The Best Lyft Tricks and Tips to Boost Your Income

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PUBLISHED BY Sally Pau / March 26, 2021

The Best Lyft Tricks and Tips to Boost Your Income

Lyft is one of the most widespread and well-known rideshare companies today. After only 6 years from its launch, Lyft hit the 1 billionth-ride benchmark–a milestone that represents its continued growth! In other words, Lyft and the opportunities it permits independent contractors won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Rideshare drivers on the gig app have good reason to be concerned with how to make the most money on Lyft. As an independent contractor, you can have control over how many hours you put in and how much you can make. While you can work long hours to maximize your income, we like to focus on working smarter and getting the most for your time, which is why we like to focus on Lyft tricks and tips that will make a difference in the way you work.

No matter how long you’ve been in the game or what your routine is, there are perhaps some things you haven’t considered which could improve your performance. Maximum rideshare success means both making the most money possible and providing a top-notch experience for your customers.

Figuring out how to be a successful Lyft driver takes practice, consideration, and experience. Herein, we’ve outlined the best Lyft tricks and tips every driver should know. This article breaks down not only how to earn more with Lyft, but also how to get more riders on Lyft and how they relate.

Be Considerate

This is not only one of the best tips for driving for Lyft, but it applies to any cooperative task. Put yourself in the shoes of your riders and imagine what caters to the greatest experience possible. Always be very polite with riders, be it through text or when speaking in-person, and remember to treat passengers once they arrive to make them feel welcomed!

Timely arrivals are a huge factor for customers when rating their experience. Always go the extra mile to arrive at the pick-up location as soon as possible. In the event where tardiness cannot be avoided, be sure to call or text the customer that you’ll be late and give them an estimated time of arrival. Waiting for a car is never ideal, but nothing feels worse than being left stranded. You can even keep some small amenities on hand like a bottle of water or snack to make the best impression.

Since all rideshare systems are decentralized, your reputation equates to your value, and therefore your profits. Drivers who provide great experiences will rightfully earn 5-star ratings and create a cycle of growth for themselves. Value the experiences of your clients—an essential tip on how to be a successful Lyft driver.

Take Care of Your Car

First impressions are priceless! If your car or truck is clean and in order, riders will already expect an experience to match. If you’ve just returned from your favorite mountainside trail, consider heading to the carwash before hitting the road for business. 

Be sure to also check for leftover trash or other items from previous passengers. You can keep a small vacuum in the trunk to remove sand, dust, and grit from the hard-to-reach crevices. Also, be aware of any unpleasant odors which may need attention and get them out before taking passengers. If anything stands out that doesn’t make you smile, it’s probably worth addressing.

Another good tip when considering how to boost ratings as a Lyft driver is to provide some entertainment. Stick your favorite newspapers or magazines in the backseat pockets. Play something pleasant and interesting on your monitor if you have one, and always give the option to have it turned off.

If you really want to cater to your rider’s experience, have an auxiliary cord ready and offer riders to play their own music—this is practically a 5-star rating guarantee!

Know When and How to Drive

Meticulous attention should be given to the best locations for Lyft drivers. In fact, location poses one of the biggest challenges for new Lyft drivers trying to decide where to wait for requests. Generally, the best advice is to remain in the city. Although there is more competition in the city, potential riders far outnumber drivers, so the odds are in your favor. Alternatively, if you don’t live or drive in a big city, consider hanging out near crowded areas like shopping centers or movie theaters.

Time is an obvious factor for how to get more Lyft requests, but when is the best time to drive? Well, Lyft offers “Prime Time” incentives during the more crucial hours. During this time, drivers are more scarce, requests are in higher demand, and rider fares are increased. This is somewhat of a double-edged sword due to heavy competition and an increase in traffic. A good idea could be to utilize the “Prime Time” advantage whenever it overlaps with your working hours, and experiment in your area to see what works best for you.

Drive Safely

When it comes to driver safety, here’s a tip that most people already know: get a phone mount. Having a phone mount frees up your hands and makes for a more seamless experience for both you and the customer as they will be able to see live map details. Also, wireless Bluetooth headphones are a great asset when communicating in the car in general.

Next, we recommend using a dashcam while you’re on duty. In the case of an accident or an unruly customer, it never hurts to have some video footage of the events as insurance. Aside from the technological aid, other precautions can be taken to ensure overall safety, such as following the local road laws and encouraging all passengers to wear a seatbelt.

Other tips for you and your customer’s safety include keeping a first aid kit in the glove compartment in case of emergencies and consider carefully the times and areas when you pick up passengers. Report anyone who acts inappropriately or threatening. These Lyft driving tips for safety can really impact the overall ease-of-mind, boosting your productivity and earning you more requests.

Maximize Bonuses

Lyft offers referral bonuses to new drivers and existing drivers who refer new drivers to the platform. The process is simple: Those referred via the invite link will have 30 days to complete the 50-100 rides depending on your city. Once they are completed, both parties will receive a bonus–that’s it! It’s one of the best tips for making money with Lyft because it requires no unnecessary work. You can also learn more about the Lyft Power Driver Bonus to learn more about personal power zones, ride streaks, ride challenges, and more!

Other Useful Tips on How to Get More Lyft Requests

  • Keep good records: Good recordkeeping can save you hundreds once tax season rolls around. If you’re unsure how it works, take a second to learn more about vehicle expense deductions and tracking mileage for taxes.
  • Drive less: One of the underrated Lyft tricks and tips is to find a good spot and wait for the requests to come to you. This could help you save time and gas money instead of driving around until Lyft requests pop up.
  • Take care of yourself: It’s sometimes harder than it seems. Be sure to stay hydrated, take meal breaks, and get enough rest before you hit the road.
  • Know the local bathrooms: In case of an emergency, especially if you’re chauffeuring younger children. This also goes for you because well, you’re human! 

For more general tips for success as an independent gig worker, learn more about upskilling in a gig economy. To stay up-to-date with the latest financial and gig economy resources, be sure to sign up for our newsletter! 

Sally Pau

Sally is the Growth Marketer at Moves. With years of experience as an independent contractor, she understands both the fulfillment and challenges that come with the gig economy. Now, she is enthusiastic to help build a collective voice to put gig workers at the forefront and drive meaningful change.

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