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If you go on Lyft’s website right now, it says drivers can make $35 per hour. Is that realistic? A few weeks ago, I spent a week
driving for Lyft to find out. All right, it is 12:30, and I’m logging in to my Lyft App
to start my first Lyft job of the day. Driver mode is on.
And, so far nothing is happening. I drove for 50 hours. I had 54 passengers. And I made just under $600,
which works out to about 12 bucks an hour. And that’s before subtracting the cost of gas. A big reason for my low earnings
was that I spent a lot of time waiting around. So with the traditional salaried position,
you work your 40 hours. And it’s a company’s job to make sure that you have enough work for it to be worth your salary. With this kind of business,
I, as an independent contractor, am on my own. I sit here for the next 5 or 6 or 7 hours,
and nobody wants a taxi ride, I’m just out of money. Like on Tuesday morning, I drove for about three hours and didn’t get a single passenger, and so that was pretty frustrating. So the day that one best was on Saturday.
I worked about 10 hours, and I made 163 dollars, after gas, it was about 14 dollars an hour. Why Saturday was my best day? For one thing, I had passengers in my car
35% of the time, a higher percentage than any other day. Second, four of my 14 rides had prime time bonuses, where passengers are charged
a premium of 25% – 100%. Still, $14 an hour isn’t great.
And it’s a lot less than the $35 Lyft is promoting. The fundamental issue is that right now at least,
the roads are crowded with people offering rides. Now that I’m looking around, I’m noticing
that I have a lot of competitors around me. That’s partly because both Lyft and Uber
are aggressively recruiting drivers. While I only earned about $600 from customers, Lyft was running a promotion in November
that guaranteed divers would make at least $30 an hour. So Lyft paid me another $900 out of their own pocket. As Uber and Lyft throw a lot of money at drivers to drive, it’s expanding the number of drivers in the market. That means the drivers spend more time sitting around, and so, they actually make less. They need to grow quickly in order to compete with Uber, and so, I think they’re spending a ton of money. They both have raised hundreds of
millions of dollars in venture capital, and they’re spending that
to build out their networks as quickly as possible, and so, they’re willing to spend a lot of money
in the short run to make sure that they’re large as Uber, somebody who needs a steady paycheck, this is probably not a good choice for you because we really don’t know what the long-term future is gonna be, and it’s hard to predict from week to week. This isn’t just something that people,
do as a full-time job. There are a lot of people that do it
as a supplement to some other job. It can give employees a lot more freedom because if I feel like, you know, not working later today
I can just take the day off and nobody cares. this model isn’t for everyone, but for some people,
it’s a great opportunity.

100 thoughts on “The math of being a Lyft driver

  1. What hours are you working? On any given evening working 9pm to 12 am I get about 80 bucks with tips -On a Saturday night which is prime time I get about $100 for working 3 or 4 hrs the average is about 10 rides for 3-4 hours -Drive a fuel efficient car and it's $10 for gas. Work in a densely populated area. I do it part time for just 8 hrs a week and it's roughly $150 bucks for an extra 8 hrs of work. It won't make you rich but if THIS goofball says it only pays him $12 an hour minus gas he's a putz for not making the best use of his time.

  2. I've made $35-60+ an hour, but it's not all the time. Sometimes it dips below $18, tends to be around $20. Have to account for gas, taxes, etc. Don't forget deductions though! I don't just sit in one spot. I make a strategy, depending on the time of day, what day of the week, maybe I know some stuff is going on in the city, or a holiday and I can capitalize on that. It's not worth getting stuck in rush hour traffic though, ffs. Thursday, friday, saturday and sunday are the best days to go. Sunday morning/afternoons can be bank. I made $220 in 4 hours once, if that. There are some times during the year that are slow as hell. The winter there are tons of people who need rides and if you don't mind going out to brave the elements (which I love slipping and sliding on the highway in the snow) you can make big bucks.

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  4. making a bit less than $12 an hour is a pretty good deal considering you can do whatever you want more than half of the time

  5. Your NOT an independent contractor, lyft takes fees and can block you anytime. Its self employment. Your not a boss, you make lyft rich, not yourself. People are idiots thinking they are the boss driving lyft. 12$ an hour is bottom of the chain kiddo

  6. I learned the hard way by driving around for a ride only to waste gas and time. It wasn't until I learned to drive to a location, park and wait for the next ride did I make more money and not waste time and gas.

