How Does Uber Work? What To Know To Ride In 2022

How Does Uber Work? What To Know To Ride In 2022

Steps to Become an Uber Driver

  1. Fill out the driver application form at Uber.com or on the Uber app, uploading all the requested documents when prompted. If you’re having trouble completing this process, call Uber or visit a local Uber office.
  2. Give your consent for background screening and then wait for a response, which can take up to 10 days.
  3. If your application is successful and your driver status is activated, enable driver mode in the Uber app. Now you can accept rider requests and start making money.

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What Are Uber Driver Requirements?

As long as you can pass Uber’s background check, you shouldn’t find it difficult to become an Uber driver (unless your city imposes some difficult requirements of its own).

Install the Uber app on your smartphone and create an account on Uber, including the bank account into which your earnings will be paid.

When you’re ready to start picking up passengers, tell the Uber app that you’re going online. Then wait.

Before long, the app will notify you about a passenger requesting a ride and show you a map with the passenger’s GPS coordinates. You pick up the passenger and take the person to his or her destination. Aware that the passenger can rate you afterward, you do your best to make the passenger feel welcome, comfortable, and satisfied.

Make sure you understand clearly where your pick up location is to avoid late arrivals

You just keep repeating this process, being notified about passengers and taking them to their destinations, until you’re done for the day. Then you tell the Uber app that you’re going offline. You can rate your passengers on their behavior.

Uber will deposit the money that you’ve earned into your bank account.

Driver and Passenger Ratings

Part of Uber's appeal is that drivers are under tremendous pressure to deliver pleasant, safe, prompt, and clean experiences for passengers. Every passenger rates every driver on every trip, and drivers are required to maintain an average customer rating of 4.6 out of 5.0. (Minimums vary by city.) Uber deactivates drivers who fall below this standard.

Uber does not disclose this to passengers directly, but every driver gets to see your rating when deciding whether to pick you up. And yes, every driver rates you right after you leave the Uber vehicle at the dropoff point. This is to protect future drivers from having to deal with rude, violent, aggressive, and drunk/impaired passengers. If your rating is too low, Uber can bar you from using the service temporarily or permanently.

To encourage kinder, gentler Uber rider behavior (stop slamming doors!), the app displays rider ratings right underneath names in the Uber app's menu.

Horrocks / Getty Images

How Much Do Uber Drivers Actually Make?

Uber’s pay structure factors in several variables: base fares, tips and other incentives. Calculating a realistic average is difficult. However, according to recent studies, most Uber drivers earn about $8 to $12 per hour.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

How does Uber work for riders?

First, download the Uber mobile app and sign up to be a rider. Once you’ve signed up to Uber, everything takes place through the app. No cash is exchanged between you and the Uber driver, so you never need to worry if you have enough cash to get you where you need to be.

Instead, the payment method you set up when you sign up to Uber will be used to automatically pay your Uber driver when a trip is completed, whether this be a credit card, debit card, Paypal, Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Submit a trip request

  1. Open Uber on your mobile device.
  2. Type in where you are going in the “Where to?” box
  3. Select a ride mode by tapping one of the following options that should appear with a fare estimate alongside them: UberX, Comfort, Exec, UberXL, UberBLACK, UberTAXI, UberSUV, UberLUX, UberPOOL, or Assist. You may see some or all of these options, depending on your location, time, and sheer availability. You will also see how many people each can take.
  4. Select which method of payment you want to use. The payment method is below the ride modes and your default option will be automatically selected but you can change it if you tap on it.
  5. Tap the “Confirm UberX (or whichever ride mode you’ve selected)” button at the bottom.
  6. You’ll then be asked to confirm your pickup spot. Be sure to check properly to make sure your phone’s location has got it right. Press “Confirm Pickup”. Uber may take a few seconds or a few minutes to find a driver nearby.
  7. Once Uber’s found a match, it will bring you to a screen where you can watch your driver navigate toward you on a map and see his or her’s ETA. From this screen, you can also see the driver’s name, license plate, photo, rating, and a temporary substitute number for contact.

Cancel your trip

Sometimes you may wish to cancel a ride. The Uber app will allow you do this two to five minutes after you submit a request, but a cancellation fee may be charged depending on city.

Follow your trip

  1. When the driver has arrived and noted in his own app that you’ve entered the vehicle, you will see a new Map screen. You can use this to follow your trip. You can also hit tap Send Status on the Map screen to share your ETA in real time, so your contacts know you’re safe.
  2. When you’ve arrived at your destination, the driver will note in his app that the trip is complete, and then your app will automatically process the payment with the payment option stored to your account.
  3. You’ll be able to see past trips by tapping on the three lines in the top right of the Uber app, followed by Your Trips.

