UberPool: What It Is and How to Use It

What is UberPool and how does it work?

UberPool is Uber's carpooling option (the name itself being a combination of "Uber" and "carpool").  Basically, it allows you to request a ride from an Uber car that is already carrying another Uber customer (or on its way to pick them up), as long as that car has room.  Then, that car will drop you off after the people who requested their rides first are dropped off.

The downside to using UberPool is that your car will probably take longer to pick you up and drop you off.  But if you aren't in that big of a hurry, UberPool can save you money… up to 50% of a regular UberX fare!

How to use UberPool

Getting a ride with UberPool is not radically different from getting a regular Uber ride, as we detailed in our How to Use Uber tutorial.  However, there are two major differences.

  1. When you are selecting your pickup (and drop-off) point and tier of Uber service, be sure to select (Uber)Pool.

  2. While your Uber car is on its way to its destination, you will be reminded at the bottom of the screen that you are carpooling with someone, and are thus paying a reduced fare.  Also, you will see the drop-off points of other people you are carpooling with (the smaller circles), in addition to your own drop-off point (the larger circle with your ETA inside).

That's a bit of information about UberPool and how it works!


UberX vs. UberSelect vs. UberTaxi vs. UberBlack

What are "UberX", "UberSelect", "UberTaxi", and "UberBlack"?

These are all names of tiers of service that Uber provides.  Basically, they denote the type of vehicle that you will be getting a ride in, and consequently how much your fare will be (since higher-end cars are more expensive to maintain).  There are three others: "UberXL", "UberSUV", and "UberLUX".

You will be able to select the type of service that you get when you request an Uber ride.  Note that not all levels of Uber service will be available in all cities or areas.

Tiers of Uber service

UberX

This is the least expensive tier of Uber service.  Drivers on this tier use economical 4-door compact sedans that you'll typically see on the road every day.

UberXL

This is the second tier of Uber service.  Drivers in this tier use lower-end vans and other multi-passenger vehicles (which seat at least 6).  This is a good, low-cost option when you need a ride for a large group of people.

UberSelect

This is the third tier of Uber service.  Drivers in this tier use 4-door luxury sedans with leather interiors that seat 5 or more people.  It's a step up from UberX.

UberBlack

This is one of Uber's three professional chauffeur service tiers, and one of its most expensive options.  Drivers in this tier use well-maintained 4-door black luxury sedans or crossover SUVs which comfortably seat 4 or more passengers.

UberSUV

This tier is the second of Uber's three professional chauffeur services.  Drivers in this tier use well-maintained 4-door black full-size SUVs that comfortably seat 6 or more passengers.  It can be seen as the luxury form of UberXL.

UberLUX

This is the last of Uber's professional chauffeur tiers.  Drivers in this tier use the highest-end models of the same types of vehicles driven by UberBlack drivers.  This is the most expensive Uber option, and is only available in select cities.

UberTaxi

This is a bit of a unique option, in that in some places, you can request a standard taxi through the Uber app.  You will pay the standard taxi rate for your area, plus a booking fee that varies by area (usually only $1 or $2, though).  You may also be automatically charged a 20% tip for the driver, depending on the area that you're in.

How do the costs of each type of Uber service stack up?

With the exception of "UberTaxi" (which we went over in detail as a special case), the following chart will give you an example of the fare costs among the different tiers of Uber service.

NOTE: We've chosen to use Los Angeles, California as an example, since all tiers of Uber's service (besides UberTaxi) are available there.

You can check the rates for each tier of Uber service in your area by going to https://www.uber.com/cities and clicking on the name of the city or urban area closest to you.

 

That's an explanation of Uber's different service tiers!


How to Cancel Your Uber Ride

What is Uber's cancellation policy?

Uber's cancellation policy is as follows:

  • If you cancel an Uber ride within 5 minutes of requesting it, you will not be charged a cancellation fee.

  • If you cancel an Uber ride when your driver is more than 5 minutes behind their estimated time of arrival (ETA), you will not be charged a cancellation fee.

  • If you cancel an Uber ride more than 5 minutes after submitting a request, and your driver is not more than 5 minutes behind their ETA, you will be charged a cancellation fee.

  • If you don't shown up for at least 2 to 5 minutes after your Uber driver arrives, they may cancel your ride, and you will be charged a cancellation fee.

What is the fee for cancelling an Uber ride?

As we'll outline in our UberX vs. UberSelect vs. UberTaxi vs. UberBlack article, the cancellation fee varies depending on what type of Uber service you requested, or the area in which you requested it.

Typically, however, the cancellation fee is either $5 or $10.  Check the rates for your area by clicking the name of your city on this page from Uber.

To cancel an Uber ride

  1. While your Uber ride is en route, tap on your driver's details to open additional options.  You should see a Cancel Ride button in the bottom-right corner.  Tap it.

  2. You will be asked to confirm that you wish to cancel your Uber ride.  Tap Yes if you are sure that this is what you want to do.

That's how to cancel your Uber ride!


How to Use Uber

Now that you've downloaded the Uber app and signed up for an account, it's time to start using the service to request rides!  Just select your pickup point and destination, wait for your driver to arrive, get in and enjoy the ride, and rate your driver when you get out.  It's pretty straightforward, but we'll break it down for you here.

