By: Danielle Pietersen | November 16, 2020

Uber and Lyft are very similar, both are ride-hailing services that provide a platform to connect drivers with customers, and serve as an alternative to the traditional cab. Even before the pandemic, the rise of the gig economy has seen a surge in people working as independent contractors either part-time or as full-time drivers. 

How Can I Get The Best Hourly Rate?

Choose The Right Time And Place

Lyft and Uber tend to have similar rates per ride in most locations. The rates vary according to location and time. For example, a rideshare driver in a big city like New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, or San Francisco would earn higher rates than someone in rural California, because they are operating in an area with a high cost of living. Both companies make use of surge pricing, which means that drivers who work over peak times can earn more money.

Get More Customers

At the end of the day, the two companies tend to pay similar rates. It’s worth signing up for both and comparing how their rates work in your area. If the rates are similar, then there’s another, far more important factor that’s going to determine how much you earn and that will most affect your hourly rate: How many customers you can get?

The popularity of the platform with users in your area has far more effect on how much you earn than a small difference in rate does. Lyft drivers and Uber drivers earn very similar rates in most areas. If you can fill an hour up with clients, you’ll earn more than you would if you only spend half of the time with passengers in your car, even if the rates are better. The key here is to reduce ‘dead-time’ where you’re just sitting around waiting for people who need a ride.

Make The Most Of Dead-Time

Time is money and you’re not making any money while you’re sitting waiting for people. If you can fill that waiting time with other tasks that help you earn or save money, then you’re adding to your hourly rate and beating boredom at the same time. Earn and save money while you wait!  

Some sites, like Swagbucks, offer great rewards and payments for doing simple tasks like completing surveys or watching videos online. These simple tasks help to turn your dead-time into a lucrative side hustle. Swagbucks is a really convenient site and you can also use their coupons for big savings on online purchases. All that you’ll need to do it from your car are your phone and an internet connection.

If you have a large amount of time to spare, then getting a side-gig as a food delivery driver is a good way to fill that time and make the most of your car’s earning potential. Just make sure you can still do your job as a ride-share driver reliably.

Is All My Money Profit?

No, remember there are costs associated with ridesharing services. Lyft and Uber manage to avoid some of the costs that traditional taxi companies encounter, but many of the costs, they simply transfer onto the drivers whom they classify as independent contractors.

Rideshare companies have been in the spotlight recently and there is much discussion about whether their business models are exploitive. This has caused some cities and states to start enforcing a minimum wage for the sector.

There are quite a few costs that are going to affect the profitability of your business. Car payments, insurance, gas, self-employment tax, and vehicle maintenance and depreciation are the big ones to watch out for, but there are also other hidden costs like cleaning your car, which cost you both time and money. 

What’s The Final Verdict?

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are a variety of factors that affect whether Lyft or Uber is the best for you and how profitable it will be to work as a ridesharing driver. The best plan of action is to do research specific to your area by signing up as a driver on both platforms. Remember to take all of your expenses into account before you start and make sure you have a plan in place to make the most of any time that you spend waiting in the car.

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