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What is Uber and How Does It Work?

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Going somewhere? why not get an Uber. But hold on a minute as we take you on a ride to finding out what uber is and all that you should know.

We’re used to walking down the road and hailing a taxi, but with the ride-hailing company called uber, all you have to do is submit a trip request using the uber mobile app and your request will be sent to an uber driver closest to you.

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The Uber driver who accepts your ride order will then locate you, pick you up and take you straight to your destination. What a great way to move around.

The Uber app will also automatically figure out the navigational route to your destination for the driver, calculates the distance and transportation fare, and finally transfer your payment to the driver from whatever payment method you select.

This means you do not have to say a single word or even grab your wallet. Here’s all you need to know about Uber, including how the service works, how you can sign up and how to use it.

Where in the world is Uber available?

Uber is currently available in more than 700 cities worldwide. To find out if it’s available in your city all you have to do is use this Uber website.

How do you become an Uber rider?


If you would rather be a rider than make money by becoming a Uber driver, then there are two ways to sign up to start riding: through the Uber mobile app (iOS or Android), or through the Uber website.

Once you visit the page or you sign up with the app, you’ll need to provide your full name, an email address, a mobile number, and also grant access to your location.

You’ll also be required to provide a payment option, whether that’s a PayPal account, credit card, or debit card. Uber also accepts Google Pay or Apple Pay if you have it set up.

Rider app


Uber’s mobile app can be downloaded from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. The app lets you submit a trip request. Another important function of the app is to automatically find your location and log GPS data.

The app then uses your location to match you with the closest Uber driver available. When an uber driver accepts your trip, you be shown their name, license plate, photo, rating, and even get a temporary substitute telephone number so that you feel safe riding with them.

You’ll also be able to follow your Uber driver using the built-in map until the driver arrives with you and when your trip begins, you can follow it in real-time and even share your ETA with friends.

How does Uber work for riders?

First, you have to download the Uber mobile app and sign up to become a rider. Once you have successfully signed up to becomes an Uber rider, everything else takes place through the Uber app.

No cash exchange is carried out between you and the Uber driver, so there is never the need to worry if you have the right amount of cash to get you where you need to be.

In place of cash in hand, the payment method you set up when you sign up to Uber is what will be used to automatically pay the Uber driver at the end of a trip, whether this is a debit card, Paypal, credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Submit a trip request

  • Open the Uber app on your mobile device.
  • Type in your desired destination in the “Where to?” box art located at the top of the app.
  • Select your desired ride mode by clicking one of the following options that are meant to show up with a fare estimate alongside them: UberX, UberXL, UberBLACK, UberTAXI, UberSUV, UberLUX, UberPOOL, or Assist. Depending on time, where you are located, and sheer availability, you may see some or all of the above options, depending on your location.
  • Select the method of payment you prefer to use. The payment method is located below the ride modes and expect your default option to be automatically selected unless you decide to change it by tapping on it.
  • Click on the Confirm UberX (or whichever ride mode you’ve selected) button which is at the bottom of the Ride Options screen.
  • After this step, you’ll be asked to confirm your pickup spot. Make sure that you check properly to confirm your phone’s location has got it right. Tap Confirm Pickup. Uber may need a few seconds or a few minutes to get you a driver nearby.
  • Once Uber has found a match, it will take you to a screen where you then get to watch your driver travel toward you on a map and also see his or her’s ETA. On this screen where you can see your driver navigate, you can also view the driver’s name, photo, license plate, rating, and get access to a temporary substitute number for contact.

Cancel your trip

Sometimes you may desire to cancel a ride. With the Uber app, this is very possible. You will be allowed to do this within two to five minutes after you have submitted a request, but note that you may attract a cancellation fee depending on the city.

Follow your trip

When the uber driver has arrived and also noted in his own mobile app that you’ve boarded the vehicle, you will be shown a new Map screen. You can use this map screen to follow your trip. On the map screen, you can also tap Send Status to share your ETA in real-time, so your that contacts know you are safe.

When you’ve safely reached your destination, the driver will have to note in his app that the trip has now been completed, and after that, your app will automatically process payment using the payment option stored to your account.

You’ll also be able to view past trips by clicking on the three lines in the top right of your Uber app, followed by Your Trips.

Rate your driver


This is the most interesting part for most riders, the feedback. At the end of your trip with Uber, the Uber app will request that you rate your driver from one to five stars (five being the highest).

This rating is really useful as it will affect the driver’s current overall rating that all potential riders see, thus giving you the chance to either recommend or warn against the driver.

You’ll also get a chance to add a tip for your driver if you so wish, and even pay them a compliment by clicking one of the pre-set options, like Excellent Service.

