So you have heard you can make a decent extra income on the side by driving for Lyft? It is a great chance to earn if you are a recent graduate, a nurse, a stay-at-home mum or dad, or maybe only working part-time and some extra cash.
One of the benefits of driving for Lyft that everyone talks about is flexibility. You can choose exactly when you want to work. Sounds great, doesn’t it? However, if you want to actually make any money you have to be on the road when there is high demand.
There is no point in diving when there aren’t any customers looking for rides. Here we will give you a rundown of the best times to drive, so you will earn money with Lyft.
However, there are a few other things you need to consider before you sign up and start driving. Driving people around is the job which actually involves a high degree of responsibility and being a good ‘people person’.
To set yourself up for a positive experience you need to think about safety, the kind of car you have, how to interact with passengers, how to maintain good ratings and get referrals and more.
Let’s take a look at some of these quickly now. It all comes down to passenger safety, satisfaction, and respect.
You need to own a fairly new 4-door car to drive for Lyft. It cannot have major damage either, though a couple of minor scratches or similar will be alright. For all the specifics and to check your vehicle, contact Lyft directly. Also, you must be prepared to keep your car clean and tidy – inside and out.
Use Your Phone GPS
Now everyone who has a reasonably new cell phone has access to GPS. Use yours! Knowledge of the road network in your city or town needs to be your area of expertise, so you can provide a quality service and get good referrals.
Of course, the GPS is not perfect, so always listen when your passenger suggests you go a specific way – chances are they have done the same journey many times. Don’t try to assume you will just know the right way – trust the GPS or your passenger. There’s no excuse for getting lost or having to double back.
This is basic good customer service. If you have a booking for a specific time, be there on time. Nothing will annoy a passenger more than a driver who is late.
There are many different reasons a person will book a ride – a doctor’s appointment, a job interview, getting to the airport, going to work or a concert – and you need to be respectful of this. Top quality service means a happy passenger, who is more likely to tip you and give you 5 stars.
Be Friendly and Respectful
This job is a service job and you need to be welcoming your passengers into your car as you would a guest. Greet your passenger with a smile and a hello. Treat them like you would any respected person, and how you would like to be treated in the same situation – professional respect like you would show someone like a professor, a judge, your boss.
It is common sense that if you are friendly and personable, then people tend to return the same. Keep your own feelings and any ‘bad day’ issues out of the way – your passengers can tell and it isn’t nice to be around.
Likewise, don’t be on the phone, and instead just concentrate on being there for your passenger and getting them safely to their destination. If it’s hot outside, offer them a bottle of water.
Some passengers will want to talk, others won’t – just be friendly and engage at a level that feels comfortable for you both. Don’t play any music in the car, or keep it very quiet and fairly neutral, and ask the passenger if they have a preference. Turn your music off if asked.
Obey the Law
This is a top priority – you need to obey the local traffic laws, any airport rules, the local ridesharing laws, respect your passengers’ privacy etc. You need to get your passengers to their destination safely whilst abiding by all of the above and any other rules that apply where you are driving.
Now all the basics are out of the way, when should you be driving?
Best times to drive for Lyft
Know your city
One very important point is that we can give you some guidelines, but the key to really understanding when the peak times are is to know your city. Each city has a different personality, and getting to know it will give you an advantage over other drivers.
A big entertainment city like LA will have different patterns of movement and rhythm to a tourist town or a business focused city like Washington. Ridester.com gives some good examples of this, pointing out that Thursday nights in New York area peak going out time that is bigger than Friday night.
Best times of the day to drive
The key times to get rides are in the following windows:
- Early mornings (4:00 am – 10:00 am) – this is a good time in most cities. It is when you are most likely to catch long trips to the airport and people going to work. Positioning yourself in a wealthy suburb filled with professionals is your best bet.
- Afternoons – Early Evenings (3:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m) – now you will catch the people heading home. It can be busy traffic but gets better in the evening.
- Late evenings (9:45 pm -2:00 a.m) – this is especially true of the days later in the week & the weekends. Areas with late-night restaurants, bars and clubs are good, as is around colleges and universities.
- Weekend daytime – this can be another good time, as people are on the move rather than at work.
Best days of the year to drive
According to the Rideshare Guy – there are four days of the year when you will have the best opportunity to earn money driving. His logic is to follow the alcohol. Just like Friday and Saturdays are good days because people are out drinking, these days are when people are out partying and the demand for rides is high.
- New year’s eve – this is a top earning night for many drivers
- St Patrick’s Day,
- July 4th
He also gave a list of honorable mentions – other lucrative days to be driving. These are other days when there are lots of people out looking for rides and often fewer drivers who are working.
These include- New Year’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Night Before Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, Music Festival days, cold, wet or snowy weather, any other days other people won’t drive due to family plans etc.
There are lots of opportunities if you are willing to be disciplined. Follow our recommendations and you will have the best chance to earn well driving for Lyft.