Average Lyft Driver Salary Review:
4 Secrets To Making 40 An Hour Part-Time With Lyft
For all of you, entrepreneurs looking to make more money you know how important it is to have side hustles and other avenues to make more cash to support your dreams. Because money is a vehicle to make things happen.
Those of you who know me know my journey with entrepreneurism included driving for Lyft several years ago. At the time I started, it was a lifeline for me because it gave me the flexibility to do what I wanted while making money on my own terms.
Fast forward now to 2023, and some of you may be wondering if platforms like Lyft can still be leveraged as a source of income to give you immediate access to capital if you need it.
In today’s, article will discuss the average Lyft driver’s salary and how you can take advantage of bonuses to maximize your earnings so that you’re in the top 2% percent of drivers working part-time hours in the city you choose.
Let’s get right into it then shall we?
Average Lyft Driver Earnings In Your City
After doing some research and testing the waters myself the average lyft driver salary is around $20 – $25 dollars per hour not counting tips. This can hit painfully hard if you are not including expenses depending on your vehicle. But don’t worry there are some things you can do to soften the blow. In fact, if you work smart you can have your earnings double and triple the average Lyft driver rate.
You can do this by taking advantage of bonuses and being strategic in your route. Below we’ll talk more about the exact steps you need to do to make more than your average bear driving with Lyft but before we discuss how you can be a top earner with Lyft I’ll show you some of my personal earrings driving with lyft part-time.
As a side note, my current account is using my personal vehicle and not flex drive. My hourly wages are calculated by booked time traveling to and with passengers in the car not total online time spent active on the app.
I don’t count these idle online hours towards pay because I am usually reading a book, working on my computer, or taking a break until I accept a ride request.
Table of contents:
- Lyft Driving Requirements
- Secret#1: Strategy and Prep
- Secret#2: How to Pick Up Passengers Painlessly
- Secret#3: Must have necessities on the road
- Bonus Secret #4
- My Average Lyft Driver Salary Conclusion
Lyft Driving Requirements: What You Need To Get Started
1. State And Local Lyft Driving Requirements:
- Age Requirement: You have to be at least 21 years old. 25 or older in other states.
- Vehicle requirements: All vehicles must have 4 doors and 5 seatbelts.
- Driving history: You must have at least 1 year of driving history in the following cities. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
2. Background Check: Lyft requires an up-to-date criminal background check on every driver. Your application will not be accepted if you have any of the following…
- Violent crime convictions
- A sexual offense
- An act of terror
- Any DUI-Related Offenses
- Fraud related offenses
- Drug-related offenses
- Property damage convictions
3. Dmv Check: Each driver has to undergo a DMV check for their driving record. Lyft will disqualify you if you have any of the following…
- 4 or more moving violations in the past 3 years.
- A single major moving violation like reckless driving or driving on a suspended license.
- Any drug-related charges or Dui.
- A serious driving-related conviction such as a hit and run or felony involving a vehicle.
4. Drivers license, license plates, and insurance: All Lyft drivers must have a valid license, license plates, and car insurance
5. Community safety education program: Lyft has a safety education course to help train drivers to prevent unpleasant experiences in a ride. This short course is a requirement for all drivers before starting.
4 Secrets To Making 40 An Hour With Lyft
Secret # 1. Strategy And Prep
Start With A Clean Car:
Let’s be real. When it comes to driving around passengers no one wants to get in a dirty car. Both inside and out. Be sure to make sure that your space is clean and inviting.
Since your providing a service to others. You want to make sure your service is top-notch. Ya know… The type of service you would want from another driver.
Taking your car through the carwash if needed, vacuuming the car, and having an air freshener can go a long way in showing that you care about your passenger’s experience. On top of having a clean car, I can’t stress enough the importance of practicing:
1. Practice Good Hygiene:
2. Not eating strong/smelly foods in the car.
3. Take breaks and roll the windows down to have fresh air circulating.
Think of it this way. You spend hours on end in your car. If you don’t have fresh air flowing your car is gonna start smelling stale. After sitting in your vehicle so long you may not even notice the smell because it’s with you all day.
A great rule of thumb is to roll your windows down between trips and get the fresh air flowing. Even if you don’t think you smell anything do it anyway. Because if you can snell a bad smell chances are it’s much more noticeable to the customer than it is to you.
