10 Things I love about Uber!

New to Uber? So was I! Here are 10 things I love about Uber so you can discover what is great about this 'taxi' service, especially while traveling abroad! You should try it too!

At first I thought Uber was just another taxi company but on a global scale. You call for a taxi, a random driver in a fancy car picks you up and drives you to your destination. What I soon found out was that things go way different with Uber. All you need is a credit card and a smart phone with internet connection and GPS, which I recommend while traveling anyway.

1. Instant and fast pick-up!

It was frightening me at first, why trust the internet if you can just call for a taxi and wait? Well, that's one of the best parts of it – you don't wait in the blind. Remember those times when you called for a pick up and due to traffic jams or other customers you where waiting easily an extra 30 minutes before the taxi would actually arrive? In the meantime you were thinking something went wrong with the booking, you call again, etc. With Uber you get the drivers phone number and you can see where he/she is driving with GPS.

2. GPS tracking, no d-tours!

With Uber you open the App when you need a driver. Instantly you see who is nearby on the map (check the cars in the image) and how long it will take to pick you up. Than it's your decision to take or leave it... As easy as that. Once booked you can see exactly where your driver is with GPS, how many minutes to your pick-up point and sometimes you get an even better pick-up point close-by. Throughout the whole ride you can follow the car over GPS, so d-tours and circles you will see on your phone, but there's no reason for that...

3. No price negotiation

When you jump in a 'regular' taxi abroad it starts quite often with a price game. Especially when you just arrive at a new country. Some countries and cities offer 'official' taxis with ticket counters so you are quite sure you are not ripped off. But, especially when you move from a train station or boat harbor to down town things can get tricky. It might look like a taxi driver or taxi but it can be a scam. Especially when you don't know the average prices the people that walk up to the boat or train most aggressively to help you with your luggage might offer a deal that is only good for themselves. It happed to me so many times.

4. Prices are clear, fixed and low!

If the 'regular' taxi has a meter, you just hope they know the directions. Especially in The Philippines it happened to me many times that they said yes, they knew the area, but had no idea where the actual hotel or accommodation is. You can easily loose an hour.

Without having to argue about the price it's great to know beforehand what you are about to pay and decide if you want to book it - no hard feelings and you don't let somebody in front of you down if you don't take the offer. The price really set me off my chair, it was about half I would pay for a 'regular' taxi without scams. I tried Uber in different countries and sometimes the price difference is more than 75%!

5. Cars are new, clean and comfortable without all the luxury!

Taxi's can be super fancy as well as totally worn out, damaged, old and tiny. Big fancy cars with drivers in nice suits often offer big fancy prices in Western Europe. In Asia, especially if you are are a bit taller than average (Dutch people are the tallest people on earth), you might not have enough leg space. If you're lucky there is air-conditioning in the car, if you're really lucky the air conditioning is actually working and you're a master if you found a taxi with air-conditioning in working condition and turned on at a nice temperature. With Uber the cars are new, clean and the air-conditioning is not only available, it works! You don't get a Mercedes, but do you really need that?

6. You rate the driver and he rates you!

Now this is something I really like, all the Uber drivers I met were very friendly and interested. Compared to the many times in regular taxi's where "Hello" and "Destination?" were about the only words spoken. Don't get me wrong, I don't need to talk about everything the whole trip, but I have met so many nice people telling me their stories about why they joined Uber. Sometimes they were doing this for a shorter period; to search for a new job, besides studying or just to get out of the house more often after retirement. Also I met many drivers that did it full-time after being a 'regular' taxi driver for years.
After the ride you get to rate the driver and he rates you. You both need good ratings in order to get quick pick-ups. This is an honest way to get good and nice rides. Every ride I had was good, no complaints ever. Everything is done in English, your driver will speak conversational(or ++) English, so don't worry about getting lost in translation.

7. It's safe!

It took me a few rides to convince myself, but it is much safer than to jump in a random taxi. Especially for female solo travelers I would recommend Uber. Anybody can drive a car and pretend to be a taxi driver, who knows where you end up? With Uber you don't just jump in a car; you know the full license plate number, phone number and name of your driver (including photo-ID) beforehand. On your phone you can follow where your driver is taking you and Uber knows it too (tracking). This really made me feel a lot safer! Also there is an insurance covering you as a rider from pickup to dropoff.

8. No cash needed!

No ATM's in the area, paying about 10 times the price, getting back fake money as chance, etc. Also the add-ons for extra people, luggage or traffic jams might be on your account at the end - and yes, all these things really happened to me. Sometimes the meter price just goes up without proper explanation - the driver just pushes some buttons. Even though I would not call myself an unexperienced traveler there are always moments you are tired, focused on other things or just believe in the good of people... With Uber you don't need to worry about the money. You pay afterwards with credit card, the exact itinerary is calculated again and you get all the details in your email. So either when you are in a hurry, tired of a day of traveling, no cash is needed.

9. It's new and revolutionary!

Uber is changing the way we think about paid rides and change can be hard. So, as with many big changes, people fight against it by being afraid of the unknown. The fear of losing jobs because of this technological improvement with the effect of lower prices for example. For sure that is what's happening in the whole digital revolution. Many Uber drivers are driving because they lost their jobs due to digitalization. Engineers, bankers and former managers who made the shift are more common than exceptions during my rides. Don't let me get too philosophic about the whole thing, but bare in mind things will change over time anyway. It's up to you when you jump. If you grew up with computers and social media or if you're an early adopter it might be more easy than when you are new to things like online banking and installing apps. It can be scary to share your personal details, but it's necessary to participate. Being revolutionary always brings in legal questions as well, as you must have heard of, laws might change in the future as the smart people of Silicon Valley prove their right.

10. One app for drivers all over the whole world

Once you arrive in a new country, province/state or city you don't need to search for taxi companies, phone numbers, buy tickets at a counter, etc. You just open the app and check if there are Uber drivers in the area to pick you up for the price you like to pay. Since it is a (fast) growing service you won't find it everywhere yet and you might need to wait longer than you would do for a regular taxi, but you can always compare the price online so you have something to negotiate with in case you don't want to wait for an Uber or they are not around. Right now I can check the availability for my next travel destination, so I know beforehand what I'm getting in to.

Are you convinced? Just try it for free and see it for yourself!

You can sign up with this link to get a free ride! Then download the app and try it whenever you're ready for it! This post is NOT sponsored by Uber in any way. I just wanted to express my feelings about this service to let you know what it is and what you can expect. If you want to try it, click on the black box below. Once you've done your free ride I get a free ride as well, that's it. Please let me know what you think after your first try!

Any questions? Just let me know!


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