To use Uber:

  1. Download the Uber app, create an account, and log in.

  2. Select a pick-up point, drop-off point, and tier of Uber service.

  3. Use the Uber app to track your driver until they arrive, then get in their car.

  4. Use the Uber app to track your location and ETA while on your trip.

  5. After you're dropped off at your destination, rate your driver.

Detailed instructions on how to use the Uber app

How to request an Uber ride

  1. Find the Uber app on your mobile device and tap it to open it.

  2. The first thing that you'll need to do is select the level of Uber service that you want (see our UberX vs. UberSelect vs. UberTaxi vs. UberBlack article), and select where you want to be picked up.

    Tap one of the options along the bottom of the screen to select what type of Uber service you want.  (For UberX or UberBlack, you will also have to choose between UberX/UberXL and UberBlack/UberSUV, as seen here).

    Next, tap the location on the map above (you can press, hold, and move your finger to drag the map view to another location) to select where you wish to be picked up.  You can also tap the location name and then use your mobile device's keyboard to type in an exact location.  Uber will give you an estimate on how fast an Uber car can get to you; tap Set Pickup Location to confirm.

  3. Next, you'll need to select a location that you want to be dropped off at.  Tap the "+" that appears next to the name of your pickup spot to make a destination box appear (or it may do so automatically).  Tap in this box and type in the name of the place where you'd like to go (the Google-powered search function will make suggestions to help you find nearby places; tap one to select it easily).  You may also be able to tap a different location on the map and then tap Set Pickup Location again to set a destination.

  4. You will now be asked to confirm your Uber ride request.  You can tap Change beside your payment option to switch to a different one (e.g. switch between a credit card and PayPal), tap Fare Estimate to get an approximate idea of what your ride will cost, or Promo Code if you wish to enter a coupon code and apply it to this ride.

    When you're ready to submit your Uber ride request, tap Request [your chosen Uber service].

What to do during and after your Uber ride

  1. While your Uber driver is en route to pick you up, you can see their name, profile picture, license plate number, and type of car.  This ensures that you know the right car to get into when your Uber driver arrives.

    You can also see where they are on the map, and approximately how long it will take them to get to you.

  2. If you tap your driver's details, you can tap Contact to call or text-message your driver, tap Split Fare to divide the cost of the ride among the people who are riding with you (if you are riding with multiple people), or tap Cancel Ride to cancel your request for an Uber car (see our How to Cancel an Uber Ride tutorial).

  3. The Uber app will notify you when your driver has arrived.  They will wait for about 2 to 5 minutes or so after they arrive for you to get in, or else they will leave and your trip will automatically be cancelled.

  4. While you're on your Uber trip, you can see a map that shows where you currently are, as well as your destination and the estimated time until you reach it. 

    You can tap Share My ETA to send a copy of this map to someone via email.  This is useful if someone is expecting you at your destination, or if you're updating a friend for safety reasons.

  5. When your Uber ride is over, you will be asked to rate your driver.  Tap one of the stars on this screen to submit your rating.  You can also tap the box that says "Leave a Comment" and type in something specific that you want to say about your driver.  Then click Submit.

    You can also tap Need Help? if you had an issue with your ride and want to report it. 

That's a brief walkthrough of how to use Uber to get a personal taxi, from start to finish!


How to Download + Sign Up for Uber

Uber is like Instagram, in that the majority of its functions are carried out on its application for your mobile device, as opposed to on the actual Uber website.  This tutorial will help you get started with Uber by learning how to download and install the Uber app on your mobile device (e.g. tablet computer or smart phone), and then sign up for an Uber account.

We’ll be doing this on an Android-powered phone, but for an Apple iOS device (such as an iPhone or iPad) or Windows Phone, the process shouldn’t be radically different.

How to download and install the Uber app

  1. Turn on your smart phone or tablet computer and look for the Google Play / Play Store program (it will be called App Store on an iOS device) and tap it to open it.

  2. Tap the search box at the top of the screen, and use your (virtual) keyboard to type in “uber”.  You should see a result show up named Uber (on Android devices, it will have Uber’s logo beside it).  Tap that.

  3. On the new screen, tap Install (or on iOS devices, tap Get and then Install).

  4. On an Android device, you will be notified of what parts of your phone the Uber app might need access to in order to function properly.  Just tap Accept.

    If you’re using an iOS device, you may be asked to log into your Apple Account before you go any further.  Do so, or if you don’t have an Apple Account, click this link and follow the instructions in order to set one up.

  5. The Uber app will automatically begin downloading and installing.  When it finishes, tap Open to begin using it.

How to sign up for Uber

  1. Once you have the Uber app open, tap Register in the top-right corner.

  2. You can use your Google or Facebook account credentials to sign up for Uber by tapping either of the two icons at the top of the screen.  Otherwise, scroll down and tap in each of the boxes highlighted in the screenshot below, and type in:

    – Your first name
    – Your last name
    – Your email address
    – Your mobile phone number (tap the country flag to select a different country code)
    – A password with which to protect your Uber account

    When you’ve entered all of the required information, tap Next.

  3. On the next screen, you will be asked to input your billing information.  You can input promotional codes here by tapping Promo Code, typing in your promo code, and then tapping Add Promo.

    You can also use your PayPal account to pay for using Uber by tapping PayPal at the bottom of the screen, logging into your PayPal account, and then following the instructions from there.

    Otherwise, tap in each of the boxes in the screenshot above and type in or select:

    – Your credit card number
    – The month that your credit card expires (in numerical form)
    – The year that your credit card expires (the last two digits)
    – Your credit card’s security code
    – The country in which you live
    – Your regional mailing code

    Once you have entered all of this information, tap Register.

That’s it!  You’re all set to use Uber!