Leaving a night club or a bar when it closes on a normal night often guarantees that you’ll be competing with other partiers to find a safe ride home. That’s truer after leaving a New Year’s Eve party, said some experts at ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
With more demand for their drivers, Uber hikes fare rates in a so-called “surge pricing” period of the night. That can mean fares are double or triple the cost that they would be at most other times of the day. Ahead of New Year’s Eve, Uber released a guide for revelers who plan to book rides home using the company’s smartphone app.
The first step in avoiding the shock of an exorbitant fare is getting a fare estimate before summoning the car, Uber said. To do this, open the smartphone app and set your pickup and destination addresses by tapping “Set Pickup location.” After both addresses are added, tap on the “Fare Estimate” button to see the range of prices for your trip in real-time.
You can also request that the smartphone app alerts you when a surge pricing period is over. But if it’s not possible to avoid the surge, you can split the fare with other riders. To do this, select the “Split Fare” button, after you’ve requested a driver. People that you invite to split the fare will be notified, according to Uber.
UberPOOL, a carpool option that allows a driver to make stops other than yours, is also an option for saving money on the ride home. Lastly, Uber suggests that riders confirm the details of their driver, car model and license plate before hopping in. Jumping in the wrong car could delay your ride and cost you a cancelation fee, when you’re a no-show for the driver waiting for you.