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16 Lyft Driver Tips To Make You A Better Driver In 2023

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Rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber have become critical transportation solutions.

People of all journeys and paths rely on hardworking Lyft drivers.

Lyft driving is also a reliable source of income for those who do it well.

This article highlights everything you need to know about driving for Lyft, including 16 tips to earn the most in 2022.

Is Driving for Lyft Worth It?

When you decide if you want to drive for Lyft, it is all about what you think your time is worth.

If you look to make extra cash, save for a vacation, or start a career, you can do it all with Lyft.

You get out of the app what you put into it.

The most important thing is to do your research, have a plan, and be a good person to everyone you meet through Lyft.

We describe everything you need to know below.

Who Can Drive for Lyft?

The driver and vehicle requirements for Lyft may vary by state.

However, below are the standard qualifications for driving with Lyft.

Driver Requirements

To drive for Lyft, you must satisfy the following:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • You must be 25 years of age or older
  • You must pass a screening, which will evaluate your criminal background check and driving history
  • You must have a smartphone that can operate the mobile application

Vehicle Requirements

So, how do you know if your vehicle is eligible?

Below are the requirements:

  • Must be at least 2006 or newer
  • Must have for doors
  • Must have 5-8 seats, which includes the driver’s
  • It cannot be a stretch limousine or taxi
  • It cannot be titled as non-repairable or equal classification

How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make?

So, how much do Lyft drivers make?

Below is the average pay and what you can expect for tips.

Average Pay

According to Glassdoor, the average Lyft rideshare driver makes $17 hourly as of March 2022.

If you annualize this number to a salary figure, it would be $35,360.

Several factors influence this, including location, surge pricing, promotions, and service tiers.

You are not a salaried employee when you sign up for Lyft.

You are an independent contractor and receive a 1099 form instead of a W-2.

You operate on your own time, drive your vehicle, and handle your insurance, gas, and maintenance costs.


When a Lyft or Uber ride finishes, the passenger has an option to “tip” the driver for good service.

Customers can add this tipping or tip amount within 72 hours of the ride.

If you go above and beyond using the strategies we describe below, you can make up to $50 per ride in tips.

16 Lyft Driver Tips To Help You Excel

If you are trying to take your driving to the next level, check out these 16 tips below.

1. Take a Class

Transporting passengers for money might seem like a straightforward job.

However, if you want to treat it like a business, you should approach it with an open mind.

Taking a course might prepare you for future obstacles and help you build a strategy.

It can also equip you with principles that allow you to develop meaningful relationships and maximize your profits.

2. Be a Good Driver

Because you are responsible for the safety of others, you must be a qualified driver.

Not only will good driving keep your riders safer, but it will also make them feel comfortable riding in your car.

For most of your riders, this is their first time being a passenger in your car.

You want to ensure that you make a solid first impression.

You may already think you are a good driver, but you can always improve.

Try to focus as hard as you can while you drive, eliminating all distractions.

When you take your job seriously and keep your riders safe, you will earn a solid Lyft reputation.

3. Understand How Insurance Works

Insurance might be one of the last things you think about when driving for Lyft.

However, accidents happen sometimes, which will require you to carry the correct insurance.

The main goal is to ensure that you get covered in the event of an accident.

Lyft has insurance coverage in place, but it would also be best to check with your insurance provider.

4. Understand Surge Pricing

If you want to maximize your earnings, you need to capitalize on Prime Time, Lyft’s version of surge pricing.

Prime Time analyzes the driver supply and rider demand.

When the demand is high and the supply low, the surge price will rise.

You can structure your driving schedule around this period.

Doing so will allow you to make as many earnings as possible.

However, Drivers will argue that Prime Time is not worth it because of the influx of drivers logging on.

Depending on your area, you can make it big.

It never hurts to try out driving during this time to see if it is right for you.

5. Offer Items to Passengers

A solid way to earn a 5-star rating is to offer free value to customers in the form of goodies, snacks, and other supplies.

Oftentimes, your riders will be in a rush, and they might need one of the items you offer.

Doing so will show that you are prepared and take your job seriously.

Make sure you have the items easily accessible for the rider.

You could set up a basket, pouch, or container in the backseat.

You could also keep the bag upfront so you can easily reach back and offer snacks or drinks to the rider.

6. Be Polite

One of the best things you can do as a Lyft driver is to be polite.

Riders love to feel important, so treat them with respect.

You do not need to treat them like royalty but do all the simple things to elevate the rider experience.

Here are some easy things you can do to be polite to the rider:

  • Ask them how their day is going
  • If they have luggage or travel bags, offer to put them in the trunk
  • Offer the rider food, drinks, or everyday supplies
  • Ask them if the temperature is at an optimal level
  • Say “please” and “thank you”
  • Smile when you talk and listen
  • Make eye contact upon meeting them (not while you are driving!)

