HyreCar is a car rental marketplace that offers truly flexible car rental options for ride sharing drivers that are looking to either try ride sharing out for a few days, or rent a car long term.

Everything You Need To Know About Tax Deductions As An Uber or Lyft Driver

As a rideshare driver, you are an independent contractor. You aren’t employed by Lyft or Uber, but rather you are contracted by them. How does this affect you when you file your taxes in April? It means that you are self-employed, and will need to file accordingly.

If you’ve never been self-employed before, then this can be a somewhat daunting task, as it requires you to file in a completely different way than you have in the past. Specifically, it means you’ll need to keep track of certain things in order to receive some money saving tax deductions.

To make sure you are completely prepared when tax season rolls around, we’ve assembled a list of important tax deductions, as well as provided the place on the form to record each deduction.

Everything You Need To Know About Tax Deductions As An Uber Driver

What You Need to Know

– Understand the Forms

You will receive a 1099-K form from Uber or Lyft, detailing your earnings with the company. To file for taxes on those earnings, you’ll fill out a Schedule C (Form 1040) to report those earnings as business income.

If you earn less than $400 in a year, you do not have to pay self-employment tax, but you do still need to report your earnings using a Schedule C form. This is where the IRS will be looking for your reported income, and filing it out as miscellaneous income could send up a red flag for them.

– Keep Records

If you don’t want to look like a deer caught in the headlights come tax season, you need to keep detailed records. In order to claim a deduction, you need proof you are legally allowed to claim that deduction.

How you keep records will depend on how you intend to file, but it’s safest to just go ahead and plan on keeping receipts and keeping a detailed account of everything you pay for as a rideshare driver.

There are many apps and software programs that make it easy for you to do this, and you can check out a full list of those here. With these you can easily snap pictures of receipts, quickly add expenses, and automatically log miles with little effort.

– File for Standard Mileage OR Actual Expenses. NOT Both.

One mistake to avoid is accidentally double deducting. This can happen if you don’t understand the two different ways you can file for your vehicle expenses: standard mileage and actual expenses.

Standard Mileage refers to the national rate you are allowed to claim per mile you drive for your business. In 2017, that rate is 53.5 cents per mile. When you claim this amount, it is intended to cover all of the expenses incurred while you drive, including gas, maintenance, and depreciation.

Actual Expenses are all of the separate expenses covered by the standard mileage reimbursement. So, if you intend to file for actual expenses, you will keep track of all of the costs incurred for each separate vehicle expense. Then you will record the total cost for that year of each individual category (gas, car payments, insurance, registration, oil changes, etc.). A percentage of these expenses will be reimbursed.

As a rule, filing for a standard mileage reimbursement is not only simpler, but ends up being a larger number on your tax return than if you had filed for each category separately. Still, some prefer to do it this way, and we’ll detail all of those categories below.

Everything You Need To Know About Tax Deductions As An Uber DriverStandard Mileage

As mentioned above, standard mileage for 2017 is 53.5 cents per mile, and is paid on all miles driven while on the clock with Uber and/or Lyft. This seems fairly straightforward, and is very easy to keep track of with a mileage tracking app. However, people often miss out by under-tracking their mileage.

When you drive for Uber or Lyft, the mileage clock starts the second you accept a ride and doesn’t end until you’ve dropped a rider off at their destination. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to start tracking until you’ve picked the rider up.

You can also deduct the mileage spent driving from your home to your first rider, and back home at the end of the day, as well as the miles driven between two riders. Basically, every mile driven during your workday with Uber and/or counts, unless you are taking a break for personal time.

Where to Report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 44a

Everything You Need To Know About Tax Deductions As An Uber DriverActual Expenses

If you decide to report actual expenses, you’ll want to keep track of every category listed below.

– Gas

Every time you fill your car up with gas while driving for Uber or Lyft, record that amount in whatever software or logbook you use to track expenses. Keep the receipt, or grab a picture of it to keep with your records.

You’ll want to be careful to only include gas expenses that apply directly to your driving expenses for business, and exclude times you fill up your tank for personal use.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance includes tune-ups, repairs, tire rotations, oil changes, and more. Since the wear and tear on your car requires you to do all of these to keep it running for your personal business, these are included as deductible expenses when you file for a tax return.

As with gas expenses, you need to keep receipts and keep a record of each individual expense.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– Insurance

While Uber and Lyft do both require their drivers to use their insurance while driving, you still need to have your own insurance in order to own and operate a vehicle. This insurance is allowable as a deduction on your tax return.

Keep your monthly statements as proof of your insurance costs.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– License & Registration

In order to drive, your vehicle must be registered, and you must have a valid driver’s license. That means these expenses are required in order for you to be an independent contractor with Uber or Lyft.

If you need to renew your driver’s license while employed as a rideshare driver, record that expense. When you renew your vehicle registration, keep a copy of that transaction as well.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, Line 7

– Cleaning

This category is one that goes in both the actual expenses category, and in the common operating expenses category detailed below. When reporting cleaning as an actual expense, we are referring to general upkeep such as washing, vacuuming, and detailing. These are all regular vehicle experiences you can report as part of your actual expenses.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– Depreciation

We all know that vehicles are one of those possessions that only depreciates in value over time. For some, this means they decide to lease or rent to drive for Uber and Lyft, rather than own. If you do own your vehicle, then your actual expenses include your vehicle’s depreciation, or reduction in value.

You can learn more about how to calculate depreciation here.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 13

– Payments

Lastly, actual expenses include your car payments, if you have any, so keep your monthly statements as proof for your tax return.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 20a

Everything You Need To Know About Tax Deductions As An Uber Driver

Common Operating Expenses

In addition to vehicle expenses, you can claim certain operational expenses as deductible. You can file for these whether you go the standard mileage route OR the actual expenses route.

– Mobile Plan

If you have a mobile device that you use strictly for your Uber or Lyft business, you can deduct all of the expenses of that phone when you file. If it’s also your personal phone, you need to keep track of when it’s used for business, and only file a portion of your plan as deductible expenses.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 25

– Phone and Accessories

Your phone itself, as well as any accessories you need, are deductible as well. Again, if it’s a personal phone, you can’t deduct the entire expense of the phone. However, car chargers, phone mounts, or bluetooth headsets that you use are business expenses that you can claim as such.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 22

– Seat Covers and Floor Mats

Some people opt to purchase seat covers or floor mats when driving in order to protect their vehicles from the wear and tear of regular passengers. If you’ve done this, keep a record of that purchase to claim it as a business expense.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 22

– Supplies for Riders

Many drivers choose to provide complementary supplies to riders, such as snacks, bottled water, tissues, gum, or hand sanitizer during transit. Any time you purchase these supplies to keep on hand, keep your receipts or record the expense in your software.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 24b

– Emergency Cleaning

As mentioned above, regular cleaning of your vehicle counts as an maintenance expense, but sometimes as an Uber or Lyft driver you have an emergency mess to clean up (think passengers who’ve had a bit too much to drink). When this happens, it’s above and beyond your normal cleaning cost, and you can record it as a common operating expense, and normally get reimbursed for it, too!

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– Parking Fees

If you need to pay for parking at any point in time while driving to pick up a rider or dropping a rider off, this is a deductible expense. Keep receipts from parking garages for your records.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– Tolls

Like parking fees, tolls are a deductible expense. When you go through a toll booth, ask for a receipt in order to keep track of how much you spend.

If you own a transponder that automatically charges your account when you drive through a toll plaza, you should be able to print statements from this online. Just make sure you keep track of which toll payments are personal, and which are for business.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– AAA Membership

If you paid for membership with AAA specifically for safety reasons while driving for Uber or Lyft, you can deduct those membership fees when you file your Schedule C form. However, if you use this membership for personal reasons, you should not file it as a business expense.

Where to report: Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 9

– Filing Expenses

If you are someone who uses a tax service, such as TurboTax, to do all the grunt work for you every year, you should note that it will cost extra to pay for self-employment filing. Check with the service you typically use to see how much this will cost, and be prepared to spend that amount when it’s time to file.

Or, you can do the whole thing yourself, and tracking all of the expenses listed here will help you to do that.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many expenses to keep track of when driving for Uber or Lyft, and filing for taxes when you are self employed can get a bit complicated. However, by keeping detailed accounts of your expenses, you can be prepared to receive every deduction possible come April.

Choose a great app or software program to do the heavy work for you, so you can focus on being a great driver, making money, and not have to add everything up in your head.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

Before you can begin earning income as a rideshare driver with Lyft, you must go through a background check process. In accordance with state and federal safety standards, Lyft seeks to ensure that every driver in their company provides safe journeys for riders.

