Last month, I made a myTake about the Pros and Cons of Lyft driving, but after I got into an accident, not during a Lyft ride but afterwards, on top of some more analyzing and research, I look back and decided driving for Lyft was just not worth it as the risks are much bigger than the rewards.
Driving for Lyft was a catch 22 for me.
Last year I was getting tight on money, had debt, and wasn't making a whole lot from my main job so I had to find a side hustle.
I had friends who drove for Lyft/Uber and my biggest hesitations was getting a sketchy passenger or driving into bad neighborhoods. Having done Lyft for 7 months, that maybe happened 3-4 rides out of the 306 rides I gave.
I signed up for Lyft in January but didn't start driving until March when the weather and roads got better. Until I started driving for Lyft, I was donating plasma and doing paid surveys for extra cash. It's hard for me to work a regular side job where I clock in as I work 9 hours a day and commute 2 hours to work by train as it's about an hour each way by train to my main job, so I wouldn't have time to work when I got home. This was where Lyft came in handy with the flexibility and being able to start and stop when I wanted.
In the beginning Lyft made financial sense because they would offer bonus incentives like my first week, it was $250 guaranteed for 10 rides, regardless of the distance of the ride. I only made $167 including tips so they matched me the difference. The problem is these only came to me my first 2-3 months of driving. After that, I was basically driving till reached my own personal goal. No wonder there is high turnover with these companies.
What I thought was some good side cash, all came to an end when I got into an accident last month on November 4th when my car hydroplaned into the guardrail while turning onto an exit ramp which totaled my car. I'm also screwed out of a car right now. Now I'm not saying it was Lyft's fault that I got into the accident but here are the issues with driving for Lyft/Uber that outweigh any positives.
1. Your Personal Insurance does NOT cover Ride sharing
I was a bit naive because when I initially signed up for Lyft, I had to prove insurance and assumed they communicated with my insurance about it. Apparently you need Rideshare/Commercial insurance which is so expensive where the amount you make will either result in a net loss or break even, depending on how much you drive. If you don't inform your insurance and they find out you drove for Lyft/Uber, not only will they not cover you but they can cancel your policy too. Now does Lyft does provide liability insurance, only while driving a passenger, but the deductible is $2500 if you get into an accident.
Now I'm thankful my accident happened after I was done driving and had my app turned off, but I didn't know this till after the accident happened.
2. After your expenses of gas, wear and tear, and accelerated depreciation, you really don't make that much.
Sure, I was able to make some money, between $100-200 a week, depending on how much I drove but it increased the frequency of oil changes and it wore out my tires, which might have caused my car to hydroplane in the first place. I did get a cushion, but not that much. I don't have enough to buy a cheap car in full at the moment and I only had liability insurance.
Even if I still had my car, a good amount of that money I made would have gone just to replace the tires as the tread was wearing out. Now I am aware that driving your car overtime as is causes your tires and other parts to wear out, but driving for Lyft accelerates that.
3. Your chances of getting into an accident increase.
This kinda builds off number 1, but while accidents can happen anywhere, the more you drive your car, the more likely you're going to get into an accident and obviously with Lyft/Uber, you're driving more as that's how you make money from it. Fortunately I never had an accident during the 306 rides I gave, but I had a few close calls where drivers would pull out in front of me or run red lights. Insurance still would have denied me as I was giving a Lyft/Uber Ride.
If you live in the suburbs or depend on your car for getting around most places in general, I'd honestly avoid driving for Lyft or Uber. I mean sure you take chances of getting into an accident when you drive regardless if it's personal/business use but you don't know when an accident can happen and the money to fix/replace a car will most likely exceed what you make from Lyft and Uber.
Overall, if you are looking to make extra money and are considering driving for Lyft, Uber or any rideshare company, PLEASE consider this. This past month has been rough as where I live, you need a car to get around and I'm stuck between getting another car or not getting one and moving to the city where I won't need one.