Uber vs. Lyft: Which is Better for Riders and Drivers?


In 2015, Josh Waldrum from The Zebra did an experiment to see if it was possible to give up your car and depend solely on rideshares to get around. Two years later and after much controversy, I wanted to give Uber and Lyft another chance. I wanted to see what they had done to reassure us that they are providing a safe, reasonable, responsible environment for their drivers and their riders.

Click to see the full infographic ›

For one month, I looked at the major differences between the two, including cost, app technology, drivers’ perspectives, and riders’ perspectives and documented as much data and as many personal stories as I could.

But if you’re just here for the stats, I won’t take it to heart — too much.

So, tl;dr …

Uber Lyft
Cost Per Mile $3.30 $2.86
Average Tip $3.60 $4.59
Advertised Wait Time vs. Actual Wait Time 4.4 vs. 5 minutes 4.15 vs. 4.25 minutes
Driver Satisfaction 65% 75%
Ratio of Male-to-Female Drivers 19/1 16/4
Average Vehicle Safety Rating 4.165/5 stars 4.463/5 stars

My name is Taylor Covington, and I work for The Zebra, the leading car insurance comparison marketplace in the U.S. I’m a real-deal millennial: I prefer puppies to people, I don’t buy diamonds, and I eat only avocado toast. So, I’m perfectly suited to test the next evolution in rideshare services. Plus, I’m a native Austinite. I ride the bus to work every day, I know how to fold a burrito to keep the meaty insides from falling out, and I bleed burnt orange (HOOK ‘EM!). Believe me, when I say the Austin public transit system is rather “outdated,” I know what I’m talking about.

Uber and Lyft left over a dispute with the City of Austin in 2016, despite a much-needed alternative to our bus and metro system. In their absence, a series of rideshare companies willing to comply with local ordinances had filled the open market. So when the two rideshare giants came back in May 2017, considering all the recent Uber scandals, no one really knew what to expect.

When it came to my assessment of the two companies, I went in with an investigator’s toolkit: an open mind and an eye for detail. Here is what I found:

Uber vs. Lyft: How much do they cost?

uber-vs-lyft-cost

Over the course of one month, I spent $503.36 on rides. Over a total of 111.22 miles, the average cost per mile was $4.53 including tips. The average cost per trip in total was $12.58.

I’d also like to note that I knowingly tipped more than the socially accepted 20% — about 45% for Uber and about 51% for Lyft. Partly because Uber and Lyft take 25-30% out of the drivers’ fares and partly because $2 more out of an $8 fair won’t break the bank, I felt that a bigger tip offset most of the drivers’ expenses, including gas and any extra goodies (i.e. water, candy, gum, etc.). Both Lyft and Uber recommend a $3 tip per five miles.

When it came down to it, I still spent $40 more on Lyft than I did on Uber, but with an average tip costing me $1 more. As we’ve explored before, tipping with Uber and Lyft has always been kind of a weird thing. While Lyft launched its app with a tipping option, Uber only recently added the option but many users felt compelled to tip with cash.

I spoke with drivers who claimed that only 25% of people tip, either with cash or in the app. But another lucky driver said he found that 60% of people tip. One driver believed offering candy and water was critical to a higher tip, yet someone else claimed that a decent conversation was a big indication of whether or not that rider would tip.

Individuals may have better experiences with one company over another, but there was not enough anecdotal evidence to determine whether Uber or Lyft drivers received better tips. However, no matter the driver or the company, drivers were quick to say there was no pressure to tip.

Uber Lyft
Cost per trip $11.58 $13.59
Cost per mile $3.30 $2.86
Average tip $3.60 $4.59
Total amount spent $231.52 $271.84

 

Uber vs. Lyft: How fast are they? – an app comparison

uber-vs-lyft-app-comparison

Map Technology

As a driver, both Uber and Lyft allow you to choose among Google Maps, Waze, or any other third-party navigation app when dropping off a passenger. Earlier this year Uber made updates to its in-app navigation system hoping drivers would make the switch to its own service. However, the drivers I spoke with claimed that Uber’s locator tool was straight-up wrong and still opted to use a third-party app. Lyft, on the other hand, doesn’t have a built-in navigation system, though they do recommend using Google Maps or Waze.

User Experience Design

The UX (user experience) for the Uber app is extremely informative. The receipt saves the name, year/model of the car, as well as the license number — plus provides much more information about your driver before and during the pick up. You can see how many rides your driver has given and what previous riders have said about them in reviews. As a young female, this information gave me comfort that I was with a) the correct driver, and b) he or she was well-vetted and generally, a safe person to be around.

As a rider for Lyft, on the other hand, you can’t see the year/model of the car once your driver picks you up. You match the car model, license plate, and driver with the information provided in the app. But once you have been picked up, the vehicle information is never seen again, not even in your receipts, though your receipts do list how your fare was calculated, the name of your driver, along with a profile picture.

Recently, Lyft began using Amps — small, colored devices that sit behind the windshield. Their light changes to match the color on your phone. This is designed specifically to ensure you are getting in the correct stranger’s vehicle, but I still maintain that Uber’s system is much more comprehensive.

Uber Lyft
Advertised wait time 4.4 minutes 4.15 minutes
Actual wait time 5 minutes 4.25 minutes



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Uber vs. Lyft: What’s better for drivers?

uber-vs-lyft-drivers

Driver Satisfaction

Despite reported claims that Uber has a higher percentage of requested riders, and thus drivers could make more money, I found that Lyft had higher driver satisfaction. Maybe that’s due to the excellent incentive programs Lyft provides, as one of my drivers believed. Often times, Lyft will match a driver’s pay after X number of rides in Y number of days. But these programs pop up like taco trucks in a hipster neighborhood, so there’s a lot of opportunity but not a lot of consistency.

Interestingly enough, more Uber drivers than Lyft drivers (about 10%) that found it possible to entirely sustain a living as a driver alone.

Insurance Comprehension

Both rideshare companies offer insurance for their drivers AND require a personal auto insurance policy. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding when and where personal rideshare insurance begins and ends. More on rideshare insurance:

“With the app active, but without a pick-up request, you would be covered by Rideshare Insurance PLUS Uber and Lyft Insurance. Although both Uber and Lyft offer coverage during this period, they only offer liability protection to other vehicles or passengers. In essence, your vehicle has no protection. So, with your rideshare insurance, your personal auto policy extends your personal auto policy to your vehicle.”

This is a clear improvement of driver education since the last time we conducted this study, with only 36% of Uber drivers and 20% of Lyft drivers understanding how rideshare insurance works. So, cheers all around.

Meet Your Driver

As for the type of person who is a successful driver, there really is no perfect mold. Many times, I was absolutely floored by the variation in drivers’ stories. An Iraqi man and his family came here to escape war in the Middle East. In his home country, he was a civil engineer. But in the U.S, where his degrees did not give him the qualifications to continue his practice, he said he felt fortunate to find a job where he could set the hours in order to spend the most amount of time with his family. I had another driver who had been in the food service industry for more than 30 years and drove for rideshare companies part time to make up for slow days in the restaurant. When he found he was making the same amount driving as he did as a waiter, he quit the restaurant business to drive full time because he liked a job with less emotional and physical stress.

The male-to-female driver ratio was shocking. Across both companies, I had seven male drivers for every one female driver I had. Females tended to drive in the late afternoon, while males drove at all hours of the day and night. Fortunately, none of them had ever had sketchy experiences with passengers, but one woman did keep a can of pepper spray in her car “for who knows what.”

Additionally, Uber and Lyft creates job opportunities for the hearing-impaired members of our community. I had two drivers who were hearing impaired. Interestingly enough, both were Uber drivers, but only one time of two did the app tell me that the driver coming to pick me up was deaf. The other time I had no prior notice, and it was only when I got into the car did I see a handwritten sign that said: “I am a deaf driver. Please be patient!”

Can we get a round of applause for Lyft and Uber doing an excellent job of educating and supporting their employees?