People often have a lot of questions about these background checks when getting ready to apply to drive with Lyft. Some have questioned the intensity of Lyft’s background check, and others have considered their standards to be too lax.

Either way, if you are considering driving with Lyft, you will want to know everything about their background check before applying. We’re here to help you, and this post will prepare you for Lyft’s background check and all that it entails.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

What is Lyft’s Background Check?

In order to qualify to drive for Lyft, you are required to undergo a background check. Once you create an account with Lyft, you will provide them with the information necessary for a background check as part of your application process. Lyft used to include a mentor session as part of their application process but have done away with this portion.

Lyft uses a third-party company to complete their background checks, called Sterling BackCheck. This company will use your social security number to perform an extensive check on your driving history and criminal records (if applicable). This check complies with federal and state standards.

Lyft doesn’t only perform this background check when you apply. They also perform yearly checks, and re-run all of your information to make sure you haven’t had any changes in your driving record or criminal history. So, even if you are accepted as a Lyft driver, you’ll want to keep your driving record clean to avoid deactivation.

Lyft notes on their website that in New York City, “DMV and criminal background checks are conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) according to their licensing standards, not by Lyft.” So if you’re driving in New York City, Lyft is not doing your background check.

Lyft’s background check enables them to ensure they are meeting safety standards and protecting both their drivers and riders.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

What Do They Look At?

When Sterling performs Lyft’s background check, they will examine two separate areas.

First, they look at your driving record, making sure that you are a capable and safe driver. You will not be allowed to drive for Lyft if the following are found on your driving record:

  • More than 3 moving violations in the previous 3 years, such as
    • Speeding tickets
    • Stoplight violations
    • Accidents
    • Driving without insurance
  • Any major violations in the previous 3 years, such as
    • Driving with a suspended license
    • Reckless driving
  • A DUI or any drug related violation in the previous 7 years
  • Driving related convictions in the previous 7 years, such as
    • Drug possession
    • Hit and run
    • Other felonies that involve a vehicle

Lyft is also checking to make sure that you are at least 21, and have had a valid driver’s license for at least one year.

Second, they will perform a criminal background check. This will screen all applicants for any criminal offenses or driving related convictions. Sterling will use the provided social security number to search the following databases for matches:

  • Previous seven years’ county courthouse records
  • Previous seven years’ federal courthouse records
  • Previous seven years’ multi-state criminal records
  • Motor vehicle records from the DMV
  • National sex-offender registry.

If any of the following crimes is discovered through this search (in the previous seven year period), the applicant will be automatically ineligible to drive with Lyft:

  • Violent crimes
  • Felonies
  • Drug related crimes
  • Sexual offenses
  • In certain cases, theft and property damage convictions

These are typical reasons for being disqualified, but Lyft’s website stipulates that “more restrictive standards may apply based on local requirements specific to ridesharing. Lyft reserves the right to disqualify a driver at any time should either their driving record or background check reveal any of the above items or for any other safety-related reason at Lyft’s discretion.”
Lyft also may look farther back than seven years, if more serious crimes that warrant disqualification occurred before the seven year period.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

How Long Does It Take?

According to Lyft, your background checkH should take anywhere from 3-10 days to process and complete. Most drivers report it taking 3-5 days, which is shorter than the average Uber background check. owever, several things could contribute to this taking longer.

If there is a high volume of applications, it may slow down the process. Ultimately, the decision to accept a new driver is made by a person, not a computer, so if a lot of applications come in at once, it will take longer for those responsible for hiring.

Background checks also might take more time if your application runs into any snags. This could happen if you’ve lived in several places, requiring several county level searches.

Lyft also performs vehicle checks to make sure the car you drive is appropriate for ridesharing and meets all of their safety standards. This can add to application time as well.

You can check the status of your application by going to Lyft.com/drivers. If you find that nothing has changed after the 10 day period, you can contact Lyft support to find out if there is a specific hold-up. However, Lyft does say that background checks can sometimes take up to several weeks.

Unlike with Uber, whose communication is sometimes hit or miss, you should receive an email and text from Lyft once you’ve been accepted as a driver, and you are set to begin accepting rides.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

What Happens If I’m Disqualified?

There are a few different things you can do if you are disqualified and not accepted as a Lyft driver.

First, if you feel you have been unfairly disqualified, Lyft’s website tells you, “If you do not pass your background check, you’ll get a copy via email and instructions on how to dispute the results.” You can then get in touch with Lyft regarding the specific reason you did not pass and why you’d like to be reconsidered.

If you do not wish to dispute, you can wait and apply with Lyft again after 3-6 months. Lyft doesn’t actually specify a time period to wait to reapply, but this is generally how long people have reported waiting.

Lyft takes these applications on a case-by-case basis, but drivers are rarely hired if they have been previously rejected. If you do decide to reapply, take the time to understand what went wrong the first time, and get in touch with Lyft before doing so. If it was a problem with your background check or DMV check, you can request copies of these for yourself.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

How Can I Avoid Being Disqualified?

Before you apply to be a driver with Lyft, you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to ensure that you pass both their driving record check and their criminal record check. In certain cases there’s not much you can do, but it’s worth getting copies of both of these for yourself before applying with Lyft if you are unsure what they will see.

If you have any minor traffic violations on your record, you might be able to remove them by taking a traffic safety class. This is usually only an option for a few months after you’ve received your ticket, and you’ll want to check and see if this is still an option for you.

Another reason to request a copy of your records is that you may only need to wait a short time to apply if your violations or charges happened close to three years ago, and you can put off your application until that time.

When it comes to criminal offenses or convictions, in some cases you can apply for expungement of certain violations or convictions if you’ve paid your fine and a certain amount of time has passed.

Dismissed charges should not appear on your background check. You’ll want to check your state laws on expungement to find out if this is an option for you before applying.

It’s worth noting that Lyft actually does accept some drivers with felonies on their records if the charges are not violent in nature. If this is the case for you, you may want to contact Lyft directly about this while applying to see if they will consider you in spite of your conviction.

Conclusion

Lyft’s background check takes some time and can cause problems for some people, but are put in place to protect the safety of both drivers and riders with the company. Many cities have faced pressure to require even more in-depth checks, such as fingerprinting. While this hasn’t happened yet, it does signify that the background check, if anything, will only get more extensive.

This guide should help you to feel prepared for the background check, as well as take certain measures to avoid unnecessary rejection. Once you pass your check you’ll be ready to start taking rides with Lyft and earning more as a driver!

Uber Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

If you have any interest in driving for Uber, you probably already know about Uber’s infamous background checks. They’ve come under some scrutiny with the media, and potential Uber drivers tend to have a lot of questions.

Whether you like it or not, passing a background check is part of the process if you want to become a driver for Uber, or rent to drive for them. Uber has pretty stringent requirements, and a lot of people are concerned about whether or not this will affect their ability to get a job driving for Uber.

If you’ve been wondering what the deal is with these background checks, and what it will take to pass one, here’s everything you need to know!

Uber Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

What is Uber’s Background Check?

Everyone who drives for Uber must undergo a background check. As part of your application to Uber, you’ll fill out a background check consent form. This involves providing your social security number and checking the boxes that agree to their background check.

Checking these boxes confirms that you’ve read the lengthy legal documents that provide details on how the background check works, including Federal Fair Credit Act laws and Uber Disclosure agreements. Once Uber has your consent, they will use the company Checkr to do an extensive background check.

Checkr then takes your information and does an extensive check that is compliant with federal and state standards. Your information is safe with them, and is simply used to get the information Uber needs to approve you for driving.

Uber conducts yearly background checks on all of their drivers, so you’ll want to maintain your clean driving record to avoid being deactivated. They may also conduct background checks if your area has law changes that necessitate it.

Background checks are a necessity for almost any job, but especially for a career in which a company is trusting you with the safety of other people. Thus Uber’s background check, though frustrating to some, is a necessary safety measure for the ridesharing company.

Uber Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

What Do They Look At?

Once Checkr has your social security number,  they use it, as well as the address you’ve provided, to trace your identity. They then run a series of checks through multiple databases (local, state, national) to look for any convictions over the previous seven year period. This includes checking:

  • County courthouse records for every county of residence in that seven year period
  • Federal courthouse records in that time period
  • Multi-state records for that period
  • Inter-state criminal databases
  • Motor vehicle record
  • PACER database (Public Access to County Electronic Records)
  • Your social security records
  • The national sex offender registry
  • The FBI’s terrorist watchlist

As Uber is checking all of these databases, they are looking for the following.

