Lyft offers people an opportunity to make some added cash by providing a driving service during their free time. If you’re interested in being a driver, you should start by learning more about the Lyft car requirements. The company enforces these regulations strictly for the safety of their drivers and passengers. There’s no getting around the driver requirements. But if you don’t already have the right car, you have multiple options for getting one that Lyft will approve.
If you don’t know what Lyft is, you probably don’t live in a city where the company operates. Lyft is a rideshare company that pairs local drivers with passengers via a smartphone app. Like other rideshare companies such as Uber, Via, Gett, and more, Lyft operates in large cities where people are less likely to drive personal vehicles. The service is similar to a taxi service that prevents passengers from dealing with parking issues. The big difference is that Lyft is usually a lot less expensive.
Both drivers and passengers use the Lyft app on their smartphone to receive and request rides. Passengers pay with their registered method through the app so no money has to change hands. The exception is for cash tips that customers give the drivers. Since the entirety of the tips goes to the drivers, cash tipping is an option that doesn’t have to go through the app.
Once the passenger makes a request, they see the charge for their ride before they accept so there are no surprises. The rates depend on the type of Lyft service provided, the hours, and the length of the ride.
The Lyft driver receives their pay in one of two ways. Lyft either deposits their money into their checking account every week or they pay through Express Pay, putting their money on a debit card once they reach $50 in earnings. Rates differ among cities, but drivers can make more money by driving during peak hours when rates are higher.
A good place to start learning more about Lyft driver and car requirements is with the Lyft application. The first option on the Lyft application is whether you have a car or you need one. The increasing popularity of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft has brought about a number of support services to help potential drivers get started. Rental agencies, finance companies, and even some car makers have gotten into the game to meet the growing demand. The idea is to make getting a vehicle that meets Lyft car requirements more feasible for new drivers.
Lyft and General Motors have joined ranks to provide rental cars to drivers through the Express Drive Program. Drivers get weekly rates between $135 and $250 unless they hit 75 rides a week, dropping their rate to $0. It can be a good idea to enter into the rental deal as long as you aren’t paying the highest rate. You might have more problems getting 75 rides per week than expected. It’s not a good idea to over-invest into a new career that might not pay as much as you hoped for.
The rideshare company has also partnered with Hertz for rental deals. If you plan to drive a lot, a rental might be a good choice for you. It’s more practical than buying a car specifically for your rideshare driving. But if you need a car for your personal use and you’re just testing the waters, purchasing a vehicle is a more affordable option. If you aren’t sure, try a rental for a few weeks. That will give you time to learn what your earning potential is in your location. Then, you can make the best decision for your purposes.
The first half of the Lyft driver and car requirements relates to the driver. The company has strict requirements with only minor variations from city to city. Lyft driver requirements include:
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older
- Have an in-state driver’s license with at least one full year of driver’s license history in the U.S.
- Own an iPhone or Android phone
- Supply a social security number
- Pass a DMV, national, and county background check
- Have a valid insurance policy
- Have the right personality! You have to commit to the Lyft driving lifestyle to make driving into a profitable business. You are your own boss, choosing your hours and which rides you accept. You’re also accountable for managing your finances and providing professional services. People who enjoy other people make the best drivers and get the best reviews. Passengers can’t request you as a driver specifically but they can give you good ratings and great tips!
The second half of Lyft’s driver and car requirements relates to the vehicle. Getting a rental that is set up specifically for Lyft makes meeting the car requirements a lot easier. But your existing car or one that you buy must meet them too. If your car doesn’t meet Lyft’s criteria, you can’t work for them. Period. It’s a matter of safety, dependability, and image. To qualify, you must have…
- – A vehicle with four doors
- – Seatbelts for 4 passengers in addition to the driver’s
- – In-state license plates and current registration
- – Tires with sufficient tread
- – Functional windows on each door with no significant cracks there or on the windshield
- – Working windshield wipers
- – An adjustable front seat
- – Working heat and air conditioning
Lyft also requires every vehicle used to pass an inspection. Any additional city or state requirements also apply. The oldest model of car allowed is around ten years old, although car age varies from city to city. The vehicle doesn’t have to belong to you but it does need a clean title. A salvage title isn’t acceptable.
