When you request an Uber, you expect to pay for the mileage the ride covers and the time you’re in the car. Sometimes you may be surprised to see that you were charged an extra fee by Uber for something you’ve never heard of. Learn all fees Uber charges, which ones you can avoid, and how you can get Uber fees refunded.
Uber charges these fees to customers
- Cancellation Fee: $5 fee if you cancel two minutes after requesting, or if you take 5 minutes or longer to come out to the driver
- Booking Fee: A flat fee charged to all rides to cover Uber costs. Nonrefundable.
- Cleaning Fee: $50–$200 fee for damaging the driver’s car
- Lost Item Fee: $15. If your driver has to return a lost item to you, you’ll get a $15 charge. Not charged in all cities.
- Airport Surcharge: Around $4, for getting picked up or dropped off at an airport
- Toll charges: If your driver pays a toll on your ride, you pay
The Uber Cancellation Fee
When you cancel your Uber two or more minutes after you’ve made the ride request, you’ll be charged the cancellation fee. If you cancel two minutes after you make an UberX or XL request, you’ll received a $5 charge. For UberBlack and SUV, the cancellation fee is $10.
Note: The cancellation window was dropped from five minutes to two minutes in mid 2017.
You’ll also receive the cancellation fee if your driver arrives at your location and you don’t show up for two minutes. After two minutes, your driver can cancel your ride as a ‘no show,’ and you’ll be charged the $5 cancellation fee.
The best way to avoid this fee is to be sure that you want to request a ride, and be ready for the driver when they arrive. The app sends you a text when the driver arrives, so you get plenty of notification. It’s possible that some drivers could abuse the ‘no show’ fee, but the Uber apps tracks cancellations and deactivates drivers who are abusing the system.
Can you get a refund for the cancellation fee? Sometimes. Of all the fees, this one is more likely to be reversed if you email Uber and ask politely. Uber does have tons of data about your ride, so they can see exactly how long a driver had to wait for you before the driver canceled, or how long you waited before you canceled the trip.
The Booking Fee
Formerly known as the “Safe Rides” fee, the Booking Fee is a flat fee that is added to every ride to, in Uber’s words, “help support safety initiatives for riders and drivers as well as other operational costs.”
The cost of the Booking Fee depends on the city you live in, but right now the Booking Fee ranges from around $1.40 to $1.80 per ride. There is no way to get around the Booking Fee.
Can you get a refund for the Booking Fee? No. It’s a nonrefundable fee that covers operational costs.
The Uber Cleaning Fee
If you cause damage to the interior or exterior of your driver’s car, you will be charged a cleaning fee. The cleaning fee is usually between $40 and $150, depending on the level of damage you did to the driver’s car. If your driver claims that you damaged their car, you’ll receive an email explaining that you caused damage and that the cleaning fee is being applied to your ride. Some passengers are shocked by big cleaning fee charges, but it’s in the Uber terms of service that every passenger has to agree to before creating an account.
The most common cause of the cleaning fee is vomit, or damaging an interior piece of the driver’s car.
But wait! Can’t a driver just say that you damaged their car and collect an easy fee? It’s not that simple. Drivers have to send photographic proof of the damage to Uber before they can collect a cleaning fee. Some drivers have even been caught and deactivated for trying to take advantage of the cleaning fee.
If you believe the cleaning fee was charged to you in error, email Uber until you get a clear explanation.
Can you get a refund for the cleaning fee? Maybe, but probably not. Usually drivers only ask to be reimbursed if real damage has occurred, and they need to prove it. You’ll have to prove your case and potentially go back and forth with Uber for weeks to get this fee refunded.
The Uber Lost Item Fee
If you lose and item and your driver returns it to you, you’ll be charged $15. Not all cities currently charge the $15 lost item fee. Uber drivers aren’t technically responsible for lost items, so if you lost an item in a driver’s car and they can’t find it, they are not liable in any way. If your city doesn’t charge the $15 lost item fee, your driver may ask you to pay them to return the item.
If you lose an item, open the Uber app, tap Help > Trips and Fare Review > I Lost An Item > Contact my driver about a lost time. Then enter your phone number. Your driver will contact you, and at that point you can arrange a convenient time and place to retrieve your item.
Airport Fees and Surcharges
If you’re lucky enough to be able to get picked up or dropped off at an airport in an Uber, it’s likely that an airport surcharge will be added to your ride. Airports charge a flat fee for pickups and dropoffs that is usually around $4.
Can you get a refund? No. Airports charge Uber for each drop off or pickup at an airport, and Uber will always pass that cost on to you.
If your driver pays a road toll during your trip, or has to pay a toll to return from your trip, you will be charged. This probably isn’t too surprising to those of you who live in areas with toll roads, but if you’re traveling to a new town and you’re not sure which roads are which, this could come by surprise. Bridges and tunnels often have tolls, and those expenses are passed on to you. If you want your driver to avoid toll roads, tell them.
Can you get a toll refund? No. If the driver paid a toll, you pay.
Temporary authorization charges
When you add a new payment method, Uber may make a temporary authorization charge to verify that your payment method is active. Typically an authorization charge is around $5, and it will disappear from your account after a few business days.
Want to fight the fee? Contact Uber
You might think that a fee or surcharge added to your ride was done in error. When that happens, contact Uber and ask for an explanation or a reversal of the fee.
Uber typically stands behind their fees and surcharges, but if you can persuasively make a case, you can sometimes get your money back.