  • No less than one year with a valid license for ages 23 and over.
  • No less than three years with a valid license for those ages 21-23.
  • A motor vehicle report that shows no more than 3 minor violations in the previous 3 year period. Minor violations include:
    • Speeding violations
    • Moving violations
    • Driving without a license
    • Driving without insurance
    • Traffic light violations
  • A motor vehicle report that shows NO major violations in the previous 7 year period. Major violations include:
    • Hit and run accidents
    • Speeding in excess of 100 mph
    • DUIs
    • Reckless driving convictions
    • Street racing
  • No criminal convictions in the previous 7 year period. Criminal convictions include:
    • Felonies
    • Misdemeanors
    • Resisting arrest
    • Child endangerment or abuse
    • Violent crimes
    • Driving related convictions
    • Sexual offenses

The Uber background check is free, so it won’t cost you, assuming everything comes out clear. Uber doesn’t perform physicals or credit score checks. This is simply a background check that assesses your driving record and ensures that you have a clean criminal record.

As of 2016, Uber did change their restrictions to allow some felons with non-violent convictions to drive for them.

You should know that Uber complies with local and state laws concerning background check criteria, and restrictions may vary depending on where you are applying to drive.

According to Uber’s website, “Local laws and regulations often establish the specific background check criteria that Uber applies, and these criteria can vary significantly from state to state.”

For instance, in California, Uber drivers must have at least 10 years without a DUI in order to be cleared to drive.

Uber Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

How Long Does It Take?

According to Uber, the background check process should take between 7 and 10 days. As a rule, this is true, and most people pass their background checks within one week. However, there are many factors that can contribute to this taking more time.

If Uber has a high volume of applicants, it could cause the process to take a little longer, as they can only do so many background checks at once. There are also multiple factors that could cause the process to slow down. For example, if you’ve lived in multiple states in the last seven years, it will take longer for Checkr to gain access to all the information they need.

As you wait for your background check to be processed, you can keep track by checking your status on in your driver profile at partners.uber.com. Once you’ve consented to a background check, one of four statuses will appear here, and will tell you where Uber is in the process.

  1. The initial status is Onboarding, and means that your documents are being reviewed and Uber is in the process of completing your background check. If it’s been a week and this is still your status, you will want to contact Uber to make sure things are moving forward.
  2. If your status changes to Waitlisted, it can mean a number of things. It could just mean that Uber needed to run your information through the system again, or that there is some issue with the documentation.
  3. If your status changes to Consider, your background check has been completed and you should know shortly if you have been accepted. If it remains this way for long, you will likely be rejected.
  4.  Once your status changes to Active, this means you are an active Uber driver and can begin accepting rides and driving.

Uber does not typically communicate status changes via email or message, so you will need to check regularly to know if you’ve been activated. If you are using a referral to earn a bonus as a new driver, this is especially important, as you’ll want to start earning your driving hours as soon as you’re active.

Uber Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

What Happens If I’m Rejected?

Uber may reject your application if you fail to pass one of the requirements listed above. Unfortunately, Uber does not typically communicate the reason for this rejection, and you must contact Uber directly in order to get an answer.

If you feel you have been rejected without good reason, you can use Uber’s help portal to try and communicate with them directly about your issue. You can reapply with Uber, but you will need to wait 2-4 months, and these applications are reviewed on a case by case basis.

You will also need to do this through support, and not through their online application, as you will already be in their system as a driver from your initial application.

Uber Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

How Can I Avoid Rejection?

If you are concerned that some aspect of your background check could potentially cause you to be rejected, there are a few things you can do.

First, you can request your motor vehicle record and go over it yourself before applying. If the are minor traffic violations that could be removed from your record by taking a traffic safety class, you can pursue this (this is usually only possible for a few months after your violation).

Another reason to request a copy of your records is that you may only need to wait a short time to apply if your violations or charges happened close to three years ago, and you can put off your application until that time.

In some cases you can apply for expungement of certain violations or convictions if you’ve paid your fine and a certain amount of time has passed. If charges are dismissed, they should not appear on your background check. You’ll want to check your state laws on expungement to find out if this is an option for you.

Conclusion

While it’s true that Uber’s background check is somewhat extensive, it’s necessary to ensure the safety of drivers and riders and protect the company as well. With scrutiny in places like Boston in recent months, Uber’s background check standards may change, but for now, the background check remains tightly monitored.

After reading this guide, you should have a clear understanding of what all goes into an Uber background check and know what to expect from your application process, as well as what to do if you have concerns about your background check. Once you see that active status, you’re ready to start accepting riders and earning money as an Uber driver!

Can You Drive For Both Uber and Lyft?

If you’re trying to get the most out of ridesharing and wondering if Uber or Lyft provides you with the best opportunity to do so, you might actually be asking the wrong question. Instead of “Uber vs. Lyft,” the answer might be “Uber AND Lyft.”

Maximizing earning power when driving for a TNC (Transportation Network Company) is the highest priority of drivers, and a great way to do that is actually to drive for both Uber and Lyft at the same time.

You might be wondering how this is possible, but with the right tools, some strategy and practice, driving for both could become second nature. You’ll bring in more ride requests, increase your trip earning potential, and waste less time.

Can You Drive For Both Uber and Lyft?The Setup

Before you attempt to simultaneously drive for both companies, you’ll want to make sure you’re set up for success. Here are the tools you’ll need.

Before you attempt to simultaneously drive for both companies, you’ll want to make sure you’re set up for success. Here are the tools you’ll need.

The Right Phone

As you can imagine, running two ride sharing apps at the same time will seriously drain your phone’s processing power and battery. For this reason, it will be important to have a newer phone. For iPhones (iOS), a 7 or newer is best, and for the Galaxy (Android), an S7 or newer.

Just be prepared: this will definitely use up a LOT of data.

Rather than sucking the life out of one phone, some prefer to use two phones, one for each company. This may work better for you, though for most this just adds unnecessary complication. Its also not the safest option, as it only adds to your distraction while driving. Safety first.

The Right Accessories

To minimize distraction while driving, as well as abide by safety laws, it’s best to use a phone mount. The last thing you want is a ticket for disregarding cell phone safety laws.

There are many options available, but the Kenu Airframe comes recommended by many, and is an affordable choice. Plus, it attaches to the air vent, giving you the added bonus of keeping your phone cool and preventing overheating while it’s working so hard.

The hands free mount is important, but so is Bluetooth. It will just make things easier if you’re able to leave your phone on the mount and use your voice to accomplish most tasks. Most cars come with built in bluetooth features these days, but if your vehicle doesn’t afford you that luxury, there are plenty of bluetooth headsets available that are high quality and will get the job done.

A Charger

That one probably seems pretty obvious, but your phone is likely to run down the battery a lot more quickly than usual as you utilize both apps, and forgetting your charger will be detrimental to your workday. Even better than one charger? Several. Your riders will thank you.

Can You Drive For Both Uber and Lyft?
Using the Apps

Once you’ve got the correct tools, you’re ready to get both apps going and start receiving ride requests. This is about as simple as it sounds, but there are definitely a few things you’ll want to do to make sure things go smoothly.Close out any apps you have open. You may even want to restart your phone, making sure you’re getting a fresh start and your phone is only focused on running the Uber and Lyft Apps.

  • Close out any apps you have open. You may even want to restart your phone, making sure you’re getting a fresh start and your phone is only focused on running the Uber and Lyft Apps.
  • Open the Uber and Lyft Rider Apps to check on the location of other drivers. You don’t want to lose out on opportunities simply because you’re competing against other drivers unnecessarily.
  • Open the Uber Partner App and the Lyft Driver App and go online with both.
  • It’s best to have the Uber app on your main screen and Lyft running in the background. Uber will actually take you offline if you are away from the app for more than a few minutes.
  • Avoid using other apps, such as the internet or social media, while driving for both companies. This will ensure that your phone doesn’t try to do too much and lessens the likelihood of glitches or crashing.

Can You Drive For Both Uber and Lyft?How It All Works

Once you receive a ride request, you’ll want to immediately accept it and then log out of the other app. Obviously you wouldn’t want to receive a ride request from Uber while already enroute driving for Lyft.

There is, of course, the small chance that you will receive a ride request in both apps at the same time, particularly if you’re driving at a busy time. If this happens, you’ll have to accept one and decline the other, but it would have to happen really frequently to affect your acceptance rating.

As you do with any ride, once you’ve accepted the request (and taken the app without a request offline), you’ll switch to the navigation app to pick up your rider. Lyft does this automatically for you. You’ll want to go back to the Lyft app once you’re close to your rider, to ensure you get to the exact location (navigation can sometimes be a little off).

Uber does not automatically take you to navigation, but once you’re there, it provides a useful little tab that appears on the screen while you’re in navigation, which you can tap when you’re ready to go back to the Uber Partner app.

