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.

19 Tips For Success with Uber and Lyft

Drivers for Uber and Lyft are always looking for new ways to achieve success. Whether you’re considering becoming a rideshare driver, you’ve just started out, or you’ve been at it for quite some time, most drivers are open to tips that will enable them to become even more successful.

Success as a driver depends on a multitude of factors, so even if you’ve mastered certain elements, there may be things you haven’t tried that could improve your performance. From taking classes to offering snacks to logging miles to recruiting new drivers, here are 19 tips that can help you take your career as an Uber or Lyft driver to the next level.

19 Tips For Success with Uber and Lyft

1. Take a Class

Driving a car to make money may seem like a fairly self-explanatory job, but many people find it incredibly helpful to take a course before beginning their career with Lyft or Uber.

When you start driving, it may be difficult knowing where to begin. With a course like Maximum Ridesharing Profits – created by Harry from therideshareguy.com – you’ll spend some extra money, but get a big return on your investment when you learn about when and where to find riders, surge pricing, strategies, record keeping, and much more.

2. Be a Rider

Believe it or not, one of the best things you can do to improve your skills as a driver is to first experience Uber or Lyft as a rider. By taking even a handful of rides you can learn a lot. Aside from simply observing what you do or don’t like about how drivers work, you can also ask drivers questions and learn more about the profession before you begin.

Ask your driver what they’ve learned, what they like, specifics about driving in your city, and how much they make. Most drivers will be happy to discuss their experiences, and you’ll get information straight from the source.

3. Understand Insurance

Insurance isn’t usually foremost in a driver’s mind when they begin, but it will matter a lot if you are in an accident. You want to make sure that you are covered if this happens. While Uber and Lyft both provide insurance coverage for while you are driving, you’ll still want to check with your insurance provider to make sure you’re fully covered.

Once you’ve spoken with your own insurance provider, you may want to contact some others as well for comparison. Certain companies, like Geico, are now offering insurance specifically tailored to rideshare drivers.

4. Drive and Sell

You know how you can make purchases on your flight by flipping through Sky Mall? Well, imagine something similar for your riders, only you take the profits home.

Vendigo was developed to help drivers earn even more by allowing their passengers to check out the latest tech products, snacks, and other items during their ride, and having the option of purchasing if they’re interested.

If you’re ready to take your driving to the next level, advertising products during your rides could offer you an opportunity to up your profits with very little effort.

5. Take Advantage of Surge Pricing and Prime Time (When it Makes Sense)

Surge pricing (Uber), or Prime Time (Lyft), are times when the demand for rides goes up, and supply of drivers goes down, meaning that the rate charged for a ride increases. Taking advantage of these times can lead to the potential for higher earnings for drivers.

You’ll see varying opinions on this. Some say that surge and prime time end up wasting your time, as the flood of responding drivers make it even harder to find riders. Some say to take advantage of it if it’s occurring in the area you are already driving. The best thing you can do is try it out a few times and see if it works for you.

Tips For Success with Uber and Lyft

6. Stay in the City If You Can

You may not be driving in a bigger city, in which case this wouldn’t apply. But if you are in a bigger city, staying in the city, as opposed to driving out to suburbs, is a smarter move for drivers. There are simply more people looking for rides in the bustle of the city, and you’ll get more riders, and thus earn more, by sticking with the more crowded areas.

7. Take Advantage of Referrals and Signup Bonuses

Both Uber and Lyft offer bonuses for new drivers. The great thing about this is that the bonus is for both the new driver and the existing driver who has referred them. There are some contingencies to this, so you’ll want to read up on the specifics, but this is a great way to earn more as a driver.

If you’re currently driving for Uber or Lyft, get referrals out there to friends and acquaintances. If you’re considering driving for one of these companies, make sure you use a referral code when you sign up.

8. Drive For Both Companies at Once

Once you’ve got some experience as a driver, you may want to consider driving for both Uber and Lyft at the same time. By making yourself available with both companies, you can increase your number of rides and thus increase earnings.

Many people do this, but it does take some strategy, so be sure to read this guide on how to successfully drive for both companies before trying it yourself.

9. Offer Supplementary Items

To make the ride as comfortable and enjoyable for passengers as possible, offer supplementary items. Successful drivers have items like bottled water, snacks, gum, and chargers for mobile devices on hand. By offering these to riders, you can improve the likelihood of a high rating.

10. Keep Good Records

A lot of what makes for a successful driver has to do with strategy and impressing riders, but behind the scenes you’ve got to be a good record keeper to do well. As an Uber or Lyft driver, you are self employed, and come tax season you’ll want to be prepared.

Keep receipts for things like tolls and parking, track your miles for deductions, and track your earnings so you know how much you can expect to pay in April. Thankfully, there are some great apps available to make this process smooth and easy for drivers. Check out this list of the best mileage tracking apps.

