Lyft Driver Pay: Everything You Need To Know About Lyft Driver Rates

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The Most Up To Date Guide To Lyft Driver Pay

lyft driver pay

Ridesharing apps, together with on demand delivery apps , are the most popular online platforms and side hustle among gig workers. The big advantages of working for a ride-hailing app is the opportunity to make money with your car, working as an independent contractor and planning your schedule, working when it is more convenient for you.

Making money driving passengers is not that complicated. Very similar to delivery jobs there are minimum driver and vehicle requirements . You only need to have a valid driver license, clean driving records and pass a background check.

Lyft net worth as of August 2021 is $17.76B, but how much do Lyft drivers make? Is Lyft profitable for drivers?

Let’s look at the reality of compensation that many Lyft drivers face and compare that to other rideshare drivers.

How Driver Pay Is Calculated?

Lyft drivers get paid per ride, so the more you drive, the more you earn. Obviously a part time driver will not earn the same thing as a full time driver.

Driving for Uber and Lyft, you will not get the minimum wage. A lot of Uber and Lyft full time drivers work for both apps at the same time.

Indeed, both platforms have periods of time where drivers will earn multiples of their usual fare, based on rider demand (called “surge pricing” or “prime time”).

Lyft rates vary from city to city.

To find out how much you make a month, you should know that Lyft uses a combination of a base fare, per-mile fee and per-minute fee to determine how much Lyft drivers earn. Lyft calculates driver pay based on the specific time, distance and location where the ride begins. The driver pay calculation begins when the passenger is in your car and you’ve tapped to pick up in the app. Driver pay includes time spent waiting, starting one minute after you’ve confirmed your arrival.

All of the fees are determined by a complex algorithm which Lyft will not disclose.

Driver's ride earnings are calculated based on your Rate Card, which includes:

  • Base Fare: The amount passengers pay to start the ride
  • Cost per mile: The distance. More specifically, the amount you earn per mile in the city where your ride starts
  • Cost per minute: The amount you earn per minute in the region where your ride starts

Now that you know the Lyft earnings breakdown, you must know that Lyft determines all costs per mile or per minute depending on which city and region in which a ride was requested.

Summarizing, the amount Lyft drivers receive for a ride includes base pay and bonuses, and adjustments. Lyft encourages riders to tip, so you'll make more for providing exceptional service.

The platform can change or end these guarantees at any time. Uber and Lyft ride earnings are different depending on the markets. Drivers can request a payout at the end of the ride using the cash out option in the driver app.

How Much Can You Make with Lyft?

How much does Lyft pay hourly? Lyft drivers have shared their salaries on Glassdoor. And if your question is does Uber or Lyft pay more, we want to help you find out who pays more Uber or Lyft. We compared the Lyft pay rate with the Uber pay rate.

You will not be surprised to see that the average lyft driver pay and the average Uber driver pay are exactly the same.

Lyft Driver Salary

According to 1,754 Lyft drivers: Lyft driver salary is $16/hr which is 30% below the national average.

lyft driver salary

Uber Driver Salary

According to 5,570 Uber drivers: Uber driver salary is $16/hr

uber driver salary

Earnings By City

This table shows the average hourly earnings for Lyft drivers in the main US cities*:
City Average Hourly Pay
Denver $17.84
Las Vegas $14.23
Los Angeles $17.16
Miami $15.78
Phoenix $15.52
San Francisco $17.75
Washington DC $17.70


How Does Lyft Pay?

When thinking of your Lyft driver income and per ride pay, you must add tips. Indeed Lyft has an in-app tipping system. Before requesting a ride passengers have to enter their payment information in the app.

Lyft accepts all major credit cards (like American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), debit cards tied to checking accounts, and prepaid cards. Passengers may also use PayPal (for iOS and Android users), Apple Pay, and Android Pay.

The Lyft app has an upfront price, Lyft riders pay for time and distance based on their city rate. After a ride, passengers can choose to tip the driver with cash or through the Lyft app (it's easy).

They can also add a tip later in the emailed ride receipt after payment is submitted.

100% of tips go to drivers that have earned over $200 million in tips. Lyft has also offered an occasional earnings guarantee incentive to new drivers as an incentive to sign up and drive with them.

Related Article: Lyft Tipping Etiquette

Lyft Taxes

To obtain an estimate of how much you make driving for Lyft and calculate the average Lyft driver salary, you should know that Lyft doesn't withhold taxes from your payments. As an independent contractor, you should pay taxes.

In the United States, all Lyft drivers that earn $600 or more within a calendar year will receive a 1099-MISC.

You may owe quarterly taxes for your Lyft earnings. Your actual lyft earnings is essentially total income minus total taxes. We suggest you consult our complete guide to Lyft driver taxes.

