Do you want to find out how much your Uber will cost before you request it? You might not want to get an Uber ride if you don’t know how much the ride is going to cost. Will your ride be $5 or $50? Luckily, Uber provides up-front cost estimates right inside the app, or a range of prices.
To get a fare estimate, download the Uber app (our referral link) and input your destination. After you input your destination, the app will display a fare estimate for each service.Disclosure: Download link is my referral link and I may receive a commission for referring you.
- How Much Does Uber Cost? Pricing Formula
- How to Get an Uber Fare Estimate
- Examples of Uber Pricing
- Uber Fees and Tools
- Uber Discounts: How to save on Your Ride
How does Uber come up with the cost of a ride, and what else do you need to know about the cost of an Uber before you request a ride? This article explains how Uber pricing works, and how the ride type you choose determines the cost of your ride.
How Much Does Uber Cost?
Uber uses two pricing models: One is a calculation based on trip distance and time, and the other is an ‘upfront’ pricing model that is a more complicated algorithm based on willingness to pay and other factors.
In markets that charge based on distance and time, the 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 of the ride
- Cost per mile – How much you’re charged for each mile of the ride
- Booking Fee – A flat fee to cover ‘operational costs’
- Marketplace Fee (Replaces the Booking Fee in some markets) – A fee to connect passengers with drivers
- Surge/dynamic pricing: A multiplier added to your fare, but not added to any fees
- 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 + Other Fees = Your Fare
Up-Front Pricing: See how much you will pay before you request a ride
In many markets, Uber uses an up-front pricing model that tells you how much you’ll pay as soon as you enter your destination. All you have to do is input your destination to see how much your ride will cost.
How does Uber calculate Up-Front prices?
Before up-front pricing, it was easy to figure out why your Uber cost as much as it did because it was based on the above mileage + time equation. With up-front pricing, the pricing calculation has become less clear. Up front prices are still based on mileage and time, but they also include other unstated algorithmic calculations that aren’t clearly disclosed and explained.
How to Get an Uber Fare Estimate Inside The App
- Download and open the Uber app
- Input your destination in the “Where to?” text box
- Fare estimates for each Uber service will appear after you input your destination. Scroll sideways to see how much other services cost, and tap on each price to get more detailed pricing info
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Pricing Changes in California: Uber Eliminated Up-Front Pricing
Beginning in January 2020, Uber eliminated Up-Front pricing in California in an attempt to comply with new regulations that apply to Uber drivers. When you request a ride in California, you will now see a range of prices instead of an exact up-front price.
Ride pricing in California is now based on the mileage+time fare calculation listed above. You won’t know exactly how much your ride costs until the ride is over, but it should be close to the estimated range.
An Example of Uber Prices: How Much Uber Costs in 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 US Uber markets.
|Cost Per Mile||Cost Per Minute||Base Fare||Booking Fee||Minimum Fare|
To see see the exact Uber rates for your city, visit Uber.com/ride.
The Price Difference Between Uber Ride Types
Uber prices depend on the city you’re in and the Uber service you use. Uber rates are different for UberX, XL, UberSelect, Black Car,and SUV. Read more about the differences between the Uber ride types.
Example: How much an Uber costs from the Santa Monica Pier to the Venice Beach Boardwalk
The table below is the cost of an example ride. It shows that the same ride has a different price depending on the service you choose.
Note: This ride is 2.3 miles and 11 minutes long. The price may change due to time of day, traffic conditions, discounts, or surge pricing.
|Uber Ride Type||Ride Cost (2.3 miles, 11 minutes)|
More Essential Reading on Uber
- How to Change Your Uber Payment Option
- How to Add Multiple Stops to Your Uber Trip
- Uber Eats User Guide: Order Food, Contact Customer Service, and Get Free Food
The Uber Minimum Fare: The Cheapest an Uber Can Be
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 $3.87. But in your area, the minimum fare for UberX is $6.50, so you will be charged $6.50 instead of $3.87.
What is Uber Surge Pricing?
During times of high rider demand, Uber may add a cost multiplier to the cost of your trip that is known as surge pricing, or dynamic pricing. In the past, Uber displayed a popup screen before you requested a ride letting you know that surge pricing is active, and how much the multiplier is.
Surge pricing changes dynamically depending on driver supply and rider demand. If the cost of your ride seems abnormally high, you can wait and see if the price goes down after a few minutes.
How to Tip Your Uber Driver
Uber has an optional tipping feature that allows you to tip your driver electronically. Drivers keep 100% of the tip you leave. Tipping hasn’t always been customary for most Uber passengers, but many drivers expect and appreciate a tip.
There are two ways to tip your driver: During the trip, or after. During the trip, you can swipe up to see more info about your trip and the driver. A tipping option will be there.
To tip after your trip is over, rate the driver and then select a tip amount.
How to See Uber 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 a price estimate”
- Enter a pickup location and drop-off location
- Click the small (i) 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” to see fare rates and more info
Uber Fees and Tolls
There are several fees and tolls that you should be aware of before you request an Uber ride. Most importantly, the cancellation fee is a fee charged to you if you cancel a ride two minutes after requesting it, or if you take 5 minutes or longer to come out to the driver after they have arrived. The cancellation fee is typically around $5.
The cost of any tolls are passed onto the passenger, so if your driver takes a toll road, the cost of the toll will be added to your final ride price. You will not have to give the driver cash or coins to pay for the toll.
Uber Discounts: Ways to Save on Your Ride
There are several ways to save money on Uber rides.
Promo codes: All new users can input a promo code that typically offers a discount on your first ride. Our code ‘cws7s2’ works for all new users, and you can find similar codes online.
Uber Rewards: Uber has a customer rewards program that offers benefits and ride credits as you earn more points. Earn points by taking rides or ordering food on Uber Eats. Each 500 points offers a reward in Uber cash, and an upgrade to the next reward tier. Benefits of higher tiers include: Flexible cancellations, free ride upgrades, and improved customer support.
Credit card promotions: Some credit cards have partnered with Uber to offer benefits to card holders. Amex Platinum users get $15 in Uber cash each month. Apple card users gets 3% cash back on Uber rides. Use a Visa card at featured restaurants and stores to get Uber cash back.
Temporary promotions: Uber will occasionally run promotions that offer discounts on rides, or discounts on fees. Keep an eye out in your Uber app to see temporary promotions.
How to Schedule an Uber in Advance
The Uber app allows you to schedule a ride request 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. Although Uber calls it a scheduled ride, it is actually an automated request that goes off at the time you schedule. When you schedule a ride in the Uber app, a driver does not get information about your fare in advance and prepare for it.
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 it! 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.
Try Uber: Download the app, input promo code ‘cws7s2‘ (USA only) for the best new-user credit
If you’ve never tried Uber before and you want to know how much your ride will cost, download the app, input my promo code ‘cws7s2′ (works for USA only) then tap fare estimator. My promo code will give you $20 off your first ride, and I may also receive a commission or app credit for referring you.