19 Tips For Success with Uber and Lyft

11. Drive Less, Earn More

A common mistake made by drivers is actually driving too much. Every bit of gas used counts against your earnings. Between rides, don’t drive aimlessly around. Instead, find a location that works well for you and park there between rides to save money.

12. Check the Passenger App

If you’ve taken a few rides with Uber or Lyft yourself, you know that the passenger app will tell you how many drivers are in your area. If you’re driving, you can check the passenger app to find out if you’re in a driver heavy area and go elsewhere if that’s the case. This simple step can ensure that you aren’t waiting for riders in the company of 10 other eager drivers.

13. Get Plenty of Sleep

This is an important tip for employees in any industry, but is particularly important if you are responsible for the safety of other people. As a driver, it’s crucial that you be alert and energized. Not getting enough sleep makes your job harder and less safe.

Consistently get 7-8 hours of sleep and you’ll feel healthier, energized, and provide better service as a driver.

14. Take Breaks

No one should work nonstop without taking breaks, and that includes Uber and Lyft drivers. If you’re driving during a busy time, it can be tempting to simply forego a break, but taking even a short one every once in awhile is important.

Turn off the app, get out of your car, stretch your legs, and grab a snack. You’ll have more energy and be a better driver because of it.

15. Be Safe

When you’re driving for Uber and Lyft, one of the most important things you can do is make sure you are pursuing safety for everyone involved. Ensure that you and your riders are safe by doing the following:

  • Have regular maintenance done on your vehicle.
  • Keep a first aid kit in the car.
  • Use a phone mount so you aren’t distracted by handling your phone.
  • Be wise about when and where to pick up riders.
  • Report riders who act inappropriately.

Tips For Success with Uber and Lyft

16. Rent or Lease To Drive

In order to be successful as a driver, you need a fairly new vehicle that is in good overall condition. The nicer and newer your car is, the higher the service you can apply to drive for with Uber and Lyft.

If your own vehicle isn’t up to standard, you can actually rent a car, or lease one, in order to drive. Using HyreCar, you can easily rent someone else’s unused vehicle and use it to drive with Uber or Lyft. The process is painless, and you’re able to earn money without the hassle of owning a vehicle.

17. Keep Your Car Clean

Keep ratings high by making sure your car is always clean for riders. This means you should regularly check to make sure your riders haven’t left anything behind, including trash or dirt carried by shoes. You may want to invest in having your car detailed before you begin driving in order to start out with your car in top shape.

18. Have Music On Hand

Your passengers won’t always want to listen to music, but if they do, offering a variety of selections can be a way to give your riders a better experience and increase the likelihood of a high rating. Make sure you have the music ready to go so you aren’t distracted by doing this while driving.

You can also make it possible for your passengers to listen to their own music by having an auxiliary cord on hand so that they can connect their own devices to your sound system.

19. Be Friendly!

Last but not least, the best drivers are friendly drivers! Take the time to chat with your passengers and show them that you care about their experience. You’d be surprised at how far this goes toward good ratings and success as a driver.
Follow these 20 tips and you’ll be on your way to success as a driver with Uber and Lyft in no time!

The Difference Between UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, and UberBLACK Cars

If you are new to the Uber ridesharing service, some of the options and terminology can be confusing. You’ll see terms like UberX and UberSelect. What is the difference between Uber and UberX, you might wonder?

Actually, there is no difference between UberX and Uber – UberX is simply a level of service that Uber offers.

Uber offers a variety of service options. They range from cheaper, economy rides to luxury rides. These levels of service have various names, such as POOL, UberX, UberSELECT, UberXL, UberBLACK, UberSUV, and UberLUX.

If this is still confusing you, don’t worry, we’ll break this down for you.

These various Uber ride options in part describe the different types of Uber cars that are available. They generally delineate between economy cars and luxury cars, as well as larger cars that can hold more people.

Additionally, some Uber options designate rides that will be shared (POOL or UberPOOL), while others indicate accessibility for wheelchairs (UberACCESS or WAV). UberX + Car Seat offers a family-friendly option.

Uber’s 4 Basic Levels of Service

The Difference Between UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, and UberBLACK Cars

We understand that all of this can be a little overwhelming in the beginning, but what’s important to know is that Uber has four basic levels of service: Economy, Premium, Accessibility, and Carpool. Before signing on to the app and choosing a ride, understanding these options will make your ride choices a lot easier.

1. Economy

Want a private ride for the least amount of money? This is your option.

While the Uber website describes their economy rides as “affordable, everyday rides for up to four people,” this is a little misleading. Economy options includes UberX and UberXL, and with UberXL, you can get a ride for up to six people.

Note: UberSELECT is listed as an economy option on Uber’s website, but is also shown as a premium option in the app. It could be considered the “economy” luxury option.

