another great way to start making money as a driver is to drive for Uber.

Lyft Driver Application Process

driving-for-lyft-benefits

It’s free…

The application will ask for information such as your name, phone number, and email address.  You can also log in through Facebook, which will input your name, picture, and email address.

You can also log in through Facebook, which will input your name, picture, and email address.

Do I have to do it all at once?

No.  You can complete as much as you want and save your progress to return later.

Once you’ve applied, you can check the status at any time by visiting lyft.com/drivers.

Take a peek at the in-app application process below to see for yourself.

Application Steps

Step #1 – Start Application

Enter the driver referral code, vehicle and driver information.

Tip: Use this promo code for Lyft Drivers: “DRIVEGYFT” when applying.

View Step #1
Lyft-Driver-Application-Part-1 Note: Touch or Click Image to Enlarge

Step #2 – Personal Information

Enter license information, mailing address and authorize the background check.

View Step #2
Lyft-Driver-Application-Part-2 Note: Touch or Click Image to Enlarge

Step #3 – Mentor & Welcome Ride

Finally, sign in to the Lyft app and setup your welcome ride with a mentor.

View Step #3
Lyft-Driver-Application-Part-3 Note: Touch or Click Image to Enlarge

After completing your application, you are ready for your Welcome Ride.

Tell me more!

The welcome ride is an interview/audition of sorts.

It must take place in a designated Lyft coverage area, and only takes about 40 minutes.

You’ll meet your Mentor, who is one of Lyft’s more experienced drivers.

A car inspection will be completed at this point.  Depending on your city, this will be performed either by your Mentor or a certified mechanic.

Through the app, your Mentor will provide photos of your license, insurance, and registration to Lyft for verification and records.

At this point, you will take your Mentor on a test drive.  This typically takes around 5-10 minutes to complete.

Some areas do not require a welcome ride, so be sure to pay attention to instructions throughout the application process for specifications.

Almost ready…

When these steps are successfully completed, all you have left is to wait for the DMV and background checks to run, and you’re good to go!

Some more detailed Lyft driver requirements are discussed below.

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Driving Record Check

Your driving record check includes the following criteria:

  • Aged 21 or older, with an active U.S. driver’s license for 1+ years
  • Valid personal auto insurance that meets or exceeds state requirements
  • No more than three moving violations in the past three years (e.g. accidents, traffic light violations)
  • No major violations in the past three years (e.g. driving on a suspended license, reckless driving)
  • No DUIs or other drug-related driving violations in the last seven years
  • No extreme infractions in the last seven years (e.g. hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)

Your vehicle itself must be less than 12 years old, according to the model year.

Background Check

Lyft’s background check is comprised of the following requirements, within the past 7 years:

  • No violent crimes
  • No sexual offenses
  • No theft
  • No property damage
  • No felonies
  • No drug related offenses

In addition, those who are registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry at the time the background check is conducted are not permitted to become drivers.  This is the case regardless of how long ago the individual was put on that registry.

This is the case regardless of how long ago the individual was put on that registry.

Tips for Preparing for Your Welcome Ride

  1. Clean your car.  Scrub, vacuum, polish, etc.
  2. If you aren’t matched up prior to the ride, finding a mentor is still simple.  Drive into your city’s coverage area between 7am-7pm any day.  The best areas to find mentors are those busy parts of town.
  3. Be patient.  It may take 10-20 minutes to pair you with a mentor.
  4. Plan ahead.  There may be a fee of $20 assessed for the 19-point inspection.  This varies from city to city.  Also, this may take a total of around 45 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Requirements for Lyft Drivers

Lyft driver requirements are pretty straightforward.  If you meet the preconditions below then you should have no problem getting approved to become a driver for the rideshare platform.

