Want some extra cash in your life? Who doesn't? Luckily, the gig economy and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft make it easy to supplement your income simply by driving your car. All you have to do is sign up and qualify to be a driver for one or both apps. From there, you set your own schedule, drive when you want to and don’t when you’re not feeling it. Just like you need to qualify to become a driver, your car will need to be eligible as well. Also, keep in mind that you will be responsible for covering the cost of the fuel you use while you drive.

Woman ordering rideshare car
The demand for drivers is high. Make sure your car gets you in on the action.

Our criteria for choosing the best ride-sharing cars:

  • Eligibility: vehicles that will fit ride-sharing requirements
  • Affordability: so you can enjoy the extra income instead of stressing about high monthly payments
  • Fuel efficiency: more ride-share money will go into your pocket instead of the gas station's

Vehicle Requirements

Man looking at car
Four doors? Check!

Before we dive into affordable, fuel-efficient cars and SUVs to give you the most bang for your buck, we have to start with some ground rules for car eligibility. While Uber and Lyft have slightly different requirements for acceptable vehicles, there are some commonalities. For example, your car must have four doors and it can't be too old. We'll outline the basic requirements of the two major ride-share companies for you.

Uber's Requirements

Uber App

While there are more specific car requirements if you want to drive for UberXL or UberBlack, the most common option is UberX. The standard requirements to drive for UberX are:

  • 15-year-old vehicle or newer
  • 4-door vehicle
  • Good condition with no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection

Lyft's Requirements

Lyft app

Lyft's requirements vary state by state  but we found these to be the common ones for the majority of the country:

  • Year 2002/2003 or newer
  • 4 doors
  • 5-8 seats, including the driver's

Now that you know the basic requirements, we have some recommendations for affordable and fuel-efficient vehicles that will help you keep more of the money you make. To determine the best cars for ride-sharing drivers, we took affordability (under $25,000 starting MSRP) and good gas mileage into account. Using these features, we compiled the 5 best sedans and 5 best SUVs for the job. 

5 Best Sedans for Ride-Sharing

Ride share sedan

An affordable sedan with good mpg will be your best bet when it comes to driving for ride-sharing companies. While crossovers and pickup trucks are dominating overall vehicle sales, you can't beat a reliable sedan for fuel efficiency. 

1) 2018 Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

There may be no car more polarizing than the Toyota Prius. People either love it or hate it. Putting that fact aside, it's hard to argue with the Prius' mpg numbers. If you go with the most affordable model (the Prius One) you'll enjoy a good ride with excellent fuel economy. If your goal is to make as many trips as possible and feel less pain at the pump, the Prius is your answer. 

  • City mpg: 54
  • Highway mpg: 50
  • Combined mpg: 52
  • 2018 Prius One MSRP: $23,475

Find Local Discounts on the Toyota Prius

2) 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Hyundai ioniq hybrid

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid offers a more traditional look than a Prius and is a fierce competitor in the mpg department. Going with the most affordable model, you'll pay less for the Hyundai Ioniq than the Prius and get more miles per gallon out of it too. 

  • City mpg: 57
  • Highway mpg: 59
  • Combined mpg: 58
  • 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Blue MSRP: $22,200

Find Local Discounts on the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

3) 2018 Honda Fit

Honda Fit Rideshare(Image: Honda)

If you want to save on the purchase price of your car as well as the gas you'll use when you turn on your Lyft and Uber apps, the Honda Fit LX is for you. While it may not reach the mpg of the hybrids on the list, it's fuel economy is respectable and you'll be pleasantly surprised when you see that it is much more spacious than it looks. 

  • City mpg: 33
  • Highway mpg: 40
  • Combined mpg: 36.5
  • 2018 Honda Fit LX MSRP: $16,190

Find Local Discounts on the Honda Fit

4) 2018 Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry Rideshare(Image: Toyota)

You won't regret buying the Toyota Camry when you're shuttling people to and from the airport. The L model has a price tag that's easy on the wallet and you'll thank your lucky stars for the good mpg as you pick up a passenger who's asking you to make three more stops on the way to their destination.

