Lyft Quietly Bans Subcompact Vehicles
The vehicle requirements for Lyft and Uber have generally been fairly broad. They used to allow any road worthy 4 door vehicle that has 5 or more seat belts that has passed a vehicle inspection. This allowed many types of vehicles, including 4 door pickup trucks, compact, and subcompact vehicles. Ever since driving my 2004 Lexus IS300, I knew that certain cars would make bad Uber and Lyft vehicles because of the size of the backseat. The backseat is quite small on the first generation IS300 and my passengers always had a hard time getting out of the car, especially with the rear differential running through the middle of the back seat.
While it was generally harder for passengers to get out, I have received minimal complaints about the size of the car. Most people were glad they were in a Lexus with leather seats. However, I can see passengers complaining about a cramped backseat in a Toyota Yaris or 4 door Mini Cooper.
It seems as if Lyft finally did something about subcompact vehicles.
Lyft Quietly Bans Subcompact Vehicles
Below is the update to the Vehicle Requirement Page on Lyft:
To provide a comfortable rider experience, certain subcompact vehicles are not eligible on the Lyft platform as of February 25, 2019. Subcompact vehicles typically have an interior combined passenger and cargo volume index of less than 100 cubic feet, which makes for a tight space for passengers.
If you’re an existing driver and you were approved to drive with a subcompact vehicle prior to February 25, 2019, you’ll be able to continue driving with your existing subcompact vehicle. You won’t be able to add a second vehicle that is classified as subcompact, or replace your existing vehicle with a different subcompact vehicle.
If you already have a subcompact vehicle listed on your Lyft account as of February 25, 2019, you can still use that vehicle on Lyft. However, you can no longer add a subcompact vehicle to your Lyft driver profile
A list of notable vehicles that are now banned are:
- Honda Fit, Insight
- Hyundai Accent
- Mini Coopers
- Nissan Versa
- Toyota Prius C
The biggest disruption is the Prius C. This vehicle gets the best mileage in the city and I have seen quite a few of them in California. Most Lyft drivers still pick the regular Prius, but there are a good number of Prius C as Lyft and Uber vehicles.
I believe that drivers will be looking to sell their Prius C in exchange for a Prius or Prius V in case Lyft makes a hard ban on these vehicles on the Lyft platform.
Recommendations on the Change?
I would recommend looking for a new vehicle this year to ensure that you can drive on the platform. Also, I expect Uber to make the same change over the next few months in order to improve the “rider experience.” Rear leg room is a big factor in passenger satisfaction and I expect Uber to focus on this change.
I don’t expect Uber or Lyft to permanently ban these vehicles anytime soon, but they may ban them next year. It is better to be proactive than reactive to the changes with Lyft and Uber, especially if you solely depend on Lyft and Uber for income.
You can still use your vehicle on various delivery services, like Instacart, Doordash and Amazon Flex. This would be a viable backup plan while you are looking to buy another vehicle and sell your current subcompact vehicle.
Full list of Lyft Banned Subcompact Vehicles
Below is the full list of vehicles that are currently banned:
|BMW||i3, i3 ev, i3 Hybrid|
|Chevrolet||Aveo, Aveo5, Metro, Sonic, Sonic Hybrid, Spark, Spark EV, Spark EV Hybrid, Spark Hybrid|
|Fiat||500, 500 Hybrid, 500e, 500e Hybrid, 500L, 500L Hybrid, 500X, 500X Hybrid|
|Ford||Fiesta, Fiesta Hybrid|
|Honda||Fit, Fit EV, Fit EV Hybrid, Fit Hybrid, insight, insight Hybrid|
|Hyundai||Accent, Accent Hybrid|
|Kia||Rio, Rio 5-Door, Rio 5-Door Hybrid, Rio Cinco, Rio Cinco Hybrid, Rio Hybrid, Rio5, Rio5 Hybrid|
|Mazda||Mazda 2, Mazda 2 Hybrid|
|Mini||Cooper, Cooper Clubman, Cooper Clubman Hybrid, Cooper Clubvan, Cooper Clubvan Hybrid, Cooper Convertible, Cooper Convertible Hybrid, Cooper Countryman, Cooper Countryman Hybrid, Cooper Coupe, Cooper Coupe Hybrid, Cooper Hardtop, Cooper Hardtop Hybrid, Cooper Hybrid, Cooper Paceman, Cooper Paceman Hybrid, Cooper Roadster, CooperRoadster Hybrid, Cooper S, Cooper S Clubman, Cooper S Clubman Hybrid, Cooper S Convertible, Cooper S Convertible Hybrid, Cooper S Countryman, Cooper S Countryman All4, Cooper S Countryman All4 Hybrid, Cooper S Countryman Hybrid, Cooper S Coupe, Cooper S Coupe Hybrid, Cooper S Hardtop, Cooper S Hardtop Hybrid, Cooper S Hybrid, Cooper S Paceman, Cooper S Paceman Hybrid, Cooper S Roadster, Cooper S Roadster Hybrid|
|Mitsubishi||i-MiEV, Mirage, Mirage G4, Mirage G4 Hybrid, Mirage Hybrid|
|Nissan||Versa, Versa Hybrid, Versa Note, Versa Note Hybrid|
|Scion||iA, iQ, xD|
|Smart||Fortwo, Fortwo coupe|
|Toyota||Prius C, Prius C Hybrid, Prius-C, Prius-C Hybrid, Yaris, Yaris Hybrid, Yaris iA, Yaris iA Hybrid|
|Volkswagen||Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Beetle Convertible Hybrid, Beetle Coupe, Beetle Coupe Hybrid, Beetle Hybrid, New Beetle, New Beetle Hybrid|
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