Small Business Advice

Looking to Profit from the Ridesharing Revolution? How to Pick Between Uber and Lyft

You don’t have to spend long on the streets to realize just how much ridesharing is booming in popularity right now. Services such as Uber and Lyft are turning the transportation industry at large on its head and have opened a massive window of opportunity for those looking to profit from this ever-growing service.

Especially if you live in a major metro area, the benefits of becoming a rideshare driver as a source of income are threefold:

  • You get to make your own hours: whether you’re considering ridesharing as a full-time or part-time gig, you get to choose if you want to drive during peak hours or stick to more relaxed times
  • Your vehicle is your office: a stark alternative to the traditional nine-to-five grind, those who love to drive in their leisure time couldn’t ask for a better gig
  • You get paid to meet people: if you consider yourself to be a people person that loves to chat it up and introduce yourself to new faces, ridesharing is definitely for you

That said, choosing which company you’d rather for is easier said than done. There are benefits to both services, after all; meanwhile, sometimes it’s the small details that are the most enticing for would-be drivers when it comes time to choose between Uber or Lyft.

If you’re stuck on your decision to become a rideshare driver but have no idea which company is right for you, don’t fret. The following quick and easy guide can help you better understand whether or not Uber or Lyft would be a better fit based on your situation.

The Best Bonuses for Getting Started

For starters, consider which company offers the biggest incentive for those looking to start driving for them. Both services offer referral rewards, Lyft is noted to boast a cash bonus of up to $1,000 for new sign-ups. You can scout such promos through sites like Ridester, which looks to lend a helping hand to rideshare drivers.

Size Matters

The fact that many people use the word “uber” as a verb should be rather telling in terms of which company has the most clout right now.

While both Uber and Lyft are dominating taxis, there’s no denying the sheer popularity and name recognition of Uber. The appeal of Uber for new drivers is rather obvious: the more people who are familiar with the service and have the app installed signals more opportunities for business, right?

In theory, yes. That said, consider that more riders also represents an increase in competition. On the flip side, driving for Lyft might seem like more of a niche market in certain areas, meaning that you can score more passengers that are relying on the smaller service. If you live in an area where you know there are tons of Uber drivers or Lyft is up-and-coming in popularity, you might want to consider the latter.

Keep Your Tips in Mind

For Uber, tipping used to be somewhat of a gray area. Until recently, Uber riders were not necessarily incentivized to tip and could only do so in cash. With the introduction of in-app tipping, drivers can now receive gratuity payments either in-person or through Uber itself.

Conversely, in-app tipping has been a staple of Lyft’s service and was the main differentiator between the two companies for quite some time. Lyft users can likewise get paid via cash, making the current tipping setup nearly identical.

With that in mind, the initial exclusion of in-app tipping might somewhat speak to Uber’s company culture. Tips can be a total game-changer for those looking to rideshare for the long-term: Lyft advertises that it provides drivers with 100% of in-app tips whereas Uber is a bit more vague.

The Bottom Line

Those who are serious about becoming rideshare drivers, especially as a full-time gig, need to do their homework when deciding between Uber and Lyft. After all, we’re not just talking about two competing companies here: we’re talking about potential employers. Just as you’d never apply for a job without doing your research first, make sure you weigh the pros and cons before making your decision.

Either way, both companies offer a similar service and compensation for their drives, respectively. As each company continues to grow and attempts to outperform the other, perhaps the ball is in the court of rideshare drivers as both Uber and Lyft look to entice more drivers to join their workforce.