7. Be on Time

There is nothing worse than a tardy Lyft driver.

Someone else is trusting their safety and transportation in your hands.

You do not want to start on the wrong foot by showing up late.

Being punctual shows that you are reliable and respect the other person’s time.

There are several ways to ensure that you are on time.

First, you and the rider should have a mutual understanding of where the pickup spot is located.

When you communicate with the rider, build in a few minutes of buffer time to account.

Even if you are running a bit behind, you can always appease the rider by updating them on your new estimated time of arrival.

8. Communicate Well

Communication is at the root of being an excellent Lyft driver.

Your customers are the source of your income, reputation, and Lyft rating.

Your ability to communicate with your riders will define your success on the Lyft app.

Whether you are texting or talking with the rider on the phone, every interaction is an opportunity to elevate your brand.

9. Keep Spending Records

Tracking your expenses is key for tax benefit purposes.

In addition to phone usage and insurance, there are other expenses that you can use as tax deductions.

These expenses include parking fees, gas, repairs, and other car payments.

The IRS requires rideshare drivers to keep accurate records when they file their Lyft taxes.

If you want to capture everything, you should be diligent about maintaining accurate spending records.

You should have a notebook or spreadsheet with your mileage and expenses.

When you do your taxes, you will thank yourself for being organized.

10. Prioritize Safety

Safety should always be your top priority.

Your own life is important, but you take on extra responsibility as a Lyft driver.

You oversee the safety of at least one other person.

Accidents could happen, but you should do everything in your power to create a safe environment for the passenger.

The best thing you can do is eliminate as many distractions as possible.

Keep your focus on the road and the several other events outside the car.

You can always keep a conversation flowing with the passenger if there is an opportunity.

The best Lyft drivers can multitask while never sacrificing the rider’s safety.

11. Clean Your Car

The cleanliness of your car says a lot about you as a Lyft driver.

Your car is your place of business, so you want to make it a comfortable, clean environment for your drivers.

To alleviate as much stress as possible for your clients, you should create a relaxing, comfortable backseat environment.

Maintain a consistent cleaning schedule to keep yourself on track with sanitation.

However, hiring a professional car detailer could be all the difference.

You will not have to sacrifice your own time, and you can trust that the person will do an excellent job for you.

12. Have Music Options

If you want to go above and beyond for your riders, you should give them multiple music options.

Everybody has different music tastes, which is why you can separate yourself from other drivers.

Having several music alternatives will also send the message that you are open to different genres.

The best way to do this is to organize playlists on your phone.

There are several applications like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tindal that allow you to access artists at any time.

You can also curate playlists for a certain genre if a passenger asks.

13. Drive for Multiple Companies at Once

If you understand the ins and outs of being a driver, you should explore driving for both Uber and Lyft.

Much like you would diversify a financial portfolio, you should apply the same strategy to your driving apps.

When you create an account for multiple companies as an UberLyft driver, you can gain access to more potential customers who need different services.

Choose your companies strategically because you do not want to overwhelm yourself with too much work.

14. Know Traffic Patterns

Once you drive in a market for long enough, you will be able to foresee and avoid traffic patterns.

With the way Lyft is set up, you will make fewer earnings sitting in long lines and traffic.

You will also waste gas and prevent yourself from picking up enough passengers.

Become knowledgeable about traffic patterns and where most cars are at a specific time of the day.

15. Take Breaks

If you drive nonstop for Lyft or Uber app, you will get burnt out.

You should never be forced to work extended hours because your quality will go down.

You might drive during a surge pricing period or a busy team of the day, which could make it easy to overwork yourself.

Before you begin your driving day, set a limit, and stick to it.

Budget meaningful time to log off the Lyft app, walk around, stretch outside your car, and grab some food.

Your long-term energy will thank you for doing so.

16. Take Advantage of Rewards and Referrals

As you can see, a lot goes into being a reliable Lyft driver.

The most important things to remember are to come prepared with a plan, treat your passengers with respect, and focus on keeping everyone safe.

After that, everything else will fall into place so that you can make as much money as possible!

Remember, referrals do not only limit you to Lyft.

If you drive for Uber, Instacart, Postmates, or DoorDash, you can take advantage of several rewards on those applications as well.

As you continue to drive for Lyft, keep track of what milestones you need to hit.

Not only will it set a goal in your mind, but it will also be nice to earn some extra cash.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into being a reliable Lyft driver.

The most important things to remember are to come prepared with a plan, treat your passengers with respect, and focus on keeping everyone safe.

Everything else will fall into place so that you can make as much money as possible!

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