How to Use Lyft

By Kay FleuryUpdated on March 16, 2022

Now that you’ve downloaded and signed up for Lyft, you can start using Lyft as your taxi service! Lyft is very easy to use; all that you have to do is indicate where you’d like to be picked up and dropped off, wait for your driver, get in the car, and then sit back and relax until you arrive at your destination. Then, just get out and carry on with your day!

We’ll break the whole process down for you here.

To use Lyft:

  1. Download the Lyft app and create an account. Open the app.
  2. Request a ride by selecting a pick-up point and a tier of Lyft service.
  3. Enter your destination and wait for your ride. Use the app to track your driver’s location.
  4. Arrive at your destination. Tip and rate your driver if you choose.

Detailed instructions on how to use Lyft

How to request a Lyft ride

1. Find the Lyft app on your Android phone or iPhone and tap it to open it.

Open the Lyft app on your smart phone

2. Select the tier of Lyft service you wish to use– Lyft, Lyft Plus, Lyft Premier, or Lyft Line — by tapping it. Remember that some of these tiers may only be available in certain cities; if you only have access to one tier, you do not need to select anything. Lyft will automatically do this for you.The Lyft app should automatically detect your location, but if you wish to change it, tap your current location and type in something more specific. Then tap Set Pickup to confirm where you are.

Set your pickup location on Lyft

When you tap the location, a list of nearby locations will pop up for your convenience. Tap any of them to select that as your location. You can also tap and hold the empty space in the map and slide the marker to you are located on the map. Your location will automatically change to where you have set the marker to.

3. You will be taken to a screen where you can enter your destination. Do this by tapping the highlighted box that says “Add Destination.” The process for selecting a destination is virtually the same as manually selecting a pick-up point, which we explained in the previous step.

Once you add a destination, the app will automatically estimate your fare. You can then tap Price Estimate to see how much your ride will cost (roughly). You can also tap Add Payment to change your payment options. Tap Request Lyft to confirm your selections.

Confirm your selections by requesting a Lyft driver

Now you’re ready to take your Lyft ride. Simply wait for a notification to tell you that your driver has arrived.

What to do while waiting for your Lyft driver

Once you’ve requested your Lyft ride and you’re waiting for your driver, you can track your driver through the app. See how far away they are from you to determine how long you’ll have to wait. You can see your driver’s name, profile picture, license plate number, car make and model, and their rating. This will help you identify who is coming to pick you up.

Contact your driver, split a fare, send your ETA, or cancel a ride while waiting for your driver

From this screen, there are four things you can do while you wait for your driver:

  1. You can phone your driver by tapping Contact in the bottom-left corner of the app. This is useful if, for example, you need to give them information that may help them find you in a very crowded area.
  2. You can split a fare by tapping Split. This will allow you to connect with another Lyft user who is also looking for a ride, and who also wants to split a fare. Lyft will send them an invitation to split the cost of the fare. If they tap Accept, the cost of the fare will be split evenly, including tips. No need to search for cash to pay your friends back for the ride!
  3. You can send your ETA by tapping on the location icon. This sends an SMS text message with the details of your arrival time and destination to whomever you choose.
  4. You can cancel your ride if you wish. Just tap the Cancel Ride button in the bottom-right corner of the app while you’re waiting. Note that you will have to pay a fee for a cancelled ride.

When your driver arrives, a notification will be sent to your phone to let you know. Be sure to enter their vehicle promptly!

What to do during your Lyft ride

There are a couple of things that you can choose to do during your ride (other than sitting back and relaxing, of course). Remember, however, that you need to have an active data connection on your mobile phone to do these, because they require use of the Internet.

  1. You can track your location and the specific route that your driver is taking. You can also see your ETA, and how much longer the ride is going to take.
  2. You can still tap Split the Fare to divide the cost of the ride with another Lyft user. You can only do this while your ride is active, so make sure that you send the invitation — and that your friend accepts it — before the ride is over. Once you have reached your destination and the ride is complete, you can no longer split the fare.

What to do after your Lyft ride

Once you’ve completed your ride, there are a few things you can (and should do), but they are completely optional.

1. Exit the car – it’s that simple. You can leave the car without taking any further action, and your credit card will be charged for the ride within 24 hours.

2. You are given the option to rate your driver after the ride is complete. The screen will show you when and where you were dropped off, and will thank you for riding with your driver. There are 5 greyed-out starts under your driver’s profile picture. Tap on a star to select your rating from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent).

Choose a rating for your Lyft drievr

Though rating is optional, you should always do this at the end of your ride. You want to see ratings when you request a driver, and that only happens when everyone makes the small effort to rate their drivers. It helps everyone – passengers can make informed decisions when requesting a ride, drivers can improve their customer service (and get paid more by Lyft for good ratings), and Lyft can continue running a great business that emphasizes safety and sociability.
3. Once you rate your Lyft driver, you will be taken to another screen that will give you the opportunity to write anonymous comments about your driver. Tap the highlighted box below the stars and use your device’s (virtual) keyboard to type a message. You’re also given the option to add a tip for your driver. Choose from the options of $1, $2, or $5 by tapping on them, or tap Other and then type in your own amount. When you’re finished, tap Submit.

Tip your Lyft driver if you choose

Lyft drivers keep 100% of the tips that you give them, so make sure that you reward a great driver with a nice tip. Remember, though, that tips are completely optional.

Hopefully, this tutorial has fully explained how to use Lyft, so you can enjoy your Lyft rides. If you’ve got a handle on how to use Lyft, have you considered driving for Lyft? Check out our next tutorial on how to become a Lyft driver for more information.