How far can Uber take you? Try cross-country.

I was playing around with my phone yesterday afternoon, and happened to open up the Uber app to find that there was a nearby Uber within a blocks of my house. First of all, I didn’t even realize Fredericksburg, VA had Uber, but I guess that’s a story for another time.

In messing around, I was curios if I could calculate a fare across the country. So, I picked a nearby address to start from (a local business a few blocks away) and plugged in LAX Airport in Los Angeles as my final destination (for those that aren’t aware, Fredericksburg is just south of Washington DC, but still is “on the coast” for the purposes of this test). I figured the app would pop up an alert advising me the route was not possible, but in fact, it did the opposite.

Uber to LAX


It actually calculated the fare between $2,934 and $3,912. Now, that doesn’t include anything about overnight breaks or other issues, but I found it fascinating that the app was even willing to calculate the fare. Interestingly, the Uber fare is in-line with a refundable round-trip business class ticket (both ways on Uber)…but, of course, a million times longer.

Intrigued, I went to Google to try and see if I could find any restrictions on a time or distance limit. There wasn’t anything I could find. In fact, the other day I needed to take Uber from DCA airport to a location 10 minutes away and the Uber driving was telling me how he just got back from a round-trip to Richmond, VA, which is more than 2 hours away from the center of Washington.

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I looked to Quora for answers, and found a few helpful replies:

Peggy L. says:

I actually posed this question to an UberX driver that I had a couple of weeks ago. He said that he wasn’t aware of a maximum distance he could legally drive, but that he had also never received such a request and Uber might create a policy if it ever became an actual issue.

However, he also said that he would only drive for 8 hours per day, and the passenger/customer would have to pay for 2-3 meals per day as well as a hotel room every night (and I assume other incidental expenses like gas, toll fares, etc.).

At some point, it obviously becomes much cheaper to rent a car, take a train, or even fly, but there doesn’t seem to be a company-imposed limit at the moment.

Steven B., who is an Uber driver, says:

I will never turn down a request to take a customer to Florida. If you need me to drive you I’m availabe 24/7. Since this is a rideshare the driver can take you as far as they are willing to go. rides over 100 miles are very rare because of the cost to the customer. The driver can deny any rideshare just as a rider can cancel any ordered ride.

I’d never think of taking an Uber across the country, but it’s interesting to know that it appears to be possible! So, I guess if you have a few days to spare, and your plane ticket is above 4,000 one-way, you can call Uber!

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  1. says

    The reality is that the fare would be higher than this. That is solely a per mile rate and does not include per minute charges. The driver would have to keep the ride running continuously as there is no method to start/stop the ride. So assuming rest breaks, the per minute charges would easily run this up further. And if the ride inadvertently ended on the app halfway there (system reboot, Uber system issue), there would be no way to restart the ride. And even if there was, the driver wouldn’t be authorized to start it again unless he/she was credentialed through the Uber app in that city (assuming you were in a city and not a desolate stretch). I’d rather fly!

    • says

      Oh, my! There’s more to it than I thought. I’d of course rather fly to, but I found it pretty neat that Uber even tries to price out a trip of this distance and there’s no apparent restrictions. Do you know of any restrictions or policies since you are an Uber driver yourself?

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