Article by Matilda Douglas-Henry
With 4.4 million users in Australia alone, Uber is the king of the rideshare market. In this article we will outline some helpful tips for using the platform, both as a consumer and a driver, covering:
- How to avoid expensive fares
- How to get a high user rating
- Safety tips for Uber users
- Uber tips for drivers
How can I avoid expensive Uber fares?
It won’t surprise you that Uber fares are more expensive during rush hour and weekends, particularly evenings. Surge pricing occurs when the demand for Uber is high in your area, so you’ll often see it during bad weather as well.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable to pay a surge price, but you might find that waiting just 10 minutes longer than your initial booking time may reduce the fare cost. Another option is to use Uber Pool instead, which may take you a longer route home but will be significantly cheaper*.
How can I get a higher user rating on Uber?
It’s not just Uber drivers who are chasing a five-star rating. Users have a rating of their own that needs to be maintained.
To improve your rating—or hold onto a good one—remember to:
- Only book your Uber once you’re ready to leave; don’t keep your driver waiting!
- Don’t eat food in the car;
- Don’t play music too loud;
- Use popular pick-up points rather than addresses, if possible;
- Tip your driver*.
How can I ensure a safe Rideshare experience?
Being an rideshare passenger can put you in a vulnerable position, particularly if you are young and/or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Majority of rides happen during weekend nights, when both the rider and driver are more likely to be inebriated. With 3,000 sexual assaults reported by a major rideshare company in just one year, it’s important to protect yourself as much as possible when using rideshare servuces.
Here are some tips to follow to ensure your safety as best you can:
- Wear a seatbelt;
- If the driver seems to be speeding, or is driving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up and ask them to slow down;
- Do not ride alone if possible, especially when using Uber late at night and/or when under the influence (and if riding alone is unavoidable, call a friend while you’re in the car);
- Monitor the app to ensure your driver is following the correct route;
- Leave the vehicle when it is safe to do so if you feel like your driver is acting strangely towards you;
- Report your driver using the Uber app if necessary.
What if I want to become an Uber driver?
Using Uber as a rideshare service is one thing; perhaps you’re interested in becoming an Uber driver as well. As we’ve outlined in our "Australian Uber statistics” article, Uber drivers earn a pretty solid hourly wage in Australia ($31.75 on average), but be mindful of high commissions and other pricey expenses.
If you do choose to become an Uber driver, you must:
- Familiarise yourself with the app. If you are already an Uber user, you might think that you already know the app pretty well, but it’s a different ballgame as a driver. The app is where you will match with passengers, calculate routes using GPS, and keep track of your daily and weekly earnings, so it’s essential that you know it back-to-front.
- Confidently know the area that you’re driving in. This is particularly important for city drivers, who will be dealing with many other factors on the roads (cyclists, pedestrians, traffic and congestion, roadwork). Even though you can rely on GPS, plan out some common routes in advance and have a general sense of direction at all times.
- Have a good attitude. To lock in that five-star rating as soon as possible, remember that service with a smile always goes a long way.
- Fit out your vehicle with the right accessories. Have an in-car phone charger (ideally multiple) and a place to mount your phone; it’s convenient, accessible, and makes your car as safe as possible*.
- Drive safely and responsibly at all times. This one goes without saying, doesn’t it? Always adhere to the speed limit, keep your seatbelt on, and avoid any risky behaviour that would jeopardise the safety of you and your passengers.
Whether you want to become an Uber driver or need some advice on how to be the best passenger, we hope this article has been helpful! Remember to use DingGo’s quick quotes service if you find yourself in need of panel beating repairs.