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The Gig Driver’s Choice: Uber, Lyft or DoorDash?
When people with full-time jobs started looking for ways to earn extra money during their free time, they discovered a wide range of opportunities to fulfill the needs of customers, and the concept of the gig economy really took off in the early 2000s. Using their own cars as independent contractors, Uber and Lyft drivers provided rides to passengers who wanted to avoid using public transportation or a taxi. Paying for the service was made easy for drivers and customers alike thanks to a mobile app that matched passengers with drivers in their area, making it a reliable method of earning money for the driver. Additionally, DoorDash was born out of a growing demand for food delivery, particularly in areas where food delivery is less common. In order to get started in the gig economy as a part-time or full-time driver, it is difficult to choose a service, which one is the most lucrative, and which one is the safest to drive. If you’re still deciding between Uber vs Lyft vs Doordash, keep reading for more details.
What Drivers Should Know
In order to use any of these services, the driver must have their own car, be screened for criminal activity, and have a valid driver’s license for the state in which they plan to operate.
Even if one has never used Uber’s ride-sharing or ride-hailing services, most people are likely familiar with the company. Founded in 2008, the service is credited with laying the groundwork for many other ride-sharing services, including Lyft, Curb, and many others. However, Uber has since expanded its services to include package delivery and food and grocery delivery. The amount of money a driver makes is highly dependent on the region in which he works, the time of day, and the level of demand. Most Uber drivers agree that transporting passengers is the most lucrative but also the most dangerous aspect of driving for Uber. There have been a number of reported incidents involving Uber drivers who were transporting passengers. Ride-share service Uber Eats is a less lucrative but safer option for drivers because they don’t have to interact with customers. Many Uber drivers alternate between transporting passengers in the early morning and early evening rush hours and delivering food at mealtimes and on weekends. The average hourly wage for an Uber driver is around $12–$15.
As a ride-sharing service like Uber, Lyft uses civilian drivers with their own vehicles to provide needed services for clients. Lyft serves a smaller portion of the global population than Uber, but its drivers earn slightly more per hour driving with Lyft than they do with Uber. A majority of the drivers who work for both Uber and Lyft say they prefer Lyft because of its higher safety rating and more generous pay scale. Lyft recently added food delivery to its list of services, but it currently only operates in a handful of major cities, compared to Uber’s many, with plans to go global in the years to come. A typical hourly wage for Lyft drivers is $15 to $17.
Food delivery is at the heart of DoorDash’s business model. When the founders realized that many people preferred to have their food delivered when they were sick or in bad weather, they decided to start this company. However, unless you live in a major city, it’s rare to find restaurants that deliver food. Contract workers with their own vehicles can now pick up pre-ordered food from restaurants and deliver it to customers at their designated locations through DoorDash. Even restaurants that don’t offer food delivery services in-house can benefit from DoorDash, and many have signed up to use the app. On average, DoorDash drivers typically earn $12 an hour, which is three dollars less than Uber drivers and five dollars less than Lyft drivers, on average. DoorDash has a higher rating in terms of safety, and because drivers don’t have to interact with customers, there are fewer safety concerns. Even though DoorDash now offers grocery delivery, not all local grocery stores are listed in the app. Drivers for DoorDash may struggle to find work in some areas, but in major cities, many find the business to be lucrative.
There are a lot of options for new drivers looking to make extra money on the side, or even turn on-demand driving into a full-time career, with these three major players in the gig industry. It is important for new drivers to keep in mind that many services do not have competition clauses, and thus many drivers choose to work for multiple companies at the same time. Delivering services such as DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber at the same time may provide them with customers who only use one app or the other. In order to maintain a steady income, a driver must work for a number of different services, to maximize the clients they reach. Making the choice between Uber vs Lyft vs Doordash depends on how these services operate in a certain area.
- What are the vehicle requirements for the services?
For Uber and Lyft, ferrying passengers requires the use of a four-door vehicle that is younger than 2003, carries insurance, and has passed a safety inspection check. For those who are delivering food, either through Uber Eats, Lyft delivery, or DoorDash, you must simply have a vehicle, a bicycle, or even be able to deliver on foot, in a safe and timely fashion. For those making use of bicycles, no insurance or further registration is required.
- What are the driver requirements for the services?
All three of these services require their drivers to be at least 18 years old, though Uber requires drivers under the age of 21 to have at least three years of license driving experience and drivers over the age of 21 to have at least one year of license driving experience.
- What sort of background checks do the services conduct?
Drivers for all three services must pass a criminal background check, must not have any driving offenses on their record, and must complete driver training for each company.
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