The famous and popular ride-sharing platform, Uber, is convenient for when you need a ride to the airport, a lift in the unexpected downpour, or when you’re running late to work.
But what about longer trips?
- Would you ever take an Uber for a ten-hour ride or a cross-country trip?
- Would drivers even accept such a long journey?
- Are long-distance Uber rides practical and cost-effective?
Surprisingly, people have already embarked on some seriously long-distance car trips in an Uber!
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What Is the Longest Uber Ride Ever Recorded?
MrBeast, a Youtuber known for his over-the-top stunts, holds the record for the longest Uber ride.
He recorded the ride for publicity and as an advertising gimmick for his sponsor, Quidd.
The Youtube celebrity MrBeast took an Uber from North Carolina across the country to Los Angeles, California in an incredible 2,256 mile and 39-hour journey!
The Uber driver, Anthony, asked permission from his wife before accepting the challenge and embarking on the long trip, which would span several days by the time he returned.
Fortunately, Anthony had plenty of experience driving long distances as a commercial truck driver.
MrBeast and Anthony completed the trip, breaking records and making history as riding and driving in the longest trip in an Uber ever.
How Much Did the Longest Uber Ride Cost?
MrBeast’s cross-country Uber ride cost an impressive $5,500—plus an equally generous tip.
The trip was quite profitable for the driver, even after deducting Uber’s fees, gas, and tolls.
For the passenger, practically speaking, it would be quicker and more cost-effective to fly instead.
It would even be faster and cheaper to take a train.
However, the trip was sponsored as an advertising stunt — and based on the publicity the expensive ride received, it was very worthwhile for the sponsor too.
Other Longest Uber Rides
While MrBeast’s ride holds the record, other riders have taken an Uber for some outrageously long trips too.
1. Brent Pfieffer
Brent Pfieffer’s 680 miles from Dallas, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee in 2018 may have been the longest Uber ride before MrBeast’s challenge.
Three travelers from Hong Kong, China flew into Texas on a Sunday with the plans to get a connecting flight to Nashville for their business meeting the following day.
Unfortunately, their flight’s departure was delayed, then it was canceled, and, in desperation to make it to the meeting in time, they called an Uber.
Pfeiffer, their driver, drove for 650 miles, over 11 hours, including a few stops.
He estimates that he netted around $800 from the trip and remembers it as a fun trip with lots of conversation and camaraderie despite the passengers missing their suitcases and last-minute improvised plans.
2. Janis Rogers
The previous record-holder for longest Uber drive was the 397-mile drive from Williamsburg, VA to Brooklyn, New York in 2016.
The 64-year-old Uber driver Janis Rogers drove a passenger from Williamsburg, VA to the woman’s boyfriend’s home in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.
Rogers drove the 400 miles straight for a whopping seven hours and forty-two minutes without taking any breaks — and then headed right back for Virginia!
While we don’t know the passenger’s name, the driver remembers her as being a young woman who was waiting in front of a Ben & Jerry’s with her luggage.
The woman slept in the back seat for most of the ride.
She asked Rogers how far she could drive and looked grateful when the driver offered to take her all the way to her destination in New York City.
This lengthy journey cost the passenger just $294.09, considerably less than a yellow cab in New York City would have cost.
Rogers didn’t make much profit off of the ride — she figures she netted only about $9 an hour after factoring in gas and tolls — and she didn’t receive a tip either.
Rogers did, however, gain fame, albeit without the fortune, and an awesome story to tell.
3. Joe Strandell
Joe Strandell’s 320-mile drive from Santa Barbara, California to Palo Alto, California on September 19, 2014, was another record-breaking ride.
Strandell picked up his passenger, an Indian woman with a suitcase, in front of a hotel.
She has been in Santa Barbara on vacation and needed a ride back to Palo Alto.
Strandell initially didn’t believe that the passenger wanted to take the Uber for the five-hour trip, but he accepted the ride when she offered to call another Uber instead.
Though she slept for almost the entire way, she told him she took an Uber on the trip to Santa Barbara as well!
How much did this surprisingly long Uber trip cost?
Strandell was shocked to see that it came to a lucrative $658.
Strandell was thankful for the profitable trip, but it was too much for him to drive back that same day, so he stayed over for the night in an Airbnb.
Before heading home the next day, he took advantage of the unexpected vacation to tour Hearst Castle in the area.
4. Honorable Mention
In 2019, South Africa recorded its longest-ever Uber trip from Johannesburg to Durban.
The 580km (360 miles) journey took about six hours.
Although they didn’t release the details of the trip, according to Uber’s standard rates in the area, the trip would have cost between R4103 to R9488 ($272 to $630), depending on the type of Uber.
It looks like long-distance Uber rides may not be as rare as we thought.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you considering taking an Uber for a long trip?
Some commonly asked questions that people who are considering the journey ask are:
Will Uber drivers accept long trips?
Uber drivers can and do accept long trips.
The driver’s Uber app alerts them with the estimated drive time, and the drivers can choose to accept or decline the trip.
If the driver accepts the drive before realizing the time and distance involved, they can cancel it before beginning the drive, and the passenger can call another Uber.
One point to keep in mind is that the Uber app may automatically stop the trip after several hours.
If that happens, the passenger can put in a new ride request which the driver can accept and continue on the long journey.
Can Uber drivers refuse long trips?
Yes, an Uber driver does not have to accept a long ride if they don’t want to take the job.
The drivers know the estimated drive time before they accept the ride request.
If the ride looks too long or inconvenient for them, they don’t have to take it.
Hopefully, another driver in the area will accept it.
Do Uber drivers prefer short or long trips?
Each driver has their own preference.
Many drivers prefer longer trips as it’s more cost-effective for them to drive one passenger for an hour than to take two passengers for thirty minutes and lose out on the time it takes them to drive to each pickup location and wait for the passengers.
However, many drivers don’t like very lengthy trips, especially if they won’t have a return trip passenger and will lose out on the time it takes to drive back.
It also can be more tiring to drive several hours straight than to break it up into several smaller trips.
Most drivers prefer average-length trips or longer trips with a good chance of a return passenger and fare.
Does Uber have a time limit?
Although an Uber driver doesn’t have a time limit, the programmed trip does.
Uber currently sets a maximum trip of a few hours for each trip.
However, if your trip is longer than that, you can request a new ride, and the driver can accept and continue driving.
You may do that several times if the ride is very long.
Does Uber charge by time or distance?
Uber’s rates take a number of factors into account.
They base the price mostly on the distance and on the estimated time it will take.
If your car has traffic on the way and the trip takes longer than expected, you will not be charged more than the original fare.
However, if you make additional stops or change the destination, the charge may increase.
To Make a Long Trip Short
Although most people call for an Uber for short drives, you can take one for a long multi-hour journey.
The Uber drivers are not obligated to accept the long trip, but you may luck out with an adventurous-spirited driver like one of the now-famous record-holding long-distant Uber drivers.
If you are considering a long journey with an Uber, factor in the time and cost to determine whether it is worth it.
Driving is not always the most practical and cost-effective way to travel.
But if you do go cross country with an Uber, you may make Uber history and have a record-breaking story to share.