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Lyft connects passengers with nearby drivers through their smartphone app. Payments to drivers are made via the app, allowing for a cash-less transaction. There are two types of Lyft rides: Lyft and Lyft Plus (SUVs).

Have a few extra hours on the weekend or in the evening? Lyft can help you pick up a few fares, allowing you to make extra cash with no investment required from your end. The only thing you need to have is a car. Pass the background and vehicle check, and you can pick up fares on your own schedule.

Getting Started

Head over to the Lyft website, fill out the application form and download the app to start the sign-up process. Lyft tries to contact every applicant within one business day to intiate the orientation process. The first step is a Welcome Ride with a Lyft Mentor, which allows you to talk to a seasoned Lyft driver to get a feel for the job. Welcome Rides can be scheduled seven days a week, between 7 a.m and 5 p.m.

To be approved as a Lyft driver, you must be at least 21 years old and have an iPhone or Android phone. Lyft runs an extensive background check, which includes a DMV check, a national and county background check going back seven years and a cross-check with national sex offender registries. The background check requires your social security number as well as an in-state driver’s license (which must be at least 1 year old).

Lyft drivers are screened for criminal offenses and driving incidents. You cannot have had more than three moving violations in the last three years, or any other major violations. Your record must be clean of DUI or drug-related driving violations going back seven years as well as any other extreme infractions (such as hit & run or vehicle related felonies). Additionally, your background check must be clear of violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage, felonies and drug-related offenses.

To become a Lyft driver, you must own a car with four doors and a minimum of five seat belts. Your vehicle must also have in-state license plates and your car’s in-state insurance must include you as a covered party. Lyft will verify all of this during a 19-point vehicle inspection, which is completed during the Welcome Ride. There are also requirements for how old your car can be, but these vary by state.

Earning Money

The only way to ensure you get more Lyft jobs is by maintain a high rating. Drivers who fall below a 4.6 rating average are removed from Lyft.

To consistently get higher ratings, take a few steps to ensure the passenger has a great experience. Remember: Lyft is a service so always strive to provide top-notch service. First, keep your car clean and well-maintained. No passenger wants a ride in a dirty or cluttered vehicle. Once you accept a job, make it a point to pickup the passenger as soon as possible—don’t keep the passenger waiting. If passengers have luggage, offer to help them with their bags when entering or exiting the vehicle. Also, know when to engage passengers in conversation but also know when not to do so. 

Getting Paid

Lyft drivers on average make between $25-$35 per hour. Drivers get 80% of payment from passengers, with the remainder going to Lyft. The company deposits your earnings to your bank account every week.

Rates vary for Lyft and Lyft Plus.

Lyft: Base charge $3, cost per mile $2.15 and cost per minute $0.40. Cancellation penalty $10 and minimum fare is $8.

Lyft Plus: Base charge $4.50, cost per mile $3.22 and cost per minute $0.60. Cancellation penalty $10 and minimum fare is $12.

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