How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Rides with Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft made the process of ordering a taxi much easier. Commonly, it is even cheaper compared to the usual taxi providers. But sometimes we hear terrible stories about people paying hundreds or even thousands (yeah, unfortunately, we know one such example) of dollars to book a ride and get to a defined destination. In this article, we want to share some tips to avoid these situations and save your money. But, firstly, let’s start with how the price is formed in applications, what factors influence it. This will give a better understanding of our further tips.

How is the price formed?

Traffic Jam

If you are an active user of Uber and Lyft, you probably notice that the price is varying from the trip to the trip.  Why? There are several most influential factors: 

  • The city;
  • The demand;
  • The number of available drivers. 
  • Let us consider each factor in more detail. 

The city. It's no secret that the level of living in countries and even cities is very different. It is influenced by many socioeconomic factors, including the average wage. That is why the starting rate in the cities is different: somewhere it is higher and somewhere — lower.

The demand. Remember the situation when you got from the house to the city center, suppose on Tuesday afternoon, at a price two times lower than, for example, on Saturday evening? This happened because of rising demand. The more people are trying to book a taxi at the same time and at the same destination — the more price per ride. 

The number of available drivers. The app gets information about available drivers in real-time. It analyses this data and fixes the price. For example, the more drivers — the lower the price. 

Of course, there are a number of other factors that are hidden from our eyes, but these are the most influential and important. And now, let’s uncover the secrets that allow you to save money on rides. 

Install the Freebird app — save $10

Freebird is an app that seamlessly connects with restaurants, cafes, and other entertainment organizations, and provides their users with cashback, promo codes, and free coupons. Also, the app partners with Uber and Lyft in this way: if you are riding to a certain restaurant that is the partner of Freebird, it covers a part or even all of Uber/Lyft bill. The concept is simple: the restaurants get more clients, and you can get a discount for the ride. 

Moreover, the app gives you also $5 for the ride home from anywhere. And that’s the best part, isn’t it? Please note that it does not matter whether you use Uber Polo, Green, and so on. And if you are lucky, and find the referral code (just browse on the Internet), you can get a free $10 just for the register. Don’t lose the opportunity!

Install and sign up for both Uber and Lyft apps — save tens of dollars

And now the time of our knowledge from the ‘How the price is formed?’ section to shine bright. Remember the factors that influence the price rate? Therefore, we advise you to compare the price in Uber and Lyft before booking a taxi. The apps use the concept of upfront pricing, so you do not lose anything if you just watch the fares. Sometimes, Uber can have more drivers than Lyft, so the price can be lower. Or, vice versa, Lyft can have less demand and offers a lower fare. Compare it and don’t lose the opportunity to save money. There are occasions when the price differs by tens of dollars. 

Pay for subscriptions if you are riding a lot — save a couple of tens of dollars

Both Lyft and Uber offer premium subscriptions for their loyal customers. These services provide users with a low price that does not depend on the weather, traffic jams, or other conditions. For example, Uber has Ride Pass that ‘gives you consistently low prices on UberX and Pool rides no matter the traffic, weather, or time of day’. You can buy it for $24.99 per month. Some users said that with this service they save up to 15%. But, note that you can benefit from premium subscriptions only if you are a regular user of a certain app, and book dozens of rides per month.

Promotional codes —  save a couple of tens of dollars

Promotional codes are the most obvious way to save money on rides. You can find them on different external sites or apps or exactly on the companies’ official sites. They are divided into two groups: for newcomers and for existing users. Below, there are codes for new users (but before using them, you need to check whether they are still available).

For Uber:

  • NEWRIDER15 — $5 credit per ride for 3 rides ($15 total credit);
  • NEWRIDER16 — $4 credit per ride for 4 rides ($16 total credit);
  • NEWRIDER18 — $3 credit per ride for 6 rides ($18 total credit);
  • NEWRIDER25 — $2.50 credit per ride for 10 rides ($25 total credit). 

For Lyft:

  • LYFTPROMO15 — $5 credit per ride for 3 rides ($15 total credit);
  • LYFTPROMO16 — $4 credit per ride for 4 rides ($16 total credit);
  • LYFTPROMO18 — $3 credit per ride for 6 rides ($18 total credit);
  • LYFTPROMO25 — $2.50 credit per ride for 10 rides ($25 total credit). 

As for new users, Uber and Lyft have discounts and special offers for existing users. Commonly, they notify users by sending push-notifications on the device or emails. It can be bonuses for inviting friends, sharing certain information on social networks, and so on. 

Uber, for example, has a program called Uber Cash. It allows you to get credits in advance for a discount that is based on an amount of money you have already spent on Uber services. It includes not only rides but also Uber Eats and other services. The schema looks like this:

  • If you pay $50 upfront, you will get a 3% discount;
  • If you pay $25 in advance, you will get a 2% discount;
  • If you pay $100 in advance, you will get a 5% discount. 
  • The more you pay — the more discount you get. More information about the program, you can get on its official site

Use referral bonuses —  save $10

Referral bonuses incentives Uber and Lyft users to invite their friends to install the app, and, as a result, to popularize the services. It works in such a way: existing users generate and copy the unique referral link, and send it to friends. Once somebody activates the code, both he and the link’s owner get a discount of freebies. To generate the referral link in Uber, you need to open the app, go to the menu (find the item in the top left corner), find the Free rides option, and tap on it. After that, you will see the unique code, copy it, and send the link to a friend. When a friend, books their first ride, you will get $10. 

If you are a Lyft user, to generate a referral link, you need to open an app and go to the ‘Free Rides’ menu item, as in Uber. Copy the existing promo code and send it to a friend. Please note that discounts can vary from country to country and from month to month. Commonly, you get $10 on the next ride. To enter the promo code, you need to go to the ‘Promos’ section and paste in a certain field your link. 

Install the Drop app — save $5

In the beginning, we told you about Freebird — the app that allows you to save money when you are riding to the restaurant or a cafe. But if you do not go to the restaurant, we have another option for you that also allows you to save money. It is the Drop app. This title allows you to get a cashback every time you are using Uber. All you need is to register in the app and select Uber as one of the places where you want to earn points. Once you did it, you get a free $5 and start to earn money on each ride.

Check the nearby locations

One of the factors that form the price is demand. Imagine the situation when you have a very popular event in the city. When you point this place in the Lyft or Uber, probably, you will get a high price. Why? Because there are a lot of people who also want to get there. But here is a tip. Once you point the destinations that are in a few meters from the place of the event, you can get a lower price. Incredible and simple! Here is one more trick, but only for the most patient users. Compare the prices in both apps — Lyft and Uber, and you can save even more. 

Share your costs with a friend — save a couple of tens of dollars

Sometimes you ride with a friend. And when it comes to paying, only one of you pays the ride, or you need time to divide the costs. It creates some inconvenience and delaying you and the driver. Lyft and Uber provide you with a handy option that allows you to share the fees. As a result, the money will be charged automatically in the proportion you set up. 

Promo codes, free external apps, and hidden tricks — save hundreds of dollars

What told you is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine how much you can save if you use all the tips at the same time! It counts in hundreds of dollars! But, of course, you need to do some work. And what tips you are using to save money on rides? Share your secrets with us in the comments below.

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