Uber, the rideshare app, has very quickly been gaining traction and is taking over the rideshare and taxi industry. It’s pretty rare that someone hasn’t heard of it. People of all ages use Uber, and rides will range from a quick 3-minute jaunt down the block to a multi-hour journey across states. One passenger even paid for a ride up the East Coast! Whatever the length of your trip, there’s no denying that Uber makes previously difficult transportation much easier. There’s no longer a need to wait hours for a taxi; Uber is even available in pretty remote locations.
The way the app works is that you can rate your driver after a trip, which will be available to future (potential) passengers, but your driver can also rate you. There are quite a few records of passengers causing all kinds of problems inside the Uber car and even sometimes getting temporarily (or permanently!) banned from the platform. If you’re not a consistent Uber user or don’t have access to a driver to ask about how you’re supposed to behave, you wouldn’t realize that there are some big no-nos for passengers. Here are the top 20 things you should avoid doing at all costs when you’re in your next Uber!
20 Being Rude or Offensive to Your Driver: You Can Be Permanently Banned
If you're a rider looking to stay on the platform, being rude to your driver is one of the worst things you can do. A surprising amount of riders will yell or curse at the driver for a huge variety of reasons, like not getting to the destination fast enough, mistakenly taking a wrong turn, or even for playing a certain type of music. This is a recipe for disaster.
If you're rude to your driver, you can not only get a bad passenger rating, but you can actually be permanently banned off of Uber. The company is careful about making sure that banned riders never get back on, so don't let it happen in the first place!
19 Light Up in the Car: You Can Get in a Lot of Trouble
This is a bad idea for many reasons. It's against the rules of Uber, so if you get pulled over by the police, you're responsible for breaking the company's code. Additionally, you can upset your driver, which may result in a bad rider rating for you.
Even worse, the smoke smell may linger after you get out, something you can actually be charged over $200 for if it impacts the rest of the Uber driver's day! Save it until you exit the vehicle if you want to avoid causing big problems for yourself or your driver.
18 Getting Sick in the Car: Just Don't Do It
All too often, passengers will get sick in an Uber and actually throw up on the car. Whether this is from having a few too many drinks (the late night riders are known for making the worst messes) or from being car sick, you should make a point to avoid getting sick in your Uber.
Not only is it a huge inconvenience for the driver (they'll probably have to stop Ubering for the day and spend the time cleaning up your throwout), but you can be charged up to $500! At worst, ask your driver to pull over and jump out quickly to avoid getting sick inside the actual car.
17 Asking Your Driver to Do Something Dodgy: You Can Get In Trouble for this too
Another common issue drivers have with riders is when they request that the driver do something illegal by the laws of the road. Whether the rider is late and needs the driver to speed or tells the driver it's fine to go up a one-way road, it's a bad thing to do.
The driver can easily feel pressured to do what the passenger needs since they're the ones supplying the fee for the trip, but ultimately, the driver will be responsible if pulled over. It definitely won't make your driver feel any more gracious towards you if you're the cause of a ticket!
16 Damaging Anything In or On the Car: You'll Definitely Be Charged
Whether you damage something by accident or (even worse) on purpose, you'll definitely be charged for it. One Uber passenger actually cut open the passenger seat with a knife! Luckily, the seat was empty, but she did have to pay for a brand new seat and cover, which cost close to $1000.
Other passengers have been known to break windows, cause large stains, or even dent the outside of an Uber by kicking the car. It shouldn't be that hard to not damage the car, so try your best to avoid getting charged an exorbitant fee and possibly banned from the app.
15 Stealing Another Person’s Uber: It's Wrong On Every Level
This actually happens pretty often. An Uber driver will be waiting, then someone will jump in, and the Uber might forget to confirm that the person is actually their rider. Even worse, the passenger may lie and say that their name is the same as that of the rider, if the driver mentions it.
