Lyft Express Drive Los Angeles and Orange County

Lyft Express Drive GM Chevy Cruze

So I finally went for it and am in the background check process for lyfts’s new express drive program with GM. I live in Orange County and the only express drive options here are with hertz rental cars. So in order to get into the gm program I had to sign up using Los Angeles as the area I want to drive in. I’m about as north orange county as it gets being in Buena Park and sitting on the LA / OC border so if I have to drive 20 minutes to LA then no big deal.

I didn’t want to go with the hertz program because after looking at the numbers it’s not as good of a deal as their partnership with GM.

Here is one of the deals lyft offers with GM.

Lyft Express Drive GM Chevy Cruze

This is where it is all questionable. I have tried doing research for the last month to find out the average ride per hour in OC and LA so I can have a general idea about how many rides I can do a week but the information just isn’t out there. A few people talk about it but there is no real knowledge to gain by reading about the information lyft already provides.

So here I am, ready to try out lyft express and give a breakdown of the La and Oc area at the same time so others can make a more informative decision then me when deciding to try a program such as lyft express.

To get the application process started the Gm partnership only requires a $50 deposit. The hertz program requires a ¬†$250 deposit. I don’t have $250 to play around with. After all, that’s the whole reason I’m trying ridesharing, because my credit is maxed out and I need some extra income to pay off everything that I owe. To me, the only way to look at this kind of work is for extra income. I wouldn’t quit my day job. I just want more and I’m willing to go out and work for more.

How It All Works

You pay the $50 deposit so they can get your credit card on file and initiate the background check. The $50 is returned to you after you complete your first lyft ride or if the background check doesn’t pass.

After that, the weekly rental charges plus taxes will be taken out of your weekly pay. If you don’t happen to make enough that week then they will charge your credit or debit card for the remaining amount.

If you do less than 45 rides a week then you pay $0.25 per mile on top of the weekly rate.

If you do 45 rides or more than you pay just the weekly rate with no mileage charge.

If you’re able to do 75+ rides a week then you pay nothing for the car.

All maintenance is included so you don’t have to worry about tires or oil changes. The only thing that you will pay for is gas other than the rental itself of course.

The minimum rental term is 1 week and a maximum of 8 weeks. At the 8 weeks you can return the car and get a new one.

Personal miles are not included. If you drive the car for non-personal use then it will cost you $0.25 a mile.

Insurance Coverage 

If you get the car from GM when it is covered 24/7. You are covered by the lyft insurance while on the job which has a hefty deductible of $2500 and during the off time gm covers the car with a $1000 deductible. So you basically have free insurance on the car. Just don’t be at fault in an accident and you won’t need to pay that huge deductible.

One scary part of the whole situation is, What if the car gets damaged while parked and unattended? Then my friends we are pretty much screwed but that should fall under the gm insurance which is a $1000 deductible.



A free car to drive and make money with sounds like an amazing deal, but how possible is it to do 75+ rides a week is the big question here. And if it is possible, How many hours of driving per week would it take?

These are all questions I plan on answering for you. These other bloggers just dance around and basically re post information. Let me be the one to give you some real answers so you can make the right decision.

My goal right now is to try and make atleast $400 a week. Im expecting half of that to go towards the rental and taxes, leaving me with $200 extra a week. $800 a month extra sounds pretty good to me and seems like a reachable goal. Hopefully I’ll do better but I feel like it’s best to not aim so high because then you will face disappointment which can discourage you even more.

The idea is extra money not life living money. But hey, that idea can change if the demand is there and the money is consistent. We’ll soon see.


I’ve been keeping my lyft app open in rider mode to scope out the competition. Right now it doesn’t look to great. Lyft drivers are all around here but if the demand is high enough then maybe we can all make some money.

Bookmark my page and I’ll keep you posted with new information once I start driving.

For more information on lyft express drive you can go to the official page

Don’t forget to come back and use my link to sign up so you can get your new driver bonus.