2. Premium

Premium rides are Uber’s higher-end luxury ridesharing options. These rides will cost a little extra, sometimes twice as much or more than UberX. The driver will pick you up in a luxury car such as a BMW, Mercedes, or high-end SUV. Options include UberBLACK, UberSUV, and UberLUX.

3. Accessibility

Accessibility options are for people with wheelchairs and families who need car seats for child riders. Services include UberACCESS, WAV, and UberX + Car Seat. These options will also cost a little more than a standard UberX ride.

4. Carpool

UberPOOL (sometimes called POOL) rides are shared rides with other people who are headed in the same direction. This is the cheapest, but slowest option.

As with using a shuttle to go to the airport, you will have to wait while the Uber driver picks up and drops off other passengers on the way to your destination. It is also not always available when you might need it.

How Uber Ride Options Differ in Each Uber City

The Difference Between UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, and UberBLACK Cars

Each Uber city (or metropolitan coverage area) offers different services. Very large cities such as Los Angeles might offer almost all the options. Many offer their own unique combination of ride types with different names.

For example, Austin, Texas offers UberPOOL, UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, UberACCESS, and LUX. Baltimore, Maryland offers UberX, UberXL, UberBLACK, and UberSUV, while Tampa, Florida currently only offers UberX, UberXL, and UberSELECT.

Uber’s options vary in each city in part due to the general demographics and market service. High-end luxury ridesharing services will be more in demand in cities with rich clientele available.

You don’t need to remember all of the various option names to use Uber. When you book your ride in the app, you will be shown available options in your city. Services that are unavailable entirely in your city won’t be shown at all. Services in the app that are greyed out indicate that a driver with that type of car is not available at that time. Generally, UberX will always have some available drivers nearby.

A Look at 4 of Uber’s Most Popular Services

The Difference Between UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, and UberBLACK Cars

Since each metropolitan area that Uber covers offers its own unique Uber services, we will only touch on four of the most commonly used Uber services here. Uber lists the types of services and cars it offers for each metropolitan area in its city pages.

1. UberX

If you are an average person using Uber, you are likely to use UberX as your go-to service. This is Uber’s economy option, which includes travel in a four-door sedan for one to four riders.

2. UberXL

UberXL is what it sounds like, an “extra-large” version of Uber. This is for people who are traveling with a lot of luggage that requires extra storage space, or parties of four to six people. The cars driven will be SUVs and vans.

3. UberSELECT

UberSELECT can a bit confusing because, as mentioned above, it is listed on Uber’s website as an “economy” service, but in the Uber app, it is a “premium” service. This service is basically a step up from UberX. Better cars will be used (such as an Audi or a Lexus vs. a Honda),prices will be a bit higher, and the drivers are highly rated.

4. UberBLACK

UberBLACK is also called simply BLACK in some cities. This is “The original Uber” – what Uber first offered when it launched. Why is it called black? Because the high-end cars employed all black. This is to offer a professional, classy service for executives and others who want a sophisticated profile.

The Uber black car vs. a basic UberX car provides that extra level of distinction that may be just what is needed for an important business meeting, event, or date night.

The other main difference between UberX and UberBLACK is not just the cars but the drivers. With UberBLACK, you get professional drivers. While Uber’s website doesn’t expand upon what exactly makes the drivers “professional,” in the least, you can expect a high-rated driver for this service.

For Most Rides, Using UberX Is Your Best Option

For the average rider who does not need extra accessibility options or a high-end car, UberX is your best everyday ridesharing option. If you need more room for more people or stuff, get UberXL. For a higher level of service, try UberSELECT. And if you want to really impress your date, get UberBLACK.

The Comprehensive Guide to Renting with HyreCar

Uber and Lyft are taking off.

It’s the new way to make a good, consistent income. You get to work on your watch, enjoy flexible hours and meet different, interesting people every day.

However, you need a car. Since you will need a car to work, having one is a pretty vital aspect of working for either company, right? If you don’t have a car, you might have already dismissed the idea. No car, no work.

That’s where HyreCar comes in.

HyreCar is a peer-to-peer car sharing market place that allows local car owners to rent their idle vehicles to Uber and Lyft drivers safely, securely and reliably. It’s an extremely efficient system that allows this process to be simple and straightforward.

So if you’re considering driving for Uber or Lyft, this is the place to start.

If you haven’t already started the application process to work for either company, make sure you do it as soon as you can. It’s an in-depth process, so being as prepared as possible will help things run smoothly.

To get the ball rolling with Uber or Lyft, just click here:

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to get renting with HyreCar.

