Getting a 5-Star Uber Rating

Becoming a driver with a transportation network company like Uber is relatively easy. But if you plan to drive for the company long term, maintaining the high expectations Uber requires of its drivers requires effort.

Here's how the Uber driver rating system works, along with some tips to help ensure you maintain a perfect 5-star rating.

The Road to a 5-Star Rating

After every Uber ride, passengers are asked to rate the driver on a scale of 1 star to 5 stars. Since the company aims to provide its passengers with the highest standard of professional service possible, receiving a low score could impact whether or not you will be allowed to drive in the future.

The minimum standards for driver ratings can vary from city to city. For example, if you are an Uber driver in Ohio, you must maintain a 4.5 rating or above (on average) to keep your driver account active and in good standing.

Ratings in your city could be slightly higher or lower than this figure. Uber notifies drivers of the exact standards once you've applied to become a driver. After you're in the system, you'll have little margin for error to keep your driving status active.

If you do happen to fall below your Uber city or state's minimum driver rating, Uber may suspend access to the driver app until you complete additional mandatory driver training.

Good Uber Driver Practices

The easiest way to keep your driver account active and in excellent standing is to maintain a 5-star rating. The good news is that it's not as hard as you might think.

Here are a few basic tips that will help you achieve a perfect 5-star score:

  • Drive safely.
    • This means obeying all traffic laws, refraining from speeding or driving wildly, and practicing good defensive-driving techniques.
  • Be polite.
    • Not all passengers are going to return the favor, but your own rudeness will almost surely affect your driver rating.
    • Knowing when to communicate with passengers and when not to is also a big part of the job.
  • Maintain a clean vehicle.
    • Inside and out, the cleanliness of your vehicle will either make an impression.
    • Passengers are paying for a service and don't want to feel like they've bummed a ride in their friend's beater.
  • Dress professionally.
    • While a suit and tie won't be necessary, dressing inappropriately could affect your score.
  • Keep your passengers comfortable.
    • Offering mints, chewing gum, or water are handy tactics.
    • You may also consider asking what type of music they'd prefer on the radio, and ensuring your climate control is to their liking.
  • Use navigation to find the quickest route.
    • The wrong route could be reason enough for a low rating from some passengers.
    • Asking passengers for a preferred route may also be helpful.
  • Assist with bags and car doors when necessary.
    • This isn't a must, but nice gestures are always helpful.

Questionable Uber Driver Practices

There are plenty of practices that could line you up for a poor driver rating with your passengers. To lower your chances of receiving negative feedback, here are a few things you should always avoid when transporting passengers:

  • Road rage.
    • Aggressive driving or anger at other drivers is generally unwelcome.
  • Using your smartphone.
    • Texting or making calls while driving is against the law in most states. Even if it's not, using your phone while operating a vehicle is dangerous.
    • If you use your smartphone for navigation, considering using a dashboard mount that will allow you to keep your hands on the steering wheel.
  • Completing a ride without a passenger.
    • If for some reason you can't find the passenger, call or text them. Completing the ride without picking them up will often result in low feedback.
  • Being argumentative.
    • Yes, passengers can be unreasonable. But engaging in an argument is always the wrong answer. If there's a clash of personalities, it's best to just keep quiet and provide the service you're being paid for.
  • Talking too much.
    • Some passengers won't want to engage in a long conversation. Asking unnecessary questions when a passenger doesn't feel like chit-chatting can become a negative.
  • Getting lost or taking an unusually long route.
    • This increases the fees for your passenger and could cause hard feelings.
  • Asking for a 5-star rating.
    • If you've provided good service, you'll get a good rating.
    • Asking for or expecting a good rating can be a turn-off for clients, and may yield the opposite result.
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