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How to Become a Lyft Driver: Complete Guide to Get Started

Lyft is one of the new ride-sharing services that allows people to earn money driving, Here;s our full guide to get you up and running.
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There are a lot of ways to make money, and Lyft is one of the new ride-sharing services that allows people to create a small business. The age of the smartphone has allowed new kinds of businesses to take off, and Lyft is similar to other services like Uber, or even an old-school taxi.

Have you ever considered different ways to earn extra income or how to take on a side job?

Many people love being self-employed. You can choose flexible work hours and earn as much as you want. While being your own boss isn’t the only option in today’s working world, you can be sure that at the end of the day your income won’t evaporate next week.

The simple fact is that most jobs today don’t offer the same amount of security that they once did, and even people with university degrees are having a hard time making money. One simple way to insulate yourself from economic uncertainty is to make your own business, and Lyft might be a good way to do just that.

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What is Lyft All About?

Lyft Inc. (Lyft) launched its platform in 2012. The Co-founders are Logan Green and John Zimmer. Lyft offers peer-to-peer ridesharing and provides assistance to people on a daily basis when they travel. The platform unites drivers and passengers via the smartphone Lyft app, and it operates in the United States and Canada.

When you work for Lyft, you will basically be a private taxi. Instead of using some other form of car-hire service, Lyft customers will connect with you and your car directly, and you will be responsible for giving them a lift to wherever they want to go. The fares are regulated by the app, and both the driver and passenger will be able to see who they are dealing with on the app.

Give 125 rides in your first 30 days to make $1,000 guaranteed
Give 125 rides in your first 30 days to make $1,000 guaranteed

Why Work as a Private Taxi?

You may not have thought about being a private taxi with a company like Lyft, but it is a good job that will be around for a long time to come. It is easy to get caught up in dreams of making it big in any given area, but the chances of becoming the next big athlete or singer are very low.

On the other hand, people in urban areas need to have access to private cars. The taxi business is a good one, and much like barbers and bakers, there is reliable work for people that want to get ahead in life. Even if you don’t want to continue with your new private taxi hustle, the experience you gain will help you in whatever area you decide to work in next.

Lyft Direct Debit Card
Lyft Direct Debit Card

One of the biggest advantages of working for a platform like Lyft is that the company has some strong competition, so even if Lyft folds, you should be able to work for the next ride-sharing platform you choose.

So You Want to Become a Lyft Driver…

Pretty much any local car owner can become a Lyft driver, which is a job that includes many perks and responsibilities.

The role of transportation plays in every major city is a vital one, and many people use public transportation instead of driving their own car. It has become much easier to use a private car, because of Lyft and other ride-sharing platforms that do something similar.

If you have decided that you want to learn more about how to become a Lyft driver – Great!

Here are the three major steps to follow if you want to become a Lyft driver:

1st Step – Lyft Requirements Checklist

Clearly, Lyft wants to make sure that its clients are getting a ride from a safe person that will get them to their destination. In addition to having a good car, you will also need to have some other equipment, and also be in good standing with the law.

Here are the minimum requirements if you want to work for Lyft:

  • Every Driver should have a minimum age of 21 years.
  • You must have your own smartphone, whether it’s an iPhone or android.
  • The car needs to have four doors and be equipped with seat belts.
  • Lyft drivers must possess a valid social security number.
  • In the last three years, your traffic violations should not exceed three.
  • Lyft drivers will need to pass a driving record background check.

In addition to the requirements listed above, you need to make sure that in the past seven years, you have not been involved in any crimes. Lyft doesn’t want anyone driving for them who is unstable, or might hurt a client.

Here is a more specific list of the crimes that would prevent you from becoming a Lyft driver:

  1. Major violent crimes
  2. No sexual offenses & harassment cases
  3. You should have no history thievery
  4. No involvement in property destruction
  5. You should not be a drug addict
  6. You can’t have any felonies relating to a motor vehicle
What you'll need to apply
What you’ll need to apply

You Will Need to Have a Nice Car

One of the things that keeps people from working for a ride-sharing platform like Lyft is the lack of a nice car. You will need to have a car that is both safe and clean so that your riders will feel good about their experience. Keep in mind that you will also be in your car for long periods of time, so have something that you enjoy driving.