The Comprehensive Guide to Renting with HyreCar

Things to Know

Before we dive right into the step-by-step process, let’s take a look at the reasons why HyreCar is the rental company to go with:

  • We are contract-free. There’s nothing you need to sign and commit to. The process is easy, flexible and hassle-free. To get your first booking started, head over to our marketplace.
  • To make the commitment even less frightening, we do car rentals on a day-to-day basis. This means if you haven’t worked for Uber or Lyft before, you can give it a chance and rent a car with us to see if you like it. If you don’t, you can return the car after a couple of days, no strings attached.
  • We have an extensive range of cars to choose from. This gives you options to explore Uber and Lyft’s various services and decide on the type of vehicle that’s going to suit you best.
  • Since we have an open marketplace, our car owners decide the prices of their vehicles. This means they are competing against one another, which ensures you get an affordable, economical price for your rented car.
  • Insurance is already covered. We don’t charge extra for coverage – it’s already factored into the final price you pay.
  • Speaking of insurance, it’s full coverage. This means that if you have an accident, you’re entirely covered – no fine print.
  • Most vehicle owners set high mileage caps (or none at all). This means you can work longer shifts without accumulating hidden costs.

Now that we’re clear on the basics, let’s get into the step-by-step guide that will show you how to rent a car through HyreCar.

The Step-By-Step Process of Renting a Car Through Us:

The Comprehensive Guide to Renting with HyreCar

Step 1: Decide on a Car

  1. Visit HyreCar.com to see the full range of vehicles we have available and decide which one you would like to rent. It’s extremely user-friendly.
  2. You will see an orange tag on top of the image of the car that says “Book Now.” Click here to book the vehicle of your choosing.
  3. It will then ask you to input the dates you would like to rent the car for. Remember, you have to rent the car for a minimum of two days.

Note: Feel free to book 5-10 cars that you like – you will only be charged for the first vehicle you are approved for. By doing this, you only increase your chances of getting on the road exactly when you want to.

The Comprehensive Guide to Renting with HyreCar

Step 2: Background Check, Deposit, and Required Documents

  1. You will now be asked to put in your payment information. Please note that if you’re using a debit card, an additional $200 will be held as a fully refundable deposit.
  2. Once you confirm the booking, we will run a quick background check (for new drivers only), which normally takes a few hours.
  3. Once your application is approved by the car owner, you will receive the three documents that you will be required to upload to your Uber and/or Lyft driver accounts. The three documents include: vehicle registration, 19-point inspection, and your rideshare insurance.

Note: Your insurance will be sent to you 24 hours before you are scheduled to pick up your vehicle. If you decide to pay with a credit card, you will not be charged the $200 deposit, but we will simply keep the card on file for any incidentals that may occur.

The Comprehensive Guide to Renting with HyreCar

Step 3: Pick up your Car

Now for the part where you start making some money:

  1. Make sure you have your documents uploaded and verified by Uber and/or Lyft prior to picking up the vehicle so that you can start making money as soon as you pick up.
  2. You’ll need to get in touch with the car owner and arrange a day and time to meet so you can pick up the car.
  3. Do a thorough walk-around inspection of the vehicle to ensure there is no damage to the car before you start driving it – this will avoid any misdirected blame. You can even take photos of any surface damage or dents to protect yourself further.

If you’ve done the steps above, then your car is road ready!

The Comprehensive Guide to Renting with HyreCar

Step 4: Extending your Rental Time or Returning your Car

You’ve got two options when your rental time is up – either extend your rental or return it.

Extending your rental is effortless. All you have to do is go to your driver dashboard on our website, find your current rental, and click the button that says “extend.” You may choose to extend your rental daily, weekly, or monthly – the option is yours! The best thing about it is the insurance gets automatically extended, so there’s nothing else you need to do but keep making money.

If you would prefer not to renew your rental time and return the car, you need to arrange your drop off time and day with the owner. After you meet and the owner does a walk-around inspection of the vehicle, they will click “confirm drop-off” either through our app or on our website. It is essential that you do this – otherwise you risk being charged late fees.

Starting out your career with HyreCar is only just the beginning.

Before you know it, you’ll be making a regular income and enjoying curious conversations with interesting people, all from the comfort of your rented car.

There’ll be no shortage of exciting work stories.

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements

Do you want to make some extra money for the holidays? Or maybe for a full-time income? Then consider becoming a Lyft or Uber driver.

The two big ridesharing companies in the USA both offer you the opportunity to do so by giving rides to people in your part of the country whenever you have some time to spare.

So, what are the car requirements for Uber and Lyft? Do you qualify to be a driver? To see if you are likely to qualify to join either of these ridesharing companies, check out the requirements below.

Note: If your car doesn’t meet these requirements, you can always rent one from us!