A few things to know about iPhones vs. Androids:

  • iPhones: When you go online within your Uber and Lyft apps, a blue bar shows up at the top of the screen, indicating that you are online (similar to when you are using a map app). That blue bar will tell you that Uber/Lyft is online, or possibly alert you to nearby surges. If that blue bar disappears, that means your phone has shut one of those apps, so keep an eye on it.
  • Androids: With Uber, the icon does not appear in the status bar while you are using the Uber Partner app. It only appears if you go into another app. With Lyft, it appears as soon as you go online, and remains in the status bar the entire time you are online, whether you are in the Lyft app or not. As with the iPhone’s blue bar, if the icon disappears, you are no longer online.

As you can see, the main thing required of you when you decide to start driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time is concentration. You’ll need to be quick to accept fares and go offline in the other app, and remember to turn that app back on once you’ve completed the ride.

When you’ve done it for a while, though, this practice will come much more naturally, and you’ll establish an easy rhythm for using both apps at once.

Can You Drive For Both Uber and Lyft?A Few Tips

There are a few more tips that can really aid in your success as an Uber or Lyft driver, especially if you drive for the two services simultaneously.

First, it might be tempting to drive around while waiting for your next ride request, but this is a mistake. You are no more likely to receive a ride request this way, and you end up wasting mileage and gas. Instead, choose a location that you feel will surely produce a high rate of requests, and stay parked while you wait. If you go 15-20 minutes without any requests, choose a new location.

Second, Surge and Prime Time pricing can sometimes be a distraction, causing you to lose time and gas, rather than gain it. If you see that Surge or Prime Time pricing is on, but it’s far enough away that you’d lose 20 minutes getting there, it may not be worth your effort.

Third, if you feel you’ve mastered your technique and are very comfortable using both apps, you may even want to take the unused app back online a few minutes before completing a ride, giving you a higher chance of getting another ride request sooner.

Can You Drive For Both Uber and Lyft?Is There An App For That?

You might be wondering if there’s an app that can streamline all of this for you. After all, there is an app for almost everything! Well, it turns out, Mystro has been completed with that very purpose in mind!

It’s still in beta testing, and is only available for Android users. But it’s a promising step forward in this area, and may make all of this easier. It will allow drivers to manage three or more apps and allow you to customize to accept only certain requests.This means you can choose not to receive Lyft Line or UberPool requests, requests from riders with lower ratings, or even omit riders more than a certain distance away.

This means you can choose not to receive Lyft Line or UberPool requests, requests from riders with lower ratings, or even omit riders more than a certain distance away.Mystro offers a trial for up to 10

Mystro offers a trial for up to 10 rides, and is then paid for by subscription.Conclusion

Conclusion

Is driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time worth your consideration? Absolutely! If you’ve got the right tools and are prepared to work at it a little until it becomes comfortable, it could be just the boost in ride requests and income potential you’ve been looking for.

Is driving for Uber and Lyft at the same time worth your consideration? Absolutely! If you’ve got the right tools and are prepared to work at it a little until it becomes comfortable, it could be just the boost in ride requests and income potential you’ve been looking for.

The 14 Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

So, you’ve successfully gotten your career as a rideshare driver off the ground, and are bringing in a paycheck every month driving for Uber or Lyft. While a career in ridesharing can be freeing – with its flexibility and the lack of the boring office environment – it also comes with one of the more difficult aspects of self-employment: taxes.

You don’t get automatic tax deductions from your paycheck with Uber and Lyft, but don’t get too comfortable; the IRS still cares about that money you are making. Uber and Lyft drivers are self employed independent contractors, which means that every expense of the business can be written off come tax season, and one of the primary expenses of ridesharing is mileage.

To make sure you are ready to report your earnings come April, as well as make the most of your potential tax deductions, you’ll want to use a great mileage tracking app to do the hard work for you.

There are a lot of great apps out there, offering everything from mileage tracking to report generation to ride classification. Here are the 14 best apps you can use to track your mileage with Uber and Lyft.

1. SherpaShare Mileage/Expense Tracker

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

SherpaShare is one of the highest rated tracking services out there. It integrates advanced trip-detection technology with secure cloud storage, analytics, and one-click classification.

The tools can be customized for your purposes, and you can track all of your expenses within the app. This gives you a more accurate sense of your actual earnings. When it’s time to file for tax returns, SherpaShare gives you everything you need at the touch of a button.

With real time navigation, driving optimization, and a community of other drivers, you can stay informed and connected, always aware of the best ways to save and earn money.

SherpaShare is free on both iOS and Android.

2. Everlance

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

Great for both personal and business travel, Everlance uses GPS to track and store your trips in the background. When you want to classify your trip, it’s as easy as swiping your finger across the screen. When it’s time to organize the information for tax purposes, it effortlessly generates Excel reports.

You can easily link Everlance to your bank and credit card accounts to track expenses within the app, then store all your receipts in cloud storage, instead of all over your car.

Everlance is free on iOS and Android, but offers premium services for $5/month (if paid annually), or $8/month (if paid monthly). With the premium service you get unlimited automatic trips (only 30 trips are included with the free software, and from there they must be entered manually). You also get advanced reporting options and automatic classification.

3. Hurdlr

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

If your main goal in tracking mileage is easier tax return filing, Hurdlr was built with with this purpose in mind. Not only does it auto-track mileage and expenses, it offers real-time views of earnings and potential tax deductions.

It enables you to always know what taxes you owe, and when you owe them, offering peace of mind about finances with little mental effort, so you can focus on other things, like offering the best Uber or Lyft ride to customers.

Hurdlr is free on iOS and Android.

4. MileWiz

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

MileWiz has their own proprietary technology, which they use to automatically detect trips, with up to 95% accuracy.

With it, you can either set the app to auto-categorize trips based on work days/hours or on places you visit. You can also easily manually categorize with the swipe of a finger. Log places and expenses for accurate, personalized information that is always at your fingertips.

If you want to export your information to a CSV file, you can easily do that, and you can also easily back all of your information up in cloud storage.

MileWiz is free on iOS and Android for up to 20 trips. For unlimited trip coverage, you can upgrade for $4.99 a month.

5. Easy Logbook

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

Easy Logbook is one of the simplest apps to use for mile tracking, and if you’re not into any of the extra bells and whistles, this is definitely a great option. The interface is simple and clean, without any distractions.

Your screen will show a simple clock with a start and stop button. When you stop your trip you can add a description and then save it. Your reports are generated and sent to you via email.

Easy Logbook is free, but only available on iOS.

6. TrackMyDrive

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

TrackMyDrive is an online and app tool that runs seamlessly in the background on your mobile device, automatically tracking every time you go for a drive. From there it’s simple to categorize every trip as business or personal, which is a valuable component when driving for Uber or Lyft. You can create custom categories as well.

One of TrackMyDrive’s best features is that it automatically syncs with your account, and you can view all of your trips and reports on your desktop or laptop. They also offer an iPad app, meaning you can use your iPad for mileage tracking (if it is a wifi + cellular model) and for account access as well.

TrackMyDrive is free for up to 10 trips each month on iOS and Android. If you need it for more than that, it’s one of the cheapest options, at only $8.99 for an entire year.

7. MileIQ

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

Another great option if you want to use an app that syncs between all of your devices is MileIQ. It’s pretty similar to others, offering automatic mileage tracking with your trips, easy classification, data storage and syncing, and report generation.

One thing we like is that for simple categorization between business and personal, you can simply swipe left for personal drives, and right for business drives. This is a bonus, requiring little thought in the moment. You can go back later and organize things differently if needed, using your online account.

MileIQ is free for up to 40 drives each month on iOS and Android. For $5.99/month you get access to unlimited trips and some added features for logging and reporting.

8. TripLog

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

TripLog’s main concern is helping drivers help themselves by enabling them to make the most of their tax deduction each year. It boasts IRS compliant logs, and even offers a helpful page explaining how you can make the most of your driving expenses when filing your tax return.

TripLog is free, with apps on iOS and Android. As you can see from the pricing page, though, you get significantly more features with the Basic Plan ($15/year) and Professional Plan ($30/year).

9. QuickBooks Self-Employed

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

Many are familiar with Quickbooks, one of the highest rated and used financial management softwares available. You may not be aware though, that QuickBooks offers an app specifically designed for the driving expenses of the self-employed.

One great feature of Quickbooks Self-Employed is the quarterly taxes, which makes sure you know how much you’ll owe at the end of each quarter, enabling you to set the necessary funds aside and avoid the unpleasant surprise of writing a huge check come April.

QuickBooks Self-Employed is $5/month and is available on iOS and Android.

