Lyft offers two apps: One for passengers, and one for drivers. app is an all-in-one tool that has areas for both passengers and drivers. Passengers use the app to request rides, and drivers use the app to accept rides, navigate to passengers, and handle other driver issues like their pay, vehicles, and insurance. You can only log into the Lyft Driver app if you’re an active Lyft driver.
There are a lot of interesting features inside both Lyft apps that you might not know about, so I went through each app and cataloged every feature I found.
Skip to: Lyft Driver app features
Lyft passenger app features
The Lyft app home screen is a map that shows where you are, where available Lyft cars are, and it allows you to select your pickup and drop off location. You can also select from different Lyft services on the map.
“Where are you going?” is a search bar in the center of the map that allows you to enter your destination. After you do, you’ll be able to select a level of Lyft service and modify your pickup and drop-off locations.
How to select your Lyft service: Lyft, XL, Shared Lyft, and Lux/Black
There are several different Lyft services, each with a different purpose for riders. Regular Lyft holds 4 passengers, Lyft Plus holds 6 passengers, Lyft Line is a shared ride with a stranger (similar to UberPOOL), and Lyft Premier is a luxury sedan that holds 4 passengers.
To select between the Lyft services, tap the circular car icon near the bottom of the screen, then select from the list of services.
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Prime Time surcharges
When the area is busy, Lyft may charge an additional surcharge called Prime time. If one of the Lyft services is currently under Prime Time pricing, it will have a small diagonal arrow symbol next to it. It’s easy to miss, so watch out.
Set your pickup location after selecting your service
After you enter your destination and select a Lyft service, you can set your exact pickup location by dragging the pin to wherever you want to be picked up, or by entering the address in the “Location” text box. If you want to be picked up from your current location, don’t move the pin. To move the pin back to your current location, tap the target icon in the lower right corner and the pin will reset to your location.
Select a destination to see an up-front price estimate
Lyft will show you an up-front price after you set your destination. The best way to get a Lyft fare estimate is to simply enter your pickup and dropoff location and see what pops up. You can also add multiple stops if riders in your group plan to hop off the ride before the final destination.
Lyft passenger app menu items
To access the menu, tap the menu icon (☰) in the upper left corner. A menu will slide over the map. These are the menu options.
- The Get a ride button sends you to the home screen
- The Notifications section lets you know about promos, offers, or account-related issues
- The Free Rides section shows you how you can get free rides by referring new passengers to the app. Read more about tricks to get free Lyft rides
- The Ride History section is a list of recent rides you’ve taken. See how much you paid, request a fare review, or try to a find a lost item.
- The Payment area allows you to add and remove payment methods. You can also set a default payment method.
- The Promos section is where you to enter a Lyft promo code to get a free ride.
- The Help area shows your most recent ride, and links you to support articles at Lyft.com that aim to answer your questions
- The Settings area allows you to see your account information. You can also add shortcuts, like a Home or Word address
Lyft Driver app features
The Lyft Driver app is a separate app that Lyft drivers use to give Lyft rides. You can use the Lyft Driver app to begin the application process if you’re not yet a driver. Otherwise, you can only log into the Lyft Driver app after you get activated as a Lyft driver. If you’re interested in becoming a Lyft driver, learn the Lyft driver requirements and apply.
The Lyft Driver app is mostly intended to be used for ride requests. If you want more detailed looks into your pay, your profile, and your vehicle, the dashboard at Lyft.com/login is more in depth.
How to switch from driver to passenger mode in the Lyft passenger app
After you’ve become a Lyft driver, you can activate driver mode in the Lyft passenger app by opening the side menu and tapping the “Switch to driver” button at the bottom.
There are four main tabs in the Lyft driver app: Home, Earnings, Mail and Referrals.
The Go Online button is at the top of all tabs. Once you’ve tapped this button, you’ll be able to receive and accept ride requests.
The map shows Prime Time surge areas that are color coded to show how high the Prime Time surcharge is. The darker the pink color, the higher the Prime Time rate is.
Many markets now feature Personal Power zones, which offer a pre-determined bonus for entering an area highlighted on the map.
Sometimes on the home tab you’ll see an Updates overlay that has important alerts for you. I’ve seen alerts in the Updates box about tax info and a background check refresh.
The destination filter
The icon at the top-right corner of the home screen is the destination filter area. When you set a destination, you will only get rides that head toward the destination you set. You get 6 destination filters uses each day. You can also choose to find rides that
Earnings ($) tab
The earnings tab shows information about your daily and weekly ride earnings. You will be able to view reports for each day of the week, and from those reports you can get further information about individual rides.
The Mail tab shows updates from Lyft. Typically you’ll see links to helpful articles from Lyft about app updates, or notifications about Scheduled pickups available in your area.
The referrals tab displays your Lyft referral code and shows you how much you can earn by referring new drivers and passengers in your area. You may not be able to earn cash by referring new passengers in your area, so the Referrals tab is the best way to find out if you can, and how much you’ll earn if you do.
Lyft Driver app menu
The app menu in the Lyft driver app is different from the menu in the passenger app. The driver menu is more focused on ways to manage things important to your driver account like vehicle options and app settings.
- The Dashboard section links out to the full lyft.com online dashboard. The Dashboard is the best place to manage your account and get support.
- The Scheduled Pickups tab shows available scheduled pickups that you can accept and pickups you have already accepted
- The Vehicle section shows your active vehicle and allows you to switch to another vehicle profile if you have one. Tap your vehicle to view and modify your documents like insurance and inspection. You can also add a vehicle from this section, or view Lyft rental options
- The Documents tab allows you to manage your personal documents and documents for your vehicle (insurance, inspection)
- The Navigation area allows you to set navigation preferences. Choose Lyft navigation or a third-party app, and choose audio settings
- The Help section links you to the Help center, which contains support articles and ways to contact Lyft
- The Pay Info section allows you to view and update your banking info
- The Amp section links to the menu for the Lyft Amp, a bluetooth-enabled light that helps passengers see your vehicle
- The Settings area shows your profile info and allows you to adjust your navigation preference, toggle a high earnings alert, and more
What’s the best ways for drivers to contact Lyft?
Lyft drivers can contact Lyft via the Lyft Driver app or at help.lyft.com. If you have an issue with an individual ride, visit the Help area of the app and select the ride from the dropdown list. If you have a general question for Lyft, it can be easier to go to help.lyft.com.
How does the Lyft driver app compare to the Uber driver app?
Most rideshare drivers will drive for both Lyft and Uber, so eventually you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of both apps. Generally speaking, I think that that the Uber driver app is better than the Lyft driver app because it allows you to do everything driver-related all inside in the app. The Lyft driver app doesn’t allow you to view and manage nearly as much information as the Uber driver app.
Main differences between the Uber and Lyft driver apps
- You can message Uber inside the Uber driver app and manage all of your support messages from the app. You can’t do that with the Lyft app.
- The Uber driver app shows your ride earnings in more complete detail
- The Uber driver app displays much more detailed surge information that shows the exact surge rate. Lyft only shows general color-coded squares that don’t tell you exactly how much the surge will be.
In the end, both Lyft and Uber offer some kind of online way to do just about everything that you could ever need to do. But with Uber, if online help fails you, there are in-person offices to visit. Lyft doesn’t offer those in many cities, and it can be a major source of frustration if you’re having trouble getting started or if you’ve been deactivated.