Lyft is an immensely convenient service. You can use it to get just about anywhere whenever you want. It’s usually cheaper than a taxi, and it’s more convenient than waiting for the bus. It also tends to be cheaper and easier than renting a car when you’re traveling for work or pleasure (especially when you factor in parking fees).
Still, sometimes you’ll take a Lyft ride and then be shocked when you see the final bill. The service is generally affordable relative to other methods of transportation, but that doesn’t mean it’s always cheap. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, we recommend using a Lyft price estimator to get an idea of what your fare will be before you take a ride.
This advice, however, is even more useful when you have context and examples. That’s why in this guide, we’re going to take a look at five times when it makes sense to get a Lyft price estimate, as well as explore some of the price estimate tools you can use.
- 3 Ways to Get a Lyft Price Estimate
- 5 Times You Should Get a Lyft Price Estimate
- Lyft Price Estimate FAQ
3 Ways to Get a Lyft Price Estimate
When it comes to estimating Lyft fares, we have two tools you need to know about. Up first, there’s the official fare calculator that Lyft offers on their website. Using this tool, you just enter your pick-up and drop-off locations and click “Get estimate”:
From there, the app will calculate a fare estimate for your trip:
As you can see, the tool shows estimates for a variety of ride types, including budget services such as Lyft Shared (formerly known as Lyft Line), high-capacity services such as Lyft XL, and luxury black car services such as Lyft Lux Black. This way, you can consider both the overall affordability of the trip and what it will cost you to take a larger or fancier Lyft ride.
Up next, there’s the Lyft app. If you enter your destination within the app, it will display a price estimate for the ride type you select:
This upfront pricing is useful if you need to get an estimate on the go or are trying to make a split-second cost comparison between Uber and Lyft.
In addition to the official tools from Lyft, there’s the tool we’ve created here at Ridester. Our fare estimator lets you calculate prices based on your starting and ending locations:
As you can see, the tool is able to show you both Uber and Lyft price estimates, making it useful if you’re trying to decide if it’s cheaper to take an Uber ride. It can also display the base fare, per mile rate, per minute rate, minimum fare, and cancellation fee for any ride type in any city where Uber or Lyft operates:
You can try the tool out for yourself below:
5 Times You Should Get a Lyft Price Estimate
Now that you know how to get a Lyft price estimate, let’s examine five cases when estimating a Lyft fare can come in handy.
1. When You’re Planning a Vacation
As we mentioned in the introduction, Lyft can be an appealing alternative to renting a car when you go on vacation. You don’t have to worry about refueling the car, damaging it, picking it up and dropping it off, or paying for parking.
When you’re on vacation, however, every dollar counts. To figure out how much you need to budget for Lyft rides during your trip, you can plug all your planned destinations into a fare estimator and add up the costs in a spreadsheet (or whatever method you use to plan your trip costs). This is especially helpful once you know where you’ll be staying, as you can use your hotel, Airbnb, or other lodging as the starting point for your trips.
You can do this for almost any type of vacation that occurs primarily in a city where Lyft is available.
2. When You’re Going on a Business Trip
When you’re going on a business trip, you don’t have to be quite as concerned about costs. After all, someone else is usually footing the bill. However, what if you’re trying to convince your boss that Lyft would be a better transportation method than renting a car?
In that case, you can use a price estimate tool to demonstrate that Lyft is a more economical way for you to get to and from the airport (and wherever else your trip takes you) than paying for a car rental. And if you are the person in charge of planning the trip and estimating its cost, then a fare estimator will also be useful to you.
3. When You’re Attending an Event
Let’s say you’re going to a concert, and you want to see if taking Lyft would be cheaper than driving and having to pay for parking. In this case, you can use the Lyft fare estimator to get a good sense of what it will cost to get to the event.
Of course, you do need to exercise caution here. When you end up leaving the event, it’s very possible that the increased demand for Lyft rides could lead to an increase in prices. You can mitigate this by waiting a bit after the event (perhaps at a local bar or restaurant?). And while you’re waiting, you can use one of the fare estimate methods we discussed above to see if the prices have returned to a normal level.
4. When You’re Going Out With Friends
If you’re headed out on the town but don’t know where you want to go, then getting a Lyft price estimate can be very useful. Your friend might want to go to a certain place, but after you plug it into the Lyft price estimator tool, you discover that the cost to get there is much higher than you imagined. Once you know this, you can examine other places to go that might be cheaper.
5. When You’re Comparing Lyft to Other Methods of Transportation
This final case might be our favorite for using Lyft price estimate tools. Whether you’re traveling in a different city or just going somewhere for dinner in your hometown, you’ll often need to decide among several forms of transportation.
For instance, let’s say you live in a city that has both Lyft and light rail. You want to go downtown for happy hour, but you can’t decide if it would make financial sense to take Lyft. The light rail tends to be cheaper, but it also takes longer and will probably be crowded as people are getting off work.
Using a Lyft price estimate tool, you discover that the cost of taking a shared Lyft ride is actually about the same as the light rail, but it will take 10 fewer minutes. Without consulting the Lyft price estimator, you would never have known this.
Lyft Price Estimate FAQ
To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions about getting Lyft price estimates:
1. How can I get an Uber fare estimate?
You can use our fare estimator for both Uber and Lyft rides. For more information, check out this guide to Uber fare estimates.
2. Can I use the fare estimator to get the cost of a taxi ride?
Currently, no. However, we recommend you check out Taxi Calculator to find the information you’re looking for.
3. Will my fare change if I alter my destination during a ride?
Generally, yes. The estimates that Lyft shows you are based on the starting point and ending point you originally specify. If your destination changes during the ride, Lyft will adjust the ride charge accordingly.
Use Lyft Price Estimates to Remove Uncertainty
Whether it’s your first time taking Lyft or you’re a veteran rider, using the right price estimate tool can be useful. We hope this article has shown you how to get a fare estimate and the many situations where getting an estimate makes sense.