Do you want to find out how much your Uber will cost before you request it? You might hesitate to request an Uber ride because you have no idea what the Uber rates are, so you have no idea if your ride will be $10 or $50. Luckily, the Uber app gives very accurate estimates.
To get a fare estimate, download the Uber app and input your destination. After you input your destination, the app will display a fare estimate for each service.
How does Uber come up with the fare estimates? I explain how Uber pricing works below.
How much does Uber cost?
Your Uber fare is calculated on these criteria:
- Base fare – A flat fee charged at the beginning of the ride
- Cost per minute – How much you’re charged for each minute you’re inside the ride
- Cost per mile – How much you’re charged for each mile of the ride
- Booking Fee (Formerly known as the ‘Safe Rides Fee’) – A flat fee to cover ‘operational costs’ (Not included for UberBlack and UberSUV)
- Surge pricing: A multiplier anywhere from 1.1x added to your fare, but not including the booking fee
- Tipping (Optional): You can use the Uber app to tip your driver after the ride is over
Here’s how Uber calculates your fare:
Base Fare + (Cost per minute * time in ride) + (Cost per mile * ride distance) + Booking Fee = Your Fare
Uber minimum fare: You won’t pay less than the minimum
Uber sets a minimum fare for each service to help fairly reimburse drivers for short rides. If the sum of the equation above is lower than the minimum fare, you’ll still be charged the minimum fare.
For example: You take an UberX two blocks down the street. After you added up the variables, you calculated that your fare would only be $2.78. But in your area, the minimum fare for UberX is $4, so you will be charged $4 instead of $2.78.
Uber up front pricing: Get an Uber fare estimate before you request your ride
Over the years Uber has made it a lot easier to see how much your ride might cost before you request it. Uber launched the upfront pricing feature in 2016, which tells you how much you’ll pay for your ride before you request it.
All you have to do is input your destination to see how much your ride will cost.
Up-front pricing complicates things: How does Uber come up with their prices?
Before up front pricing, it was easy to figure out why your Uber cost as much as it did. With up front pricing, it’s not always an easy mileage + time calculation. Instead, Uber gives you an up front price based on mileage, time, surge, and what they believe you would be willing to pay.
Another downside to up front pricing is that it’s no longer obvious when surge charges will be added to your bill. Before, you would see an on-screen indicator letting you know about pricing surges. Now, you only see the up front price with little or no indication that there is a surge. Sometimes you open the app and see one dollar amount, then reopen the app five minutes later to see a drastically different price with little on-screen indication to explain why.
But if all you’re concerned about is pricing out an Uber trip, up front pricing makes that easy.
How to get an Uber fare estimate inside the app
- Download and open the Uber app
- Input your destination
- Fare estimates for each Uber service will appear after you input your destination. Scroll sideways to see how much other services cost
Uber prices depend on the city you’re in and the Uber service you use
The base fare, cost per minute, and cost per mile vary city-by-city, and Uber service. Uber rates are different for UberX, XL, UberSelect, Black Car,and SUV. Read more about the differences between UberX, XL, Select, and Black Car.
What about tipping? You can now tip your Uber driver
Beginning in July 2017, Uber added an optional tipping feature to the Uber app that allows you tip tip your driver electronically. The driver keeps 100% of the tip you leave. Tipping hasn’t been customary for most Uber passengers, but many drivers expect and appreciate a small tip.
How to tip your Uber driver in the app
- Wait until your ride is over
- Rate your driver. Find the rating feature on the bottom area of the home screen
- On the next screen, select a tip amount, or enter your own
How to find out Uber fare rates in your city
There are two ways to see how fare rates break down for each Uber service in your city: Through Uber desktop site, or inside the Uber app.
Find out the fare breakdown on Uber’s website
- Go to Uber.com/cities and select your city
- Click “Get Fare Estimate”
- Enter a pickup location and drop-off location
- Click the small question mark (?) next to each fare estimate to see the rates for that service
Find out the fare breakdown inside the Uber app
- Open the Uber app
- Enter a destination
- Tap on the Uber service you’re interested in
- Tap the tiny “i” icon next to the fare estimate
How to schedule an Uber in advance
In some markets, Uber is testing a feature that allows you to schedule a ride in advance. On the home screen, tap the clock + car icon next to the “Where To?” search bar to schedule a ride. Next, you pick the date, time, and pickup & drop off location. But don’t let the name trick you: It’s an automated request that goes off at the time you schedule, not a pre-organized ride that a driver enters into their calendar.
At the time of your scheduled ride, your account automatically sends a ride request, and to nearby drives it appears as an ordinary ride request. If there are no drivers around, you won’t get a ride, even though you schedule one! So if you need an early morning ride to the airport, it might be better to open the app 20 minutes before you need to leave just to make sure drivers are nearby.
Example Uber fare prices: Los Angeles
To give you a feel for the range of Uber fare costs, here’s a look at the fare costs in Los Angeles. LA features almost every Uber service and the prices aren’t much higher or much lower than other American Uber markets.
(Updated July 2017)
|Base Fare||Cost per minute||Cost per mile||Booking Fee||Minimum Fare|
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