How Much Does Lyft Cost? Lyft Fare, Fees and More and Prices

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Everything you need to know about Lyft Prices

how much does Lyft cost

When it comes to car services and ride share apps , the market is certainly plenty saturated. Today, you can choose standard car options, or choose priority pickup, you can even choose to ride with green cars et al.

Lyft rideshare is the first big Uber competitor in the United States and Canada.

While ride-sharing apps have changed urban transportation by giving customers on-demand access to drivers all around cities, recently, ride-sharing prices around the world increased to the point that people started to ask themselves if they have to switch to taxi rides.

One of the best ways to ride for less and find cheap rides is to get a quote and compare the ride price from multiple companies.

That being said, I decided to write an article about Lyft to give you a general idea of how much you will pay for your ride, and how to get a free estimate of your next Lyft car ride.

How Much Does Lyft Cost? A Breakdown Of Lyft Rates

You will not find a taxi meter on Lyft cars. Everything is calculated using modern technologies that also optimize your traveling time. All the rides are regulated and subject to Lyft’s terms of service.

Lyft fare is a combination of the following separate charges:

  • Base Fare: This fare is a flat fee. The amount of the fee will be included in the cost to ride from Point A to Point B before fees, taxes, surcharges, and other costs are added to the price of the ride.
  • Cost Per Mile: The cost per mile charge applies once you start your trip and not when the driver is travelling to your destination. If you want to find out how much does Lyft charge per mile, we suggest you consult your city page.
  • Cost Per Minute: The per minute charge applies when you start the ride and end when the ride ends. It will be calculated by multiplying the per minute rate of your cities by the number of minutes you are in the vehicle.
  • Toll Fees (if applicable): When the vehicle you ride with is charged a toll or surcharge during a trip, the toll amount is automatically added to your fare.
  • Service Fees: The service fee varies depending on your city and the type of ride you select.. It is a flat amount that Lyft charges to riders to cover operating costs, insurance, and Lyft background checks. The service fee is lower for most luxury rides.

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What Is A Lyft Quotes

A Lyft quote is an estimate of how much you’ll pay for a ride. Rider quotes are calculated based on the information you provide, including your pick-up location and your drop-off location.

Lyft uses their own unique formula to calculate a quote based on your city fare, so even if you provide the same information to Lyft, for a night ride or for a ride on commute time, the quote will be the same.

Pros and cons of getting Lyft rides quotes online
Pros Cons
Convenient Online rides quotes may not be as close to your final price.
Can compare quotes from several car services Some websites often provide incomplete information.

What Factors Affect Your Lyft Ride Price

In the past different websites made attempts to collect the average Lyft fares by cities using mileage tracker apps of Lyft drivers. We do not think that the data collected are accurate and unless you are a statistics lover, we think that the most important thing for a Lyft rider is to really understand what factors may affect the cost of a Lyft ride.

Understanding these factors, you will avoid frustration and you will be ready to find cheaper alternatives to ridesharing when the rates are high with surge pricing.

For instance, a typical Lyft fare might rise by 10% during some days. For example, the Lyft New Year rates will be really different from the rate you will get during a normal business day.

Factors that affect how much would a Lyft cost include:

Types of vehicle you choose: While you can’t request a specific lyft driver, you have the option to choose between different kinds of cars. You can pick between economy rides and luxury rides. If you need more details, you can take a look at our complete guide with all the different ride modes.

Luxury vehicles and cars with expensive safety features cost more and hike up your rates.

A luxury ride will afford you the most beautiful car, but the amenities of an economy ride means a lower price point.

Type of pickup you choose: If you are in a rush or do not want to wait, with Lyft you can choose to pay more and have a priority pickup.

Location: The location plays an important part in how much your ride costs. Lyft prices in Miami are not the same of Lyft prices in LA.

To give you an example we collected the Lyft fare for the main US cities for economy rides
City Base Fare Base Fare Cost Per Mile Cost Per Minute
Austin $1.04 $0.97 $0.27
Las Vegas $1.61 $0.86 $0.23
Los Angeles $0.00 $1.07 $0.17
Miami $1.04 $0.90 $0.19
Portland $1.38 $1.03 $0.36
Seattle $1.53 $1.60 $0.36
Washington DC $1.22 $0.80 $0.30

How To Get a Lyft Fare Estimate

At this point it is interesting to understand what is the difference between a quote vs an estimate.

An estimate is a best guess of how much something might cost. ​ A quote is more exact. Once you've accepted a quote, you have to pay for that price. From now, we will stop using the word quote when it comes to Uber and Lyft rides.

Using Lyft, you agree to pay the fare shown upon confirming your ride request. Indeed, fares are estimates only and do not reflect variations due to discounts, traffic delays or other factors. If for example your route or destination changes on a trip, your fare may change based on the rates and other applicable taxes, tolls, charges and adjustments.

Getting a Lyft price estimate is fast, easy and free.