Uber Lyft
Driver satisfaction 65% 75%
Drivers who do drive for rideshare as a full-time job 60% 50%
Drivers who drive for both Uber and Lyft 70% 30%
Male-to-female ratio 19/1 16/4

 

Uber vs. Lyft: What’s safer for riders?

uber-vs-lyft-riders
During my rides, I also took note of the make and model of the cars being used by the Lyft and Uber drivers. After the experiment ended, I used the NHTSA safety ratings to calculate an average vehicle safety rating for both companies based on the safety ratings of my drivers’ vehicles. Both Uber and Lyft ended up with more than 4 stars.

But that’s just my surrounding physical safety — what about the person operating the two-ton metal deathtrap? Overall I felt extremely safe during my rides. I never got a “bad vibe” from any of my drivers. Most of them took the preferred route, and honestly, a lot of the conversations were enjoyable and educational. However, I will say the majority of my rides occurred in broad daylight during peak busy hours, so my experience might vastly differ from someone else’s.

As a woman, I know safety is a major concern for many women both riding in and driving for rideshare companies. There were a few times I had some “interesting” male drivers. One told me I was pretty, and that he was glad I didn’t have tattoos because “they make pretty girls ugly” (ultra-ironic because I do have two tattoos on my feet and my shoes merely hid them that day). I had another driver try to make me memorize the prayer for the Archangel St. Michael without any discussion about my personal religious beliefs first. All in all, I’d say most of my male drivers were delightful, and were driving to help support their families or earn some cash on the side as a stay-at-home dad. But the not-so-delightful experiences are important to mention. I did not personally feel threatened in any way, though some passengers might feel otherwise.

Uber Lyft
Drivers who know about rideshare insurance 65% 65%
Average NHTSA safety rating on driver’s vehicle 4.165/5 stars 4.463/5 stars

 

Uber vs. Lyft: Final Thoughts

Now comes the moment I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for: my opinion. For the sake of my ego, I’m just going to assume you all share the same enthusiasm for my thoughts as my mom.

Simply put, Uber and Lyft have improved quite a bit since 2015:

  • The average cost per mile has increased.

  • Driver satisfaction has increased.

  • More than half of the people driving for both Lyft and Uber do this as their primary job.

  • About 15% more drivers now drive for both Lyft and Uber.

At the end of 30 days, I walked away with a clear favorite: Lyft. Overall, I found that their drivers tended to be more pleasant to talk to, the company’s treatment of their employees was much better, and the general feeling of the company was more positive. As one driver so neatly put it, “Lyft really believes they are providing a service to the community.”

I learned a lot over a month of gathering facts and collecting stories. Hopefully after reading this lengthy article, you’ve made your own opinions and judgement calls. So, the next time you get into a Lyft or an Uber, you’ll be a little more confident when the driver looks over, smiles, and says, “Where to next?”


uber vs lyft infographic

 

 

 

 

Scroll down to see our previous experiment on rideshare!

 


 

Uber vs. Lyft: 5 Things I Learned From Giving Up My Car


 

ridesharing

To say that I like to drive would be an understatement. In my small Texas hometown, I learned to drive manual by fourteen, behind the wheel of of a gloriously crappy 1985 Honda Accord. I still remember the first time I let out the clutch successfully, the gears shifting smoothly into first, the gravel of an alley crunching beneath the tires. When my crazy college friends decided to make the 20-hour drive to Chicago from Austin, I upped the ante on their crazy and offered to drive the whole way—straight. I say this not to brag, but to explain that I am perhaps not the most likely candidate to volunteer to give up my car in the name of curiosity. But just a month into my new gig as Director of SEO at The Zebra, an Austin, Texas-based startup in the digital car insurance space, I did just that. So, which one was it? Who won in the battle of Uber vs. Lyft?

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My boss and coworkers looked at me with widened eyes. They were excited about the idea, but everyone agreed: “Better you than me,” they said. “I could never give up my car.” “I’d last a week.” But I was already a big Uber fan; I was curious about Lyft. And I was really curious to answer the question: Could I live without a car for a month, thanks to ridesharing?

The terms were unambiguous: For the entire month of January, I would use Uber and Lyft exclusively for transportation. My Volkswagen Jetta would sit idle in my apartment parking lot. I would not cheat and let my wife drive me around everywhere. I would probably be using more of Favor and Instacart. The timing was fortuitous. The on-demand economy is flourishing in Austin as it is everywhere else right now. Who knows, I thought. Maybe I might even lose a few pounds, from all those afternoon walks to coffee shops for java breaks.

So starting January 1st, 2015, I set out on my mission. Trips to and from work, grocery store runs, drinks with friends on the weekend, and everything else I needed a car for were replaced by one-way rides with strangers. I kept a log of each ride and tracked things like average wait time, cost, distance travelled, waters offered, and notes on each driver.

I also asked every driver a set of questions. Do you like working for Uber? Do you work for Lyft too? How does Uber’s insurance coverage work? Did you tell your personal insurance company that you use your car for ridesharing? Unbeknownst to them, I recorded all their responses.

I took 25 Uber rides the first half of the month and 25 Lyft rides the second half. After 50 rides, as many conversations with people from all walks of life, and a disappointing zero fist bumps offered, here are the top 5 things I learned:

Josh is the Director of SEO at The Zebra with more than 2 years of expertise in the car insurance space. As a contributor to Quoted, Josh covers industry insights and useful information to give readers a better understanding of insurance basics.
  • Nick Shelton

    Hey super interesting article but you have a stats error in your “double dipping” graphic – if the data is 40% and 76% then it’s 35% of the total uber+ lyft drivers that do both. You can’t just average the percentages because you’d be counting some drivers twice.

    • Josh Waldrum

      Hey Nick! Thanks for the comment on this. I don’t think I did a good job explaining the methodology of these numbers in the post. Out of the 25 individual Uber drivers I had, 10 of them drove for both companies. Out of the 25 individual Lyft drivers, 19 drove for both companies. This makes 29/50 drivers drove for both, or 58%.

      • Nick Shelton

        Gotcha. Then your other percentages are off – If you say 40% of Lyft drivers drive for Uber because 19 out of the 25 Lyft drivers also drive for Uber, you’re ignoring the 10 Uber drivers that are also driving for Lyft.

        So if you count everyone that means 66% of the Uber drivers also drive for Lyft, and 82% of Lyft drivers also drive for Uber. I realize this I might come off as pedantic but I think it drives your point home more that there’s a lot of overlap!

        • jonathan

          Nick, I appreciate your interest in the math, but here’s the problem I see with your corrections. If you attempt to quantify the percentage of Uber drivers that Lyft by prequalifying candidates first as Lyft drivers, you will invariably end up with a selection of Uber drivers that 100% drive for Lyft. Clearly this is not an accurate sampling method.

        • lissa_the_cocoa

          It appears from the article that he’s counting drivers as an “Uber driver” or a “Lyft driver” based upon which app he used to hail them. E.g., over the course of the month, he used the Uber app to hail 25 drivers; those 25 drivers are “Uber drivers.” Out of that 25, 10 of them also drove for Lyft. And out of the 25 drivers he hailed using Lyft, 19 of them also reported driving for Uber. There’s nothing wrong with the methodology he used; you just need to understand upfront what the denominator is.

          • Paula Satinoff

            Well then if at 8:30 a.m. at Station A 40% of Lyft drivers drive for Uber but at 4:25 p.m. 82% of Lyft drivers also drive for Uber and by triangulating the cosine of x – y2 19 out of the 25 Lyft drivers also drive for Uber but 10 of them also drove for Lyft, at what time will the train arrive at Station B?

            and BTW I really need some Advil at this point.

            Note: No trains, Lyft or Uber drivers, or statisticians were hurt in the making of this post. But a few algebraic/trigonometric principles did have their dignity offended.

            p.p.s. this in no way minimises the kind efforts of all those who posted to er, clarify matters ;)

    • Miss Y

      If we’re going to be really picky, it’s “data are” not “data is” (data being plural).

