Lyft Driver Ratings: How Do They Work?


If you wonder how your Lyft ratings measure up and affect your ability to earn money, think about it this way:

When you consider a purchase on Amazon, and you’re looking at two products with similar features at the same price point, how do you decide? Most of us look at the ratings. How many stars? 

How about when you plan a vacation? Homes, suites, and rooms available through Airbnb and Vrbo are popular. How do you make a decision? You probably look at the five-star ratings. 

Your Lyft ratings are the same. Lyft has a rating system in place for a reason. It allows the company to identify and sometimes reward their highest-performing drivers. They can also identify those drivers who might be problematic.  

In this blog, Gridwise reveals the details of the Lyft rating system. Topics include

  • What are Lyft ratings for drivers?
  • Calculating the average Lyft rider rating. 
  • How much do your Lyft ratings matter?
  • Can Lyft drivers rate passengers?
  • Are Lyft reviews anonymous?
  • A good Lyft driving score is not difficult to maintain.
  • Gridwise can help you maintain your Lyft driving score. 

What are Lyft ratings for drivers?

Lyft ratings are a system whereby passengers have an opportunity after the ride concludes to rank their driver based on a five-star rating system. Points addressed include

  • the quality of your driving
  • the cleanliness of your car
  • whether you were pleasant and friendly
  • if you were professional

There might be other questions. Passengers rank you on each topic using a five-star system, five being the highest.

Example of a rider view – note: These are updated often by Lyft and this may or may not be what your passenger sees

Not all passengers rate their drivers. In these cases, Lyft reasons that no complaints warrant a five-star rating. Automatically giving a driver five stars when the rider does not submit a rating is a good bet on Lyft’s part. According to a report by Marketing Charts, “95% of respondents who have had a bad experience said they told someone about it, compared to 87% who shared a good experience.”

Lyft wants to prevent negative customer experiences. According to a report from Retail Dive, after three negative experiences with a brand, 73% of potential customers will no longer go to that brand. Sometimes it takes even fewer bad experiences. 

Satisfied customers often don’t feel a need to leave a review. Lyft considers no news as good news. 

Lyft ratings allow drivers to monitor their performance, too. Drivers can view their Lyft rider ratings at any time on their Lyft driver app, allowing them to detect any problem areas they can work on. 

Think about it. If you owned a business, would you want anyone interacting with customers with less than their best courtesy and efficiency? Lyft has the same concern. As a Lyft driver, you are a contract employee in business for yourself—your rating matters. 

Calculating the average Lyft driver rating

Lyft ratings reflect an average of the last 100 rides, with the lowest score thrown out. If your previous 100 rides include 90 rides in which you received a score from your passenger of five stars, and you had another ten rides in which you received four stars, your average Lyft driver rating is 4.9. The oldest ratings fall off as a driver gives more rides, and the app automatically recalculates your rating. A full-time, high-producing Lyft driver in a good market can easily provide 80 to 100 rides a week, so their score refreshes regularly with an entirely new set of rides. For part-time drivers giving fewer rides, getting a low Lyft rider rating off your score takes longer. 

Is 4.9 a good score?

An average Lyft driver rating of 4.9 is a good score, but you want to keep it from going any lower. There are plenty of drivers with a Lyft driving score over 4.95 and many with a score of 5.0. This raises not just the curve but also Lyft’s expectations. You needn’t worry, though. Making rideshare customers happy is not that difficult. We’ll discuss that briefly later.  

How much do your Lyft ratings matter?

Lyft ratings matter quite a bit if you are looking at earning potential. In December 2020, Lyft implemented a premium service, Lyft Preferred. Passengers who select a Lyft Preferred ride pay a higher rate, and drivers earn a higher fee. 

Drivers selected for Lyft Preferred must have at least 300 rides, and their car must be a newer model with 37 inches of legroom. They must also have a Lyft driving score of 4.9 or above. 

Lyft also reserves the right to counsel drivers who have a lower Lyft driving score. According to various industry sources, once your rating drops into the 4.7 range or lower, you can expect a communication from Lyft, typically via email or the app. 

According to the Lyft website, consistently low ratings can also put a driver at risk of deactivation. 

