As a rideshare driver for two years in both Chicago and Denver, I can say without equivocation that when given a choice between Uber and Lyft, Uber is the way to go. There are many reasons for this, but let me start with the most important one: money. I have made some very nice paychecks from Uber. On a good week, Uber paid better than most “regular” jobs. On a bad week, I still pulled down $15 or more per hour. Lyft, on the other hand, has provided hit and miss supplemental income. When Lyft “hit,” it was okay (like $15 to $20 per hour), but when Lyft “missed,” I made below minimum wage.
Uber is consistently busy. I found this to be true throughout the entire Chicago and Denver regions. Sure, there are busier and slower times and areas, but anytime 24/7 that I wanted to go out and make decent to great money, all I had to do was turn on the Uber app. Though I sometimes had to drive into or closer to the city, I always picked up business on Uber. To find out more about Uber, visit here.
Uber also offers tremendous incentives like Quest. Quest pays bonuses when drivers give a certain number of rides. For example, an extra $40 for drivers who complete 20 rides over the weekend. Uber will then offer a similar Quest on the weekdays. Hitting the ride total is easy. Getting to 20 rides in Chicago or Denver on the weekend requires part-time hours. If you achieve the Quest for both the weekdays and weekends, an extra $80 to $100 comes with your weekly paycheck. On top of Quest, Uber offers Boost, which provides special surge zones. Getting an extra $100 from Boost per week is also reasonable.
Uber also has plenty of regular surge zones. These zones occur when an area gets busy, usually during rush hour and Friday/Saturday nights. Surge fares are usually 1.5 to 2.0 times the regular fares. When you add the incentives and surges to the fares, it’s easy for Uber drivers to make $500/week part-time, $800/week full time but not really working hard, and $1,000/week plus if they are willing to push themselves and drive during the busy times like Friday and Saturday nights.
I have tried driving for both Uber and Lyft, just Lyft, and just Uber, and I always made more driving for just Uber. Uber never got too slow for me to keep up a decent amount per hour. Lyft had periods (especially in suburban areas) where traffic on the app went down to nothing. When this happened, I went back to the Uber app, and I always picked up a ride.
Another advantage I found with Uber over Lyft was airport wait times. On the Uber app, 20 minutes was average and an hour was unheard of unless you got there at 3 A.M. On Lyft, under an hour wait time was a miracle, 2 hours average, and 3 hours not uncommon. Not many drivers can afford to sit that long and make no money.
Outside of the pay, Uber offers several driver benefits. They have offices in major cities like Chicago and Denver. This makes it easier to sign up and meet Uber car requirements because you can go down to the office, and they’ll complete sign up for you right then. They also have a lot of cars available for their rental and leasing programs, so if your car has trouble or you need a vehicle to get started, it is feasible with Uber. I tried this with Lyft, but they had run out of cars and had a wait time of several months.
All told, Uber pays more, is busier, and drivers are guaranteed to make decent to excellent money. Lyft offers less pay, and the traffic on the app can get so slow that it’s not worth it.
As a rideshare driver, I discovered that I could make a nice paycheck while setting my own hours. However, I also discovered that as a 1099 worker, I needed to manage my personal taxes, health benefits, and retirement savings. It was also important to save because of variable income. It is essential as a rideshare driver to plan your finances. Information on financial planning can be quite helpful.