Uber drivers reveal 10 rules to live by if you want a perfect 5-star passenger rating

uber driver

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Limousine driver Shuki Zanna, 49, holds up his iPhone displaying transportation app Uber as he waits for customers in Beverly Hills, December 19, 2013.

Even if you’ve only used Uber one time, you have an Uber passenger rating.

In the same way that passengers rate drivers from one to five stars (one star indicates poor service and five stars indicates you were very satisfied with the ride), every Uber customer is likewise assigned a score.

If your score dips too low, you may find it hard to catch a ride — or you could be kicked off the system entirely.

But what are you doing that might inadvertently be lowering your Uber rating? How do you keep your Uber score hovering near a perfect 5.0?

We talked to the people who give you your scores: Uber drivers. They gave us some tips on how to keep your Uber rating up.

 

First, we’ll show you how to see what your rating is in the first place. Start by opening the Uber app. You’ll tap on the little silhouette icon in the upper left corner.

Then, tap on the “help” tab.

Tap on the “account” option.

Scroll down and tap on “I’d like to know my rating.”

Tap “submit” …

And then you’re shown your rating, right inside the app. My 4.6 is not great, so I asked some Uber drivers how to be the best passenger and get a 5-star rating — or as close to a 5-star rating as I could possibly get.

Rule #1: Don’t backseat drive.

It’s fine to offer suggestions if you know a faster route than what Uber’s GPS suggests, but don’t be too pushy, a driver named Muhammed told us. And definitely don’t ask the driver to do anything illegal, like stop in a bus lane or pull a U-turn. “I know my way around this city, and I’m doing my best to get you there as quickly as I can,” he says.

Rule #2: Be ready when your driver gets there.

Don’t make your Uber driver wait too long. Muhammed says he’ll start a passenger’s trip if he or she takes longer than 3 or 4 minutes coming to meet him outside.

Rule #3: Don’t make a mess, and definitely don’t throw up.

If you throw up in the back of an Uber, you’ll be charged a cleaning fee, and you can probably expect to get a one-star rating from a reasonably angry driver. Don’t leave your trash in the backseat either — just take it with you when you leave.

Rule #4: The small things add up.

Don’t bring smelly food into the car, slam the door, hail an Uber for a very short distance, or forget to enter your destination into Uber’s app, says a driver named Raul. These things may not occur to you, but they matter to your driver and could make the difference between you getting a four-star rating and a five-star rating.

 

Rule #5: Give a 5-star rating to get one.

Drivers rely on good ratings from passengers to be able to keep driving for Uber. If your driver is providing good service, let him or her know you’re giving him a good review — you’ll probably get one in return, if you’ve been a good passenger, a driver named Syrah says.

Rule #6: Tipping doesn’t hurt, either.

Maybe you and your friends were a bit rowdy in your Uber. Maybe you took 8 minutes to meet your driver outside. Feeling badly about it? You can always leave your driver a cash tip to make up for it, an anonymous driver told us. Uber doesn’t let drivers accept tips through its app, so a bit of a cash tip is always appreciated.

Rule #7 Don’t overload the car.

It’s illegal and puts your driver in the awkward position of having to tell you you need to order a second car, Uber driver Eitan says.

Rule #8: Enter and check your pickup location.

Uber’s GPS isn’t perfect, so when you select “go to pin” as your pickup location, it can sometimes be inaccurate and can lead to a miscommunication between you and your driver, one Uber driver tells us. Type in your address so your Uber driver knows where to meet you.

Rule #9: Don’t act entitled.

Some drivers have started carrying things like car phone chargers, auxiliary cables, gum, and bottled water to ensure they keep customers happy and get five-star ratings themselves. However, these are just optional perks, so don’t get into an Uber car and start demanding amenities. “I’m more than happy to give passengers whatever I have on hand, but they should know to ask politely,” one driver told us.

Rule #10: Be courteous and polite.

Manners matter. When asked what passengers can do to get good ratings, a driver named Sam told us that the key is just to be polite. Don’t make obnoxious requests — like asking for a detour so you can grab Taco Bell on the way home from the bar — and don’t slam the doors. He says one passenger tried smoking a cigarette in his car, and got a one-star rating as a result.


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