Uber vs. Lyft: What You Need To Know Before Signing Up To Drive

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 drive 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).

To figure out which app is the right choice for you, read on for our Uber vs. Lyft comparison. We’ve also hooked you up with a $300 new driver sign-up bonus if you click here.

Driver and Vehicle Requirements

The first step in becoming a driver-partner with Uber or a Lyft driver is to make sure you and your vehicle check off all the right 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.

Generally, the Uber driver-partner sign up process is less rigorous than Lyft’s. You can read more about Uber’s requirements here and Lyft’s here.

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. You’ll also receive a $300 new driver sign-up bonus from Lyft if you sign up here.

And, of course, there’s the other side hustle.

Uber used to be the head honcho in the ride-sharing app world, until Lyft expanded. Now that Lyft covers over 94% of the US, the two are really neck and neck.

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.

Sign up to deliver with Uber Eats.

Uber vs. Lyft: The Great Debate (That Never Ends)

In the end, choosing between Uber and Lyft is a lot like choosing between Coke and Pepsi or McDonald’s and Burger King. Everybody’s got an opinion, but both are pretty great.

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 riders and making bank.

Ready to drive? You can sign up for Lyft here and sign up to drive with Uber here.

Lauren Krouse