How Does Lyft Rental Work?

Published: August 9, 2023

Ever thought of making a quick buck while cruising the city in a slick, comfortable vehicle? Or maybe you've had a hankering for entrepreneurship and wondered how to navigate the bustling ridesharing market. Lyft car rental program is one of the most lucrative opportunities when it comes to ridesharing services. But how does Lyft rental work?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the fascinating world of Lyft Rental for drivers. We will provide you with all the necessary details, from the introduction to the specifics, from understanding the benefits to learning how to sign up. Let’s dive in!

What Is Lyft?

Lyft is a leading ridesharing company based in the United States. It operates an online platform that connects drivers with passengers who need a ride. The passengers use the Lyft app to request a ride, and the app then notifies nearby drivers. Once a driver accepts the ride request, they pick up the passenger at their location and take them to their desired destination. The cost of the ride is automatically calculated based on the distance and duration of the ride, and payment is processed through the app.

Lyft operates in hundreds of cities across the United States and has also expanded into Canada. Besides providing car rides, Lyft also offers other services like bike-sharing and scooter rental in certain locations.

Over the past few years, Lyft has also introduced a rental program where approved drivers can rent a vehicle directly from Lyft, enabling individuals who don't own a car to work as a Lyft driver. This feature has made Lyft a popular choice for those seeking flexible earning opportunities.

Lyft Car Rental Program: An Overview

The Lyft Car Rental Program is an innovative solution introduced by the company to empower individuals who wish to drive and earn with Lyft but don't own a suitable vehicle. The program offers access to a rental car at a reasonable cost, allowing people to make money through the platform without the need to own a car. Here's a rundown of how the Lyft Car Rental Program works:

In essence, the Lyft Car Rental Program partners with rental companies such as Hertz and Flexdrive to provide potential drivers with a vehicle that they can use to offer rides to passengers. This eliminates the need for drivers to own a car, thereby lowering the barriers to entry for becoming a Lyft driver.

The rental agreement is not a long-term commitment, and the rental costs are typically covered on a weekly basis. This makes it a flexible solution for drivers who may only want to drive for a short period or are unable to make the significant financial commitment of buying a car.

Steps to Join the Lyft Car Rental Program

To join the Lyft Car Rental Program, drivers need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Driver Application

The first step to start driving with Lyft using a rental car is to complete the driver application process. The application can be found on the Lyft website or within the Lyft app. During this process, you will be asked to provide information about yourself and your driving history. You will also need to give consent to a background check.

Key information required during the application process includes:

  • Your full name and contact information

  • Social Security Number (for background checks)

  • Information about your driving history

Once you've filled in all the necessary information and given consent for a background check, your application will be submitted for review.

Step 2: Eligibility Check

Our quest to find out how does Lyft rental work will not be complete without learning about the Lyft driver requirements. After submitting your application, Lyft will review the provided information and run a background check. The purpose of this is to ensure that you meet the company's eligibility criteria. This includes:

  • Having a valid driver's license: You must hold a valid driver's license in the state where you plan to drive.

  • Age requirement: The age requirement to drive with Lyft varies by city, but in most cases, you must be at least 25 years old to drive with a rental car.

  • Background and DMV checks: Lyft runs both a criminal background check and a DMV check to ensure the safety of its passengers. These checks look for any major violations or a large number of minor violations on your driving record.

Step 3: Rental Reservation

The 'Vehicle' tab in the Lyft Driver app is your go-to spot to see available rental options. Here, you can:

  • Browse different car models available in your region.

  • Check the weekly rental cost for each vehicle.

  • View any promotions or incentives related to the rental program.

Cars in the rental program can be in high demand. If you don't find an available car immediately, don't get discouraged. Remember to check back regularly. Some vehicles might offer better fuel efficiency or more comfort. Choose what suits your driving style and passenger preferences.

Step 4: Vehicle Pick-up

Always bring your driver’s license. Some rental locations might also require a secondary form of identification or a credit card for security purposes. Once you've picked up the car, it’s time to get acquainted with the vehicle:

  • Adjust the mirrors, seats, and controls to your preference.

