Does It Cost More To Reserve An Uber?

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become incredibly popular in recent years. Their convenience and ease-of-use have made them a common choice for transportation, especially in big cities. However, some users wonder if reserving an Uber in advance costs more than just ordering one on-demand.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: reserving an Uber through the app typically does not cost any more than ordering one on-demand. The main reasons to reserve an Uber are to ensure driver availability at your desired pickup time and to avoid price surges that commonly occur during peak demand.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at Uber’s pricing model, explain when and why you may want to reserve a ride, detail the reservation process, and provide tips to avoid unnecessary charges.

How Uber Calculates Rides Costs

When it comes to calculating ride costs, Uber takes various factors into consideration. Understanding how Uber calculates these costs can help users make informed decisions before reserving a ride. Here are the key factors that contribute to the calculation of Uber ride costs:

Base Fare and Time/Distance Rates

Uber’s ride costs are typically determined by a combination of a base fare and rates based on time and distance. The base fare is a fixed amount that covers the initial cost of booking the ride. The time and distance rates are then added to the base fare to calculate the total cost of the ride.

The time rate is calculated based on the duration of the ride, while the distance rate is calculated based on the distance traveled. These rates may vary depending on the city, type of Uber service, and other factors.

It’s worth noting that during times of high demand, such as rush hour, these rates may increase due to surge pricing.

Surge Pricing

Surge pricing is a feature that Uber uses to balance supply and demand during peak hours or in busy areas. When there is a high demand for rides and a limited number of available drivers, surge pricing may come into effect.

This means that the cost of the ride can increase significantly, sometimes even reaching multiples of the regular fare.

Surge pricing aims to incentivize more drivers to get on the road and meet the increased demand. Uber notifies users about surge pricing before they confirm their ride, giving them the option to accept or decline the higher fare.

It’s important to note that surge pricing is temporary and will decrease as the demand for rides normalizes.


While it is not mandatory, Uber allows users to tip their drivers as a way to show appreciation for excellent service. Tipping is optional and can be done either in cash or through the app. Uber does not take a percentage of the tips, which means that the full amount goes directly to the driver.

Tipping is a great way to acknowledge exceptional service and motivate drivers to provide a high-quality experience. It’s important to remember that tips are not included in the initial ride cost calculation and should be added separately if desired.

For more information on how Uber calculates ride costs and other frequently asked questions, you can visit Uber’s official Help Center.

Advantages of Reserving an Uber

Reserving an Uber comes with several advantages that can make your ride experience more convenient and hassle-free.

Guaranteed ride availability

One of the biggest advantages of reserving an Uber is the guarantee of having a ride available when you need it. By reserving your Uber in advance, you can ensure that a driver will be assigned to you at the designated time and location.

This is particularly useful during busy periods or in areas with limited ride availability.

According to Uber, reserving a ride in advance can help you avoid any last-minute scrambling to find an available driver. This peace of mind can be especially valuable when you have important appointments or need to catch a flight.

Avoiding surge pricing

Another advantage of reserving an Uber is the ability to avoid surge pricing. Surge pricing occurs when there is high demand for rides and Uber increases their prices accordingly. By reserving your Uber in advance, you can lock in the regular fare and avoid any potential price surges that may occur during peak hours or busy events.

In fact, a study conducted by Business Insider found that by reserving an Uber in advance, riders saved an average of 30% on their fare compared to hailing a ride during surge pricing. This can lead to significant savings, especially for frequent Uber users or those traveling in popular areas.

Scheduling for future rides

Reserving an Uber also allows you to schedule rides for the future. This feature is particularly useful if you have important events or appointments that require punctuality. By scheduling your ride in advance, you can rest assured that a driver will be ready to pick you up at the specified time.

According to Uber, scheduling future rides can be done up to 30 days in advance. This flexibility allows you to plan your transportation ahead of time and eliminates the stress of finding a ride at the last minute.

How to Reserve an Uber

Reserving an Uber is a convenient way to ensure that you have a ride when you need it, especially during peak hours or in busy areas. While it may seem like reserving an Uber would come at an additional cost, the truth is that the process is quite simple and does not require any extra charges.

Here are three easy ways to reserve an Uber:

Through the mobile app

The most common and user-friendly method to reserve an Uber is through the mobile app. Simply open the Uber app on your smartphone and enter your destination. From there, you can select the “Schedule” option, which allows you to choose the date and time of your ride.