10. Stride Drive

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

Stride Drive is an ideal app for rideshare drivers, as it was designed with that profession in mind. It tracks mileage for all of your trips, and produces reports that you can simply print out and give to your accountant when needed.

It also offers categories for all the other expenses you can deduct, including car-washes, goodies for passengers, and tolls.

Stride Drive is free on iOS and Android.

11. MileageLog +

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

Mileage Log + is designed with IRS compliance in mind, meaning you’ll know that the information you get from them will be exactly what you need for filing your tax return.

Features include customizable categories, quick entry frequent trips, excel compatible reports, Dropbox syncing and backup, and easy sorting and filtering.

If you want the reliability of IRS compliance without the complexity of an online account, this is a great choice.

MileageLog + is $3.99 on iOS.

12. TaxMileage

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

TaxMileage is particularly useful for it’s tracking of fuel consumption and cost. On top of tracking miles and providing all of the necessary tools for expense reporting, it allows you to track miles in kilometers or miles, keep track of fuel costs, and display fuel consumption statistics in graph form.

You can also register several cars with TaxMileage, which can be useful if you sometimes use various vehicles for ridesharing, or use rentals, rather than your own car.

TaxMileage is $29.99/year, $39.99/2 years, and $49.99/3 years oniOS and Android.

13. FYI Mileage

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

FYI MIleage offers an intuitive user interface, making it easy and quick to use when entering data. You can use it to support multiple cars AND multiple drivers, which is a great feature if you aren’t the only one using your vehicle.

On top of this, it offers flexible reporting, easy searching, a link to your address book, reimbursement summaries, customizable reimbursement rates, and memory of your most frequent trips.

FYI Mileage is $2.99 and is only available on iOS.

14. MileBug

Best Apps To Track Your Uber and Lyft Mileage

MileBug is another app which uses an online account for easy access to reports and data. The app offers full path map display, automatic tracking, and the ability to enter regular destinations for easier entry of frequently made trips.

MileBug offers everything you need for IRS compatible reporting, and everything is backed up in the cloud to ensure safe storage.

MileBug is $2.99 on iOS and Android.

HyreCar and RideAlfred Team Up to Bring Luxury Cars and Professional Drivers Together in Madison

Alliance means more drive-for-hire earning opportunities in Madison area

LOS ANGELES, CA AND MADISON, WI, OCTOBER 5, 2017 – HyreCar, the low cost, low commitment online car rental service, and RideAlfred, the personal chauffeur app that exclusively uses luxury vehicles and professional drivers, today announced a partnership to offer vehicles to drivers in the Madison area. By opening HyreCar’s vehicle inventory to the Madison market, people who wish to earn money as drivers, but lack a qualifying vehicle, can now drive for RideAlfred and other ride-sharing and delivery services.

HyreCar brings the on-demand economy and the gig economy together by offering a marketplace that lets vehicle owners earn money on idle vehicles while providing flexible top-quality options for drivers wishing to earn money driving for ride sharing and delivery companies. Drivers can rent by the day, week or month and rentals are open to drivers 21 years and older.

“We’re very pleased to be working with RideAlfred and to begin offering vehicles to drivers in the Madison area,” said Joe Furnari, CEO of HyreCar. “What’s especially exciting about this is that RideAlfred’s focus on the high end market means substantial earning opportunities for drivers in the area that simply wouldn’t have been possible without access to the right car.”

RideAlfred is unique because it is the only app on the market that allows drivers and passengers to choose each other and build an ongoing relationship. The service lets customers book a professional driver and high-end car on an hourly basis or flat-rate for certain trips, such as airport and city-to-city runs.

“Peer-to-peer rentals such as those offered by HyreCar are especially important for us, because many who want to drive for us don’t have a car that meets our high standards,” said Josh Massey, CEO of RideAlfred. “By working with HyreCar, we can bring more drivers onto our service because those drivers will now have access to top quality vehicles with as little as a few hours notice.”

HyreCar currently operates in 28 U.S. states, with new markets opening regularly.

For more information, visit HyreCar.com or RideAlfred.com

 

How Much Do Uber and Lyft Drivers Really Make?

For those considering venturing into the world of ridesharing as either a primary or supplementary source of income, a big question is usually how much one can expect to make.

It seems risky to give up additional free time (for part-timers) or even quit a current job (for full-timers) to pursue a career with a company like Uber or Lyft, with no assurance of what one will actually make.

There was a time when these numbers were hard to come by, but thanks to some important research and data sharing over the last few years, it’s much easier to make some predictions of what you will make as a driver.

This prediction will be based on several factors, which we’ll unpack here.

If you want to know approximately how much you will make as an Uber or Lyft driver, here’s everything you need to know about what factors into that bottom line.

Location

If you’re wondering why Uber and Lyft have sometimes been accused of misrepresenting the average income of their drivers, a big piece of that equation is location. While it’s true that many factors contribute to your income levels as a driver, the place you drive will have a pretty significant impact on that.

As you can see from the above map, a driver in New York is making, on average, more than twice that of a driver in Nashville. That doesn’t necessarily mean it would be impossible to make a lot in the lower paying cities, it would just take some strategy.

If you’re wondering what you’d have the potential to make annually in your city, you can see a full list here. Here is a small sample of some popular cities, with annual pay estimates:

  • Boston, MA: $40,480
  • Chicago, IL: $44,990
  • Durham, NC: $40,934
  • Grand Rapids, MI: $35,474
  • Houston, TX: $39,780
  • Louisville, KY: $36,004
  • Minneapolis, MN: $40,279
  • Orlando, FL: $40,248
  • Pittsburgh, PA: $46,831
  • Syracuse, NY: $32,605
  • Virginia Beach, VA: $36,691

Passenger Fare

When it comes to how much a driver actually makes while driving for Uber or Lyft, there’s a basic calculation that begins with rider fare. When a rider uses Uber or Lyft, he is charged for the amount of time spent in the car and the distance travelled. This is on top of the base fare and the rider fee for that city.

So, the factors that go into calculating passenger fee are:

  • Base Fare (BF)
  • Minute Rate (MR)
  • Minutes Travelled (MT)
  • Distance Rate (DR)
  • Distance Travelled (DT)
  • Booking Fee (BF2) (Formerly the “safe rides fee”)

The equation looks like this:

BF + (MR x MT) + (DR x DT) + BF2 = Final Rider Fare

Here’s a real life example: Say you fly into the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, and need a ride to the conference center at Georgia Tech University. This is an 11 mile ride, and takes approximately 18 minutes in low traffic time. Base fare for an UberX in Atlanta is $1.00, with a per minute rate of $.12 and a per mile rate of $.81. There is a booking fee of $2.25.

$1.00 + ($.12 x 18) + ($.81 x 11) + $2.25 = $14.32

Uber Estimate put this amount at $19-24, which is a little higher. As you can see, various contributing factors will change your rider fare, including surge pricing (an uptick in pricing due to high rider demand and low driver supply) and traffic. However, let’s go with the $19 estimated and from here, we can calculate what a driver will actually be paid for this example ride.

Uber & Lyft Commission

That $19 is great, but that amount doesn’t go home with the driver. Uber and Lyft take 20% of each fare. So a driver is paid 80% of that final fare is $15. Assuming you are able to get another similar ride in the same hour, you have the potential of making up to $30 in an hour, which is certainly a decent hourly rate.

However, it’s more likely that you’ll get shorter rides that earn you significantly less than that. Uber and Lyft do have minimum fares, which guarantees that riders will always make a certain amount, even if they take a short ride. This is to guarantee that drivers aren’t negatively impacted by 2-3 block rides which take only a few minutes. This minimum fare varies from city to city.

Hours

The hours you drive and offer rides have a significant impact on how much you’ll make driving for Uber and Lyft. It sounds pretty straightforward, but it makes sense that the more available you are, the more likely you’ll be to get higher paying rides.

Depending on what city you inhabit, the time of day you drive will have a pretty big impact on how much you can make. If surge pricing takes effect, you can earn more until the surge ends. Times of rush hour (when employees are going to and from work), and active nightlife are often times of higher earning potential. Just make sure you look out for your safety if you offer rides late at night.

Extra Expenses

Car Insurance

  • Uber offers supplementary liability insurance that takes effect while you are accepting rides, driving to pick riders up, and taking them to your destination.
  • You will need your own car insurance as well, and you are not covered by the insurance provided by Uber or Lyft while offline. When you rent with HyreCar, though, they take care of your insurance policy for you, an added bonus of renting versus using your own vehicle for ridesharing.

Payments

  • Depending on whether or not you own or lease a car, you will need to make payments on that car, which adds to your working expenses while you are a driver.
  • Many people choose to lease or rent to drive, as their own vehicle is not up to standards to serve as a ridesharing vehicle. This may increase the normal car payment amount.

