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Ride Share Profits: How to Become A Lyft Driver In 2020

by | Jun 22, 2020

Are you looking for an additional source of income? Perhaps you want to change jobs.   Regardless, consider becoming a Lyft driver. If you want to know how to become a Lyft driver, go to the company’s official website and complete the driver application. Once approved, you can accept ride duties. 

You don’t need an official certification drive for Lyft. Lyft driver requirements include a valid driver’s license, car insurance, and a decent car. Lyft contractors can be full time, or part-time.  With Lyft, you can customize your schedule. This article will reveal if driving for Lyft is right for you. Let’s explore. 

Job Description

Your main job entails picking up patrons and taking them to a locale of their choice. You’ll deal with passengers from all walks of life, ranging from workers to party-goers.   Passengers will use an app to find drivers in their vicinity. You can also find passengers in your area through the app. 

In terms of dress code, Lyft has no specific requirements. Overall, Lyft promotes a laid-back atmosphere where drivers can wear what they choose. For the logo, you must place the company’s “glowstache” on your dashboard.   Moreover, Lyft designates drivers as independent contractors, which doesn’t entitle you to benefits. Also, you must pay taxes on your own. As a contractor, you can work as much or as little as possible. 

To be successful at this job, you must foster good customer relations.  Customers can rate your performance as a driver. Likewise, you can also rate the customer. To get positive ratings, accommodate the passenger as much as possible.  Also, be friendly and conversational to make their ride more enjoyable. Only make conversation if the passenger is willing to talk. 

You can also make your passenger more comfortable in the following ways:

  • Ensuring the temperature is to their liking
  • Turning on some music they may enjoy
  • Observing the rules of the road 

To make the most money, drive during high-demand periods. 

Lyft Pay Structure

Your pay depends on how many rides you take and during what time of day. You may also receive bonus pay during in-demand times or in specific locations. You may also receive signing bonuses, but additional compensation depends on your location.

  • Example: You may receive a $300 sign-up perk if you achieve 100 rides in a month. 

You will make an 80-percent commission from the passenger payment. Lyft will take a 20-percent commission to pay Lyft employees and to support the company’s operations. You will also keep 100 percent of the tips that passengers give you. Lyft pays weekly, and the company deposits the money into your bank account. 

However, some downsides can lower your profit margins:

As an independent contractor, you must pay self-employment taxes. Self-employment taxes are usually high, so you should set a certain amount of money aside to pay future tax balances. When it comes to gas, Lyft doesn’t cover gas costs or any other expenses related to driving.  If you live in a major city, your expenses may be higher. With higher expenses, however, also comes higher base pay. 

To know if driving for Lyft is the right choice, draft a financial plan that includes all expenses. Then, assess how much you must earn to generate a viable profit. Lyft also provides an official calculator that details rideshare rates in your area. 

Lyft Driver Requirements 

To become a Lyft driver, you must first be 21-years-old or older. Also, you must have a valid driver’s license, with a year or more of driving experience. A clean driving record is another necessity. An adequate driving record must include the following:

  • Three driving infractions or less in the past three years
  • No major infractions in the past three years
  • No felonies in the past seven years
  • No extreme violations in the past seven years

An extreme situation may be a felony while using a vehicle or a hit-and-run. Besides, you must have a clean record within the last seven years for other crimes like theft, sexual offenses, or vandalism. You cannot register if you’re on a sex-offender registry.   Regarding insurance, your auto policy must be current. Additionally, your name and car must be on the insurance policy. The policy must also meet the minimum insurance mandates of your state. 

For cars, your ride must meet minimum standards: 

  • Example: All your signals, lights, and high beams must function accordingly. Your AC and heating must work as well. The mufflers and tailpipe must operate without fail. 

Your vehicle must show no cracks in the mirrors, windshields, or windows. Lyft allows some minor damage, as long as you can see through the mirrors or windows.   Also, replace your tires immediately if they don’t have sufficient tread. Moreover, check your seat belts and seat adjusters to see if they work.   Take your car to a mechanic if you’re unsure about its condition. Mechanics usually offer a flat-fee inspection that will diagnose problems within your vehicle. Have the mechanic confirm if your car meets all of Lyft’s requirements. 

Lyft’s requirements are in place to protect you and the passenger. Lyft has liability coverage that protects you in the event of an accident. However, you can avoid hazards and accidents by keeping your vehicle in top condition.  Remember, you’re in the business of making your passengers comfortable. Many potential passengers won’t feel comfortable riding in a rundown car. That’s why Lyft also requires drivers to maintain their car exteriors. 

The Application Process

If you meet the requirements, go to Lyft.com. Click on the “Driver” section to begin your application. The menu will ask if you intend to use your car, or you can choose a rental option. Lyft offers a program where you can rent a car from the company.  From there, fill out the necessary information about yourself, including information about your vehicle. 

Have the following with you as you continue the application process:

  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance information
  • Vehicle registration number (VIN)

You will take pictures of this information and upload them to the Lyft platform. Then, you will undergo a background check. You’re free to pick up passengers when the company approves your application. 

The Lyft Driving Experience

Overall, Lyft offers a more casual operating environment than other ride-sharing companies like Uber. Lyft’s car rental program is an excellent option if you don’t want to subject your car to wear and tear.  Also, you won’t have to place yourself in debt, trying to get an auto loan. Becoming a Lyft driver is no different than a conventional taxi cab driver.

Best of all, you don’t have to drive around cities looking for eager passengers. The Lyft algorithm pairs drivers and passengers that are close to one another. In other words, the app is more likely to pair you with passengers that are closer to you.  That means that you must get closer than your fellow Lyft drivers.   Many Lyft drivers find suitable areas to park and wait for passengers.

  • Example: Hotels are top hotspots for Lyft drivers. Get as close to the hotel as possible to land a pickup request. 

When staying near high-demand areas, observe all parking guidelines and property rules. Some businesses may become owners may not want drivers lingering around their property.  If you’re unsure where to drive, Lyft will guide you to lucrative hotspots that allow you to make the most money.  Also, ensure that your usual routes are safe. Avoid high-crime areas and stay near well-lit areas. If you’re dealing with unruly or disruptive passengers, you can ask them to leave your vehicle. If they refuse, call the police. 

Overall, you must be a people person to excel at this job. Impeccable customer service also means knowing how to handle troublesome passengers. With that, you’re less likely to deal with angry or frustrated passengers, as Lyft offers an upfront rate that customers know ahead of time.   To reach your income goals, keep your vehicle on the move because Lyft pays you per mileage. Driving during high-demand intervals will make you the most money. However, rush-hour traffic and construction delays can slow your progress and reduce your take-home pay. 

Becoming a Lyft Driver: Is It Right for Me?

The duties of a Lyft driver entail starting your own business. You’re an independent contractor who will set your hours, and you will pay taxes by yourself. Additionally, all expenses associated with Lyft driving will fall upon you.  If you’re not careful, the added expenses can eat away your profits. You can make up for the losses by driving more and driving during times when passengers need rides the most.   To avoid operating at a loss, draft a budget that lists all of your operating costs. Lyft’s driving rates will depend on your local area. 

Do you want to find other ways to make money? Click here to learn more about another money-making opportunity.

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