Certify Report: Lyft Gaining on Uber

May 2, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Recently, Certify issued its SpendSmart report for the first quarter of 2018, a report which takes a look at spending trends within the business travel and entertainment expense fields. That’s rich ground for mobile payments, of course, and what it found was surprising. One of the biggest revelations is that ride-hailing operations are huge in the ground transport market, and Lyft is gaining on Uber.

The SpendSmart report analyzed the contents of a whopping 10 million receipts from the first quarter, and discovered that ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber now command 70 percent of the ground transport market. That’s up from not even 10 percent just four years ago, which proves how quickly this market has come on, and in such a big way.

Rental car and taxi services, meanwhile, have taken it on the chin, with both markets in steep decline. The rental car market dropped from 55 percent in 2014 to 23 percent now. Taxi service, meanwhile, is a disaster; it now holds just six percent now from 37 percent four years ago.

Uber is still the go-to provider for most, but cracks are appearing. In 2014, Uber was virtually the entire market, with Lyft taking just one percent. Four years later, Uber has slipped to 81 percent while Lyft is now at 19 percent, a huge difference, and one that only recently came on.

Interestingly, cost may be a factor; business travelers are not only paying less with Lyft, they’re also tipping less. Only two percent of Lyft riders tip while six percent of Uber riders do. Plus, Lyft riders tip $0.15 less on average, which compounds the problem for Lyft drivers.

When Uber loses market share at almost 10 percent per year, that could be a problem, especially if the trend lasts. It might be that the drop is connected to the loss of London, which may prove temporary, but it’s still something of a problem regardless. The reduced tipping may prove an issue for drivers, and if there are fewer Lyft drivers in play, it may well kink Lyft’s market share expansion.

Still, we see that ordering a ride on a mobile device is a growing part of the field, and likely will remain so—at the cost of taxi and rental car services—for some time to come.