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

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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.

What’s the Maximum Distance You Can Take An Uber?

Because Uber limits drivers by time instead of distance, there’s no set maximum distance.

If you’re traveling at an average of 65 miles per hour, you could theoretically get around 500 miles out of one long distance Uber ride.

If you need to go further than that, you can book another ride right after you leave your first driver.

We suggest you read more about the longest Uber rides in history to get an idea of how far you can actually go.

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.

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 to Request a Long Distance Uber Ride?

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?

You’re probably already aware that Uber will give you a live estimate of how much an Uber ride costs.

This takes into account how busy Uber is and its distance.

A similar idea applies to long distance Uber rides.

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.

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.

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.

vector graphic of a woman leaning into a rideshare vehicle following uber tipping best practices

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.

3 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

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