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You have probably heard of the ride-sharing service Uber, but do you understand what are the different types of Uber?

Understanding Uber’s services will help you save money and get the most out of your Uber riding experience.


What Exactly is Uber Ride Sharing?

First, while Uber was first marketed as a “ride sharing” service, that was really a bit of semantics. You don’t have to share your ride with anyone if you take Uber.

The reality is, they serve as the modern equivalent of a taxi service. The difference is that Uber drivers are independent contractors who use their own cars to pick up passengers. Uber also uses a smartphone app to call for the driver.

A traditional taxi service would either be available on the street, where you would flag them down, or by phone. You would call the taxi company’s phone number and a professional dispatcher would route your information to the nearest taxi.

How Does Uber Work?

With Uber, you need a smartphone to run Uber’s app and a credit card. When you are ready to ride, you open up the app to type in your current location and where you want to go. Depending on where you live, you may only have to wait a few minutes before an Uber driver shows up.

Once the ride is over, your credit card will be charged, and you are given the option of rating your driver. (You will also be rated as a rider, so be nice and respectful to your driver!) You can also optionally leave a tip for your driver.

The most confusing part of Uber are the different types of Uber. We will go over that next.


What are the Different Types of Uber?

Uber comes in many different options depending on your needs. There are four basic types of Uber rides.

Note: Uber uses different names for their rides in different cities, so if you are traveling, don’t worry if your typical type of Uber doesn’t show up. It may be under another name.


1. Super Economy – Carpool

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If you are on a budget, the cheapest way to ride Uber is to use their carpool option. This is actually where you are doing a real “ride share” as you will be sharing your ride with strangers in the area that your driver will also pick up.

This option is often called UberPOOL or POOL.

The downside of the carpool option is that it is slower and not available all the time, as it depends on demand for the service. As it is usually only a few bucks cheaper than economy, you won’t save a lot unless you are riding frequently.


2. Economy – The Typical Uber Ride

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Economy rides are often called “UberX” but may also include “UberXL” cars, which are larger cars that can fit more people. The larger cars will be more money than a car that seats one or two, obviously.

While the economy option is generally cheaper than a typical taxi ride, it is still not super cheap. A short 15-minute car ride could cost about $15 or even more depending on where you live and whether it is a peak time or not.


3. Premium – When You Have Money to Blow

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You may wonder why anyone would use a premium Uber ride sharing service when you could get the same ride for less. Well, maybe you are going out on a date and want to give your beloved a nicer experience. Or, you are going to meet a client and want to look a little more upscale.

The reason premium rides cost more is not that they are faster but the cars themselves are a little nicer. You will be picked up in a luxury car such as a Mercedes Benz, BMW, or Lexus. These options are often called UberBLACK (in some cities the cars are all black) or UberLUX.


4. Accessibility – For Wheelchairs and Families

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If you are in a wheelchair then Uber can be a great option for getting around. The accessibility service offers cars that can handle wheelchairs and/or car seats for families with small children.

These might be called WAV, UberACCESS, or UberX + Car Seat.

The challenge is finding drivers who have these types of cars available, so whether you can use this in your city depends on that.


Enjoy the Different Types of Uber

Now that you understand the different car options Uber provides, you can venture out and try your first Uber ride. Once you get the hang of Ubering, you may not want to drive yourself anywhere ever again. Enjoy!

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