    This past week, I drove for 30h 56m and earned $635.38 = $20.79/hour, for the week, which is pretty good earnings per hour, overall.

    Last night, I earned $103.21 in a little more than 3 hours drive-time (1900-2200) at $34/hour and I wasn't driving around endlessly looking for rides. I parked, waited, picked up, drove, dropped off, then parked and waited for the next ride. I used less gas and made more money.

  7. This guy is working for the taxi companies. Yesterday I made $130 in less than 3 hrs with only two rides. This is almost always the case.

  8. I did Lyft last summer, had a mixed experience. Was better in many ways than a bottom-feeder unskilled "crap job" (as an engineering student with 3 years of school finished I'd hoped for something better like an internship), but I had plenty of complaints as well. Pay I estimate came to around $15 an hour, better than minimum wage but not awesome – I drove a Prius so fuel costs weren't bad. Didn't have bosses to deal with (bottomfeeder job bosses are always horrible in my experience, like to make sure their employees know they are beneath them), very flexible, and most passengers were pretty chill.
    It was very unsteady though, mostly due to the problem of market saturation. I saw tons of others driving around, most empty, and when I logged out of driver mode and logged in as a passenger (for some reason they didn't want us to see where the other drivers were) I could see that there was one on every corner much of the time. Problem is one of economics of their business model, as this guy says. Most businesses want to balance supply with demand – they have to pay for supply, whether that be employees to provide services, food, manufactured goods, whatever it may be, whether or not it's sold, so having too much is a loss. With Lyft, they don't pay for people to sit around, that's the drivers' loss, the company is best off to have one on every corner, even if they rarely get rides and hardly make any money. Thus they aggressively recruit drivers and are constantly urging them to get out and drive, with annoying texts that say "demand is skyrocketing." I found there is no good strategy, as if there were everyone else would be doing the same and it thus wouldn't do any good. I always avoided sports games and concerts because I figured every other driver was going to them. Just wander about and hope for the best – I generally targeted morning and afternoon commuters myself.
    Overall I found it to be decent, but it was very unsteady, and as a result somewhat stressful. A nice supplement, but not a trustworthy income source. I would not suggest it as a career or primary job, and one should NEVER buy a car for this purpose (unless they wanted to buy a suitable car anyway), but if you have a suitable car it's not bad as a temporary or sideline thing while between jobs, being a student, or having another job.

  9. I make about $20/hr or $1/mile not including bonuses. If I go 10 minutes without a ride I get a meal, and if still no ride, I go home and take a nap. I have taken graduate-level math and I make about $1500 a week for working 40-50 hours. I maintain a 4.95/5.00 rating and clean my car's exterior once per day, and the interior at least twice per day. I spend an average of an hour a day maintaining the car not including repairs. About $200 month at the car wash (including tips), and $500 in maintenance/repairs a month.

    Lyft is a blessing compared to working for UPS. These critics have no idea what a hard job is. I spend tens of hours researching the exact solvent to use when washing my car, for just an example. I also do all the mechanic work myself. Regardless, I treat every customer as a private driver, in hopes of becoming a professional driver.

  10. Its not worth it. factoring other costs such as insurance, maintenance of the vehicle,gas, cleaning and sanitization of the vehicle and no work guaranteed, you're better off getting a regular job and using lyft or uber as a means to make a few extra bucks. also you have to realize, these companies are relying on self driving technology to mature, they cannot survive on their current business model without it. Once this technology matures they are going to ditch their current employees.

  11. Wonderful is the freedom of being your own boss and working only when you feel like it!

    What's not so wonderful is the minimum wage net income (if you're lucky), along with no paid holidays, no paid sick days, no paid vacation, no insurance benefits, no 401-K or other retirement benefits, and NO chance for advancement. None, zippo. All those deficiencies make a $10/hr job at Walmart or Home Depot look pretty damn good.

  12. My mom used to drive for lift and uber but the said if she could go back in time she wouldn’t do it again. She said she barely broke even with the gas and the wear and tear on her car was horrible.

  13. This was my second day and I made about 17 dollars per hour. It’s actually more per hour then I make at my normal primary job. However, in the app they tell you when they expect the demand to be high and it’s pretty accurate. Yesterday morning I had one passenger, and Friday mornings in the app is low expectations for demand. Saturday around five was high demand and I was able to get five rides in a span of 2 & a half hours. Not too shabby. Tomorrow apparently is busy all day.

    I don’t think I could quit my main job but this will help bring in enough for my car payment and more.

