As the weather heats up, rideshare earnings are also on the rise. Wondering if this is the year to start driving for Lyft? Or if you’re earning what you should be?
We took a look at the data for the year so far to give you real insights into what drivers are making right now in 2022. And we’re not just guessing; we tapped into our Gridwise network of 250,000+ active drivers to give you the insights necessary to make the most from your time on the road.
Let’s cut to it.
How much are Lyft drivers making in 2022?
According to our data from 250,000+ real drivers on the road in 2022, Lyft drivers earned an average of $21.97 per hour from January to March of this year.
Hourly driver wages increased steadily to start the year from $19.33 in January to $24.27 by March. This is a promising trend for drivers who want to pick up more rideshare gigs throughout the summer.
Breaking it down further, Lyft drivers earned an average of $13.04 per trip and pulled in an average of $3 to $4 in tips.
Putting it all together, Lyft drivers earned an impressive $537.94 in gross earnings for March 2022. This number was up from $329.24 in January and made Lyft drivers the highest earning gig drivers across all major platforms for March 2022.
Have the rising gas prices impacted Lyft driver pay?
According to AAA, the national average price for regular gas has risen from $2.863/gal a year ago to $4.073/gal by mid-April of this year.
To help drivers stay on the road, Lyft introduced a $0.55 fuel surcharge in March that goes directly to drivers. Lyft stated that drivers should expect this surcharge to remain in place until at least mid-May when they will reevaluate the situation.
Note: Lyft is not offering a fuel surcharge for drivers based in New York City.
If you’re looking for additional ways to offset higher fuel costs, consider the Gridwise Gas program and get instant cash back on gas from GasBuddy—and find the lowest price on gas in your area with ease.
What opportunities are there for Lyft drivers to increase their pay in 2022?
For 2022, Lyft drivers have a few opportunities to maximize their earnings including bonuses and referrals.
Bonuses aren’t new to Lyft, but it’s helpful to know the latest on how to capitalize on them.
Lyft offers both real-time and scheduled bonuses to get more drivers on the road during high-demand hours. “Bonus Zones” appear in real time in the app, and you earn the bonus for accepting rides within the zone.
Pro tip: Don’t want to scramble all over town to find bonus zones already crowded with drivers? Use the Gridwise app to find out where and when demand is typically highest in your area to get ahead of the competition.
Lyft also offers bonuses for ride streaks and for completing “Ride Challenges” which reward drivers for completing a set amount of rides in a given time frame.
What are the biggest expenses for rideshare drivers?
Unfortunately, the number in your app at the end of the week isn’t quite as much you’ll take home. As a contractor, you’re responsible for covering all expenses associated with your business.
And if you’re not tracking those expenses, you’re probably losing more of your earnings than you need to. Here’s a list of common expenses to pay attention to:
- Vehicle depreciation
- Fuel costs
- Maintenance and repairs
- Phone bill
- Self-employment tax and compliance expenses
- Medical expenses
As a driver, your vehicle is essential to your business—and it’s also your greatest expense.
According to a yearly analysis from AAA (American Automobile Association), the average annual cost of owning a new car was $9,666 in 2021.
Most of that cost is hidden in depreciation, accounting for nearly 40% of total ownership expenses. Maintenance costs are a close second, with our data showing that rideshare drivers spend an average of $163 a month on maintenance costs.
Gridwise drivers get access to exclusive driver benefits like CarAdvise.
Just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of group rewards. CarAdvise helps drivers access discounts, compare prices, get online expert , and easily schedule online— plus Gridwise users receive 10-40% off retail prices.
The great debate: Uber vs. Lyft 
Almost every driver has probably asked the question, should I drive for Uber or Lyft?
While the answer varies based on your location and the goals of your rideshare business, here’s the real data on earnings this year.
Lyft drivers earned slightly less than Uber drivers per trip and hour from January to March of 2022, except for February when Lyft drivers earned an extra $0.20 per hour on average.
However, Lyft drivers earned more overall by March of 2022, with both rideshare services seeing a significant increase in median earnings as the year has progressed.
As always, it’s a close battle. Who do you drive for and why? We’d love to hear about your experience. Share it with our collaborative driver network on Facebook!