There are several ways you can get a Lyft cost estimate. First of all I want to share with you some pro tips. Whichever option you choose, you should always beware of scam websites that offer you Lyft quotes.

Lyft has the authority and reserves the right to determine and modify pricing by posting applicable pricing terms to your market’s Lyft Cities page or quoting you a price for a lyft ride for a specific ride at the time you make a request.

The following are the only truthful ways to get a Lyft estimate.

Lyft Calculator

You can get a quote in a few clicks by using the free Lyft ride calculator. Follow our step by step tutorial:

  • Enter some basic information (pick-up and drop-off location)
  • Click on get an estimate.
lyft price estimate

In-App Lyft Ride Estimate

Another way to get the cost of a Lyft ride is to use the rider app. This is the most accurate way to get an estimation. As you probably already know, Lyft prices are subject to surge pricing.

Lyft fares may vary depending on rider demand and driver supply.

If you would like to have an idea of how much late night chauffeurs cost, get your trip estimate at night. Indeed the rider app has an exact idea of how many drivers are online and automatically calculates your trip fare based on the number of drivers available on the road.

To get an instant quote, follow our step by step tutorial:

  1. Open the Lyft app
  2. Enter your destination
  3. Select your preferred ride type
  4. Confirm your starting point

Lyft Fees & Surcharges Explained

To understand how the Lyft rider app works, let us consider the example of Jonathan who recently took a ride with Lyft.

Jonathan booked a Lyft ride with his furry service dog. As you probably know, federal law prohibits drivers using the Lyft driver app from denying service to riders with service animals.

Jonhatan did a round trip ride in the city of Houston and got a ride estimate of $35. At the end of the ride he paid $45. An additional fee of $10 applied to the ride.

Using Lyft also has a few downsides. Perhaps the biggest complaint among riders asking “why is lyft charging me more” regards Lyft’s fees.

Lyft may charge a variety of fees and it can be difficult to keep things straight (and to calculate how much you’ll pay for each ride).

Here is a breakdown of Lyft fees and surcharges.

Airport Fees (If Applicable)

Some airports and cities require fees to be collected on rides that start and end in airports. The surcharge automatically applies to the rider fare and paid by Lyft to the airport

Cancellation Fee

Cancelling a Lyft ride can cost you money. Cancellation fees on the Lyft platform vary and are higher if you cancel a scheduled ride. According to the Lyft cancellation policy, the San Francisco headquartered company will charge you a cancellation fee if:

  • The cancellation window has passed (2 minutes after matching with a driver)
  • Your driver is on time to arrive within 5 minutes of the original estimated arrival time

No-Show Fees

No-Show fee will be imposed on riders who do not cancel their booked ride and do not show up at the pick up location.

Damage Fee

The Lyft cleaning fee is one of the most common damage fees. Lyft is committed to providing safe and clean rides for all the customers on the platform.

In order to better deliver on this commitment, you are not allowed to smoke while riding with Lyft.

Of course, you will not get charged a cleaning fee for the normal wear and tear of a vehicle. However, a cleaning fee is a one-off charge that will be assessed to the customer for vehicles with evidence of damage.

Under the Lyft policy, typical cleaning fees range between $20 and $150 depending on the type and severity of the damage. Here are some example of typical fees for types of damage:

  • $20: Minor damage such as mud, dirt, or animal fur in the car
  • $30: Moderate damage such as food, drink, or biowaste outside of the car
  • $80: Moderate damage such as liquid, biowaste or bodily fluids in the car $150: Major damage like biowaste all over the car or physical damage to fixtures inside or outside of the car

Local Assessment Fee

Some US states like South Carolina impose a local assessment fee.

Lost And Found Fee

So, you lost your phone in a Lyft. Do not worry you can get it back just paying a $15 lost and found fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Lyft Charge Per Person?

Lyft does NOT charge by the person. Lyft does NOT charge you for baggage. As we said, Lyft ride fares are based on other factors including distance and time. You simply pay the fare based on these factors - whether it is for one or five people - plus any additional night or rush hour surcharges, plus any tolls, plus any tip you decide to give to the driver.

How To Split A Ride On Lyft?

So, you ride with friends and want to split the cost of the ride. In 2018 Lyft removed this feature that allows riders to split the fare of a Lyft ride.

As of today the only way ro split payment on Lyft is using apps like Venmo or Paypal.

When Does Lyft Charge Your Card?

As you probably know, Lyft doesn't accept cash. When you book a ride, Lyft places a temporary authorization hold for the amount of the ride. This authorization hold is a way for Lyft to confirm that your card is active and has a sufficient available balance to accommodate transactions for the ride.

Use The Trip Calculator To Get An Estimate

Now you know how to find out how much a Lyft ride costs. Using the Lyft fare estimator is a great way to have an idea of the price of your ride. The more ride quotes you get, the better chance you'll have of finding the cheapest ride for you.

The good news is that in the Lyft platform there is a Maximum Fare of $400.

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