I've never used Uber before. Any tips?

Tomorrow I will be moving house. I don’t drive, but need to accompany the Movers and pick up the keys and all that stuff, with reasonable alacrity and accuracy for rendezvousing at appointed times, so I’ve decided to use Uber for the first ever time. Is there anything I ought to know, or should it all be as straightforward as they promise?

I’d suggest also giving Lyft a look. I am not and have never been employed or otherwise financially connected with either other than as a customer, but it’s my experience that Lyft is a LOT less expensive for the same trip and the drivers go through a tougher background check.

In my experience with such services, it helps tremendously to be at an easy-to-find location for pickup. My apartment complex is enough of a maze that I tend to walk to a fast-food place right outside the gates to be picked up there so I’m easier for the driver to locate. You will have an option to contact the driver before their arrival, so I tend to message some description (e.g. “purple T-shirt” or some such). They’ve told me that helps them.

The app will provide a photo of the driver, some description of their car, and their license plate number. Check the license plate before you get in, to confirm that yes, this is the ride that was assigned to you. Don’t want to accidentally swipe someone else’s. :slight_smile:

If you know your timing well enough to schedule your ride in advance, it helps. Double-check on exiting to make sure you have everything you got into the vehicle with. I’ve forgotten items, and on moving day, you don’t need extra hassles.

FWIW I’ve driven for both Uber and Lyft. Simultaneously. It’s pretty standard, or it used to be, when I was doing it (about 7 years ago).

Yes, in agreement with @Seanette, I’d choose Lyft because they’re a better company. They treat their employees better and comport themselves better as a company. Uber was, as we all recall, a very bad example, led by a sociopath who also hated his own workforce.

So don’t be surprised if your driver shows up sporting both a Lyft and Uber sticker or sign.

Depending on where you are, you might be waiting a while for a pickup, or not. Your wait might be less than 5 minutes, in an urban environment.

Yeah, easy to find and easy to stop for a minute. Sometimes I do this when with other people and there’s always someone who doesn’t understand why. It’s because I don’t want the driver to have to stop in the middle of the street, which is something I’ve seen. I’m trying to make it easy for them; I’m certain they appreciate that.

It’s general etiquette to sit in the back, unless you have a group or get carsick or something like that. Ask if that’s cool if that’s the case. You don’t have to talk to the driver, some are big talkers, but you don’t need to. There’s a whole two-way rating system, so most drivers are generally pretty friendly.

After dropoff you can open the app back up and rate them and give them a tip. You should. You can just give them a cash tip if you’d rather. I don’t know that there’s a standard rate or anything, 10-15% I guess, but personally I just “gut-feel” it. There’ve been some very short rides I gave a 100% tip.

Make sure you’ve already got your account set up now. Don’t wait until you actually need a car. Otherwise it’s pretty simple.

As far as tipping, I tend toward the 15-20% range (gas is awfully expensive these days) unless I have reason to adjust. I’ve gotten one really terrifying driver who got about 1 cent, I’ve also gone well higher than my usual range for a really great driver.

I’m in Australia. We don’t tip. Also am not sure if Lyft’s differences are the same here as where you all are.

As for the locations to be visible, I’m limited by it necessarily being exact spots for pick up and drop off, but they’re not hard to get to.


I was recently picked up from a train station - three separate Uber drivers looking for three separate riders. Confirm the license plate and driver identity.

I’ve used Uber three times so far, partly on recommendation of relatives. I will also be looking into Lyft. I’ve been pretty satisfied so far, though I wouldn’t mind the charge being less but hey, it’s never going to be free.

I would strongly consider being considerate and tipping your Uber driver–yes, even in Australia. Uber has made waves in your country by deliberately introducing a tipping feature in its app, and many Australians do not realize Uber drivers do not have any guarantee of even minimum Australian wage for transporting passengers. It was in the news just 2 days ago, but Uber recently reached an agreement with the Australian government that will see Uber drivers paid Australian minimum wage, but that is still in the planning process right now, and is not in effect as of yet. Unlike most workers in your country, your Uber driver is likely being paid below minimum wage and without many of the job protections that many Australians assume are inherent in all employment (this isn’t unusual–the gig service applications have ran into regulatory and legal problems in almost every country in which they operate.)

Uber Supports New Australian Law on Minimum Wages for Drivers - Bloomberg

If you’re disabled, it may be OK with the driver to sit in the front if you have difficulty getting in and out of the back. I’ve used Lyft with a walker and the drivers have generally been very accommodating.

At the end of the ride youll be asked to rate your driver from 1 to 5 atars. 5 stars is what you should always use as long as nothing went wrong with the ride, as Uber/Lfyt consider 4 to be a bad rating and it will hurt the driver’s ability to get fares. Rating a driver 3 stars or less means you will never be paired with that driver again.

I like to tip with cash. That way I know the driver is getting ALL of the tip.

I’ve only used Uber a couple times, and it was several years ago, in New Orleans. My mistake was in assuming that tips were part of the fee, so I didn’t tip. D’oh! Both drivers were polite and pleasant. However, both said they hadn’t been doing it long, and both said they were thinking of quitting.

I drove for both before too. Agree that Lyft is generally the better employer, but I would not write off Uber just yet. You, the OP, will be a customer and so your experiences may differ.

Also when hauling a car I use both apps, to compare prices but also to see if one has better availability for cars.

Once you get comfortable using them you may be pleased with the convenience and the cost.

Depending on your area, there may or may not be lots of drivers. If you’re in downtown, you won’t have any problem getting a ride. If you’re in a distant suburb, there might not be too many drivers near you. One way to figure out how convenient it will be is to install the app and then do a query for where you will be wanting to go. You will be presented with a list of drivers and their estimated ETA. You can just cancel out of this screen. This will give you an idea of how many drivers are in your area and how long it will take to get to you.

If you know that you’ll need a ride at a specific time, you can schedule a pickup for that time. There may be a bit of a cost savings for reserving early.

You can set waypoints if you need to have multiple stops. That would probably be fine if you needed to pickup keys along the way. I’m not sure if you can go shopping and have them wait. You might have to get another Uber if you need to be at an intermediate location for a while.

As has already been mentioned, be sure to download, install, and enroll in both apps well in advance of actually using one or the other. I can’t remember for sure, but I believe that Lyft has a bonus for a first-time use (that may be true of Uber as well.) When you’re ready to use the service, you should be able to easily compare rates before selecting one.

I always tip after the ride using the app and generally tip 15-20%. And I have never given a rating lower than a 5. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with both companies.

I second all the advice so far~I was about to suggest the above. Make an account, which will involve giving them a credit card or debit card to activate. Then all you will need to do is call them.

Be ware that depending on where you are and the busy times or the times of fewer drivers, you do not want to wait until the last minute to ask for your ride. Rush hours can mean a 45 minute wait. Be aware high demand times may also have a surcharge added, so timing is everything.

I’ve never had a Lyft driver that didn’t earn a 5 :star::star::star::star::star: rating. I tip afterwards via the app, 15-20%, with a minimum of $3.00.

I always tip in the app. It is convenient to do.

I’ll also recommend Lyft over Uber.

My only reason is because I know someone who tried to become a Lyft driver but was not accepted. They then applied at Uber and was immediately hired.


You might wear a bright-colored hat.
It will make it easier for the driver to see you.