Travel and holiday celebrations are upon us. Many people will be taking full advantage of their Uber or Lyft apps to get from one destination to another.
Rideshare companies make it easy to get to/from the airport, hop from one Holiday party to the next or simply go to a restaurant without the hassle of parking. You can forgo the worry about enjoying an extra holiday cocktail or parking 3 blocks away and walking in the snow (in your high heels) to a fancy holiday gala.
Here are a few things your driver would like for you to know before your next trip.
Don’t Make Your Driver Wait
As soon as you have requested a ride, the rideshare service will match you with the closest driver. He or she counts on efficiency so make sure your entire party is ready when you request a car. If left waiting for more than 5 minutes, drivers may cancel and move on to another trip.
Do your best not to cancel a ride once the driver is en route. Unless you track your driver going in circles several blocks away, and you are about to miss your flight, do your best to stick with the ride you ordered.
Remember you are climbing into someone’s personal vehicle. They work hard to keep their car clean for your comfort so make sure to be respectful of their property. Some drivers will offer you a water, hard candy or other forms of refreshments. Be mindful of bottles, wrappers and trash when you exit. If children are in the car, pay close attention to their soles kicking the seat in front of them. Eating in someone’s car is generally not appreciated, especially when you are dripping sticky hoisin sauce or dropping greasy fries all over the back seat.
Additionally, make sure everyone buckles up and follows obvious safety rules. Keep your head in the car, don’t hang out the window or stand up to see the sites through the sunroof.
Take Your Seat in the Back
Many drivers have their personal items in the front seat of the car and would prefer you jump in the backseat of their vehicle. Asking if you can sit up front may not bother some drivers. Others can be put off by a passenger who wants to sit next to them. One driver recalled a time a passenger sat up front and started scrolling through the radio stations without asking. “She clearly had boundary issues which didn’t stop with my stereo. She rifled through my glove box looking for a tissue and asked if I had any spearmint gum. I was taken back with her assertiveness.”
Enjoy Your Ride
Don’t be afraid to engage with your driver. Conversation is welcomed and makes everyone in the car feel more comfortable. If you would prefer to listen to music, don’t hesitate to let the driver know if you happen to get a particularly chatty driver. Some offer an auxiliary cord for you to charge your phone as you listen to your music or make your business calls.
Whether you choose to converse with your driver or prefer to relax and unwind, a pleasant hello and genuine smile go a long way in making the ride more comfortable pleasant for everyone.
Mind Your Manners a.k.a. Be Discreet
You are not alone – there is a driver in the front seat! You and your date are not invisible and anything you do in the backseat can be seen by the driver. Heavy PDA is not acceptable and you should refrain from making anyone uncomfortable with your behavior.
Drinking and driving is dangerous when you are behind the wheel. The beauty of taking a rideshare is you can imbibe more freely, however, you are still expected to conduct yourself in a responsible manner. When you are taking a rideshare, your driver would appreciate you behaving in a civil manner, even when you have had your share of alcohol.
Seriously Consider a Tip
There still seems to be some confusion when it comes to tipping your rideshare driver. The easy answer is yes, it’s polite to show your appreciation for a good travel experience. Lyft has offered tipping on their app since 2012 and Uber recently added a tipping feature to their app, as well. When your driver arrives with a smile on their face, a clean and fresh smelling car, offers to help you load or unload your bags and shares important information about a foreign location, their efforts should be rewarded.
With Uber, you have up to 30 days after your trip to tip a driver, and you have up to 72 hours after a trip with Lyft. But why delay – do it immediately. Select a preset amount or customize your tip. Just like a taxi driver, 15% to 20% is standard.
Rate Your Driver
Once you’ve settled into your destination, make sure to log back into your app and rate your driver. Higher rated drivers tend to get more ride requests. If you’ve had a pleasant ride it’s important to let them know.
Ratings are an incentive to provide the best experience possible. The company wants to know if and why you aren’t satisfied. Keep in mind traffic jams, technical difficulties and the price of the fare are not part of the rating system. The driver has no control over these issues. If you have had an unpleasant experience then go ahead and rate them accordingly. Give an explanation, which may help them improve their service in the future.
In turn, drivers can also rate you as a customer, reflecting their opinion of your manners and conduct during your trip.
Keeping these rideshare etiquette tips in mind will assure you both will have a pleasant experience.
For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, you may enjoy Driving Etiquette Quiz. Read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on HuffPost, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.