Tolls

  • Depending on your location, you’ll want to factor tolls into your incidental costs. For example, a driver in Orlando, FL could end up encurring up to $5.00 in toll costs simply by driving from one end of the city to the other. Tolls are NOT covered by Uber or Lyft.

License Fees

  • All of your typical fees (renewing your driver’s license and license plate) are not covered by Uber or Lyft, and will be your own financial responsibility.

Gas

  • Uber and Lyft do not cover gas expenses. Obviously if you are driving for one of these companies, you are going to spending more on gas than you normally would, so gas costs will be subtracted from your overall earnings.

Maintenance

  • Car maintenance is always costly, but you may incur more costs by offering driving services through Uber and Lyft. Simply driving more frequently increases the wear and tear on your vehicle, and there is also the potential for damage if your rider is not respectful to your property (or perhaps gets sick!)

Factors such as the age of your car, the city you drive in, the type of car you drive, and much more, will contribute to the overall incidental costs of driving for Uber or Lyft.

However, a general rule for drivers with Uber and Lyft is to deduct an additional 20% of a ride fare to cover all of these expenses. So, if you take that $19 fare we mentioned earlier, and deduct the additional 20%, your earnings go down to $11.40.

The Facts

So now that we’ve talked about everything that contributes to the actual take-home earnings of an Uber or Lyft driver what do the numbers say?

Harry Campbell, a popular ridesharing blogger, conducted a study, and using data, gives some real numbers to the question of how much drivers are really making.

Campbell found that drivers “reported earning $15.28 per hour,” but assumes that number is really a bit lower based on all of the incidental expenses we’ve already mentioned. As you can see from this pie chart, the largest number of drivers earn between $10-15 per hour.

Glassdoor, a company that uses employee information to give in-depth looks into companies, reports on Uber earnings regularly, and their data supports this average amount as well.

If you were hoping to make more than that driving for Uber or Lyft, there are a few ways you can try to up your earnings.

How Can I Make More?

Tips are one of the simplest ways to earn a little more money as a driver. While tips aren’t guaranteed, they are allowable, and you can encourage tips with the following helpful ideas:

  • Always keep your vehicle clean and inviting.
  • Offer bottled water to passengers.
  • Provide access to charging cables for phones and other devices.
  • Ask if there’s anything your passenger what like to listen to while riding.
  • Be friendly!

While tips have always been allowed, there was not, historically, a way for riders to tip drivers through the app. However, it looks like this is about to change. In June, Uber launched their “180 Days of Change” campaign to try and address some of the ongoing struggles for drivers and improve the overall driving experience. One of the big plans? Enabling tipping through the app. This is already available in about 100 cities, and is definitely a step in the right direction for drivers!

Referral Programs are another easy way to make additional money through your career with Uber or Lyft. Both companies offer sign on bonuses to encourage new drivers to sign up, and current drivers to spread the word.

Here’s how this works. A current driver can use their personal referral code to refer others to Uber or Lyft. When the new driver signs up using that referral code, both parties have the potential to earn a significant* sign on bonus once the new driver has completed the required amount of driving within the first 30 days of signing up.

To learn more about how referral programs work, you can read all about it here.

*Potential bonus amounts vary based on the new driver’s city.

Conclusion

On average, Uber and Lyft drivers make less than $15/hour. However, with so many contributing factors – amount of time spent driving, tolls, insurance costs, car payments, location – it’s hard to say how much any individual would make without knowing these specifics.

Take this information and do a little information on your own to find out if driving in your city is worth it for you! You might be surprised to find you can make more than you thought.

Everything You Need to Know About Uber and Lyft Referral Bonuses

One of the easiest ways to earn some extra money as an Uber or Lyft driver is to take advantage of their sign-up bonus offers. Because these companies are focused on growth, they continue to offer a bonus to drivers simply for signing up to become drivers with their companies.

Pretty great, right?

Yes, but only if you really know what you’re doing. As with almost every company offering “free money,” it’s important to understand the fine print and know exactly how to ensure that you receive the bonus, both as a referring driver and as a new driver.

Whether you are already driving, or are considering venturing into a career of ridesharing, here’s everything you need to know about this incredibly profitable and important aspect of bonuses.

The Basics: How it Works

If you’re a new driver looking to sign up, the first thing you need to know – aside from the requirements for Uber and Lyft Drivers – is that a sign-up bonus is ONLY received through a referral from an existing driver. You cannot simply sign up as a new driver for Uber or Lyft and earn a sign-up bonus.

So how does this referral system work? If you’re already a driver, you’ve probably noticed that you receive emails and notifications from Uber reminding you to invite friends to become drivers in order to receive a bonus, and earn one for them as well.

Because Uber and Lyft want new drivers, they use this incentive to get the word out through existing drivers and encourage their friends to sign up. The existing driver takes their referral code, invites friends to sign up, and then both existing and new driver will receive a bonus as a result.

Existing Driver (Referer)

  • Retrieve your referral code from your Partner Dashboard under “Invites.”
  • Give the code to friends and tell them to enter it when they sign up as new drivers (you can also tweet or share the code as a link).
  • Remind your friends to complete the process of signing up and completing the required number of rides*.
  • A bonus** will automatically be credited to your account once they do this.

New Driver (Referee)

  • Use the referral code you’ve received from a friend when you sign up as a new Uber or Lyft driver. If you use a referral link, it should automatically enter the code for you.
  • Once you are active, you must complete the specified number of rides* within 30 days.
  • The bonus** will automatically be credited to your account, once you’ve satisfied the ride number requirement.

*The number of rides required within the 30 day period to earn the bonus is typically between 50-100 rides, depending on your city
**The bonus amount is dependent upon the new driver’s city, not the existing driver’s.

How Much Can You Earn?

This is one of the things that can get pretty confusing for people, and often makes drivers angry. Lyft doesn’t actually list bonus amounts anymore, presumably for this very reason, that it got too confusing.

Here’s the basic gist:

Existing Drivers (Referers)

  • When you refer new drivers, an amount will appear on that link page. That is the bonus amount for your city.
  • A new driver (referee) will sign up using your link.
    • If the new driver is in your city, the bonus amount listed for your city will be applied.
    • If the new driver is NOT in your city, your bonus amount will be the amount offered in his/her city. It will not be the amount offered for your city.

New Drivers (Referees)

  • When you click on a referral link, you will see a bonus amount offered. This is the amount offered in the referring driver’s city.
  • Once you’ve used their sign up code and completed the required number of trips, the bonus amount you’ll actually receive is based on your city.

Here’s an example:

Say a new driver signs up using a link from an existing driver in Miami, and a $500* sign-up bonus is offered. If the new driver also happens to drive in Miami, the bonus amount will be $500 for both new and existing driver. However, if that new driver signs up in Cleveland, and the bonus amount for Cleveland is $300*, then both new and existing driver will receive $300.

Bonuses can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on where you sign up. So how do you find out how much you get for your city? Unfortunately, there’s not a list anywhere, and that information isn’t readily available. However, you can use Uber or Lyft’s help section, either online or in the app.

Simply send in a question, letting them know you’re interested in becoming a new driver, and would like to know what the sign-up bonus for your city is. This is really the only way to know for sure how much you’ll make when you use an existing driver’s referral code.

*Note: These amounts do not reflect actual bonus amounts offered in those cities.

What’s Your Activation Date?

Your activation date is the day you begin driving for Uber or Lyft. A common complaint has been that you can’t rely on an email or message letting you know you’re active. So once you’ve applied as a new driver, you’ll want to make sure you keep tabs on when you become eligible to go online and drive. If your application hasn’t been approved, you can use the help portal we just mentioned to check in on your status.

Knowing when you’re active is important for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t want to miss out on any time that you could be driving, as your bonus is contingent upon you completing a certain amount of rides. Second, you’ll need it’s information for retroactive referrals, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Get Your Referral Code

How do you get, and distribute, your referral code as an existing driver? Well, like we said, you’ll probably get regular reminders from Uber, encouraging you to refer others as new drivers. You can get that code by going to your partner dashboard, and from there you can opt to invite with your code, with gmail, or manually.

Your code is a combination of letters and numbers, which could be mis-typed if someone were to enter it manually when they sign-up. This would mean that you, the driver, wouldn’t get credit. Instead, you can either select “tweet” or “share,” or create your own embedded link, so that drivers are simply linking to you when they sign up, rather than entering a code.

Spread the Word

You can simply get your code to your friends or potential drivers you know. However, it doesn’t hurt to spread the word to as many people as possible. Spreading a wide net is an especially good idea with Uber and Lyft referrals, because not everyone will follow through, even once they’ve signed up. So, the more who use your code, the better chance of receiving bonuses.

