Uber (and rideshare in general) has become a part of contemporary culture. What started as a way for some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to easily hire a private driver has turned into a service so ubiquitous that people have started to use “Uber” as a verb. “I’m Ubering to the bar” or “I’ll just Uber there” are common phrases, particularly among highly connected millennials.
Yet with all the popularity of Uber, there still exists confusion about the different types of service that Uber offers. This is understandable, as it seems that the company is constantly adding new services or changing the names of existing ones.
To help clear the air, we’re going to take a look at the most common Uber service out there: UberX. We’ll examine what UberX is, reasons you should use it as an Uber rider, and conclude with some advice for would-be UberX drivers.
- What is UberX?
- UberX Cars
- Reasons to Use UberX
- How to Request an UberX Ride
- How Much Does UberX Cost?
- Who Can Drive for UberX?
- How Does UberX Compare to Other Uber Services?
- UberX Rules
- Additional Benefits
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is UberX?
UberX is the flagship Uber service. According to the company’s website, “UberX is the most popular way to travel with Uber.”
If you open the Uber app, input a destination, and don’t change any of the default settings, then an UberX ride is what you’ll get. UberX offers low-cost, private rides in standard sedans or other vehicles that can hold at least four passengers. Your UberX ride won’t be fancy, but it will get you there far more cheaply and conveniently than a taxi will.
All UberX drivers are required to undergo a background check and DMV check, so you can be sure that you’ll be safe during your ride. Furthermore, you can rate your driver once the Uber ride finishes, which ensures that your driver is accountable for their conduct.
Just remember that drivers can also rate you as a passenger, so always be polite and respectful towards your driver (and ensure that any fellow passengers do the same).
UberX Cars to Expect
The cars on the UberX platform are mostly economy vehicles, selected for the platform to offer drivers reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability – all in the name of low prices that you can expect with UberX.
Cars you can expect on the UberX platform:
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Prius
- Honda Accord
- Ford Escape
They won’t qualify drivers to to drive for the higher-end, more lucrative Uber services, but they’re excellent for drivers who want a car that they can drive for Uber part-time, but also use for other day-to-day activities.
Note that, in general, any car that’s less than 15 years old, can hold at least four passengers, and is in good condition will qualify for UberX. To learn more, check out our post about Uber vehicle requirements for drivers.
3 Reasons to Use UberX
With a range of other ride options out there, why should you choose UberX as a passenger? We’ve identified three main reasons that UberX is a great choice, though of course, you may have reasons of your own that aren’t listed here.
1. UberX Is Affordable
One of the main reasons to choose UberX is that you want an affordable ride. The service will almost always cost less than a taxi, and it will certainly be cheaper than hiring a chauffeur or other type of private driver.
The precise cost of an UberX ride will vary depending on the distance, ride time, and the current demand for Uber rides. To get an idea of how much your ride will cost, check out our free Uber fare calculator.
2. UberX Is Widely Available
Since UberX is the company’s flagship service, you can count on it being available anywhere that Uber operates. This makes it the most reliable way to get a ride in almost any U.S. city, as well as many major cities across the world. Other Uber services, in contrast, are not always available, particularly if you’re outside large cities.
3. UberX Is Convenient
Let’s face it: One of the main reasons to take Uber at all is that it’s more convenient than a taxi, public transit, or walking. It can even be more convenient than driving yourself, as you don’t have to worry about parking or the safety of your personal vehicle. And since UberX is the default Uber service, it’s also the most convenient to call — just open the app, input your destination, and tap “Request UberX.”
How to Request and Complete an UberX Ride
If you’re interested in using UberX, the first step is understanding how to use Uber.
You’ll need to start by opening the smartphone app and entering your destination. Once you’ve entered your destination, you’ll need to enter your pickup location so that your UberX driver knows where to find you.
You’ll receive a fare estimate based on the pickup and dropoff locations that you enter. Fares depend on things like where you’re going and whether surge pricing is in effect.
Surge pricing occurs when there are not enough Uber drivers on the road to meet customer demand. We’ll go into pricing a bit more in the sections below. After viewing the prices, you can confirm your ride by tapping “Confirm UberX.”
Then, Uber services will match you with a driver in your area. Once the site has made a match, you’ll see the driver’s picture and vehicle details. The map in your Uber app will show the driver’s location and estimated time of arrival.
When your UberX driver appears, make sure you match the face and license plate with what it says in your app before entering the vehicle.
Doing so can keep you safe, ensuring that you don’t enter a stranger’s vehicle. Upon entering, your driver will take you to your destination. UberX drivers have access to navigation services, but you can request a specific route if you’d like.
Upon arriving at your destination, Uber will automatically charge the credit card you have on file. There’s no need to pay your UberX driver in cash.
Tipping your Uber driver is also suggested. While you can tip in cash, you can also do so through the smartphone app. Uber also asks that you rate the driver once you arrive at your destination.
How Much Does UberX Cost?
The cost of your UberX will vary depending on a variety of factors. Uber services use an algorithm to determine the price of your ride. The formula that the company uses is:
Total Fare = Base Fare + (Cost per Mile x Ride Distance) + (Cost per Minute x Time in Ride) x Surge Multiplier + Booking Fee + Tolls and Surcharges
Confused? Don’t worry — we were too when we first tried to decipher that equation.
The base fare is the standard fee the company charges for a pickup. The cost per mile and cost per minute both fluctuate depending on the type of trip you’re taking.
You can use an Uber trip calculator to help determine the cost of your ride before submitting your request. Whereas the Uber app provides you with a real-time estimate, the calculator can give you an estimate without accounting for things like surge pricing.
