Driving with Uber versus Lyft
For people wanting to work as a driver for a ride sharing company – or multiple companies – there are many options. The question about driving with Uber versus Lyft is a common one, and we will get into the details today.
For anyone who doesn’t know, working for these companies is on an independent contractor basis. Of course this has its pros and cons.
Many drivers seem to work simultaneously for both apps/companies at the same time while on a ‘shift.’ You can create your ‘shift’ or work hours whenever you feel like it, and on short notice.
But, of course it’s good to have all the details for both companies before you set out on your ride-sharing-money-making-adventure.
I will be discussing this generally from a driver’s perspective… mostly because this is BC Driving Blog, not BC Passenger’s Blog. ha ha. But I will touch on some passenger stuff as well; just because drivers who aren’t driving are sometimes passengers. My brain just exploded.
Lyft has inspired me to change the name of this site to BC Dryvyng Blog.
1. Uber versus Lyft: The sign-up process
Signing up for Uber
To sign up for Uber, you must:
- Enter your information
- Wait for the background check to clear
- Upload paperwork
- Meet the minimum age to drive in your city
- Have at least 1 year of licensed driving experience
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Use a 4-door vehicle
- Proof of residency in your city, state, or province
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- A driver profile photo – must be forward-facing, centered, full face, top of shoulders, no sunglasses
- After signing up, you can complete a screening online to review your driving record and criminal history
Signing up for Lyft
Signing up for Lyft seems easier than signing up for Uber. The sign-up process may be faster than Uber’s (it can take only several days to be approved vs about a week or longer for Uber.) To sign up, you must:
- Enter your information
- Wait for the background check to clear
- Consent to a criminal background check and driving history (this is not a credit check)
- Upload paperwork – If you’re using your own car, you need your insurance, registration & some areas will require vehicle a vehicle inspection
- You must have a 4-door vehicle
- If you don’t have your own, you can rent a car through Express Drive. Vehicle requirements vary by area
For both Uber and Lyft, you will have to upload a picture of your vehicle registration.
- Uber takes about a day to process this
- Lyft has been known to accept this paperwork within minutes
- Is this process therefore computer automated with Lyft?
- Could this lead to the possibility of other drivers submitting fraudulent paperwork?
- Neither company will physically inspected your vehicle
2. Uber versus Lyft: working as a driver
For both companies, you are only paid when there is a client actually inside your vehicle. The pay rate is quite similar for both companies.
Since you are able to have both apps open at the same time, many drivers do so. Then, they accept whichever ride is offered to them first (or whichever one they want), and close the other app while they are busy.
3. Uber versus Lyft: Back-to-Back Rides
Uber will offer drivers the option of back-to-back rides, with additional passenger information.
The additional passenger information includes passenger rating, and length & direction of the trip. It’s provided through the app before you accept, and you can accept it with just one tap.
Lyft does have the option for back-to-back rides, too. When they come up, they offer zero additional information. They are automatically added to your queue, so if you don’t want to accept it, you need to press a lot of buttons through the app. And of course, this is illegal while driving.
4. Uber versus Lyft: Driver Safety & Security
While it may seem completely frightening to allow complete strangers to get into your car, the vast majority of riders are really just normal, nice people, trying to get around.
I have found in my experience that most people are just like, another me. Like, another you.
Still, it’s only natural to be concerned about safety, especially at night, and in large cities.
Uber has a nice option for loved ones who would like to check on a driver’s status. This is known as the ‘Follow My Ride’ feature.
Drivers obviously can’t alwats call home, sometimes for long periods of time. In this case, your significant other is able to check their smartphone at any time, and see your exact location. On your end, it’s very easy to set this up; you just need to press one button within the app.
The Uber passenger app also has this feature.
5. Uber versus Lyft Safety
Other Uber app Safety features
- Emergency assistance button – to contact authorities if you need it. The app will show you location and passenger information
- 24/7 incident response
- 2-way ratings. It’s not just the driver who is being rated!
- Phone anonymization – if you need to contact your passenger through the app, your phone number can stay private, very helpful for when they have a crush on you
- GPS tracking – all trips are tracked from start to finish
- Ride check – using sensors and GPS, Ride Check can help detect if a trip goes unusually off-course. Or if a possible crash has occurred. If the app alerts Uber to such events, Uber will check in on you and offer resources to get help
Lyft Safety Features
- Before you start driving, you can visit a ‘driver Hub.’ It’s an in-person orientation and you can get your questions answered
- Community Guidelines
- You’ll need to complete a safety program. You’ll learn how to handle challenging situations and create a safe and comfortable ride
- View your passenger’s name, photo, and how other drivers have rated them before you accept a ride. If you ever feel uncomfortable, you can decide to not accept the ride. Your car, your choice.
- You can privately request help right from your app. An ADT agent will contact emergency services on your behalf so you can quickly get help. Emergency Help is also available to riders.
- The Support Team is always standing by — by phone or email. You can also reach the Critical Response Line if you ever need to speak to someone right away.
- Share your exact location with friends and family for extra peace of mind.
