woman offering cash for an Uber ride

Back Door Ubering – Why You Should Never Take A Cash Ride

If you’ve been driving Uber or Lyft for a few weeks, someone has probably asked you to take cash for a ride, instead of paying through the Lyft or Uber app. It may have been an acquaintance. “Hey, can you drive me to the airport tomorrow for $20 cash?” Or a rider may have requested to pay cash on a long trip. Whoever makes this request of you, the answer should always be the same – NO.

I know there are many drivers out there who take cash rides. Some even do it daily. It’s become so prevalent, there’s even a name for it – Back Door Ubering. I understand. The allure of cash rides is strong, especially since the introduction of Upfront Pricing. Passengers like them because they save a few bucks. Drivers like them because they make a little more, and they have the cash in hand right after the ride. Also, there’s the added satisfaction of beating the system.

However, whether you’re a passenger or driver, you should never, ever, take a cash ride. The risks are simply too great. For a driver, the risks of taking cash, instead of completing the ride through Uber or Lyft, are substantial. For one thing, if you get caught, both Lyft and Uber will likely deactivate you. But that’s not even the largest risk.

Lyft & Uber Cash Rides Are Not Insured

The biggest risk is that cash rides have absolutely no insurance coverage. Zip, zero, ziltch, nada. No coverage whatsoever.

Both Uber & Lyft offer $1,000,000 liability insurance while on a trip, along with contingent collision and comprehensive coverage. So, if you’re on a trip, and you have an accident where someone is injured, the driver has insurance coverage. On Uber, your out of pocket expenses would be limited to $1,000. On Lyft, they would top out at $2,500. While that’s expensive, if you want to know what the likely cost would be if you didn’t have insurance, just add a zero or two to the Lyft number – $25,000 – $250,000. Depending on the extent of the injuries caused by the accident, the total liability could be even higher. Yup, without insurance, the cost of having an at fault accident while driving Lyft or Uber would drive most people into bankruptcy.

What Happens In The Event Of An Accident On A Cash Uber or Lyft Ride?

Well, if you take a cash ride, Uber or Lyft do not provide insurance for that ride. The driver would not be covered, and the passenger wouldn’t be covered either. If you’re a passenger, obviously you won’t be liable for damages caused in an accident. But, if you are injured in an accident on a cash ride, you also won’t be able to get any of your medical expenses covered, because the ride is uninsured.

If you’re a driver, there’s no easy way to put this. You’re totally screwed if you have an accident on a cash ride. Uber or Lyft won’t provide coverage, and neither will your insurance company. But I have rideshare insurance, you say? It doesn’t matter. Almost every rideshare policy in existence only provides coverage for rides given on a TNC network (Uber or Lyft). Many rideshare policies don’t even cover driving for Amazon Flex or Instacart!  The only way you can conceivably do cash rides that are covered by insurance is if you have a full commercial policy. Most drivers don’t have full commercial coverage because it runs in the neighborhood of $400 – $600 per month. Also, since rideshare coverage exists and is now available in most states, most drivers simply don’t need full commercial coverage.

But What If I Don’t Tell My Insurance Company I Was Doing A Cash Ride?

I’ve heard many stories of drivers having an accident and not telling their insurance company that they were doing rideshare. This was especially common before rideshare insurance was widely available, and the practice still persists today. You really don’t want to do this. For one thing, your insurance company may find out, in which case the won’t provide coverage. Also, lying to your insurer about the fact that you were doing a cash ride is called something else – insurance fraud. While the odds of prosecution are really low, I’m pretty sure it’s a felony.

But Nothing Is Going To Happen On My Uber Or Lyft Cash Ride

You’re probably right. The likelihood of an accident on an individual cash ride is low. You’ll probably complete the ride and nothing out of the ordinary will happen

However, if you’re considering giving or taking a cash ride, consider whether the extra five or ten bucks is really worth risking every cent you have in the bank, or a felony conviction. If you think about it, it’s just not worth it.

So, if someone asks you to take cash for a ride, remember that D.A.R.E. assembly, and Just Say No!

If you drive in a market where Uber accepts cash (mostly certain markets outside the U.S.), this article doesn’t apply to you. Take all the cash rides you want.

Uber Earning Hourly

Study Breakdown – Female Uber Drivers Get Paid Less Than Men

Women who drive for Uber are paid approximately 7% less per hour than men who drive for Uber.