Rate your driver

At the end of your trip, the Uber app will ask you to rate your driver from one to five stars (five being the highest). This rating will affect the driver’s current overall rating that all riders see, thus enabling you to either recommend or warn against the driver.

You’ll also be able to add a tip for your driver and pay them a compliment by tapping one of the pre-set options, such as Excellent Service.

Tips for Uber Riders

Uber can be a little scary the first time you use it.

Listed below are some tips to make sure your ride goes smoothly.

1. Treat your Driver with Respect

1. Treat your Driver with Respect

Remember that your driver provides a service to you.

Even if you’re having a great time, drinking, partying, or happy about going to a concert, for example, you should keep in mind that your driver must remain on alert as they pay attention to the road.

Some riders, unfortunately, mistreat their drivers or look down on them.

Most people driving for Uber have families and use the driver app to help their loved ones afford what they need in life.

Treat your driver as a human being who puts their own vehicle at risk to provide you a safe ride.

2. Listen to your Driver

Drivers know all the Uber rules and best practices.

They’re focused on staying safe.

Listen when they caution you about how they can’t fit your party of eight in their Prius, for instance.

They’re looking out for your safety as much as their own.

3. Be Aware, Alert, and Smart

Of course, drivers aren’t perfect.

Make sure you’re paying attention.

If a driver does something that makes you uncomfortable, let them know and ask them to modify their behavior or driving habits.

You can’t stay safe if you’re not alert and aware of your surroundings.

Vehicle Requirements

To be acceptable for Uber service, your vehicle must be at least a four-door model and be no more than 15 years old (2002 model year or newer). In addition, your vehicle must be in good condition with no significant cosmetic wear and tear, and it should have no commercial or company branding on its exterior or interior.

How Uber Works for Riders

Uber looks different depending on whether you are a driver or a rider.

Let’s start with how Uber works for riders.

The Uber Process

Uber makes the process for requesting and getting a ride simple.

1. Requesting a Ride

Download the Uber app to your iPhone or Android smartphone if you haven’t already.

Open the app.

You’ll see a “Where to?” field—type in the address of where you’re going.

Immediately, you’ll see whether drivers are available and how much your trip will cost you.

Uber bases prices on distance and the time involved.

Confirm that you’ll accept the price and that you want to start the trip.

Suggested: How much does Uber cost?

2. The Pickup Process

You’ll see who your driver is.

The app shows their name and the type of vehicle they’re driving.

Uber tells you how long it should take for them to arrive.

There’s also a map where you can follow their car as they approach.

Once the driver arrives, the app notifies you that it’s time to get into your ride.

3. During the Ride

Expect a different ride each time.

Some drivers are chatty and will talk with you.

Others don’t like to talk too much.

Also, you don’t need to talk if you don’t want to.

It’s your ride, so you’re free to speak with your driver, sleep, or watch a movie on your mobile device.

4. The Dropoff Process

Often, your driver will ask you where you want them to let you out.

You can direct them to the exact spot, thank them for the ride, and hop out of the car.

After the Ride

The driver ends the ride officially on their driver version of the app.

Your app notifies you that the ride ended.

1. Tipping your Driver

The app asks you how much you want to tip your driver.

You have the option of selecting a preset percentage, such as 15%, for example, or just entering your own figure.

You also have the option not to tip.

However, you should know that drivers depend heavily on tips to make enough money to make the job worthwhile.

Think of it like not tipping your waiter.

Suggested: How much to tip Uber drivers

2. Rating your Driver

After your dropoff, the app then suggests the Uber rider rating process.

The app asks you to rate your driver.

Uber pays close attention to these ratings.

If a driver’s ratings go too low, then drivers might face an Uber deactivation, dropping them from the job.

Unless your driver was horrible, be mindful of giving less than five stars and affecting your driver’s ability to earn their income.

Are there alternatives to Uber?

There are several ride-hailing services available in app stores, but the most popular one aside from Uber is probably Lyft. All these apps function nearly identically, though each one may offer a few unique features.

We have a separate feature on Uber alternatives for those in London, which you can read here.

What Sill Disqualify You From Uber?

Uber runs background checks on all aspiring drivers and won’t accept just anybody. Potential candidates with certain types of criminal convictions will be barred from driving. That can include those awaiting trial for serious offenses. People with restrictions on their driving license or a history of recent driving violations also risk being excluded.

FAQs About Driving for Uber

Q: Safety: How Does Uber Manage Safety Concerns for Both Drivers and Riders?