Fill Up On Gas Before Starting Your Shift
In order to keep things running smoothly and efficiently you will want to avoid having unplanned stops during your shift. Oftentimes passengers are on their way to work or are on a time limit to get to their destination.
It can definitely create bad vibes by having to stop at a gas station and get gas while a customer is in the car. Or if you have to get gas during a ride streak. This one usually goes without saying but you would be surprised how easily you can be caught off guard with this situation.
If you want to make more than the average lyft driver salary then it’s important to be strategic.
When I step out to drive for lyft. I am always stepping out with a strategy in mind. After all, if you’re reading this article you’re likely in this business to make as much money as possible.
For example, let’s say your goal is to be making 200 dollars a day net profit. This means revenue minus expenses. If it takes you 25 dollars in gas per day your revenue would need to be $225 dollars per day to net a $200-dollar profit.
If the average ride in your area pays $8 dollars per ride then this would mean you need to do around 26 – 28 rides for the day. If your working an average 8-hour day driving this would mean you need to do about 3 to 4 rides per hour to hit your goal.
Now if you want to ramp this number up and work a shorter day then you could do 28 rides in 6 hours if the traffic conditions and timing are right.
Although this may sound like a lot this is very easy to accomplish. Especially if you are driving early morning or late at night when traffic is reduced and you can get to your passengers quicker. This number is also not counting additional weekly bonuses, ride streaks, and tips which will generally set you over this daily goal.
Take Advantage Of Lyft Peak Hours So You Can Work Less:
If you are really looking to score big on Lyft then it’s important that you know when to be on the road so that you can avoid having downtime which means you’ll make more money.
Lyft has peak hours and bonuses running weekly and it is in relation to market demand. So as you can probably imagine driving when people are going to work, returning from work, and heading to special events where there will be lots of people will be a great time to drive.
Positioning yourself in front of your customer will not only give you more opportunities than other drivers but also the best possible chances of earning the most money in your area.
Driving with Lyft is a hustle and sometimes you have to be out there multiple times a day if you plan on maximizing your earning potential.
For example, working from 4-9 am and then coming back out from 5-7 pm. That way all 8 hours will be during peak times when your probability is highest on earning the most money.
Secret #2. Minimizing Passenger Issues
Avoid Wasting Time During Long Pick Ups
Having things run quickly and efficiently with minimal stops is a great way to maximize your earnings per hour.
One thing I like to do is pull up to the sidewalk along the street rather than pull into the driveway. Doing this can also be much safer for you in the end.
In my experience, I’ve had some passengers who want me to pull into their driveway. Although this is acceptable in some circumstances if they have a disability or ailment this is very dangerous for one of many reasons.
1. It makes for a difficult getaway in a bad situation: In the event of a bad situation or a setup, the passenger would have the advantage since you have to back out of the driveway and don’t have a straight shot to drive off in the street. Parking on the sidewalk in front of the house allows you to see the customer before they see you and make sure you have a clear path to drive away quickly if needed.
3. Backing up takes more time: Backing up cutsinto your overall hourly profit long-term. If it is just even 2 min per pickup if your goal is to do 20 rides per day then that will mean you spent about 40 min of your day backing out of driveways. Not getting paid for that time. This doesn’t count the additional 5 mins allotted time for the customer to come out before you can drive off.
4. Don’t Linger When Time Is Up: Collect your cancelation fee when time is up and immediately head to your next passenger without lingering to avoid running into the late passenger and having conflict.
Why Starting The Trip Prematurely Is A Bad Idea
After seeing a passenger heading to your car you may be eager to pick up the passenger in the app and start the trip. However, In a few situations, there will be customers that can be a liability to you if you accept them in the app.
This could be due to many different things like having too many passengers, not having a car seat, being rude, or many other reasons. With all the passengers that you’ll be coming in contact with on a daily basis, you don’t know what type of passengers you’re accepting until they get in the car.
If you accept the ride before the passenger gets in then you have already started the trip and if the passenger turns out to be a problem passenger that you have to cancel on they will have the opportunity to rate you poorly. Negatively affecting your rating.
To avoid an issue it’s best to confirm your passenger after they’re in your car, you’ve gotten a vibe for them and you are sure you want to start the trip.