That’s according to a new study Uber conducted in collaboration with Stanford and The University of Chicago.

Uber Earnings U.S. DriversCody Cook, Rebecca Diamond, Jonathan Hall John A. List, and Paul Oyer

It should be noted that the Uber gender pay gap is less than the national average, which stands at about 12% to 20% depending on which study you look at. However, Uber’s master algorithm, which determines how much drivers are paid, is supposed to be blind to factors like gender. So, how did this happen?

The study, which has not undergone peer review yet, concludes that male Uber drivers earn more due to three factors:

  1. Female Uber drivers have higher turnover than men, and more experienced Uber drivers tend to earn more.
  2. Male Uber drivers are more likely to drive in lucrative areas.
  3. Male Uber drivers drive faster on average.

Uber says the study uncovered no evidence that “outright discrimination, either by the app or by riders, is driving the gender earnings gap.”


Uber attributes about one third of the gender wage gap to experience. As many veteran Uber drivers know, there’s a learning curve when it comes to driving. Experience counts and the study provides evidence of that. Uber drivers with more than 2,500 rides earn about $3 more per hour than drivers with less than 100 rides.

About 75% of women stop driving for Uber after six months, compared with 65% of men. That’s a significantly higher attrition rate. Moreover, from week to week, the average female Uber driver is on the road for just under 13 hours, compared with about 18 hours for male Uber drivers. According to the study, the higher attrition rate, combined with fewer average hours on the road, means that over time, there will be a lot fewer experienced female Uber drivers on the road. Since experienced Uber drivers make the most, having fewer experienced drivers in the pool brings down the average hourly earnings for female Uber drivers.

Uber Experience Pay Gap GraphCody Cook, Rebecca Diamond, Jonathan Hall John A. List, and Paul Oyer

Driving Speed

On average, men drive faster than women, and the study attributes about one half of the gender wage gap to this factor. On the Uber platform specifically, men drive approximately 2.2% faster than women. This means male Uber drivers, on average, can complete more rides over time than female Uber drivers. However, speed demons beware. The study notes that while driving a little faster leads to positive returns, those returns diminish and turn negative if you go too fast.

Driving Location

The rest of the gender pay gap, about one sixth, is due to driving location. Male drivers are more likely to drive in high surge locations. These locations generally include downtown areas during afternoon rush hours, residential areas during morning rush hours, and nightlife areas on the weekends.

The study also cites some other factors that may contribute to the pay gap. Male Uber drivers tend to take trips where the distance to get to the passenger is shorter. Also, male Uber drivers, on average, take more long distance trips.

Uber Gender Pay Gap Parameter AveragesCody Cook, Rebecca Diamond, Jonathan Hall John A. List, and Paul Oyer

Can the Uber gender pay gap be closed?

According to one of the study’s authors, not anytime soon. Rebecca Diamond noted:

I think this is showing that the gender pay gap is not likely to go away completely anytime soon. Unless somehow, things in our broader society really change, about how men and women are making choices about their broader lives, than just the labor market.


What do you think? Can Uber’s gender pay gap be closed, and how? Leave your answer in the comments.

Source: Uber Pay Gap Study

Uber Driver Rating

Uber Considering Driver Rating Changes – May Let Passengers Select Higher Rated Drivers

It looks like Uber is considering making some changes to the driver rating system in the future.  Aspects of the rating system can be a major bone of contention among drivers. So, some changes will likely be welcomed.

Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, recently said he wanted “particularly good” drivers to be rated “at a different level.”  Khosrowshahi noted that while Uber passengers can choose a different service level when it comes to the car, they can’t when it comes to the driver.  Over the years, I’ve heard complaints from highly rated drivers (4.9 or above) about why they aren’t paid a little more, or don’t receive some benefit from having a high rating.  Uber’s coming changes will likely seek to address this issue.

However, Khosrowshahi said Uber is “very early” in the process, so don’t expect these changes in the next few months.  Based on how Uber has rolled out changes in the past, testing is unlikely to even begin until the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2018.

Dara - Uber CEO


How Will Uber Change The Driver Rating System?

Currently, an Uber passenger has a handful of vehicle options to choose from in most markets.  A rider can take an UberX vehicle, or if they need more space, they can go for an UberXL.  If it’s a special night out, they can opt for UberSelect or in some markets, UberBlack.  As Khosrowshahi noted though, passengers can only choose the type of vehicle they want to ride in.  They cannot select a higher rated driver.  Well, they can, but the only way to do it now is to keep canceling until you’re matched with a driver who has a high rating.  This actually happens quite often, and according to Uber, the result is longer overall wait times.

