Driving for Uber or Lyft? Which Gig is Better?


(Brandon Bhangoo) #1

If you are considering a career driving for a rideshare company and don't know which service to choose, then read on, and I will present to you the differences between the two companies. I will also maintain that you should drive for both, however applying at the same time for both services is not recommended, since the sign-up bonuses and guarantees can be a burden when applied at the same time. It is best to stagger your application to start one after the others bonus has been completed.

The main difference that can be attributed to these two US rideshare giants is that Uber is better for rural areas than Lyft. In cities and highly saturated markets, driving for both is about the same.

Both companies sign you up on a partner contract, which is a nice way of saying you are self-employed. Since you are signing up for a self-employed contract, you might as well act as an independent contractor and enjoy the income you can generate from as many independent client sources available.

Now let's look at the differences in driving for both Uber and Lyft.

Application Process

The application process is identical; you will need to provide proof of your past as well as proof of your driving experience (at least one year in the US). You must have insurance coverage. You can only drive in the state where your car is registered. If you live on the border between states, then some concessions are allowed. You do not need to own a car, but you will need to provide a car that has passed or can pass the Uber and Lyft base requirements.

Again, don't apply for both at the same time, be patent and apply for one. Complete the sign-up bonus/guarantee first and then apply for the second one.

While applying for Uber, check out the UberEats and UberRush services, they are for delivering food and a courier service. If these are available in your city, apply for them as well. If your car is an XL size car, you will be automatically opted into the UberPOOL category, make sure you really want this service. I will explain in more detail in this article.

Sign Up Bonuses

Both companies offer sign-up bonuses, and you get these when you use a referral code from another driver. Uber offers a guaranteed income rather than a bonus; this came about when many drivers did not meet the bonus requirements and lots out. Uber solved this issue by providing an alternative method, one that guarantees an income for a specified number of rides over a 30-90-day period. You have to constantly check out what the latest sign up bonuses or guarantees are, and they vary between cities and states.

Working for Two

When you sign up for both services, you increase your ability to receive rides seamlessly. This is important for maximizing your income and creating a more efficient shift. Even if you live in a town or city where Uber is not totally saturated into the market, you will find working for both provides you ample chances for higher income. There are apps to manage the shift work between the two companies, and I will discuss this in here

App switching apps

One of the biggest issues about working for both companies is switching between the apps. Experienced drivers still have issues with switching, as well as maintaining records of expenses used for each app period. This gets confusing when you start to shift between apps within each shift.

Mystro is an app, developed by an ex-Uber driver that performs an efficient switching process as well as streamlining the request acceptance process too. So, when you do decide to work for both, download Mystro and make your life 100% easier.

Size Matters

Uber is the larger of the two services in the US, with a 70% market share compared to Lyft's 30%. Lyft is growing, but what a lot of reporters don't factor into the equation is that rideshare driving accounts for only 5% of all the US transportation market. This means that while both companies expand, they are not stealing from each other, they are just multiplying their own presence in the market place.

Having stated this, Uber is by far the largest and so long as it maintains a steady growth pattern, it will remain larger than Lyft. Although this does not mean that Lyft is small, it is not. There are a lot of Lyft cars starting certain markets, and there are area's where there is no Uber or Lyft.

Uber has been going through and is still going through a lot of hassle. This is due to its past CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber got a very bad rap due to Kalanick's culture and is still trying to get out from his shadow. Uber has been decreasing its global market operations, so it can concentrate on the US market, where it started from.

Driver Satisfaction

For some reason, Lyft drivers are happier than Uber drivers. This could be a psychological thing relating to the Uber cultural shadow, or it could be due to the bad image Uber has been receiving. No matter what the reason, surveys have shown that in general, Lyft drivers feel happier in their job than Uber drivers, and these surveys include drivers that work for both companies.

One of the reasons could also be due to Lyft providing a cash sign-up bonus and not a guarantee.

Veteran Drivers

No, not army veterans, but drivers that work for more than a year with either service. These account for about 8% of the drivers working for either at the same time. Which goes to show you that driving long term for either is not a common thing. If you intend to supplement your income with driving, then you will most probably not last more than a couple of months. If you intend to use either one or both as your primary source of income, then you better be a patient person.

