Should You Drive For Uber or Lyft In Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the United States and the second-largest city by population. As its population approaches nearly 4 million, its roads, highways, and city streets are jam-packed for hours every day. This has led many LA County residents to start ridesharing more than ever in order to cut down on traffic and avoid road rage. But what about the drivers? Is it better to drive for Uber or for Lyft in Los Angeles? 

According to the numbers, the average full-time Lyft driver makes just a few dollars more per year than the average full-time Uber driver. This means that, based on pay, you’ll be better off driving with Uber. However, your pay can vary significantly, depending on the shifts you work, what area of town you service, and how many hours per week you drive. 

Although the annual pay for the average 50th percentile of Uber and Lyft diverse is fairly similar, there are a number of other factors to consider that might make driving for either company a better option for you. In today’s article, I’m going to show you some of the latest statistics for pay and discuss some of these other considerations that you might want to think of before making your decision. Let’s take a look! 

Is It Better To Drive For Uber or Lyft In Los Angeles? 

The only city in the United States that takes more cabs and Uber/Lyfts than Los Angeles is New York. That’s because they have nearly double the population, though. Both Uber and Lyft’s national headquarters are located in San Francisco, California, a few hour’s drive to the north. As a result, both LA and San Francisco are typically the testing grounds for all of the two rideshare companies’ new ideas and latest technology, making it an interesting city to drive in.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic temporarily hit Uber and Lyft drivers’ demand, the big city’s activity is starting to pick back up again. Current regulation dictates that now Ubers and Lyfts must drive with one less person in order to slow the spread of the virus. This means that new drivers are needed more than ever in order to keep up with the increased demand! 

Factors To Consider

That being said, as long as you have a car and you’re approved as a driver, you’re almost guaranteed a job with either company. However, which of the two companies is better to start with? Should you start driving for Uber or for Lyft? Or, should you consider driving for both? 

Here are some of the things you should take into consideration. 

Average Salary

Although salary alone shouldn’t determine which job you go with, it is an important factor for most people since their bills and/or family are depending on you to pay your share. Let’s take a look at how much Uber drivers get paid compared to Lyft drivers. 

How Much Do Uber Drivers Get Paid In LA?

According to Salary.com, the median salary (50th percentile) for Uber drivers in Los Angeles County, California, is $41,102. However, this is only a median number that accounts for both part-time drivers (who only work 2 to 3 shifts a week) and full-time drivers (who work at least 30 to 40 hours a week). 

The top-earning Uber drivers in LA (90th percentile) make an average of $58,487. If you do the math, that totals out to about $1,125 per week (before taxes). That’s not too bad for a full-time driver, considering the job requires little previous experience.

How Much Do Lyft Drivers Get Paid IN LA?

According to Salary.com, the median salary for Lyft drivers is $41,103. That’s just $1 more per year than Uber drivers, so there’s not much of a difference there. As for the top 90th percentile of Lyft drivers? Well, they make $58,488. Again, that’s just $1 more per year, so it’s an incremental difference. 

Despite these numbers, though, some other studies have shown higher numbers, especially once you start approaching the top 5% of drivers. Some stats show that these drivers may earn up to $69,000 per year or more! 

Benefits/Perks

Both companies offer a simple rideshare driver’s insurance plan while their drivers are on the clock and both have a similar attitude towards customer service, employee hiring/qualification, and both offer very similar pay. However, one study by The College Investor showed that, on average, Lyft drivers earn slightly more in tips than Uber drivers. 

Now, this could be coincidental or based on outside factors like Uber drivers driving more Sundays or driving less on holidays. It could also be due to the fact that many customers claim that Lyft has a better user interface that makes it easier for riders to tip their Lyft driver. 

Demand For Rideshare Drivers

As it stands, there is a huge demand for rideshare drivers. Although COVID slowed things down during mid-2020, much of LA’s economy is open for business (albeit with certain restrictions). In general, Uber is a lot bigger than Lyft. This means that there’s often more competition for drivers and that sometimes it can be hard to target specific locales. 

Lyft is a slightly smaller company, and they have few drivers (although this can vary from day to day). That being said, you may find that there’s less competition while driving for Lyft. 

Can I Drive For Both Uber And Lyft In Los Angeles? 

Many drivers choose to work for both Uber and Lyft in Los Angeles. This is because both companies offer their own version of “surge pricing.” During these short periods, drivers for both companies can earn up to double or triple what they would normally be paid. Drivers typically get surge pricing during busy rush hours, weekends, and holidays. 

However, surge pricing all depends on how high the demand for an Uber or Lyft driver is in a particular area. This means that you could be getting surge pricing for Uber at 5pm, but no surge for Lyft. It could, however, change-up, depending on the day. 

Due to the constant uncertainty, many drivers will clock-in to both apps to check which is offering the better pricing for the day. While it does require a bit more work to sign up for both companies, many drivers would say that it’s also the best way to ensure that you’re always getting paid the most for your efforts