      • Sillycibin

        To be even pickier data is a “mass noun” and so it is appropriate to say data is. “Data is most often used as a singular mass noun in educated everyday usage.” People use it both ways as the old school way was to treat it as plural and I believe treating it as either singular or plural is defensible.

  • Lucky13X

    You, I would not give up driving my own car either. Good article though.

  • John

    If you only live 3.25 miles from work, you should try biking to work. Austin’s a great bike town, you’d save a lot more of that $547 a month.

    • Josh Waldrum

      Thanks for the comment, John. I couldn’t agree with you more — Austin is a great bike town! This was just a personal experiment to specifically see if ridesharing was feasible as my main transportation option in Austin, hence why I didn’t bike to work.

      • Johnny Bicycle

        You could also try a mix of bike share + ride share for even more savings without the hassle of taking your bike with you everywhere: http://www.spokefly.com/app ;)

        • jerrymcguire12

          Won’t use spokefly – they are greedy and the rates are exhorbitant. After 25 hours of renting, you can buy a really nice bike instead of renting one. Can’t do that with Uber or lyft.

      • James

        I think what he means, is that now you are finished with the experiment you have to bike to work. Otherwise you are lazy.

    • Antonio Nodarse

      I would not recommend biking to an office job. You end up smelling like diesel fumes all day and it’s noticeable to others.

      • Nathan Welty

        and don’t forget about sweat

        • Bubba_Fett

          …and getting killed by insane Austin drivers who don’t share the road.

          • anonymous 1

            Just moved from Austin to Denver…I’ll take Austin drivers over Denver any day of the week. A bunch of assholes out here.

          • Erik Swenson

            I agree. I’ve lived in the Denver area for the last 25 years and the drivers have become worse. Especially in the last 3 years. I blame it on all the transplants from the east and west coasts. Population here has exploded and with it come the bad drivers with different learned driving habits.

          • TW

            ..

      • Aaron Redman

        Speak for yourself. I live in Athens, Georgia and even in the thick humidity here lots of folks like me bike to their office jobs. If I smelled bad, my fantastically blunt co-workers would tell me.

        • thedevildog

          Aaron, you smell bad. It’s me, in the cubicle next to you.

          • Aaron Redman

            Ahhh, you have to work in a cubicle? I’m sorry.

      • Jesse

        This does not sound like the voice of experience. I have worked with many bike commuters and was one myself @ 5 miles from work. Biking to work is about the best thing you can do for yourself and the planet. It woke me up. I had fun. I gained fitness. I enjoyed seeing the city on my way. I saved on a gym membership and doctor visits. All much, much, much different from driving or public transpo. And no, I didn’t smell my coworkers; I didn’t smell myself. A little planning and hygiene and you’re golden.

    • or a boosted board. (I’m in no way affiliated with boosted board, although I’d love to be!)

    • Luce Ciferre

      biking to work under Austin hot sun going to smelling like you very nice jon

  • Fred

    This is interesting, but the cost math is incorrect: “Car Payment” is not a cost, it is a transfer of money from liquid to car equity. “Car Depreciation” would be the correct item to measure here. As it is said currently, the cost for someone who already paid off his/her car would be wildly different, which is incorrect.

    • lissa_the_cocoa

      I think his point was to highlight the monthly outflow from your wallet, not the long-term cost. He states pretty clearly in the article that the cost difference is going to be based on how much you pay for your car, how far you commute to work, etc.

    • Joseph Beers

      Simplify things and just use the I.R.S. standard deduction for automobile expense of 57.5 cents per mile. This includes all depreciation, fuel, maintenance, & insurance.

      • James

        Provided gasoline cost is less than $1/litre and your average is better than 30L/100km

      • chrisnfolsom

        Of course if Uber and Lyft paid that 57.5 cents a mile to drivers instead of drivers covering the cost you might have to pay more….

    • Randall Hamlet

      Not if the car is leased

    • spicynujac

      Exactly. It can’t be cheaper to pay a chauffer to drive you around than to use your own car. The profit to the drivers and the taxi/ridesharing company has to come from somewhere. Now if you can’t afford to buy a car, don’t have a place to park one, etc. it can be cheaper on a per ride basis but never in the long run.

    • Viren

      If we want to bring depreciation and other financial aspects in simple discussion, the we might as well include the hourly rate and notional earnings for self for the time spent driving self owned car.

      The math gets even more in favour of ride sharing in that case, infact twice as much, because when being chauffeured around, the passenger is free to run his business on phone if he can.

      It helps keep things simple the way the article has been written, rather than getting on the other side of things.

      Highly appreciated article, very well written. Unfortunately it seems Austin lately banned all ride sharing options, but this one surely helps me for Bay Area where pleasure of having own car is robbed away by heavy taxes, parking fees and gasoline price almost twice of that of Austin’s price, not to mention the signals and traffic chaos and innumerable left turns blocking lanes on 2-lane roads.

    • JL

      Lose the pretense. He’s not giving financial advice. The fact that he has charts is already above and beyond for s casual experiment.

  • Lyoshka

    What hogwash!!! The 5 things you SHOULD HAVE learned, but DIDN’T!
    1. You paid and average of 2.45X advertised UberX rate!
    2. If you walk or jog, you’d save $640/month, but lucky for you, by next year car payments disappear, your maintenance, insurance and gas increase by 20% and you still save $270/month.
    3. Uber and Lyft drivers are as truthful about job satisfaction as you are when your wife/girlfriend asks you if she/he’s “too fat”.
    4. You drive an average of HALF of the miles average American drives.
    5. If your Uber/Lyft drivers find out the truth about their insurance, you wouldn’t have ANY drivers, when you figure out the jeopardy you put yourself in, you’d stop using these services, and when Uber/Lyft start accepting liability for their services, the cows will come home!!!

    • Lyoshka

      Best yet, by next year, you can become UberX driver, stop paying insurance (no one is checking) and maintenance and after subtracting gas (+20%) you would actually MAKE $411 NEXT year!!!!!!! Impecable logic, new business model, Uber math, UNBEATABLE!!!

      • What’s the probability of a car owner stop paying insurance premium on his PERSONAL car so he drives illegally. Besides, motor vehicle authorities would not allow it anyway.

        • charles

          I was thinking the same thing. Why in the world would I stop paying insurance on the same car I use to take my kids to school?

    • Daniel Axe

      The rider is covered by a 1,000,000 liability policy the entire time on both. The driver has contingent liabiltiy while logged in waiting and primary after accepting the ping, driving to them, picking them up and dropping them off.

      • Lyoshka

        Nice theory, Daniel. You must be an avid Uber user, who believes everything they say.
        So here’s a dose of reality:
        1. Uber insurance is EXCESS liability policy, CONTINGENT on driver’s PRIMARY personal policy. That personal policy specifically EXCLUDES using the vehicle for compensation!
        2. In case of an accident driver MUST first submit his claim to his personal insurance provider, but if he/she tells them that they drive for Uber, the claim will be denied and their policy will be cancelled.
        3. The driver now has two choices: a) lie to his insurance company about working for Uber or b) have his claim denied and policy cancelled so that he can now submit it to Uber. The only way Uber will accept a claim is AFTER driver’s primary carrier rejects it!
        There are a couple of other tasty possibilities.
        4. Because driver’s PRIMARY personal policy carrier is NOT aware that the individual is working for Uber, if the insured FAILS to pay his premium Uber can NOT be notified and there is NO POLICY WHATSOEVER! Uber’s policy, if you remember, is contingent on existence of personal policy.
        5. If the authorized driver uses a different vehicle to pick up a passenger (and passengers HAVE

        • Daniel Axe

          Common misconception, Uber’s policy is absolutely primary from the moment your driver accepts the ride until the moment you are dropped off. This it’s true for both Uber and Lyft. Here is the language from Uber’s own website.

