You may have heard that Uber’s first ride is free . “Cool” you think ” I always wanted to road trip across the fifty states. I’ll take my first Uber ride from coast to coast for free! Then, I just have to pay for a one way plane ticket home!” Hold on a second. Don’t start packing your suitcase just yet.
What Uber really offers is a $15 credit for your first ride. This is only for one way, so you have to pay for your trip home if you are going on a round trip.
So, if your first ride is $13, you pay nothing. If it is $21 you pay $6. If it is $30 you only pay $15. Not really a bad deal. My own personal first ride actually was free but I only went about three miles.
So, how do you know if your first Uber ride will be free?
How to use the Fare Estimator for your first ride:
2. Enter your credit card information. This can be a little off putting for some but don’t worry. Your card will only be charged if you take a trip over $15
3. After you fill out the form, you can download the Uber passenger app either for your iPhone or Android device, just like you do with any other app.
4. Open the app and start booking your ride.
The app can be a little intimidating at first. I played around with it quite a bit before I ordered my first ride. I even accidentally called a car when I wasn’t ready but was quickly able to cancel it. Don’t worry, that doesn’t count as your first ride and you won’t be charged if you make the same mistake. The first cancellation is always free and any cancellation is free if you do it within five minutes of calling a car.
You will see the cute little car icons moving around your location on the built in map. They spin when they are stationary and not driving. This lets you know there are lots of cars around, ready and waiting to pick you up.
To see how much the fare is from your current location, first enter your destination at the top. The app will then use your phone’s GPS to work out where you are. You can also type in the name of a place like “Golden Gate Bridge” or put in a street address like “1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500”.
5. Next tap the “set pickup location” button to set a pin where you are. This is the starting point of the ride. You can also move the map around so the pin is at another place where you will be later, like a bar or something, to see what a fare would be like from there.
6. Next enter your destination. Hit the “fare estimator” button at the bottom left and it will give you a range of prices for the journey, depending on traffic. Uber charges per minute as well as per mile. If the range is lower than $15 then your ride will be completely free!
Once you have done this, you can close the app and use it again later on. Just know that Uber is not like other cabs where you will be waiting at the side of the road for ages. Be ready to leave NOW, since the driver will most likely be with you in a few minutes.
You may also notice the slider that allows you to choose different types of Uber cars. The types available vary from city to city. In my town you have a choice of UberX, UberXL, UberPEDAL, and UberACCESS.
These types may have different prices so be sure to pick the type you are planning on using. For example, UberXL , which seats six passengers, is more expensive than UberX, which can transport four total. Some towns have UberSELECT, UberBLACK and UberPOOL as well.
Uber’s first ride is free: How to Order an Uber Car
After following the above instructions and ensuring you are ready to hit the road, just tap the black “Request” bar at the bottom of the app. Your ride will be with you momentarily.
Check out our Uber Driver Store for some items we recommend for drivers