Have you ever gotten a surprise fee after a Lyft ride? Maybe you got charged for cancelling a ride, or you paid a few dollars more for making your driver wait.
Lyft has several fees that every customer should know about—some built into the cost of every ride, and some that you’ll only see if you inconvenience your driver.
Read on to learn about every fee on Lyft and how to get a refund if you think the fee was unjustified!
List of every fee on Lyft
Click each fee for more info.
- Service fee: Around $3–$4 per ride. It is included in the upfront fare estimate before you request a ride
- Cancel fees: Around $5 if you cancel more than 30 seconds after matching with a driver, or if a driver cancels after waiting more than 5 minutes for you
- Cleaning & damage: $20–$150 for causing a mess or damaging a driver’s car
- Wait time: Around 30–50 cents per minute if your driver waits more than 2 minutes at pickup, or longer than 30 seconds at a stop you added
- Lost item: $20 if your driver returns your lost item
- Tolls: Passengers pay for tolls. Toll costs are included in the upfront price estimate
- Airport surcharges: Passengers pay airport fees. The cost is included in the upfront estimate
- Other local fees: Some areas feature unique fees, such as the City of Portland surcharge or the California Driver Benefits Fee
How to dispute a fee and request a refund
In the Lyft app, tap Menu (☰) >’ Ride history’> Find the ride and tap on it > Scroll to ‘Help’ at the bottom > Tap ‘Get help with another issue’> Tap’ Dispute ride fare or charges.’ Select the relevant fee and follow any further steps to submit your dispute.
After you submit the dispute, Lyft support will respond to either accept or deny your request for a refund. You can typically get a response within minutes, or a few hours at most.
How likely are you to get a refund for fees?
It depends on the fee. For cancel fees, there’s a good chance that you can get a refund if it is your first fee and if you ultimately got a ride. A refund is less likely for most other fees. You won’t get a refund for built-in fees like service fees, airport surcharges, and local fees.
More help for Lyft users
The Lyft service fee
Lyft adds a service fee of around $3–$4 to every ride. The exact fee amount varies based on the ride type you request and the city where the ride takes place.
Markets with upfront pricing include the service fee in the upfront price estimate for a ride, so you won’t see a separate line item for the fee in your ride receipt. Some markets list the service fee as a separate line item.
For example, my ride in Los Angeles listed the service fee separately, but my ride in Portland didn’t.
You can check the cities page at Lyft.com to see the exact service fee for every ride type in your area.
Fees that are included in the upfront price (Not listed separately)
In most markets, Lyft gives you an upfront price estimate for a ride before you request it. The upfront price includes the ride fare, the service fee, and expected tolls, airport charges, or other fixed local fees.
After the ride, you won’t know exactly how much you paid for the fees that are included in the upfront price. Instead, you’ll see one lump sum “Lyft fare” that includes every charge.
Lyft may charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your ride more than 30 seconds after matching with a driver or if your driver arrives at your pickup location and cancels the ride after waiting longer than ~5 minutes.
The cancellation fee varies depending on your area and the Lyft ride type that you choose, but it is typically around $5 for standard rides and $10 for premium rides and scheduled rides.
You can get flexible cancellations with Lyft Pink—you won’t be charged any fees for cancelling as long as you take another ride within 15 minutes.
Lyft is more likely to refund a cancellation fee if you cancelled a ride moments after requesting it, but they are less likely to give your money back if your driver cancelled on you as a no-show.
Cleaning and damage fees
You can be charged a fee if a driver reports that you damaged their vehicle or left a mess that requires extensive cleaning. The fee depends on how serious the damage or mess was.
- $20 for minor messes from food and drinks, mud, dirt, or fur
- $40 for moderate messages from food spills or biowaste (vomit, feces, urine, blood)
- $80 for larger messes from biowaste and large food messes
- $150 for major damage to the vehicle’s interior or exterior
Lyft will send you an email with details about the damage, photos, and more information about the fee. You can reply directly to the email or find the ride in your Ride history in the app to provide more info or dispute the charge.
Your default payment method will be automatically charged for the damage, and your receipt for the ride will be updated to include the fee.
Note that you won’t pay for small messes like food wrappers & empty bottles, water on the seat or floorboards, or routine wear and tear.
Wait time fees
You can be charged wait time fees if your driver arrives at your pickup location and waits longer than 2 minutes for you to arrive. After 2 minutes, you’ll be charged a per-minute wait time fee until you arrive at the car and the ride begins.
Wait time fees are around 30–50 centers per minute, but the exact fee varies based on location, ride type, and local ride volume.
You won’t be charged for any wait time if your driver ends up cancelling the ride and charging a no-show fee.
Wait times don’t apply to the Lyft Access & Assisted ride types, and you can get a refund on wait time fees if you or someone you are traveling with has a disability that makes it difficult for you to arrive at the car within 2 minutes.
Lost item return fee
Lyft charges a $20 fee if your driver returns a lost item to you. 100% of the fee goes to your driver.
When you lose an item in a Lyft ride, you can report the lost item to message or call your driver. After the driver returns your item, they can choose to report the returned item and charge you the $20 fee.
Passengers are ultimately responsible for any tolls on a route, but the toll charges are automatically included in the upfront price when you first request a trip that will use a toll road.
You don’t have to directly pay your driver for any tolls—drivers pay for tolls and get reimbursed by Lyft. If you do pay for a toll, contact Lyft support to get a refund.
Most airports charge a pickup and drop-off fee for rideshare rides. The Lyft app detects when your ride is at an airport and automatically includes any fees in the upfront price estimate.
You can view the full airport fee in your ride receipt after the trip is over.
Airport fees are nonrefundable. Airports charge Uber airport trips, and Uber passes that cost to you.
About pending charges and temporary authorization holds
Pending charges from Lyft on your payment method are temporary authorizations that will disappear or be refunded after your transaction is successfully processed.
The temporary authorization is to make sure that your payment method works. Most will disappear immediately after your card is charged, but some may take as long as 5–7 business days to disappear.
You might see a pending transaction when you request a ride, change your destination, add a stop, or change your payment method.
Lyft fees vs Uber fees
How do fees on Lyft compare to their top competitor, Uber? Overall, the fees are similar on both apps and nearly identical in most cases.
Just like Lyft, Uber also has cancellation fees, wait time fees, cleaning fees, and lost item fees. Uber even has the same fee cleaning costs of $20, $40, $80, and $150.
The lost item fee is exactly the same on both apps—$20. Wait time fees are also similar, around 40 cents per minute. It seems that both apps closely monitor each other and keep their fees in line.