          “How does this policy work?
          From the moment a driver accepts a trip to conclusion, primary liability coverage is in place and applies up to $1 million coverage per incident. Specifically, this policy is primary to your personal auto insurance policy but remains excess to any commercial auto insurance you may have for the vehicle.1”

          • Daniel Axe

            Unless the car is a Taxi, I doubt the drivers are going to pay 3 to 5 times as much for commercial insurance. Either way, you’re covered.

          • Lyoshka

            THAT’S exactly the point! What UberX is, is just an illegal taxi service, which refuses to pay for a policy required by law, everywhere except New York!
            And you may or may NOT be covered, as may have discovered, unless you are in the Big Apple.
            By the way California Vehicle Code Section 260(a) requires vehicles used for transportation of passengers for compensation or gain to be registered as commercial vehicles. And so do CPUC regulations, which they failed to enforce and admitted as much!
            Educate yourself, ignorance is NOT bliss!

          • Daniel Axe

            Well Mayor Garcetti made it clear Uber is welcome here in LA. So, who cares? It’s a 1,000,000$ policy that is primary. Period. I gave you the link. Go back to driving your dirty yellow can now.

          • Lyoshka

            I can see that logic, facts and common sense will not change the color of your rose colored glasses, so as parting goodbye:
            a) I don’t drive for Yellow and NOBODY’s paying me, I enjoy making #ubered aficionados look foolish.
            b) Uber’s been in LA since before Garcetti became Mayor.
            c) Garcetti doesn’t make the rules for Uber, CPUC does!
            d) LA county DA is suing Uber, along with some 40+ others, including drivers, customers, disabled, cities, states, regulators and competitors.
            So if I was you, I wouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched, but you are NOT me, so have fun, enjoy the ride and the fairy tale while it lasts.

          • Michael Happ

            Wow. A) You’re a badly scorned cab driver. B) You work for the cab companies. C) You are the worst internet troll on earth. D) A politician trying to push an agenda for financial gain. No matter what you’re a loser. The world is changing. Uber is here to stay. Whatever you say here on the Internet is not going to help. You have been trolling this thread since day one. I just keep reading. There is a good reason “ride sharing” services work. Because cab companies stopped caring. Cabs were dirty. Poorly maintained. Insanely expensive in places like NYC. The drivers were horrible. Finally people found an option. Everything you say here going forward is a waste of energy. I hear the anger and disgust in your voice. It’s comical. People were given a new option and took it. Stop whatever you’re doing won’t work.

          • Eric

            Steve, how do you find the experience driving for Uber?

          • Lyoshka

            Husband comes home to find his wife in bed with another man. Wife says: ” Who are you going to believe, fool, your lying eyes or me?”
            So here’s an excerpt from Uber’s policy!
            Just for the record, there’s NO misconception!!!
            Uber’s police is EXCESS LIABILITY COVERAGE, no matter what your wife (Uber) says!!!
            Then again, its a free country, you can believe and Uber can say whatever you/they want.

          • Daniel Axe

            How much are you being paid by Yellow Cab to lie? 35 cents for each 1/9th mile.

            You can find where I got it from right here

            http://blog.uber.com/ridesharinginsurancepolicy

          • Lyoshka

            I had no doubt you would make a good husband who doesn’t believe his ‘lying eyes’.
            I don’t need to worry, you and other #ubered passengers do.

          • Daniel Axe

            I am widowed so stfu about my wife. As of July 14 2014 Uber’s policy is PRIMARY from driver acceptance to drop off, $1,000,000 coverage. Now go spread lies and ignorance elswear, troll.

          • Lyoshka

            That was a euphemism!
            Getting personal, insults willl NOT solve your problem.
            If what you claim was true, there wouldn’t be a need for the Legislature to enact a new law that goes into effect July 1, 2015, that REQUIRES a primary commercial policy for time after driver receives order till drop off.
            Besides, I already posted for you PROOF that Uber policy is excess liability. All YOU have to do is read and pay attention.

          • Daniel Axe

            Once again, that policy is no longer in effect. Look at the date on the policy. The new policy IS a primary policy that went into effect July of LAST year. Your “proof” is that Uber’s old policy, which is no longer in effect, was as you say secondary. I’ve posted proof directly from Uber’s website and Uber’s own graphic showing this new policy was updated 7/14/2014. Anyway, you have a serious issue with reading comprehension and I have no further time for you. Enjoy your day.

          • Lyoshka

            Uber Advises Drivers To Buy Insurance That Leaves Them Uncovered

            here IS a comprehension issue here, but its NOT with me. You have to get your head out of sand to see it.
            Hereee’s another link which might clear things up for you. Just got to remember just because Uber say so doesn’t make it true. They aren an interested party, know to make false and misleading statements. Just ask LA and SF DAs.

          • Codemanlemke

            Lyoshka, if you think that these new laws are going to quell the incoming wave of direct-share companies, you are a fool. Uber, lyft, and others will become just like alcohol in the prohibition, used but not spoken. Hundreds of these companies are revolutionizing the way people utilize their assets to the fullest. When the economy fails, people will create their own economy. When the Brits imposed new laws and taxes on the lives of the Colonials they rebelled and exiled the opposers. Hopefully this trend will continue and start a revolution for our economy.
            P.S. You may have your own perspective, and you have that right, but here’s a tip for the future… Don’t be an asshole about it.

          • Juan Rodriguez

            Actually, what you posted shows that the policy is excess liability vs any other “Collectible” policy. Since you CAN’T use a Personal Policy for Commercial purposes, then it’s not collectible and the Policy becomes primary. … Hope this helps!!

          • Lyoshka

            Here is a link to Uber’s policy for your reading pleasure.
            http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/214351992?width=360

          • Tina Cetrone

            Okay, okay…Braniacs! Back to the “drawing board” –
            This has all been very interesting. You are very good teachers. So thank you all for your input. With all that has been said here, I would be interested to know if any of you could tell me where I could see the actual outcome of a insurance claim of an Uber driver/rider?

          • Steve Hackett

            I’m an Uber driver in Palm Beach County. Uber’s liability insurance ($1 million) starts the moment I turn on their App! They also cover my vehicle, while the App is on; with a $1,000. deductible. My personal insurance Knows I drive for Uber.

          • Angel

            Who hurt you Lyoshka?

          • Daniel Axe
          • Steve Gregory

            Lyoshka is exactly right. “Excess Liability Coverage” by definition “excess” has specific meaning in insurance language and it means that any other possible insurance must have already paid to its limits or denied. Possibly the most important part of this is to notice that Uber’s policy only provides liability coverage. Liability means payment to third parties, meaning people you hurt or their property you damaged. Here’s the dirty little secret behind ride sharing, their insurance will not cover the Uber driver’s vehicle. They’re not paying for your “Collision” coverage. That means paying for your own car repairs and rental car if you’re in an accident. Your personal auto insurance won’t cover you while you’re driving for a commercial purpose unless you have a commercial policy.

            If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft you must have a commercial policy. There really isn’t a grey area here. Also, this really isn’t a new thing just for Uber, it’s the same dilemma pizza delivery drivers have been facing for 40 years.

            On the upside, as a passenger in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, your personal auto insurance will kick in to cover your injuries if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

            Ex-Senior Insurance adjuster.

          • Anivad

            Steve, thank you for the clarity and for not turning this into a forum to trash or support Uber or Lyft.

            I do not have a car and I live in an area which lacks public transportation, so I’m considering Uber and Lyft as options for getting to work (45 min away in good traffic; so cycling is not an option either).

            I have two questions I’m hoping you can clarify for me:
            1) You stated that if you are driving for Uber or Lyft you must have a commercial policy. Does this requirement apply across the US? Does it apply in Georgia?

            2) As a passenger who does not own a vehicle, can I get insurance to cover me in case my Uber or Lyft driver is uninsured or underinsured?

