Using a vehicle you already own is one of the best ways to drive for Lyft. But does your vehicle qualify for Lyft, and what’s the oldest year that Lyft will accept?
And if your vehicle doesn’t qualify, did you know that there are other ways to rent or buy a car for Lyft?
This guide covers the most up-to-date Lyft vehicle requirements. And learn how to rent a car if you can’t use your current car doesn’t qualify!
What you need to know:
- Lyft requires a 4-door vehicle that meets your city’s vehicle age requirement
- Many cities require a vehicle inspection before you can drive
- The Lyft Express Drive program offers rentals starting at $200 per week
- Lyft Vehicle Requirements
- The Lyft Vehicle Inspection
- Vehicle Requirements FAQ
- How to Rent a Car for Lyft
- Full List of Vehicle Age Requirements
Lyft Vehicle Requirements: Does Your Car Qualify?
Below is the list of vehicle requirements for regular Lyft service. Scroll down to see the vehicle requirements of other Lyft services such as XL and Lux.
- 4-door vehicle that meets the model year requirement in your city
- 5–8 seats, including the driver’s
- No major cosmetic damage
- Current vehicle registration
- No salvage or rebuilt title
- Must pass a vehicle inspection
- Driver must meet driver requirements
- Pass a background check and driving record check
- Driver must be listed on vehicle’s insurance policy
Vehicles that don’t qualify for any Lyft service
- Full-sized vans (12 or 15-passenger vans like Ford Transit and E-Series, GMC Savana)
- Salvage title or rebuilt title, even if the vehicle is in great condition
- Taxis and other commercially-marked vehicles
Drive for Lyft when you don’t have a car: Rental options
You can complete the Lyft application even if you don’t have access to a qualifying vehicle.
To apply without a car, visit the Lyft application and select “I need a car” on the application page. That will allow you to complete the background screening process without listing a car.
When you select the “I need a car” option, Lyft will send you information about the Lyft Express Drive rental program, which offers applicants rental cars.
Vehicle requirements for different Lyft services
Lyft offers several different levels of service, each with different vehicle requirements. Learn the difference between the Lyft services, then use this article to see which service your vehicle qualifies for.
Lyft XL vehicle requirements – Minivans and SUVs for groups of five or more
A Lyft XL vehicle must fit at least six people total to accommodate groups of five passengers.
- Must seat six passengers (five passengers)
- Same model year requirements as regular Lyft
- Lyft XL drivers receive ride requests for both XL and regular Lyft rides. You can’t choose to only receive XL requests
Lyft XL costs around 1.5x the price of a regular Lyft, so a vehicle that qualifies for XL has higher earning potential than a regular Lyft car.
If your car qualifies for XL, your driver profile will automatically allow Lyft XL ride requests.
If you think your car qualifies for XL but you’re not getting XL requests, contact Lyft and ask to receive XL requests.
Lyft Preferred vehicle requirements
Lyft Preferred is a premium service that offers rides in newer cars with more legroom and highly-rated drivers. It is more expensive than a regular Lyft and offers higher payouts for drivers.
- 2015 or newer
- At least 37 inches of legroom
- Must maintain a 4.9-star average
- Must have completed at least 300 rides
Related: Tips to earn $1,000 per week on Lyft
Lyft Lux vehicle requirements
Lyft Lux is a high-end Lyft service for customers willing to pay more for a ride in a luxury vehicle. Lyft Lux vehicles are typically entry-level luxury models.
- Must seat four passengers
- 2015 or newer: Varies in some cities
- Luxury vehicles from luxury brands such as Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz
- Other vehicles qualify: Full list of vehicles eligible for Lyft Lux
Lyft Lux Black and Lux Black XL vehicle requirements
Lyft Lux Black and Black XL are high-end services that compete with Uber Black. They are the most expensive services and have the potential for higher earnings than any other Lyft service.
Vehicle requirements are the most strict for Lux Black and Lux Black XL, and to be eligible, you must maintain an average driver rating of 4.7 or higher.
- 2017 or newer
- Black exterior
- Leather or leather-like material only. No cloth interiors.
- Driver must maintain an average rating of 4.7 or higher.
- Complete list of Lyft Lux Black and Black XL vehicles.
Lyft Lux, Lux Black, and Lux Black XL drivers can limit ride requests to the higher-end services by going to the Vehicles and Devices area of the Lyft Driver app and changing the Ride Preferences setting.
The Lyft vehicle inspection
In most cities and states, your vehicle must pass an inspection. You can do the inspection at a Lyft Driver Center, locations listed in the Lyft driver app, or at any state-certified mechanic.
