Find Your Lyft Fare Estimate

Posted by: RideGuru Team Nov 04, 2016
Updated Jan 16, 2020


Do you feel that Lyft's prices are too expensive or maybe crazy cheap? Have you ever wondered how Lyft derives their fares? There are a few key components that go into calculating and estimating a Lyft Fare and the RideGuru team is here to outline it for you!

How is My Lyft Fare Calculated?

Your Lyft fare is based on 4 main criteria:

Here’s how Lyft uses the 4 main criteria above to calculate your fare:

Base Fare + (Cost per minute * time in ride) + (Cost per mile * ride distance) + Trust and Safety Fee = Your Fare

Lyft Prices


Other Key Factors in Determining Your Lyft Fare

There are a few more factors that influence your Lyft Fare that are not included in the 4 main criteria above.

Tolls and Fees: Lyft requires all passengers to pay for any tunnel, bridge, or toll charges that are incurred during the course of the ride. These charges will be added to your total fare at the end of your trip.

Lyft AppLyft Prime Time Pricing: Lyft's Prime Time pricing is when Lyft rates increase to guarantee availability of cars. When the demand for rides cannot be met by the number of current Lyft drivers on the road, prices will increase. This, in turn, encourages more drivers to hit the road since they will make more money than usual.. Lyft will always notify you before you request a ride if Prime Time pricing is enacted so you will never be caught off guard.

Your Lyft fare, with Prime Time pricing, is calculated by multiplying your total fare (before tolls) by the Prime Time price multiplier. For instance if the Prime Time amount is at 2x your total fare will be doubled, if the surge amount is 3x your total fare will be tripled.

Prime Time Pricing Example: If your total fare at the end of your trip is $15 and the Prime Time multiplier was 2x, your new total would be $30. Then Lyft would add on any incurred tolls.

Lyft Minimum Fare: To encourage drivers to pick up quick rides that will not yield much profit, Lyft sets a minimum fare for each service. This helps to justly reimburse drivers for short rides. If the combination of the above criteria results in your fare being lower than the minimum fare, you will be charged the minimum fare price instead. The minimum fare amount changes from city to city.

Minimum Fare Example: Say you are in a hurry and you decide to take a Lyft only two blocks down the street.  After your trip ends and you add up the four different Lyft fare factors (as shown above), you calculate that your fare should only be $2.98. But in your city, the minimum fare is $5, so you will be charged $5 instead of $2.98.

Lyft Maximum Base Fare: In some cities, there is also a maximum base amount that can be charged. This is designed for unusually long rides. The maximum base fare amount is as follows; $500 in New York City and New Jersey, $240 in Los Angeles, $200 for all other regions.


Lyft Fare Prices Vary Based on City & Car Service

Lyft Cars with Pink Mustaches

The four main criteria factors that we outlined in section 1 (base fare, cost per minute, cost per mile, and booking fee) all vary from city-to-city, and across Lyft services (Lyft, LyftLine, and LyftPlus). To learn more about the differences between each Lyft car service visit this help page here.

Now that you understand all the factors that go into your Lyft Fare and how time-consuming it would be to calculate it on your iPhone calculator, try using RideGuru's Fare Calculator! RideGuru will not only calculate your Lyft fare, it will also show you all possible ride options so you can make sure to find the cheapest ride for your route! 

Happy Lyft-ing!

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