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

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Key Takeaways

  • 8-Hour Limit: Uber rides are capped at eight hours regardless of distance.
  • Long-Distance Definition: Rides over 100 miles are generally considered long-distance.
  • Booking and Driver Agreement: Book in advance and confirm with the driver, as they might not know the trip length initially.
  • Cost Estimation: Use Uber’s fare calculator for estimates, but expect variations due to traffic and tolls.

How Far Will Uber Take You?

Uber allows long-distance rides with no specific distance limit, but there is an eight-hour time cap for drivers.

The maximum distance Uber can take you depends on how far you can travel within that eight-hour timeframe. For example, if you’re considering a ride that covers more than 100 miles, it would typically qualify as a long-distance Uber trip.

For trips reaching this limit, riders can ask the current driver to continue outside of the app, or request a new Uber.

Related: The longest Uber rides in history

Is There a Minimum Distance an Uber Can Take You?

Uber and Lyft do not have a minimum distance requirement for their rides.

However, there is a minimum fare for each trip, which varies based on the city and the service level selected, ranging from $5.00 to $25.00. This minimum fare typically covers a short distance, potentially around 2 miles.

Additionally, if a ride is too short, the app may not recognize that the ride has started, requiring the driver to move the vehicle before the ride can be completed.

For example, there have been instances where trips did not even leave the parking lot, but the minimum fare still applied.

Will All Uber Drivers Drive Long Distance?

While many drivers like the high fare that comes with a long-distance trip, not all Uber drivers will agree to take the ride.

While they have the flexibility to set their own routes, drivers often prefer shorter trips for better earnings and to avoid high gas costs – especially those that come with dead miles on the return trip after dropping you off.

Although they can’t see the final destination before accepting a ride, Uber recommends passengers contact drivers in advance for long-distance rides to ensure the driver is willing.

Finding a driver for an extended trip, such as an eight-hour journey, is quite rare, especially since drivers may refuse lengthy jobs.

Your chances are somewhat better in cities with many Uber drivers or by choosing UberX.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

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 important things that the driver might want to know.

In addition, discussing details such as the expected duration, any stops along the way, and the tip can ensure a smoother experience for both parties.

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 to Request a Long Distance Uber Ride

vector graphic illustrating how to request a specific Uber driver

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!

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.

Some drivers specifically look out for longer trips, while others may avoid them due to the time commitment and uncertainty of return fares.

How Much Do Long Distance Uber Rides Cost?

Long-distance Uber rides typically cost several hundred dollars, influenced by the distance and service type selected.

For example, a journey from Red Bluff, California, to Los Angeles (about 515 miles) using the basic Uber option may cost approximately $513. This estimate includes a base fare of $1.15 and a per-mile rate of $0.78.

However, the final cost might exceed the initial estimate due to variables like traffic, peak hours, and tolls. Upgrading to premium services like Black SUV will increase the cost further.

Uber’s fare calculator provides real-time estimates, reflecting current demand and distance, but it’s wise to budget for a slightly higher amount than the quoted estimate.

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.

Tipping Your Driver On Long Distance Rides

Yes, you should tip an Uber driver on a long-distance ride. While tipping isn’t mandatory, it is highly appreciated, especially for long-distance trips where drivers are responsible for their own gas and vehicle maintenance.

A standard tip is usually between 10% and 20% of the total fare, with 20% being particularly generous for longer trips. Tipping is a way to show appreciation for the driver’s time and effort.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

For long trips, drivers generally earn more due to the increased distance, but they may not find it profitable if they have to return without a passenger.

As a result, a generous tip is greatly appreciated. The tip amount can vary, but considering the length of the trip and the driver’s return journey is recommended.

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?

A long-distance Uber trip can be worth it for those who prefer not to rent a car, drive their own for long miles, or use other modes of transport like flying or taking a train. There are several advantages:

  1. Convenience: Uber allows for on-demand ride requests, offering flexibility and avoiding the scheduling and potential delays associated with flights.
  2. Security: Uber implements numerous safety measures, including background checks for drivers and easy reporting of concerns for riders.
  3. Less Stress: Users can simply schedule their trip, load their luggage, and relax while the Uber driver manages the journey, offering a hassle-free travel experience.

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, alongside Uber, is a major player in the ridesharing industry. Both companies offer competitive pricing for short, in-city trips.

However, for those preferring Lyft and needing to travel long distances, there’s a limitation to consider: Lyft does not offer rides exceeding 100 miles.

While you could book multiple 100-mile trips consecutively, this approach is less convenient and more stressful.

In the realm of long-distance travel, Uber holds an advantage due to its ability to accommodate journeys longer than 100 miles.

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.

4 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Long-Distance Uber Rides (for Passengers and Drivers)”

  1. I have heard from some other drivers that for a trip of over 100 miles, Uber will charge the rider for the trip back, but will not pay this to the driver (they still deadhead), unless the driver gets permission from the rider to leave the meter running.
    Is this true? I’ve been looking around all morning, and have not been able to find any verification. I would not mind getting paid even more for my long trips, but I don’t want to be putting undue burden (or committing fraud) on my passengers.

    Reply
  2. I reside in Columbus, OH and I am unable to take requests outside of my city. If I go out of my city I will not receive a request until I go back to Columbus. I looked this up and it’s easy to find if you google it. Please update this post. You can only drive in the city you signed up in unless you request a permanent change of city but there is no temporary city changes.

    Reply
  3. I have been driving for Uber since July 2014 in the Metro Area, Washington,Virginia and Maryland, I never signed up for driving in one area because I will not make money, so I do if I picked up a fare in DC and dropped off in I will have to pick up the fare to other locations or State and this is how I make my money. From 7/2014 to 4/4/23 I made 7,000 trips with Zero accident, never GOT a BONUS

    Reply

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