Uber has grown into arguably the most popular ridesharing app in the world, making on-demand rides available to millions.
One of the biggest downsides of using the service is that you can never predict the prices. For this reason, we did some research into when Uber is the cheapest, and here’s what we found!
When Is Uber Cheapest?
Uber is cheapest during off-peak hours when there are few people making requests. On weekdays up to Thursdays, Uber is cheapest between 9 a.m. and noon, then from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and from 6 p.m. onwards. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Uber is expensive for longer because more people use it, resulting in surges.
Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about when Uber is cheapest, including how to beat surge pricing, how to make your ride cheaper, and more!
How Do I Make My Uber Cheaper?
You can make your Uber cheaper using the following methods:
- Splitting the fare with others – you can do this from a feature within the app, but you can also do it externally through services like Venmo, where you can request the cash from friends
- Going for cheaper ride types whenever you can – ride options like UberX and UberPool are some of the cheapest options on the platform when compared to things like Comfort and Green
- Using promo codes – Uber gives away free promo codes for discounts that you can get through your email or websites dedicated to such deals
- Traveling when surges aren’t in effect, is something you can time using the tips we’ll discuss later
How Does Surge Pricing Work On Uber?
Surge pricing on Uber works through an algorithm that tracks user activity and adjusts rates depending on how high or low the levels are.
If many people are ordering rides from the same location at once, the rates go up, and the drivers are notified so they can move to the area and meet the increased demand.
Contrary to popular belief, dynamic pricing doesn’t have a set time, but since a lot of activity is timed, it might appear that it does.
For example, you can always expect a surge around 5 p.m. when people are getting off work and lower rates on Sunday mornings.
How Do You Beat Surge Pricing On Uber?
Because Uber surge pricing works depending on where you are when you order a ride, many tips for beating it involve changing this.
You can try the following ways to avoid surge pricing on Uber:
- Order the ride early – if you’re somewhere with a large group of people, like a party, and you anticipate a surge, you could leave earlier than everybody else
- Wait a while before ordering the ride – you could take some time and wait for the activity to die down along with the surge, then request a ride after
- Order the ride from somewhere else – you could try walking a short distance to an area with less activity and request a ride from there
- Go for a cheaper ride option if possible
- Split the cost of the ride with other people
- Break your ride up – you could get a ride from where the surge is, then have it drop you off somewhere else and finish the rest of the trip another way. You could take a cheaper Uber from here or public transport
Can You Schedule An Uber To Avoid Surge?
You could schedule an Uber to avoid surges, but this isn’t a foolproof method because it doesn’t always work.
Several users have managed to book Uber rides in advance, but many have reported that sometimes the price changes.
This is in line with Uber’s fine print for scheduled rides that says there’s a chance the price could change if a surge is in effect.
What Is The Cheapest Uber Ride?
UberPool is the cheapest Uber ride option where it’s available. Otherwise, the cheapest option is UberX.
UberPool is cheap because it lets strangers share the same ride, each of which could have multiple pickups and dropoffs.
When you use UberPool, you can only bring one other person with you, but everybody else in the car will be a stranger.
UberPool was briefly shut down in 2020 but is being reintroduced in certain areas as UberX Share, so you should be on the lookout for that name.
Internationally, however, there are significantly cheaper options because Uber offers rides with vehicles such as motorbikes and rickshaws in some regions.
Uber is cheapest when there are few people using it because then a surge is less likely to be in effect. These times are from 9 a.m. to noon, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. then 6 p.m. onwards on weekdays up until Thursday.
Uber is most expensive during peak hours like when people are getting off work and happy hour on Fridays. If you’re requesting a ride during a surge, the cheapest option is UberPool, now called UberX Share in some regions.