As a Lyft driver, I feel it is my responsibility to understand the Lyft fees and rules in order to best advise my riders. Accordingly, I offer you tips in order for you to get the best experience when using Lyft:
- Understand your fees! There are several factors that are used to determine the overall cost of your ride. First off, in addition to your fare, you are hit with a $2.25 service fee. Then your fare starts off at a flat $1 and begins building from there. For each mile you are driven, you are paying $0.18 and for each minute that the meter is running, you are are paying another $0.13 (which means in heavy traffic conditions, you will pay more for the same destination than when traffic is clear). Therefore, just getting into a Lyft car costs you $3.25 before you even take off for your destination.
- Avoid cancellation fees! Sometimes, you have a change of plans and need to cancel your requested ride. If this happens, cancel as soon as possible; it not only is being considerate of your driver, but it helps you to avoid a $5 cancellation fee. The rule for assessing a cancellation fee is that you must cancel within 5 minutes of requesting the ride, unless your driver is not on time to arrive (more than 5 minutes of the ETA).
- Avoid no-show fees! If you make your driver wait more than 5 minutes after you have been notified of her or his arrival, she or he can (and likely will) cancel your ride and that will cost you $5.
- Be ready when your driver shows up! As soon as the driver taps the notification button to let you know that your ride has arrived, the clock starts ticking. While it only costs you $0.13 per minute, there is no good reason to waste extra money and/or risk being late for showing up and getting slapped with a $5 no-show fee (as well as having to order another ride).
- Take advantage of their multiple-stop feature! Sometimes you need to make a run to the store and pick up one small item and head right back home. Instead of having your Lyft driver drop you off, select the multiple-stop option and enter your home as the second leg of your trip. You are sure to save money because, as mentioned in #1 above, each Lyft ride request starts off with a $2.25 service fee and another flat $1.00 base fee before the clock and odometer starts. Since you only pay $0.13 per minute (along with $0.85 per mile, which of course would not apply while your driver is waiting for you), if you spend less than 25 minutes before getting back in the Lyft car, you come out better off than ordering another Lyft for your next leg of the journey. Also, your driver earns more than double than by just dropping you off and you save time by not having to wait for another driver to pick you up when you’re done.
- Rate your driver fairly! Lyft drivers depend upon good ratings, so your ratings do matter. Of course, not every driver will meet your highest standard, but do remember that we are human and do our best to get you where you want to go as smoothly and quickly as possible. If you do have a bad experience, by giving your driver a rating of 3 stars or less, you will ensure that you will never be matched with that driver again (drivers have the same 3-star rating option). By the way, my rule is that each rider that gets in my car starts off with a 5 star rating; believe me, you have to be pretty bad to get less than 5 stars when you ride with me!
- Use the tipping feature on your Lyft app! Did you know that you can tip your drivers through the Lyft app? As a Lyft driver, I can attest to how much your tips are appreciated! Lyft drivers must pay for their own gas and insurance, along with maintenance and wear & tear on their cars, and they are paid only a portion of your Lyft charge. If you tip at restaurants based upon service, you should do the same for Lyft drivers, who are also performing a personal service for you.
- Know what your driver earns and tip accordingly! Lyft drivers in Albuquerque are paid 75% of the base fare that you pay. Remember that your base fare is the total Lyft charge minus the service fee of $2.25. So, for example, if your total Lyft fare is $7.25, your driver earned $3.75 for giving you a ride ($7.25 less $2.25 service fee leaves a $5 fare, of which the driver is paid 75%, or $3.75). Drivers get 100% of all tips, so by adding an extra $1 in a tip, you can boost her or his earnings to $4.75.
- DO NOT USE UBER! They are an unethical company and I refuse to offer their service in my car because I am unwilling to contribute to or be a part of such an immoral corporate culture.