From time to time, you’ll receive various Uber offers for things like discounted rides through the smartphone app. You can elect to apply these offers when you place your trip. The app will build these discounts into your projected fare estimate.
Who Can Drive for UberX?
Uber requires its drivers to meet various requirements before they can hit the road in an Uber vehicle.
To become a professional driver for Uber, individuals must pass a background check. They must also provide a valid in-state driver’s license indicating that they are at least 21 years old. Drivers must have at least one year of experience on the road.
Uber also requires its drivers to provide higher-end cars. While not every car is a luxury vehicle, the company makes an effort to ensure the vehicles in its fleet are safe, secure, and clean.
Typically, vehicles cannot be more than ten years old. The car must also have at least four doors and seat belts for at least five people, including the driver. Uber does not accept two-door vehicles.
To ensure that cars meet these high-end requirements, drivers must submit proof of current registration and in-state vehicle insurance.
How Does UberX Compare to Other Uber Services?
In addition to UberX, there are many other Uber services out there. Here are a few of them, as well as how they differ from UberX:
- UberXL — The main difference between UberXL and UberX is the passenger capacity of the vehicles. UberXL vehicles must be able to hold at least six passengers, which means that only vans, SUVs, and some trucks will be eligible to drive for the service.
- UberBLACK — This is Uber’s high-end car service. To drive for UberBLACK, you need to be a professional driver with commercial insurance. UberBLACK cars have black exteriors and black leather interiors. Brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and even Tesla are common with this service. The main difference compared to UberX is the quality of the vehicles and the professionalism of the drivers. Of course, the price is also accordingly higher, often two times that of UberX.
- UberSELECT — This service is somewhere between UberX and UberBLACK. It’s a higher-end service than UberX, with cars to match. However, the vehicle requirements aren’t as strict as those for UberBLACK, making it more accessible for both riders and drivers.
- UberSUV — This is the high-capacity version of UberBLACK. Or, you can think of it as the luxury version of UberXL. Either way, UberSUV rides are some of the most expensive out there, as they require high-capacity luxury vehicles.
- UberPOOL — UberPOOL uses the same vehicles and drivers as UberX, but riders can save money by sharing their ride with passengers headed in the same direction. Other than that, the experience for drivers and passengers is essentially the same as UberX.
- UberLUX — UberLUX is like UberBLACK, but it’s even nicer. The exclusive service is only available in select U.S. cities, and the vehicles are the fanciest on the market. Think Rolls-Royce, Porsche, and Jaguar. Naturally, these rides are far more expensive and elusive than UberX rides.
- UberTAXI — In certain cities, you can use the Uber app to hail a metered taxi. This has improved the taxi experience, while also bringing Uber into markets where taxi drivers heavily opposed the service in its regular form.
- UberWAV — Only available in select cities, UberWAV connects riders with wheelchair accessible vehicles. All UberWAV drivers must also undergo training in how to assist people with disabilities.
Are There Special Rules to Consider When Using an UberX?
If you’re about to jump in an UberX, you should consider some of the rules and regulations the company has put into place. Failure to follow these rules could leave you banned from using the smartphone app, making it impossible to book rides.
First and foremost, riders cannot make physical contact with the driver. Not only does this include things like physical assault, it also includes things like flirting or inappropriate touching. Riders also cannot use abusive or inappropriate language while in the car.
Riders are also not allowed to cause any damage to the car, the property of the driver, or the property of fellow passengers. This clause covers things like:
- Spilling drinks
Once your trip is complete, you should not try to contact the driver. Everything that you need to do after the trip, like tipping and rating the driver, can be done in the app.
Additional The Benefits of UberX
Still on the fence about using UberX? There are a few advantages to doing so:
- Private Rides: Looking for a quiet, peaceful trip? Customers receive access to a private vehicle for their trip.
- Affordable: If you’re looking for a private ridesharing trip, X is the cheapest option available.
- Share your ETA: When taking a trip, the smartphone app displays your ETA in real-time. You can share this with friends and family.
- Split the Fare: Uber recently added a “Split Fare” button that allows you to divide the total cost with friends. If they have the smartphone app, Uber will charge their credit cards automatically.
- Book a Trip in Advance: Have an early flight and fear there aren’t going to be enough drivers on the road? You can schedule a driver up to 30 days in advance.
Frequently Asked Questions About UberX
To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions riders and drivers have about the UberX service.
1. Are there any special requirements to be an UberX driver?
All UberX drivers must undergo a background check, meet the UberX vehicle requirements, and remain in good standing with the platform. Other than that, UberX is a fairly easy service to qualify for, especially compared to the other Uber services and their stricter vehicle requirements.
2. Is driving for UberX worth it?
Now that you know about all the other Uber services out there, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to drive for UberX. The answer, in general, is yes. However, if you do have a vehicle that will qualify for another Uber service such as UberXL or UberBLACK, we recommend driving for that service as well. The fares will be much higher, and the passengers will tend to be more polite and tip better than those you get with UberX.
3. Does Lyft have an equivalent for UberX?
The Lyft equivalent of UberX is simply called “Lyft.” In practice, we often refer to it as the “regular Lyft service” or “regular Lyft ride.” Like Uber, Lyft matches riders with drivers, then gives them an affordable, reliable, and safe ride to wherever it is they need to go.
Use UberX to Get Where You Need to Go
We hope this guide has helped you understand the basics of UberX. The service offers a convenient way to get to your destination for an affordable price. As a driver, UberX is an excellent entry into the world of Uber driving, especially if your goal is just to make some extra money on the side.