What Year Does Your Car Have To Be For Lyft?

Published: August 4, 2023
Last updated: February 29, 2024

Driving for Lyft provides an incredible opportunity to earn extra income while setting your schedule. However, before you can hit the road, you need to ensure your vehicle meets Lyft's requirements, a key element of which is the car's age.

If you’re planning to drive for Lyft, you might be wondering: What year does your car have to be for Lyft?

General Vehicle Age Requirements

Typically, Lyft requires your vehicle to be no more than 15 years old. This age limit ensures the vehicles used by drivers are modern, safe, and comfortable for passengers. However, the specific age requirement can differ based on the city or region you plan to drive in.

Some cities may allow vehicles that are 2007 models or newer, while others may only permit 2008 or newer models. Therefore, it is crucial to verify the requirements for your specific area on Lyft's official website.

Apart from the age of the car, Lyft has several other stipulations that your vehicle must meet. These include being in good working condition and being free of significant cosmetic damage. Your car must also have a clean title — that is, it cannot be salvaged, rebuilt, or reconstructed.

The vehicle must have four doors and enough seat belts for the driver and four passengers. Additionally, you must have current, valid insurance for the vehicle, listed under your name.

Other Vehicle Requirements for Lyft

While the age of your car is a vital component of Lyft's vehicle requirements, several other factors contribute to whether your vehicle is eligible for this rideshare platform. Let's delve deeper into these additional requirements to ensure you're fully equipped to start earning with Lyft.

1. Vehicle Condition

First and foremost, your vehicle must be in good working condition. This means it should be free from mechanical defects and must pass an annual vehicle inspection. The inspection covers various vehicle safety aspects, including brakes, lights, windshield, tires, and more.

2. Cosmetic Standards

In addition to being mechanically sound, your car must also meet specific cosmetic standards. It must be free from significant body damage, such as large dents or deep scratches. Furthermore, the interior of the vehicle should be clean and well-maintained. Remember, passenger comfort is a top priority for Lyft.

3. Title Requirements

Your car must have a clean title, meaning it shouldn't be a salvaged, rebuilt, or reconstructed vehicle. Salvaged titles are often assigned to vehicles that have been damaged to the point where repairs would cost more than the vehicle's value. As such, they're typically deemed unsafe for passenger transportation.

4. Vehicle Type

Lyft only accepts four-door vehicles. The reasoning behind this is simple: safety and accessibility. With a four-door vehicle, passengers can enter and exit the car without needing to climb past the front seats, which can be awkward and potentially hazardous.

5. Seating and Seat Belts

Your vehicle should comfortably seat at least four passengers, in addition to the driver. This means you'll need a minimum of five seat belts in total. Lyft does not currently allow drivers to use mini-vans or full-size vans, box trucks, or other oversized vehicles. Make sure to familiarize yourself with seatbelt laws in your state.

6. Insurance

All drivers must carry personal automobile insurance that meets or exceeds state minimums for liability coverage. Your name must be on this insurance policy. In addition, Lyft provides supplementary insurance for drivers, but this is only in effect while you're logged into the Lyft app and providing rides.

By understanding and adhering to all these vehicle requirements, you can ensure a smooth path to becoming a Lyft driver. However, these requirements may change, so always refer back to Lyft's official website for the most accurate, up-to-date information. 

Different Vehicle Options for Lyft Drivers

If you're interested in driving with Lyft, it's important to understand the different vehicle options available. Lyft categorizes its service into several tiers, each requiring specific vehicle standards:

  • Lyft: This is the basic service and accepts most 4-door vehicles that are in good condition and meet the age requirement.

  • Lyft XL: Lyft XL is for groups that need more space. Vehicles in this category must be able to seat at least six passengers.

  • Lyft Lux: For Lyft Lux, only luxury sedans or SUVs in excellent condition and with a leather or leather-like interior are eligible. These vehicles must be a newer model.

  • Lyft Lux Black: This is the premium service where only luxury cars in excellent condition are accepted. These vehicles must have a black exterior and interior.

  • Lyft Lux Black XL: Similar to Lyft Lux Black but caters to larger groups. Vehicles must be a black luxury SUV with a black interior and be able to seat up to six passengers.