Driver Centers
Driver Centers

Vehicle Requirements

When Driving with Lyft, your car will need to meet Lyft car requirements:

  • Your car should have a license plate and be registered in the state you are driving
  • Every state has different rules about the age of your car so also check the age requirement of your vehicle in which state you are operating
  • All headlights need to be in working condition
  • 5 operational seat-belts
  • Air conditioning and heaters should be in good working order
  • Doors locks work properly
  • There shouldn’t be large cracks in your car’s windows
  • Seat adjusters are okay
  • The car body and seats are in good condition
  • Vehicle horn must be operational
  • No problem with vehicle engine, brakes or steering
  • Good tire tread depth

Car Insurance

Drivers should have an active auto insurance policy as per Lyft requirements, plus you must be insured to the state minimum level. Your name needs to be on the insurance policy, and the name on the insurance policy should match with the car which you are using for Lyft. If your name is not mentioned on the insurance card, then the next step would be to get an insurance declaration and upload a photo to Lyft.

 Insurance and Safety
Insurance and Safety

What if: You Don’t Own a Car?

If you fit all the requirements to be a Lyft driver, but you don’t have your own vehicle, don’t worry!

You can still be a Lyft driver.

There are many transport service providers that offer vehicles to drive for Lyft (Hertz for example). These companies provide cars on a rental basis and charge an amount accordingly.

The approximate price for a car should be between $150 USD to $200 USD on a weekly basis, but be sure to check with your local rental agency before you make any plans.

You can become registered with car rental programs from major rental agencies, and if you are able to meet their requirements the next step is to try it as your job. Lyft also makes the forms you need available on its website.

Lyft Mobile App

The last requirement to become a Lyft driver is that you have your own smartphone, as the passenger is going to find you by using the Lyft app on their smartphone. If you have an iPhone it needs to be an iPhone 4 with an iOS 9.0 as a minimum, and for Android-based smartphones, the handset should be a minimum of Android 6.0.

2nd Step – Lyft Application Process

If you have met all the requirements listed above – good news – the hard part is over. Lyft makes it super and quick to sign up for your new account. The process is based in the Lyft app, which can be downloaded for free, but you will also need to visit the Lyft website.

Sign up for Lyft

After carefully checking the driver and vehicle requirements, then you can move on to start the Lyft application process. Go to the Lyft website (Lyft.com), and fill in basic information like your first last name, email, city, phone number.

Before submitting all the basic info to Lyft site, make sure you have put accurate information on the forms, and double-check everything so there will be little to no chance that your application will be delayed. Any errors can cost you time, which is lost money for anyone with their own business.

Basic Account Details

After you create an account and enter all the details, it will take a minimum of one week to approve your application. Lyft will check your driver’s background requirements, your vehicle checklist, your criminal activity check, as well as any other info that could disqualify you from working with the company.

When everything is done and you agree to Lyft’s terms and conditions, Lyft will get back to you to let you know the status of your Lyft driver account. As long as everything checked out, you will be on to the next step!

The Lyft Driver App
The Lyft Driver App

Accept the Welcome Ride

The last step to becoming a Lyft rider is to pass the welcome ride.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation email from a Lyft mentor for a test drive. This step will help you clear up any confusion, or ask questions. You will also get some tips so you can perform better from the get-go.

The test drive will also include a check by an experienced mechanic of your vehicle.

All-in-all this process should take 30 to 40 minutes, and when you pass the test you the Lyft mentor will verify your registration process and documents for official purposes so you can get to work as a Lyft driver.

Payment Information

Now you need to complete the banking details in your Lyft app to receive your earnings. You just need to add your banking information in your Lyft account with your smartphone or desktop as Lyft will only transfer the money into a personal account.

3rd Step – Let’s Start Driving with Lyft!

At this stage, you are all set to start taking rider and earn an income. Before you start driving with Lyft, you have to take care of small considerations. As you have a lot of freedom with this sort of work, there are some things to decide on before you go any further.

Decide your Hours

You will have the responsibility to choose your hours when you work as a Lyft driver. You can choose to drive in the morning, or if you are not an early riser then you can also drive at night. If you want more rides then you can choose a prime time when there are more chances to find passengers.

According to research, prime hours are in the morning between 7:00 and 9:00 am when people are going to work, or 6:00 pm to 12:00 pm when people are going back to their homes, or from bars after work.

You can choose to work at whatever time suits you, and if your biggest goal isn’t making the most money possible, you will be able to work at a time that you enjoy. Being a driver is a pretty easy job, and you can do it when you like!

