An Uber driver told me to use Lyft instead, and here’s why I’m following his advice
Going out tonight? No need to spend a ton of money on a cab or irresponsibly drive, ever again. Independent driving services are quickly taking over the taxi cab business, and they’re doing it really well. But with two options, Uber and Lyft, how do you know which one to choose? I recently had an encounter with an Uber driver that totally changed my mind about which service to use. Here’s why I am choosing to use Lyft exclusively from now on.
Uber is a reliable service (most of the time) that I have used many times successfully. However, while looking deeper into the company after a conversation with an Uber driver I was surprised at what I learned. In order to be an Uber driver, all you need is basic information about yourself and what type of car you will be driving, proof of insurance and a driver’s license. You then go through a 48 hour waiting period and if you are approved, they let you know as soon as you may begin driving. No background checks. No making sure that you’re not a murderer.
While most Uber drivers are totally normal and nice people, the fact that Uber does not make sure that each driver doesn’t have a criminal background or anything else that may be questionable is a little concerning. These drivers will be picking up anyone and everyone who requests a ride, so there is a lot of personal safety at stake here.
The particular Uber driver I spoke with that night made the point that Uber as a company really only takes into account it’s own interests. If something will be good for the company and create more profit, they do it. Regardless of how it will affect the driver and the rider, if it makes more money then it is the right move.
In no way am I saying that Uber is a bad company and that you should not utilize it. They absolutely have many credible and competent drivers that work regularly. I just find the lack of driver inspection concerning, since many people’s safety is at risk with a company such as this.
Lyft is extremely similar to Uber. With the simple download of an app, you can get a ride anywhere you need to go at almost any time. The main difference between Lyft and Uber is that Lyft has many more requirements and background checks in order for someone to become a driver. Listed on their website, the simple requirements include: being over 21 years of age, owning an iPhone or Android, undergoing a DMV and background check, proof of an in-state driver’s license, and a car with 4 external doors and at least 5 seat belts (which they confirm during their 19-point vehicle inspection when they meet you in person). You then are interviewed by Lyft representatives who determine if you are right to become a driver based on strict criteria.
Although this process seems like a lot to go through, the thoroughness of the system ensures that every rider and driver is protected during their Lyft experience. My Uber driver actually told me that if he had a daughter, he would want her to take Lyft instead of Uber because of the assurance that you are getting a quality driver and car.
One additional plus to Lyft is their “surge” charges. Surge happens when the particular time you wish to get a ride is busier than usual, like a holiday or a special event. When there is a lot of traffic and demand, the price goes up a notch (just a few dollars). Lyft’s surge charges are a lot lower than Uber, which can tack on $3o or more just for a ten minute ride depending on the amount of traffic.
The choice here seems obvious. If you want to pay less for a safer, better ride…choose Lyft.
Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of Morethanglam.com. On any night of the week, you can catch her watching a true crime documentary with a glass of wine and potato chips.