This article is most valuable for people selecting the best rideshare vehicle to drive full-time for Uber and Lyft. With a dedicated rideshare vehicle, the purchase decision can be made from a pure business perspective. If the vehicle has to serve multiple purposes, then compromises may be necessary.
Since fuel is the primary expense for a rideshare driver, buying a vehicle with excellent gas mileage makes the most business sense.
There are several options for leasing or renting a vehicle to use for rideshare driving. This option may make sense for some drivers.
Thinking of working as a rideshare driver?
Before submitting your application to Uber or Lyft, you need to give your car a closer look.
Not all cars are created equally.
Some vehicles are more suitable for personal use while others work perfectly for personal and commercial use alike.
If you want to provide the best rideshare experience to customers while maximizing your income as a rideshare driver, make sure the car you pick is appropriate for the task.
Let’s explore the best cars for ridesharing for Lyft and Uber:
The ever-reliable Toyota Prius is one of the best car models for ridesharing with Uber and Lyft because it’s eco-friendly, reliable and fuel-efficient.
The Prius provides tons of room in the backseat while the trunk is completely cargo-friendly.
The gas mileage you get is impressive too.
While replacing its hybrid battery may be a concern for some drivers, Toyota’s battery warranty lasts for 10 years. That’s a long time!
Also, if the hybrid battery does need replacement, you don’t have to buy new from the dealer. A refurbished battery will cost about a third of the dealer’s price for brand new.
The Prius is perfect for rideshare drivers who prioritize fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.
The Honda Civic is a yet another reliable and low maintenance vehicle that’s perfect for ridesharing.
Since the Civic does not require constant repairs, you’ll save more money on its durability alone.
Honda Civic offers a comfortable ride, which is perfect for passengers that love a lot of breathing room.
This model is not as eco-friendly or fuel efficient as the Prius but the steering is sharp and the brakes work solidly without fail.
Ford Fusion is a family-friendly sedan that boasts of a sleek, stylish design and roomy interiors.
The seats are also plush, offering a comfortable ride from start to finish.
As with most Ford cars, the Fusion comes with a bevy of extra features for optimum control.
This car works well under different terrain and weather conditions too.
Our only gripe is the in-city mileage, which is just 25 miles per gallon.
The infotainment system is also tricky to use so don’t be afraid to familiarize yourself with it to maximize the car.
If you are looking for a fuel-efficient ride that doesn’t’ take much to maintain, consider the Toyota Corolla.
Corolla won’t be turning heads but as far as affordability and upkeep go, it’s the car to beat.
The Toyota Corolla is a consistent favorite among rideshare drivers because of its reliability and low maintenance costs.
The newer models, in particular, work best for ride-sharing because the interiors are comfortable and roomy.
If you’re in the market for a brand new or a second-hand car, the Corolla is one of the best budget-friendly models to get.
The Hyundai Sonata is another family-sized sedan that puts emphasis on affordability and reliability.
This model has won over rideshare drivers for a reason.
It’s a dynamic model with a 2.0 liter supercharged 4-cylinder (or 1.6 liter 4-cylinder turbo for the fuel-economic model).
The Sonata offers a gas mileage of 28 mpg on the city and 38 mpg on the highway.
The interior offers tons of room for passengers and the trunk is cargo-friendly.
It’s not the best car to drive on uneven terrain or bad weather but the Sonata is perfect for city driving.
The Chevrolet Volt is a four-seater electric/hybrid vehicle with a cruising range of 382 miles and a gas mileage of 42 mpg.
It’s not the most affordable car model around but it’s certainly one of the best cars to get for ridesharing.
Last year’s reiteration of the Volt offers a range of up to 53 miles on electric power, which is impressive, to say the least.
The Volt is not only efficient, it is also reliable and eye-catching.
It comes with a multitude of safety features, which Uber and/or Lyft will appreciate.
The downside to the Volt is its cramped back seat with almost no leg room for the middle seat.
The newest Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover car that offers roomy interiors, luxe cabin, and more storage room for luggage.
A family-sized vehicle delivers passengers to their destination with relative ease.
The 187-horsepower CX-5 handles uneven terrain smoothly.
The CX-5 brings together a comfortable ride, intuitive design, and stellar safety features.
We love the precise steering, the exceptional mechanical refinement and the upscale design of the CX-5.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
If you’re in need of a gas-saving car, one that’s spacious enough to seat 4 passengers with cool car tech to boot, you’re hard-pressed to find a better car model than the Toyota Camry hybrid.
This eco-friendly car is ridiculously fuel-efficient with a gas mileage of 51 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid comes with an array of safety features that any rideshare company will love.
It’s worth noting that the newest Camry hybrid is one of the greenest gas/electric hybrid cars in the business.
The Honda CR-V is an all-around best performing crossover SUV.
As far as design, quality, and reliability go, the Honda CR-V offers the total package.
The CR-V offers a gas mileage of 28 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
It boasts of a well-designed cabin that’s perfect for ridesharing.
It comes with plenty of room for luggage and passengers.
