If you have never used Uber or Lyft but have always had a curiosity as to how they stack up against each other, you aren’t alone.
We break down the two industry leading ride-sharing services to find out who has the edge in the battle of Lyft versus Uber and we will also help you identify which ride-sharing service is best for you.
Lyft and Uber are very similar in cost. While both ride-sharing companies offer a range of expensive, premium rides in luxury SUVs and limos, a basic ride will cost you about the same in Lyft as it will in Uber. While costs vary across different cities for Uber and Lyft, rides are generally $1 to start or $1.50/mile, and $0.25/min.
A common rule-of-thumb in regards to cost is $2/mile or 20-30% cheaper than traditional taxicabs. Rides are slightly more expensive in cities with higher ride-demand like LA, San Francisco, and NYC. It’s easy to see how a simple ride down the street can be affordable and convenient, while a lengthier trip can quickly add up in cost. From an overall cost standpoint, Uber and Lyft come out about equal, so it’s really up to the passenger and their discretion.
One thing we would like to point out is surge pricing or what ride-sharing companies refer to as “Prime Time.” At high-demand times and locations, the cost of a Lyft or Uber ride can significantly increase. For Lyft, "Prime Time" can increase the cost of a ride by 25 to 200%. For Uber, surge pricing can increase the cost of a ride by as much as 7 to 8 times the cost.
Uber is notorious during this time for having their surge pricing being more difficult for the passenger to notice prior to requesting a pick-up. Lyft's prime time, on the other hand, is not as easy to miss. It’s important you understand that requesting a ride after a busy football game, during Fourth of July weekend, or on New Year’s Eve will most likely cost you more.
Another aspect of ride-sharing services that people tend to think about is the safety of the ride. Lyft and Uber drivers are required to have their own car with up-to-date insurance and a valid driver's license. You can also rest assured in knowing drivers must pass a DMV background check, criminal background check, and car inspection. For Uber, drivers must be at least 23 years old and have a 4-door car, 2005 or newer. For Lyft, drivers must be at least 21 years old and have a 4-door car, 2003 or newer.
Lastly, both companies use a rating system to quickly throw out any bad drivers from the system. Of course, there is a risk with anyone who steps inside a car, but when compared to the average driver on the road, it's safe to bet that Lyft and Uber drivers are among the safest. It's important to note that Lyft has a much higher percentage of female drivers and passengers.
If you’re looking for a front-seat, engaging, and fun ride, Lyft is generally your choice. Uber drivers are more likely to open your door and dress well, whereas Lyft drivers are instructed to greet you as a friend with a high-five. In this category, Lyft takes the trophy, as many Lyft rides sport fun themes such as the Harry Potter Lyft, the Trivia Lyft, the Karaoke Lyft, the Cookie Lyft, and many other themes.
For drivers and passengers, both the Lyft and Uber app are accepted as user friendly, and more importantly, functional. Both apps allow you to request a ride, plug-in an address prior to pick-up, watch your driver navigate to your location on a map, and submit ratings with an electronic payment at the end of your ride.
The Uber app allows passengers to see the real-time cost of their ride whereas, the Lyft app tends to have a more fun feel, with fireworks displayed after a high tip is given (the Uber app seems to have a more professional layout). The most recent Google Play Store reviewers gave the Lyft app a 4.3 (out of 5) star review and the Uber app a 4.1 star review. On iPhone's App Store, both the Uber and Lyft app have a solid 4 stars.
As you can see, Lyft and Uber tend to be similar in all categories that we have broken down. Both allow you to request a ride, get picked up, and arrive at your destination fast all while paying with your smart phone and voilà, DONE!