Where should I sign up to be a driver?

At the moment, I can suggest that you sign up to drive for either in a small town or rural area. The cities are saturated with rideshare drivers and even working for both might not be enough to generate a seamless shift. Look for an area that is rideshare starved and apply to drive in that area. Remember, that Uber does have greater coverage than Lyft, so my suggestion is to start applying with Uber and then to add Lyft if you find your shift is slow.

Who should sign up to be a driver?

Only sign up if you are ready to sit behind the wheel of your car for a minimum of four hours a day. Also, make sure you are patient enough to deal with every possible low life that can come your way. If you are a woman, take into account sexual harassment by passengers and prepare yourself properly. No matter what sex you are, you will need a dash cam, and preferably two, one to cover the inside of the car, the other to cover the front of the car. These two items will save your life more than once.

You need to be sure of yourself, don't drive for a living if you are nervous, scared, or just frustrated If you cannot control your anger do not drive for a living. You will need to be a "life coach," "bar tender" and social media expert to appreciate and succeed as an Uber or Lyft driver truly.

Is driving for Lyft that much different from driving for Uber?

The answer is no. They are both very similar. While the services provided have different names, the actual work is identical. You start the app; you accept a request, you pick up the passenger, you drive them to their destination, you get paid, rated and tipped.

Both services provide a number of category services; these include the standard driving service, what is called UberX or Lyft. There is a category for driving large vehicles, such as UberXL, and there is a shuttle service called LyftLine (UberPool, or Express Pool). There is Lyft Lux which is much like UberLux, and both have a Black service.

Driving for a service is determined by the car you want to drive, however, in general, the higher end car services are fewer and getting accredited by Lyft or Uber for such a service is hard. I recommend you start working out with UberX and Pool, this is diving into the cold waters immediately and will expose you to all the intricacies of rideshare driving.

There is one major difference in the tipping aspect; Uber has placed its tipping page in the app behind the rating screen, this means that passengers have to rate you before they can tip you.

Uber's Quests vs. Lyft Power Driver Bonus

Uber offers two bonuses during the week, one for the weekend and one for the weekdays. These quests are driving bonuses based on performance. This means that they will offer you an additional cash incentive that can be as high as $140 if you meet their requirements. These requirements can be to perform 70 rides during a weekday period. Most Uber drivers end up earning over $1,200 a week when applying quests.

Lyft's bonuses are similar; they can be $230 for 100 rides of which 45 were during busy hours. Most Lyft drivers that take on quests can earn over $1,500 in a week.

This is why working for both is an advantage, if you are willing to work the hours, you could essentially earn above $2,700 a week when combining the two quest/bonuses into a 10-hour daily shift. If you want to work longer hours, such as 12, then take into account that Uber limits your driving time to a 12-hour shift with a 6-hour rest period. This is an accumulated requirement, which means that if you work 6 hours, rest 2, and work another 6 hours, they will demand you rest for a further 6 hours before re-opening your app.

Conclusions

Working for other service is a good means of income. BUT, you have to be smart about how you drive. Its not just owning a car and driving it, you don't want to end up sitting in a parking zone at an airport for 2 hours, just to get one ride. You also don't want to chase the surge prices and miss out on two or three rides while you are busy trying to get an x2 ride. Driving for both is the only solution to maximizing your income and using an app changing app is the only way to streamline the process.

Bottom line: There is not much of a difference between the two, its like two apples, one is sweet the other sour, but there is always someone that prefers one to the other, and there are those that like both.


How to Maximize Income with Lyft Even When Bonuses are Random
The Tragic Case of Transportation Evolution in NYC
Seattle Considers Raising Rates for Uber and Lyft Rides to Boost Drivers Pay
(Steve Mann) #2

I drive for both, and more, its not worth while just driving for one.


(Andrew Martin) #3

Both are the same, but Uber has better coverage, you get more rides with Uber.


Squash Peak Fare Case Plaintiffs vs. Lyft. Drivers Win $2 million
(Ian) #4

Both have their pros and cons, but are basically the same. The differences balance each other out.


(Jenny Catalano) #5

Where I’m at I get more Uber and Uber actually pay’s better than Lyft. Uber customer ratings are better than Lyft too.