uber fees

Uber Fees – The Breakdown

Last Updated on by B. Thermidor

You just sign up with Uber and you’re excited to check it out and so you quickly request a ride. You expect to pay for your ride based on the distance of the trip and the time spent in the car, that’s understandable. Later you’re looking at your receipt which is sent to you to your email, and then you see a bunch of Uber fees you’ve never even heard of. Well, you’re not alone, the good thing is that I’m going to go over what Uber fees you should expect, and a few ones you can actually avoid, and in some cases some fees you can get Uber to refund you.

Different types of Uber fees riders pay for.

  • Booking Fee:It’s used to be called “safe rides fee” and it’s a flat fee charged to every rides to cover Uber costs; such as insurance etc…
  • Cancellation Fee:You only get charged for this one if you cancel a ride after 5 minutes of requesting it or if you don’t show at your pick up location.  It’s $5 for UberX & UberXL and $10 for other Uber services such as UberSUV, UberBlack etc…
  • Cleaning Fee:$25–$150, for puking in the driver’s car or for making a mess or dirty the vehicle. It will depend on how much of a mess you make.
  • Airport Surcharge:It’s usually $4 if you get picked up or dropped off at an airport.
  • Toll charges:If your driver pays tolls on your ride, Uber will charge you the amount to reimburse the driver.

The Booking Fee

It used to be called “Safe Ride” fee, every rider get charged this booking fee and it is a flat fee that is added to every ride. Uber claim that it’s for operational costs and for insurance to cover passengers and drivers.

The cost of the booking fees vary by city, it ranges from around $1.00 and up to $1.80 per ride. It’s non refundable and everyone pays the fee for every ride.

The Uber Cancellation Fee

Uber is an “on demand” service, so passengers who cancel no later than five minutes won’t get charged. But if a rider cancels a ride after five minutes of requesting it, he/she will be charged a cancellation fee of $5 or $10 depends on the uber service requested. The charge is $5 for UberX and UberXL and $10 for UberBlack, UberSUV etc…

UPDATE: the 5 minute countdown starts when the driver accepts your request. It used to be after the driver reached your location, but not anymore.

I wrote more about the uber cancellation fee on another blog post, and it’s every detail oriented.  You’ll find out how you can get refunded for your cancellation fee.

Uber cancellation fee is usually non refundable, but if you believe that you were wrongly charged, you can always ask for a refund by contacting Uber.

The Uber Cleaning Fee

This fee was designed to protect drivers from messy riders. So if you vomit, dirty, or if you damage to the interior or exterior of your driver’s car, you will certainly be charged a cleaning fee as soon as the driver reports it. The cleaning fee ranges from $25 to $150, the more damage or mess you caused the more you will get charged.

Don’t be shocked by the cleaning fee charges, I mean if you make a mess or damage someone’s car, expect to pay for it. It’s also in the Uber agreement and terms of service that every rider has to agree before creating an Uber account.

The most common cause of uber fees is throwing up/puking inside a driver’s vehicle; especially on a weekend with drunken passengers.

There’s no way to get around this type of uber fees. Drivers will have to submit proof to Uber, and simply a photo of your mess is enough. If a driver gets caught to scam a rider out of a cleaning fee he/she will be deactivated from the Uber platform.

If you know for sure that you didn’t vomit or dirty the driver’s car – and so you are charged a cleaning fee – I encourage you to contact Uber through an email for proof and get a refund.

Uber fees – Airport and Surcharges

Not all airports in the United Stated accept or agree for Uber drivers to pick up passengers, but some do. So if you’re lucky enough that your airport is in agreement with Uber and you get picked up or dropped off, an airport fee of $4 will be added to your fare. This fee is non refundable, Uber pays the airport for each pickup/drop off a driver makes.


If your driver pays a toll fee during your ride, Uber will charge the rider the said amount to reimburse the driver. This is not surprising if you live in areas where you expect tolls. Big cities such as Manhattan, New York city, Miami often have tolls, and when drivers pay for the toll fees, those expenses are passed on the rider to reimburse drivers. If you know your way around, and you want your driver to avoid toll roads, make sure you let them know. You might be trying to avoid toll fees and ended up driving longer, thus cost the pax more money. It’s best as drivers to let your riders know about any changes or shortcuts you’re doing.