Uber vs Lyft: What’s the Real Difference?

Uber vs Lyft: What’s the Real Difference?

If you don’t have a car and aren’t a big fan of the subway, you’ve probably used Uber or Lyft more than once. Both platforms allow you to book rides in the most convenient way; with your smartphone.

They provide ride-hailing services that are tailored to your budget and convenience.

With these apps you can hail taxis without the stress of standing and waving taxis yourself; all you need to do is book a ride on your smartphone and you’ll be connected with the driver closest to you.

Earning extra money as a driver with these ride-hailing apps is also super easy, as long as your background check is clear and you are legally permitted to drive.

Overview: Uber and Lyft

Both Uber and Lyft are popular alternatives to traditional taxis; if you see an uber, there’s a high chance there’s a Lyft around too.

If you’ve seen the movie Love Hard, there’s a scene where the uber guy is also the Lyft guy; that’s how these ride-hailing apps are; they’re competing so fiercely that they’ve practically become partners.

Uber was the first ride-hailing app to be launched, in 2009. It started as UberCab, but in 2010 it was rebranded as Uber and became a global ride-hailing service.

Lyft entered the scene in 2012, beginning as a carpool service for college students. The idea came from people who wanted to share the cost of ride-hailing services without compromising their safety.

The main idea is to reduce the anonymity between drivers and passengers and to make both drivers and passengers feel safe during long trips because a platform is in charge of booking the ride and their details are registered.

Also, both Lyft and Uber offer other services aside from rideshare; food and groceries deliveries.

READ NEXT: DoorDash vs UberEats: Which Is the Better Option?

Uber or Lyft: Which Is cheaper?

When it comes to choosing a ride-hailing app, price is a major deciding factor. Although the pricing difference between Lyft and Uber is not fixed, Uber sometimes offers better deals than Lyft and Lyft sometimes do.

Aside from distance, the availability of drivers influences your ride fee. For example, if Lyft drivers are readily available in your area but Uber drivers are scarce, Lyft is likely to be less expensive than Uber.

According to a 2021 report, the average Lyft ride fee is $27; however, this price is also dependent on your city and the type of ride you’re booking. You may also incur additional costs on your ride if you change to a longer route, there is heavy traffic on your route, or book during a surge.

The price of an Uber ride, like Lyft, is determined by your location, the length of your trip, and the type of Uber service you pick. Ride fare also increases when there’s a surge; popular demand for rideshare and limited drivers are available.

In addition, a 2021 report calculated Uber’s average trip fee to be $20, which is slightly lower than Lyft. Each Uber ride service also has a minimum fare to ensure that drivers receive a baseline payment and earn a tangible amount on each trip.

Is Uber and Lyft Safe?

Another reason people use ride-hailing apps is a strong desire for safety. Lyft, for example, established this service for college students who want to carpool long distances while remaining safe.

The importance of safety cannot be overemphasized, people need to feel safe while booking a ride, which is why Uber and Lyft take precautions to protect both riders and drivers in their services. However, Uber appears to be doing a worse job of this than Lyft. This could also be because Lyft cases went unreported.

Lyft and Uber’s background checks are very similar; drivers must pass a background check, share their driving record, and provide a valid driver’s license, social security number, vehicle registration, and insurance.

Both ride-hailing apps prioritize passenger safety while overlooking driver safety precautions. As a result, drivers, particularly female drivers, also experience assault while working for Uber and Lyft.

Here are some safety precautions for Uber and Lyft riders: 

  • Avoid sitting in the front seat; sitting in the back seat gives you a better chance of getting out of the car.
  • Carry a self-defense object e.g pepper spray, to disarm the attacker and give you time to leave before the person recovers.
  • Check for a child lock in the car; a child lock prevents backseat passengers from opening the car after the driver has locked it.
  • Before beginning a trip, double-check that the car’s model and license plate match the ride you booked on the app.
  • Check that the driver description matches the person picking you up, and use the in-app panic button if your driver’s acting suspicious.
  • Share your trip with others, it allows them to see your live location.
  • Carry some cash with you so you can stop a trip if the driver’s being suspicious.
  • Regardless of how chatty your driver is, try not to share personal information with them.
  • Avoid riding alone while intoxicated, and avoid intoxicated drivers; most reports of sexual assault have occurred when passengers were intoxicated.

Drivers’ safety precautions: 

  • Ask passengers for their names before starting a trip
  • Avoid picking up intoxicated passengers; assaults on drivers are more likely when passengers are intoxicated.
  • Don’t share personal information with passengers
  • Share your live location with others, if your passenger is acting suspiciously.
  • Decline and end the trip early if you’re uncomfortable with a passenger’s behavior.
  • If you notice suspicious behavior from your passenger, use the in-app panic button.
  • Carry a self-defense item, such as pepper spray, pen, etc with you on rides.

