As an independent contractor driving for Lyft, you are essentially running your own business. And that means that how profitable you are is entirely up to you. So ask yourself this question: are you doing everything you can to maximize your earnings?
In previous posts, we’ve discussed things that you can do to make more money as a Lyft driver. But today, we’re talking about how you can find outside help to make more money for you. And by outside help we mean apps.
From navigation apps to those that can help you locate cheap gas, we’ve put together our list of the 15 essential apps that every Lyft driver needs.
How Apps Can Help You Make More Money
Technology makes life easier, and without it, you wouldn’t even be able to work as a driver for Lyft. You already use the Lyft app every day, so there’s no reason not to download a few more apps on your phone that can help you do your job better.
There are many programs in the app store that can help you navigate the roads better, avoid traffic, and save money on gas. You can download apps to help you track mileage, track your expenses, and help you keep track of your earnings. There are apps that can help you locate restrooms and entertain your passengers, all of which can lead to bigger and better tips.
It’s time to start downloading some of these apps now. Some are free and some will cost you, but remember, since you’re using them for work, you can deduct them as part of your business expenses at tax time.
As a driver, you have just one primary job: to get your passengers where they need to go. So it goes without saying that you can always benefit from the use of navigation apps that can help you figure out the roads and avoid traffic.
Google Maps (free)
Google Maps is trusted and reliable. It’s easy to follow, easy to reroute your drive if need be, and easy to choose from a variety of different routes. We love being able to see our estimated time of arrival, and it’s an easy-to-use app that many drivers are already familiar with.
If you want to avoid police activity, construction, bad road conditions, and traffic jams, download Waze. Users can add notices to the map in real-time, and so can you, making it kind of like social media for drivers. It offers more features than most other navigation apps, and it’s great if you also want to add your observations and help out fellow drivers.
You can select various routes to get you where you’re going faster. You can download offline maps in case you lose your online connection. You can even edit your maps to include more information, such as hot spots where you know you have a good chance of picking up passengers.
Mileage and Expense Tracking
Tracking your mileage and expenses is key to running a successful business as a Lyft driver. You can deduct your mileage and businesses expenses at tax time, and doing so is a lot easier if you have a tracker to monitor you throughout the year.
Hurdlr ($7.99 per month for premium)
Hurdlr makes it easy to keep impeccable records of the miles you drive and the expenses you incur. It also allows you to monitor bank accounts and send invoices (though you don’t need to do that for Lyft). These extra features make it a useful app, but some rideshare drivers find that they don’t even need all that it has to offer.
If your main concern is mileage tracking, Triplog makes it easy. You can track your miles a variety of different ways, and you can try different methods to see which one you prefer. Some of the ways you can track miles include manual input, via Bluetooth, or by plugging your phone into the power outlet in your vehicle.
MileIQ ($5.99 per month for premium)
The MileIQ app runs in the background of your device, making it easy to track every mile you drive. Swipe right to track all of your business travel or swipe left to track personal drives. This app allows you to generate weekly mileage reports if you want them, and they can be viewed on any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or mobile device.
Want to test it out before signing up? With MileIQ you can enjoy 40 free rides per month, so you can give it a try before committing to a subscription plan.
Apps to Help You Track Your Earnings
Tracking your earnings is essential, especially at tax time. These apps make it easy to keep track of weekly and monthly profits. And that allows you to always have a clear picture of exactly how much money you’re bringing in.
Quickbooks Self-Employed ($10/month subscription fee)
Quickbooks Self-Employed helps track earnings and expenses. You can sync it with your bank account and separate personal expenses from business expenses. You have the option to record receipts, record your mileage, and keep track of all sorts of daily expenses.
Quickbooks Self-Employed is designed to make filing your taxes easier than ever. It will help you figure out your tax deductions, so you don’t make unnecessary overpayments. You can even access reports quarterly or annually, depending on how and when you need to file and pay taxes with the IRS.
Trying to keep your expenses to a minimum? The Wave app lets you track business expenses in your bank account and record images of receipts (which you’ll need when it comes time to file your taxes). By tracking your expenses, you can see where you can cut back. And if you can’t cut back, at least you’ll have detailed records of all of your business expenses.
Apps to Help You Find Prime Time Rides
As a Lyft driver, there’s almost nothing better than snagging a Prime Time ride. The more Prime Time rides you do, the more money you’ll make. These apps are designed to make it easier to find those coveted Prime Time passengers.
Rydar ($29.99 per year or $59.99 per year for Pro version)
Rydar has a nifty feature that includes a full event calendar in your area. It’s an easy way to keep track of all concerts, sporting events, and other major happenings in your area. And when you know where the crowds will be, you can be sure you’ll get some Prime Time passengers in your car.