In order to change that, Uber will likely add a feature that lets passengers only be matched with drivers who have above a specified rating.  Uber will likely charge passengers who select this feature slightly more. Otherwise, every Uber rider would select the higher rated driver option.  So, instead of just having different vehicle types to choose from, passengers will be able to select a driver with a 4.8, or 4.9 rating, if they’re willing to pay an extra 5-10% or so.

You may also be interested in:

But, that’s not the only change Uber is likely to implement.  Uber may also allow passengers to choose a driver based not only on ratings, but on experience or amenities offered.  For example, Uber could allow a passenger to select a driver who has completed more than 1,000, or 3,000 rides.  Or, a passenger can request a driver who offers phone chargers, or a wifi hotspot in the vehicle.

Uber May Pull A Page From Uzurv’s Playbook.

The proposed Uber changes will likely borrow from Uzurv, an on-demand reservation system for Uber and Lyft drivers.  Uzurv began as an app that let passengers schedule rides in advance on Uber or Lyft.  However, last year, both Uber and Lyft launched advanced scheduled rides. So, now Uzurv users are mostly using the app to find experienced drivers, or drivers who offer a specific amenity.

Uzurv Driver Accommodations

If you’re an experienced driver with a high rating, you may be able to find a few additonal rides by signing up for Uzurv.  You can download the Uzurv driver app on Google Play and in the App Store, or by clicking here.

On the other hand, if you’re a passenger, and you need a driver with a bike rack, you can probably find one on Uzurv.  Military base access is often an issue for drivers.  So, if you need a driver who can pick up from a  military base, Uzurv may be able to help.  Click here to download the Uzurv rider app.

Who Wins And Who Loses From The Anticipated Uber Driver Rating Changes?

While Uber is very early in the process, the winners if Uber makes these changes are clear – highly rated drivers and Uber.

Drivers with a high rating will win because they are likely to get more ride requests.  It’s no secret that passengers often cancel on a driver with a low rating.  If Uber lets passengers set an option in their profile to only send requests to drivers with a 4.8 or higher rating, the result will be an increased number of requests for drivers with a 4.8 or above.  Since Uber will likely offer this as a premium feature for passengers, one side effect is likely to be an increased number of UberPool rides for drivers with under a 4.8 rating.

Uber is likely to win by broadening the options by which a passenger can select a driver, and by increased revenue from highly rated drivers.  The revenue increase will come from the add on charges Uber may implement for higher ratings or amenities offered.  The big question that remains is whether Uber will pay highly rated drivers a higher per-mile rate than other drivers.  After all, Uber will be making more from these high driver rating rides.

These Changes Could Potentially Solve Uber’s Biggest Problem

While Uber’s past actions towards drivers indicate that Uber will screw the drivers and keep all of the revenue increase for themselves, this may not occur in this case.  The reason is that these changes could help solve Uber’s biggest problem, full time driver retention.

Uber’s full time driver retention rate after one year is significantly lower than Lyft’s retention rate.  The simple fact is that many full time Uber drivers don’t stay Uber drivers for more than a year.  This is a huge problem for Uber because the cost for Uber to recruit and onboard a new driver is over $1,000.  This cost includes advertising and marketing, along with any bonus or guarantee amounts for the new driver.  Also, while part-time drivers make up 80% of all drivers, the 20% of Uber drivers who are full time, perform 80% of all Uber rides.  Moreover, full time Uber drivers have a higher average rating than part time drivers.

So, by slightly increasing pay for highly rated drivers on certain rides, Uber can raise full time driver satisfaction and increase driver retention, without damaging customer demand, and without lowering overall revenue.

What Other Changes Should Uber Make To The Rating System?

Uber drivers have been wishing for various changes to the rating system for years.

Many drivers would love to see a change to the way Uber handles complaints of driver intoxication.  There’s a fairly popular Uber passenger scam that Uber seems to have no answer for.  Basically, a passenger says a driver is drunk or high in order to get a free ride.  Uber then deactivates the driver for 48 hours while they “investigate.”  In the vast majority of cases, the driver was not intoxicated, and Uber reactivates, after the driver has lost two days of earnings.  Uber (and Lyft) need to implement a better and faster process for evaluating passenger complaints about intoxication.  The current system is not working and royally screws drivers.

