What’s The Difference Between Lyft and Uber?

Even though Lyft and Uber essentially do the same thing, passengers and drivers will tell you there are some pretty big differences.

This video will break down the difference between Lyft and Uber, and I’ll also let you know which service I prefer driving for and why.

Hey, guys. So right now, I’m going to tackle one of the questions that I get all the time — from drivers and passengers to friends and family, reporters. People always want to know what’s the difference between Lyft and Uber. So what I usually tell them is that for me, from a personal point of view, I prefer driving for Lyft. Everyone probably knows that by now, but at the same time, I also make more money, and I get more requests as an Uber driver. So I want to break down a little bit more about what goes into driving for the two and what I see as some commonalities and some differences.

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Taking passengers from A to B — But is there more?

Now, obviously, both Lyft and Uber do nearly exactly the same thing, but I really think the difference comes down to their slogan, right? Lyft’s slogan is “your friend with a car.” Uber’s is “your private driver.” And I really feel like that slogan kind of speaks to the differences between the two.

So with Lyft, whenever I drive my passengers, they almost always sit up in the front seat. They’re friendly, and they talk, and I like driving my Lyft passengers better. I like other Lyft drivers too. I feel like I get a lot of Lyft drivers as passengers too, because with Lyft, you can actually tell when you have a driver, because the driver’s picture will have a green ivy background. Since your driver and your passenger account is the same with Lyft, you can actually tell when you’re giving a ride to a driver.

Lyft passengers and drivers seem friendlier. Branding at work?

Lyft is more friendly, and the people are nicer. I don’t know how many Lyft drivers or Lyft passengers also take Uber, but I do feel like there is some, “Oh, I’ll only take Lyft,” and Uber passengers say, “Oh, I only take Uber.” But me, personally as a passenger, I prefer both since I also know that a lot of drivers do both. I think Lyft really has not done the best job building their community lately. They had a great thing going with a ton of Lyft drivers who were super devoted to the company. Honestly, a lot of people used to make fun of them for drinking the pink Kool-Aid, so you guys may have heard that term.

But Lyft had a really good thing going with themed cars, like the Disco Lyft and Hip Hop Lyft and all of these cool themed cars, which are still around. There was a sense of community created by driver events. I thought that was cool, because it was like you were working with your friends, and it didn’t seem like it was such a job. And I know that a lot of drivers still feel that way today and still prefer Lyft over Uber because of that, but at the same time, I haven’t found many of any cities where drivers are making more driving primarily for Lyft instead of Uber.

Lyft allows passengers to tip in the app

You can accept tips with Lyft, which is awesome, and I think it really rewards those drivers who go above and beyond and provide that five-star level of experience every time, do something unique, go out of their way. You’re rewarded with not only a five-star, but you’re also able to get a tip.

Now, with Uber, we know they’re saying their slogan is “everyone’s private driver,” and it is kind of true. Sometimes I don’t quite feel like a slave when I’m driving Uber passengers around, but I always notice that I’m always waiting longer for Uber passengers. And a lot of this is obviously anecdotal evidence. But when you’re doing hundreds of rides, and you’re talking to other drivers and other passengers even, you kind of start to get that sense, and you can really get a good sense and a good feel for what the differences are between Uber and Lyft. And I don’t think they’re as pronounced as some people like to say, but there definitely is a difference.

Maybe I’ll start tracking how many minutes it takes for the average Uber passenger to come downstairs and the average minutes it takes for the average Lyft passenger to come downstairs. That will probably be some pretty cool data.

Uber passengers can make you wait longer

And then obviously, with Uber, I would say 80% to 90% of my Uber passengers sit in the back, which is fine. Honestly, most of the time, they end up liking me, and we end up chatting, and they probably wish they would have sat up in the front, but it’s fine. It’s not a huge deal. And you do get the occasional passenger with Uber who’s just digging in to their phone and pretending like they’re doing work, probably on Facebook or Instagram though, and you definitely get that. But most people warm up to you. For me, that’s what I see as the biggest differences between the two companies. So if you’re already driving or considering driving, these are the things you want to take into consideration.

I’d say, especially nowadays, over 50% of drivers are driving for both Uber and Lyft. Some are even doing Sidecar and Postmates. So if you’re a passenger, you might not even realize that you’re probably getting the same driver whether it’s Lyft or Uber, and you have 50% chance, probably, of getting a driver who does both. So the only thing that matters is which app you hail the ride through and how much you’re going to pay.

Most drivers drive for both Uber and Lyft – Should you too?

So for me, as a driver I do both. So when passengers come into my car, I tell them, “Hey, just log on to the both apps and see which one’s cheaper. Take that ride.” “You guys, you’re your own independent contractors, right?” as Uber and Lyft love to tell us. We’re not employees, so you don’t need to show loyalty to one or the other. Honestly, if you prefer driving for Lyft, and you want to build their fan base, then definitely try to convince some riders to jump over if you prefer Uber. But if you just want to look out for whatever in the best interest of the passenger, just let them know, “Hey, just take whatever is cheaper.” That’s usually what I do.

It’s also a good way to pass out referral cards at that point. You say, “Hey, Lyft is generally cheaper,” or whatever, and then you pass out your cards. And if you’re driver, and you’re considering both, honestly, I would just pick one. Pick Uber or Lyft, whichever you think is going to work well for you and your market.

Start doing it and see if you like it, and maybe it turns out you’ll hate driving, and you don’t like it. So at that point, you don’t need to sign up for both apps, but I always recommend that you at least sign up for Uber and Lyft and even definitely throw Sidecar in there if it’s available (As of 12/29/2015 Sidecar is no longer a service). You don’t necessary need to drive all three, but you just want to have those options. You have the options to diversify your income, and it’s going to help you be a better business owner and a better driver in general.


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