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How to Dispute and Uber or Lyft Damage Fee

Rideshares services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way people access transportation by offering private or pooled rides to people at more affordable prices than the traditional taxicab. When riding with Uber or Lyft, the rider who made the request expects to only be charged the fee for the ride itself. However, what they might not be aware of is that they are also susceptible to other fees, such as a damage or cleaning fee. Rideshare is a favored solution for people looking for a ride, however when riders get charged additional fees that were unanticipated, the rideshare company that charged the fee might not be their top choice anymore. What do you do if you get charged a damage free by a rideshare provider when you are not the person who caused the damage? Below, our excellent team of Uber and Lyft rideshare accident attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers breaks down damage fees so that you can feel confident riding free of additional fee charges. 

What is the Uber or Lyft Damage Fee?

The damage fee is one that can be charged to the person who made the rideshare request if they or their companions are reported by the Uber or Lyft driver for causing damage to their vehicle. For Uber, the damage fee ranges from $0 to $150, depending on the serverity of the damages. For Lyft, The damage fee ranges from $20 to $250, depending on the severity of the damage done to the vehicle. This damage fee can be charged for the following reasons and more: 

  • Food and/or drink spills and stains
  • Mud, dirt, sand, water and or other fluids.
  • Bodily fluid spills and stains (including blood and vomit)

How is a Damage Fee Determined?

The damage fee that the Uber or Lyft rideshare company charges the person who requested the ride automatically after the driver of the ride makes the report. The only evidence that the driver needs to report the damage is a photo of the damaged area, however they can support their claim of damage to their vehicle through a testimony of the damage caused. The driver can identify who they think is the rider who caused the damage. Using this information, they make the damage report against the rider who is then notified by email about the damage fee they will automatically be charged.  No further investigation is done on the end of the rideshare companies. If a rider feels that they have been wrongfully charged for a damage fee, they have to dispute the fee. 

Below charts the different damages and fee prices for Uber and Lyft

Uber Lyft 
$0 - minor water spills or small trash $25 to $50 - small spills or left behind trash 
$20 - Small interior mess that requires cleaning   $100 - small messes of bodily fluid
$40 - Moderate exterior mess that requires cleaning  $250 - large messes of bodily fluid (including vomit, urine, and blood). 
$80 - Moderate interior mess including larger messes or 
$150 - Major bodily fluid messes or  messes that require cleaning between the window/door or air vents  

Ways to Dispute a Damage Fee

A rider who feels that they have been wrongfully charged a damage fee from Uber or Lyft can dispute the fee in a couple of different ways: 

  • Through email. A rider will be informed through email when they are charged with a damage fee. This email should state the amount of the damage fee and the reason why it is being charged. The rider is invited to respond to the email should they have any quarrels with the fee charged. However, the response they might receive from the end of the rideshare company might not be all that favorable on their end. 
  • Through the rideshare company website. On the Uber and Lyft websites, there is a section where you can reach out for additional help. On the Uber website, the webpage under help that is titled I was charged a vehicle cleaning fee will provide you with an option to sign into your account and add a comment about the charge to be submitted and reviewed. On the Lyft website you can submit a help request, however when you do so for damage fees, a text appears instructing you to respond to the initial email you received from the company. 
  • Through the app. Each company also provides the same customer support help section in the app itself. On the Uber app, a rider can review their trips, click on a particular trip, and find the option to submit a dispute for the damage fee they were charged for. On the Lyft app, a rider can review their ride trips, tap “Get Help” and “Request a Review” for the additional fee that was charged to them.
  • Through the bank. A rider can dispute an extra fee charged to their bank, however, the reception for this request can be mixed and dependent on bank policy. 
How to Avoid Damage Fees 
  • Before accepting a ride, review the driver’s ratings and reviews
  • Make sure you understand the company policy before entering the vehicle 
  • Respect the vehicle while inside
  • If you notice any damage to the vehicle upon entering, report it to the driver immediately
  • Before beginning a ride, take a photo of the exterior and interior of the car
  • Take photos of the interior and exterior of the car after a ride

Need an Uber or Lyft Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

If Uber and Lyft are being inconsiderate about your dispute against the damage or cleaning fee, you have the right to open up a lawsuit against them. West Coast Trial Lawyers is California’s top team of  Uber and Lyft  attorneys - we know how to take on these rideshare companies when they are taking more than your fair share of funds. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation by calling (888) 243-1195 or by emailing [email protected] today. You won’t owe us a penny until we win. También, ofrecemos servicio en español, ¡contacténos hoy!


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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