You can spread the word by tweeting or sharing your link, and inviting others to retweet or share, even if they themselves aren’t interested.

Keep Track of Referrals

Once you’ve invited others to sign-up to receive a bonus, a great way to increase the likelihood of receiving those bonuses is to track your referrals and send encouragements and reminders. While Uber and Lyft want the drivers, it’s really up to you to close the deal.

You can go to the “track invites” tab of the app, or the partner dashboard (referral dashboard with Lyft) and simply click on the “remind button” of any given referee to encourage them to complete their required amount of rides and claim their bonus.

How Do Retroactive Referrals Work?

How Do Retroactive Referrals Work?

The sign-up bonus system works pretty similarly for Uber and Lyft, but this is the one area in which they differ. Uber offers retroactive referrals, Lyft does not. This means that if you either forget to use a referral code, or didn’t know you could use one, you still have a chance at earning that bonus.

Like we said earlier, it’s important to know your activation date for this retroactive referrals. Once you’ve signed up as a new driver, you have 15 days from your activation date to apply for a retroactive referral.

You’d go about this the same way you would with any question – contact Uber via the help portal. Let them know you’d like to enter a referral code retroactively, and make sure you include your date of activation, as well as the driver name and code you’d like to apply.

What’s the Difference Between Guarantees and Referrals?

This question caused no small amount of trouble back in 2016 when Uber decided to change their sign-up bonus approach without telling anyone, offering guarantees instead of straight-up bonuses. They’ve since fixed the problem, but we still want to make you aware that guarantees and referrals are not the same thing. Here’s the difference:

A guarantee says that you are guaranteed a certain amount of earnings with your first XX amount of rides. If you are under that amount at the end of achieving that number of rides, Uber will meet the difference. However, if you are at or above that amount, you won’t receive any extra.

A referral should, unless otherwise stated, guarantee that amount offered above and beyond your earnings. So, if your referral should earn you $200, that $200 should be added to your earnings at the end of the 30 day period, assuming you’ve met the criteria.

This is a good reason to read the fine print and make sure you ask Uber questions about what you are getting with your referral code.

Conclusion

It takes a bit of work, but driving for Uber or Lyft can be a pretty lucrative career if you’re willing to do that work. Earning money by driving is exciting, but what’s even more exciting is kick-starting that career with a bonus. Don’t miss out on your bonus! Become a driver today and make sure you use a referral code to earn extra money!

How Safe is Uber and Lyft for Female Drivers? 9 Tips to Stay Secure

Since ridesharing burst onto the scene a few years ago, a big question for many has centered around how women fit into the picture.

First, of course, is the question of how safe it is for women to ride with Uber or Lyft, essentially hopping into vehicles with total strangers. Thankfully, Uber and Lyft have both made enormous efforts to ensure that drivers are properly vetted and qualified before employing them.

Secondly, though, is the question of how safe it is for women to DRIVE with Uber or Lyft. The answer to this is a little more nebulous, as there really isn’t a way to completely vet passengers before allowing them to request a ride. Sure, there’s a rating system, but if a passenger hasn’t been rated yet, this won’t apply.

Women should have every right to drive with Uber or Lyft, but let’s face it, there can be dangers. But we want to see that change, so here are some important safety tips for women as they consider a career as a ridesharing driver.

1. Check Ratings

Uber and Lyft have ratings systems with good reason. Both companies have a two way rating system, which allows the passenger to rate the driver, and vice versa. This is maybe one of the most helpful ways to guard your safety.

When you receive a ride request, check the rider’s ratings. This will enable you to make sure that the rider has a history of following Uber’s community guidelines. Anything below a four star rating should be a red flag.

Uber and Lyft encourage ratings for this very purpose, that both passengers and drivers should be able to check them and make wise decisions about who they’re willing to ride with.

2. Give Ratings

Of course, another way to guard safety, especially the safety of OTHER drivers, is to give detailed ratings when possible. You benefit from the ratings others have given, and you want to give the same benefit to other drivers and riders.

If you have reason to feel unsafe or even uncomfortable during a ride, don’t be afraid to rate that rider honestly. When you do this, you serve that rider with a warning, you protect other drivers, and you contribute to that rider being deactivate if their behavior doesn’t improve.

3. Take Care of Your Car

Just in terms of general safety, you should be sure that your car is always in excellent working condition when you’re getting ready to drive. Don’t put off taking it into the shop or getting your oil changed, and then set off to pick up total strangers.

It would be dangerous for both you and your passenger were you to break down in the middle of the ride no matter when it happens or who it is. But it would be especially dangerous were it to happen at night, with a passenger whom you already didn’t feel great about.

If there’s ever a time to be vigilant about the upkeep of your vehicle, it’s when you’re driving for Uber or Lyft. In fact, you must pass a 19-point vehicle inspection in order to drive for them, so keeping your car in excellent condition is kind of a no-brainer!

4. Choose Times Wisely

It may be that you don’t really have a choice about when you’re able to drive for Uber or Lyft, but if you do, we recommend driving during the safest times of day. Typically, conditions become less safe between the hours of 9:00PM and 5:00AM. Driving during the day means you’re less likely to run into someone who is drunk or who has questionable intentions.

If you do need to drive during these times, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place for what to do if you don’t feel safe. Have a person on call to answer if you need them and avoid areas that you know to be unsafe, and just generally follow your gut instincts.

5. Choose Areas Wisely

Aside from making sure you’re not driving during times that are less safe, it’s best to avoid areas where you might not feel safe. This might be the street with all the bars near campus, or a neighborhood with a known history of violence and crime. Whatever the case, if you don’t feel great about being there, it’s probably best to avoid it.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a very reliable navigation app to ensure you aren’t getting lost or turned around in an unfamiliar area.

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Cancel

When driving for Uber or Lyft, especially in the beginning, you can feel the pressure to never cancel on a rider. Obviously you want to receive good ratings, and you don’t want to risk being deactivated for frequent cancelling.

However, there is a good time to cancel, and if you feel at all unsafe when you arrive to pick up a rider, then that is the time. Don’t forget that you will be able to explain why you cancelled the trip, and don’t forget that your safety is obviously the most important factor in play.

Vickie Fagan, who wrote about being a female Uber driver, describes the one time she felt unsafe as being one she should have cancelled, in which the rider gave a false name and was not who he had described himself to be. Rather than a woman, she ended up picking up two men.

“You are not obliged to let someone into the car who does not match the name on the request,” she says.

7. Have a Plan For Inebriated Passengers

As most ridesharing drivers will tell you, there really isn’t a way to avoid the fact that you will pick up a drunk passenger from time to time. After all, one of the reasons people call Uber and Lyft is because they are unable to drive themselves, and being drunk certainly qualifies as a reason for that.

The first thing to remember is that this will often be more of an inconvenience than anything. Typically you aren’t in danger of much, except perhaps your car being puked in. In addition to having water and chargers available for passengers, maybe have some vomit bags on hand as well, just in case.

Secondly, you should, as we have already said, feel free to cancel if a passenger’s drunkenness seems dangerous in any way. If you arrive to pick someone up and they make any comments that are inappropriate, there is no need to let them in your car. However, if they simply seem too drunk to get themselves home, you just may need to put up with a few uncomfortable minutes.

8. Get Your Friends In On Your Safety

One of the best ways to feel and be safe while driving is getting others in on your safety. There are several ways you can do this.

  • Make sure someone always knows you are on duty. Just shoot a quick text letting them know you’ll be driving for the next several hours.
  • Use an app, such as Find My Friends, that will enable a friend or family member to keep tabs on your location. If you were to feel unsafe, they could find you quickly.
  • Check in when you get a moment between rides, and have a friend who is waiting for you to check in and will text when they don’t hear from you.

Related imageImage Source

These steps aren’t totally necessary, but they can do a lot for your peace of mind as you drive.

Another alternative to driving with Uber or Lyft is See Jane Go, which is a ride sharing company exclusively for women. This ensures that you always pick up a woman, allowing you to feel both safe and empowered at the same time.

9. Don’t Be Ruled By Fear

As much as we want to emphasize the need for taking safety precautions as you drive for Uber or Lyft, the truth is that it’s safer than you may realize, and you don’t want to spend all your time ruled by fear.

In another story, Fagan recounts some men getting in her car in the late afternoon, already drunk. She was nervous at first, but quickly realized they were both just excited because their team had just won a big game, and she ended up having a great ride with them.

It would be easy to give into being nervous about every passenger, but that’s not the solution. Instead, take all of the precautions we’ve mentioned so that you know you’ll be safe, and then trust that you’ve set yourself up for success.

