Lyft's Black Car service: LUX (Requirements and Eligible Vehicles)

As part of the ongoing competition between Lyft and Uber, Lyft recently introduced the Lyft LUX service; this service is similar to Uber Black and SUV. The main difference will be the commission Lyft takes, set at only 25%.


If you already own a vehicle in the list and you have a 4.7-star rating you can start immediately, you also do not need commercial insurance. Just apply online or at a Hub, and you can start working as a Lyft Lux driver immediately.

Lyft Lux is available in five states, and it is the third special car category Lyft has pushed forward since 2014. It started with Lyft Plus with custom SUVs in SF and then moved the focus to 6 seater cars. In 2016 Lyft launched their Premier service, a luxury service that used BMW-3, Mercedes C, and other such sedans.

These are the following Lyft Cars for each category:

  • Acura MDX or RLX

  • Audi A6,7,8, Q7, RS7, S6,78

  • Bentley Continental Flying Spur or Azure T or Mulsanne

  • BMW Series 5, 6, 7, ActiveHybrid 5, 7

  • Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, B7, M5, M6 Gran Coupe or X5

  • Buick Enclave or LaCrosse

  • Cadillac CT6, CTS/ CTS Wagon, CTS-V/CTS-V Wagon, DTS, Escalade/Escalade ESV, SRX or STS or XT5 or XTS

  • Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe

  • GMC Acadia Denali, Limited, Yukon, Yukon Denali or Yukon XL

  • Hyundai Equus or Genesis*

  • Infiniti all models

  • Jaguar F-Pace, XF or XJ-Series

  • Land Rover LR4, Range Rover/ Sport/ Velar

  • Lexus all models

  • Lincoln Continental*, MKS, MKT, MKX, MKZ, Navigator

  • Maserati all models

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E55 AMG, G-Class, GL-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class,

  • M-Class, Maybach, ML55 AMG, R-Class, S-Class

  • Porsche Cayenne or Panamera

  • Rolls Royce Ghost or Phantom

  • Tesla Model S/X

  • Toyota Land Cruiser or Sequoia

  • Volvo S80 or S90 or XC90

All the cars must have black exteriors, must be older than 2011 (*except for the Lincoln and Hyundai which must be 2017).

Lyft Lux Income Rates

Lyft Lux and SUV rates are very similar to Uber Black and Black SUV rates. These rates also vary per city.

Lyft Lux rates per city are:

| City | Base Fee | Price/Minute | P/Mile | Minimum Cost |

| San Fransisco | $8.00 | $0.65 | $3.75 | $15.00 |
| New York | $7.00 | $0.65 | $3.75 | $15.00 |
| Chicago | $7.00 | $0.40 | $3.50 | $15.00 |
| San Jose | $8.00 | $0.65 | $3.75 | $15.00 |
| Los Angeles | $8.00 | $0.45 | $3.55 | $15:00 |

Lyft SUV rates per city are:

| City | Base Fee | Price/Minute | P/Mile | Minimum Cost |

| San Fransisco | $15.00 | $0.90 | $3.75 | $25.00 |
| New York | $14.00 | $0.80 | $4.50 | $25.00 |
| Chicago | $14.00 | $0.55 | $4.05 | $25.00 |
| San Jose | $15.00 | $0.90 | $3.75 | $25.00 |
| Los Angeles | $15.00 | $0.55 | $4.25 | $25:00 |

As you can see from the tables, Lyft Lux and SUV are only available in five select cities. Lyft will make these services available to more cities over time.

The Lyft Lux/SUV experience

Since Lyft will only allow the Lyft Lux and SUV drivers to accept premium fares, the pickings will be slim. This market has not yet been fully mined as much as Uber. If the driver is prepared to drive on a number of ride categories and accept lower, standard income as well, then the overall result should be fine. Don't forget that a standard Lyft fare is not expecting a $60,000 car to pull up, so when they find out that they can get a luxury ride for the same price as a standard, the drivers rating will shoot sky high.

Another factor, regarding Lux passengers: You are essentially a limo driver, so they will expect the driver to get out and open the door, take the luggage and basically pamper them to their destination.

Cost/Return Ratio

While this service is promising, if you don't own a car that falls into this category we don't suggest you go out and buy one. Remember, the expenses of a car are based on its per mile cost, and the more expensive a car, the higher the per mile cost. Just for comparison, a $15,800 Toyota Prius will cost you an average of $1.89 expenses per mile. Now do the math for the added expenses for a $60,000 car, don't forget it's not just price, is insurance and maintenance too. The cost of a $60,000 car per mile for a 36 month period is $3 per mile in comparison to $0.792 per mile for a $15,800 car. That's $2.3 more per mile to pay, and that's just on the car value alone. What will happen when you try to add insurance, and if you buy it with installments?

Bottom Line

The rideshare war is well under way, although in this war the soldiers fight for both sides, there are many drivers that already work with both Uber and Lyft.If you are already an Uber Black or SUV driver then adding this new Lyft option is a perfect solution. If you own a car that meets the requirements and you are rated 4.7 stars, then you can add this to your belt too. While it might be hard for Lyft to compete against the strong Uber presence of this market, and since Uber drivers cannot promote Lyft to their customers, the onus of marketing is on Lyft. Mind you, having access to so many Uber drivers always helps the competition. The question is, for how long Uber will allow their drivers to work for another ride-share company? Maybe for as long as they maintain the, as independent contractors.

One additional subject to consider is Lyfts waiver for TCP requirements; this opens up any more advantages for Lyft drivers to upgrade their cars to meet the Lux and SUV requirements.