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The Pros & Cons of Driving with Lyft

Driving passengers with Lyft has both positive points and negative points. Before you sign up, consider realistically both the pros AND the cons. Here is a summary of Lyft pros & cons often expressed by Lyft gig drivers.

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By the way, the Gig Café (11 Facebook Groups) is a GREAT place to learn what other drivers across Canada like (and don’t like) about driving passengers with Lyft – including a group specifically for Lyft drivers.

PRO: Why Drivers LIKE Lyft

  • I AM MY OWN BOSS. Nobody tells me what to do. I drive when I want, and I stay home when I want. I really like that!
  • The work schedule is totally flexible, making it possible to participate in other activities any time I want.
  • Lyft is the perfect part-time job, generating extra income in addition to my main full-time employment.
  • I can earn a decent income. At busy times, I often receive more than $30/hour (before expenses).
  • I can scale my hours, depending on the situation: Part-time, full-time, or as much as 60 hours/week (or more!) if I want a higher income.
  • I get paid weekly, and I can even cash out instantly if I need money in a hurry (for a fee).
  • At tax time, I can significantly reduce my income tax by deducting my business expenses (fuel, maintenance, repairs, tires, smartphone, data plan, etc.) And I only have to pay it in April of the following year, allowing me to use the funds for other things in the meantime.
  • I get to keep some of the GST/HST which Lyft collects from passengers and includes with my payments.
  • This gig is like having my own small business. I am rewarded with profits from my own hard work and smart decisions.
  • Driving with Lyft is good, honest work. I don’t have to steal, beg, or depend on government handouts.
  • I meet many interesting people, learn a lot from them, and enjoy some great conversations.
  • I enjoy driving.
  • I get to know my city and see interesting places.
  • Between rides, I am able to listen to the radio, send emails, read, and complete errands.
  • I love technology: The Lyft app, Internet, GPS, smartphone, satellite radio, etc.
  • Having mastered the Lyft gig, I find it easy to also drive passengers with Uber Rideshare, which increases my average hourly income and my total net income.
  • It’s exciting! Each day when I head out, I never know who I’ll meet or where I’ll go. Lyft driving is an adventure!
  • It’s good to be outside, moving around and doing useful activity, instead of sitting at home or working inside a building.
  • I make a meaningful contribution to society by helping people get where they need to go. I enjoy serving. I make a difference. I am proud of my work.

CON: Why Drivers DON’T LIKE Lyft

  • I don’t end up with a very big income. I would have to drive 60 hours a week to make enough money to cover all all of my family’s expenses.
  • There are a lot of vehicle expenses to cover (fuel, maintenance, repairs, etc.)
  • The cost of fuel has risen a lot recently, but Lyft’s payment rates have not risen.
  • I need to have a set of winter tires, and to pay for changing them twice a year (in most places).
  • I am wearing out my vehicle. It is depreciating steadily in value, and seems to be breaking down more often.
  • I am required to provide a smartphone and pay for a 10GB monthly data plan.
  • I get hit with a big lump sum income tax payment every April.
  • I have to eventually pay the government most of the GST/HST which Lyft collects from passengers and includes with my payments.
  • I dislike doing the business side of gig driving (tracking mileage/income/expenses, taxes, registrations, documents, etc.)
  • Passengers don’t tip very often – even when I go the “extra mile” for them.
  • I am just not comfortable with having strangers in my personal car.
  • Passengers might mess up my car – especially if they bring along dogs, or are drunk.
  • I don’t enjoy talking with people I don’t know.
  • Passengers can be frustrating, rude or even racist. Some of them treat me like a servant, and seem to think I’m a loser or a second-class citizen.
  • I get tired of talking to passengers all day, and trying to be polite even when they are irritating.
  • Driving strangers is not safe. I might get Covid (or mugged, or scammed, etc.)
  • I don’t enjoy driving for long hours. It makes me nervous (or tired, or sore, etc.)
  • I might have an accident.
  • I might get tickets.
  • It’s difficult to find public washrooms.
  • I don’t like waking up early in the morning.
  • I don’t like driving after dark or during the night.
  • I don’t like technology. It’s confusing and difficult to understand.
  • Driving can be very stressful (especially downtown) – and I don’t like stress. Yet it seems like the only place I get a lot of Lyft rides is downtown.
  • This gig is unpredictable. I prefer to know in advance what to expect from the day ahead.
  • When I need support from Lyft, their Customer Service people can be very frustrating.
  • I’ve heard that when a passenger submits a complaint (even if it’s a false one), Lyft tends to side with the passenger and not with the driver. I worry about Lyft suddenly deactivating me because of a bad passenger.
  • There is no job security. I might suddenly be out of work if Lyft deactivates me (or if I have an accident, if my car breaks down, if there’s another pandemic, etc.)
  • There are no benefits (medical coverage, severance, pension, etc.)
  • There are no sick days or vacation days – if I don’t drive, I don’t have income.
  • I wonder if Lyft’s priority is to have as many drivers as possible on the road, rather than to help me earn a decent income. Sometimes it feels like there are too many Lyft drivers competing for too few passengers.
  • Lyft doesn’t operate in many parts of Canada.

(**Note: Successful Lyft drivers have responses & solutions for many of these concerns. They are out on the road earning money in spite of the negative points!)

After considering these points, you may want to study more complete and up-to-date details found on the Lyft Website. That’s where you will also find information which applies specifically to the location where you plan to drive.

Ready to Start?

Once you are confident Lyft may be a good fit for you, then you might as well go ahead and take the next step: SIGN UP! It only takes a few minutes to set up your Lyft Account, providing basic information to establish your driver profile.

Don’t worry – Lyft does not require fees or deposits, and there are no binding obligations or legal traps. At any point along the way, you can pause to get answers to your questions. But if you’re ready to move forward, the sooner you sign up and launch the registration process, the sooner you’ll be out on the road earning money.

(Note: When you click the link to go to Lyft’s sign-up page, the sign-up address will automatically include a Referral Code DOUG36244. This tells Lyft you were referred by Gig Drivers of Canada. We would be grateful if you will use that sign-up page (or enter the Referral Code in the sign-up box), so Gig Drivers can receive recognition and a small referral reward to help cover our expenses. Thank you very much!)

PLEASE HELP US IMPROVE THE GIGAPEDIA by liking/disliking this article (below). And we invite you to contribute comments (at the bottom under Leave a Reply) — correcting mistakes or providing additional information. GigDrivers.ca will use this feedback to constantly update the Gigapedia. THANK YOU!
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