Read more: See the full Lyft vehicle inspection criteria
The Lyft inspection checks for the following:
- Tires: Need sufficient tread. On a US penny, tread must reach Lincoln’s head
- Windows: Free of major cracks, no cracks in driver’s field of vision. Windows must roll up and down
- A/C and heat: Must be present and functioning
- Wipers: Functioning and in good condition
- Lights: All must function. Headlights, turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights
- Horn: Must function
- Seat belts: All must be present and functional
- Seats: Front seats must move forward and backward
- Body: Free of major damage or dents
- Tailpipe/muffler: Must meet state standards
Lyft vehicle requirements FAQ
My car is too old for Lyft but it’s nice. Will Lyft accept it?
Lyft makes no exceptions to model year requirements. Even if your older car is in pristine condition, Lyft will not accept it. Consider renting from a service like HyreCar.
Does Lyft accept paper plates (temporary registration)?
Many drivers can add their cars to the Lyft system with temporary registration documents. Just make sure that the VIN on the temporary documents matches the VIN on your insurance information. If you’re having issues with having temporary documents accepted, contact Lyft.
Do I need any special permits to drive with Lyft?
Most cities and states don’t require special permitting to drive with Lyft, but some do. To see the exact requirements for your area, head to this page and scroll down to your state. Lyft will give you instructions on how to obtain any necessary permits.
My car qualifies now, but can it become too old later on?
Lyft typically updates its model year requirement yearly and disqualifies cars that become too old. For example, if the model year requirement in your city is 2008 or newer this year, next year it might become 2009.
In that scenario, a model year 2008 vehicle would become too old for the Lyft platform and no longer qualify. Lyft will typically warn you a few months in advance that your car is aging off of the platform.
How to rent a car for Lyft? The Express Drive program
If you don’t currently have access to a vehicle that qualifies for Lyft, you can rent a car from the Lyft Express Drive program or from one of several other rideshare rental companies.
Rideshare rentals include insurance and unlimited rideshare miles, so they’re a good way to get started with Lyft without purchasing a vehicle.
- The Express Lyft Drive program
- List of the top rideshare rental options
- HyreCar has rideshare-ready rentals for Uber and Lyft drivers
Does your car qualify for Lyft? Try applying!
Still not sure whether your car qualifies? You can apply to drive with Lyft and find out during the application process, or you can contact Lyft.
There’s no perfect online tool that can tell you for sure if your car qualifies or not. The only way to be certain is to apply and find out!
Complete List of Lyft Model Year Requirements
Find the oldest car that Lyft will accept. Updated January 2023.
Use the search bar to find your state.
|State||Oldest Vehicle Year|
|Arizona - Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson||2009|
|Arkansas - Fayetteville||2009|
|California - San Francisco, San Jose||2008|
|California - Eureka, Chico, El Centro, Merced, Redding, San Luis Obispo, Victorville, Yuba City||2007|
|Idaho - Boise||2008|
|Illinois - Chicago||2008|
|Indiana - Gary, Terre Haute, Muncie||2009|
|Kansas - Manhattan, Topeka, Western KS||2009|
|Massachusetts - Boston||2007|
|Minnesota - Minneapolis/St. Paul||2008|
|Mississippi - Gulfport-Biloxi||2009|
|Missouri - Springfield||2009|
|Missouri - St Louis||2011|
|Nebraska - Western||2009|
|Nevada - Las Vegas||2013|
|New Mexico - Roswell, Las Cruces, Taos||2009|
|New York State||2007|
|New York City||2007|
|North Carolina - Outer Banks||2009|
|Oklahoma - Ardmore and Woodward||2013|
|Oregon - Portland||2013|
|Oregon - Eugene||2008|
|Tennessee - Chattanooga, Clarksville, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville||2007|
|Tennessee - Cookeville, Jackson, Johnson City||2009|
|Virginia - Fredericksburg||2009|
|Washington - Seattle & Tacoma||2011|
|West Virginia - Martinsburg||2009|
|Wisconsin - Green Bay||2008|
|Wisconsin - Janesville, Madison, Milwaukee, Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Area||2009|
This was posted in 2018. Have the vehicle year requirements been updated for 2023? or were those the requirements in 2018? Basically is the requirement for Lyft Black currently “2017 and newer”, or “2022 and newer”?
Doug H says
Up at the top of the page you’ll see that this article was updated on January 13, 2023. These are the current requirements. However, Lyft will soon increase the requirements by one year, but that hasn’t happened quite yet! I will update the page when it does.
Can you drive a 2013 Toyota Prius
Doug H says
Yes. Perfect car for Lyft