The original rider has to pay for a ride (that they believe never showed up!) and the Uber driver can lose their pay that they were supposed to make. You can also get in a lot of trouble, even if you did it by mistake! Always confirm with the driver when you get in the car that you're the right passenger.
14 Asking Your Uber Driver on a Date: An absolute no-no
Even if you perceive your Uber driver as being flirty, asking them on a date or for their number is a definite no-no! As the rider, you can really easily put a lot of pressure on your driver, plus you're stuck in the car for the rest of the trip, which could make for an awkward ride if you're turned down.
On the off chance that your driver is really offended, you can get a pretty bad rating on the app or even be reported to Uber headquarters. This is a pretty easy one to avoid, but keep it in mind if you Uber often.
13 Taking Things From the Car Without Asking: It's Definitely Stealing
Many Uber drivers actually report that their biggest annoyance is when passengers steal things from their cars without asking! This can range from small items, like a magazine set out for passengers to read, to larger or more expensive things, such as a phone charger. Whatever the item is, the driver will usually end up losing money on the ride, especially if you’re just going a short distance.
Like anything else in life, be respectful and recognize that the drivers are supplying these items as a courtesy to passengers - they certainly don’t have to! The best passengers are those who leave everything when they get out of the car.
12 Spilling Food or Drinks: You Might Be Charged
If you bring your own food or drinks into the car, try your best to be careful about making a mess! Your driver can charge you for any big damages but that’s just a pain for everyone involved. While some drivers don’t allow food or drinks in the car, most do, and would definitely appreciate passengers keeping the area neat.
If you leave behind crumbs or a damp carpet, the next passenger will notice and may be less likely to rate the driver highly or tip. Remember that an Uber is a community space and will have other passengers right behind you! Most Uber drivers are cool with you eating as long as you can be respectful back.
11 Not Giving a 5 Star Rating for a Good Trip: This Affects the Driver More Than You May Realize
Some drivers have reported that a surprising amount of passengers will give a bad rating without any explanation, even if everything seemed to go well during the trip. If your driver was courteous, had a reasonably clean car, and got you to your destination without doing anything crazy, then most Uber drivers feel that there isn’t a reason to rate your driver badly.
Sure, maybe you didn’t agree about a topic of conversation or there was a lot of traffic, but neither of those things are within the driver’s control. A bad rating can really change how much money an Uber driver makes, and for many drivers, this is their main source of income.
10 Keeping Your Driver Waiting: The Pay is Cut Significantly
If you’ve called an Uber, make sure you’re actually ready to get in it. Many times a passenger will order an Uber, then take a good 5-10 minutes to actually appear. This can cause a lot of problems for the Uber driver.
While you will start being charged within a few moments of your driver’s arrival, the cost is insanely small compared to what a driver can make when the car is actually transporting a passenger. Every minute counts for Uber drivers who are really in it for the money. Additionally, if you live in the city, there may not be a good place for your driver to park which can cause even more delays.
9 Dropping the Pin at the Wrong Location: There's No Fixing This One
Most passengers are guilty of doing this at least once, so it’s a good tactic to learn about ahead of time in order to avoid making this mistake. When you try to order an Uber, the app will place your pin where it thinks you are. Unfortunately, it gets it wrong a lot of the time, and your pin will end up around the block or a few houses down.
It’s also really easy to accidentally move it as you’re trying to order the ride. Make sure to double check your pin or your driver will end up waiting in the wrong location. This will waste time for both you and your driver, as well as a lot of gas.
8 Cancelling Just Before Your Ride Begins: The Cancellation Fee Doesn't Help Anyone
If you’ve ordered a ride and waited a few minutes for it to show up just to cancel it, you can expect your driver to be at least a little upset. Sure, you do have to pay a $5 cancellation fee (some of which will go to your driver), but that’s not nearly as much as drivers can make from an actual ride.
