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May 06, 2019

Which Ride Is Cheapest: Uber, Lyft, or Taxi?

Which Ride Is Cheapest: Uber, Lyft, or Taxi?

With Ubers, Lyfts, and taxis dominating the streets of every city in America, it can be difficult to decide which option is right for you. If you’re money-minded, there are clear winners and losers depending on the length of your trip.

The Cost Breakdown

Lyft has a $2.20 dollar base fare while Uber’s fluctuates based on the time and distance of your trip. On top of this charge, the two ridesharing services will bill you both per mile and per minute. Uber charges $1.60 for each mile and $0.42 for every minute you spend in the vehicle, while Lyft asks for $0.91 per mile and $0.39 per minute.

Cabs are a little different. Though they typically charge $2.70 per mile on top of a minimal base fare, they don’t charge per minute while the car is in motion. However, some taxis charge a small idling fee each minute when stopped or moving slowly. This commonly occurs at red lights or in heavy stop-and-go traffic.

Other Variables To Consider

Both Uber and Lyft use a surge pricing model that kicks in when a high number of users in the same location request rides. This can be caused by the chaos of rush hour, bad weather, and major events like sports games and stadium concerts. Surge pricing can result in a very expensive trip, with prices either doubling, tripling, or quadrupling depending on the degree of the surge.

On the other hand, cab prices tend to stay the same — even when demand is high. It’s worth noting that this demand can actually exceed the supply, though, which leads to increased wait times. This can be a dealbreaker if you’re in a hurry. Uber and Lyft may hike fares, but at least you’ll have a prompt and reliable ride.

The Verdict

Long story short, the cheapest option depends on what kind of ride you’re taking. If you’re only traveling a few miles, a taxi is the least expensive way to go. In contrast, research shows that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft offer the best deal for longer rides.

Whether you’re an Uber person, a Lyft fan, or a taxi loyalist, BestRides can help you find the cheapest fare. Before your next trip, be sure to download the free app for iOS or Android to compare prices for all three.

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