If you’re a regular ridesharer, you may have noticed that trips during peak hours are more expensive. This is due to a price-adjustment feature, called Surge on Uber and Prime Time on Lyft, that increases the cost of rides when demand exceeds supply. This tends to happen during rush hour and after big events like stadium concerts and sports games.
No one wants to pay extra to get from point A to point B, so check out our top five tips to beat surge pricing on ridesharing apps.
1. Try carpooling.
With UberPOOL and Lyft Line, you can match with another person going in the same direction as you and share both the ride and the cost. Sure, you have to share the backseat with a stranger and wait a bit longer to reach your destination, but you’ll save big money in the process. Surge pricing does apply to carpool trips, but the initial cost can be anywhere from 40 to 70 percent less than solo rides.
2. Take a short walk.
Surge pricing is often concentrated in a specific area, especially after big-ticket events. Adjusting your pickup point by a few blocks could save you some change — or even help you avoid surge pricing altogether. Plus, escaping the inevitable crowd means it’ll be easier to find your driver (and vice-versa).
3. Refer your friends for a discounted ride.
Whether you use Lyft or Uber, you can earn discounts (or even free rides!) when a new user signs up with your invite code. If you have any friends or family members who have been wanting to try ridesharing, have them sign up with your code. After the credits are applied to your account, use them to lower your fare the next time you’re caught in a surge.
4. Wait it out.
Research says that nearly half of all surges end after 5 minutes, so holding off could save you from paying extra. If you’re an Uber user, you can even tap the “Notify Me If Surge Ends” button to find out when the price hike is over. It’s also been shown that surge pricing attracts more drivers to the area, so waiting could pay off more quickly than you’d think.
5. Request a different type of vehicle.
You can try requesting a ride through Uber or Lyft’s more high-end options to see if these alternatives are surging. These include UberSelect, UberXL, and UberBlack for Uber and LyftXL, Lyft Lux, and LyftBlack for Lyft. If they’re not in high demand, you may end up beating the crowds and paying less to take a fancier car — talk about a win-win!
With the BestRides app, you can instantly compare prices across ridesharing services to get the fairest fare. Whether you’re taking a typical trip across town or trying to avoid surge pricing after work, BestRides will help get you to your destination for the lowest price. Download for iOS or Android free of charge and make every ride your best.