A: Due to the nature of Uber’s model, there can be some hesitation when it comes to using the platform, for both drivers and riders. Some of the safety features available for drivers include:

  • Easy access to emergency assistance through the app
  • “Follow My Ride” which allows you to share your whereabouts with your friends and family so they can track your trips in real-time.
  • GPS tracking of all your trips, making it easy to pull up information should anything happen while you’re on the road
  • Driver and rider ratings. If a rider displays unacceptable behavior that you feel you should warn fellow drivers about, you’re always able to report your experience through ratings and through Uber’s easy customer service functionalities.
  • Trusted insurance providers allow you to confidently insure your vehicle for your business uses.

Q: What are the best practices for picking up a rider?

A: Once you’ve accepted the trip, a rider’s specific location will be indicated with an arrow. If you anticipate that your rider will be difficult to find, you may want to contact your rider and request that they use the Spotlight feature, which allows you to easily see an illuminated color that is specific to your ride.

Other tips to ensure a great rider experience is to pick them up on the side of the road on which they are waiting, making it a seamless experience right from the start. Once the rider approaches your vehicle, it is best practice to greet them by name to confirm that they are the correct driver. Once inside your vehicle, allow them to get settled and buckled in before starting to drive. From there, start a friendly conversation and make the customer experience as good as possible!

Q: I can’t find my rider, what do I do?

A: The standard wait time for a rider to meet you at the indicated destination is 5 minutes (less for UberPOOL rides). If you are unable to find or communicate with your rider, you can cancel the trip. At this point, the rider will be charged a cancellation fee which is then paid out to you to accommodate for your time spent waiting.

Q: Can I bring someone else along with me while I’m online and accepting Uber trip requests?

A: As part of Uber’s commitment to rider and driver safety, drivers are not allowed to have other passengers in the vehicle besides the official Uber rider(s).

Q: I feel much safer when I have a video camera or dash camera installed. Is this allowed while driving for Uber?

A: As long as your city’s laws allow this, you are permitted to install and actively use a video recording device in your vehicle while online and driving with Uber.

Q: I’ve gotten in an accident while on a trip with a rider. What should I do?

A: There are three basic steps to follow if you’ve been in an accident while completing a trip with an Uber passenger:

  1. Check the safety and wellbeing of yourself and your passenger(s)
  2. If the situation calls for it, contact the police and ambulance.
  3. Notify Uber when an accident has occurred. You can do this through the Trip Issues tab in the Uber app.

Q: I’ve moved and want to drive in a different city. Is this possible?

A: Since your Uber driver application is approved based on the city that you indicated during your application, your new city means that you will have to make some adjustments and reapply under the new circumstances. Luckily, though, you don’t have to go through the entire process all over again. Instead, head to Uber here and request a change to your account and submit for review.

Why People Love Uber

Uber's appeal revolves around the trifecta of price, quality, and convenience. 

Price

Taxicab drivers hate Uber because Uber undercuts their fees by up to 50 percent, but this, of course, is one reason riders love using Uber. Plus, Uber drivers don’t require tips and can’t pressure you for them; as mentioned, you can add them later in the app. Taxi drivers, on the other hand, typically expect at least a 15 percent tip at the time of payment. You can also use Uber Pass, which is essentially a subscription to Uber that gives you discounted rides.

Bear in mind, however, that Uber does impose surge pricing for peak events such as major sporting matches, holidays like New Year’s Eve, and even busy weekend evenings. Fees can climb significantly for a few hours. As a rule, though, Uber rides are still cheaper than taxi cabs.

Quality

Uber cars tend to be cleaner, newer, and better-smelling than many taxis. The accountability built into the Uber app motivates drivers to keep their cars in good shape. Because Uber drivers are rated by every passenger every day, there is the incentive to be both prompt and safe.

Convenience

The payment process is easy and stress-free. Likewise, the app frees you from the often frustrating process of hailing a cab. The ability to handle all these details right from your phone saves time and aggravation (and keeps company and driver overhead low). 

Because Uber is attractive for drivers to join, the number of available drivers usually results in very fast response times. While this certainly does vary, the typical Uber rider gets a pickup within three to 10 minutes of hailing, while taxis can take 30 to 45 minutes after being called.

Tempura / Getty Images

7. Good Drivers Get Rewarded

Good drivers get rewarded from Uber and from customers.

Uber Pro

Each month, drivers will have the opportunity to earn cash rewards by completing a certain number of rides. These rewards are on top of what you already earn with each ride and delivery.

Tips

Excellence in customer service is always rewarded with success. Riders may leave tips. Ah example: You can earn more money by helping riders with their luggage.

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