Lyft is an on-demand transportation and ridesharing company established in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer.
Previously referred to as Zimride, the company changed its name to Lyft in 2013.
Lyft is based in San Francisco, California, and its operations extend to over 300 cities within the United States.
In 2017, Lyft expanded its operations to Canada. The Lyft Express Drive program is available with Hertz in 28 U.S. cities and in 10 U.S. cities with Flexdrive.
What is the Lyft Express Drive Program?
Many times, people wanting to drive for Lyft are unable to clear the application process because they do not have a car that meets Lyft’s qualifications.
Now, there is a way out if you want to be a rideshare driver and drive for Lyft. If you do not own a car, then you can easily rent a car through the Lyft Express Drive program, which enables you to easily start driving for Lyft.
Lyft has partnered with Flexdrive, Hertz, and Avis Budget Group, providing the option to rent a vehicle and get a qualifying car without any major investment on the part of the driver.
The program offers weekly rental vehicles, which include unlimited miles, car insurance, and routine maintenance. You can rent a vehicle any time without being locked into any long-term commitments. Vehicles can be used for personal use or strictly for business.
Express Drive offers exclusive weekly rates on vehicles, which are rented from partners such as Flexdrive, Avis Budget Group, and Hertz.
When passengers request a ride via the mobile app, Lyft matches the drivers with the passengers. And, by providing Lyft rides, you can offset the weekly cost of renting through the Express Drive program.
How Can I Become a Lyft Express Driver?
If the Lyft Express Drive program is available in your city, you can apply as a driver online. You can join the program if you are already a Lyft-approved driver.
On your Driver Dashboard, find the “Vehicles” tab and click on the “Rent a Vehicle” button to join the program.
To rent a vehicle through Hertz, you must be 25 years of age or older and must meet all Lyft driver eligibility requirements.
Depending on the market, you will be required to pay a sign-up fee, which is non-refundable, or a refundable deposit to start the Lyft Express Drive program.
Once approved to drive, you will receive an email confirming your vehicle pick-up time. Then, just pick up the keys and start driving for Lyft.
For those interested in the Lyft Express Drive program, there are quite a few program features to be aware of:
If you enroll in the Express Drive program, you become eligible for sign-on bonuses or an earnings guarantee when you sign up with a code and all requirements are met.
You can also earn a referral bonus if you personally refer others to join the program.
These are the additional rewards built into the program. These additional awards are completely optional and can help offset your rental cost, making your car rental more affordable.
To qualify for the Rental Rewards every week you must meet the Rental Rewards requirements, such as total ride count, among others.
The Driver Dashboard will outline the details of the requirements along with your progress.
Once you meet the requirements, the bonus amount will be automatically added to your weekly earnings.
You can take advantage of exclusive discounts and perks with the Accelerated Rewards program for Express Drivers.
There are 3 tiers of rewards: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. And, the more rides completed, the better the Accelerated Rewards will be.
Rental Car for Personal Use
The program offers vehicles with unlimited miles. This means you can drive the vehicle for Lyft and also for your own personal use.
Rental Car/Personal Car Switching
You can switch between driving your own vehicle and the vehicle you rented through the Express Drive program.
This car-switching feature of the program allows you to switch between multiple vehicles that are Lyft-approved.
The program allows you to use both cars; however, you may not be entitled to the Rental Rewards and Power Driver Bonus if you switch between cars.
Usually, Lyft drivers using their own personal vehicles need to find insurance policies with ridesharing provisions. Otherwise, in the case of an accident, you may face the risk of an insurance claim being rejected.
The best part of the Lyft Express Drive program is that car insurance is included in the weekly rental cost.
This means you are not required to purchase a personal auto insurance policy to qualify for the Express Drive program. When you pick up your rental vehicle, you are covered fully.
The provided insurance covers the following:
- Ridesharing provision.
- Collision deductible for personal use ($2,000 for Flexdrive rentals and $2,500 for Hertz rentals).
- Collision deductive for Lyft requests (waiting or during the ride is $2,500).
- Liability policy of $1 million if you’re waiting for a request or a ride is in progress.
- Liability is also offered for personal driving, depending on your state.
Routine maintenance, such as tire rotations or an oil change, are free and not charged to the driver.
In the case of routine maintenance or repairs, like tire replacement or windshield repair, you need to travel to where you originally picked up the rental car.
If you are at fault for any vehicle damage, then you may be charged for the damage and the amount may be deducted from your deposit.
Plans and Pricing
The rental costs vary and start as low as $239 per week. You can view the final rental cost details once the application process is initiated.
The day you pick up the car, when the first billing week begins, and every Tuesday, you will receive your earnings statement.
If you want to start the Express Drive program, then you need to pay a refundable deposit.
The following costs are usually applied to your earnings:
- Ride Earnings: This is your take-home earnings, including base fare, distance, and time dependent on rate card.
- Vehicle Rental Fee: This is also referred to as the weekly base fee.
- Lyft Platform Fee: The Lyft Platform fee is variable, or subject to change.
- Taxes: To be specific, rental, local, state and sales taxes are applied weekly.
- Miscellaneous Fees: Some miscellaneous fees and charges may be applied to your earnings.
There are several notable advantages of participating in Lyft’s Express Drive program:
- You can utilize the car to drive for Lyft or for your own personal use.
- All vehicles include car insurance, free routine maintenance, and unlimited mileage.
- Rental Rewards can help make your rental more affordable. When you complete a specific number of rides, some or all of the rental cost may be covered by Rental Rewards.
Although the Lyft Express Drive program is worth looking into for many reasons, there are some notable disadvantages to consider:
- The availability of rental vehicles is quite low, and making a reservation may prove difficult at times. Vehicles are usually available on a first-come-first-served basis.
- Whenever a car is not immediately available, you are put on a waiting list. You may have to check the mobile app repeatedly to get a car as soon as one is available.
- If you are using a Lyft rental car, you are not eligible to earn the Power Driver Bonus.
The Bottom Line
If you want to make money with Lyft but you don’t have a car or your personal car doesn’t meet company qualifications, there’s no need to fret.
It’s now easier than ever to start making some serious ridesharing cash when you rent a qualifying car through Lyft’s Express Drive program.
From attractive rental rewards and sign-up bonuses to provided car insurance, this program is worth looking into if you’re already an approved driver for Lyft.
However, always look into a program yourself before signing up.