Rejecting Unaccompanied Minors Is For Your Benefit
There’s a reason why accepting rides for minors can be to your detriment to your driving with Lyft. Most people are unaware that it is against Lyfts policy for unaccompanied minors to use the platform. This is a common thing that often is not talked about in the lyft community.
After doing some research and digging I found out that most insurance companies don’t cover minors on the policy and neither does lyft because unaccompanied minors are not allowed.
This means if you are using a rental car or private party insurance and get in a car accident with a minor in the car and it is reported they won’t be willing to cover the damages to your car.
Not only will you be sporting a banged-up ride, but you will also be expected to cover the cost of repairing your vehicle yourself because technically you broke the policy and minors were not covered or insured.
This can quickly outweigh any benefits of accepting a 7- 10 dollar ride.
Although it can be uncomfortable at times remember that as a lyft driver, you have the right to ask the passenger to show you their Id… And if their unable to show proof of age you can cancel the ride before starting it.
Some of the top signs are arriving at schools and using parent’s accounts although this doesn’t apply to everyone. Sometimes there may be employees getting a ride to the school but they usually have longer ride history, are in good standing, and have a profile photo.
Generally, If I notice a ride is headed to a school with little ride history or a brand new account I will generally decline these rides altogether to avoid an issue.
Avoid Accepting Riders With Low Ratings
If a rider has a low rating it means they did something for a driver to rate them poorly.
Blindly accepting ride requests can give you passengers that just aren’t worth the hassle. If the rating is very low below a 4.7 I personally won’t risk taking a chance to pick up the rider.
For your safety, It’s a good practice to be wary of certain ride requests especially late at night. Remember you have every right and are encouraged to reject a ride request if you feel uncomfortable at any time.
For a standard safety measure especially at night I don’t accept ride requests late at night that have a low rating, no profile pic, rides in a sketchy area without 5-star extensive ride history, or no ride history because it’s a new account.
If In Doubt Keep Your Doors Locked
Sometimes may feel pressured at times to pull up to a customer and let them enter your car no matter the conditions. Again its good to remember that you have the right to deny service at any time. Including before the ride starts.
If you feel any type of bad or weird vibes that something is off sometimes the best quick-thinking solution is to drive past the customer and cancel the ride because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Interacting With Your Passengers Generally Means Higher Tips
It’s a psychological fact that humans enjoy talking about themselves and their passions/ interests. People take an interest in those that take an interest in them.
I’ve noticed for myself most of my tips come from passengers that I interacted with in some way. I genuinely enjoy people. So when I am on the road I make it a goal to interact with each customer that comes into my car.
Not only does it make my driving experience so much more enjoyable but it gives me a sense of connection with the riders in my city. Eventually, some riders may become friends as you start to grow your customer base and this can help you feel much more at ease when driving. It’s a nice feeling when some strangers you pick up become friendly faces.
Humans are driven by emotion. Your story and your ability to share and connect on a genuine level with others has the power to affect your tips dramatically. Riders will pay more when they like you as a person and you are relatable.
Keeping Vibes Good On The Road
Playing some good music has a way of easing awkward tension. Sometimes just having some good music and fresh air can really set a vibe.
If not things can get weird and quiet pretty quickly. There’s nothing like being able to hear yourself breathe in the car with a passenger.
I don’t know about you but I love to have some good music playing to mellow out the vibes. It’s much better than a dead silent ride at the very least.
Step 3. Must-Have Necessities On The Road
Have Cleaning Supplies Ready To Go
It’s good to have some cleaning supplies on hand when driving. Eventually, you are gonna need them.
After coming into contact with so many passengers on a daily basis your car is bound to get your vehicle a little dirty.
This is true especially if you’re working the bar scene. No matter how long you’ve been driving there’s always a risk that someone will throw up in your vehicle.
In the event that this actually happens, Lyft will most likely reimburse you a 150 dollar cleaning fee if you take a photo of it and contact support immediately. But in the meantime, you will still have to clean it up if you plan to continue working for the day. It will be much better to be prepared rather than not prepared at all.
Take Frequent Breaks And Stretch Your Legs.
