How to Find a Lyft Fare Estimate 2020

Posted by: Lilly Kenyon Jun 07, 2019
Updated Aug 07, 2020


Have you ever wondered how Lyft calculates their fares since implementing their Upfront Fare model? While it may seem like Lyft's upfront fares are just a random price, there are actually a few key components that go into calculating and your Lyft Fare behind the scenes.

How is My Lyft Fare Calculated?

The Upfront Lyft fare that you see when you first book a ride 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

How much is Lyft?


Other Key Factors in Determining Your Lyft Fare

While above outlines the basic method used to derive your estimated fare, there are a few more factors that can also heavily influence your Lyft Fare.

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. For a complete list of tolls click here.

Lyft 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. 

This is the number one factor why your Upfront Fare may appear much higher than you anticipated. You can try to save some money by traveling during non-peak times or requesting rides away from busy venues.

Lyft Minimum Fare: Lyft does have a minimum fare set for each city, usually this is between $5-$10. If the combination of the above criteria (initial fee, per mile fee, etc) results in your fare being lower than the minimum fare, you will be charged for the minimum fare price instead. 


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! 

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