Back-to-school season has us thinking about the most common grade we get asked about: your Uber rating. In case you were dozing in Uber 101, riders and drivers rate each other on a scale of 1 to 5 stars after each trip. You can find out your rating to see how you rank as an Uber rider. (Pro Tip: Knowing your rating is also a useful “fun fact” for awkward office icebreakers).
Surprised by your rating? How could I be anything less than a 5?? Was I ungrateful for that water bottle? Did my friend and I talk too loudly? You’re not alone.
To set the record straight on what makes a 5-star Uber rider we polled New York City drivers on what earns riders a (refrigerator-worthy) 5-star grade. See the results below, take notes, and we’re sure you’ll be on your way to a 5-star grade.
5 Ways to a 5-Star Uber Rating—according to drivers
1. Be polite
We know—it might be before you’ve had your morning coffee or you’re on your way home from a long day at work—but no need to be grumpy with your driver. The most common response from drivers was that a rider’s attitude is a main factor for a rating less than 5 stars. No need to be chatty or tell them your life story if you don’t feel like it, but a smile goes a long way. Extra credit if you wish your driver a nice day when you reach your destination.
Pro Tip: Say “Hello,” along with your name when you enter the car. The introduction also helps your driver make sure he or she has the right rider so you can get on your way!
2. Be in the right place at the right time. Literally.
If your pickup turns into a scavenger hunt, your driver is more likely to rate you lower, so do your best to double check your pickup location and request when you’re ready to ride.
Pro Tip: Type your pickup location rather than dropping your pin, since GPS accuracy can vary in different areas and buildings. And, if you know you’re running a couple minutes late, text or call your driver to let them know when you’ll be at the vehicle, so they know they’re not being stood up.
3. Enjoy your POOL party
If you request uberPOOL, you might be matched with another rider heading in the same direction. Your driver automatically gets additional trips when another rider is matched along your route. If you try and convince your driver to not pick up other riders, it puts he or she in a difficult position—that will likely reflect in your rating—so please be respectful of the driver and other person requesting. Besides, you never know who you might meet in an uberPOOL!
Pro Tip: If you’re matched with a rider in an uberPOOL, don’t feel pressure to chat; you can talk to your fellow POOLers, or not. Either way, you can sit back and enjoy knowing that you’re saving money.
4. Leave the driving to the driver
Drivers polled rated backseat driving as one of the top pain points for rating Uber riders lower than 5 stars. We get it, this is your biggest test yet—as a New Yorker you just know the best route. But letting someone else take the wheel can be therapeutic—it’s the only time you can actually go from point A to point B without weaving through walkers, wrestling for a foot to stand on the subway, or sweating through your shirt on the way to work.
Pro tip: Sit back, relax, and embrace the fact that you’re not the one behind the wheel. Use the time to catch up on podcasts, check your email, or even take a nap.
5. Be on time
Being late to a party is fashionable. Being late for your Uber? Not so much. Our survey showed that Uber driver partners love when riders are on time for their pickup. Add a prompt pickup with a little bit of friendliness and you’re on your way to a 5 Star ride.
Pro Tip: If you’re requesting for a group, gather up your crew before requesting. And if you’re not the requestor, don’t be the reason your friend gets a low rating—that’s no way to ruin a friendship.
There you have it. The formula for a 5-star rating is at now at your fingertips. Class dismissed.