18 Things Uber and Lyft Drivers Want You to Know
Get the inside scoop on what Uber and Lyft drivers are actually thinking when they pick you up.
Don’t trust the background checks
The background checks on us aren’t as thorough as you’d think. We don’t get fingerprinted, though it’s the norm for limo and taxi drivers. Instead, the companies do name-based checks. When some cities tried to require more oversight, Uber and Lyft suspended driving there. (These are Uber hacks that every customer should know.)
Leave the crowded areas
When you’re in a crowded area—say, outside a stadium just after a game—walk a few blocks before requesting a ride. If you can get away from the traffic and people, we’ll be able to get to you quicker. You may even avoid “surge” pricing, which is a spike in fares during the busiest times, sometimes in a very limited area. (These are secrets your taxi driver won’t tell you.)
Book in advance
Another option: Book more than an hour in advance, and both Uber and Lyft will let you lock in a fare—and avoid potential surge-induced sticker shock later on.
Prices at Lyft and Uber are similar, but sometimes one is surging and the other isn’t, so it won’t hurt to compare. And you didn’t hear this from us, but don’t forget taxis. A 2017 analysis found that yellow cabs were cheaper on average than Uber in New York City, for example.
Google has integrated Lyft, Uber, and other ride-share services into its mapping app. That means you can compare prices and how long it will take for the nearest car to get to you in one place. You can even order your ride right from Google Maps—just look for the ride-hailing icon (a stick figure holding a briefcase) to book.
Don’t use us as an ambulance
We’re not medical professionals, but some people call us instead of 911 because ambulances are expensive and riders want to pick their hospital. Uber and Lyft don’t like it, but unless you’re bleeding or passed out, some drivers will take you to the ER.
We’re not babysitters
We’re not supposed to shuttle your kid around. Our policies say children under 18 can’t ride without an adult, but parents request us to chauffeur their kids anyway, and some of us do it.