New Year’s Eve ends the holiday season with a night of drunken debauchery. Some may spend the night in their pajamas toasting new year’s with a mug full of champagne in their living rooms, but for those who venture forth, hailing a ride might be the only safe way to get home. Be prepared to pay a premium if you hail that Uber after midnight.
Uber introduces surge pricing any time demand is high. It happens, for example, when the snow starts to fall and everyone suddenly decides it’s time to go. The ride that cost $20 five minutes ago could suddenly cost $60, but there’s often little choice in the matter.
As you might guess, New Year’s Eve is a particularly busy night for Uber drivers. Once that ball drops and people finish their last glass of champagne, it’s time to head home and sleep it off.
Uber drivers provided over five million rides last New Year’s Eve. This year, they expect to transport three times as many people in over 450 cities worldwide. The hours between midnight and 3am will be the busiest and that’s when you’ll pay the most.
You can save a buck by bailing on the party early, which might be your best option if your date turns out to be a dud, or go the other way and stay until they kick you out of the place. If you have to hail your ride during peak demand hours, then there are still a few ways you can save on the trip.
Unless you absolutely have to leave at a certain time, then wait. If the fare is too expensive when you check the app, trying again later might give you a lower fare. It could go the other way, too, so be ready to pay more if the odds are not in your favor.
Share the ride with those new friends you made and the fare gets much more affordable. There’s also UberPool in select cities. This lets you share the ride with other riders heading the same direction and could help you save big. Just make sure you’re okay sharing a drunken Uber ride with complete strangers.
Uber might be the first name most people associate with ride sharing, but there’s also Lyft and, of course, the good old taxi. Check your options when it’s time to head home and choose the one that fits your budget and needs.
Above all else, don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had a drink. Better to go home with fewer dollars in your pocket than never make it home at all.