From time to time, Lyft has other offers to drivers for earning additional money, including sprints and other bonuses and promotions. Participation in those often requires a Lyft driving score of 4.9 or above. 

Remember that passengers can see your Lyft rating when you accept their ride (along with how long you have been driving and your total career rides). Some discerning passengers may cancel a ride from a driver with a low score. Again, this is lost income. 

How to check Lyft ratings

Viewing your Lyft rider rating is easy and takes only a few steps. 

  1. Open your app (you can be online or offline when you do this). 
  2. Select the three-horizontal-line icon in the top left-hand corner (this is the menu icon, although some call it the hamburger).
  3. The app will go to your profile page. At the top, right under your photo, you’ll see your total career rides, your Lyft driving score, and how long you have been driving. 

Can Lyft drivers rate passengers? 

Lyft also allows drivers to rate passengers. This is an important part of being a Lyft driver. Drivers use passenger ratings to determine whether they want to pick up a specific passenger. 

“If I see a passenger pop up on my app with a low rating, I’m going to think twice about accepting that ride,” said one Southern California driver. “They have that low rating for a reason. They might be an obnoxious drunk, a passenger who thinks their Lyft driver has nothing better to do than wait in the fast-food drive-up, or perhaps they just enjoy giving Lyft drivers a hard time. Whatever the reason, I don’t need it.” 

The same driver also adds that he is not quick to give passengers a low rating. He understands that everyone has a bad day. 

“I’ve seen social media posts from drivers who say they automatically give four stars if a passenger doesn’t tip or espouses a different political view. That’s not me. Besides the other reasons I mentioned, I give low marks to people who get sick in my car, those who make me wait the full seven minutes for their pickup, or those that are abusive or otherwise just idiots. It doesn’t happen very often, but if they’ve earned a bad rating, I give it to them. If I don’t want that passenger, then I don’t think another driver will want them either.”

Any rating of three stars or less, whether from a driver or a passenger, trips the Lyft algorithm so that the passenger and driver will not be matched again.  

Are Lyft reviews anonymous?

All reviews, either by passengers or drivers, remain anonymous. However, if a driver maintains a good rating, say 4.95 or higher, and they see a blip in their ratings, they can often make an educated guess about where the rating came from.  

If you can reasonably connect a low rating with a particular passenger, you can contact Lyft through the app or by phone and tell your side of the story. Reasons that Lyft will disregard a bad rating typically involve factors that were outside the driver’s control. These include passengers complaining about the length of their shared ride or a ride that was longer than usual due to heavy traffic or other road conditions. Lyft is more likely to decide in your favor if you consistently have a high rating. 

Many drivers are proactive when they have a problem passenger, anticipating that they will give them a less-than-stellar rating. Immediately after the drive ends, they leave a message on the app, listing as much information as possible so that Lyft can evaluate the situation. If you have an interior dashcam in your car, include a clip of the incident to support your side of the story. 

A good Lyft driving score is not difficult to maintain

Keeping your Lyft driving score above 4.95, or even at a steady 5.0, is not that difficult. The things you should keep in mind include

  • Are you keeping your car clean and shiny? This means inside and out. Empty water bottles rolling around on the floor are always a turnoff. 
  • Be reasonably well-dressed. You don’t have to wear a tie (although some drivers do), but well-dressed drivers tend to get good ratings. 
  • Quickly respond to a ride request and follow navigation to get passengers to their destination promptly. 
  • Be a good conversationalist. Sometimes you don’t even have to talk much. Most people just want someone to listen to them. 

For a more thorough list of what you can do to maintain a high Lyft rating, drivers can refer to How To Improve Your Rideshare Driver Ratings on the Gridwise blog. 

Gridwise can help maintain your Lyft driving score

The Gridwise app helps gig drivers with all facets of their activities, including maintaining a high Lyft rider rating. The Gridwise app also gives you information on When to Drive and Where to Drive, directing drivers to the best earning opportunities. These features will help you maintain a steady stream of ride requests, allowing you to pass on low-rated passengers who are likelier to give you a bad rating. 

The Gridwise app has other features that can help you earn more, like info on peak times for arrivals and departures at the airports and upcoming events, including concerts and sporting events. The best part? You get all that, plus a free mileage and earning tracker, in just one app.

Download Gridwise to see for yourself!

And have fun out there.


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