            3) Am I correct in understanding that, as an Uber/Lyft passenger, I am covered under Uber/Lyft Liability insurance for injuries I may incur as a passenger for either one of these or similar companies?

          • Steve Gregory

            One first thing to get out of the way. “Liability coverage” isn’t a specific line of coverage on an insurance policy but a broad term that means insurance coverage to pay for other people’s damages/injuries. An example of a specific line of liability coverage in an insurance policy is “bodily injury” or “property damage”.

            Now, to answer your questions:
            1) Having a commercial policy would be a requirement of the insurance company and not necessarily vary from state to state. What we’d be looking at is the regular insurance policy’s (what the driver has for his every day use) “exclusion” section. All regular auto insurance policies have a “vehicle being used for hire” or “commercial use” exclusion that would mean they won’t pay 2nd party damages. Exclusions generally do not apply to 3rd parties (the first party is the insurance company, the second party is the driver/insurance holder, the third party is any claimant, like you the passenger or someone they hit.)

            2) Besides uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage it varies a little from state to state with who pays for injuries. The short answer is regular medical insurance would pay next. But the more complicated answer follows…if you didn’t have a vehicle you should still be covered by the uber/lyft driver’s own “bodily injury” liability coverage from their regular policy as the “commercial use” exclusion likely does not exclude you, the third party. You could also pursue uber/lyft. I haven’t read their policy but even just the “liability” coverage they provide their drivers should cover passenger injuries. Finally, if the “at fault” driver, wasn’t the uber/lyft driver, you could also pursue their insurance. One final note, even in the event that none of the insurance would cover you, you’d still be able to file a lawsuit against the party that was responsible for the accident (and possibly uber/lyft and their driver depending on circumstances) to cover injuries and lost wages. Lawsuits certainly aren’t the most pleasant or speediest route but it’s another option if all else fails.

            3) As explained above, yes, uber/lyft’s “liability” coverage should cover you but there could be a problem in certain circumstances. Under the possibility that the accident in which you were injured is another driver’s fault (not the driver of your uber or lyft vehicle’s fault) uber/lyft may be able to avoid payment under their own liability coverage. By definition, “liability” means it’s your responsibility. If the accident wasn’t the uber/lyft driver’s fault, uber/lyft could state it’s not their responsibility and the liability to pay isn’t theirs. I didn’t work for a company that covered cabs and it’s entirely possible who pays for cab company’s passengers’ injuries can change from state to state regardless of liability.

            All of that said, as a customer in an uber/lyft vehicle I think you’re likely as well covered for any injuries as you’d be if you were in any other cab.

            Please bear in mind, I haven’t read any of these policies and I’m just speaking from a point of pretty good knowledge of how things generally work. No guarantees or promises! What I was really writing about in my first comment was that uber/lyft drivers would be out of luck repairing their own vehicles because uber/lyft just cover liability and the driver’s regular auto policy won’t cover “collision”.

          • Anivad

            Thanks Steve,
            I understand that your point in your post was directed at Uber/Lyft drivers and that they might find themselves in a bind with only liability insurance and no collision insurance.

            You did a great job of answering my questions though! Too bad you’re an “ex” insurance adjuster. I might contact you for a referral when I am ready to get auto insurance.

            Thanks for your explanations.

          • Steve Gregory

            My pleasure! Now let’s hope you never need any of that legal knowledge of how injuries and insurance work!

          • alyssa

            Uber/Lyft drivers are not honest about how they feel driving for these companies. They take a whopping 20% cut right away, after each drive! Not to mention the “safe driver fee”. They suck at customer service being almost impossible to get sold of when a problem or questions arise. It’s very frustrating! Why should I have to have my own insurance cover when I am obviously driving for a company who takes more than enough money from my check to fund my insurance while I drive for them. It’s a little extra cash, yes. But keep in mind, while I drive, my car depreciates, my car maintenance cost shoots up, gas goes up…. If a driver isn’t making the longer trips, but 1 or 2 mile trips it’s not really worth it.

          • Zach

            As I understand it, if you carry commercial insurance (while using the vehicle for business purposes) the vehicle is considered covered and the U/L Insurance defaults to Excess. However, if you have personal insurance and are using the vehicle for business (meaning you are not covered) it defaults to primary, as per the last line.

            If necessary in a court this could easily be suggested if it had to go that far. As both companies so happily advertise their coverage, I assure you they wouldn’t want to reject the personal insurance carrier as a class action law suit would easily correct their mistake. I have heard that the UberX (larger vehicles) do require a (1M) commercial insurance policy but have not investigated it.

            – Legal Rep.

          • Juan Rodriguez

            “Excess over any other collectible insurance” Both they and you know that you CAN’T file a claim on your personal policy for a Commercial Activity, so UNLESS you already have commercial insurance … “this coverage will act as primary coverage” … An example is, when I just bought my new car and was going through upgrading my policy on my app, Geico asks, “Is this car being used for a ride-sharing program such as Uber/Lyft” … If you select YES on that, then you now have their hybrid Personal/business policy … so in other words, you’re better off NOT getting that policy, so your Uber Liability policy is Primary… unless of course, you want Collision Insurance that doesn’t have a $1000.00 deductible, like Uber’s does.

        • Leroy Williams Jr.

          Which is why, after driving for Uber for about a month in the summer of 2014 after being laid off of a gig, I stopped. Way too risky from an insurance perspective. Then in May 2015, our vehicle was rear-ended as I sat waiting for a red light to change. The crash seriously injured my wife who was in the back seat. After my wife was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the ER, and after I arranged to have the damage to my vehicle repaired, I shuddered to think of the major insurance hassles I would have had to endure had the crash occurred while ferrying passengers as an Uber driver.

    • timbocf

      This is fun!

    • HJB

      RE #3: Because of the high rate of double dipping driver services – most of us actually have a strong preference of one over the other. So we’re more honest and loyal to one than the other, but still use both because of the different pay promotions.
      I personally think Lyft is hands down far better, so it changes my view of Uber driving experience.
      Just a thing to note. There’s no incentive for us to be dishonest at all

      • John V

        Driving part time for both Uber and Lyft, I offer identical service to all passengers. In my world there is no difference except that I change the sign on my windshield. Yes, I do carry commercial insurance driving otherwise would be fraud and I will not lie to my insurance company. If I was incapacitated in an accident it would be found that I was driving commercially by the accident investigators. I probably could find employment that would pay more but being retired I find that making my own schedule and not having a direct “boss” is a big deal.

    • Damon Roger

      Jesus, probably just another anti-Uber shill paid by the Taxi Lobbyists.

  • If you have a car payment or lease of $330/mo AND you’re paying $96/mo in maintenance, I think you have a lemon. I don’t know anyone who would spend $1152/yr on maintenance for a car that is still new-ish. That’s the big take-away here.

    Plus, you are actually acquiring an asset if you’re making car payments (as Fred pointed out below), even though that asset will depreciate predictably and perhaps even rapidly, depending upon the vehicle and circumstances.

    • Roman

      Would you make and publish your version of the comparison?

    • Steve Gregory

      Whoa, good catch! There’s a little funny business to make the math look better isn’t there? Most (notice I said most, not all. I’m aware several cars need more, but most) modern cars should be able to go about 5 years with nothing but a couple of oil changes a year, a couple of air filters and a few wiper blades. At 5 years it would probably be ready for brakes, tires and belts and then should be ready to go another 5 years. Including averaging in those higher ticket items at the 5 year mark, we’re talking about a couple hundred bucks a year, not $100 a month!

      Include a more reasonable $20/mo maintenance cost on a reliable relatively new used car and you’re down to only a $30/mo difference between owning and using uber/lyft. That’s still using that super short 3.25 mile commute…mine is just over 25 miles. Which, I admit is long, but my house in the burbs is pretty nice.

