Uber Vs Lyft: Which Rideshare Company Is Cheaper For Long Distance Trips?

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft offer a convenient transportation option for all kinds of trips. When you need to travel long distances though, cost becomes an important consideration.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Uber tends to be cheaper than Lyft for long distance rides over 10+ miles. This is due to lower base fares and fewer surge multipliers with Uber in most markets.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Uber and Lyft pricing models, fees, and other factors that contribute to the total cost of long distance rides. We’ll also provide tips to save money when ordering rides through either platform.

How Uber and Lyft Calculate Ride Fares

Understanding how Uber and Lyft calculate ride fares is essential in determining which rideshare company is cheaper for long distance trips. Both companies use similar methods to calculate fares, but there are some key differences to consider.

Base Rates

The base rate is the initial cost of a ride before additional charges are applied. Uber and Lyft have different base rates, which can vary depending on the city and the type of service requested. For example, UberX may have a lower base rate compared to Lyft’s standard service.

It’s important to note that the base rate does not include any additional fees or surcharges that may be applicable. These fees can vary depending on factors such as time of day, location, and demand.

Time & Distance Rates

Both Uber and Lyft calculate fares based on the time and distance of the trip. The time rate is determined by the duration of the ride, while the distance rate is based on the mileage. These rates are typically displayed as a per-minute and per-mile charge.

Uber and Lyft may have slightly different time and distance rates, but they are generally in the same range. It’s worth comparing the rates in your specific area to determine which company offers a better deal for long distance trips.

Surge/Prime Time Pricing

Surge pricing, also known as Prime Time pricing in Lyft, is a feature that increases fares during times of high demand. When there is a shortage of available drivers, or during busy periods such as rush hour or holidays, the fares can spike significantly.

Both Uber and Lyft implement surge/prime time pricing differently, so it’s important to understand how each company handles these situations. Surge pricing can greatly impact the cost of a long distance trip, so it’s advisable to check for surge pricing before booking a ride.

Comparing the fare estimation tools on the Uber and Lyft apps can help you determine the cost of your long distance trip in advance. Additionally, there are third-party websites that provide fare estimates for both Uber and Lyft, which can be helpful in comparing prices.

Ultimately, the cost of a long distance trip with Uber or Lyft will depend on various factors such as the time of day, distance, and demand. It’s recommended to compare fares on both platforms and take advantage of any promotions or discounts available to get the best deal.

Price Comparison of Long Uber vs Lyft Rides

10 mile ride

When it comes to a 10-mile ride, both Uber and Lyft offer competitive prices. On average, Uber tends to have slightly lower fares for shorter distances, making it a great option for those looking to save a few bucks.

However, it’s important to note that prices may vary depending on factors such as demand, time of day, and location. So, it’s always a good idea to compare prices on both platforms before making a decision.

25 mile ride

For a longer 25-mile ride, the price difference between Uber and Lyft becomes more noticeable. In general, Lyft tends to have lower fares for longer distances, making it a popular choice for those planning extended trips.

However, it’s worth mentioning that both companies offer various ride options, such as UberX or Lyft Plus, which may have different pricing structures. So, it’s essential to compare the rates for your specific ride type to get the best deal.

50+ mile ride

When it comes to rides exceeding 50 miles, it’s important to consider factors such as price per mile and any additional fees. Both Uber and Lyft charge a base fare, along with a per-mile and per-minute rate.

However, the exact rates may differ between the two companies and can vary depending on the location. Additionally, surge pricing may come into play during peak hours or high demand periods, which could significantly impact the final cost.

Therefore, it’s advisable to check the fare estimate on both platforms to determine which company offers the best deal for your long-distance ride.

It’s important to note that prices and rates are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest fares on the Uber and Lyft websites or mobile apps. Additionally, it’s recommended to consider other factors such as driver availability, wait times, and quality of service when choosing between Uber and Lyft for your long-distance trips.

Additional Fees to Consider

When comparing the costs of using Uber and Lyft for long distance trips, it’s important to take into account the additional fees that may be incurred. While both companies offer competitive pricing, there are certain fees that may vary between the two.

Surge Pricing

Surge pricing is a factor to consider when using either Uber or Lyft. During peak hours or high-demand periods, both companies may implement surge pricing, which can significantly increase the cost of your trip.

It’s recommended to check the app before booking your ride to see if surge pricing is in effect. If possible, consider scheduling your trip during non-peak hours to avoid these additional charges.

Cancellation Fees

It’s also important to be aware of the cancellation policies and fees of both Uber and Lyft. If you need to cancel your trip after booking, you may be charged a cancellation fee. It’s advisable to read the terms and conditions of each company to understand their cancellation policies and any associated fees.

Tolls and Airport Fees

For long distance trips that involve toll roads or airport pick-ups/drop-offs, it’s crucial to factor in the additional costs. Both Uber and Lyft will pass on toll charges to the rider, so it’s important to consider these fees when comparing the overall cost of your trip.

Additionally, some airports may charge an additional fee for rideshare pick-ups, so be sure to check if this applies to your destination.

Additional Stops

If you need to make multiple stops during your long distance trip, it’s important to note that both Uber and Lyft may charge an additional fee for each stop. This can increase the overall cost of your trip, so it’s advisable to plan your route in advance and consider the potential additional charges.

Discounts and Promotions

Both Uber and Lyft frequently offer discounts, promotions, and referral programs that can help offset the cost of your long distance trip. It’s worth checking their websites or apps for any ongoing offers that may be available.

Additionally, signing up for their loyalty programs can also provide you with exclusive benefits and savings.

Remember, when comparing the costs of using Uber and Lyft for long distance trips, it’s important to consider not only the base fare and per-mile rates but also the additional fees that may be incurred.

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and choose the rideshare company that best suits your needs and budget.

Tips for Saving Money on Long Distance Rides

When it comes to long distance rides, finding the most affordable option can make a big difference in your wallet. Here are some tips to help you save money on your next long distance trip:

Avoid peak times

During peak times, such as rush hour or holiday weekends, rideshare prices tend to surge. To avoid paying extra, try to schedule your long distance ride during off-peak hours. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also experience less traffic, resulting in a faster and more enjoyable trip.

Compare estimated prices

Both Uber and Lyft provide estimated prices before you request a ride. Take advantage of this feature and compare the estimated prices for your long distance trip on both platforms. In some cases, one rideshare company may offer a lower price than the other, helping you save money without compromising on the quality of the ride.

Remember that estimated prices are subject to change based on factors such as traffic and demand, so it’s a good idea to check again closer to your departure time.

Consider carpool options

If you’re traveling alone or with a small group, consider carpooling options offered by both Uber and Lyft. These services allow you to share your ride with other passengers heading in the same direction, which can significantly reduce the cost of your trip.

Carpooling not only helps you save money, but it also reduces traffic congestion and promotes a more sustainable mode of transportation.

By following these tips, you can make your long distance rides more affordable and enjoy the convenience of rideshare services. Remember to plan ahead, compare prices, and consider carpooling options to save money on your next long distance trip!


To summarize, Uber does tend to beat out Lyft when it comes to cheaper rides for long distance trips of 10+ miles. Uber has lower base fares and time/distance rates in most markets, as well as fewer instances of surge pricing.

Still, pricing can vary greatly depending on exact location, demand, traffic, and other factors. The best way to guarantee the most affordable ride is to compare estimated prices in both apps before booking.

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