Here they are Lyft driver requirements:

  1. You must be 21 years of age or older.
  2. You must drive a 4-door car with at least 5 seatbelts (including driver’s).
  3. You must have been licensed to drive for at least 1 year prior to applying.
  4. You must carry in-state insurance with the driver’s name on the policy.
  5. You must have a valid, in-state driver’s license.
  6. You must have in-state plates with a current registration.  Commercial plates are acceptable as well.
  7. You must have a clean driving record and no disqualifying criminal history.
  8. You must have an iOS or Android smartphone that meets the minimum requirements to run the latest version of the app.
  9. Most importantly!  You must be excited to give welcoming and memorable rides.

Read all the requirements above to ensure you qualify to drive for Lyft.  If you have additional questions regarding your vehicle or ability to be a Lyft driver then write down your questions and ask your mentor after you have filled out the application.

Additionally, you may want to review the city and state requirements to determine the specific requirements for your location.

Vehicle Requirements

  • Vehicle age must be 2004 or newer (some cities have exceptions)
  • Tires need to be in good condition with an acceptable amount of thread
  • Windows and Windshield must not have large cracks
  • Wipers need to be functional and in good condition
  • Lights must be in good work order with both high and low beams, turn signals and brake lights
  • Horn must be in working condition
  • 4 Door Vehicle
  • Body must be free of dents and visible damage
  • Full list of official requirements

How much do Lyft Drivers Make?

One of the most important questions many people ask when looking into driving for Lyft is how much do drivers make?

The short answer to driver pay is up to $35 an hour and the longer more detailed answer is covered below…

Apply-Lyft-Ride

Average Hourly Guarantees

In select cities, Lyft will guarantee your average hourly pay rate!

How does Lyft driver pay work?

First, you must opt-in during each pay period.  You will receive an email with guarantee hours available and will be able to opt-in through a link contained within the email.

Also…

You must maintain a weekly 90% acceptance rate to be eligible.  This is calculated by taking the number of unique ride requests you’ve accepted and completed and dividing it by the number of those requests you’ve received.

Lastly, you’ll need to complete 50 hours of rides in driver mode while fulfilling your city’s requirement for completed rides per hour.

Weekly Guarantees

For new Lyft drivers, weekly guarantees are offered in some cities.

To be eligible, you must be approved to drive in an eligible city during the promotion.

You can gain this approval either by following an application link within such an advertisement or by using a referral code for the specific promotion.

Also…

You must get approved as a Lyft driver within 30 days of originally applying.

Lastly, you are required to fulfill the ride, hour, and acceptance rate requirements for that week.

If you can sustain these minimal requirements, you can maximize your Lyft driver pay!

Daily & Weekly Summaries

You will receive a daily summary at the end of each day detailing all of your completed rides within the previous 24-hour period (5 am-5 am).

This summary will detail the length of time, distance, and amount earned for each ride completed.

The weekly summary will be sent via email every Tuesday, which will show your final totals for each day as well as the total deposit for the week.

Pay Schedule

The pay period runs from Monday through Sunday each week.

Direct deposits begin processing each week on Tuesday; they will be received by the end of each week.

In order to receive your payments, you must set up direct deposit with a compatible checking account.

Tax Information

Lyft drivers are classified as independent contractors.  As such, Lyft will provide you with a 1099 form for tax filing purposes.

If you’re a Lyft driver who gives at least 200 rides and generates at least $20,000 in gross ride receipts within the previous year, you will receive a 1099-K.

Drivers who earn a minimum of $600 from non-driving activities such as referral bonuses, mentoring, reimbursements, etc., then you will receive a 1099-MISC.

Regardless of your status in terms of forms, Lyft’s Dashboard provides a yearly summary of a driver’s statistics including the number of rides completed, gross earnings from rides, non-ride earnings, and miles driven when in driver mode.

Prime Time

During peak times when the demand for rides outnumbers drivers available, passengers may pay an additional amount over the regular ride minimum.

This prime time pricing is meant to increase your earnings during those busy times.

Passengers will be notified prior to confirming their requested ride of the added percentage.

Prime-time charges will vary based on specific supply and demand.

Drivers will not see anything different when prime time pricing is in effect, although you will see a breakdown of how much of an extra charge was added once the ride ends.

Driver-Prime-time

These prime time charges will also show up in green on your daily summaries.

