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Tips for catching a ride on New Year's Eve

FILE: A passenger gets into a car marked as participating in both Uber and Lyft.
FILE: A passenger gets into a car marked as participating in both Uber and Lyft.
/Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

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For better or worse, New Year's Eve for a lot of people is synonymous with drinking. And ride hail companies have become a great option for people to go out and get home safely. But with so many people out and about and needing rides at the same time, there are down sides.

"Given we expect there to be millions of rides globally in just this one night, it’s likely fares will be higher than usual," said Uber spokeswoman, Stephanie Sedlak, adding that Uber is working to get enough drivers on the road to meet demand.

Still, she said, "We advise riders to avoid riding between midnight and 3 a.m. local time, as that’s when fares will likely be the highest."

That being peak party time, traveling earlier or later might not be possible, though Lyft allows passengers to schedule rides up to seven days in advance, including for New Year's Eve. Getting into the right vehicle is also an issue, so Sedlak offered some tips.

To save money

- Multi-destination trips: Start or end the party early by picking up or dropping off friends en route to the party and sharing one Uber.

- Splitting the fare: When riding with friends, share the cost of the ride by splitting the fare right in the app.

- Carpooling: The app's carpooling feature, uberPool, lets riders share the cost of the trip with others leaving around the same time, and heading in the same direction, often for a fraction of the cost of uberX.

To avoid impostor drivers

- Verify you're getting into the right vehicle: Make sure the car's make, model and license plate matches what’s in the app before getting in the vehicle.

- Confirm the driver:  Confirm the driver’s name and that he or she looks like the photo in the app.

- Share: Share location and trip information at any time with friends and family through the app.

Finally, a word of caution for riders who might get in a ride hail and feel sick. You will be charged if you throw up. Lyft reserves the right to charge up to $250 depending on the extent of the damage. Uber charges $40 for vomit or spills to a car's exterior and as much as $150 for vomit -- or urine or blood spills -- on the vehicle's interior.