What: Lyft is a ride-sharing platform that allows drivers to make money by driving people and things (like meals) to their respective destinations

Estimated earnings: $5 – $25 per hour

Husl $core: $$$

Where: National


  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Pass online DMV and background checks.
  • An iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • Meet your city’s vehicle age requirement
  • Have at least four doors, not including jump doors.
  • Offer five to eight seats, including the driver’s.
  • Have a US driver’s license for at least one year.
  • Provide proof of insurance and (in most cities) a car inspection.
  • Submit a photo of yourself.


When we first reviewed Lyft, the nation’s second-largest ride sharing app was busily promising bonuses to lure drivers away from Uber. Now, the competition is more for riders than drivers, and Lyft is becoming increasingly like it’s top competitor, Uber. That is not a good thing.

Though both ride-sharing companies keep their commission structures a state secret, drivers in Los Angeles say that Lyft pays drivers 12.75 cents per minute and 79.5 cents per mile driven. The Internal Revenue Service, which is never overly generous, estimates that the cost of operating a car for business, including the cost of insurance, gas and repairs, is 58 cents per mile. So, you should figure your net pay is $7.65 per hour, plus 21.5 cents per mile.

So, in a best-case scenario, you get an hour-long fare which requires a 50-mile drive. That would net you $18.40, after costs. That’s better than the new payment formula at Uber. But it’s not exactly a windfall.

It’s particularly stingy pay when you realize that you don’t have fares every minute that you’re driving– and you don’t get paid while you’re idle. You also don’t get paid to drive to wherever you need to pick up a fare. And when traffic is bad, you are going to spend a small fortune on gas. We’ve estimated net pay at between $5 and $25 per hour, because it’s still possible to get bonuses and surge pricing. It’s just not as common as it used to be.

Other apps we’d recommend for people who like to drive: Amazon Flex and Wingz. If you have a clean background and experience with kids, you may also be able to drive kids around after school with KangoRide Zum and HopSkipDrive. You may also be able to get animal-driving gigs with Citizen Shipper. And, if food delivery is your thing, we believe GrubHub  provides the best option.

What Lyft drivers say:

“This job is great because it accommodates a busy schedule. I can work when I need. It also has great pay during peak hours in peak locations. However when I don’t work during peak times in peak locations, the pay can be quite poor, once you consider gas costs and phone bills.”

“It’s great when you get to make your own schedule, the only bad thing is the gas, miles, and the effort for little pay at times. especially when I drive 4 miles to give someone a ride, and the ride was only $3.50.”

“Lyft pays their drivers terrible. They are constantly lowering their prices and railing their drivers in one way or another. This job is terrible if you are looking at it as a serious source of employment. Because it is so terrible, Lyft’s primary business strategy is to hire as many drivers as possible because the turnover is so high. The net result of that is that the market is completely saturated with drivers. It isn’t uncommon (as far as my experience goes) to sit around for extended periods of time with absolutely no work at all. I worked in Los Angeles, and there were many days where I would work for 8 or 9 hours and make 30 dollars or less. Combined with the costs of insurance, gas, car payments, you are honestly lucky if you break even (in my case.)

“Lyft is a great job if you like being independent and setting your own schedule. However to make a decent amount of money you basically have to live in your car. You have to work 50 plus hours a week to be able to make at least 100 dollars a day.”

Other stories of interest:

Survey of 10 Black Car Drivers: Uber or Lyft?

YouTube’s 7 Reasons I Stopped Driving for Lyft & Uber

Try Lyft

Suggested Options.