Lyft offers five tiers of service, each with some unique car requirements. These tiers vary from budget to luxury services. Their five tiers of service include:
- 1 Line (Carpool)
- 2 Lyft (Standard Service)
- 3 Plus (more room via SUVs and Vans)
- 4 Lux (Luxury)
- 5 Lux SUV (Luxury SUV)
To meet the Lyft car requirements for Lyft’s premium services, you need a luxury car like Lexus or BMW that also meets the requirements for basic service. These luxury services charge higher fares and create a higher income for you. Keep in mind that you’re going to put a lot more mileage on your luxury car than you probably would for your personal driving needs. Consider whether the additional wear-and-tear is worth the income you will earn.
For many drivers, meeting Lyft’s requirements for drivers and vehicles sounds simple. They already have everything needed on the list. But some details aren’t as straightforward as they seem. Specifically, what is a “valid insurance policy?”
If you already have insurance coverage on your vehicle, you probably think you have that requirement covered. What you might not realize right away is that your personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover your vehicle while you’re driving for Lyft. In fact, once your insurance company realizes you work for the rideshare company, they are probably going to cancel your policy altogether.
Failing to obtain coverage for your needs can result in a legal and financial mess that you can’t get out of. The more time you spend on the roads, the more likely you are to be in a crash. Passengers are always protected, regardless of who is at fault. But your injuries, your property, and your liability are all factors that aren’t covered by your personal insurance policy.
Lyft provides $1 million in insurance to protect passengers. If the Lyft driver is at fault for a crash, there are a million dollars to cover the cost of their injuries. If the Lyft driver isn’t at fault, the insurance coverage still stands. But the insurance coverage only applies while you have a passenger in your car. If you are waiting on a passenger, your Lyft coverage won’t pay for your damages. Your personal auto policy won’t cover it either.
If you have a wreck while there’s no passenger in your vehicle, your car might receive thousands of dollars of damage. If your insurance doesn’t replace or repair your vehicle, you might find yourself without a vehicle at all.
You might have to pay for your injuries out-of-pocket, too. Although you have health insurance, you still have to pay co-pays, deductibles, and uncovered costs. If you don’t have insurance, you might not get the medical care you need.
If the wreck is your fault and you cause injuries to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian, it could be even worse. If you are responsible for other people’s injuries and you don’t have liability insurance, you could end up in a personal injury lawsuit.
Before you consider driving for Lyft, talk with your auto insurance company about your options. Some companies offer endorsements on your personal policy to cover your rideshare activity. Several insurance companies also offer rideshare insurance for drivers specifically to protect drivers. Make sure you are prepared with coverage for you and anyone else who might be injured.
In the future, there might be a lot less worry about Lyft car requirements as autonomous cars become the standard. Following the rideshare company’s partnership with Magna, Lyft is seeking to make autonomous vehicles available on their app-based platform. The partnership will focus on building Level 4 autonomous vehicles that operate without any human intervention. Lyft describes the new venture as a way to “democratize” autonomous driving by bringing self-driving technology to every vehicle manufacturer.
At a time when the world is still learning to adjust to the growing popularity of rideshare vehicles, this partnership promises to throw even more wrenches into the way people travel. It’s also certain to impact the laws that govern how drivers are held accountable.
Autonomous driving has been a growing issue over the past few years, too. Some serious wrecks and fatalities resulting from test cars have already brought the issue of liability into question. Today, we have Lyft car requirements and driver requirements to make ridesharing safe. But who is responsible when there is no driver?
One unexpected benefit of ridesharing is the reduced impact on the environment. People using LyftLine and carpool reduce the number of cars on the roads. They also reduce car congestion. Many people prefer hailing a ride when needed instead of dealing with the responsibilities of vehicle ownership. In some areas of the city, owning a car is a big expense with minimal places to park. With Lyft, they just make a request for the service of their choice and go out and the vehicle picks them up.
There are always those drivers who have the greatest success and will turn their driving for Lyft into a lucrative business. Those that get the most rides during peak hours and earn the best tips can make driving profitable. But it’s also important to plan for those times when the unexpected happens. Paying for a good insurance policy is the best way to protect yourself and everyone else on the road.
No one knows for sure that Lyft drivers will eventually be replaced by self-driving cars. If they are, the legal system will have to work out the details over who is responsible for what. Right now, drivers have the responsibility of paying for injuries and property loss for anyone they injure.
If you think you’re a good fit as a Lyft driver, look over the Lyft car requirements carefully. Find out your options for automobile insurance and liability coverage to protect you at all times. Make sure you know your responsibilities and your rights before you apply. If you’ve been injured in a Lyft accident, contact Batta Fulkerson for a free consultation. Whether you were a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, the at-fault party is responsible for your injuries and damages. We’ll help you learn your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.