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The Complete Guide to Long-Distance Uber Rides (for Passengers and Drivers)

How far will Uber take you? Learn more in our guide to long distance Uber rides, including how they work and what to expect while taking one.

Key Information


Rides exceeding 100 miles are deemed long-distance Uber trips.

Time Over Distance

Uber caps rides at 8 hours, allowing roughly 500 miles at highway speeds.

Communication is Key:

Always get fare estimates for long rides. Tip 10-20% to acknowledge driver efforts.

Cost and Tips

For extended trips, Uber offers fare estimates. Remember, a 10-20% tip is appreciative of the driver’s commitment.

Ridester’s Thoughts:

As a driver myself, I have always liked long rides. They’re one of the best ways to make extra money, as the amounts are usually really good. The downside is dead mileage – the miles it takes me to drive back home after doing the ride.

Uber is one of the most popular rideshare services in the world. Between September and December of 2020 alone, Uber had over 93 million passengers in the United States.

Uber has proven to be a big competitor for taxis and short-term travel, but what about for long distances? How viable is Uber?

Read on to find out everything you need to know about long distance Uber.

How Far Can Uber Take You?

The answer here isn’t how far Uber can take you, but how long.

Uber sets an eight-hour time limit on all rides, whether that’s all highways, back roads, or anything in between. So to plan out your longest Uber ride, you can start with that time limit.

What Qualifies As A Long Distance Uber?

There’s no official definition of what is considered a long distance Uber, but a good rule of thumb is that if it’s more than 100 miles from start to finish, you can consider it long distance.

Is There a Minimum Distance an Uber Can Take You?

Uber doesn’t have a minimum ride distance, accommodating short and long trips alike. While the base rate varies by city and time, additional fees like per-mile charges can apply. Regardless of journey length, the base rate remains constant for the specific area and conditions.

Related: The longest Uber rides in history

Requesting A Long Distance Uber

One of the best things about Uber is the ability to open the ride-hailing app, request a ride, and get a driver so you can get to where you need to be quick. But does that process change at all if you’re going long distances?

vector graphic illustrating how to request a specific Uber driver

Do You Need To Request A Long-Distance Uber In Advance?

Uber allows users to request rides up to 30 days in advance for any ride. If you know you’re going a long distance, it never hurts to put in your request early. That way, more drivers will see your request.

Will All Uber Drivers Drive Long Distance?

Uber drivers entirely set their own schedules and routes. This includes long distance.

If an Uber driver picks up your ride, that should indicate that the driver is okay with long distance, but they can’t see the final destination when they accept the ride.

For long-distance rides, though, Uber recommends that any passenger contact drivers before pick up to make sure that the driver is comfortable going for a longer ride.

How Likely Are You To Find a Driver?

Finding an Uber driver for an eight-hour trip is uncommon. Drivers can refuse lengthy jobs and often prefer shorter trips for better earnings, given the out-of-pocket gas costs and frequent fees from riders.

If you’re in a city with many Uber drivers, or opt for UberX, your chances improve. Remember, such long rides would require stops for gas and breaks.

How to Request a Long Distance Uber Ride?

Booking a long-distance Uber trip is similar to making a ride request for any other trip.

  1. Open the Uber App or Website: Begin as you would for any trip—select your start point and destination.
  2. Ensure Duration: Make sure your ride doesn’t exceed an eight-hour travel time.
  3. Choose Your Ride Option: Select the type of ride that best fits your needs.
  4. Communicate with Your Driver: After scheduling, reach out to your driver. Discuss the trip duration, any specific requirements like eating in the car, and potential breaks. This also helps them plan their return journey.
  5. Finalize Details: With everything in place, you’re ready for your long-distance Uber experience. Remember, communication is the key to a smooth journey!

The Key to Booking Long-Distance Rides

The key to allowing yourself and the driver to go the long distance is communication. Asking about how he/she feels about it, what time would be most convenient for the both of you, and even if you can eat inside the car are wise choices.

