The Craziest Uber Surge Pricing

Since Uber jumped on the app development and taxi game, its pricing model has been a bit of a sticking point with users. Sometimes the cost of a ride downtown is the low, low price of a few bucks. But at other times (i.e. peak hours) prices can jump up to up to nine times the price of the original fare, or more. This kind of jump in cost is known as “surge pricing,” and if you’re wondering how Uber price surges work: at times of high demand, there are fewer drivers on the road to pick you up. As a result, prices increase to entice more drivers to hit the road. Even though that makes sense, jumps in Uber pricing are still a total drag and these are some of the craziest Uber surge prices ever recorded.

We’ve all been the victim of Uber surge pricing, but likely not as badly as any of the people on this list. Whether they’re getting rides during a snow storm, or trying to get home on New Year's Eve, these riders have had to deal with some of the highest Uber surge pricing in history. They all dealt with their fares in different ways. Some of them whined on Twitter, others tried to get other people to pay their bill, and some riders wrote crazy long blogs. Hopefully these stories of the craziest Uber surge pricing will inspire you to get some exercise and walk home the next time you are thinking walking three blocks sounds too, too hard. Have you fallen victim to Uber’s crazy surcharge? If so, vent a little in the comments!

  • A $14,000 Mistake


    In December 2017, Uber made headlines again – and not for any good reason. A customer in Toronto, Canada went for a five-mile, 21-minute ride that was supposed to cost $20. Instead, they were slapped with a $18,518.50 bill ($14,000 American).

    Uber said the ridiculous charge was the result of an error, and refunded the passenger. The rider's friend, however, says the company was slow to do so.

  • The $1,114.71 New Year's Eve Ride

    The $1,114.71 New Year's Eve Ride
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Maybe all in the human race should make a pact to never take an Uber in Edmonton? On New Year's Eve 2015, Matthew Lindsay and four friends took an Uber from a wedding and ended up with an $1,114.71 bill. "You could go anywhere in the world for that price,” said Lindsay, who had sadly only gone to Edmonton.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Level 50X

    Stockholm Syndrome: Level 50X
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    Uber, like competitive eaters and teenagers, constantly feels a need to test its limits, which is exactly what it did in Stockholm when it tried out a 50X (!!!!) surge price. Either the whole thing was a glitch, or Uber was seeing exactly how much people would pay for a ride. Unsurprisingly, no one accepting a ride at this price.
  • "Loco Daniel" Needs Help Paying His $663 Loco Bill

    A student from Ontario calling himself "Loco Daniel" paid out $663 after his first Uber ride on Halloween night in 2015. The cost was such a surprise that he had to create a GoFundMe page to pay the bill. In Uber's defense, his ride did take almost an hour and he ordered an Uber Black, like a fancy person.
  • You Call It $640.94, Uber Calls It The "Blizzard Tax"

    You Call It $640.94, Uber Calls It The "Blizzard Tax"
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    When traveling to the airport on the way to a meeting, Bonnie Lieb unwittingly agreed to a $640.94 charge for what's usually a $50 trip. Despite the high cost of the ride, Uber made sure to let Bonnie know that they weren't the ones who agreed to take the ride, well aware of the surge. Ouch.
  • No Concert Is Worth $549

    When Tracy Reed decided to go see Elton John play a set in Colorado, she ended up shelling out over five hundred dollars for her round trip. Reed said she "would have gotten [her friends] a stretch limousine all night long for less than this." Later, Uber agreed to credit her $110.