How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make, Is Lyft Worth It?

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If you are looking for a side hustle that can help you supplement your income, then you might have thought about driving for a rideshare company. But How Much can you really make with Lyft and is it worth it?

Lyft Rideshare

One of the most popular rideshare companies out there is Lyft.  For those who might not know, Lyft is an app that people can use to request a ride with the push of a button from their phones.  Then, a Lyft driver shows up, picks up the passenger, and takes him or her where he or she would like to go. 

The passenger pays for the ride using a credit card. 

The driver takes home 80 percent of the fare, and Lyft takes a 20 percent commission. Therefore, many people wonder if Lyft can be one of the top sources of income for an independent contractor. 

There are a few common questions that people ask about being a Lyft driver.

Can you Make Good Money with Lyft?

Yes! The answer is that drivers can make good money driving for Lyft.  Of course, the amount of money they are going to make is entirely dependent on how much demand there is for a ride and how many drivers there are. 

Similar to other types of businesses, it is all about supply and demand.  In general, Lyft drivers will make more money if they are driving near a large population center. 

Many Lyft drivers also make a lot of money driving people to and from an airport because many people do not want to pay for parking at the airport (or they might not want to rent a car). 

The amount of money a Lyft driver can make will vary from day to day.

How much money goes to the Lyft driver?

Like other rideshare companies, the Lyft driver will split the price of the ride between himself or herself and the Lyft app.  Lyft takes a 20 percent commission on every ride, so the rider takes home 80 percent of each trip.  For example, if a Lyft driver takes a passenger to the airport and the overall fare is $40, the driver will take home $32, and Lyft will take $8 of the fare. 

Of note, the Lyft driver is responsible for paying his or her taxes as an independent contractor.

Can you Make $100 a day with Lyft?

Yes! A Lyft driver can certainly make $100 per day. Now, this does not mean that the Lyft driver is going to make $100 every day.  The amount earned depends on how many hours the Lyft driver works in a day and how much demand.  Some days will be busier than others, and some times of day will be more active than others. 

In general, $100 per day is a pretty safe benchmark for a Lyft driver working near a city with a sizeable population.

Do Lyft Drivers Get Paid to Wait between Stops?

Yes! Lyft drivers get paid to wait between stops as long as the meter is running. When the Lyft driver arrives, he or she will hit the “arrived” button. 

The meter is going to start 1 minute later regardless of whether the passenger is present. Then, the fare is calculated both by distance and by time. The exact rates (per minute and per mile) are going to vary from city to city. 

If the passenger has multiple stops to make during a single trip, the meter will keep running (as far as the per minute portion) while the driver waits. 

On the other hand, the driver is stationary, so there will not be any additional miles charged during this time. Overall, Lyft drivers will still get paid to wait between stops.

How many hours can you Drive for Lyft per day?

There is no limit to how many hours someone can drive for Lyft in a single day. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that he or she has the energy to continue to drive passengers.  There are lots of people who only drive for a few hours per day in this gig economy while other people treat driving for Lyft as their full-time job. 

One of the most significant benefits of driving for a rideshare company is that drivers can decide when and how much they would like to work.

Which Driving Service Pays the Most?

The two most popular rideshare apps are Uber and Lyft. Many people drive for both companies because they want to reduce the amount of time they spend waiting for passengers. 

In general, Lyft drivers make about $2 more per hour than Uber drivers ($17.50 vs. $15.50). 

While this might not sound like much, this is a significant difference over time. Therefore, Lyft is usually seen as the most lucrative option for those who are looking for a rideshare side hustle.

Does the Lyft Tip go to the driver?

Yes! One of the benefits of driving for Lyft is that the passengers will have the option to add a tip. 

While Lyft itself will take 20 percent of the fare as commission, the entirety of the tip goes to the driver. 

For example, if a Lyft driver takes a passenger to the airport and the fare is $50, and the passenger decides to add a $10 tip, then the driver will take home 80 percent of the fare ($40) and 100 percent of the tip ($10). 

Lyft itself will take a $10 commission on the fare but will not take any of the tip. 

Therefore, the driver will net $50 total from this trip with $40 coming from the fare and $10 coming from the tip. Of note, passengers are not required to tip; however, the app’s pressure asking passengers if they would like to add a tip will convince many of them to add a small tip to each ride.

What is the Average Lyft Driver Income?

It isn’t easy to estimate precisely how much money the average Lyft driver makes because Lyft drivers drive in all areas of the country and for varying amounts of time on a given day.  In general, most Lyft drivers will make $17.50 an hour (or so) of active time on the app. 

This includes time spent driving and time spent driving to pick up a passenger and time spent waiting for another trip. 

It is also possible for Lyft drivers to queue up multiple rides in their order, allowing them to minimize the amount of time they spend waiting for trips so that they can steadily move from ride to ride.  This sharing allows Lyft drivers to make the most out of their time spent on the app.

What are Lyft Driver Expenses?

Lyft drivers are responsible for paying taxes out of their own pockets because they are independent contractors. 

Therefore, Lyft drivers have to be careful not to spend all of the money they make from their side hustle in this gig economy. At the same time, all Lyft driver expenses are tax-deductible. 

Some of the most critical driver expenses include:

  • Gas: This is the most apparent expense, and Lyft drivers can deduct the amount of money they spend on gas.
  • Car Maintenance: Lyft drivers are also allowed to deduct their car maintenance expenses. This includes tire rotations, oil changes, annual costs, and more.
  • Car Repairs: If any repairs have to be made to the car, Lyft drivers can deduct this.
  • Car Depreciation: Over time, the value of the car is going to depreciate. Lyft drivers can deduct this depreciation on their taxes as well.
  • Car Insurance: Finally, car insurance can be deducted as well. Lyft drivers need to let their car insurance companies know when driving for a rideshare company such as Lyft. Rideshare drivers need to shop around and compare car insurance rates for rideshare drivers.

Lyft drivers should have a personal auto policy (which covers them when they are not driving for Lyft) and a rideshare insurance policy (which protects them while driving).

What are the Peak Hours for Driving for Lyft?

There are two peak times when Lyft drivers can enjoy “surge” pricing, which increases the amount of money they make per ride. These include:

  • Bar Hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are major bar nights when people will be looking for designated drivers, such as Lyft drivers.
  • Evening Rush Hour: This is an expected time when people need rides to the airport. Lyft drivers can also pick up passengers at the airport when they are headed to their destination.

These are among the two best times to drive for Lyft and enjoy surge pricing. Overall, Lyft can be an excellent way for people to make extra money in the gig economy.

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