Sign up to drive for lyft


  • bloodchains

    Hi Frank,

    I’m planning to do the Lyft Express Drive full-time for 3 months next year, from January 2017 to March 2017. I’m going to quit my current full-time job to go to a coding bootcamp, and this (hopefully) will be my source of income for the next 6 months; the first 3 months of the bootcamp is part-time at night, so I will do this in the daytime and get as many rides as I can. I hope everything works out.

    Also, as of this writing, it is now 85 rides a week to be able to not pay anything for the car. I still think it’s doable in LA if done full-time.

    Anyway, just want to share my plans with the Lyft Express Drive program, and good luck with your own endeavors.

  • Kushest

    I think that should work out for you but I might suggest the Uber Xchange Leasing as a better option since they changed the ride amounts. I’m also not a big fan of the mileage charges.
    Right now I have a car through xchange leasing and it’s $155 a week and unlimited miles. You can drive the xchange car for lyft as well so you can have the best of both worlds. You won’t have the opportunity for the free rental but those mileage charges add up. Especially if you will be using the car for personal use as well. It is a cheaper option to get into the lyft car though. Right now I do Uber Eats mostly because right now it pays well. That may change soon but until then I make easy money with Uber Eats.
    Getting the car from Uber will give you more opportunities to make money.
    I wish you luck as well and if you choose the lyft car then I hope you can successfully get those 80 rides a week. The 75 was too much for me. Also thanks for bringing this change to my attention. I’ll be sure to update my post with the most current information.

  • Jwilliams

    Hey Frank,

    I appreciate all the information you have provided on your blog. I am currently considering driving for Uber and Lyft in LA (along with doing some deliveries with UberEats, DoorDash and Caviar when Uber and Lyft are slow). I have been approved for Xchange Access but I am still waiting for Uber/Xchange to determine what tier within Access I qualify for and what dealerships I can contact. While I am waiting, I was thinking about renting a car through Lyft’s Express Drive. I am currently in-between careers and have the ability to drive full time, but I was not 100% sold on the idea. Would you recommend renting a car through Lyft’s Express Drive for a week or two until I hear back from Xchange?

    • Kushest

      It all depends on your location and how fast you can get into a car through xchange leasing once you are approved. Xchange leasing approval shouldn’t take more than a few days. Since it’s the weekend you may hear from them on monday. But then it’s all about getting a car. I had no problem finding available cars at the dealer I went to but I called around to a few others and they said it could take a week or 2 weeks, they couldn’t really give me a time so hopefully you’ll be able to find a good dealer and get your car right away. As far as lyft, I would wait until you get the Uber car to drive for Lyft. 1 reason is that you aren’t going to get the regular bonuses that other drivers get because through the Express Drive program you only get the rental bonus. Even though it is about the same amount of rides for the free rental as it is for the power driver bonus you will still be paying some mileage fees for the car no matter what so that can easily make it worth less than the power driver bonus in the long run. Reason 2 is that you don’t want to ruin your new driver bonus in any way. When I left xpress drive I owed some money. When I got mybcar from Uber I signed up for lyft with a different email and I was hoping to still have a shot at the new driver bonus but they didn’t give me that option again. If you return the Express Drive car on good terms then maybe you can easily add the uber car to your account but it’s a chance. In order to get the rides needed you will spend long hours every day on the road unless you are in an active area. If your area is active then it could be possible.

      In the end I would say to wait for the car from xchange unless you know people in your area that drive and can tell you how many rides they do with lyft. Then you can make a better decision about wether you will be able to do it or not. Every market is very different. I see people in other cities around the United States making $1500 + a week but to do that in Orange County where I’m at it would require me to work 60 to 80 hours a week.

      Try to find a local facebook group for uber and lyft drivers and you can easily ask the drivers questions there. Beware though, there are a lot of trolls and people that will discourage you in these groups but you’ll find the real people that don’t mind helping.

      • Jwilliams

        Thanks so much! I think I will just wait as you suggested.

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