The ridesharing industry has expanded over the past decade. Still, two companies dominate the pack as the default choices: Uber and Lyft.
On the surface, both names offer the same services. Passengers get a reliable ride to take them to their destination and the peace of mind of knowing the company vetted the driver.
Upon closer inspection, though, there are nuances that make the two companies distinctly different. Once you know these facts, you’ll know which service to call for your next rideshare needs.
1. Variety of Ride Services
Most of us use rideshares as a way to get from Point A to Point B without any frills. However, if you have a situation that’s out of the norm, the provider you use needs to be able to handle it.
Both Lyft and Uber offer the four-door vehicle as the default option. Beyond that, passengers can upgrade their driver when they need:
- An extra-large vehicle
- To take their pets with them
- To carpool
- A luxury vehicle
- Speedy pickup
In addition, Uber lets you choose green- and wheelchair-friendly cars, which are both popular. When it comes to variety, Uber has the category covered.
2. Coverage Availability
Rideshares are everywhere, but the one you want might not be available in your city.
Drivers go where the jobs are, and if no one usually wants an Uber or a Lyft in a small town, you won’t find many people offering the service.
Still, that’s an exception to the rule, but one you should be aware of. If you’re heading somewhere for the first time, check the rideshare app to make sure one is available.
Uber and Lyft Coverage Statistics
In 2021, Uber had spread its availability to more than 10,000 cities across 63 countries. The addition of Sprint and AT&T adding Uber as a preinstalled app on some phones made it the go-to choice for first-time ride sharers.
Post the major quarantine of COVID, Uber’s drivers fell from 5 to 3.5 million, but those numbers are going up as demand increases. Uber serves 93 million people every month (still down from 111 million in 2019).
Lyft, on the other hand, is only available in North America: specifically, in 321 cities within the United States and Canada.
The rideshare currently has 1 million drivers as opposed to its 2 million before the pandemic. These drivers work with 12.5 million passengers each month, also down from 22.3 million in 2019.
Lyft’s numbers may be lower, but they have less of a wait time and steady growth in new drivers joining the team. As long as you’re in the U.S. or Canada, Lyft is a smart option. Globally, Uber is your ride provider.
3. Insurance Protection
The last thing you’re probably thinking about when you get in your rideshare is insurance coverage. If you do end up in a car accident, though, the details of an Uber or Lyft insurance claim are complex.
Drivers for both companies are independent contractors. To work for Uber or Lyft, they have to show proof of active comprehensive insurance coverage. Policy limits include, at a minimum, liability insurance of up to $1 million.
Sounds easy enough, but the driver also has their own insurance company and Uber and Lyft expert legal representatives on their side. The multiple teams of lawyers are going to fight any claim that comes their way.
JT Legal Group explains the complexities in this article. Rideshares are still a new entity in the world of lawsuits. Anyone in an accident with Uber or Lyft needs to find a lawyer with experience in that specific field of law.
Getting your medical bills and any other damages covered is a priority, not an afterthought. As soon as you can after your rideshare accident, contact an attorney before you miss out on strict filing deadlines.
When you take a rideshare, you’re most likely getting into a car with a stranger. This has been a no-no since we were small children, yet today, we pay for the privilege.
The reason Uber and Lyft have seen such large-scale success is that they are safe services. As with any company that works with millions of people per day, there will be problems.
The random and rare events of drivers kidnapping or harming their passengers make the headlines. But outside of those tragic and horrible events, Uber and Lyft drivers safely transport over one billion people to their destinations every year.
Both rideshare companies have safety protocols in place. You can contact an emergency service through the app, share your location with anyone you want to, and see your driver before they arrive.
Drivers go through a vetting process to make sure their driving and background records are clean.
The rating app is how drivers make the most money. Because they know you might be rating them, they’re going to be on better behavior.
Uber’s safety record isn’t as strong as Lyft’s. Lyft has a safety educational program that drivers must take and pass. But when it comes to taking action on assault claims, Uber jumps right in, while Lyft can wait months or years.
Safety first starts with you. Both rideshares are overall safe to use, but you should always take precautions.
Need a lift? There are plenty of rideshares out there to take you where you want to go safely. Whether you choose Uber or Lyft depends on the city or country you’re in and your basic vehicle preferences.