Passing Your Mentor Session and Lyft Welcome Ride
Lyft requires that each potential driver complete a welcome ride with a Lyft Mentor. Lyft’s Mentor system is in place to assure quality control over new drivers. Many have said that Lyft has generally better drivers because the mentor program provides extra screening against drivers who may make passengers feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
The mentor session has three parts: Car inspection, Driver Interview, and Test Drive. And as an experienced mentor, I have some very valuable tips on how to make sure you pass the welcome ride and get approved to drive for Lyft.
Before Your Mentor Session
First, make sure to watch the welcome ride videos on Lyft’s site. Don’t skip any of them. The videos show you the basics of navigating the Lyft driver side of the app on your phone so you can properly operate as a Lyft driver. Of great importance is “Tap to Arrive” and “Tap to Drop Off” function within the app. These buttons act as your “meter” like in a traditional cab.
I also suggest taking a ride as a Lyft passenger before trying to give one. This way you can experience things from the customer side of the app. What was a pain point for you? How can you make the ride you took better?
You can request a mentor through the Lyft app whenever you’re ready or if you wait, you will eventually be contacted by a mentor and they will schedule a time and place for you to meet them. Be on time.
Mentors receive $15-$35 depending on the city for each session they complete and regardless of whether they pass or fail you. And in some interviews, mentors no longer receive a cash payout.
So treat it like a casual job interview.
Wash your car. Clean out and vacuum the inside. Make sure there are no smells or strong odors. Remove all personal items from the trunk.
In other words, make your car a place that somebody would be willing to pay money to ride in. After all, passengers will be rating you once you are on the road so why not start now?
Bring Your Documents
You will want to make sure to bring a copy of all the required documents: insurance, registration, and your driver’s license. Your mentor will be taking photos of these documents and confirming that all of the details match what you entered on your application.
After they take a picture of your documents they will take a photo of you and your car. Make sure that you are comfortable with the photo that they take of you as it will be the photo that every passenger sees when they request a driver (Lyft will photoshop a green ivy background behind your face). Same goes with your car.
Your mentor probably won’t test your navigation skills but you will have to be able to navigate to your mentor’s location using the GPS/navigation options on your phone. It’s a good idea to practice using Google Maps or Waze a few times before your mentor ride. If you do this just a few times, it will make your mentor session much less stressful.
If you really want to impress your mentor, get a solid GPS mount and have your phone mounted so that you can quickly and safely access your navigation while driving. It will also prevent you from running into things as you drive 🙂
During Your Mentor Session
After watching the training videos and taking a ride as a passenger, you should request a mentor by selecting the steering wheel within the Lyft app. Make sure you are ready before requesting a mentor session. Once you request a mentor, the mentor will submit a Lyft request and you must accept it and drive to the pin on the map just like a real Lyft ride request. This means that you must be in your car and ready to go. It is important to treat this like a mini job interview. The most common complaint mentors make about applicants is that they are not ready to go when they request a Welcome Ride.
Pro Tip: Do not ask your mentor to drive to you! You need to drive to wherever they are!
Give the mentor a few minutes to inspect your documents. He or she will take pictures of your insurance to make sure that your drivers license number, VIN#, and insurance information match. You will need to bring insurance that shows that you are the person insured on the vehicle you intend to drive. Make sure to also bring the proper vehicle.
After taking a picture of your documents the mentor will take a picture of you and your car. From there, they should begin the inspection and they will check everything on the vehicle listed in the vehicle requirements section. You will need to turn on the lights, blinkers, windshield wipers, etc.
After the inspection the mentor will begin the welcome ride. You must hit “tap to arrive” on the Lyft application and use the application to look up where to drive. The mentor will give you the location in a similar manner as a typical passenger.
On Your Test Drive
While on your test drive feel free to ask your mentor questions about driving for Lyft. Find out what hours and areas are best to drive in. The key is to make conversation seem natural as you navigate through the city to your destination.
You will want to already have a GPS mount with your phone placed in the mount. Lyft is hands free and you will want to show that you can navigate safely and accurately while being friendly.
As long as you get to your destination without breaking any traffic laws, driving safely, and being somewhat sociable you should be able to pass the driver’s test.
How to Fail Your Mentor Session
Here are some common mistakes that people make during the mentor session. Most mentors will tell you that these things result in either an automatic fail or serious docking of points. Many of these seem obvious but they keep coming up, so here they are:
Bringing a Friend/Family Member/Dog: Do not bring a friend or second person. Many mentors will fail you for this. Although it may seem weird meeting with some random stranger, mentors are generally top tier Lyft drivers. If you are not comfortable with the location your mentor requests to meet you at, call them and ask if you can meet them in a more public place.
Mentor shopping: Unless your mentor is extremely far away, I suggest not canceling and requesting a mentor session if you don’t like your mentor. Often there will only be one mentor available and if you continue to request and cancel on them they will get annoyed and frustrated that you are wasting their time.
Dirty/Smelly Car: Your mentor should not be able to reconstruct your fast-food eating history for the last several weeks by sitting in your car.
Missing: drivers license, insurance, registration. Bring it because we can’t do anything until we see it.
Driving aggressively: It’s best not to burn yellow lights and to instead adopt a safer driving style. We aren’t interested in your Mad Drifting SkiLlz. We are interested in your ability to deliver your passengers from point A to B safely. Think of it as the time you drove the guy from the DMV.
Poor Hygiene: Be clean. You don’t have to wear a suit by any means but just look respectable.
So avoiding all of the pitfalls listed above and following my guidelines will make the mentor session a breeze. Most of the time the mentor ride is simple and the mentor will be friendly. Use it as a chance to talk to an experienced Lyft driver in your area and learn the best places and times to drive. Every market has knowledge that only drivers in that market will have and now is your chance to get that info.
After The Mentor Session
Within 24 hours of completing your mentor session, you will get an email confirming whether or not you have passed your mentor session. Often there will be notes that the mentor took. Most of the notes are just pieces of advice and do not mean that you failed the mentor session.
Occasionally, documents don’t get photographed correctly or Lyft has follow-up questions. In these cases, Lyft may follow up with you to address whatever issues arise. There will be a place to upload any photos of new tires, lights, etc. Once these requirements are satisfied you will move on to the background check. This may delay the approval process a few days but generally Lyft is interested in getting drivers on the road so they will be quick in processing documents.
If you follow our advice your mentor session should go smoothly, you will pass and be on your way to giving your first ride.
If you haven’t started your application yet, follow this link to receive a sign-up bonus from Lyft!
Have questions about the Lyft Mentor Session or Welcome Ride? Ask us in the comments section!
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PS – Next up! Once the mentor completes the session, your background check will be submitted to a third party and you will await the results. In the mean time, there’s lots that you need to do to prep for your first ride. You can opt in below and you’ll get all that information and more! Already subscribed? Download the PDF here.