If you’re a driver, what changes would you like to see to the Uber rating system?  Leave your idea in the comments!

uber passenger ratings

9 Things You Can Do To Raise Your Uber Or Lyft Passenger Rating

In the last few months, Uber and Lyft have made it easy for riders to know their passenger rating. While it’s currently easier to check your rating on Uber than Lyft, the situation is a vast improvement from a couple of years ago when getting your passenger rating on either platform usually required about three or four email exchanges.

How To Check Your Uber Or Lyft Passenger Rating in 2018.

For Uber, you just click on menu in the upper left hand corner inside the app, and your rating is displayed right below your name.

Uber passenger rating

While this is great for passengers, it sucks for drivers. Here’s why. If you’re a passenger who’s has a 4.85, and immediately after a ride, your rating drops to 4.83, you’ll know your driver didn’t rate you five stars, and you are less likely to rate them five stars. Since drivers usually have to rate passengers before they can accept another trip, this means the driver is at risk of receiving a bad rating in return. Uber could easily fix this by having the passenger rating update a week later (the time passengers have to rate drivers).

Lyft still doesn’t let you check your rating in the app, but you can contact them here or message @AskLyft on twitter. If you want to keep your rating private, be sure to direct message @AskLyft.

Ask Lyft

Many Passengers Are Astonished That Their Rating Is So Low

Now that passengers can find out their rating pretty easily, more riders are checking to see what their rating is. Unfortunately, there are many passengers who, for some reason, thought they were a 4.9, but are only a 4.5, or a 4.1, or worse. The gentleman in this article recently found out he was a 4.2. In order to boost his score, he resorted to, “making conversation, laughing at drivers’ jokes, giving a great tip.” He was able to raise his rating to a 4.4 – still not great, but an improvement.

I feel for the guy in the article. He seems like a perfectly nice fellow and he’ll probably never know why he received some bad ratings. In truth, there are many things that can get you on a driver’s bad side, and what pisses one driver off may be just fine with another. This is similar to the situation drivers have been dealing with for years. As drivers, we generally have no idea why a passenger leaves us a bad rating. So passengers, welcome to the club.

As for the rating of the guy in the article, I’ve picked up passengers with a 4.2 or 4.4 and the riders have usually been fine. However, if the passenger is under a 4, they’re always awful. I used to pick up pretty much everyone, but if you’re pulling a 3.7 or 3.5, you’re not getting a ride from me.

What passengers must understand is that when you take an Uber or a Lyft, you are getting in someone’s car. Sure, the driver is providing a service to you, but it’s their car. In most cases, they bought it and want to take care of it. So, if you don’t treat the driver, and their vehicle, with respect, you’re going to get a bad rating. Luckily, there are a few things you can try to boost your Uber or Lyft passenger rating.

How To Raise Your Uber Or Lyft Passenger Rating

First, watch this video so you have a better idea of the things that piss most drivers off.

Now that you’ve watched that, here’s a list of things you can do to raise your Uber or Lyft rating.

  1. Tip your driver. Less than half of Uber riders tip. If you tip, you’re far more likely to get a five star rating.
  2. Tip your driver. I put it twice because it’s probably more likely to help than anything else on the list.
  3. Don’t make the driver wait. If you drive Uber or Lyft, time is money, and drivers hate waiting.
  4. Don’t eat, smoke, or fuck in the car – The last two are definite no-no’s (no vaping either). If you just grabbed a sandwich and you’re absolutely starving, ask the driver nicely if you can eat in the car. Say please and grovel a little. “I haven’t eaten yet today”. Don’t just start stuffing your face. If you ask, the driver will most likely (but not always) say yes.
  5. Don’t hit on your driver. I understand the thirst is strong sometimes. However, your driver is working and probably isn’t interested. Even if they are, they’re working. Wait until you get home and avail yourself of the copious amounts of free pornography available in our great nation.
  6. Don’t leave trash in the car. Who does that? Believe it or not, lots of passengers. The trait seems particularly strong among the bro-douche crowd.
  7. When you get out, don’t slam the door.
  8. Don’t mess with the radio or air condition controls.
  9. If it’s 30 degrees out and the driver has the heat on, don’t open the damn window.

This is not a complete list, but there is a common theme running through the items on this list – respect. If you treat your driver with respect, like they’re a human being as opposed to your servant, you’re more likely to get a five star rating.