  • City mpg: 29
  • Highway mpg: 41
  • Combined mpg: 34
  • 2018 Toyota Camry L MSRP: $23,645

Find Local Discounts on the Toyota Camry

5) 2018 Honda Civic Sedan

honda civic sedan white(Image: Honda)

On top of having good mpg numbers, Honda is known for making reliable vehicles. The Honda Civic is no exception and it is one of the brand's most affordable models. The Civic sedan will meet ride-share requirements and you'll be happy with your choice when you're doing "one last" pickup for the night. Well, maybe just two more.

  • City mpg: 29
  • Highway mpg: 41
  • Combined mpg: 34
  • 2018 Honda Civic Sedan LX MSRP: $18,940

Find Local Discounts on the Honda Civic

5 Best SUVs for Ride-Sharing

Ride share suv

Driving for Uber and Lyft is a smart way to use your car to make some extra bucks, but you may have other requirements for your vehicle such as good cargo space, flexible seat configuration, and a higher ride height. Luckily there are plenty of SUVs that hit these checkboxes and also offer solid mpg numbers.

1) 2018 Kia Niro

Kia Niro Rideshare

The Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover with a great price tag for a hybrid. If you're looking for more cargo room or a higher ride height than a sedan without sacrificing mpg, the Niro is for you. The FE model gives you the most mpg at the lowest price. 

  • City mpg: 52
  • Highway mpg: 49
  • Combined mpg: 50 
  • 2018 Kia Niro FE MSRP: $23,340

Find Local Discounts on the Kia Niro

2) 2018 Mazda CX-3

2018 Mazda CX-3

Though not a hybrid, the Mazda CX-3 is a huge bargain in both its MSRP and fuel efficiency. The Sport model barely goes above the $20K mark and will continue to save you money as you rack up those rides and dollars.

  • City mpg: 29
  • Highway mpg: 34
  • Combined mpg: 31.5
  • 2018 Mazda CX-3 Sport MSRP: $20,110

Find Local Discounts on the Mazda CX-3

3) 2018 Chevy Equinox

Chevy Equinox

The redesigned Chevy Equinox is better than ever before. We recently got to test out this crossover and were pleasantly surprised. The 2018 Equinox is more compact and has better fuel economy than its predecessor which will be a lifesaver as you're driving your new friends around. 

  • City mpg: 28
  • Highway mpg: 39
  • Combined mpg: 33.5
  • 2018 Chevy Equinox L MSRP: $24,575

Find Local Discounts on the Chevy Equinox

4) 2018 Honda HR-V

2018 Honda HRV(Image: Honda)

Honda's subcompact crossover may look small, but just like the Honda Fit, its looks are deceiving. It's also roomy on the inside and very fuel efficient. The Honda HR-V comes with the added perks of flexible seat configurations including Honda's magic seat. Tall mode lets you flip the seat up to have room for vertical objects. If you pick up a passenger and notice they just purchased a small tree that they insist you fit in your car, the HR-V has you covered.

  • City mpg: 28
  • Highway mpg: 34
  • Combined mpg: 31
  • 2018 Honda HR-V LX MSRP: $19,670

Find Local Discounts on the Honda HR-V

5) 2018 GMC Terrain 

2018 GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain is a compact SUV that gives you both fuel efficiency and the ability to tow 1,500 to 3,500 lbs. Although pricier than the competition, the SL model slides in under the $25,000 mark and offers a smooth ride and a touch of luxury. Both you and your backseat passengers will enjoy how spacious the cabin feels, but how much you'll save on gas can be our secret.

  • City mpg: 28
  • Highway mpg: 39
  • Combined mpg: 47.5
  • 2018 GMC Terrain SL MSRP: $24,995

Find Local Discounts on the GMC Terrain