Taking into consideration the amount of time you’ll be spending together. Once you have worked out the logistics of the ride, it’s only a matter of planning out when the ride’s happening.

How Much Do Long Distance Uber Rides Cost?

Uber provides a live estimate for ride costs based on current demand and distance.

For a long-distance ride, such as one from Red Bluff, California, to Los Angeles, spanning approximately 515 miles, the basic Uber option might charge around $513 upfront. This includes a base fare of $1.15 and a per-mile rate of $0.78.

However, choosing premium services like the Black SUV can raise the price significantly. It’s also essential to note that the initial fare estimate may not be the final amount you pay, as factors like traffic conditions, peak hours, and tolls could lead to added charges.

It’s advisable to plan for a cost slightly above the provided estimate.

vector graphic illustrating different elements of how much does Uber cost

Is A Taxi Cheaper Than Uber For Long Distances?

The more expensive the ride, the better value an Uber is. So, if you’re in a congested area and taking a quick ride, Uber and a taxi driver will cost roughly the same (although Uber is much more convenient).

Generally, Uber is a cheaper option for rides more than $35 overall.

Long Distance Fares on UberX and UberGO

UberX is Uber’s basic level of service, so no need to worry about extra fees on UberX! The standard calculator will cover your needs perfectly.

UberGO is Uber’s short trip service, providing riders rides around cities. These cars are hatchbacks and are limited in carrying and seating space.

For cities like New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco, UberGO is great but it is not an option for long distance Uber and won’t even appear as an option when you try to book your trip.

Tipping Your Driver On Long Distance Rides

For a long time, tipping Uber drivers was a bit of a touchy topic. Now, though, tips are encouraged, and you can apply them directly within the app. All tips go to the driver.

Pro Tip: Use An Uber Long Distance Calculator To Find Price

Did you know that Uber offers a fare calculator on its website? That allows you to put in your desired start and end destinations. Uber will give you an estimate down to the penny.

Due to various factors, those prices may fluctuate some, but you’ll at least have a good picture of how much your long distance Uber is likely to cost. A calculator is also an excellent tool when you’re trying to compare services and plan your trip.

Why Should You Tip On Long Distance Uber Rides?

Tipping on Uber isn’t necessary, but it’s absolutely something your driver appreciates.

Driver pay from Uber isn’t all that high, so any tips a passenger can provide for good service are very welcomed. This applies even more so for long-distance rides.

Uber drivers are responsible for their own gas and maintenance, so they’re paying for all the gas to drive you to your location. You might also be an excellent traveling partner, but if you book an eight-hour Uber, that’s a lot of time for someone to be driving!

How Much Should You Tip?

How much you tip is entirely up to you, but the standard amount is between 10 and 20% of your total fare. For a long-distance trip, the kindest thing to do for your Uber driver is a tip on the 20% end of the scale.

But, again, consider the amount of time they’re working and the gas. Tipping is never compulsory, but it’s definitely the right thing to do during a long distance Uber.

Common Questions About Long Distance Uber Rides

It can be a little bit awkward asking your Uber driver for information when you’re already in the car. But don’t worry! We’re covering some of the most common questions asked about long distance Uber rides.

a vector image of an uber vehicle on a map graphic and map marker points to indicate long distance uber ride

Can You Cross State Lines In An Uber?

You can! The only thing to know is that Uber drivers can only pick up in their home state. So when you request a ride, drivers should be able to see that but feel free to contact your driver or Uber customer service if you’re unsure.

Can You Uber To A Different City?

Absolutely. As with any long-distance Uber, you may wish to contact your driver after they accept the trip to make sure that they’re comfortable going to your destination city.

Can You Take An Uber To A Different Country?

In general, no, you can’t officially take an Uber into a different country. Uber does not allow drivers to cross international borders. This is because the specific licensing requirements for drivers vary from country to country.

We’ve heard that is can be done, however, be prepared and make sure that your driver is as well.