Lyft provides real-time Heat Maps on your home screen that will show you the busiest areas where you have the best chance to receive prime time.

Driver-Heat-Maps

During some times, Lyft will provide guaranteed prime time pricing.  This may be offered during holidays, promotions, and certain events.

You could be notified of such guaranteed pricing via email or in your dashboard.

Power Driver Bonuses

Power Driver bonuses are bonuses for dependable Lyft drivers and are based upon the number of hours driven in a week.

These bonuses are deposited weekly along with the rest of your earnings.

How do I qualify?

It’s pretty simple.

You must maintain a 90% acceptance rate and drive at least 30 hours per week, 10 of which must be during peak hours.

If you drive at least 30 hours per week, you qualify for a 10% power driver bonus.

If you go above and beyond and drive at least 50 hours per week, your bonus spikes to 20%.

Good news!

There is no limit to the bonus, so you can earn as much as you want; the percentage is based on your total earnings.  So go for it!

What Can I Really Expect to Earn?

Wondering if the money is really as good as it sounds?

Or are they just trying to reel you in, only to reveal later that it’s nearly impossible to earn that much?

Actually, real Lyft drivers report an average hourly pay of $21.

Keep in mind, that’s an average.

That average includes people who drive part-time and full-time.

This figure spans a range of $10/hour all the way to $35/hour.

That’s the great thing about being your own boss; you can earn as much or as little as you need!

It’s all up to you.

To answer the question, yes!  You really can make that much!

It will vary based on demand and your hours worked, of course, but it is feasible.

Now get out there and drive!

Lyft actually has a calculator that can estimate how much you could make in a week!

Driving for Lyft

drive-for-lyft

To become a Lyft driver is easy!

Even the less tech-savvy among us can do it with ease.

How it Works:

  1. Open up the app and turn on driver mode.
  2. Accept a ride request.
  3. Pick up your passenger and confirm your arrival.
  4. Upon ride completion, the app processes payment through the passenger’s saved method.
  5. You are able to rate passengers with 1-5 stars (they can rate you as a driver also).  You’ll never be matched again with a passenger you rate 3 stars or below.

Driver Insurance Coverage

Lyft drivers are covered with some pretty great insurance options, including the following:

Commercial Auto Liability – $1,000,000 limit for bodily injury and/or property damage or passenger and/or third parties.

Contingent Comprehensive & Collision – $2,500 deductible & $50,000 maximum applied to drivers who purchase this type of coverage on their personal policy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – $1,000,000 limit covering bodily injury of drivers and/or passengers and/or third parties for damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist who is at fault.

These policies are applied from the time a driver accepts a ride until the ride has ended within the app.

Also…

Contingent Liability – Up to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$25,000 property damage.  Covers driver liability for bodily injury and/or property damage of passengers and/or third parties.

This coverage applies from when the driver flips into driver mode until the driver accepts a ride request.

Good to know!

If you already carry either commercial insurance or a personal policy specifically for ridesharing, then these Lyft policies will be in excess of your own insurance.

Where is Lyft Available?

Wondering whether you can become a driver in your city?

Lyft drivers are needed throughout the country with the company continuing to expand.

So far, Lyft is operating in 60 U.S. cities!

This includes cities from coast to coast, north to south.

To check out the full list of cities, check out the list here:  https://www.lyft.com/cities.

Helpful Driver Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How much of the fares do drivers actually receive?

A:  Drivers receive 80% of the fares earned from passengers.

Q:  How safe can I feel as a driver?

A:  You can feel safe as a Lyft driver, considering the measures they’ve taken to ensure your safety.  Besides the comprehensive insurance plans they offer in addition to your personal coverage, Lyft also requires passengers to enter valid credit card information upon signup before they can request a ride.  This doubles as an identity verification.  In addition, just as passengers can rate drivers, the opposite is also true.  Drivers can rate passengers at the conclusion of every ride.

Q:  Do I get to keep all of my tips?

A:  Absolutely!  100% of the tips you earn are yours to keep.  Even more incentive to provide excellent service!

 

drive-with-uber

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