Lyft Premier: A New Competitor To UberBLACK

Lyft has been competing fiercely in many markets with Uber, which has led to some amazing price cuts and promotions (though sometimes I wonder if it has brought down prices too much in some markets). There are lots of drivers who work with both Uber and Lyft, so at some point you have to wonder how differentiated they are.

While Lyft has been competing with UberX and UberPOOL, up until now they haven’t been competing with Uber’s black car service, UberBLACK. It looks like that’s finally changing, as Lyft is introducing Lyft Premier. Per the Lyft blog:

If you’re one of the many Lyft passengers who has told us you want a more stylish arrival for business trips and special nights out, we have a new ride option you’re going to love. Lyft Premier adds a little luxury to your ride, anytime you want it. You’ll be matched with a high-end sedan or SUV like a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus ES, or Cadillac Escalade in minutes.

Initially Lyft Premier is only available in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, though over time it’s expected to expand to other markets as well.

To celebrate the new offering, Lyft users can get 20% off their first 10 Premier rides using code LYFTPREMIER20.

The good news is that it looks like Lyft Premier is a bit cheaper than UberBLACK, and priced more in line with UberSELECT.

For example, in San Francisco, a ride from the St. Regis to SFO costs $55-79 for UberSELECT or $68-69 for UberBLACK:


Meanwhile a Lyft Premier costs $56:


In Los Angeles, a ride from the Andaz West Hollywood to LAX costs $53-69 for UberSELECT or $66-87 for UberBLACK:


Meanwhile a Lyft Premier costs $60:


Bottom line

It’s great to see Lyft enter the “high end” on-demand market as well. It seems like Lyft Premier is priced in line with UberSELECT, even though in some cases it seems like they’ll offer nicer cars, like Escalades, Audi A6s, etc.

Do you see yourself ever using Lyft Premier?


  1. Are these Lyft premier drivers going to be licensed chauffeurs with livery plates like Uber Black, or will it just be ordinary drivers with nice cars?

  2. A car is a car my friend. You gonna start blogging your complimentary upgrades on ride share?

  3. My Lyftline from JFK to Manhattan two weeks ago was in a BMW 5 series. Although I only paid $35, the invoice I received seem to show the driver was paid $136 for the ride which seems like an Uberblack level of pricing. I wonder if they have been signing up drivers for a while before the official launch.

  4. If you are an owner of a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus ES, or Cadillac Escalade why would you need to drive for Lyft? BTW, aren’t Uber cars supposed to be non-smoking cars? It happened to me for the second time to get a Uber and I didn’t know if I was sitting on a car or inside an ashtray. Really disgusting.

  5. @Neal Z, @Santastico,
    All Lyft and UberX drivers in New York City are professional drivers licensed by the TLC. There are no amateurs in their own cars like in other cities.

  6. @Tom: Maybe that is only in NY. I never got a “professional driver” with Uber as far as I can remember. I once requested a UberX in San Francisco and got this nice young lady (no more than 25 years old) driving a brand new Mercedes and I asked why she was driving for Uber and she said sometimes she was bored at home and wanted to get out with her car “so why not make some money while doing that”. 🙂

  7. @Tom, you may be correct that all Lyft and UberX drivers are licensed by the TLC in NYC but that doesn’t mean they are professional drivers. These are ordinary people that just paid the TLC to get those plates to be able to drive in NYC. They are not professional drivers in the sense that they drive for limos/taxis.

  8. As others have mentioned, I believe the reason the pricing is more in line with Uber Select is that it is what it is actually competing with. Uber Black is a livery car with a fully bonded and insured commercial driver, Uber Select is just a fancy Uber X — ie anyone can sign up as long as you have nice wheels. Depending on the demand Uber Black drivers will sometimes accept Select pickups to stay busy.

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