It’s actually easy. Do you have a smartphone? You’ll need to download the free Uber app to your phone and register for a new account, providing your email address, phone number and credit card information. Once you’ve got that set up, you can have an Uber driver pick you up at your location at the tap of a button.
Using the App to Request a Ride
To summon an Uber, open the app and log in. You’ll need to choose your vehicle type – there are five choices. “UberX” is the company’s budget option, sending a normal car to your location. There are other options, but for now, let’s keep this simple. Go with “UberX.”
Once you’ve picked your vehicle type, select your location on the map shown with a pin or manually enter the location. This is how the driver knows where to pick you up. Enter your destination information now.
An Uber driver will accept your ride request. You’ll actually see the Uber drivers in your area, in the form of little cars on the map. This will give you an idea of how many Ubers are in the area – and the possible wait time.
Enter your destination information and select a method of payment. You can pay via the credit card you entered on file, or you can pay with PayPal. Your fare will automatically be paid at the end of the ride.
Now What? You Wait
While you’re waiting for your Uber driver to arrive, you can see several variables, including the driver’s ETA (varies depending on location and time of day, etc.), the max size for the car (usually four people with UberX) and the minimum fare. You can also get a fare estimate, and you can learn more about your Uber driver, including their first name, the type of vehicle they’re driving and the license plate number. You will also have their phone number, in case you need to call or text them.
Once you arrive at your destination, you pay for your ride and rate your experience all on your phone. Uber riders and Uber drivers rate the experience after each trip. The feedback helps Uber keep track of its driver’s quality – and the drivers ratings help ensure that disrespectful passengers can be blocked from using the service if they’re violent, aggressive, or unsafe.
Other Things to Know
- Sometimes, there aren’t any drivers available. If this happens, keep trying – some drivers become available after dropping off other fares.
- If you opt to cancel the Uber after five minutes, you will be charged a fee.
- You have to be 18 years of age or older to use the Uber app to request a ride.
- The Uber app doesn’t add a tip. Tipping is strictly voluntary and not included in the fare for UberX, though tips are certainly appreciated by the drivers. You can tip in cash.
- Be aware that during high volume times (like game days in Tuscaloosa), the Uber fare rates may automatically increase, or surge. You may pay a little more for your ride during these times.
- Uber will send you a receipt, via email, telling you the fare amount.