Keep in mind that these are just the basic requirements. Each city might have specific rules and regulations, so it's always best to check the local requirements in your area.

If your personal vehicle doesn't meet Lyft's standards for any reason, don't fret. You can still drive for Lyft using a rental car through their Express Drive program in partnership with Hertz. This program allows you to rent a car at a special rate and includes maintenance and insurance.

Adherence to Lyft’s Guidelines: Ensuring Quality Service

Lyft's vehicle requirements, including the car's age limit, are designed to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. By adhering to these guidelines, drivers help create positive experiences for riders, thereby contributing to the overall success of the Lyft community.

Remember that these requirements may change over time as Lyft strives to maintain high service standards and accommodate changing needs. Therefore, always refer to the most current information on Lyft's official website.

Becoming a Lyft driver unlocks extra income and offers the freedom to work as per your schedule. So, ensure your vehicle meets the guidelines, and then, it's time to hit the road and start earning!

Exploring Lyft’s Express Drive Program

For those whose vehicles do not meet Lyft's guidelines, there's no need to worry. You can still drive for Lyft through the Lyft car rental program. The Lyft Express Drive program is a partnership with Hertz, allowing you to rent a vehicle directly through Lyft.

This option is particularly beneficial for individuals who don't own a car or those whose car does not meet Lyft's requirements. Even if you have a car but don't want to use it for rideshare services due to wear and tear concerns, you can opt for this program.

Who Can Benefit from Express Drive?

The program is ideal for prospective drivers whose personal vehicles do not meet Lyft's standards due to age, condition, or type. Additionally, if you're worried about wear and tear on your own car or if you don't own a car, this program allows you to still drive and earn with Lyft. It's also a suitable option for those who'd like to test the waters of rideshare driving without committing their own vehicle to the task.

How Does Express Drive Work?

After signing up for the Express Drive program, you'll be able to pick up a rental car from a Hertz location near you. The rental costs vary by market but generally range from $200 to $250 per week. This fee includes insurance, unlimited miles, vehicle maintenance, and roadside assistance.

One of the best aspects of this program is that the more you drive, the less the rental costs. If you give a certain number of rides each week, Lyft will cover part of the rental cost. And if you provide even more rides, Lyft may cover the entire cost, allowing you to essentially drive for free!

Though the Lyft Express Drive program is undoubtedly an excellent opportunity, there are a few points to consider. You must return the car to the same location from where you rented it, and the program requires a refundable deposit. Additionally, while the rental includes insurance, it does not cover personal items stolen from the vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use the Lyft Express Drive rental for personal use?

Yes, you can. Lyft allows drivers to use their Express Drive rental for personal use. However, keep in mind that the mileage from personal use will not contribute to achieving the ride requirements needed to earn Rental Rewards, which could help offset the rental cost.

2. What happens if I don't meet the ride requirement for a week?

If you don't meet the required number of rides for a week, you'll have to pay the full rental cost for that week. Lyft will not contribute any Rental Rewards towards your rental cost in this case.

3. Do I need my own insurance to participate in Lyft Express Drive?

Yes, you do. While Lyft provides insurance for the rental vehicle, you still need to have personal auto insurance that meets or exceeds your state's minimum coverage requirements.

4. How do I return the rental car?

You should return the rental car to the same Hertz location from where you picked it up. Make sure to clean the car and remove all your personal belongings before returning it.

5. What happens if the Lyft Express Drive car breaks down?

The Lyft Express Drive rental includes maintenance and roadside assistance. If the car breaks down, you should immediately contact Lyft support for help.


The vehicle age requirement for Lyft is a crucial aspect of their comprehensive driver and vehicle standards. Lyft imposes these requirements to ensure a safe, comfortable, and reliable experience for its users. Adhering to such guidelines allows the platform to maintain a level of service quality that sets it apart in the competitive rideshare market.

Remember that Lyft's goal in setting these guidelines is not to exclude potential drivers but rather to ensure the safety and comfort of its users. If your vehicle doesn't meet the age requirements, consider exploring alternative options, such as the Lyft Express Drive program, which allows you to rent a qualifying vehicle and still drive for Lyft.

Get ready to start enjoying Lyft’s bonuses today! Discover how you can score free Lyft rides.

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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