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements
Uber Car Requirements

What kind of car do you need for Uber? How old can your car be to drive for Uber? To join Uber’s budget ridesharing scheme (UberX), you need a car that meets their requirements in full. There is no comprehensive Uber cars list, but if your vehicle meets the UberX driver car requirements listed below, you are probably good to go:

  • Vehicle Age – What year car do you need for Uber? Year 2000 or newer. Uber year requirements vary from city to city. Year 2000 Uber car models are the oldest currently allowed, but the threshold could be 2001, 2005, 2007, or even 2011, depending on where exactly you live.
  • In-State Plates – No out-of-state plates are allowed. You need to own a car that complies with state vehicle regulations. Any car that has in-state plates will obviously be suitable in this respect.
  • Current Registration – To make absolutely sure that the plates on your car are legitimate, UberX car requirements state that your vehicle needs to be currently registered.
  • Configuration – All UberX car models must be a four-door sedan and be able to seat four or more passengers comfortably.

All vehicles must pass the Uber driver car requirements test before they can be used.

Find out what car qualifies for Uber.

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements
Different Car Types for Uber’s 4 Tiers of Service

What are the different types of Uber? Uber has four basic levels of service: Economy, Premium, Accessibility, and Carpool. For Uber’s Economy services (which include UberX and UberXL), you’ll need a clean, recent-model, four-door car that meets the requirements above.

UberXL is a service that offers more room for additional luggage and people. If you have a van or SUV that is one of the approved UberXL car models, you could make more money. UberXL year requirements are the same as for the UberX service.

If you want to drive for Uber’s premium services, such as UberSELECT, UberBLACK, or UberLUX, you will need an approved luxury car. UberBLACK has an additional requirement that the car is painted black.

(If you have an extra car that meets these requirements and you’re not utilizing it much, you can make money renting it out to other Uber drivers. I highly recommend listing it on our site.)

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements
Uber Driver Requirements

In order to qualify as a driver, you need to meet the Uber driving requirements. These are not particularly onerous, but they are designed to exclude inexperienced or dangerous drivers from the pool. The basic UberX driver requirements are as follows:

  • Age – 21 or over
  • Experience – Three years or more
  • Driving Record – Clean

If you meet the above requirements, you will then need to pass a background check before you are approved.

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements
Lyft Car Requirements

The Lyft driver car requirements are more specific than those for Uber but generally speaking, if you own a four-door sedan in good condition, your vehicle is probably one of the approved Lyft car types. The following requirements are accurate as at the time of writing but may change in the future:

  • Vehicle Age – 2003 or newer. As with UberX year requirements, there are some exceptions: In Seattle, Portland, Washington D.C., or Minneapolis-St. Paul, local government regulations mean that Lyft year requirements in these areas are stricter – no vehicles over 10 years old. In Pittsburgh, the limit is 8 years.
  • Licensing – Current registration, with in-state plates.
  • Tires – The tires on your vehicle need to have sufficient tread. Lyft requires you to perform the penny test on each one and send photographic evidence before they will approve your car.
  • Windows – You need to have functional windows on all doors and a windshield with no big cracks anywhere, and absolutely no cracks at all that may obscure the driver’s vision.
  • Windshield Wipers – Front and rear wipers need to be in good working order.
  • Seat Belts – All approved Lyft car models have at least four passenger seat belts (in addition to the driver’s seat belt), and all of them must be functioning properly in order for your car to pass muster.
  • Front Seat Adjustment – The front seats in your vehicle need to move forwards and backward as designed.
  • Car Doors – Your vehicle must have four doors, all of which should open and close without issue – from both the outside and the inside. Your passengers must be able to lock and unlock their doors without assistance.
  • Climate Control – Your vehicle’s heating and air-conditioning systems need to be functioning properly.

Makes and models Lyft has previously approved include the Toyota Tacoma, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Sonic, and Ford Expedition. Any car with less than four doors or that is not roadworthy will be disqualified.

There is no official list of Lyft-approved models, just as there is no UberX cars list, so you will have to judge for yourself – using the criteria above – whether your vehicle is likely to be approved.

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements
Different Car Types for Lyft’s 5 Tiers of Service

Like Uber, Lyft offers levels of service to provide economy options for the budget-minded and luxury options for people wanting a nicer ride. Lyft’s five tiers of service are Line (carpool), Lyft (standard service), Plus (more room via SUVs and vans), Lux (luxury) and Lux SUV (luxury SUV).

As with Uber, if you have a luxury car such as a BMW or Lexus that meets the requirements, you can potentially drive for Lyft’s premium services and earn more money.

Uber/Lyft Car and Driver Requirements
Lyft Driver Requirements

If you are fairly certain that your car will be approved, it’s time to take a look at your own credentials. The following is a summary of the Lyft driver requirements:

  • Age – 21 or over.
  • Experience – Must have held a current driving license for at least one year.
  • Driving Record – You must have a clean record.
  • Insurance – You need a valid insurance policy.
  • Phone – You need to own a recent model smart phone.