Rydar also allows you to track income and expenses and keep tabs on your mileage. It also has a map that details bars, restaurants, and other locations where riders might be. Use their suggestions to be in those areas to put yourself in a good position to pick up your next ride.
Surge Chaser Pink (free)
Catching Prime Time and Surge Pricing rides is an easy way to increase your earnings. Many drivers site at home and check the Lyft Driver App to see if Prime Time is in effect, but looking at the Lyft or Uber passenger app is not the easiest way to see if Prime Time is happening.
With the Surge Chaser Pink app for Lyft drivers, you’ll be alerted to Prime Time surges in your area. That way, you can log out of the Lyft app and log back in to be able to grab some of those Prime Time passengers.
Nobody likes filling up their tank – and as a Lyft driver, it’s something you have to do over and over again. So it only makes sense to have an app that can help you find the cheapest gas around.
Gas Buddy (free)
Gas Buddy is dedicated to saving money on gas. You can compare prices by gas station to find locations that save you the most money at the pump. If you like putting premium gas in your vehicle or prefer regular or regular plus, you can even filter your results by fuel type.
Just make sure you take distance into consideration. There’s no point in driving miles and miles away to save 5 or 10 cents a gallon. The trick is to find the closest gas station with the most economical prices.
If you want to earn good tips, you’ve got to treat your passengers well, and that includes providing them with some extras – like good music. With an app that lets you choose from millions of songs, you can find the perfect tunes for your passengers, no matter what kind of taste they have in music.
Spotify (Free/$9.99 per month for a premium plan)
Don’t want to shell out any extra money for a money subscription? That’s okay, you can access Spotify for free, but you will have to listen to ads. The premium version is ad-free and allows you to play any track, listen offline, and enjoy higher quality audio streams.
Apple Music ($9.99 per month)
If you have an iPhone, you don’t even have to download an app. With an Apple Music subscription, you can choose from more than 50 million songs right through the built-in music app. For Lyft drivers looking to keep their passengers entertained with the tunes of their choice, the $9.99 monthly fee is well worth it.
Pandora (Free/$4.99 per month)
Pandora is reliable, and they free version with ads is good enough for most people. With Pandora, you can’t select specific songs, but when you’re driving, you shouldn’t be messing with music too much anyway.
An App to Help You Juggle Between Uber and Lyft
One of the best ways to make more money as a Lyft driver is to double up and work for Uber at the same time. It can be tricky juggling between the two apps when you’re on the road, but luckily, there’s an app for that.
Mystro ($11.95 per month)
Mystro makes it uber easy (pun intended) to work for Lyft and drive for Uber at the same time. You can accept rides and switch between services seamlessly. And that feature makes it easier to increase profits by picking up passengers looking for rides from either service. The math is simple: more trip requests = more money.
You’ll have to pay to enjoy access to the full Mystro app, but if you spend a lot of hours out on the road, it’s well worth the initial cost. It also allows you to filter out the types of ride requests you want to accept. So if you only want to accept Surge rides or Prime Time passengers, it will do that for you.
Apps to Make Your Life Easier
We all have basic needs – and these apps are designed exactly for that. From knowing where to locate a restroom to knowing the weather conditions before you head out, these apps are a must.
Flush ($1.99 for pro version)
There’s no way around it – the more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to need a public restroom. Sure, you can always head into your local Starbucks, grab a cup of coffee, and use their facilities.
If rain is about to pour down or snow is predicted to fall, you’ve got to be aware of it before you hit the road. There are countless weather apps out there for Android and iOS, but AccuWeather is our favorite.
With the AccuWeather app, you can stay one step ahead of Mother Nature, which is critical to keeping safe and knowing when (and when not) to be in your car.
Not afraid to be on the road in inclement weather? With this free app, you can hone on the areas expected to have bad weather. And that means you might be able to snag a few Prime Time passengers trying to get home before a storm.
The key to being a profitable Lyft or Uber driver is to treat the job the same way you would if you were running your own business. And since the very job relies on technology, it’s only logical to make use of other apps that can make your job a little bit easier.
The Best Apps for Lyft Drivers (Listed)
- Google Maps
- Quickbooks Self-Employed
- Surge Chaser Pink
- Spotify, Apple Music, or Pandora
Most of these apps are free or have a basic version that you can try before you decide to go for a premium or upgraded plan. With a few apps to give you a little extra help on your side, you can make your life as a Lyft driver a little bit easier and a lot more profitable.
Are there other apps you use that help you do your job as a Lyft driver? If so, please share them with us in the comments below.