So you want to be a five-star rider.
With Uber now deactivating users with low ratings in the U.S., it’s time to clean up your ride. If you’re a halfway decent human being, you should be OK, but there are ways you can boost your rating closer to 5.0.
Uber’s updated community guidelines break down how to improve your passenger etiquette in three categories.
Treat everyone with respect
Think about everything from your comments to your gestures. Don’t touch people, whether that’s fellow riders or your driver — especially any sexual touching or gestures. Just keeps your hands to yourself.
Conversations can also veer into threatening behavior, like asking what seems like an innocuous question about a fellow rider’s relationship status. Keep it casual and light and not too personal. Leave the flirting for your destination, not the ride.
Your comments and actions should also be fair — don’t discriminate against your driver because of their gender, religion, race, accent, age, hair color, or anything physical about them.
Respect also extends to the car. Don’t leave behind trash, kick the door closed, or otherwise damage and mess up their ride. If you vomit in the car, you’ll have to pay to clean it up. Try not to vomit — drivers really don’t enjoy dealing with that.
Respect your driver’s time. Don’t make them wait for you to get to the car. If you are held up, text or call them to let them know. If your mom or friend was picking you up you’d (hopefully) be courteous and communicative, so do the same here.
A spokesperson for the Independent Drivers Guild said other small things can affect your rating, like bringing in odors, especially from alcohol, marijuana, and strong-smelling foods that can linger in the car. She added, “Uber is not a moving service. Nor is it an ambulance service,” so don’t make your driver do more than they’re hired to do.
Help keep one another safe
You can have a friend request a ride for you, but remember their profile rating is now in your hands, for this ride at least.
Follow Uber’s rules — so if your kid is under 18 and needs a ride, make sure an adult is with them. Drivers don’t want to deal with determining someone’s age.
When getting out of the car, make sure you aren’t hitting bicyclists, scooters, pedestrians, or others on the road. Practice the Dutch Reach!
When in the car, put on your seat belt and make sure everyone else in your group is buckled up. Your friends riding with you can also influence your rating, so make sure they behave properly as well. Even if they have their own Uber account, they are riding as your guests, so it’ll reflect on you.
Follow the law
As a rider you shouldn’t be anywhere near the steering wheel or other car buttons and parts. You may be in a rush, but you can’t force your driver to speed, break road laws, or make dangerous maneuvers. They’re the driver.
This isn’t a limo to prom — you can’t have open alcohol containers and make your Uber a party. Same goes for drug use. Firearms are also prohibited in cars.
Again, damaging the car and anything in the car like the driver’s phone can cost you and ding your rating. Leaving behind food and drinks, smoking, and generally being a jerk won’t help you on your quest for five stars.