What do the different Uber cars mean?

Types of Uber Cars

Uber knows that each person has a different taste and that is why they offer various ride options, as well as the ability to request a luxury car, split the trip’s fare with another rider, or even travel in a particular assistance vehicle.

Below are the definitions for the most commonly available uber ride options.

  • UberX: An everyday car for up to four riders
  • UberXL: An everyday car for up to six riders
  • UberBLACK: A high-end sedan for up to four riders
  • UberTAXI: A partner taxi cab for up to four riders
  • UberSUV: An SUV for up to six riders
  • UberLUX: A high-end luxury car for up to four riders
  • UberPOOL: Share your ride with other riders and be automatically charged a guaranteed split fare
  • Assist: An UberX option that is designed to provide additional assistance to seniors and people with disabilities

You can read about these in our other article.

What other features does Uber offer to riders?

Apart from allowing all riders to request a trip whenever and wherever they want, there are several other amazing features that are offered within the Uber app.

The most recent upgrade in features occurred in May 2019, and since then the Uber mobile app offers London public transport information, for instance, allowing all riders to see if there is a better or an alternative way home. You may not know how useful this feature is until there is a holdup, or a price increase as a result of increased demand – in the area you are in.

It is also very possible for you to add your work and home addresses to your Uber account, and even other saved places, like a restaurant or the hotel you’re staying at when on holiday for instance. With this you are allowed to select the “Where to?” destination easier and faster.


At Uber, safety never stops, that is why you can now add “Trusted Contacts” to your Uber account. Once you have someone set up as a Trusted Contact, you have the opportunity to always share your trip status with just one tap.

And if you want your payment shared, It’s also possible to add a family member to your uber account. This way they get to share your default payment method, which means you can pay for your loved ones to get an Uber ride, as well as get trip notifications whenever they use it.

The above is different from Split Fare. With the Split Fare feature within the Uber app, you are allowed to split the fare with whoever you’re travelling with whether you know them or not.

But note that contact will need to accept to Split the Fare with you before this will be possible though and note that you will also be charged a small fee.

There are a couple of other cool uber features we’ve not discussed in detail, including the Quiet Mode for UberSUV and UberBlack drivers in the US, and also the Uber Jump e-bikes.

How do you become an Uber driver?


If you’re interested in working with Uber as a driver rather than enjoy their services as a rider, all you have to do is go to this Uber website and sign up to be a driver (it’s totally free).

Note that you must be at least 21 years old, with at least one year of driving experience, of course, you need a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance and vehicle registration, and finally, you need access to an eligible 4- or 6-door vehicle.

Once you are done signing up, your driving record and your criminal history will be reviewed by Uber.

Driver app

Just like the rider, uber gives all its drivers access to a particular app. The uber driver’s app helps you to decide how, where, and when to earn. Whenever you want to drive, simply open the app and click on Go Online.

You can easily follow your earnings, track profitable hotspots, get access to turn-by-turn navigation directions, decide when you want to get paid (end of a car trip, etc), minimise downtime, and also leverage the rating system to help lots of riders decide you’re the best driver for them.

Independent contractor


The good thing about uber is that all Uber drivers can get paid on a weekly basis and drive wherever they want and at any time of day.

If you do not want to report to any office or a direct boss, then uber is perfect for you, but you do have to drive your own personal car, or at least lease/rent a good car from an Uber partner.

Note also that Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, and that means taxation, pay, work hours, overtime benefits, and so forth will be treated differently by various political jurisdictions around the globe.


All UberSUV, UberBLACK, and UberTAXI rides are offered by commercially licensed and insured partners and drivers. Which means that those transportation providers are fully covered by commercial insurance policies in line with local and state requirements.

Uber also claims that it offers United States drivers third-party liability policies that function with their existing, personal insurance coverage. If you wish to learn more about that, you can do so by visiting this Uber website.

Are there alternatives to Uber?

It depends on what part of the world you live in. There are several ride-hailing services that are available in your mobile app store, but the most popular one aside from Uber in Nigeria is Taxify/Bolt and probably Lyft in other places. All these ride-hailing apps function almost identically, though they may offer a few unique features.

What is UberEATS?

This is an amazing feature you will absolutely love. Uber has partnered with good restaurants in select cities to bring you a food-delivery service, in which you have the chance of ordering anything from a roster of local food spots and get your food delivered to you within 35 minutes.

This is a paid service known as UberEATS, and you will need to download its own Android and iOS mobile app to begin using. UberEATS, which has lots of drives and still hires drivers, is now available in over 12 major cities in the US and is still expanding.

Have you ever used an uber? let us know about your uber experience in the comment box below.

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