Your Uber driver could have easily spent 20 minutes trying to find you, only to be reimbursed a measly $5 for all of that time and gas when you cancel. It can be frustrating to Uber drivers who have a few cancellations in a row; sometimes they’ll even end up making less than minimum wage for that hour.
7 Asking the Driver to Go a Different Way in a Pool: It's Not Possible On the App
If you get an Uber Pool, make sure that you don’t ask the driver to go a different way or pick an extra person up. Once you’ve requested the Pool and put in your destination, the driver has to follow the exact map in case Uber adds another passenger along the way. This is unique to Uber Pools since there are multiple pickup points.
In a regular Uber, when you’re the only person paying, you’re free to direct the driver to take the route you like the best or just allow them to follow the GPS, but make sure not to make any changes (or mess up your destination!) in a Pool.
6 Sitting in the Front Seat Without Asking: It Can Make Drivers Nervous
While most Uber drivers are okay with passengers sitting in the front seat, it’s a good idea to check first, especially if you’re the only person taking the ride. Driving for Uber can be a little dangerous, so drivers can get nervous when someone hops in the front even though the entire backseat is empty.
As long as you respectfully check, your driver will most likely be fine with you sitting up front. You can make some fine conversation and probably make their day go by a bit faster as well! If you’re with a bigger group, it’s more normal to hop in the front, but never hurts to check, especially if you're a lone rider.
5 Refusing to Split the Bill With Your Friends: You Should Always Pay For Yourself
When you’re riding with a group, Uber has a super handy feature that allows you to split the ride on the app with up to 5 people. One person will order the ride and request the split with everyone else once you’re all in the car.
Unfortunately, it’s a little too common for one friend to just “forget” to split the ride, which inconveniences everyone else since each other person has to pay a little bit more. If you’re going to take an Uber with a group, be ready to pay your fair share and expect your friends to do so as well!
4 Assuming Your Driver Will Offer You Food or Drinks: It Isn't Mandatory
Some Uber drivers do offer water bottles or even bags of chips, which is awesome! However, this isn't by any means a requirement from Uber, but a complimentary perk that some drivers offer to try and get a good rating from passengers.
If your driver does offer you a water or a snack, feel free to take it, but otherwise, Uber etiquette seems to be that you shouldn't ask. If you're in dire need, asking for a water isn't terrible, although many Uber drivers won't have them on hand, something you should never rate differently based on.
3 Squishing Too Many People into a Small Car: Some Drivers Will Turn You Down
Although some Uber drivers let you squish five or six people into four seats, some frown upon it, and every driver can get in a lot of trouble if they get pulled over. This typically happens later in the night, especially in large cities where big groups are heading out for a night of fun.
Large groups can easily split into two cars or order an Uber XL, which is better for everyone and typically isn't that much more expensive. Rather than risk your driver saying no to the extra person once you've already ordered the trip, just get a bigger car and you'll have a guarantee that you can all fit.
2 Being Snarky About The Car’s Year, Make, or Model: The Driver is Just Trying to Earn a Living
Some Uber cars are insanely cool, and can even be brands like Mercedes or Audi, but others are pretty average cars that might be an older year or unfortunate color. Before you get annoyed about this, consider everything else. Is the car clean? Did the driver conduct the trip in a safe manner? Did you get where you needed to go?
There's no reason to make your driver feel bad about his or her car, especially when you consider that a driver only works for Uber to make money. Additionally, almost every Uber car is nicer than a taxicab, so you're already ahead and really can't go wrong.
1 Forgetting to Say Thank You: The Biggest No-No of All
Probably the most common complaint talked about by Uber drivers is how frequently riders forget to simply thank the driver. Not only does this feel morally bad, but it can actually hurt your passenger rating, which your Uber drive will contribute to the second you exit the vehicle.
A higher passenger rating will make it easier for you to get a ride during a busy time when Ubers aren’t readily available, so this is actually very important. A simple thank you as you exit the car can only help both parties and will definitely make it easier if you continue to ride in Ubers in the future.