Which Companies Are Charging Fuel Surcharges, and Will More Follow?
Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft recently implemented fuel surcharges to help compensate their drivers — who are independent contractors and responsible for their own expenses such as gas — for rising fuel prices.
DoorDash, on the other hand, has implemented a program to provide cash back to drivers for their fill-ups — and cash bonuses based on how much they drive.
Similarly, new Uber drivers who use the Pay with GasBuddy app can receive $75 in “GasBack” as a deposit onto a debit card after their first ride. The money will be applied as a credit to the Pay with GasBuddy account, which links to a checking account and allows drivers to pay for gas while receiving 25 cents off per gallon.
Either way, with the national average price for gas at $4.30 today, based on AAA reports, someone — whether the consumer, the business owner, or a third party like GasBuddy — has to pay for rising fuel costs.
What other companies are charging fuel surcharges, and is this a trend that will continue to grow until gas prices drop?
Fuel Surcharges for Ground Transportation Across North America
The Washington DC Department of For Hire Vehicles (DFHV) implemented a $1 surcharge for every D.C. taxi ride, WUSA9 reports. The change goes into effect March 16 and will help “offset the effects of the U.S. ban on Russian oil and subsequent high prices at the pump,” according to the outlet.
Meanwhile, bus and taxi companies in Nova Scotia, Canada, have been charging fuel surcharges for nearly a week, per Yahoo News. Casino Taxi in Halifax is charging an additional $1.30 for each trip. The company told Yahoo News that it worked with staff at the city bylaw department to ensure the surcharge was in compliance. Systems manager Jason George said that the taxi company has not increased rates since 2012 but noted that the fuel surcharge is only a temporary measure. Maritime Bus also applied for a fuel surcharge last week.
Fuel Surcharges for Airlines Across the World
Airlines are also implementing or increasing fuel surcharges to cover not just rising costs, but the need to shift certain routes to avoid Russian and Ukrainian airspace, Skift reports. Fuel surcharges are not new to the airline industry, but many carriers are reintroducing surcharges for the first time in years.
For instance, AirAsia introduced fuel surcharges for the first time since 2015 on March 5. Malaysia Airlines is implementing surcharges beginning March 23.
Private aviation supplier Wheels Up is also introducing a surcharge beginning April 9. The private charter jet company now charges an additional $295 to $895 per hour fuel surcharge, according to Business Travel News. The rate depends on cabin class, and the company is also reserving the right “to take further action by amending our terms of service” if fuel prices continue to rise, according to CFO Eric Jacobs.
How Long Will Fuel Surcharges Last?
Uber and Lyft fuel surcharges will continue through April 30, at which point the companies will reevaluate, GOBankingRates previously reported. With oil prices stabilizing around the $4.30 mark this week, according to AAA figures — and crude oil hitting just under $100 a barrel and hovering around that mark — it’s anybody’s guess which way gas prices will go this spring.
Noting that crude oil prices account for roughly 50% of fuel prices, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in an article on the AAA website: “This war is roiling an already tight global oil market and making it hard to determine if we are near a peak for pump prices, or if they keep grinding higher. It all depends on the direction of oil prices.”
Whether you travel by land or by air, it could be wise to continue budgeting for increased fuel prices and surcharges for the foreseeable future.
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