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How to Use the Uber Fare Estimator to Plan Your Ride

Want to know how much it's going to cost to get where you want to go? The Uber fare estimator has you covered! Learn how you can use it to plan your ride.

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The Uber fare estimator is an online tool that allows you to get a sense of what an Uber trip might cost before you go to use the app. While it won’t be as accurate as the estimate you get moments before you book, it should give you an idea of what a trip will cost. And for ridesharing users who are trying to plan a trip ahead of time, or business travelers looking to price out a trip, it’s a handy tool.
Uber prices are nice in that, unlike traditional taxi cab pricing, they’re able to be set moments before the trip begins. This allows you to make an informed decision regarding the cost of your ride before you book it. And with Uber’s different options for different vehicles and services, you’ll be able to select the price you want based on the type of service you’re looking for.
In this article we’ll take a look at the Uber fare estimator, how it works, and who should use it.
(Lyft, for their part, have a similar tool. This article will concern the Uber service, but Lyft’s service works just about the same way.)
We’ll also look at the Uber in-app fare estimator tool, which tells you what a trip will cost moments before you book it.

How Does the Uber Fare Estimator Work?

The fare estimator factors in your city’s specific Uber rates and the distance of a trip to give you an estimate of what the ride will cost.
If you’re planning ahead, or want to see what a trip might cost for business travel or reimbursement purposes, Uber has an online fare estimator that lets you see what a typical ride will cost for their different services based on the city you’re traveling in. If you visit the Uber website you can use their online fare estimator to get a sense of what a trip might cost.
How to Use the Uber Fare Estimator to Plan Your Ride
If you’re looking for more real-time estimating, which will factor in the possibility of surge pricing, as well as up-to-the-minute traffic information, the app will also give you a fare estimate right as you’re about to book.
Simply select your starting point and your destination, wait a moment, and Uber will provide you with a cost for the trip. Not only that, it will give you estimates for UberX, UberBLACK (or, as it’s now called: UberSELECT), UberSUV, UberXL, and UberPOOL, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the ride you want to take.

Can the Estimated Price Change?

If you use the online fare estimator ahead of time, the price is likely to change when you go to book using the app. Uber cost is dependent on traffic, availability, rider demand, and more. So while the estimate will give you a guess as to what a trip can cost, Uber needs to know more information to give you an accurate price for every trip.
If you’re looking at the estimated cost just before you book your trip in the app, the price should not change if you book right away. If you don’t wait too long to book, and don’t change your dropoff location in the middle of a ride, the estimated price should be accurate for your Uber ride.

Why Do Prices Change for the Same Trip at Different Times?

Uber pricing is dependent not only on the city you’re in and the distance traveled, but will factor in rides taken during times of high demand or at odd hours when there aren’t many drivers on the road.
All Uber trips have a minimum fare, which is just the baked-in cost of taking a ride with Uber pricing. From there, the Uber app factors in a host of other information that will impact the cost of the ride. If you really want to see everything that gets factored in, the Uber API is publicly viewable, and lets you see every factor that goes into the price estimate for a trip.

I’m Calling for an Uber Early in the Morning. Why Is it More Expensive than the Estimate?

Some riders may think they’re booking at a time when no one is using the service, say for a 5:00 a.m. flight when the roads are empty, and will be surprised to find that a surge price is in effect. Surge pricing is not limited to when there is a high demand for Uber service, though.
Rather, it goes into effect whenever demand for rides exceeds the supply (the number of riders is more than the number of drivers on the road). So yes, for a 5:00 a.m. trip there may be only a small number of people using Uber, but there is more likely even fewer drivers working at that hour. Because of that discrepancy, Uber will possibly charge a rider more.

Can I Book Without Knowing the Cost?

You don’t need to use the online tool to price out a trip beforehand. Just open the app and go for it.
When using the app and getting an instant estimation of the cost, you can also book without waiting for a fare price. Though why would you?
It usually only takes a few seconds after you select your pickup location and dropoff location, as the app will need a moment to process the length of the trip, the demand, the amount of Uber cars on the road, etc. From there the Uber fare calculator will let you know the price, and you’re free to book.
If you are impatient, you can just book a car without getting an estimated cost. But Uber will warn you, and ask that you give it a few seconds to find out the cost of the trip. (They want you to take that time so you aren’t surprised if a trip is more expensive than you were anticipating.)
How to Use the Uber Fare Estimator to Plan Your Ride

Does the Estimated Cost Change if I’m Riding UberPOOL?

If you are feeling social and don’t mind riding with another person or two, the ride cost will almost certainly be less if you use UberPOOL, which is Uber’s carpooling-like service which has you possibly share a ride with another person or two if they’re on your way to your destination. When you use the fare estimator, it will compare the prices for you.
Just a reminder: If you do choose to use UberPOOL, make sure you give yourself a little extra time. Depending on pickups and dropoffs, it could add a few minutes to the trip. (The app will give you an arrival time estimate for each option, also, so make sure to check that before you book.)

What if I Change My Destination in the Middle of a Trip?

If you change your dropoff location in the middle of a trip, it most likely will change the cost of your trip. The app will update the cost in real-time. It goes without saying, but you probably want to let your Uber driver know this is happening.
Some people like to try and change their destination outside the app and just tell the driver, and in that case, it’s up to you and how well you’re connecting with your driver. Most will ask that you update the destination in the app so it can give them a proper pricing, as well as allow them to book other fares that are nearby when your trip is concluded.

Does the Uber Fare Estimator Include Tip?

The Uber Fare Estimate doesn’t include tip; it’s just letting you know the base fare. You are free to tip inside the app or by handing your driver cash after your ride is complete, and you really should, especially if the service is great. Most riders tip between 10 percent and 20 percent for a trip, but that’s up to you.
If you enter a promo code for a free ride, that will be applied to the cost, but an Uber promo code can’t be applied to a tip, so if you want to recognize and reward your Uber driver (and you should), hit them up with a tip.

Should I Use the Uber Fare Estimator?

If you’re trying to price out a trip ahead of time, Uber’s online fare estimator is a handy tool that allows you to get a sense of what trips will cost, especially if you’re traveling to a city you’re unfamiliar with. For business travelers especially, or people working within a tight budget, it’s a really useful tool for getting a sense of what an Uber trip will cost, no matter what city you are in.
For the instant, in-app fare estimator, you absolutely should use it, every time. It takes a few moments to give you the price of your trip, and ensures that you won’t be surprised by the cost of a trip. Plus it provides you an estimated arrival time, as well as pricing options for every type of service that Uber offers.

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