Conclusion

Is it safe for women to drive with Uber and Lyft? Yes. It’s safe for women, just as it’s safe for men, if they are smart and protect themselves. Let’s face it, all of these things are true for all drivers, and everyone can benefit from having some safety tactics in place before deciding to drive with Uber or Lyft.

If you’re a woman and have been unsure about pursuing a career with Uber or Lyft, it’s wise to be concerned about safety, but we don’t think it should prevent you from experiencing a career that many have found to be ideal due to its flexibility, ease, and earning potential.

Be smart, have a plan, but above all, enjoy the ride.

HyreCar Vs. Turo: Best Platform to Rent Your Car?

If you’ve looked into driving for a ride-sharing service, such as Uber, or Lyft, then you know that it’s important to have a qualified vehicle in order to do so. While some can afford to pursue this with their current vehicle, many look into either leasing, buying, or renting a newer car in order to offer ride-sharing services.

Enter car-sharing rental services. Rather than spend the money on leasing a newer vehicle, or dealing with the upkeep and maintenance of your own, you can rent cars, not from car rental companies, such as Avis and Hertz, but from other people.

In many ways, it’s just the obvious extension of the ride-sharing idea. Why use an expensive taxi when I could just be a tap away from a car showing up to take me where I need to go? Why spend the money on a pricey rental service when there’s probably someone nearby willing to rent their car to me instead?

Two such companies are HyreCar and Turo. While the two companies offer similar services, there are definitely some differences in quality and trust. How do they measure up? Let’s talk about the main categories you should consider when choosing between the two.

HyreCar

How It Works

For Drivers: There are six basic steps you’ll take to rent a car from someone using HyreCar.

  1. Sign up using Facebook, Google or Email. HyreCar will verify your ridesharing status and eligibility in order to  approve you.
  2. Browse cars in your area.
  3. Find the car you like, and click “Book Now.” An owner has 24 hours to approve or decline your request.
  4. Arrange to pick up the car with the owner. Download and upload insurance, registration, and vehicle inspection to your ridesharing portal. Confirm the damage waiver and present your license.
  5. Earn Money while you drive by offering ridesharing services, such as Uber or Lyft. If you need to extend your rental, you can easily do that.
  6. Fill up the car with gas, drop it off with the owner, and make sure you rate them.

For Owners: Here are the four basic steps for renting out your car.

  1. Register your car with HyreCar. Get the vehicle inspected, upload your registration and upload some quality photos.
  2. You’ll receive a notification when someone wants to rent your car. Respond as quickly as possible. This is not only to ensure the happiness of the driver, but also to make sure another owner doesn’t respond first!
  3. Arrange to meet with your driver to hand over the keys. Make sure you check gas mileage and overall vehicle condition first!
  4. Meet your driver at the prearranged location, look over the vehicle, and rate your driver.

HyreCar’s cancellation policy is as follows:

For Drivers: cancellation is possible anytime prior to acceptance from the owner, and after booking (but before pick-up), cancellation will be allowed for reasonable issues. In both cases, a driver must contact HyreCar support.

For Owners: As long as insurance has not been issued, owner’s may cancel up to two times a month, by contacting HyreCar support, before being at risk for deactivation.

How Does Insurance Work?

HyreCar’s insurance policy is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. Here are the basics:

  • The insurance policy of Uber or Lyft trumps HyreCar’s policy while you have a passenger.
  • HyreCar’s policy is $10 a day (this is for drivers only).
  • You are required to have personal insurance at the state minimum.
  • The HyreCar policy covers up to $25,000 of vehicle damage, and up to $300,000 liability.
  • There is a $2,500 deductible for all damages for drivers.
  • It’s fairly similar to most ridesharing policies.
  • Insurance begins and ends at the start and end time of your rental. If you extend your rental, you’ll want to make sure your insurance coverage get’s extended as well.

What Do The Reviews Say?

According to this review by Harry over at The RideShare Guy, the experience with HyreCar was overwhelmingly positive. Highlights include:

  • Customer service was excellent and easy to access.
  • Trust and safety were established through HyreCar’s scam vetting process.
  • There are some luxury vehicles available, but the majority are affordable cars that are well-suited for the purpose of ridesharing.
  • Costs of maintenance and depreciation are built into the price of the rental, rather than being covered by you (were you to use your own vehicle for ridesharing.
  • It provides flexibility: it’s fairly easy and quick to get in and out of rentals.

As far as any negatives, Harry’s main complaint was that it’s not a great long-term solution for those looking to pursue a career in ridesharing, being less cost-effective over time.

Turo

How It Works

For Drivers: Turo works similarly to HyreCar in this way. Here are the five steps for drivers.

  1. Create an account with Facebook, Gmail, or your email account and wait for approval.
  2. Once approved, search for cars in your area.
  3. Book your vehicle (some cars have a “Book Instantly” option). Owners have up to 8 hours to respond to your request.
  4. Arrange for vehicle pick up with the owner. You can also have the car delivered for a fee. Present your license at pick up.
  5. Return the car at the location you’ve arranged with the owner, after filling the car up with gas.

For Owners: Four easy steps for owners.

  1. Create a free account, describe your car and upload photos, and keep a calendar of car availability updated for potential drivers.
  2. Respond quickly when you get a request for your car.
  3. Check your car and gas mileage, and meet with your driver at the arranged location. Make sure you check their license.
  4. Pick your car back up from the driver at the arranged time and location. Make sure you rate them when it’s all done!

Turo’s cancellation policy is as follows:

For Drivers: 100% of the trip price will be refunded up to seven days before the trip. After that, 90% of the trip price is refunded, and if the cancellation is less than 24 hours before the trip, there is no refund. The trip FEE is non-refundable one hour after booking.

For Owners: Owners must notify Turo and the traveler of cancellation at least 72 hours in advance. If it is less than this, they incur a $50 a charge, and risk being removed from the marketplace.

How Does Insurance Work?

Turo’s Insurance policy is a bit more complicated than HyreCar’s. Here are some basic things you’d want to know, although you may want to take a deeper dive if you’re planning on driving or renting with them.

  • You DO need to have your own personal insurance in order to register your car with Turo as an owner.
  • Turo offers 4 insurance options for coverage: Owner Provided, Basic, Standard, and Premium.
  • Owner Provided: Commercial insurance must be provided before the rental and approved by Turo.
  • Basic: Liability coverage up to the minimum required by the state where the car is registered. Physical damage deductible is $3000.
  • Standard: No Physical damage deductible. Does not cover loss of income or exterior wear and tear.
  • Premium: “Liability coverage up to $1,000,000; physical damage to the car covered up to the actual cash value of the car. In each case, coverage is secondary to any other insurance you may already have. There is no deductible for the supplemental liability coverage; for the physical damage protection, once you’ve exhausted your own insurance for physical damage, your out-of-pocket exposure is limited to $500.
  • Owner Provided allows the owner to keep 90% of the trip price.
  • Basic coverage costs 15% of the trip price (10% in Canada).
  • Standard coverage costs 25% of the trip price.
  • Premium coverage costs 35% of the trip price.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Over at RideSharingDriver, a blogger reviewed his experience with Turo:

If you’re looking to rent a luxury vehicle for a decent price, Turo is a decent competitor with the big name rental companies.
The insurance situation was somewhat confusing, and this blogger admittedly just chose the basic package without really thinking about it.
The owner responded to his request within 20 minutes.
There were a lot of cars to choose from.
It was easy to search for and select a car.
Coordinating with an owner is a little more work than a general rental would be, which may not appeal to some.
Because of added fees (insurance protection, gas, delivery fees), the listed price may not be reflective of your actual total.

Summary: How Do HyreCar and Turo Compare?

Both HyreCar and Turo have some strengths and weaknesses (all companies do!), but if you’re looking to use a car rental for ridesharing purposes, we think HyreCar is the smarter option.

Turo is meant to be a substitute for your regular car rental service, which might make it a good choice for a weekend drive or a business trip, but makes it less ideal if you’re hoping to use it to make money with Uber or Lyft. There are two main reasons for this:

First, Turo’s insurance policy is far more complex, and far less cost-effective than HyreCar’s. Because of this, drivers may be compelled to make an unwise decision about what coverage to choose, and the last thing you want is to put yourself, or your passengers in danger. If you do choose the premium coverage, you’re significantly increasing the cost of your rental, meaning more work to make up the difference.

Second, HyreCar’s cancellation policy is more geared toward those intending to use their rental for ridesharing, so it’s more conducive to that purpose. For Turo, there is zero chance of refund if a driver cancels less than a day in advance, and for owners, it’s three days.

If you’re looking into car rentals for your ridesharing business, we recommend HyreCar, and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed!