Hey Guys, before I get into how much money Lyft drivers make in Phoenix AZ, I wanted to tell you a little about myself first. My name is Erick and I am a part-time Lyft Driver based out of Phoenix, Arizona. My full-time job is at WebTechs.Net, a very successful full-service marketing company started in 1997, where I design websites and perform search engine optimization for small, medium, and large businesses.
Needless to say, I do a lot of writing(15,000+ words a week), plus tons of research on the internet and noticed, not a lot of drivers were documenting their experiences driving for Lyft. So, I decided to put together this article to document my adventure while driving Lyft passengers to and from the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Surprise and Florence, Arizona.
First of all, let me say this article is a positive/informative article about the awesome experience I had driving 50 TRIPS IN 30 DAYS FOR LYFT. Not only was it an awesome experience, but I also gained an awesome amount of money while doing it. *Updated – We recently created an Phoenix Lyft earnings infographic that breaks down the costs and earning of the entire 30 days.
Table Of Contents
- My Introduction Driving For Lyft
- My First Experiences Driving For Lyft
- Phoenix Lyft Driver Referral Program
- How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make In Phoenix Infographic
- Lyft Phoenix – $250 Referral Program Bonus
- Lyft Guaranteed Hourly Wages
- How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make in Phoenix Continued
- Lyft Payments – How Much Money I Made For 50 Trips in Phoenix Total
- How many rides I accepted in Phoenix and the peak hours I drove
- Totals amount of rides and peak hours driven for all 4 weeks in Phoenix
- Total Lyft Rides, Dates, Totals, Tips, Fees, Earnings in Phoenix
- How Many Miles Did You Drive During Your Entire 50 Trips
- How Much Gas I Used
My Introduction To Lyft Driving
I originally heard about Lyft from my friend/co-worker Ivan who was telling me about the Lyft Driver Referral Program where they were giving away a $250 sign up bonus for new Phoenix drivers that signed up for Lyft and drove 50 trips in 30 days. I had driven for UBER already and figured 50 trips would be a breeze to pull off.
However, I quickly learned that Lyft trips do not come by as often as they do for UBER. Lyft just hasn’t gained the popularity that Uber has yet, but that doesn’t mean that this scenario will not get better in time, or that my endeavors were impossible, just more challenging.
My First Experiences Driving For Lyft
My first couple of trips in, I mostly ended up driving around the North Scottsdale area. Below is a map of North Scottsdale, AZ to show where I am talking about.
For some reason the people up in N Scottsdale like to stay in there own area… and for good reason! There are tons of little shops and restaurants around that area that host everything one would need or want! From upscale bars and restaurants to shiny new Trader Joe stores and Dave & Busters. I was actually surprised they had so much going on up there. The riders seemed to tip well and I met some awesome people while driving in North Scottsdale.
One of my first Lyft passengers was actually an Australian couple. I cant remember their names at the moment, but I know they were from Australia because they spoke with a thick accent, and because I like to make small talk with passengers if I notice they are open to it. They definitely seemed to be very open to it and were actually the ones who started asking questions first.
Although, not everyone is open to conversation I learned. You can get a feel by testing the waters with a couple intro questions. I first ask them how they are doing and if they have any temperature or radio preferences. This usually breaks the ice and they will begin to ask questions or look down at their phone. If they are constantly looking down at their phone, I can tell they are engaged elsewhere and turn the music up slightly then continue the ride. But enough of that, back to that Australian couple.
I only remembered this couple because they said something that shocked me! They told me that in Australia, a good Australian burger is comprised of burger, lettuce, tomato, egg, onion, and… beets? Beets, they said was the main ingredient that made an Australian burger GREAT! I couldn’t believe it! I was like, whhhaaaaattt? They laughed when I said that. haha… They were awesome people and I believe their trip was only around 10 bucks, but I remember getting an awesome 6 dollar tip from them! I know you don’t get tips like that from every Lyft passenger so I greatly appreciated it. That was one really awesome trip and was one of the first experiences I had driving for Lyft. Nice intro if you ask me!
I did get off to a slow start at first. I only drove a few hours or so my first couple weeks so it ended up seeming like the first 15 trips took forever… but after a few weeks of screwing around I decided to get serious. I started taking more trips and after getting about 15 trips in, I started feeling like I would be done in no time.
Lyft Driver Referral Program For Phoenix Drivers
I actually started out thinking that 50 trips in 30 days would be NO PROBLEM, and although it did get tough at times, the $250 dollar referral bonus offered to new Phoenix drivers was exactly the motivation I needed to stay in the game. I actually did most of my driving in Scottsdale and Tempe, but made frequent stops all over Phoenix, Arizona. Below is a map of Phoenix, AZ.
Phoenix is HUGE!!
Tempe, AZ was actually great for receiving shorter rides that got me closer to my goal of 50 rides in 30 days. That’s where most of the music festivals and other events were always going on at. Below is a map of Tempe, Arizona.
Although it did take a longer amount of days than I originally thought, I will have to say that the experience driving for Lyft was 2x better than driving for Uber and the even the passengers seem to agree in unison on that topic. The ability to receive tips really makes a difference to the drivers and the passengers also enjoy getting to leave their drivers tips. Lyft says about 60% of their rides tip, and I would absolutely have to agree with that statement, if not more.
I drove 50 trips in 30 days for Lyft and this review will show you how much money I made from 50 rides, how many tips I earned the entire 30 days, and how much money I made TOTAL, with, and without the $250 driver referral bonus I received.
Now, let me show you how I made $1,228.04 in 30 days by driving part-time for Lyft! Sorry to spoil it for you climactic readers, some of us click awayer’s wont scroll down to reach the end of this article. Stick around to see the finer details of my entire Lyft endeavor.
Let’s start out with a couple of the most commonly asked Lyft earning questions I’m sure you’re wondering about.
How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make In Phoenix AZ?
Watch The Video
Read The Infographic
What was the hourly rate you earned driving for Lyft?
Hourly Rate No Guarantees: My average hourly wage driving for Lyft was $18.47 an hour without the guarantees or referral bonus (simulation, as if I were a driver who signed up in future where no guarantees are present).
Hourly Rate With Guarantees: Average dollar amount I made for the entire month including Lyft’s hourly guarantees is $24.27 an hour, not too bad for just driving people around.
Hour Rate With Bonus Included: My average hourly wage with the $250 referral bonus included was $32.60 an hour. Although this will probably be not likely to happen again. This is a one time bonus and can only be counted once. That’s why I put the wages with and with out bonuses in them. I don’t want to lead you in the wrong direction and make you think you can always earn $32.60 an hour driving for Lyft.
Whats the average fair per rider you received while Lyft driving in Phoenix?
My average fair for Lyft was $19.56 per ride including tip.
My average fair not including tip was $18.40 per ride.
How much money did you make total driving the entire 50 trips for Lyft?
I made $978.39 Lyft driving for 50 trips in 30 days, minus the referral bonus. With all fares, tips, guarantees and Lyft’s referral bonus included I made $1228.04 total.
How much money did you make without Lyft hourly guarantees included?
The total ride payments with no hourly guarantees was $602.11.
Minus the Lyft fees of $150.61, I actually made $451.50 after the Lyft fees were taken out. So, there are the stats baselines stats and the amounts of money I would have made if there were no guarantees or bonuses in place.
Although, in this case, there were guarantees and bonuses in place, and those weren’t the only incentives I was interested in…
Lyft Phoenix – $250 Referral Program Bonus
My biggest carrot dangling in front of my face was the “Lyft Driver Referral Bonus”. Lyft made an announcement on the radio that they were giving away $250 in Phoenix for every new driver that signs up for Lyft and takes 50 trips within 30 days.
I figured that’s only about 2 trips a day and I decided to take the challenge. My starting date was 3/14/16. With that being said, let’s take a look at how much money I really made driving for Lyft including ride payments, tips, guaranteed hourly bonuses, and the $250 driver referral bonus.
Lyft Hourly Guaranteed Wages
Lyft’s guaranteed hourly wages work like this: They take the amount of qualified hours (hours where you take at least 1 trip and are logged on for at least 50 minutes) you drive, (x) the dollar amount of the money being guaranteed. Lyft’s Guarantee Bonus Payment was $174.04. which was calculated from a mixture of guaranteed rates I qualified for. Some nights had lower rates, others had high, but the the majority of guaranteed dollar amounts I qualified for were between $18, $20, $30, and $40 guaranteed hourly rates promised by Lyft during busy hours of the night. Most of the highest paying hours I drove for Lyft were on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm-3am. See the section below titled “Lyft Hourly Guarantees” to see the full breakdown on how much I made during each of the guaranteed hours.
How Much Do Lyft Drivers Make in Phoenix Continued
How much Lyft fees did you have to pay?
Total amount of Lyft fees were $150.61 for all 50 trips.
How Much did you get paid for your driver referral bonus?
The current Driver Referral Bonus in Phoenix is $500. Although, when I signed up for Lyft the Driver Referral Bonus in Phoenix was $250. (You get to keep every penny of your $250 or $500 driver referral bonus) Lyft is now giving away $500 driver referral bonuses in Phoenix if you have a 10 year old car or newer and are 21 years of age or older. Click here to sign up and receive the $500 Phoenix Driver Referral Bonus if you complete 50 rides in 30 days.
How much tips did you make driving for lyft?
My Total Tips I earned driving for Lyft was $83 (*Note: You get to keep every penny of your tips). Which equals out to be $1.66 tip per trip.
What were you total earnings before Lyft took their fees out?
My Total Earnings before Lyft fees: $1,109.15
How Much money did you make after Lyft took their fees out?
My Total Earnings after Lyft fees: $978.04 (My take home amount, does not include gas, repairs, etc.)
How long or how many hours did it take for you to drive all 50 trips for Lyft?
My Total Amount of Time in Driver Mode: It took 30 hrs. and 1 minute to drive 50 trips in 30 days for Lyft.
Let’s take a second to check out how much money Lyft deposited into my bank account for each week.
Lyft Payments – How Much Money I Made For 50 Trips in Phoenix Total
Total Lyft Payments Direct Deposited Into My Bank Account:
$109.39 (week 1: Mar 14 – 20)
+ $036.43 (week 2: Mar 21 – 27)
+ $333.52 (week 3: Mar 28 – Apr 3)
+ $498.70 (week 4: Apr 04 – 10)
= $978.04 total for all 4 weeks driving for Lyft minus the referral bonus
Final Total with Lyft Driver Referral Bonus Included
$978.04 (4 week total)
+ $250.00 (Driver Referral Bonus for hitting 50 trips)
= $1228.04 for the entire first month of driving for Lyft part-time.
How many rides I accepted in Phoenix and the peak hours I drove
What are peak hours? Lyft’s peak hours are times of the day or night where Lyft drivers are in high demand. During these hours you will make more money than usual and are typically the hours where Lyft guarantees hourly rates.
Let’s take a look at how many peak hours I drove and how many rides I accepted total.
Week 1 (Mar 14 – 20): I accepted 7 rides, drove 0 peak hours and maintained a ride acceptance rate of 100%.
Week 2 (Mar 21 – 27): I accepted 4 rides, drove 4 peak hours and maintained a ride acceptance rate of 100%. I noticed that driving in peak hours ensures you will receive a passenger during that hour. I also noticed that during the peak driving times, you almost end up making the amount of money you are guaranteed. Sometimes you make more than the guaranteed amount.
Week 3 (Mar 28 – Apr 3): I accepted 26 rides, took 20 Peak hours rides and maintained a ride acceptance rate of 97%. This is the same week I found out that I owed the IRS money and that I wasn’t going to get any of my income tax refund back. I was severely disapointed but I said to myself “you know what self, were going to get this money anyways”. So, I got out there and was able to knock out over half of the total amount of rides that were even needed initially. After this point, I only needed 13 more rides to reach my goal of 50 and receive my driver referral bonus of $250 bucks. I was super stoked at this point. And, my friend that referred me, Ivan, was also pretty excited at this point. After all, he gets 250 bucks as well when I complete all 50 trips.
Week 4 (Apr 04 – 10): I accepted 13 rides, drove 6 peak hours and maintained a ride acceptance rate of 94%. My last 2 nights were pretty fun, I had already made it past the point of being tired in the 1-3am slots like I was in the initial weeks of driving and I knew I was so close that it didn’t even matter anymore. I drove my 50th trip on Saturday at 2:37am with a huge smile on my face. I decided to call it quits for the night after dropping off the passengers, even though I was driving in a guaranteed $40 hour slot. I knew I had already made some pretty great money in the past weeks and wasn’t too worried about making $40 more. Plus, I already work a full time job already performing Website Design & Search Engine Optimization.
Totals amount of rides and peak hours driven for all 4 weeks in Phoenix
All 4 weeks:
- 50 total rides driven for Lyft in 30 days
- 30 peak hours driven for Lyft in 30 days
- 97.75% average acceptance rate
Lyft Hourly Guarantees Breakdown
What Lyft hourly guarantees are and how I qualified for them?
Lyft is currently offering hourly guarantees just for being a driver out there on the road. Worried about not getting a lot of trips? Well worry no more, Lyft is guaranteeing $18-$50 an hour depending on the time of the day or night, and all you have to do is take 1 trip during that hour and maintain a 90% acceptance rate to qualify for the guarantee. However, you can’t just turn down a trip just to try to only take 1 trip per hour.
*Note: The amount of rides you receive may depend on how busy the area you are in is. If you are in a busy area, you will most likely make the guaranteed amounts simply by driving regularly. The guarantees are mostly for those who experience almost no requests for trips. As long as you get one an hour, which is very feasible by the way, you get your guarantee and work towards your referral bonus at the same time. I have had hours where I only took one trip for $5 dollars or so and still got the $40 an hour guarantee payout. Keep in mind that $40 dollars an hour with Lyft isn’t actually $40 real dollars; it’s more like $32 real dollars after Lyft removes the 20% fees. Although, $32 dollars an hour is a pretty decent amount of money, even if you are driving drunk people around (not everyone falls into this category) at 2am in the morning.
$18, $20, $30, & $40 Lyft Average Hourly Guarantee Analysis
$18 AVERAGE HOURLY LYFT GUARANTEES I QUALIFIED FOR IN PHOENIX
- Total Hours Qualified: 1 hour
- Eligible earnings during qualified hours: $31.95
My average hourly earnings: $31.95
$20 AVERAGE LYFT HOURLY GUARANTEES I QUALIFIED FOR IN PHOENIX
- Total Hours Qualified at the $20 rate: 4 hours
- Eligible earnings during qualified hours: $118.35
My average hourly earnings for the first 3 hours were only $16.91 so Lyft ended up paying me: My additional Lyft bonus of $6.95 (after Lyft fees)
My 4th hour of driving in the $20 an hour time slot I was able to earn $67.62 within the hour, so in this case Lyft did not pay me the guarantee because I had already earned more than the $20 total they were guaranteeing me to make.
*Note – The $20 an hour guaranteed rate from Lyft is available Monday – Thursday from 7am-9am, 2pm-6pm, and 1am-3am. Saturdays from 4pm-10pm, 3am-4am, and Sundays from 9am-11am, 4pm-6pm
$30 AVERAGE HOURLY LYFT GUARANTEES I QUALIFIED FOR IN PHOENIX
- Total Hours Qualified at the $30 rate: 4 hours
- Eligible earnings during qualified hours: $70.11
- Your average hourly earnings: $8.47
Total Lyft ended up having to pay me: $37.42
My average hourly earnings for the first 1st hour of driving during the $30 dollar rate period was only $8.47(1 trip) so Lyft ended up paying me: My additional Lyft bonus of $16.15 (after Lyft fees)
Which really only comes out to $24.62 an hour.
So, if you are Lyft is guaranteeing you $30 an hour, you can expect to get about 80% of that total.
On my next 3 hours of driving in Mesa, Arizona in the $30 an hour time slot I was able to earn $61.64. Below is a map of Mesa, AZ.
My average hourly earnings for that last 3 hours of driving during the $30 dollar rate period was $20.55 an hour, so Lyft ended up paying me my additional Lyft bonus of $21.27 (after Lyft fees)
My total additional Lyft bonuses for driving 4 qualified guaranteed hours during the $30 an hour time period was $37.42.
*Note – The $30 an hour guaranteed rate from Lyft is only available on Fridays from 10pm to 1am. (Depending on events, seasons, etc.).
$40 AVERAGE HOURLY LYFT GUARANTEES I QUALIFIED FOR IN PHOENIX
- Total Hours Qualified at the $40 rate: 12 hours
- Eligible earnings during qualified hours: $307.11
- My average hourly earnings: $25.59 (14.41 under the guaranteed rate)
Total Lyft ended up having to pay me: $129.67
My average hourly earnings for the first 6 hours of driving during the $40 dollar rate period was $22.13 an hour, so Lyft ended up paying me my additional Lyft bonus of $80.41 (after Lyft fees)
This really comes out to $35.53 an hour. So, if you are Lyft is guaranteeing you $40 an hour, you can expect to get about 80% of that total.
Total Lyft Rides, Dates, Totals, Tips, Fees, Earnings in Phoenix
Week 1 Lyft rides, tips, fees and earnings
|Day||Rides||Ride /tip||Fees||Your Earnings|
|Mar 17||2||$20.95 + $11||$5.24||$26.71|
|Mar 19||2||$15.61 + $3||$3.90||$14.71|
|Mar 20||3||$84.63 + $5||$21.16||$68.47|
|Totals||7||$121.19 + $19||$30.30||$109.89|
Time in Lyft driver mode: 5 hrs. 28 min
Week 2 Lyft rides, tips, fees and earnings
|Day||Rides||Ride /tip||Fees||Your Earnings|
|Mar 25||2||$10.88 + $15||$2.73||$23.15|
|Mar 26||2||$4.38 $1.10||$3.28||$2.10|
|Totals||4||$15.26 + $15.00||$3.83||$26.43|
Time in Lyft driver mode: 1 hrs. 31 min
Week 3 Lyft rides, tips, fees and earnings
|Day||Rides||Ride /tip||Fees||Your Earnings|
|3/30||2||$7.00 + $1.76||$5.24||$3.52|
|4/1||12||$110.17 + $18.00||$27.57||$100.60|
|4/2||12||$160.27 + $20.00||$40.07||$140.20|
|Totals||26||$277.44 + $38.00||$69.40||$246.04|
Time in Lyft driver mode: 12 hrs. 57 min
Week 4 Lyft rides, tips, fees and earnings
|Day||Rides||Ride /tip||Fees||Your Earnings|
|4/8||5||$62.40 + $2.00||$15.61||$48.79|
|4/9||8||$125.82 + $9.00||$31.47||$103.35|
Time in Lyft driver mode: 10 hrs. 5 min
|Driver Referral Bonus:||+$250.00|
Total For All 4 Weeks Of Driving 50 trips In 30 Days For Lyft in Phoenix AZ
My Total Hours in Driver Mode:
30 hrs. and 1 minute
Total Ride payments:
Total Lyft fees:
Total Average Hourly Guarantee Phoenix bonus:
My Total Earnings before Lyft fees: $1,109.15
My Total Earnings after Lyft fees (My take home amount, does not include gas, repairs, etc.): $978.04
Gas & Mileage
April 4 – 10th
March 28th – April 3rd
March 21 – 27th
March 14th – 20th
How Many Miles Did You Drive During Your Entire 50 Trips
Total Miles Driven: 397.8 miles driven for Lyft total
Total Miles including driving to pick passengers up: 800 miles driven
How Much Gas Did You Use Driving For Lyft?
19.89 gallons of gas used for on trip mileage (this does not include other miles I drove to pick the clients up, you can go ahead and double that amount of miles and gallons)
Gallons of Gas used including driving to pick passengers up: 40 gallons of gas
Price of a gallon of gas is $2.11 per gallon
Total amount of money spent of gas while driving 50 trips for Lyft in Phoenix: $84.40 spent of gas
My Total Earning after Lyft fees including Phoenix Lyft Driver Referral Bonus: $1228.04
My Total Earning after subtracting gas: $1143.64 for working part time 7.5 hours per week for Lyft.
All in all, it was incredible experience! I made a bunch of money and I will continue to drive for Lyft in the Phoenix Metro area. If you live in the Phoenix area and want to cash in on the current $500 driver referral program bonus for Phoenix Lyft drivers, use this $500 Lyft Driver Referral Code ERICK710504.
Now let’s get this money!!!