Whether you’re driving between North American countries, traveling across Europe, or something else, you can take an Uber between countries, provided:

  • You have a passport
  • Your driver has a passport
  • Uber isn’t banned in the destination country

Be sure to call your driver before you start the trip, though, to make sure that they’re comfortable traveling between countries.

For instance, let’s say you want to take an Uber from San Diego, Calif. to Cancun, Mexico. Yes, they have Uber in Cancun.

Looking at the map, this seems pretty straightforward: just have an Uber driver transport you as they normally would. However, you’ll likely run into issues crossing the border. Even if the driver is willing to do it, it’s likely not a good idea.

Is A Long Distance Uber Trip Worth It?

Definitely! If you’re someone who doesn’t want to rent a car or put a lot of miles on your own and doesn’t want to fly or take a train, a long distance Uber is an excellent option.

There are a few reasons why.

1. Convenience

When you’re dealing with flights, you have to schedule way ahead and deal with delays. Uber lets you make your ride request at your convenience when you need them.

2. Security

Uber has many safety measures to protect both the driver and the passenger. For example, drivers all have background checks performed, and Uber makes it easy for a rider to report any concerns.

3. Less Stress

Schedule your trip, put your bags in the trunk, and sit back and relax while your Uber driver does the rest. What could be easier?

Long Distance Uber Advice for Passengers and Drivers

Uber makes setting up long distance drivers easy for drivers and passengers, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

vector graphic showing what happens when a lost phone in uber occurs after man gets out of back of uber vehicle

The Best Way to Do Long Distance Ride Shares

In a nutshell, it’s all about what you do to prepare for the ride more so than what you do on the actual trip.

Preparing is key to having the best possible experience. However, there are different approaches to how you would do that.

Advice For Passengers

Schedule up to 30 days in advance

Contact your driver as soon as they confirm to make sure that they’re comfortable traveling the long distance

Make sure you have snacks and drinks. Any stops/side trips can slow your trip down.

Advice For Drivers

Don’t take a trip length that you’re not comfortable with. If you do it by accident, you can still cancel ahead of time.

Ensure that your vehicle is gassed up and in order before starting a long trip.

Long Distance Uber Alternatives

Even if a long distance Uber is excellent, it may not always work for everyone. But, at the very least, it’s good to have options. So here are a few alternatives for you to keep in mind.

1. Lyft

Lyft is one of the other largest rideshare services available.

Uber and Lyft are priced competitively for in-city and shorter drives.

However, if you’re a Lyft loyalist and want to schedule a longer drive, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Lyft drivers can’t take you on rides over 100 miles! You could theoretically book a lot of 100-mile drives but that adds extra stress. When it comes to long-distance trips, this is one spot where Uber comes out on top.

Read More: How does Lyft work?

2. Zipcar

Zipcar is another sharing service, but you’re sharing the car and not the ride here.

Users log in to Zipcar’s app and find available vehicles around them. You can book by the hour or the day, head over to the car, and get going! The app controls everything.

Be aware, though, that Zipcar requires you to return your car to the exact location you picked it up, so if you’re making a one-way trip, it won’t necessarily be your best option.

3. Turo

If you’re someone who likes a little bit more selection, Turo may be a service for you. It’s similar to Zipcar in that you’re renting a vehicle to drive.

However, Turo offers a wide variety of vehicles that you can see right when you’re making your selection.

Interested in an SUV for the carrying space? You can do that.

Prefer a hatchback to save on gas? Absolutely doable.

Unlike Zipcar, Turo vehicles are all owned by individual people. Turo owners can offer delivery, which you’ll see right in the listing.

Similar to Zipcar, Turo vehicles are supposed to be returned to where you picked up, making it a round-trip option only.

You can work with the vehicle owner on a new dropoff spot, but most are probably going to prefer you drop off in the same area.

Read More: How does Turo work?

Wrapping Up

Uber is one of the most effective ride-sharing services around, and there’s a reason.

It’s convenient, safe, and cheaper than traditional options.

Follow these tips to book a long-distance Uber, and you’ll have a fantastic experience.

vector graphic showing an illustration of an uber waiting lot
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