Uber vs. Lyft: What You Need To Know Before Signing Up To Drive
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At this point, everybody knows somebody who’s making money with a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft. Plenty of drivers are even signing up to use both at the same time. The gig is simple: you download the app, and everything you need to do for the job goes through that app. You sign in as a driver, pick up people and take them where they need to go, and then you get paid —automatically.
There’s no monopoly in this industry because two key players are head to head in the ride-share app game: Uber and Lyft. If you’re thinking of starting a side hustle with one of these apps, it’s important to know the difference between the two (as it turns out, there are lots of differences).
Driver and Vehicle Requirements
Uber and Lyft have the same basic requirements for drivers:
- At least 21 years old
- At least 1 year of driving experience
- Valid U.S. driver’s license
- Pass background check
… But if you’re under 23, Uber requires at least 3 years of driving experience.
Vehicle requirements are similar, too. Both Uber and Lyft require:
- Four doors
- Proof of (current) registration
- Proof of insurance
… But Lyft is a bit pickier.
- Uber’s okay with a vehicle that’s 2002 or newer, where Lyft says 2006 or newer (and even newer than that in some states)
There is one thing Uber’s not cool with, though, and that’s commercial branding. You can’t try to sell your own brand.
No car? You're still covered.
If you’re driving a clunker but still want to be a driver, don’t worry — you can drive a rental with both services.
- Lyft’s Express Drive lets you rent a car with a flexible lease as well.
Now, let’s talk money.
Of course, deciding between the two often comes down to how much you’re actually going to earn.
With both apps, riders pay a base rate plus extra for each mile and minute their trip takes. As drivers have probably already told you, you make extra cash when you drive during high-demand times, like rush hour and whenever the bars close in your city.
When it comes to who you make more dough with, technically, it’s tight and may depend on what city you’re driving in. Lyft also has a rider minimum, where Uber has no minimum — which means you could end up making very little on a handful of rides with Uber. On the other hand, Uber has a larger rider base and could land you more rides.
With both Uber and Lyft, 100% of tips are yours to keep.
And, of course, there's the other side hustle.
But then Uber expanded again. Into package and food delivery territory. If it’s available in your city, you can double-up as a delivery partner with Uber Eats for passenger-free driving and possibly more money-making. Good news for young drivers: Uber Eats allows for 19-year-olds to deliver, and you can deliver with a 2-door car. Some cities even allow for bike and scooter deliveries.
Uber vs. Lyft: The Great Debate (That Never Ends)
In this case, what really matters is that both will make you extra cash. So…
Why not both?
Although we don’t recommend mixing Coke and Pepsi, the glory of Uber and Lyft is that you can have the best of both worlds. It’s simple: as soon as you get a rider with one app, you log out of the other and complete the ride. Then, log back in once you’re done. When you’re on both apps, you maximize your chances of picking up passengers and making bank.