- Anonymized phone numbers
- If you rate a passenger three stars or less, Lyft will make sure you aren’t matched together anymore
- You can flag a passenger for violating Community Guidelines
- They’ll be required to complete a Community Safety Education program and may be removed from the Lyft platform
- Lyft car insurance offers four types of additional coverage — from the moment you go online until you drop off your last passenger of the day.
6. Uber versus Lyft Driver & Passenger Photos Inside The Apps
Drivers for both apps are required to upload a driver photo. It must be a ‘good’ photo, with the proper lighting, etc., and must not include hats or sunglasses.
Riders for both apps are able to see:
- The driver’s name
- Driver rating
- Profile of the driver
- Photo of the driver
Uber drivers are not able to view their passengers’ profile photo. Lyft drivers can see their passengers’ photo and rating, which of course helps when you’re trying to find a needle in a haystack. However…
The only problem with this is there doesn’t seem to be any requirements for passenger photos on Lyft whatsoever. In other words, your profile picture as a passenger could be a photo of a donkey.
7. Incidents With Sketchy Passengers – Uber versus Lyft
If you do run into problems with unruly (or something like that) passengers, will these companies have your back? You can cancel and report the ride, but then what?
Both have measures in place for these instances.
8. Uber versus Lyft App Ease-Of-Use
What I’ve heard through the grapevine is that the Uber app is excellent, and the Lyft app is simply not-as-excellent.
The Lyft app…
- May not get updated so much
- It’s slow and can sometimes freeze, always at the worst time of course
- The default map is of the entire USA, not zoomed in
- The zoom function doesn’t always work
- It doesn’t always send you on the closest and fastest route; it may send you on the ‘scenic route’
- When you get near the passenger pick-up point, the map zooms out to the entire USA and you may not know where to turn
- Menus seem confusing, you may need to press a lot of buttons to get what you want inside the app
- Doesn’t seem to have a dark mode. This is simply not safe for night driving. This would actually be a deal-breaker for me.
The Uber app…
- Often gets updated
- It’s clean, intuitive, and logical
- It’s sleek and modern
- Many features are included
- It rarely freezes
- It’s largely glitch-free
- It shows the fastest and shortest way to the customer, and is usually right
- Automatically lets the passenger know when you’ve arrived
- Shows you exactly where you should be/turn
- Has a dark mode which automatically turns on at night, and it looks great
- If you reject a trip, there’s no questions asked
- The app allows customers to tip their driver straight through the app
9. Working Busy Areas and Times Of Day
For busier areas and ‘rush hour’ as it were, Uber will ‘surge’ an area. This means the customer is charged more, and the driver is recognized by being paid a bonus.
Lyft has a smiliar concept.
10. Driving Uber Versus Lyft Vehicle Options & Classification
Uber Vehicle Options
|UberPool||Cheapest option for customers|
|UberX||Every day car for up to 4 passengers|
|Uber XL||SUV for up to 6 passengers|
|UberSELECT||4-door luxury car – 4 passengers max|
|UberBLACK||High-end luxury cars for up to 4 people|
|UberSUV||High-end SUV for up to 6 passengers|
Lyft Vehicle Options
|Lyft||Everyday car for up to 4 passengers (cheapest for riders)|
|Lyft Plus||Everyday vehicle for up to 6 passengers|
|Lyft Premier||Higher quality automobiles for up to 4 passengers|
11. Uber Versus Lyft: Support for Customers & Drivers
Both of the apps have some level of customer & driver support, such as:
- In-app support
- Website support
- Critical response lines
- Uber has canned responses ready in their ‘Help Portal’
- Lyft will take the time to answer questions
12. Uber Versus Lyft – Brand Images
- Geared towards business people
- More high-end, prestigious, and professional
- Professionally dressed drivers
- A full-service experience
- Drivers will get out and open the door for the rider & will help with bags
- Playful, approachable, friendly
- “Your Friend With a Car”
- Promotes an image of community
- You can have a nice social chat with your driver
- Themed rides are available (Harry Potter, Disco theme…)
13. How Much Can You Earn Driving For Uber Versus Lyft?
- Pay is based on time, distance & city rates
- When it’s busy, you can earn even more
- Driver incentives can help you make extra money
- Passengers also tip through the app — those are 100% yours
- All payments are made through the app weekly, you’ll need to add your banking info
- You can also set up Express Pay to cash out when you want.
- Base fare + amounts for length of time and distance
- The per-minute and per-mile rates are different per city
- When demand is high, you can earn extra
- Make money on additional trips on ‘Pool’, while waiting for riders, and on minimums for shorter trips.
- Usually, you’ll receive a cancellation fee if a passenger cancels their request.
- Extra pay for having done a certain number of trips
- Extra pay for driving busy times
- Riders can tip directly through the app, and the driver keeps 100%
It’s very hard to say which app pays the most. It ‘all depends.’ And, a lot of drivers use both at the same time.
I’m really not sure what the answer is to this Uber vs Lyft conundrum. I don’t even understand why we even need this ‘versus’ in the middle. It’s not really like a boxing match.
Since you can use them both as a passenger, and both as a driver, then why can’t we all be friends?
Just use whichever one you want, or both; it’s all good. Especially being a contractor, you gotta do what you gotta do.