Earn Money by Driving for Uber or Lyft

If you qualify for either or both of these ridesharing schemes, you could make a substantial amount of money driving your car on a part- or full-time basis. If you have your own car, you can get started immediately making money with Uber and Lyft. If you don’t have a suitable car, you can easily rent a car through our website and start earning cash quickly!

How Safe are Uber and Lyft For Drivers

Before applying to drive with Uber or Lyft, the number one question many have is whether or not it’s worth the safety risk. In an internet and social media driven age, we all get a front row seat to the worst stories, and it can leave people wary about the ridesharing profession.

In fact, Who’s Driving You is a website that was established with the express purpose of making sure every Uber or Lyft related accident or safety incident is reported for the whole world to see. When you take a look at a site like this, the situation seems pretty grim for drivers.

When Uber and Lyft have been asked to comment on these sorts of incidents in the past, they usually respond with the statistics, pointing out that safety incidents are actually a pretty small percentage when compared with the total number of rides being given.

Which is true, then? Is rideshare driving terribly dangerous? Or is it not really as bad as some people claim? When it comes to safety, the two main contributors are the drivers and the riders. We’ll look at some of main issues that impact how safe or unsafe a ride is, and share some of our biggest safety tips for drivers.

  How Safe are Uber and Lyft For Drivers
Drivers

When thinking about safety, you may be primarily considering the riders you’ll be transporting, but in actuality, one of the biggest dangers of rideshare driving can come from the drivers themselves. If you think about it, this makes sense, as accidents are often caused by distracted drivers, and Uber and Lyft drivers have distractions coming at them from every angle.

To take just one state as an example, The New York Post reported that “As the number of people using for-hire car services like Uber has increased in New York, so, too, has the number of accidents. Crashes involving the for-hire vehicles have more than tripled over the past two years — from 534 in July 2014 to 1,672 in June 2016.”

These accidents are sometimes the fault of other drivers, but there are certainly contributing factors from Uber and Lyft drivers. How can you avoid this danger as a driver? There are several steps you can take to make sure you aren’t distracted, and therefore susceptible to accidents.

Use Apps Sparingly

There is no shortage of apps available to drivers, and these apps can be incredibly useful. From mileage tracking to mapping to expense logging, apps can help you keep all of your information in one place.

However, these apps can sometimes distract you from the task at hand – namely, driving. At no point should you be loading information or swapping between apps while driving, unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Be Strategic About Driving for Both Companies

Many people choose to drive for both Uber and Lyft simultaneously. This increases your opportunities and enables you to drive and make more in a given period of time. However, this process can be a little complex, and getting used to it takes some practice.

If you intend to drive for both companies, have a plan in place for navigating the complexities in a safe way. Check out our guide for how to drive for both Uber and Lyft without compromising your safety, or that of your riders.

Use a Phone Mount

One of the most helpful accessories you can purchase as a driver is a phone mount. Because you will need to glance at your phone periodically to make sure you are headed in the right direction, you want to make sure it impacts your focus on the road as little as possible.

Putting your phone on a mount in the car means you can glance at it to make sure you’re on track without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes too far off the road. Also, don’t make or answer phone calls unless it’s absolutely necessary. And, of course, don’t text and drive. It’s not only dangerous, but illegal in all but three states.

Have Everything in Place

One of the keys to being a successful rideshare driver is giving your riders a pleasant experience. In an effort to do this, many drivers will offer snacks, bottled water, a phone charger, gum, or other items to their riders.

Having these available is a nice touch, but it’s not helpful if you’re rummaging around looking for those items when you should be driving. Make sure all of these things are easily accessible to your riders so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Be Pleasant, But Stay Focused

The best way to ensure a high rating from a rider is to have pleasant interactions with them. Chat, make sure they’re happy and don’t need anything, but don’t forget that your main job is to get them from point A to point B. Don’t let conversation distract you from that.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Top Shape

This may go without saying, but it’s important to be sure your car has regular maintenance and is a safe ride for both you and your passengers. While this maintenance can be costly, it is also a tax deductible item for rideshare drivers, so make sure you record it for tax purposes.

Some opt to rent a car to drive, and services like HyreCar make it easy for you to rent someone else’s vehicle in order to driver for Uber or Lyft. You may also consider a lease, which many prefer over purchasing a vehicle.

How Safe are Uber and Lyft For DriversRiders

Even if you do all of the above and know that you are taking every precaution to drive safely, there is no way to guarantee that the riders who get into your vehicle are safe as well. This is of concern to many potential drivers, particularly women. In fact, Forbes reported that the number of female drivers is low, and the main reason is safety concern.

In order to drive for Uber or Lyft, you must go through an extensive background check, but the same isn’t true for the riders. Here are some things you can do to be prepared to handle riders who diminish the safety of your profession.

