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Driving for Lyft vs Uber: Which Lane Should You Drive In?

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Highway at night: Driving for Uber vs LyftHow do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links – the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!

Looking to make some extra cash in your free time? Many people are turning to Lyft and Uber to make ends meet while they’re in-between jobs or if they just want to have some extra spending cash. Either way, these ride sharing services offer wages that could help you. But which lane should you drive in? Find out the difference between Lyft vs Uber driver’s pay, payouts and more, so you can decide which is a better fit.

How Much do Lyft Drivers Make?

Lyft logo

Below are some figures for the average Lyft driver salary.

  • Lyft states that drivers can make up to $35/hour driving your own car. (According to Glassdoor, drivers make an average of $20/hour but wages range from $8-$40.)
  • A driver’s wage is determined by 80% of ride fees from your passengers. (So if you give a ride that costs $10 you get to keep $8.)
  • If you earn any tips from a passenger you get to keep the entire amount.
  • Lyft has what they call Prime Time, which is peak hours where you can make even more money.
  • The money you make is deposited into your account once a week.
  • If the minimum amount of money a Lyft driver can make per hour is $8 and the maximum is $35 and they work 40 hours/week, a Lyft driver’s salary can range from $16,640-$72,800.

Click Here to Apply to Become a Lyft Driver 

How Much do Uber Drivers Make?

Uber logoOverall, Uber doesn’t list as much public information as Lyft does in regards to paying drivers and unfortunately Uber does not allow us to list any rates in this article. In our research we have found that their compensation is generally less than Lyft.

Click Here to Apply to Become an Uber Driver

Lyft Vs Uber Payout

This driver explains how Lyft and Uber differ in payouts.

The Hidden Costs of Driving For Uber & Lyft

Even though Uber & Lyft quote you’ll make the amount above, this doesn’t include all of your costs. Most of these calculations omit the gas spent to get to a rider or between rides. In fact, majority of driers are making close to minimum wage (drivers in larger cities make more). For example, if a driver goes 3 miles to pick up the rider, then drives the rider 5 miles, then drives 3 miles back to the next rider – their real cost is 12 miles. However, many times the wage is based on the 5 miles the rider was in the vehicle instead of the 11 miles the trip was total for the driver. Drivers in larger cities often make more money because of larger populations so miles driven between riders is typically fewer.

Driver Testimonials

Below are some reviews from drivers for Lyft and Uber.

Lyft Driver Reviews

Being a Ride-share driver has many great perks, one has to be good at navigating while talking to your passenger and not skipping an exit, because one can get wrapped up in good conversation. Know the cool spots and great food recommendations, an occasional night club or cafe recommendations are also good to know. Being sharp and proficient with knowing the grid system in Chicago is recommended. As a driver I enjoy the flexibility Lyft’s gives you to be able to log on to the platform to make money at what ever time of the day. -Current Driver in Chicago, Indeed 2/26/2015

I just started working for Lyft. It doesn’t seem possible to make a living or a profit when you consider time, gas, maintenance, car note and insurance. I was surprised to see what the customer pays and there is nothing extra if you have 4 people in your car. I contacted Lyft because I think you should make more if 2 or more people are in your car or get a gratuity. They responded that Lyft encourages socializing, wow at my expense? I had 4 young guys get in my car and I’m a woman and they hassled me wanting to play misogynistic rap in my car. They changed my music and keep wanting to turn the music up loud. I didn’t feel safe. I suggested that Lyft let you know when you have multiple riders for safety reasons. When I have contacted Lyft the response feels like it’s coming from a non experienced kid. I don’t feel like the driver’s safety is a priority. There doesn’t seem to be much respect for the driver. -Former Driver in Chicago, Indeed 1/2/2016

Uber Driver Reviews

I really enjoy the flexibility that this company offers. The down side is that they don’t take taxes out for those that are driving for Uber due to being an independant contractor. Read up on this topic more at //www.irs.gov/Individuals/Self-Employed. As far as a typical day at work, you make your own schedule. When you drive, you get to choose where you go to work, and wait for Uber to alert you to the next client that needs a ride. You start and stop the ride on your phone, and rely on a GPS map to get you to your client, and where they desire getting dropped off at. What I learned was a little more about the independent contracting issue and taxes, and keeping great records for what mileage, gas, and other related expenses for your personal vehicle. There is self management besides the surge hours of when people use Uber the most during the day. Co-workers, I never met any except the person that I referred to drive with me. The hardest part of the job would be dealing with a lot of out of people with all different walks of life. Some can be really cool, and appreciative, yet there are the ones who are hard to please, and you’ll see the result on the grading scale they have you use. It goes both ways, you grade the rider, and they grade you. They also don’t put you with clients that you have rated lower than 3 stars. Which is really nice. -Current Driver in Colorado, Indeed 2/14/2015

I have been driving for a year now mostly in the Bay Area of Northern California. I found that most of the passengers are great and keep me doing this. What I don’t like is Uber management and lack of concern for their drivers. We are treated like second class citizens. Getting a hold of Uber for help is only done by email and can take a long time for a response. Email responses are cut and paste answers. Navigation is done by air miles when notified of a call but the road miles will always be longer where it doesn’t make sense to take the call. Every time I work in a hilly area I get an email the next day telling I am turning down too many calls and threatened to be deactivated. I would like the CEO or any managers to drive for a month and to see how it really is!! We are constantly being threatened of subtly reminders that we can be deactivated. No immediate help is available. Rates are lowered with no warning and if you want to make good money you have to work late at night on weekends. Uber will change auto requirements with no warning. Many a driver had been left holding a car that he has to pay for that management decided for no good reason it is not good enough for their business. I am talking about cars like a Lincoln Town Car. It is good for working when you want and where you want but sometimes where you want to work has very little business. Feast or famine pay. No benefits, no job security, very little future. Some days I make [redacted] (very rare), and some days I make [redacted]. All and all I make an average of [redacted] an hour but then you have wear and tear on your car. You make the decision if you think it is for you. I also drive Lyft at the same time because Uber won’t keep me busy enough. -Current Driver California, Indeed 4/22/2015

Is it Better to Drive for Uber or Lyft?

If you’re strictly basing your decision off of the amount of money you can make, then Lyft is the better option from the numbers we crunched. However, Uber is pretty “hush hush” when it comes to the average Uber driver salary and wages, which makes it difficult to compare vs. Lyft. Want to know how to become a Lyft driver or how to become an Uber driver? Visit their websites to sign up today.

Do you drive for Lyft or Uber? Are you happy with your earnings?

About Kimberly Alt
Kimberly is always up for an adventure. She’s used to living out of a suitcase and travels consistently. Her first time out of the country was to Thailand, where she spent 4 1/2 months traveling throughout southeast Asia. Kimberly enjoys exploring new places and diving into new cultures. While Kimberly isn’t traveling you can find her baking, playing volleyball or just hanging out at home (since she’s rarely there!).

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3 Comments on "Driving for Lyft vs Uber: Which Lane Should You Drive In?"

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Gary E
Gary E

I just heard on the radio that Lyft is offering a “tip” option for riders. As a rider, I’ve only ever used Uber. But now that I’m thinking about driving, it seems like being a driver for Lyft could lead to a lot more money with the tipping option. I wonder if Uber will roll out this option soon?


Maybe taxis aren’t overpriced after all.


I heard recently that Uber dropped its rate for customers and thus the payout for drivers will go down. More reason to drive for Lyft (plus they don’t take $1 a ride like Uber does). I don’t drink and am always driving my friends home fro bars, so figured this might be a good way to earn a little extra income while doing something I already enjoy doing (helping people get home safely).


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