      I also wasn’t sure a $330/mo. car payment was fair for this comparison. That’s nearly a $20,000 loan with current rates. A $20,000 car is a lot more than basic reliable transportation. If we’re comparing using a ride sharing service to owning a car, I don’t think we need to be pairing it against a used 3 series BMW. How about a $17,000 car? That’ll buy you a nicely equipped, low mileage, 1 year old used accord, camry or sonata. With a $17,000 loan stretched out to 60 months, you’re now equal to the uber/lyft estimate. Go a little cheaper and pick up an elantra, civic or corolla that can be had for closer to $14,000 and actually save by buying your own car. Plus, you’re right, while cars are rapidly depreciating assets, they’re not worth nothing when you’re done with them. If you pay off your 5 year loan and sell your 6 year old car you’ve got another $5,000ish that should be added to the equation.

      One final gripe, we only used 50 rides with the rideshare services for this comparison? Work every day for a month is 40 rides. Only 5 more roundtrip rides a month??? How are you getting groceries let alone having any fun?

      While I’d love ridesharing to take off and become a reasonable option for me, I think I’m better off waiting for the self-driving cars.

      • Good analysis, Steve. Far better than what was presented in the original post. :-

  • The reason you don’t see many articles about drivers’ realities is because the media doesn’t care. The public doesn’t care. It’s all about cheap rides and convenience. Somebody has to pay for that convenience though. Like you, those who write about Uber and Lyft don’t want to damage the popularity of these ride-hailing apps. Do you really give a damn about the drivers? If you dig deeper, you will find the real stories of what it’s like to be exploited by Uber and Lyft: http://disinfo.com/2015/02/uber-breaking-point/

    • Bo

      & to prove your point, zero replies to your post.

      People are selfish assholes. Seriously.

      OP needs to change his post(in regards to that), because it’s bull. No, the drivers are most certainly not satisfied. But it’s put up or be out of a job. You are constantly rated by your passengers. You CAN’T be honest and real with them, because it’s a huge risk, sadly.

    • Joseph Beers

      Considering the life expectancy of an Uber/Lyft driver is about 6 months, the satisfaction rate can not be as high as stated. The realities are more like the drivers are lying both to the rider and themselves to perserve their ego and driver rating.

  • We’re definitely seeing a shift away from car-ownership and ownership in general. This was an interesting experiment and although there are a million different assumptions you can make I think the point is, you can’t quite replace your car but you will be able to very very soon.

    • Josh Waldrum

      Thanks, Harry—we always appreciate your blog and its insights. I actually agree with you on this; I bet i’ll be replacing my car in the not-too-distant future.

    • charles

      I saw a blog a few months ago about young people renting everything. Ownership is on the decline and I’m thinking manufacturers only consistent customers will be B to B transactions.

  • John Busto

    Great article but have one note to make. Do not expect an uber driver to openly speak negatively about uber to a uber passenger. Trust me, I was an uber driver myself and when I was ever asked about uber I would never speak my mind. You may of course understand the many different reasons why. I’m sure the satisfaction number for uber as a driver would be very different if the question were posed in a different setting, I assure you. Other than that, great article.fist bumps..;)

  • Rachel Galindo

    First they came for the Taxicabs and I did not speak out because I was not a taxi driver.

    Then they came for their drivers with robocabs and I did not speak out because I was not their driver.

    Then they came for your car and I did not speak out because I didn’t have a car.

    Then they came to snap an app to my job too and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    ( “Uber needs to be reined in, and quickly” http://tiny.cc/5xjaux)

    • amir

      Solution: Adjust tax brackets for corporations, so the ones with a gargantuan amount sitting on their balance sheets have to pay most of it out towards education (primarily vocational). Uber and the like should continue to make things efficient, and the people whose jobs get replaced should simply be given the means to further their education for where the job demand is shifting. Corporations are not people, let’s not forget this.

      • Derek Dodge

        corporations in the eyes of the us supreme court are ACTUALLY considered people. LOL makes no sense, but its true.

        • gray_man

          Makes perfect sense.

      • gray_man

        Corporations are people.

        • Bern Shanfield

          While off topic this is too good to let go by:

          Corporations are simply people using resources toward some end. The issue of what to consider corporations (people or independent entities in their own right that can be interacted with as if they are living people with a functioning brain) in the eyes of the law comes up when issues of assigning accountability arise. IF (and it is a super huge if) people took 100% responsibly for their actions AND ALL the outcomes of their actions, these weirdo questions/conversations would not arises. It’s fair to say that the idea “Corporation” only came to exist to shield people from responsibility for their actions. Imagine who would want to be an officer in a corporation if any successful lawsuit against the “corporation” could be taken out of the “personal” assets of the corporate officers. Think burnt by too hot coffee = CEO, CFO, CTO, etc. losing their homes, savings, cars, etc.

  • Anthony Nguyen

    I drive both Platforms in Austin and if I had picked you up in Lyft, then I would have fist-pumped you. We are suppose to mold into what the platform expects. I guess those Lyft drivers didn’t get the message, but I understand, its kinda uncomfortable. Lyft does say it only accepts 10% of applicants. It is an interesting stat that only 40% of Uber dives also drive for Lyft, while 76% of Lyft drivers also drive for Uber. It shows that the mentor requirement is removing ‘bad’ drivers from Lyft and anyone can drive for Uber, so long as they have a clean background check. You have a very short commute, I wonder if the numbers would have worked out if you had a long 15mile commute. I would expect not, since the rides get expensive as the distance gets longer…

    • lissa_the_cocoa

      Actually I think it’s because of lower uptake of Lyft. I had heard of both Lyft and Uber but I default to Uber in most cities – I’m not really sure why, but I do. I just downloaded the Lyft app today and had never used it. So the fact that a higher proportion of Lyft drivers also drive for Uber could simply be wanting more fares. Or it could be a combination of factors.

  • I’m really happy with ridesharing technology. It helps me in so many ways. First off its much more affordable then a taxi and is way faster than public transit like the bus. Its a nice middle ground in my opinion. I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with cabs and buses. I found this breakdown of Lyft vs Uber: http://lyftgyft.com/compare-transportation-network-companies/ which helped me see more about both companies.

    • cwclifford

      than a taxi

  • Dan Sturges

    I am most interested why Car2Go was not also a mobility option??

  • Dan Sturges

    Yeah, if you had used Car2Go and Zipcar as well, perhaps it would have offered an even better experience without owning a car. But then that might lead to less cars owned? Less insurance being sold?

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  • Totally agree that there is an issue with Drivers not understanding their rideshare insurance gaps, we are working on a solution over at ShareSurance (www.rideshareinsurance.com).

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  • Michael

    I work in the insurance business on the claims side. This was a great post, thanks!

  • danswanson

    Buy a Vespa for the nice weather months

  • Try LYFT. Get a $20 free LYFT credit at http://www.lyftmefree.com

  • Try UBER. Get a $20 free UBER credit at http://www.UBERmefree.com

  • Toeknee Toe

    Don’t forget to include depreciation and parking cost. Total cost of ownership.
    You don’t need a car if your town has car share programs.

  • Henry Cabrera

    Drive for Lyft or Uber even if you don’t own a car! https://www.joinbreeze.com/now/henryc2

  • disqus_Wz58Qq14ii

    17% of $640 does not equate to 50 miles of driving…..

  • Mark Lucas

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  • freediverx

    You should have done some homework before declaring Uber a great employer based on anecdotal driver feedback.

    Some suggested reading:

    After expenses, Uber drivers net about $10/hour
    http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/

    How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs by 2025
    http://zackkanter.com/2015/01/23/how-ubers-autonomous-cars-will-destroy-10-million-jobs-by-2025/

  • disqus_f9T1YLRc3T

    Great article, driving is totally an emotional experience. Another way you could augment your car costs is to drive for an hour or 2 on your post work commute. Doing that a couple days a week could cover the total cost of your car.

    Plus there’s a $300 cash bonus just for signing up to drive when you use this link:

    https://get.uber.com/drive?invite_code=355tb

    No commitments, no minimum drives, you get the $$ on your first payment statement.