Be Wise About Locations

While you want to be available in areas of your city that traffic highly in ridesharing, you should also be discerning about where you are offering rides, even if that means giving up a few rides.

If you know that an area has a higher crime or drug use rate than other areas, it may be smarter to avoid those areas, or at least be careful about what times of day you are available there.

Be Wise About Times

Speaking of times, not all times of day are equal when it comes to the safety of ridesharing. Many people do the bulk of their driving for Uber and Lyft in the evenings, as it is a secondary source of income for them. If this is the case for you, just know that you will need to be cautious.

One of the most common reasons someone will call an Uber or Lyft ride late into the evening is because they are too intoxicated to drive themselves. Be on your guard, and if this makes you uncomfortable, consider driving earlier if possible.

Don’t Be Afraid to Decline a Rider

Many drivers, especially when they are first starting out, are so concerned with getting good ratings, and meeting the quota to earn their bonuses, that they will accept every rider who comes along.

You should know that safety is always more important than ratings. If you feel that a rider is not safe for any reason, decline them, and if you feel it’s necessary, report the incident to Uber or Lyft. A few examples of when you may want to decline a rider:

  • If the rider you meet is not the rider who scheduled the ride; make sure the names match.
  • If the rider is trying to bring someone (or multiple people) along without warning.
  • If the rider is intoxicated and seems to be belligerent, or acting inappropriately.

Encourage Backseat Riding

You do not have to allow passengers to sit in the front seat with you, and you may want to avoid it for your own feelings of safety and distance from the rider. If you keep items in your front seat for your riders, then you can simply point to this as a reason for them to ride in the back.

UberPool and Lyft Line

With UberPool and Lyft Line services, you add an extra element of complexity to your drive. More stops plus more passengers equals more distractions. All of the above recommendations for drivers become even more important when you add these elements in.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are various factors that contribute to the level of safety you experience as an Uber or Lyft driver. Due to the nature of the job, there are certain safety concerns that cannot be avoided, but being a smart driver and practicing discretion with riders can go a long way in making you feel safe in this profession.

How To Become an Uber Black Driver

If you’re a driver for Uber, then you know that there are vehicle requirements set by the company. As you might expect, the higher end the service, the newer and nicer the vehicle must be.

The highest end of this is UberBLACK, Uber’s service that enables riders to choose a luxury sedan or SUV. It is significantly more expensive than UberX, XL and Plus, and is thus the highest earning market for Uber drivers.

You may hear that and think, “sign me up!” However, becoming an Uber Black driver requires a little more than simple effort. First, its drivers are required to have commercial licensing and registration, which isn’t required by any of the other Uber services. Second, the Uber Black cars must meet strict luxury requirements, which is restrictive for many drivers.

Just because it’s restrictive, though, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’ve set your sights on becoming a driver with Uber Black, here’s everything you need to know to make it happen.

How To Become an Uber Black DriverWhat’s the Benefit?

While Uber Black takes a little more time and financial investment to get into, there is a definite return on investment for those willing to put in regular hours as a driver for Uber’s higher end service.

By comparing Uber Black rates to UberX (Uber’s basic service), you can see how much your earning power increases when driving a black car.

On average, with UberX, the price per mile cost is $0.40. With Uber Black, this goes up to $7.22, which is eighteen times as much. Per minute, the price goes from $.97 to $3.33, earning you three times more for your time than you’d normally make.

This is why Uber Black can be a lucrative choice, particularly for those who have already fulfilled the below requirements.

How To Become an Uber Black DriverUber Black’s Driving Requirements

Licensing and Registration

The main difference between all other Uber services and Uber Black are the commercial registration and insurance requirements. It’s similar to regular services in that you still need a vehicle inspection, driver’s license, photos of your vehicle, and a background check in order to begin driving.

A commercial driver’s license, or CDL, is different from a typical driver’s license. According to Uber’s website, “to get a CDL, a driver must demonstrate that they possess the physical ability and expertise to operate a commercial vehicle. CDL holders are held to higher standards of safety compared to the general driving public. This means that any serious traffic violations on your record could jeopardize or terminate your CDL certification.”

If you decide to get a CDL, it can take anywhere from two weeks to several months depending on the program. The cost is typically between $100 and $300. Getting a CDL requires extra training and courses, so you’ll need to be prepared to invest some time and energy into the process.

Insurance

As with personal vehicle insurance, commercial insurance protects the driver and covers liability in the event of an accident. However, commercial insurance is more expensive than typical personal insurance. The Department of Motor Vehicles explains it this way:

“You may find that commercial auto insurance companies will only sell limits that are higher than state- or federally-mandated limits. This is because insurance companies consider the everyday use of commercial vehicles to carry with it  than personal vehicle use. As a result, the legal minimum limits are often not sufficient to cover commercial liability.”

Covering those higher limits means you pay more, so this is something to take into consideration if you are thinking of pursuing qualification as an Uber Black driver.

