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You might be reluctant to try their services if you think that the rides might be costly, but cost is one of the reasons why it is estimated that more than 10 billion Uber trips have taken place all around the world.  Lets take a look at what the factors influence the cost of Uber rides.

Uber Pricing Variables

There are several things that are taken into account when calculating the price of the Uber ride:

  • Base fare, which is a flat fee
  • Distance – the length of the trip, which doesn’t include the distance traveled by the driver to pick you up, unless they had to travel across a toll road. In such a case, the toll is added to the cost of the ride.
  • Time – how much time did the ride take. That’s why you will pay more if you travel across the same distance during rush hour.
  • Booking fee – the fee that helps to pay for the operational and safety costs
  • Surge pricing/dynamic pricing – if you are ordering the ride when the demand for rides is high, then the total cost of the ride might be multiplied. We’ll provide more information below.
  • Tips – although it is not mandatory, the Uber app allows users to tip their drivers if they are satisfied with the services. In some countries where Uber operates (like the United States) tipping is a popular custom.

Different Uber Rates

Although the factors that we have previously mentioned influence how much you’ll pay, there are other reasons for variations. Sure, the length of the ride has an impact on how much much you’ll have to pay, but it also matters whether you’ll get to point B in a regular or a luxury car. So what are your options?

As well as different types of rides that independent contractors are allowed to use after vehicle inspection , it also matters in what city you use Uber and at what time of the day do you order Uber. If the demand for rides is particularly high, you might have to pay more due to the surge pricing.

What is Surge Pricing?

If you travel across the same route very frequently and then one day discover that the price estimate for a ride is much higher than usual, it might be due to the surge pricing. When the demand for the rides is particularly high, Uber will charge its users more.

It’s best to be vigilant when it comes to the price estimate that you’ll see in the app, as currently, you won’t get a pop-up – as was the case in the past – about the surge cost. Instead, there will be a little “lightning” symbol displayed next to the ride cost. If you are in a hurry, then you might not care about this symbol, which, depending on the demand, will multiply the price accordingly. Still, if it’s not an urgent case, you might consider waiting some time before the ratio of drivers to people who need Uber rides improves.

What is Upfront Pricing?

Depending on your location, if you order an Uber ride, you’ll either get a price range (that is calculated on the basis of criteria that we mentioned above), or an exact amount of money that you’ll have to pay.

If the second model applies in your region, factors such as distance and time are still taken into consideration, but there are also other things that are used to calculate Uber fare (such as expected weather or traffic). Time and time again, Uber has stated that the drivers are not its employees but rather independent contractors. In order to comply with the local regulations, the company no longer provides upfront pricing in certain states, such as California.

Where to Get an Uber Fare Estimate

If you want to get the price estimate, you don’t need to go to any external websites – you can check the Uber cost in its app. To do that, you first need to input the information about the pickup location and your destination, then select “Fare estimate” below. After you’ve done that, you’ll have a chance to choose the type of ride that you want.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the app or simply don’t have it installed yet, you could go to and enter the pickup location and destination. Remember that factors such as rush hour, an accident on the road, or bad weather can all affect the final Uber fare.

Unless you live in a location where Uber provides the passengers with the set fare instead of a price range, you won’t know how much you’ll pay exactly until the ride has ended.

Example Fare

Okay, so how can you calculate how much approximately will your ride cost? The equation used to calculate the fare is:

Base Fare + (Cost per minute * time in ride) + (Cost per mile * ride distance) + Booking Fee = Your Fare

Let’s assume that you’ve ordered an Uber Select ride. The cost will vary depending on the city, but it shouldn’t be too much different from the one that we use below.

In the case of Uber Select, the cost per mile is $1.90, the cost per minute is $0.60, whereas the base pay is $5, and the booking fee is $2.55. Now, if you need a really short ride, you still will have to pay at least $11.55 – that’s the minimum price.

So let’s say that the ride was 2 miles, and it took 20 minutes. $5+($0.60*20)+($1.90*2)+$2.55=$5+$15.8+$2.55=$23.35. Remember, that if you keep the driver waiting, the final fare can be bigger. If you order Uber when there’s a high demand for rides, your fare could be multiplied due to surge pricing.

You might also be interested in checking out our articles on the Uber Points Program and how much uber drivers make here.