This feature is particularly useful when you have important appointments or events to attend.

On the desktop site

If you prefer using a computer or laptop, you can also reserve an Uber on the desktop site. Visit the Uber website and log in to your account. Similar to the mobile app, you can enter your destination and select the “Schedule” option to choose the desired date and time for your ride.

The desktop site is useful when you want to plan your rides in advance or if you prefer using a larger screen.

With Google Maps integration

Another convenient way to reserve an Uber is through the integration with Google Maps. When you search for directions in the Google Maps app, you can select the “Ride” option, which will show you available Uber options and estimated prices.

From there, you can schedule your ride in advance or request a ride immediately. This integration makes it easy to plan your trips and seamlessly book an Uber without switching between apps.

It’s important to note that reserving an Uber does not come with any additional cost. The pricing remains the same as if you were requesting a ride on-demand. By reserving an Uber, you simply secure a driver for a specific time, ensuring that you don’t have to wait or worry about availability.

For more information and assistance with reserving an Uber, you can visit the official Uber website at

Tips for Avoiding Unnecessary Charges

Double check pickup/drop-off info

One of the easiest ways to avoid unnecessary charges when reserving an Uber is to double check the pickup and drop-off information before confirming your reservation. Mistakes in entering the wrong address or selecting the wrong location can lead to additional charges if the driver has to go out of their way to find you or take a longer route to your destination.

Take a moment to verify the information you entered to ensure a smooth and cost-effective ride.

Cancel unneeded reservations

If you have made multiple reservations for the same trip or find that your plans have changed, make sure to cancel any unneeded reservations to avoid being charged for them. Uber allows users to cancel their reservations without any penalty if it is done within a certain timeframe.

By being mindful of the reservations you have and canceling those that are no longer necessary, you can avoid any unnecessary fees or charges.

Use fare split options

Uber offers a fare split option that allows you to share the cost of your ride with others in your group. This can be a great way to save money and avoid any additional charges. By splitting the fare, each person can pay their share, making the overall cost more affordable.

Additionally, this feature can help you avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts about who should pay for the ride. Simply select the fare split option when making your reservation and invite your friends or family members to join.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are not charged more than necessary when reserving an Uber. Remember to double check your pickup and drop-off information, cancel any unneeded reservations, and take advantage of the fare split option to share the cost with others.

By being proactive and mindful, you can have a great ride without any unexpected charges.

Other Rideshare Reservations Options

While Uber is a popular choice for on-demand transportation, there are other rideshare services that offer the convenience of scheduling a ride in advance. These options provide an alternative for passengers who prefer to plan their trips ahead of time or want the peace of mind knowing that their ride will be waiting for them.

Lyft Scheduled Rides

Similar to Uber, Lyft also offers a feature called “Scheduled Rides.” This allows passengers to book a ride up to seven days in advance. The process is simple: just open the Lyft app, enter your pickup and drop-off locations, and select the date and time you need the ride.

Lyft will then match you with a driver who will be available at the specified time. It’s important to note that while Lyft’s Scheduled Rides feature provides convenience, the pricing may vary depending on the time and demand.

Curb Reservations

Curb, formerly known as Taxi Magic, is a ride-hailing app that allows users to book rides with local taxis. Curb offers the option to make reservations in advance, ensuring that a taxi will be available when you need it.

To reserve a ride, simply enter your pickup location, destination, and the date and time of your trip. Curb will then connect you with a nearby taxi driver who will be ready to pick you up at the specified time.

This service is particularly useful for those who prefer traditional taxi transportation or have specific requirements for their trip.

Local Taxi Reservations

Aside from rideshare apps, many local taxi companies also offer the option to make reservations. These companies have their own dedicated phone lines or online platforms where passengers can schedule a ride in advance.

By making a reservation with a local taxi company, you can ensure that a driver will be available at the specified time and location. While the process may vary from one company to another, it is typically straightforward and user-friendly.

It’s important to consider that the availability of scheduling features may vary depending on your location and the specific rideshare or taxi service you choose. Pricing for scheduled rides may also differ from regular on-demand rides, so it’s always a good idea to check the app or company’s website for the most up-to-date information.


While reserving an Uber does not directly increase the cost of your trip, it can help you secure a ride when you need it and potentially avoid price surges during peak times. Just be sure to double check your reservation details, cancel unneeded rides, and consider using other transportation apps like Lyft to compare pricing and availability.

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