Find yourself in any major city and it's surprisingly hard to flag down a taxi when you need one. Get stuck in an unknown area and it's really hard to make a call, tell a taxi company where you're located, then wait a while for them to arrive. When Uber was launched, the rules changed.
Uber is a private driver-on-demand serivce, is remarkably simple to use and is much cheaper than a regulated taxi. Once you've downloaded the app, sign up with a credit card (and if you can find a referral from a friend you get a $20 Uber credit towards your first ride) and you're ready to find your ride.
Open the app and the app homepage shows you real-time live preview of nearby cars on a small map. It's worth noting that these are all private drivers, with their own car, although in our experience we've only ever experienced a professional service.
There's an option to choose a bigger vhicle if you need one. Six seater? No problem, just select the uberXL option. In addition to the standard uberX option there is also EXEC and LUX which offers higher end vehicles at a higher fare.
Once you have chosen your destination and car type it is plain sailing. You can estimate your fare, which will be largely dependent on traffic and your choice of vehicle. From here all you need to do is press 'Pick Up' and a Uber driver will be assigned to you once they accept the ride. You'll see there location on the map as they move towards the pickup point and an estimation of the pick up time. You'll be notified through the app and by text when your driver accepts your request and is near your location. Sit back and watch your journey on a map with an estimated arrival time.
Once your ride is complete, you'll be billed direct to your credit card on file, with no requirement to hand the driver cash for your journey, then Uber will send you an invoice for the ride, ideal for a business person and expenses.
What's new in 3.225.2?
Uber relies on location services to ensure safe and accurate rides. In this latest version of the app, you’ll now be asked to allow location information collection from the time you request a ride through up to five minutes after it ends. This helps identify better pickup and dropoff points and helps customer service if you ever need to contact us about a trip. You’ll always be in control over what location information is shared and can adjust this at any time in your device settings.
While the ride experience will vary dependent on the Uber driver, and Uber has had it's fair share of publicity (good and bad), the app itself is incredibly simple, easy to set up and usually saves a serious amount on your ride vs traditional taxis.