You’re planning a trip to a new city—maybe even an international trip. Since you don’t know your way around, you need to plan on someone picking you up from the airport. It might even be a good idea to have someone drive you around, too. As you look for the right company to hire for your transportation needs, it’s important to know the hidden fees to look for so you don’t get any surprises on your bill. Check out these 9 common hidden fees you should know about:
1. Booking Fees
Some companies charge a base booking fee. For companies that offer rideshare services, this fee typically goes straight to the company before the driver gets paid. Rideshare companies have a similar fee, known as the Safe Rider Fee. It covered background checks, driver screenings, and other safety initiatives. However, you may still have to cover these costs through a base fee.
2. Pickup Distance
For drivers who use their own vehicles, they don’t always see the pay off for driving further to pick someone up. Therefore, some companies add an extra incentive to encourage drivers to go the extra mile—literally—to get customers. What does this mean for you? Possible extra fees. So, if you need to get picked up from the suburbs to go where you need to go, you could be looking at a higher cost than normal.
3. Wait Time
If you make your driver wait longer than a few minutes, be prepared to pay. Many companies will charge you by the minute after they’ve waited longer than 2-5 minutes. To prevent getting charged extra for this, make sure that you’re ready to go at the time you request a ride.
4. Surge Pricing
There are times when rides are in higher demand. And, with higher demand and a consistent supply, you bet that prices can skyrocket. Know whether the company you use charges surge pricing rates. If they do, be sure that you know when these times are and how much you’ll have to pay.
You were wise to call a designated driver to take you home. Unfortunately, you got sick in the back of the car, and now the driver has quite the mess to clean. Whether you leave behind vomit or food crumbs, most companies will charge a clean-up fee. This can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars depending on the extent of cleaning needed or the damages incurred.
6. Airport Surcharges
Depending on the airport, there could be an airport surcharge charged to drivers. This amount then gets passed to the passenger to cover. The average amount for the airport surcharge is $4, so if you need to get picked up or dropped off at the airport, plan on paying this surcharge.
7. Toll Roads
Whether you need to take a toll road to get to your destination or the driver needs to take one to get to you, you will need to cover the charges for the tolls. This amount is automatically added to the bill that you pay at the end of your ride.
8. Cancellation Fees
You lost track of your ride home and are stranded in an unknown part of town. So, you contact a company for a ride. As you wait, your friend returns ready to take you home. You go to cancel with the company, but now you must pay a cancellation fee.
The companies that have cancellation fee policies typically will tell you how much they’ll charge if you cancel and at what point they’ll charge you. It could be a certain time before your pick-up time, or it could depend on how close your driver is to your location. Know what to expect before you find yourself paying for a ride you didn’t take.
Some companies tack on the tip for you, and others request that you add it yourself if you had a tip-worthy experience. Make sure that you know which option the company chooses, so you don’t end up tipping double. And if they include it for you, find out how much they add.
When you think about all the possible hidden fees that you could end up paying, you never quite know what to budget for your transportation needs on your trip. Fortunately, there are companies that boast all-inclusive rates, one of those is Black Lane. Not only do they have all-inclusive rates (with free cancellations and complimentary wait times), but they’re also available in over 250 cities around the world. Check them out for your next trip and avoid those unappealing add-ons and fees that surprise you in the end.