  • Casey Callender

    I want to correct something about this because obviously your wrong, but after reading all the comments I cant find a small insigniificant point to ridicule. Someone please correct my grammer and spelling. Great article btw…

  • Excellent article! Thanks for the due diligence of reporting and providing the info! I just put all my earnings driving for Lyft out on my website if you want to check it out, perhaps someone would find it helpful in their search for the best options out there: http://www.uplyftme.com/?page_id=668

  • David O’Brien

    Great article. For those interested, I work for USAA and Uber and Lyft – in Colorado. In this state, with USAA, we have a ride-share-protection coverage, which is a total of 9 bucks a month for a 2015 sante fe (I have a clean record, of course). You defintely want to let your insurance company know you are doing ride sharing. I know it may be crappy if they jack your rates up, but here’s the quick of it: Uber/Lyft coverage is liability, ALL private insurance policies drop comp and collision if you’re involved in an accident while ‘working’. What this means – you probably wont get sued if you cause an accident or are hit by someone while working for Uber and Lyft, but you can be SURE that you will not get comp or collision – you will NOT get the money to repair your own car. And yes, that applies to ‘full coverage’ people as well (full coverage is a misnomer, it just means you carry comp and collision and probably have a loan)

  • Mr. Gerard

    Hey I just started driving for Lyft this week, and I’ve been driving for Uber for over a month. Pretty interesting stuff on your point-of-view. Like other drivers up here that drive for both I just have both placards in the window at the same time, so I can be easily identifiable. And BTW, I’m in the 8% that DID report it to my insurance–let’s just say I’m on the waiting list for my insurance to start offering rideshare insurance.

  • Rick

    One problem I have is these companies discriminate against people with a DUI. I don’t drink anymore and one of the safest drivers out there. I believe the insurance companies these companies use are way too strict. I would love to work for these companies part time. Are there any options out there for me? I would like to know. Please email me at rickriccardi@outlook.com

  • Sam

    Just did the math – my car costs me $373 a month with the car payment, insurance, and gas, assuming 15,000 miles a year. On a 2014 car i bought new.
    Uber would cost $927-$1290 a month just to take me back and forth to work, no personal trips or vacations.
    Think I’ll be keeping my car lol, and will spend $11,000 less a year.

  • Sam

    PS – if I lived 3.25 miles from work, I’d be biking there on fair weather days! Wish I lived that close, I’m 20 miles from work.

  • John

    I’d like to know what both companies do for background checks. I know an Uber driver that lost his job as a cop because he was stalking women that called the police for help. How nice that Uber hired him to stalk women he picks up for them. It was so easy to google his name and find out what his background was.

  • nanc hippach

    What is the policy if a breakdown or accident occurs on the way to the airport?

  • Patrick

    Hey idk if anyone is interested in Driving on here but Lyft just came out with up to $1000 new driver bonus depends on your city but I just made like $45 an hr after gas pretty sweet.

  • BedfordSlims.com

    Look into ZIP CARS

  • Juan Berrios Jr.

    Loved your article comparing Uber to Lyft and now have a much better understanding and be calling them for a ride soon. Have considered driving for them and you have answer question I had no idea to ask. I’ll be checking with USAA coverage using my vehicle for commercial use. Thanks again.

  • Armando A. Castro Rachmacy

    Hi, Great article, but it is misleading as it pertains to the car payment. If you finance a car, then your payment has a portion that is interest but you also build equity on your car as you pay it off. So in reality you would have to look at how much your car is worth once you are done paying for it and then divide that by the number of months that you had it and subtract that from your monthly payment.

  • Very thorough! Good job!

  • Perilous

    While I may one day try Lyft, nothing will EVER induce me to step one toe in any Uber vehicle. Not only because of the way drivers are abused, but because so many women are assaulted in those vehicles and because the company itself is the very definition of vile. Anyone who willingly uses that service is a selfish, not very admirable person in my eyes.

  • Emma Dee

    @Lyoshka, why does it really matter what uber’s insurance policy is? To the driver, it shouldn’t, to the passenger, I get it. First of all, anyone using their vehicle for transportation should inform their insurance policy just as they should if they have a regular job that is a long commute, however, speaking from experience people would prefer to omit the truth in either case for fear of an increased insurance premium. I said that to say this, whether you are an uber driver or someone with a regular job, chances are, you drive almost everyday and accidents can happen but if you are a good driver then you really should not be concerned about uber’s insurance coverage because, as a good driver the accident is not likely going to be your fault, meaning…the other driver’s insurance would have to cover all costs.

  • J Iley

    So who pays the claim when the TNC driver’s insurance denies the claim when the driver is driving for two or more different TNC companies? That’s another important question the city should be asking TNCs?

    All I can say is that lawyers are going to have a field day with this when 58% of TNC driver’s are driving under two platforms or more and have failed to properly inform their insurance company about their TNC gig.

  • petervk

    Lyft has no Windows Phone app. Uber supports everyone across all devices. I Uber everywhere. Uber FTW!

  • LynnnDeee

    Get a scooter. It costs $2,000 and gets 70 miles per gallon.

  • B. Clark

    If you ask a driver how they like working for Uber, even if they think it’s awful, they will give you a cheery answer. Why? The 5-Star rating system. The current consensus among drivers (because Uber won’t release a specific number) is that a rating of 4.6 will get a driver’s access to the app removed. That’s an A-Minus in any classroom I’ve ever been in. A driver isn’t going to bring you down with a tale of woe that might cost him / her a star.

  • Frank S.

    Wow, I can’t believe how OCD and rude some of your comment “posters” are! Quit being so freakin’ hostile and nitpicky (Oh, I’m sorry, is that a real word, or not?). Sheesh.

  • Miles

    Interesting article. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

  • Evan Deaver

    as to the good employer thing you need to realize a couple of things: 1. realize those drivers are breaking their contracts saying anything bad about uber or lyft and they probably will have a different opinion after they report losses on their taxes.at best these guys and gals are making 20 cents a mile after all things are considered but before taxes. 2. They aren’t employees at all.

  • SeanJ76

    I drove for both Lyft and Uber-
    Lyft > Uber hands down.
    Uber is a fly by night company, has 0 support staff, they rob their drivers constantly, chances are UBER won’t be around much longer….. especially with their background checks missing tons of violent individuals!! The nut-job in Kalamazoo, MI being the latest of violent killers that Uber said was okay to drive since he passed their weak background checks…..

  • ptsawyer

    The cost comparison is somewhat misleading, because it includes the car payment.

    The car payment cannot be counted fully as a “cost”, because there is an asset (the car) on the other side of the personal balance sheet. The true cost is a more complex calculation that includes the interest portion of the payment, and the depreciation of the asset.

    Eventually, the car will be paid off. At that point, assuming the car was cared for properly, it should provide quite a bit of time of payment free driving, which would be substantially cheaper.

  • own as in “the same way you own your house [you don’t, you have a mortgage]” I’m sure…

  • The one thing I’d mention is that it was “50 rides” at 4 minutes wait/ride. So you saved $113 dollars, but also maybe “lost” 200 minutes (3 1/3 hours). FWIW I guess a few minutes at a time isn’t all that awful…

  • E.C. from D.C.

    I use Uber and Lyft but find Uber to be more of my ride-share go-to. **random temporary $25 charges from Lyft sometimes are annoying**

  • corry

    Honestly, I made it to this article while looking for some perspective on this. I think my situation is different because I work from home. I have a $472 car note, add insurance, gas and other maintenance (car wash, etc)…i’m already at around 7-$800…..I think to add to this..i’ve also cut my cable bill from 120 to the 29 bucks for high speed internet (my company reimburses me each paycheck). So I believe in order to really embrace one personal movement, it has to be consistent across the board. What sense does it make to be consumer savvy with car culture but still pay 150 for cable when there’s roku, chromecast and other consumer savvy ways to effectively leverage your time vs money vs freedom. There were some really good comments in here…along with the trolls. But I can appreciate every point of view. Thanks for the read and thanks for the perspective, all ;-)

  • Drew

    I drive for both companies and let me tell you, Lyft does not have %100 driver satisfaction. Lyft is absolutely aweful to it’s drivers; including changing our contract without notice and lying about how much we will be paid on promotions. They have zero transperency and leave their drivers with constant unanswered questions on our earnings.

