So, you think you want to drive for Lyft? I will tell you everything you need to know, and how to prepare yourself for a lucrative and exciting experience. My experience with driving for lyft has been both easy and fun.
There really is nothing hard about it. Maybe your initial use of the application will include a bit of a learning curve, but once you learn it, it is real easy to navigate.
First, is meeting all of the requirments which will include a satisfactory driving record as well as vehicle. If you live in a state that requires inspections, this is a no brainer, because naturally you need to have your car inspected yearly.
Lyft just wants to make sure that your vehicle is up to date on its maintenance. This means tires, brakes, and suspension. I almost forgot, lights. Make sure all of your brake lights, turn signals, and headlights are in working order.
I failed the inspection once for foggy headlights, so make sure you rejuvenate your headlights if necessary. This is pretty simple, if you follow these simple steps, in this video.
Do I Need to Have a Good Driving Record?
I am not sure what they look for on your driving record, but I think this should go without saying. You will be a taxi driver, so, they need to make sure their riders are going to be safe and sound. Even though, they do have insurance if anything happens.
Speaking of which, you will need to inform you insurance provider that you will be getting involved in ridesharing. This is important because, in case of an accident, you want to make sure you are covered. Sure Lyft will cover anything that happens while on a trip, but during the times that you are waiting for a ride, they do not cover you.
That is where your own rideshare insurance will come in effect. Whether you are driving around or parked up somewhere waiting on a ride request. Fyi, some insurance providers do not offer rideshare coverage. Also, if they find out that you are doing rideshare and that is the case, they will cancel your insurance.
I was with Allstate at the time of starting Uber and Lyft, and they did not offer coverage for rideshare drivers. I was a bit disappointed, but this turned out to be a blessing. I ended up saving nearly $500 a year with Progressive. Wahoo!
Accessories You Will Need to Drive for Lyft
It is a lot of fun to drive for Lyft, but your experience will be safer and much more seamless if you have the following accessories:
- A Phone Mount: You will be receiving turn by turn direction from Lyft. A phone mount will allow you to drive safely while navigating on the road. I have found these two phone mounts to be easy to use and durable: the cd slot one or the magnet one.
- A bluetooth: While you are driving with passengers in the vehicle, it looks much more professional when you are wearing a bluetooth device. Not to mention, it is the law to use a hands free device while driving.
- Auxillary Cable – You may want to offer your passengers the capability of listening to their own mp3 player on their phone in the car. I think riders really get a kick out of this.
- Different types of Phone Chargers – this will be a big deal when it comes to getting great ratings from your riders. They will often ask for a phone charger during long rides. Also, when you pick up passengers from the airport, their phone may likely need a charge after a long flight.
- These two phone accessories have been very helpful for me: multi adapter charging cable and multi connection charging hub. has been helpful for me. As well as this multi connection phone charger.
- Portable Vacuum Cleaner – occasionally a passenger will get in with his/her kids, and they will make a mess while eating snacks. Remember, you need to maintain high ratings from your passengers, and they will expect a clean car when riding. I would simply pull over after dropping off the passenger to vacuum up any mess quickly, then keep on rolling.
- Sunglasses – as a professional driver you may want to invest in a good pair of shades to protect your eyes from the sun. I just bought mine on Amazon.
- Tip Signs – some professional looking tip signs can encourage your riders to rate you and tip you. I found this neat one on eBay, check it out here. I have received so many compliments on them.
What Does it Look Like When I Receive a Ride Request?
This is what it looks like from start to finish:
You get a ping (notification), on your phone that shows you a ride request. The notification resembles sort of like your phone does when it receives a phone call. I think you have about 15 seconds to either accept, or decline the request.
Once you accept it, the rider’s details will show up on your screen (i.e. name and address). The app will give you directions straight to the pick up location. Once you pick up the rider, you press that you have picked them up in the app.
Then app will automatically direct you turn by turn to the destination. Once you are there, you can communicate with your rider where they would like to be dropped off. After the rider has left your vehicle, you can press end trip on the app. Then, just wait for the next one!
What You Need to Know When You File Your Taxes
Driving for Lyft will make you an independant contractor. A good rule of thumb is to save 10 percent of your earnings, so that you are prepared to pay any taxes due during tax season.
You will be able to write off many expenses, but be careful what you choose to deduct. If you are choosing to do Lyft full time, it can be complex if you need to get a loan from the bank. Most banks will require two years of self employment history, and they use your net pay (after expenses) to determine your income.
I learned this the hard way. I wrote off anything I could. I ended up only paying a few hundred dollars for taxes. But when I applied for a loan, they said my income was less than half of what I listed on the application.
Enjoy Driving For Lyft And Drive Safe!
Driving for Lyft can be great! If your market allows you to go full time, and you do, it is great to be your own boss. If you are choosing to do this part time to make extra money, it is really flexible. You can make your own schedule. Whenever you are ready to drive, just get in your car, turn on the app, and go!
If you have a personal experience with Lyft, let us know in the comments below. It can help others make a decision whether they want to drive for Lyft or not.