Since the company was founded in 2009, Uber has grown from a clunky Silicon Valley startup to becoming the largest ride-sharing and mobility service business used globally. Today, the service has become so mainstream that it’s common to hear people use the company name as a verb, just like Google. Still, the service does have its limits, and it’s common to have drivers refuse or cancel rides for various reasons.
Uber drivers can refuse to take long trips. In fact, the Uber app will let them know if a potential ride will take longer than 45 minutes, and they can choose to decline it without much fuss. The driver can also refuse a trip after picking up a passenger and discovering their destination.
Uber’s ride-sharing service allows drivers a lot of leeway in their operation, particularly when it comes to refusing and canceling rides. As long as the reason for refusing does not go against Uber’s safety and community guidelines, drivers have the right to refuse rides outrightly. Keep reading to learn more about long-distance travel with Uber.
How Far Can You Travel Using an Uber?
Everyone that has used Uber will agree there’s an obvious appeal to using the service as a means of transport, regardless of wherever you live. After all, you can simply open the mobile app on your smartphone, type in your destination, then wait for a driver to come to pick you up—even a kid could do it. However, the service still comes with some limits, and there’s a sort of restriction to how far you can travel using an Uber.
There’s technically no limit to how far you can travel using an Uber, but the service does have a four-hour time limit on single trips. Therefore, you can technically travel worldwide using only an Uber, provided you start a new trip after the four-hour limit runs out.
The time limit is a relatively recent addition to the Uber platform, and the company claims it’s a way to ensure their drivers are protected and avoid overwork. However, the time limit may vary depending on your country, and some Uber riders have traveled for eight hours in a single trip.
Long-distance trips on Uber are surprisingly common, and some riders have used the service to take pretty long journeys. The most popular of these is probably famous YouTuber MrBeast’s Uber ride from North Carolina to Los Angeles.
The world-record trip lasted about 39 hours and added up to 2256 miles (3630 kilometers) of travel for the Youtuber and his driver.
Still, they are some other lesser-known long-distance Uber ride stories, although some manage to gain mainstream appeal once in a while. For example, CNN did a feature in 2017 on an Uber driver that ferried NFL star Shareece Wright from Chicago to New York—a journey that lasted 8 hours and took 500 miles (800 kilometers) of driving to complete.
How To Get a Long-Distance Uber Ride
Although MrBeast’s long-distance Uber ride was purely for entertainment purposes, it did prove that the ride-sharing service’s time limits can be circumvented—legally, of course. Technically, no law or Uber community guideline states a trip must be below a particular mileage or last a specific duration. And as long as you can use the app in that region, you can get a long-distance Uber ride.
Here’s how you can get a long-distance Uber ride:
- Book an Uber ride as you usually would and type in your final destination. Depending on where you’re using the service, getting a driver might take a while. Fortunately, there’s no restriction on where you can set a destination.
- After you’ve got a driver, let them know you plan on taking a long-distance ride and tell them your destination. Some drivers might refuse to take the trip, and you can always try other drivers.
- If you’ve found a willing driver, start the trip as usual. Some states and regions might require special licenses for Uber drivers to pass through. So, ensure you confirm that your driver has all the necessary documentation to reach your destination.
- If the trip ends before reaching your destination, simply open the app and request a new ride. You can change drivers or ask your previous Uber driver to accept your ride request and continue the trip if you wish. You may need to do this a couple of times if it’s an exceptionally long journey.
While long-distance Uber rides are possible, I do not recommend using them for your journeys. They can be pretty pricey, and you’d usually be better off using a plane or taking a train. For example, MrBeast’s famous cross-country Uber tour cost him $5,500, and Shareece Wright paid $632.08 for his journey from Chicago to New York.
However, the trips were pretty profitable for both drivers involved. Even after factoring in Uber fees, gas costs, and toll fares, they ended up with enough profit at the end of the journey.
What Kind of Trips Do Uber Drivers Prefer?
Being an Uber driver comes with several perks, and you can do it as a part-time job. And apart from the easy requirements, the job can be pretty profitable. However, as with every other kind of job, most drivers prefer certain trips above others, and a knowledge of this can help you when requesting a ride.
Most Uber drivers prefer short trips since they can carry more passengers—and make money quickly. However, some drivers prefer longer trips since they can make more money at once. Still, it’s usually a good idea to let them know if you plan on taking a long trip so they can decide if they want it.
While Uber drivers typically prefer short trips in busy cities with surges and ride bonuses, they’ll take longer trips if they feel the pay is worth it. However, it’s more common for these drivers to accept long-distance rides if they can avoid dead miles.
As always with Uber and Lyft, riders should be aware of safety. Remember, Uber drivers are just regular people like you and me. Though there are background checks to become a driver, there is no guarantee the driver is safe or will act respectfully.
If you ride alone especially, you need to be aware of a few key safety concerns. Cutter Law in California has created this helpful guide to rideshare safety that is a must-read if you ride alone or if you have students/children using rideshare services.
Uber drivers can refuse to take long trips, but you can still travel far using the service. Although Uber has no distance limit, the business does have a four-hour limit for rides on its platform.
You can use Uber for long-distance travel, but ensure you tell your driver before beginning the journey.
- Vice: How Uber Profits Even While Its Drivers Aren’t Earning Money
- Motor And Wheels: Do Uber Drivers Prefer Long Or Short Trips? (Solved!)
- Ride Guru: When driving for Uber, which trips are more profitable? Longer trips or shorter trips?
- Ridester.com: The Longest Uber Rides in History
- Compare: Rideshare Long-Distance: Can You Take A Cross Country Rideshare?
- Forbes: Just How Far Is Your Uber Driver Willing To Take You?
- RideGuru: Traveling Long Distances With Uber
- Business Insider Africa: How Far Can An Uber Take You? There Isn’t A Distance Limit For Uber Rides, But There Is A Time Limit – Here’s What You Need To Know
- Uber Help: Requesting Long Trips
- Mashable: Uber Makes It Easier For Drivers To Decline Rides
- NFL: Shareece Wright Stats, News and Video
- Investopedia: The Story of Uber
- Uber: Uber’s Community Guidelines
- Uber: Safety
- Uber: Become a Rideshare Driver in Your City
- Rolling Stone: Who Is MrBeast? Meet the YouTuber Who Wants To Change The World
- CNN: Uber driver gets extra bonus from NFL player for 8-hour ride
- Wired: Just Google It: A Short History of a Newfound Verb