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Lyft vs. Uber: Side-by-side comparison for drivers

Try both to find the company that works for you.

Uber and Lyft have quickly become household names, pushing out traditional taxis across the country. But which one treats drivers better?

Uber vs. Lyft

Prices and fares, side by side.

How prices are determinedBase fare + time + distance + extras (surge pricing, cancellations, etc.)Base fare + time + distance + extras (Prime Time pricing, cancellations, tips, etc.)
Percentage of driver’s earnings taken by the companyApproximately 20% to 30%+Approximately 20 to 30%+
Increased prices during peak timesYes, uncappedYes, uncapped
App design and user interfaceAlmost identicalAlmost identical

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Uber vs. Lyft company history

Uber was founded in the USA in 2009, and is the biggest rideshare company in the country. But it’s also been involved in a long list of scandals, including security problems, sexual assault allegations involving then-CEO Travis Kalanik and concerns about whether the company’s surge pricing model is ethical. In 2017, Kalanik stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi.

Lyft was launched in 2012 and is also a giant in the rideshare industry — though it’s currently not as big as Uber. Lyft has been growing in recent years, with some speculating its rise in popularity stems from the Uber scandals and Lyft presenting itself as a friendlier company.

What’s the verdict?

It depends on where you’re at, which will pay more and how much the company’s image matters to you. Both Lyft and Uber have variable pricing, which means that where you live affects how much you can make. While a decent amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that Lyft pays slightly more, Uber’s larger base means you have more potential passengers.

But choosing one is unnecessary. Many drivers sign up with both companies so they can switch back and forth depending on which app has the most passengers that day. And if you find you’re making significantly more with one company, you always have the option to delete the other app.

Compare ridesharing services

Name Product Earning structure Signing bonus Insurance support Locations
  • Earn base fare plus amounts for time and distance
  • Earn tips
  • Surge pricing
  • Earn more for long-distance pickups
All 50 states
The more you drive, the higher your earnings.
  • Earn base fare plus amounts for time and distance
  • Earn tips
  • Earn bonuses
New York City
Los Angeles
Washington, DC
Arlington, Texas
West Sacramento, California
King County, Washington
Newton, Massachusetts
Salt Lake County, Utah
Cupertino, California
Birmingham, Alabama
Pickups and dropoffs are always on a street corner.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Both Uber and Lyft can help you make a few bucks on the side — or even start a new career if you live in an in-demand area. But neither company is particularly forthcoming about how much it pays or what percentage of your fares it’ll take. The only way to find out is to test drive both.

To make sure you’re fully covered if something happens to you or your passengers, get car insurance for rideshare drivers before signing up.

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