What About Uber Christmas Eve Availability And Rates?

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 93 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas each year. That’s a lot of prep and party, so it makes sense that many will want the services of ridesharing like Uber. So with that in mind, let’s consider what to know about Uber Christmas Eve availability and rates.

Uber Christmas Eve availability and rates are quite different than the rest of the year since it’s likely the busiest day of the year. There are less drivers working on the holidays in most areas, meaning a longer wait for service and a higher rate due to holiday and demand surges.

The holiday season is here again and, like everyone else, I am excited about spending quality time with family and friends. From shopping for food and gifts to hanging out at parties and other festivities, ridesharing services like Uber play a major role in getting you to and from destinations. It is important that you know how their holiday rates and availability differ from regular periods.

This article delves into how Uber works during the Christmas holiday and what you should expect when you take rides with them. I have also discussed the factors that influence holiday prices and availability. Furthermore, you will find some tips on how to work around the extra costs, so please read on to learn more!


 Is Uber Busy On Christmas Day And Eve?

There’s a lot to consider when selecting your times to drive for Uber or use their services as a consumer, whether it’s a holiday like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the weekend, or any day and time of the year.

Christmas Eve is the busiest day of the Christmas holidays for just about everyone, including Uber drivers and users. With everyone trying to get things ready before Christmas day, it is very hectic. For some people, it’s about adding finishing touches to their preparations. For others, it’s a mad dash to begin and complete all preparations. 

Uber is busy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both. Often Christmas Eve is the busiest of the year with users doing last minute gift shopping and prep; or traveling to visit friends and family. Likewise, Christmas is busy for Uber because of fewer drivers for the holiday demand.

There is a high demand for drivers on Christmas because people have events to attend and other places to go to. The closure, or reduction of the schedule, of many public transport services also adds to the increased demand for Uber drivers.

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Everyone in business has their hands full and they usually stay open to cater to the hurried demands of customers on Christmas Eve, as well. Last-minute shoppers are searching for presents and buying up groceries. A lot of people need to get to the airport on Christmas Eve and even on Christmas Day. This means people will still be on the road, shopping and such before Christmas.

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This demand is contrary to the number of drivers available, making for a tricky situation for Uber company, and consumers in need of their service. Like every other person, a good number of Uber drivers refuse to work on family holidays, choosing instead to remain at home.

When is Uber Busy on Christmas Eve?

As many people take the day off work on Christmas Eve, there will be no morning rush hour. At noon, the demand for rides will rise and it will continue to do so as the day gets busier. This is simply because it’s when shoppers will wake up and want to get out and do their last minute buying for gifts, and their feast making.

As well, kids will be home and many families like to do some fun things on Christmas Eve. Seeing a movie or going to museums are high on the list, plus just popping out together for a quick bite to eat means some might utilize Uber for the task! 

When is Uber Busy on Christmas Day?

Christmas Day is a different story. There are peak demands in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. People go to church for the Christmas service or Mass; they visit the homes of friends and family; many want to even see a movie as a holiday tradition on Christmas Day.

Yet, some times of the day, and particularly some locations, Christmas Day can be pretty slow.

Does Uber Charge More On Christmas Eve For Rides?

Uber rates vary from day to day and even time to time, so rates can be confusing for riders, and drivers.

Most people’s schedules are jam-packed for the two days of Christmas. When the holidays fall during the week, many businesses are still open and a lot of people still have to go to work besides the other holiday festivities.

For the drivers who decide to work on Christmas, it can be an extremely profitable workday. 

Uber charges more on Christmas Eve for rides due to supply and demand. Surge pricing comes into play during busy periods. It is a part of the Uber pricing model that multiplies taxi fares when there is an increased demand compared to the availability of drivers.

For example, there are 10 people searching for rides and only 3 cars are available in the area, so this creates a situation where Uber can, and does, charge more.

Uber notices the increased demand for rides and jacks up the prices. This provides an incentive for more drivers to get to the area, and in this way, supply eventually matches the demand, possibly.

There are no fixed surge rates, though. The surge prices vary based on the number of people that need a ride at a particular time. A surge price is calculated depending on real-time demand. It can get up to five times the normal amount- good for drivers; not so good for riders! If a surge fare is set at x2.5, a $10 trip will now cost $25.  

When the rates are raised because of surge pricing, they will inform you via your Uber app. Some people will choose to pay, while others will opt to wait for a couple of minutes to see if the rates will return to normal.

Whichever path you choose to take, you need to decide fast. Choosing to wait often turns out to be an exercise in futility, as the prices go higher and higher until it peaks. It will go down as more drivers get to the vicinity and when fewer people are requesting a ride.

The highest prices for Uber will probably be in the afternoon and evening of Christmas Eve going by past trends.

The surge prices generate more profit for Uber and go into compensating the drivers that have to work on Christmas. Although there are no designated surge days, you can expect such prices on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

How To Cut The Cost Of Uber Taxi Rides During Christmas

Now that you know how expensive Uber rides can be during the Christmas holidays, you should also know how to cut out whatever extra cost you can. There are a few ways to do this and I will list them below:

  1. If you have to take an Uber in a hurry, first check the Uber app to see what the surge price is and if you can afford it. If you cannot afford it and you know of cheaper alternatives, go for them. Sometimes the best plan is to just say no.
  2. You can pre-order rides or schedule them ahead of when you will need them. There are provisions on the app to do so. In this way, you escape hailing a ride in the middle of surge pricing but this requires knowing your schedule in advance and is often not possible for people.
  3. One other way to reduce the cost is to share a ride with other people. Whether you are a group of friends hanging out together or just strangers heading in the same direction, you can split the bill between yourselves. With the Uberpool feature, you can pay only 25% of the total cost. Even Uber advises you to use this feature to escape the surge prices.
  4. Do your best to go out at off-peak periods. As I pointed out earlier, the busiest hours are Christmas Eve afternoon and evening, and Christmas Day morning, midday, and evening. If you can, schedule your appointments and trips outside these peak hours. This works well if you think out of the box or have a flexible lifestyle.

Wrapping Up Uber on Christmas Eve and Christmas

To wrap it up, Uber is indeed available at the holidays, even those most popular with Americans like Christmas. Likewise, this means it is often busy. Some are surprised to learn that Christmas Eve is one of the busiest, if not the busiest, day of the year for Uber drivers!

Uber is busy on Christmas Eve and Christmas by simple economics, ‘supply and demand.’ More people are home and require Uber services, yet many Uber drivers choose not to work on the holiday (for the same reason people are home!).

Those drivers who do work on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day will often make more money than any other time. This can make working holidays profitable for sure!

Please keep all of this in mind as you plan your holiday festivities and activities and remember that Uber is quite busy!

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Additional Sources: Uber; Ride Guru; Think Money; NY Daily News

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