When Are Drivers Paid?

Are you curious about how payments work with the rideshare company? There are two types of pay and for both you don't have to worry about paperwork:

  • Direct Deposit (weekly)
  • Express Pay (instantly)

Direct Deposit (weekly)

This is the default payment method. Lyft begins the weekly payment process on Tuesdays. This means that any trip taken on Tuesday will appear in the following week's earnings statement. It may take a few days before you see the deposit in your account.

Express Pay

Lyft is one of the apps that let you get paid the same day. If you need money early you can use Express Pay. There are only two prerequisites:

  • You earned at least $5.50.
  • You own a valid debit card issued in the United States (prepaid cards are not allowed)

The coast for this service is $.50

You can update the Lyft payment info directly from the app. Follow our step by step tutorial:

  • Open the Lyft app
  • Open the menu in the top left
  • Tap 'Payment' to add or update payment info.

Lyft Driver Fees

Driving with Lyft as a side job is a great way to earn money on the road. However, drivers using the driver app are charged the Lyft driver Fee as a percentage of each trip fare. In general, the Lyft driver fee is lower than Uber driver fee .

Basically, Lyft charges its 2 million drivers a 20% fee on all fares. This commission covers the use of the lyft driver app, collection and transfer of fees, credit card commission and distribution of invoices to customers.

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Does Lyft Pay for Gas?

No, Lyft does not pay mileage, they don't pay for gas, and they don't pay for anything else including wear and tear of your vehicle.

This is one of the reasons why a lot of full time drivers take in serious consideration the rideshare rental instead of a car loan to buy a new car.

To be successful in your driving job, you have to optimize your routes with the right GPS and know how to save gas using your car and use gas apps that help you save money.

In addition, you should always keep track of your mileage to claim tax deductions.

How To Get Extra Earnings Working With Driver Bonus

Lyft operates 24 hours a day, however to keep the community safe, you must take a full, uninterrupted 6-hour break for every 12 hours you're in driver mode. These 12 hours in driver mode do not have to be consecutive.

You are a business, strategic rideshare driver. You need to take advantage of the program Lyft has built to help you earn more.

How much you can make per ride depends on your ability to get all the Lyft driver promotions. It is important that you know everything can improve your Lyft driver earnings. We suggest you take a look at our complete guide to make mode driving with Lyft.

Basically, drivers can also receive bonuses for ride requests picked up in "Power Zones" during specific hours. The locations of these zones are displayed in the driver app.

Where do you see Power Zone maps and times? You can view the current week’s schedule with all applicable hours and zones by tapping on the ‘Earnings’ tab in the In-app Driver Console. You can also view zones and times from the Driver Dashboard in the ‘Bonus Zones’ section.

Power Zones Examples

Lyft Power Zones
Lyft Power Zones

Power Bonus - Driver Bonus

Power Bonus helps drivers make more each week. Power Driver Bonus resets weekly. There are different levels of the Power Driver Bonus: Depending on how many rides you give, you can earn 10% or 20% more each week. The requirements for the Power Bonus are:

  • Give a certain number rides/week during peak hours.
  • Maintain a 90% acceptance rate
  • Give a certain number of rides/week total
Lyft Driver Power Bonus

How To Get Extra Earnings Driving In Busy Areas In Busy Times.

You can usually count on high demand during:

  • weekday commuter hours (7-10 AM and 5-7 PM)
  • weekend nights (9-10PM and 11 PM- 3 AM)

For the Busy areas you can check the Power Zones or drive close to:

  • City Centers
  • Tourist areas
  • Event Arenas

Minimize the costs of driving

How much will you make a year depends a lot on your driver expenses. Maintaining tight control over both fixed and variable expenses is an essential part of maximizing cash flow and profits in every business including car service. Follow our suggestions.

Car Insurance

You may need car insurance, but you do not need to pay more than you have to! There are things you can do both today and over time that will lower your auto insurance premiums.

Vehicle Maintenance

Because you need your car to earn money, you need to take care of your vehicle. You can reduce vehicle downtime and repair costs by following these tips:

  • Change Oil and filter regularly
  • Cut Down on car service costs by doing the work yourself (take a look at our guide on how to change brake fluid)

Delivery When Rideshare Is Slow

There are a lot of reasons to work for a Delivery Company. It's a good way to increase your earnings. The sign-up bonus is the first good reason!

Our Delivery team provide for you all the resources, information, tutorials and referrals that you need to start your new job.

Drive for Lyft and Earn Extra Cash

There are many gig economy jobs you can start doing to make money right now. Working as Lyft Driver is a good making money opportunity. Earn extra income in your spare time and get paid daily. After you've signed up as a lyft driver, learn how to maximize your earnings and work as delivery driver when rideshare is slow.

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