  14. He was not using the app correctly. Driving around for 3 hours when there is no demand, but not participating during "prime times" when demand is higher and rides pay more. If he played it smart he would make a lot more per hour.

  15. My dad was driving Lyft on March 5 2018 and he got in a car accident and Lyft didn't want to pay anything for his car.

  16. He is right, I drove for uber and Lyft for a week each and after estimating the mileage ,tear and wear on my carand taxes to be paid at the end of the year I’m making $4/hr. It’s not for everybody. If you’re jobless and need to pay your car note it may be good for you other than that its a mere waste of time

  17. You did 1 ride per hour no wonder your hourly rate sucks!! . Drive in a better area. 2 rides per hour and wallah $1200 in 50 hours lol

  18. Recently started with Uber and I have made more off of Uber than with Lyft. Most riders I asked on why they chose Uber vs Lyft most of the time I heard they were more familiar with Uber than with Lyft. At times cost was the reason for going with Uber as a rider than with Lyft.

  19. Literally didn't notice anything unusual about his voice until I read the comments…and now I can't stop thinking about

    Wtf you guys you ruined it for me too

  20. Despite all the negative comments, his video is to the point and basically gives you the info you need. Drive sharing is minimum wage after deducting expenses. Car wear and tear is more than the cost of gas. I like to simplify the math: deduct half of what you gross and that amount is what you actually made.

  21. Lyft is shady. Watch out people because you'll see what I'm talking about when you get close to earning bonuses. You're app will constantly glitch or something shady to stop rides. This is a pattern.

  22. I've been a driver for a few years. It more of a part time gig. I usually make anywhere from 15 to 20 dollars per hour. If it's too slow which does happen sometimes I just turn it off and try another day.

  23. What a stupid video, if you are smart about driving then you can make more than $30 an hour. It depends on what time, where you drive, and how well you interact with passengers (they can give tips and a high driver rating will give less of a chance of other passengers canceling on you).

  24. Depends on your location too, one uber driver showed me how much he made each week and he made $1000+ no less

  25. Lyft could possibly be as big as Uber if it expanded its reach. Uber is swiftly dominating internationally… Can we have a Lyft in S.A, then we'll twaaalk

  26. I got an ad from Careem, which is basically the Uber/Lyft of the United Arab Emirates, but we still have Lyft and Uber in there.

  27. Know you market! I drove 6 hours and 45 minutes last night in a college town and with 20 on app rides and 2 cash rides & tips I made $248 which is about average. I typically drive 7 hours/night and make around $300/night… Thursday, Friday and Saturday consistently. People ask me all the time why I don't drive in Atlanta… your video is a perfect example. I do back to back to back rides, I rarely wait more than just a couple minutes for a ride. Gas ends up being about 10% of my gross and about 200 miles which at $.55/mile means my taxable income is $110 less the $248; and really that's just counting the gas mileage whereas I can also deduct other expenses.

  28. Its about strategy. You have to drive in the morning and in the afternoon. You can't start driving at 12:30 pm. This video is wrong.

  29. You are forgetting to factor in the cost to buy the car, the cost to insure the car, maintenance & oil changes, repairs, depreciation, and also the cost to eventually buy a new car, as after a few years they won’t let you drive that car once it hits a certain age. Once you factor in all of those costs, you will soon see that you are subsidizing the company, and not getting compensated for all of those costs, not to mention the self employment taxes and federal & state taxes. Add it all up and you are losing money regardless of whether it is Lyft, Uber or any other rideshare company. YOU ARE GETTING RIPPED OFF!

  30. If you really want to do Uber/Lyft you should invest in an electric car, no gas, no oil changes, fan belts etc….. you will save an enormous amount of money and make a lot of money. Nissan LEAF.😉

  31. It's one of the hardest jobs out there, stop and go , stop and go , drive to passenger 7 miles – customer cancels the trip– customer lies for free ride — pick up customers who are doing laundry 9 bags — customers have a few stops fast food drive thru, target , Wal-Mart ect ect waste gas , tire change , breaks , cleaning you're car daily , scratches, dents, the worst job and if a customer complains then good luck because you get deactivated and it can be weeks if not months before they let you back on. Lyft and Uber make half of what you take on a ride without lifting a single finger , it gets worse and worse

  32. most people give up after like three hours and actually lose money because these companies dont pay for your gas which is THE SCAM ,..many people have sued them in small claims court or threatened to,..which brings real money from uber and lyft finally

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