The Honda CR-V is also affordable and equipped with excellent safety features.
Rounding up our list of the best cars for ridesharing is the Chevrolet Malibu.
The Malibu is spacious and comfortable, offering the smoothest ride without compromising safety.
In fact, the model brings together affordability, cabin comforts, excellent interior tech, and safety equipment in one stunning package.
The Malibu impresses with its sleek, stellar design, elegant and versatile.
It offers a gas mileage of 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is perfect for ridesharing!
Lyft and Uber Guidelines
As part of choosing the perfect ridesharing car it’s best to check out Uber and Lyft’s guidelines.
Vehicle requirements vary by city so go directly to each company’s website to find the latest information for your area:
Own It … Or Don’t
Need a car for ridesharing? When it comes to getting a car to drive for ridesharing, you have a number of options.
Buy a Car
Buying a brand new vehicle may make sense for your particular situation. If you need a new vehicle anyway, you can cover some of the ownership costs with rideshare income from Uber and Lyft.
If you buy a used vehicle at least three years old you can avoid the steep depreciation loss that occurs with a brand new vehicle.
If you can buy a vehicle specifically for rideshare driving, a used Toyota Prius is going to be hard to beat.
Lyft’s Express Drive Program
Lyft has teamed up with General Motors’ Maven and Hertz to supply rental vehicles for its Express Drive Program!
Thanks to these partnerships, you don’t have to own a car to make a living as a rideshare driver!
The best part? Build a high acceptance rate and you’ll earn great rewards!
This option is best for those who’d like to work as a rideshare driver for full time but cannot commit to buying a new car.
Lyft’s rental service allows you to use the car for commercial and personal use.
The cost, including the car maintenance and insurance, is less than 200 bucks per week before taxes and fees.
However, the rates will vary from city to city so complete the application to check the rental costs and requirements.
Uber Xchange Program
Just like Lyft, Uber has its own leasing program for drivers who do not own a car for ridesharing.
It’s called Xchange Leasing and the service offers short-term leases from partnering car dealerships.
All you have to do is to take care of the security deposit to get a car and then pay the vehicle on a weekly basis for up to 3 years.
Uber does not list the current lease rates but no need to worry if you have poor credit or you have no credit history at all, you are eligible for the service as long as you can make the payments.
This leasing service is best for drivers who’d like to work full time or those who cannot buy a brand new car due to bad credit.
Rideshare Rental Services
There are other rental services that supply cars for ridesharing other than Lyft or Uber’s rental programs.
Hertz has teamed up with Uber to provide a fleet of midsized sedans for drivers who need a car for ridesharing.
The cost starts at $214 per week, excluding taxes or fees.
No need to worry about mileage caps because there is none and you are free to utilize the car for personal uses.
The maximum rental term for Hertz is 28 days.
You can also get a car via HyreCar a peer-to-peer car rental service made specifically for car-less rideshare drivers.
With this service, you can connect with car owners who are willing to lend their vehicles to rideshare drivers.
The rates will vary on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis but the daily rates could cost $25 to $40.
This service will require a $200 deposit but it’s refundable.
There are no contracts or sign-up fees, which is perfect if you need a car for ridesharing quickly!
Hydrecar’s minimum rental term is 2 days.
Maven Gig is a rental service by General Motors.
With this service, you can rent Chevrolet vehicles for a minimum of 7 days.
The rates will depend on the type of car you want to rent.
Compact sedans cost about $189 per week (excluding taxes and fees).
Maven will also throw in an insurance coverage for personal use of the car.
Unfortunately, Maven Gig is only available in Boston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. but the service should expand to other cities soon.
There is a reason that so many taxi companies choose the Toyota Prius as their primary vehicle.
It transports 4 passengers comfortably and reliably, has an expected lifespan of about 300,000 miles, and gets 50+ MPG.
For the same reason that taxi companies pick the Prius, the car may well be the best choice as a rideshare vehicle for Lyft and Uber.
If you are buying a car specifically for full-time rideshare driving, definitely consider the Prius or one of the other hybrids since fuel will be your largest expense.
Note in the summary below that the Toyotas are the only vehicles to get the ‘plus’ rating in all three categories.
- Toyota Prius: mileage +, reliability +, comfort +
- Honda Civic: reliability +, comfort +
- Ford Fusion: mileage -, comfort +
- Toyota Corolla: mileage +, reliability +, comfort +
- Hyundai Sonata: realiability +, comfort +
- Cheverolet Volt: mileage +, reliability +
- Mazda CX-5: comfort +
- Toyota Camry Hybrid: mileage +, reliability +, comfort +
- Honda CR-V: reliability +, comfort +
- Cheverolet Malibu: comfort +
After you pick the ideal vehicle for your situation you can decide whether owning, leasing or renting makes the most sense.
Selecting the best rideshare vehicle for your Uber and Lyft business is a critical decision.
With an appropriate vehicle, rideshare driving can be a profitable enterprise.
With an inappropriate vehicle, you might actually lose money by using it for rideshare driving.