  • Check the fuel level and the general condition of the car.

  • Familiarize yourself with basic controls, such as the air conditioner, lights, and wipers. It’s better to do this before you have a passenger in the car.

Most rental cars are ready to hit the road. However, for your peace of mind, do a quick walk around. Look for any visible damages and ensure they are documented, so you aren't held responsible later.

Taking Your First Ride With Lyft

Getting started with your first ride can be a little nerve-wracking, but here are a few tips to help you make it smooth:

  • Make sure your car is clean and ready to go. Adjust the temperature to a comfortable level and turn on some soft, neutral music.

  • When you reach the pickup location, wait for the rider to come to your car. You can use the 'Arrive' button on the Lyft app to notify the rider that you're there.

  • Confirm the rider's name before starting the ride. This ensures you've picked up the right person!

Follow the in-app navigation to the rider's destination. Drive safely and respect all traffic rules.

After dropping off the rider, end the ride in the app. You'll see your earnings for that ride, and you can rate the rider.

In all these steps, remember that communication is key. If at any point you're unsure or have questions, reaching out to Lyft or the rental car provider can provide clarity. Being thorough and informed ensures you start your Lyft driving journey on the right foot.

Understanding the Lyft App

With the vehicle now in your possession, it's time to get on the road. Here are a few things to remember as you begin driving. The Lyft Driver app is your main tool for getting ride requests. A few key features include:

  • Ride Requests: When a nearby rider requests a ride, you'll get a notification on your app. The request will display the pickup location and the rider's rating. You have a limited time to accept the request.

  • Navigation: Once you accept a ride, the app will provide turn-by-turn navigation to the pickup location and then to the rider's destination. You can use Lyft's built-in navigation or choose your preferred navigation app in the settings.

  • Earnings Tracker: The app keeps track of your earnings in real-time. You can see how much you've made on each ride and your total earnings for the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if I get into an accident with a Lyft rental car?

If you're involved in an accident while driving a Lyft rental car, your first priority should be your safety and the safety of any passengers. After that, make sure to document the accident and report it to Lyft and the rental car provider as soon as possible. Lyft's insurance policy should cover you while you're driving for Lyft, but you'll still be responsible for the rental car's damage fee.

2. Can I use a Lyft rental car for personal use?

Yes, you can use a Lyft rental car for personal use, but remember that you're still responsible for maintaining the car in good condition and returning it at the end of your rental period. Any personal miles driven will also count toward the vehicle's total mileage.

3. What happens if I don't meet the ride requirement for Rental Rewards?

If you don't meet the ride requirement for Rental Rewards in a given week, you'll be responsible for paying the full rental cost for that week. The ride requirement varies by market and can be viewed in the 'Vehicles' tab of the Lyft Driver app.

4. Can I choose the type of car I get through the Lyft Rental Program?

The selection of cars available through the Lyft Rental Program varies by market and availability. While you might not be able to choose a specific model, you'll typically have a choice between several types of cars.

5. How long can I keep a Lyft rental car?

You can keep a Lyft rental car for as long as you meet the weekly ride requirement and the vehicle is in good condition. If you need to return the car, you can do so at the rental location during their business hours.


The Lyft Car Rental Program presents a viable opportunity for those who want to drive for Lyft but do not have access to a qualifying car. It provides drivers with a reliable vehicle and allows them to earn money to offset the rental cost.

As we have seen, joining the program involves a clear process from application to getting on the road. And while there are rules and responsibilities associated with using a rental car for Lyft, the support and resources provided by Lyft make the experience manageable and profitable.

Ready to maximize your Lyft earnings? In our comprehensive guide, discover how you can experience free rides when you sign up for Lyft!

Sales Development Lead Scott spearheaded a collective blog site before expanding his automotive knowledge and joining the team. Now he leads our team of experts by building ideas on our Sales Development department.
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