Riding Uber isn't a science, but there are some things you can do to save money, save time and make the process of ordering an Uber as fluid as possible.
You get a 2-minute grace period
Maybe you ordered your Uber too soon, or maybe your Uber arrived more quickly than expected. Either way, you're in luck -- you get 2 minutes free when the Uber arrives. After that, the fees begin, but they're still pretty minimal. Here's what they are for San Francisco and New York:
- 35 cents per minute for UberX
- 50 cents per minute for UberXL
- 65 cents per minute for UberBlack
- 80 cents per minute for Uber SUV
Be nice -- you get a rating, too
If you thought you were the only one who got to be judgy, well, you're in for a surprise. Drivers rate riders, too, on a 1- to 5-star scale. Your rating pops up when drivers accept or deny your request. So if you've been rowdy in the backseat one too many times...you might have a harder time getting a ride.
Want to find out what your rating is? Here's how.
Always dispute cancellation fees
You have a short window of time to cancel your request before Uber charges a cancellation fee. But sometimes, the driver takes much longer to arrive than the estimated time or you have trouble communicating with the driver, leading you to cancel.
If that happens, head to the "Help" section of the Uber app and dispute the fee. Uber will almost always waive it, as reported by Uber addicts around the CNET office.
Check the map before you order
The Uber app likes to think it knows exactly where you are, putting "Current location" in the pickup address and sending your driver there. Problem is, "Current location" is often waaaaay off because GPS isn't always accurate.
Don't rely on the location feature. Instead, enter the address, type in a business name or move the pin yourself.
...And call or text the driver to confirm
Uber drivers appreciate it when you call or text them to let them know exactly where you are. Even if you dropped the pin in the right place, take a moment to text the driver with a landmark or business name ("I'm in front of Starbucks.").
Let's talk about where to sit
If you and three friends are piling into a car, someone will, inevitably, have to sit in the passenger seat. But if it's just you (or you and a friend), it's OK to sit in the back. Many Uber drivers use the passenger area as an office of sorts and keep the seat pulled forward to maximize legroom in the back.
When in doubt, just ask, "Do you prefer I sit in the front or back?"
They'll often give you the choice and if you don't feel chatty, just take the back seat.
It's OK to ask to turn off the music
You can order an Uber through Google Maps
Huzzah! You no longer have to leave Google Maps to order an Uber. And, if it's your first time, you get $15 off. Here's how.
It's not always cheaper than a taxi
Sure, taxis are not always easy to hail, don't have free water and candy and require you to swipe a card, but guess what: They're sometimes cheaper than Uber, especially when you factor in surge pricing. Business Insider took a deep dive into this very topic and found that taxis are often cheaper in New York -- and almost always cheaper when Uber is at 2x surge pricing. Alternatively, give Lyft a try before you resort to a taxi.
Editor's note: This story originally stated that you could avoid Uber Pool stops by paying an extra dollar for an "additional rider," but it seems the feature no longer works -- the Uber driver will change the number of passengers upon seeing you're riding alone.