  • Amy Adams

    Lyft is the better alternative. They actually pay thier drivers better (compaired with UBER) in order to become a driver, you go through a very through interview process. Plus drivers receive tips and Lyft provides better incentives to passengers, like receiving 50 dollars in free rides.

  • Tyler

    You would also have to include the increased costs of Amazon Prime, Instacart, and Favor. As somebody who uses all of those services, I’m certain that paying to have your groceries shopped for and delivered to you is more expensive than going to the store and buying something on sale (maybe even with a coupon!) yourself.

    Also, as somebody mentioned if your car payment is building car equity (which I assume it is, because a lease would be less) you do need to measure that differently. I understand that money out of your pocket is what is being measured, but after a couple of years in the scenario where you make car payments you would have built a considerable amount of equity up in your car. If you were to sell it let’s say, your pockets in that scenario suddenly became much fuller.

  • wasserball

    Your calculated $640 monthly car ownership could be lower if you keep the Jetta longer. I have kept track of a 2001 BMW 330i, 184K miles, all costs since new and the average monthly cost of ownership is $423, excluding parking, minor incidental costs, and paying for speeding tickets. If I lived in a city like NYC, I would prefer to use Uber or Lyft, which I am not a member. Like you, I would still prefer having a car because there are intangibles you cannot obtain from ride sharing and they are not weighed and calculated in your comparison.

  • Commenter

    this cost comparison only valid for people that buy a new car as soon as they pay off the old one; I don’t think the drivers are considered employees

  • James

    Except the average doesn’t account for the fact that $2000 can buy a used car which will let you use with no wait time, less insurance cost, and cheaper than any rideshare.

    • I’ve had my 2008 Chevy aveo which I put 120k miles on for 5 years. I’ve spent 2000$ in repairs roughly and bought it for 7700 out the door.

    • xoxo555

      Yes but if you live in a state with required state inspections, a mechanic sees dollar signs when you walk in with an old car. So many dealerships offer “free” maintenance with new car purchases; this means independent mechanics need to make up for lost business. While I think mandatory inspections are a good idea, the reality is a car owner is held hostage by the mechanic.

  • Santosh Lalwani

    Steve, you are car insurance guru. I want to start let’s say a ridesharing company . Ideally what should be the scenario. should I be responsible for the collision for the car if the driver using app is not riding a passenger. If yes then is there any insurance company that provides this type of collision insurance to 2nd party and possibly to 3rd party. or is it that i have to start a captive insurance company to serve my cover my own drivers when they are dealing with their passengers

    • Steve Gregory

      I am excellent with policy knowledge but those are pretty specific questions that will vary substantially based on state, and municipality laws, your company size and structure, and personal decisions about what you want to offer your employees. I think you should spend some time with an attorney and then find a good insurance agent

  • vjetti

    This article comes up when googling working for Uber. Funny to me because neither Lyft nor Uber even operates in Austin now (in mid 2016) after that local law passed.

  • 1. If you are ever in a pinch and need transportation five minutes ago, you are screwed. 2. If you are stranded somewhere outdoors in terrible heat, or crazy Texas weather, you are screwed. 3. If you absolutely need to be at a place at a certain time with very little heads up time, you are screwed. 4. If you give a low star review of the driver simply because you notice a Trump sticker in his back window, you are totally screwed.

  • Artful Dodger

    One word: mule.

  • Julia Sanders

    Gas and car maintenance savings apart, using ride-hailing services can be a nice experience indeed. If you’re a sociable person, Lyft is really good to meet interesting people – musicians, poets, etc. Some drivers are born comedians! The service helped me out several times, when my car (or my friends) let me down. And you can really save on your rides. The secret – actually, no secret at all – is to take advantage of the numerous promotions and promo codes for free rides. Just keep updated and enjoy discounted rides.

  • David M. Debus

    I would love to see these numbers now for the new services (Fare/Fasten/GetMe) or the people that still drive the outskirts of Austin for these companies.

  • Wizbang_FL

    It also depends on the state in which you live. In florida the ride sharing organizer “Lyft or Uber” is required to carry the liability and injury protection coverage while the driver is active on the organizers platform. IE: If the driver is just driving around but does not have their organizers app active to be issued a ride then the drivers own insurance applies. If the driver has the organizers application active and an incident occurs then the organizers insurance applies (since they were effectively employing the driver during that time) irregardless if they had been dispatched a drive or were waiting for one to be issued. Because the organizers insurance is covering any time the driver is working for the organizer it is not necessary to advise personal insurance since it would not be their claim.

  • Lashuri Chan

    I personally think using Uber and Lyft is much more financially draining than owning a car since you need the money to pay for the trip, money to buy whatever you needed and then money to get a ride back. Not to mention that you have to live in a city where they are constantly everywhere otherwise you are SOL when it says “there are no cars available.” It makes dealing with insurance worth it in my opinion because you are not at the mercy of some stranger with a car. Plus when it comes to grocery shopping, you only spend money on those groceries and not a ride back home.

  • johngrivera

    Uber is way faster then lyft. I work at the mall and after I get out late at night from work the only thing I want is to just get home. It takes Lyft between 10-15 minutes to get my driver to the mall even though the app shows there’s a driver within 3 minutes of me. When I use Uber my driver always shows up within 3 minutes or less. Although Lyft is the cheaper of the 2 in my experience when your exhausted and have another long day the next day I’ll just pay the few extra dollars and use Uber.

  • bewilli

    A person could do the same with their house/apartment or just live at work…texting saving alot of $$$$ for their bicycle,smart phone, data plan and keep their head in their apps.

  • Marcel Smith

    This is all highly perspective… In my city, it cost exactly $9.68 to get to my job from my house using Uber. Lyfts are a little cheaper but harder to find. That’s means at 25 rides I will have already spent $250. That’s back and forth to work for 12 days. I work 21-23 days a month. It would cost almost $500 a month just to get work and back. Not including hanging out and running errands etc.. My car payment is $250 and with gas prices the way they are now I only fill up once a week for $25. My insurance is about $90.. Overall I spend about $450 a month on my car, not including maintenance. However I’m not waiting for drivers, I can do whatever I want in my car, I can keep whatever I want in the car. Recently I took a trip to the beach. Cost me $20, but with s rideshare it would have been exponentially more.

  • Gear Mentation

    Paying bills is also an emotional experience… (:

  • Edward

    And the first accident they are in and the insurance don’t cover it because not telling the insurance, you are screwed! Take a cab, they are insured properly unlike these types of companies. If they told there insurance that they were doing business with these companies they would drop them or raise there rates. If they raise there rates they would quit because of the high rate of insurance coverage. Don’t be stupid, get a cab they are insured, grab the bus they are insured, or walk.

  • Julie Cottingham Birdsong

    Now this was determination. Good for you! Nice job. Did you ever have a bad driver?

  • Mel

    I doubt that ride sharing is cheaper than owning a car in the long run. You don’t only go to work and back in the real world. Imagine using Uber everytime you go to the grocery, shopping, to visit a friend, or to go and get a haircut. It adds up. Plus I have an electric car..so there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that Uber would be cheaper for me.

  • Rob H.

    You did not save any money. You admitted at the end of the article that you didn’t do your normal running around and that you were limited. You need to compare apples to apples. These services are great, but to rely on them solely for everything you normally do would cost more while giving up your independence.

  • nancy

    I SAY LYFT. also given uber sold out to the fascist regime…yeah backed out, but a little too late

  • Voice of Reason

    I see the cycling fanatics have hijacked this post.

  • Bruce Lee Ironheart

    You talk about employee satisfaction. But we are not employees.