Be an Opportunity Hunter

If you want to earn extra income then one of the best opportunities is to do work during special events or festivals when people travel around with their friends and families. You will be sure to have lots of passengers and make extra money too.

If you do a little bit of research about your area, you will be able to learn where people tend to travel most, specifically in the holiday season when different tourists come to big cities city to enjoy the holidays.

You can also look for big conventions. In a place like Los Angles, New York or Las Vegas, there are loads of events and conventions to choose from. All of those people will need a ride, and you can make sure that you are available to help them.

Focus on Learning with the Driving Community

It is a good idea to focus on learning more about being a good driver by meeting with other Lyft drivers and talking to them about their experiences. You will be able to learn from their real-world experience, and avoid possible mistakes.

Be active on social community pages of Lyft, and be a part of Facebook groups related to driving. You can also look at customer groups that use platforms like Lyft, so you can be more aware of customer-related issues.

Excellent Customer Experiences

Customer support matters a lot in such transport services. Whenever the ride is over, Lyft is going to ask about the customer to review the driver as well as the vehicle.

It is necessary to maintain your car condition, and also have a healthy and welcoming attitude with your customer so they can enjoy their journey and rate you well. A better rating will get you more work, and may also help you with your peers.

Benefits of Working With Lyft

Lyft is a new way to work, and it gives you a lot more freedom than a regular job. It is good to keep in mind that many people paid a lot of money to have the ability to drive a taxi, and there is a reason why people like to work for themselves.

Driving with Lyft offers you some pretty big benefits:

  1. Flexible work hours – you can select hours whenever you are free and available.
  2. If you have your own car and you love to travel, then you can make your hobby a profession and explore different places.
  3. This app is really easy and quick to use with no major restrictions – just sign up and start earning.
  4. It allows you to earn more from customer tips, also it gives bonuses to drivers who hit their weekly targets.
  5. Doesn’t matter if you are an experienced driver or just starting out – fares are fixed.
  6. Lyft also provides you with an opportunity to cover your insurance at no extra cost – you are using your car commercially so Lyft will help to provide protection.

Things to Consider While Working With Lyft

If you want to make the most of your opportunity with Lyft, keep these points in mind:

  • Know your area and get determine the peak hours.
  • If you are not a friendly people person and don’t like interaction with others, then don’t choose this profession.
  • Make sure your car is free from your personal things – front and back seats need to be only for passengers.
  • Driving with Lyft may not be enough for your main source of income (think about this).
  • Passengers always notice the car’s smell whenever they enter a car so make sure to have an air freshener!
  • Drive carefully.
  • Take water bottles with you if it is hot out, you and your passenger will appreciate it.
  • If you can arrange a charger for smartphones it will definitely create a very good impression!

How Much You Can Earn with Lyft?

There is no fixed salary while driving with Lyft, as you are going to decide how many hours you want to work and how many days in a week you are driving. You will get paid according to the ride time and distance you cover.

Lyft drivers earn $18 USD an hour, which is more than Uber. Lyft takes 20% of each fare. Most people earn $150 to $200 USD a day, which can be nearly $1000 USD per week. This should be more than enough money for a simple life, and it also lets you save something for your future.

Lyft allows passengers to add tips in a driver’s account as well. If you are good at meeting weekly ride targets then your earnings will rise. You can also earn referral bonuses by getting the referral code at sign up.

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Get Started With Lyft

Being a professional driver might not sound like a dream job, but take a minute to think about what most people do on a daily basis. Instead of having to go to a certain place, and deal with a commute that you aren’t paid for, a Lyft driver is always on the clock.

Instead of having to pay to get around the city, you get to be paid to drive. There are few restrictions on where you can work, so if you want to bang around the country and learn about what is happening, being a Lyft driver makes a lot of sense.

That said, being a full-time driver with any company comes with certain considerations. One of the most important is if you enjoy driving, and want to be in your car all day. Some people love to be on the road, while others just want to get to where they are going!

If you don’t like to drive, then there are many other opportunities out there. For a person that likes to be on the move, working with Lyft is a pretty sweet deal. Most people can figure out how to live on $800 USD per week, especially if they are just looking for a simple life.

Lyft is probably one of the best options out there for people that want to work for themselves, and also like to drive. Once you get started with the platform, you can always switch to another one if Lyft has problems in the future. Ridesharing is here to stay, and it is a good way to make a living if you like the work.

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Nicholas is an experienced Finance Journalist who has written for a number of prominent online publications. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily! nick@moneycheck.com

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