Unsure if you can make a good living driving for Lyft? People claim big numbers. What can you really earn though? Here's our guide to Lyft driver pay.
What Do Lyft Drivers Get Paid?
Lyft often claims drivers make as high as 35 dollars an hour. That sounds great but, we have to consider factors like cost as well. Lots of drivers don't mention the cost of driving. You might be lucky enough to hit $35 an hour, but it will take a LOT of work. Let's look at costs involved, and figure out a realistic pay range.
What do Lyft drivers make after expenses?
A lot of independent studies show drivers making $8-12 / hour on average. Earning a bit higher, like $15-18 / hour, is possible. To achieve it, though, you'll often work 50+ hours per week in lots of cases.
It seems it takes lots of work to get paid $35 an hour. You'll need a plan to target hours and days with Prime Time pricing. It isn't easy, and will take tough work.
These are a few questions most drivers ask:
- How Does Lyft Calculate Fares?
- How Does Prime Time Pricing Affect Pay?
- How can drivers get paid quickly?
- Does Lyft Cover Any Expenses?
- Do drivers get paid any bonuses?
How much do Lyft rides cost?
At first, the way Lyft calculates fares seems kind of hard to understand. Let's look at the basics.
- Incremental Charges (Variable Fare).
Here's an example of earnings for a Lyft Line ride:
Base charge $2 Time (30min, $0.20/min) $6 Distance (9mi, $2.25/mi) $20.25 Subtotal $28.25 Lyft Fee (25%)* -$7.06 Rider #1 tip $0 Rider #2 tip $3 Earnings $24.19
Pretty nice! Almost $25 bucks an hour. It doesn't work out like this every time of course. Put some effort into in-demand hours, and you can make it happen.
For all new drivers, Lyft takes a 25% commission from Variable Fare fees. What are variable fare fees? Variable fares are fares that aren't set in advance. These can change when Prime Time is in effect. This includes the ride base charge, per minute charge, or per mile charge. One great thing to hear is Lyft does not take commission from tips. Meaning you keep 100% of your tips!
Incremental charges include per minute and per mile charges. Per minute is nice, especially if you can't avoid dealing with traffic.
Lyft offers several types of bonuses to encourage drivers. If you drive a lot on in-demand times, you can earn the Power Driver bonus.
If you invite friends and they become approved, you can earn referral bonuses.
The most important thing to note is, Lyft doesn't take commission from tips. You keep 100%! Riders can pay their driver tips through the app or even with cash.
How much are normal Lyft driver expenses?
Costs don't seem bad at first, but they grow as you drive for a living.
- Most pay ~$75-150 / month for insurance.
- Car loan.
- Tolls grow quick. It isn't uncommon to pay over $100 / month in tolls.
- Driving for a living, expect your fuel costs to increase 25-50% to start.
- Car care.
- Oil changes, car washes, tune-ups, brakes… Budget a minimum of $1,000 / year for car maintenance.
Read the detailed list of Lyft's car requirements. Find out what expenses to plan for, and what they might cost!
How Do Lyft Drivers Get Paid?
Lyft drivers get paid on a every week basis. The normal payment method is direct deposit to your bank account. If you'd prefer, Lyft does have other options. Lyft has two main payment methods for drivers.
- Direct deposit.
- Express Pay.
- Required $5.50 minimum in earnings.
- Can cash out as many as 5 times / day.
- Max of $3,000.
You can choose Express Pay if you'd like. It will let you get paid as much as 5 times / day! Be aware, Lyft has a $0.50 charge for each Express Pay.