Lyft Estimate Cost: Get an Accurate Price Estimate for Your City

When was the last time you paid more for something than you expected? It’s painful to experience knowing that you have no choice to pay for it, even though it’s above budget. Paralyzed with despair, you decide to not think about how little money you’ll have at the end of the month because of this...

When was the last time you paid more for something than you expected?

It’s painful to experience knowing that you have no choice to pay for it, even though it’s above budget. Paralyzed with despair, you decide to not think about how little money you’ll have at the end of the month because of this decision.

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No one likes to be caught off guard when it comes to price. It’s always better to know ahead of time how much something is going to cost, whether it’s a quote or an estimate.

So how can you estimate how much a Lyft ride is going to cost?

Simple: by using our custom Lyft pricing tool.

This can be pretty useful information to have to hand, whether:

  • You’re looking to price your next ride
  • You’re trying to see how Lyft’s rates compare to the price of an Uber ride
  • You’re trying to see how far your promo code will take you
  • You are a Lyft driver, or looking to be a Lyft driver, and trying to find out profitable fares
  • You are just a rideshare geek, and like looking at rideshare data (there are quite a few of those on the Ridester team…)

Over time we’ve received quite a few questions on this topic, and we did a search on Google to see if there were resources we could refer to our readers.

And there was nothing.

Before we gave into despair, we decided to take action. We came up with a nifty little tool which solves this exact problem.

We call it The Ridester Pricing Tool, and if you’re a Lyft rider who wants to estimate the cost of your next ride, it just might be for you.

In this article, we’ll show you exactly where to find it and how to use it (we tried making it as fun and easy to use). We’ll also show you a few other ways to get an estimate of your next Lyft ride.

Jump to:

Bonus: New Lyft user? Save money on your first ride by entering a Lyft promo code at signup. Get yours here!

Get a Lyft Estimate Using the Ridester Pricing Tool

There are two ways to calculate a Lyft fare: the hard way and the easy way.

The hard way involves using pen and paper (or a spreadsheet), hunting through Lyft’s pricing formula, and manually figuring out what a fare would cost.

On the other hand, the easy way would be to use our nifty Lyft estimate calculator to do the math for you.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Enter your pick-up point in the first box.
  2. Enter your drop-off point in the second box.
  3. Click the “Estimate Lyft Fare” button, and you’ll get a real-time estimate!

We told you it’s easy to use. Give it a try yourself.

Why Use Our Lyft Estimator Widget

We worked hard to pack as much as we could into our Lyft calculator. Here are some things it can do for you:

  • Lyft fare estimates: Easily get accurate, real-time fare quotes calculated with data from the Lyft API. Your estimate will be as accurate as possible without using a crystal ball to see into the future.
  • Lyft vehicle pricing: Get quotes that include pricing for the different types of Lyft vehicles in your city. Figure out how much it’ll cost to arrive in style.
  • Prime Time updates: Our tool takes into account changes in Prime Time pricing, so you’re aware of price increases. Never get caught out with Prime Time pricing again.
  • City-specific quotes: Don’t want to use pick-up and drop-off locations to calculate a ride? You can still get an estimate with our tool on a per-city basis. This is perfect whether you’re traveling in New York, San Francisco, or anywhere in between.
  • Popular estimates: Find out what the most popular quotes users are calculating in real time.

On top of these, you can also share your route and estimate with others. This might be handy if you’re planning a conference or a work trip amongst colleagues.

This widget is constantly being updated and fine tuned based on user feedback, so check back regularly for more features.


Additional Lyft Estimate Options

In addition to our widget, there are two other ways for riders to get fare estimates for Lyft.

The Lyft App

Riders can open the app and get a ride cost within the app before they take a ride.

Lyft added upfront pricing into the app recently, allowing riders to see exactly how much they will pay before they request the ride.

  1. Open the Lyft rider app and enter a pick-up location. Once “Set pickup” is tapped, your pick-up location will be locked in.
  2. Enter a destination for the quote by tapping “Add Destination” below the pick-up location.
  3. Once pick-up location and destination are entered, you’ll see a vehicle icon.
  4. Tapping the vehicle icon takes you to the different types of rides, and when each one is tapped, detailed ride pricing is revealed.

Lyft Estimate Cost: Get an Accurate Price Estimate for Your City

The steps to take to get a Lyft estimate within the rider app.

Using the Lyft app to estimate the cost of a Lyft ride is quick and easy, but it’s not as detailed as many users would like it to be.

If you’re on the road and need to quickly check the ride cost, this can be helpful, but if you would like more detailed information including map routes, city-specific pricing, or Prime Time alerts, stick to using our tool above.

The Lyft Website

Another option for Lyft estimates is to use the Lyft website.

  1. Navigate to
  2. Enter your city into the box labeled “Find My City” or click on your city from the full list below.
  3. Add a pick-up location.
  4. Add a destination.
  5. Click the “Get estimate” button to reveal an approximate trip cost.

Lyft Estimate Cost: Get the Most Accurate Price Estimate for a City

Enter the pick-up location and destination to get a Lyft quote from within their website.

Like using the Lyft app, the Lyft website’s fare estimator is fairly basic and doesn’t go into a great amount of detail about pricing or travel times. It’s great for basic quotes, but if you want the full data, use the widget above.

Now that we’ve outlined the best ways to get a Lyft estimate, let’s take a look at how they calculate the cost of a ride.

Lyft Rates: How Lyft Prices Are Calculated

Ride payments are a combination of a few different elements:

  • Time in Car: How long the trip took, from start to finish.
  • Distance Traveled: The total amount of miles the vehicle went during a ride from the starting point to the drop-off location
  • Base Fare: Similar to a taxi, this is the minimum fare charged before a ride starts.
  • Ride Type: The service level selected by the rider (Lyft Line, Lyft Plus, etc.).
  • Service Fee: A fee charged to the rider, which passes through to Lyft. Flat fee applied to every ride.
  • Prime Time: If rider demand outweighs driver supply, prices increase by a multiple.

These factors will vary by city, and change often. As a general rule of thumb, however, the factors above are almost always used.

Average Lyft Rates

According to, average Lyft fares are as follows:

Initial CostService FeePer MinutePer MileMinimum Fare
Lyft Plus$1.50$1.90$0.18$1.50$3.50
Lyft Lux$3.50$1.90$0.30$2.05$10.00

Not listed in the table above is Lyft Shared, which offers rides around 20% less than any other service option available to riders. This is the budget-friendly option that pairs riders with other riders going in a similar direction.

For more information about Lyft rates and cost, visit their website.

Take the Guesswork Out of Lyft Prices

It can be quite painful not knowing the price ahead of time, whether it causes you to blow your budget or puts a downer on your evening.

It’s simple to use our Ridester Pricing Tool to get Lyft fare estimates ahead of time. Just use the tool above, enter your pick-up point and drop-off point, and you’ll easily get an estimate.

And never get surprised by a Lyft fare again.

What did you think of our Lyft Estimate calculator? We pride ourselves in user feedback, so if there’s a feature you’d like added, let us know in the comments below and we’ll get on it.

Brett Helling

Brett Helling is the owner of He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.

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