Uber Drivers Reveal the 5 Worst Things Passengers Can Do During a Ride. You Could Be Guilty of Doing Them Without Even Realizing.

Not tipping, being rude, and adding stop-offs at drive-thrus were just some of the complaints.

By Kate Duffy

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images via Business Insider
Uber drivers told Insider about the worst types of passengers they've driven.

Key Takeaways

  • Five Uber drivers told Insider about the worst types of passengers they pick up.
  • Not tipping, being rude, and adding stop offs at drive-thrus were just some of the deadly sins.
  • Three of the drivers said they get one bad passenger every week.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Are you always late to your Uber? Less than polite to drivers? Ask them to stop at drive-thrus? You may not like it, but you could be an Uber driver's worst nightmare.

They pick up all sorts of people during their shift, and five told Insider how unpleasant some passengers can be.

In its quarterly results last month, Uber said that, on average, a record 23 million daily rides were taken globally in the last three months of 2022. That's almost a fifth more than the 19 million daily trips in the same quarter of 2021.

Five drivers told Insider about the worst things passengers do during a trip.

1. Rude passengers

Bad-mannered riders can be a nightmare for Uber drivers.

"The worst type of passenger would be the ones who are rude and get angry when speaking to me," Trevor Martin, an Uber driver in Orange County, California, told Insider. "I probably would get one of those rides a week."

He's driven for Uber for more than a year and has completed more than 1,000 trips. He also said he dislikes driving sick or unhygienic passengers.

John Lacy, an Uber driver in Florida, said the worst kind of riders are those who are loud, slam the car door, and don't respect the vehicle. Over the eight years he's been driving, he said he gets three to four of these passengers every week.

David Hamilton, a Jacksonville, Florida, driver who's completed more than 3,600 trips over 10 months, said he has around one bad passenger a week who is rude or unclean in his vehicle.

Uber says on its website that drivers can report incidents through its 24/7 Safety Support team on the app.

2. Requesting stops at drive-thrus or convenience stores

One driver also said that customers who request stops at drive-thrus or convenience stores can be a drain on their earnings.

"It's such a hit on my pay if someone wants to take 10 minutes at the gas station before I drop them off. Then it's awkward when I say no," Michael Eide, a driver in California, told Insider.

Riders can add stops in their journey through the Uber app before and during the trip. Uber says riders can add up to two extra stops along the route, but if a stop lasts more than three minutes, the passenger will be charged more, Insider previously reported.

When demand is high, Eide said he avoids selecting the rides with stops at drive-thrus or gas stations because they don't pay enough for the extra time. A rider asked him to stop at a gas station at 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve, but refused to pay him extra, Eide said.

"I did have a passenger offer me $30 in cash to make a 10-minute stop," he said. "That made it worth my time and was respectful."

3. Not tipping

Another bone of contention is passengers who don't tip. Riders have the option to tip their driver after each trip — and Uber says the tip goes directly drivers. A 2019 study by a University of Chicago economist, who analyzed data from more than 40 million trips, showed Uber customers tipped on just 16% of rides, with just 1% always tipping. Uber introduced the tipping feature in July 2017.

"I wish people would tip more if they are only going a short distance," said an Uber driver named Pasquale, who has driven for Uber for almost a year in Melbourne, Australia, completing nearly 250 trips. He wished to keep his last name anonymous to protect his identity.

Pasquale said riders who only paid $8 for a short trip could at least tip an extra $3. "If everyone did that, it would make my day."

Lacy, who has a 4.91-star rating, said "hardly anyone tips." As a passenger, he said he always tips $5 minimum and $10 for longer rides. "Even a few bucks would be nice."

4. Arriving late

Passengers have two minutes to get into the car before they're either charged or their trip is canceled. Unlike traditional cabs, Uber drivers have to wait two minutes until they can start getting paid for a trip. After waiting for five minutes, the driver can choose to cancel the trip and the rider will be charged a cancellation fee.

Eide said passengers sometimes want him to wait longer than five minutes.

5. No-go zones

Eide also called out passengers who want to be picked up from areas where drivers aren't allowed to enter or stop there.

In its community guidelines, Uber says that drivers should be aware they may be limited in where they can park while waiting for riders.

"We want every trip to be a respectful and positive experience for both riders and drivers, which is why we ask everyone who uses our app to commit to our Community Guidelines," an Uber spokesperson told Insider. "Drivers can raise any issues directly with us and any app user who violates these guidelines could lose access to the platform."

Passengers are able to check their breakdown of their rider ratings on the app so they can see how many good and bad trips they had.

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