Driving for long periods of time will hurt your tailbone trust me I know from experience. I once drove heavy hours for several weeks and pulled a butt muscle that lasted for what felt like several months. It actually continues to give me problems.
If you wanna make this whole thing way more enjoyable and less demanding on your body It will be good for you to take breaks and get some fresh air to regroup on your next set of rides when you can.
Not only will help give you the mental stamina to continue long days but it will also break up your day instead of feeling like you’re giving stressful back-to-back rides driving nonstop.
Avoid Deadheading As much as possible:
This goes hand in hand with having a strategy. In the lyft community, deadheading is also known as driving far out to a destination with few or no rides heading back. Although you can set a filter with rides heading back to your destination this is never a guarantee and sometimes you will be caught driving a far distance from your desired location to make it back.
My personal motto is that unless you plan on driving the majority of your time in a certain city then it’s a waste of time to be deadheading. Unless it’s your final ride for the day. Every min spent driving back on a long trip is time and gas lost.
Unless your intention is to drive to each new city as a hobby or just see where time takes you chances always are when you run the numbers you have lost major money deadheading.
So for those of you looking to approach this as a business rather than a hobby, I highly recommend that you set filters to keep you in concentrated areas and reject rides that take you outside of where you want to be unless you plan to do work in that city for a day.
Another risk that deadheading poses are driving in unfamiliar areas. Because of the unfamiliarity with roads and areas, this can pose many additional dangers to safety.
Evaluate Your pick-Up Time Reject Trips That Waste Your Time:
I will sometimes do long pickups if it’s really slow and I want to be paid by mileage to the customer and have time. Otherwise if not it’s not about helping the customer at a detriment to yourself.
Sometimes Lyft will send your requests to travel to passengers that are over 20 min away. Let’s say Lyft sends you a request for an $8 ride. The customer is 20 min away and their destination is also 25 min. This means you will have spent 45 min on an 8-dollar ride minimizing your hourly wages dramatically.
You have to make this work for you, not against you. Part of being an independent driver is that you are in control. Every trip is not a benefit to you to accept. Especially if it’s at your expense out of pocket.
** Bonus Secret 4. Geting Paid For Lost Items **
Naturally every so often a passenger might forget their keys, wallet, or phone in your car. If I gave you a dollar for every time a customer told me they would tip me in the app. I would have a nice set of extra change for myself.
If you want to avoid a lot of heartache when driving for lyft then sometimes following it by the book is in your best interest.
Among the thousands of passengers I’ve driven I’ve had many people ask if I can drop off their items for free. They always promised to tip me in the app or in person. Good thing I didn’t hold my breath waiting for those tips.
Eventually, I got tired of feeling ripped off spending my time and money making the trip back to the customer. Some who are miles away. Only for them to thank me, smile, and walk off with their items. I soon decided to take advantage of the returned lost item option for the customer in the app.
The benefit of reporting a lost item in the app is that lyft pays you an additional $15 dollars for your time and effort in returning the item. This fee is charged to your customer.
Keeping a record of this in the system helps drivers know that they will be fairly compensated for their time and energy every time and also can avoid disputes with customers over lost items in the end.
My Average Lyft Driver Salary Review: Conclusion
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. My personal average lyft driver salary review. I hope this article was helpful to you. At the end of the day I appreciate the opportunities that have resulted from driving with Lyft.
Not only has it allowed me to consistently make extra money when I need it but each and every person who I was able to connect with in a meaningful way has been a source of encouragement for me.
As a whole, driving has given me a sense of belonging and satisfaction knowing im serving my community. Each dollar that I have earned from riders has been a humbling part of my journey to success.
So in conclusion to this article and to anyone wondering if you can still make money with Lyft, the answer is yes. There’s still plenty of money to be made driving. The real question to ask yourself is how much work you’re willing to put in…
Because It’s 2023 and I am just one of many entrepreneurs who are still making money with rideshare. Will you be next to fund your current or future business project with Lyft?
If so sign up by clicking the link below to receive an additional $700 dollar bonus after completing your first 120 rides in the next 30 days, and start making more money for your business today.
( You must sign up through the link above to apply your special bonus!)
If you have any additional questions or are a driver with lyft strategies that are working in your area please feel free to share them below and join the discussion… And as always I will see you in the next article. 🙂
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