Driving for Uber vs Lyft vs Sidecar Compared

Uber pays the best fare rates overall if this is the only thing you care about. Lyft has extra insurance options if you’re worried about liability while you’re driving other people. SideCar has a lot of customization options available to you such as setting your own price or driving older cars than the other services allow.

Covered in this report

UBER — Best Features

•Highest rates per fare on average.

•Get a $500 signing bonus for getting started as a new driver.

Best for: Those looking for the best fare in the most demanding cities.

Best deal: Free Ride Up to $20 — [activate coupon]

•Website: http://www.uber.com

•More coupons: 2 UBER coupons available

Lyft — Best Features

•Keep the full amount for tips you get while driving.

•Additional insurance available for driving right through the service.

Best for: Those who need help with additional car insurance coverage as a commercial driver.

•Website: http://www.lyft.me

•More coupons: 1 Lyft coupons available

Sidecar — Best Features

•Set your own prices with full custom control.

•Drive an older car as old as from the year 2000.

Best for: Those who want to customize their driving business more.

•Website: http://www.side.cr/

•More coupons: 1 Sidecar coupons available


Thanks to the Internet, it’s now highly possible to make money driving other people around, even doing this for a living. Here’s a comparison of some popular services that allow drivers to make money transporting people nearby, including how the features and various aspects of the service match up from a driver’s perspective.


Uber requires you to have a photo of your registration even if it isn’t in your name.


  • Highest Rate per Fare-Uber consistently gets $2 or more per fare than any other service, with some exceptions such as in Washington where Lyft gets a higher rate. There are other areas where Uber loses a bit as well such as LA or Orange County.
  • $100 Signing Bonus If You Buy a Prius-If you want to get a car to drive for Uber, you can get a $100 signing bonus if you go through sites like Breeze.
  • $500 Bonus for Becoming a New Driver-If you apply to drive with Uber, you can get a bonus worth as much as $500.


Lyft makes it easy to sign up as a driver by hitting the “drive for Lyft” button in pink right on the main site. It’s right next to where it says “take the wheel.” They claim rates of $35 an hour, but studies often point to a rate closer to $11 per fare. If you get more than one fare per hour you could be higher than that, but this seems unlikely to do consistently.


  • Keep Full Tip Amount-You can keep the full amount of tips you make from Lyft which is in contrast to other services.
  • Insurance Available Through Service-You can get additional insurance without paying any extra cost right through the service. This is a commercial policy that’s good for up to $1 million per occurrence. This is contingent on having personal car insurance, however, so you will need to still have that.
  • Rating System-The rating system through Lyft means that you can get more fares if you get rated highly enough through being searchable on the site.



  • Drive Older Cars-If your car is a bit older, SideCar is a good option for you since the requirements are laxer than with other companies.
  • Set Your Own Prices-If you’re someone who likes to have more control over what you make per fare, SideCar will work well for you since you can put the prices that you want. You will still have to compete with other drivers though, so it’s worth keeping this in mind.
  • Other Driving Options-If you’d like to also drive packages around in addition to people, SideCar appears to be putting effort into adding this option so you may be able to do this depending on your particular situation. If you like the idea, then it’s worth looking into.

Head to Head


According to multiple sources, Uber drivers often make the most money of the three. One study showed this as being around $16 for the average fare, with the others being well below $15 per fare, with Lyft even being under $12 per fare. So, this is before expenses. According to SherpaShare, insurance will be paid off per week if you take 1 and a third fares per week, 1.42 fares for gas and 0.72 fares for maintenance. This means the average maintenance cost is going to be around $55, which would be taken out of however many fares you do.

At Lyft, the before taxes and expenses average fare is a little under $11.50 according to one study. Expenses for insurance amount to $22 per week or so for insurance, $22.61 for fuel, and about $11.58 for maintenance costs. This means you have expenses of also around $55 or a little higher.

According to some studies, the average fare for SideCar is about $13.35 per fare. The cost per week for insurance is going to be around $21, the cost for fuel will come out to $22, and the cost for maintenance per week will come out to $11.5, again putting the average costs at around $55 to $57 per week.

Requirements and Demand

At Uber, demand is going to drum up what you can get per fare per city. The highest costs per city consummate with demand appears to be New York City, where the cost is $29.34, which is almost double anywhere else in the country. This is a half dollar higher than the demand at Lyft. In other places, like Baltimore, UberX is a full $3 higher, indicating larger demand there. Overall, there appears to be more demand across the board for Uber. In order to drive for UberX, you have to be 21, have a 4-door car that is from at least 2005, have insurance from your state in your own name, have your license for at least a year with in-state license plates and registration and pass a background check. A phone is required, but you can rent it through Uber for $10 per week.

Lyft also has strong demand, being only slightly being Uber in most cities, and actually being ahead in a few cities like Washington. Lyft also has options for additional at least for insurance, though there’s still a requirement of having personal auto insurance. Lyft also requires you to be at least 21 with a good record and a background check. It also requires you to have a smartphone and a vehicle with 4 doors from no earlier than 2003.Some cities require more recent cars, however.

SideCar demand may be a bit lower these days since it’s trying to rebrand itself a bit as also doing package delivery. Requirements for SideCar as a driver are again similar, with requiring you being 21 and having had a license for at least 1 year with insurance and a 4 door car. They drop their requirements for the year down to 2000 though, at least in California.

Overall, SideCar lets you drive the oldest cars since they allow cars from 2000 in many instances, whereas the other services often require much newer cars.

Additional Information


UBER Coupon Code: 20NEWRIDEUBER — Free Ride Up to $20 — Activate



Like what you read? Give Linus Chang a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.