How Much Does You Uber Really Cost? Uber Upfront Pricing, Fees & Rates

Austin Bob

Dec 15, 2018
What City & State do you work in?
San Antonio
Everybody knows about the upfront pricing charade Uber instituted a few years ago. In case you don't know, basically Uber gives riders an upfront price - which is usually higher than it would be if they charged purely by their published mileage and per-minute rates. In other words, Uber estimates that the trip will take more time and cover more miles than it really will. But, they pay the drivers based on the actual time and distance. This means often times they're making far more than the 20-25% they promised drivers would be their take out of each fare. Today drivers have shown screenshots proving that Uber is taking anywhere from 40-50% out of many trips.

Uber's fares are made up of several parts. They are:
  • Base fare - this is a flat fee that all riders pay from the start of their ride.
  • Time charge - they charge a per-minute rate for every minute a rider is in the car enroute to their destination
  • Mileage - they obviously charge a mileage rate - or a rate per-mile
  • Booking fee - This is on top of the base fare and is another flat fee riders pay. 100% of this fee goes to Uber
  • Safe ride fee - This is yet another flat fee that goes 100% to Uber. Uber claims they need this to pay for driver background checks
The booking fee and safe ride fares come to a few dollars on each trip. They're flat-rate fares so they are not lower for cheaper trips. They're the same for a $5 trip as they are for a $50. Since most trips are short, drivers complain bitterly that sometimes when you include these fees that Uber takes 100% of - that Uber is getting more than 50% of the fare.

They also complain about Uber giving the customer a much higher estimate than the trip really costs. That can lead to Uber keeping 40-60% of the total fare - even on long trips.

Uber also has different classes of service. uberXpress Pool is their bottom of the line cheapest service. uberPOOL is their next cheapest service. Both of these services rel on uberX drivers with uberX cars. uberX is their bottom of the line service. So these cheapie services (rightly) are provided by the cheapest cars Uber provides.

They also have the following services in order of cheapest to most expensive:
  • uberX
  • uberXL
  • uberSELECT
  • uberBLACK
  • uberSUV
  • uberLUX - a super expensive service that from what I can tell is only offered in LA.
You can get a really good estimate of fares from one specific location to another from That will show you the price for any route - for all Uber's service levels.