What Are the Ride Options Available on Uber vs Lyft?

Uber and Lyft have services designed for you, whether you want to carpool to share ride costs, book a luxurious ride, or a comfortable ride with enough legroom. If you’re wondering what the difference is between Lyft and Uber services, here are the services offered by both and the differences.

Trip TypeLyftUber
Basic (Small)Original Lyftmaximum of 3 passengersUberX4 passengers max
Basic (Big)Lyft XLRegular Lyft for up to 6 passengersUberXLBasic Uber ride for up to six passengers
     CarpoolLyft SharedDrivers can pick up other riders following your route.UberPooldifferent riders on the same route share a ride and its cost.
PremiumLyft LuxPrivate luxury rides with a Lyft XL subcategory that allows you to book a premium private ride for up to 6 passengers.UberBlack & Black SUVThe Uber Black service allows up to 4 passengers while the Black Suv allows up to 6
  WAV (wheelchair-accessible vehicle)UberWAVPrivate ride with wheelchair access and allows up to 4 passengersAccessBook private rides with wheelchair access and extra seats for 2 passengers


Aside from the basic plans mentioned above, Lyft offers others, such as wait & save, which helps you book the cheapest ride in your route by waiting until prime time is over and does not book your ride as high-priority.

There is also Lyft preferred service, which allows you to tell your driver your preferences during the ride. For instance, you’d like a quiet ride without the driver blasting music during the ride or you’d like the driver to switch on the AC and so on. 

However, the Lyft Preferred service is not available in all cities. So, here is a complete list of the services that Lyft provides to riders.

Uber vs Lyft: Locations

Uber operates in over 10,000 cities globally; there’s a high probability of being able to book a ride with Uber wherever you go than with Lyft.

Lyft, on the other hand, operates in over 50 cities in two countries; USA and Canada. That’s a lot of coverage but only if you’re in these countries.

Loyalty programs

Both Lyft and Uber have loyalty programs that prioritize members over non-members for trips. Uber Pass, Uber’s membership program costs $24.99 per month and offers discounts on rides, food, and grocery deliveries. 

You can get free grocery and food deliveries even if you order from multiple locations. It also helps you save up to 15% on luxurious rides.

I’d say the membership is worth it if you use Uber a lot both for deliveries and trips. The Uber Pass is only available to Uber users in the United States.

Lyft Pink is also limited to the United States, but it provides similar benefits to Uber Pass at a much lower cost of $9.99 per month.

With Lyft Pink, you can earn rewards for rides that you can redeem for airline, hotel, and credit card points. 

You also get ride benefits like roadside assistance, discounts on luxury rides, and a free GrubHub membership (free food delivery as long as it’s from GrubHub). Before jumping at the $9.99 Lyft Pink membership, keep in mind that its offerings aren’t as extensive as Uber’s.

Customer Support

Aside from the features and services provided by any platform, one thing we all look for is customer service. If you have a problem with your trip, Lyft and Uber have in-app, email, and emergency lines where you can get help right away.

Lyft outperforms Uber in this category due to faster ticket turnaround time. This could be because Lyft has lower traffic than Uber.

Other Ride-Hailing Apps

There are other great ride-hailing apps besides Lyft and Uber if you want to try something new or aren’t a fan of either. Depending on your city and preference, here are some ride-hailing apps you might to explore: Bolt, Wingz, Via, Curb, Gett/JunoDidi, Flywheel, and more.

ALSO READ: Didi or Uber: Give or Take a Ride?


Can I Get an Uber or Lyft Late at Night?

Sure, you can. However, it is not the safest time to book rides; avoid booking long-distance rides at night and share your location with others while traveling late at night.

Do Uber and Lyft Take Cash?

Yes, both Uber and Lyft accept cash as payment for rides and deliveries.

Can I Book Rides in Advance?

Both Lyft and Uber allow you to schedule rides in advance to avoid long wait times and optimize your booking.


Booking private trips and splitting the cost of rides has never been easier thanks to apps like Uber and Lyft. They offer a variety of services to suit your ride preferences, including economy, luxury, WAV, eco-friendly, and others.

According to statistics, Uber is available in more countries than Lyft and is slightly cheaper. However, users claim that checking the pricing on both apps before booking a ride is the best way to get the best deal.

Related: Bolt vs Uber: Which Is Better for Drivers and Users?

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