Airport Permits

In many cities, Uber Black drivers are required to have airport permits as well. Even if it isn’t required, it may be something you want to invest in if you are an Uber Black driver.

Airports are often central to the success of an Uber Black driver. Wealthier clients want a better experience for their stay in a city, so they usually choose Uber Black over a regular service.

However, airport permits aren’t cheap, and they can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to acquire. Check with your airport to find out what’s required in order to get a permit, as some require you to take a class, or fill out large amounts of paperwork.

How To Become an Uber Black DriverUber Black’s Vehicle Requirements

One of the biggest challenges of deciding to drive for Uber Black is that there are very strict vehicle requirements. It makes sense, as riders are paying for a luxury experience when they call Uber Black. However, this can be restrictive if you don’t already own a luxury vehicle.

Uber Black vehicles must be in mint condition. They must also, as the name implies, have both a black interior and exterior. The interior must be leather or vegan leather. The vehicle must also have four independently opening doors, and comfortably seat 4+ passengers (excluding the driver).

Vehicles that qualify for UberBLACK must be newer than five years old in most markets. In some, like Atlanta, vehicles can be as old as a 2010, and in others, like Chicago, must not be older than a 2014. The following are examples of SUVs or Sedans that are acceptable, although this may vary from city to city.

  • Mercedes-Benz: E Class (Sedan) or GL-Class (SUV)
  • Lexus: GS (Sedan) or LX (SUV)
  • Infiniti: Q70 (Sedan) or QX56,QX80 (SUV)
  • GMC: Yukon XL (SUV)
  • Cadillac: XTS (Sedan) or Escalade ESV (SUV)
  • Chevrolet: Suburban (SUV)
  • Lincoln: Navigator L (SUV)
  • Jaguar: XF (Sedan)
  • Audi: A6 or A7 (Sedan)
  • BMW: 5 Series (Sedan)

How To Become an Uber Black DriverRenting to Drive

For some, one of the biggest limitations of becoming an Uber Black driver are the strict vehicle restrictions. Purchasing or leasing a new vehicle for the purpose of driving with Uber Black is a hefty investment. However, HyreCar offers easy car rentals that would enable you to rent vehicles in your area, rather than drive your own.

HyreCar enables car owners to rent out their unused vehicles to those who need them. If you, as an Uber driver, want to drive for Uber Black, there is the potential to rent one of these higher end vehicles from someone for far less than you’d spend on a new vehicle, making it possible for you to earn more with less personal investment.

Another way to drive without purchasing or leasing a luxury vehicle would be to look into whether a fleet owner exists in your area. If you possess all of the Uber Black driver qualifications, you may be able to find a fleet owner who is in search of one. However, be aware that you don’t have as much earning power as you would when renting or purchasing your own vehicle, as you are partnering with someone else.

How To Become an Uber Black DriverUber Black In Your Area

Uber Black is not offered in every city, and even if it is, there is a cap on how many Black Cars are allowed to be active on the road. By doing this, Uber ensures that prices and demand for Uber Black remain high. This makes sense, but it does mean that your ability to drive for Uber Black in your area may be restricted based on supply and demand.

If Uber is accepting new vehicles for Black and SUV service in your area, then you can apply as an Uber Black driver at anytime, assuming you have the proper credentials. If you’re familiar with the taxi medallion system, this is similar, in that accounts with Uber Black are few and far between, and those with Black accounts will sell them for a hefty price.

If you haven’t yet spent the time and money on commercial licensing and registration, make sure you check into the availability of Uber Black in your area before doing so, to avoid unnecessary hassle. You can find out by contacting Uber Support.

How To Become an Uber Black DriverVehicle Transitioning

As we’ve already mentioned, older cars do not qualify as Uber Black vehicles. This means that you may begin as an Uber Black driver with a vehicle that qualifies, but find that after a few years it is too old to fit the bill.

Uber will provide you with an expiration date of sorts; a date by which you must replace your vehicle with a newer model. They refer to this “aging out” process as transitioning, when a vehicle is reclassified as a lower cost vehicle.

If you replace your vehicle by the date provided, you will be fine to continue driving for Uber Black. However, if you wait until the date has passed, you may lose your status as an Uber Black driver, so make sure you don’t put it off!

Conclusion

When it comes to driving for Uber, Uber Black is one of the most lucrative services provided for drivers. This is appealing, but it requires quite a bit more than basic Uber services, including commercial registration and insurance, as well as a luxury vehicle in excellent condition.

If you’ve got the time and money to pursue these requirements, or perhaps even possess them already, Uber Black might be the right choice for you. As with any driving for Uber, you’ll want to make sure you track your miles and keep track of expenses for tax purposes, as you are now your own boss.

Check with Uber Support to find out if there are Uber Black slots available in your area.

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.