Star ratings are an important measurement of quality at Uber and other on-demand rideshare apps or delivery jobs like Amazon Flex. You start out as a 5-star Uber driver, and then it’s up to you to maintain your score. Quite a lot is at stake, as riders may cancel the trip if they see you have a poor rating, and in the worst case, consistent bad ratings may lead to deactivation.

In other words, your job as an on-demand driver depends on the quality of the services you provide.

However, passengers and Uber Eats customers can show their appreciation for your service in the form of tips, giving your earnings a welcome boost. So the good news is that your efforts to be an excellent driver are not just a simple struggle to stay afloat, but you get instant rewards for going the extra mile.

After each successful trip or delivery, clients will have the one-touch option to leave you a tip of $1, $3, $5, or to manually set a higher amount of up to $50. Tips don’t have a service fee, so the money is 100% yours.

It’s not as difficult to stand out as you might think, and paying attention to a couple of minor details goes a long way. Have a look at our tips below and see how Splend can help you be an outstanding driver.

How to get a 5-star Uber rating?

Part of why ridesharing is so popular is the increased service and car quality compared to taxis. Uber keeps quality in check with a simple self-regulating system where passengers rate their rides on a scale of one to five stars.

Since it’s optional, most passengers only do it when they have a good reason—in real life, this means you’ll need to go the extra mile for good ratings.

How does the Uber star rating work?

Riders consider many aspects when it comes to rating their rides, such as communication, the quality and cleanliness of your car, and your driving style.

You start out with a perfect five-star score. As of the latest public information from Uber, the overall score is an average of the last 500 individual ratings you’ve received. That’s why it’s not too relevant before your first 50-100 rides, so don’t worry if you see your rating fluctuate in the first few weeks.

Your passengers can see your overall rating as soon as you accept the ride.

What happens if your Uber rating is low?

If your rating falls dramatically, Uber will send you notifications to warn you of the possible consequences, as well as some tips to improve your rating. If it continues to fall and reaches below the minimum for your area, they may even deactivate your account.

Uber claims they only use this as a last resort and they may reactivate your account, provided that you follow their instructions and take the steps they require to improve the quality of your service.

At what rating does Uber deactivate my account?

Uber doesn’t automatically deactivate your account once you reach a certain rating, but if you’re below the average for your area, you’re at risk of losing access to the app either temporarily or permanently.

It’s difficult to say what this number is in your city, but Uber says 4.6 stars is an important watershed. This is the point where they will start asking questions and consider deactivating your Uber account.

How do I improve my Uber rating?

Once you have a low Uber rating, it can be tough to climb back up, but not impossible. Since ratings are optional, you’ll have to stand out to make sure your riders actually press the button. A neutral experience often means no rating, good or bad—people simply forget to rate their drivers.

The good news is that the smallest gestures can go a long way and mean the difference between five stars and nothing.

1. Have a smooth ride

One of the most important factors to becoming a 5-star Uber driver is the quality of your car. Most passengers switched from taxis to Uber for the experience. Passengers prefer SUVs and larger sedans, as they have ample room in the back seat and more than enough boot space for airport trips. New cars will always earn more 5-star ratings than older cars.

2. Keep it clean

Keeping your car clean and well-maintained is another important factor in maximising your 5-star Uber ratings. Avoid eating in your car and remove any rubbish that is lying around. Remember, first impressions count.

3. Go the extra mile

From bottled water to mints, mobile chargers for both Apple and Android devices, and an AUX cord for passengers to become the DJ, the thoughtful extras that Uber drivers are famous for will go a long way to ensuring you become a 5-star Uber driver.

4. At your service!

Gestures like opening doors or helping passengers with their luggage will boost your Uber rating dramatically.

5. Street knowledge

Start your trip by asking the passenger if they have a preferred route. If they don’t have one, ask if they’re happy with the route suggested by the satnav.

The Uber Driver app has a map functionality built in, but most drivers recommend Waze as it uses real-time data that helps you avoid an unexpected traffic jam. By arriving on time, you’ll keep your passengers happy and maintain your 5-star Uber driver rating.

6. Become a tour guide

Knowing what events are on in your local area is a great way to start a conversation and to build a relationship with your passengers, especially if they’re tourists.

7. Be creative and have some fun

Dressing up your car for big events adds to the experience. From cultural celebrations to sporting events or just the weekend nights, use your creative flare and have fun on the road. If you’re having fun, your passengers will pick up the vibe.

How to earn more tips with Uber?

1. Ask if your passengers have a preferred route

It’s the small things that make a difference. Though it’s hard to beat the GPS when it comes to calculating the quickest routes, people appreciate the courtesy of asking. You never know, you might even learn a nice shortcut and impress another rider later on.

Having said that, also ask before veering off the path suggested by the app, even if it makes perfect sense to you. Surprising your passengers with alternative routes is not worth the risk, as they’ll be just as grateful for the time you save them if you discuss everything up front.

2. Have snacks and water handy

It’s a good idea to keep small packaged snacks in your car which you can hand out to your passengers. A mint or a gum may also be a good idea – your rider will be more than grateful if they’re on their way to a meeting or a date. A chocolate bar can also be a winner regardless of the situation. Bottled water will be a lifesaver especially in summer and during night shifts. It’s important to keep costs down, so keep your eyes peeled for supermarket sales before purchasing these snacks and buy them bulk whenever you can.

A kind action like this is also perfect to spark a pleasant conversation. Be careful when shopping, though, because messy foods like chips or biscuits can lead to the opposite effect.

3. Keep your car spotless

This is a very easily overlooked aspect, and can silently chip away your rating and lower your odds of receiving tips, especially towards the end of your shift. Wet wipes are a must-have, but even a small cordless vacuum cleaner can be a clever investment. Go for the smallest one you can find so you can easily hide it away in the glovebox, as this is just for mid-shift touch-ups. A small brush will also come in handy for sweeping the car mats under the feet of your riders. Spraying air freshener between rides will also provide a great first impression.

TIP: Keep your windows clean at all times. Your car’s windows are at the eye level of your riders.

Therefore, keeping them clean should be a top priority, as it gives the appearance of a clean car even if the mats or the seats could use some more attention.

4. Be a good DJ

Music can lift the mood, but it is a double-edged sword and it can just as easily get very annoying. Moderation is key, and that goes for volume as well as style.

Lower the volume slightly when picking up and dropping off your passengers, and as a general rule, steer away from controversial genres. Mellow instrumental tunes are a safe bet most of the time (unless you’re feeling tired), but most people don’t mind something a little more upbeat either as long as it’s not too loud and doesn’t have explicit lyrics.

It’s always a nice gesture and a potential icebreaker to ask your riders if they’d like you to change or stop the music. Consider subscribing to a streaming service where you can find cool playlists that make your life so much easier.

5. Be mindful of the temperature

This is another thing that you can easily overlook as you get comfortable in your car. After an hour or two of driving, you can get used to the temperature, but your passengers may experience it as extreme, especially if your car is much colder or hotter than the outside.

In cold or rainy weather, set your thermostat to no more than 3-4 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. During the winter months, ensure your own comfort with the heated seats and clothing rather than overheating your car. Passengers will most likely be dressed for the cold and find your car too hot.

The same applies to hot summer days. Setting the AC too low can make for an unpleasant ride.

How can Splend help you be an outstanding driver?

At Splend, we provide the complete service to make sure you’re a more profitable, safer, and happier driver. As a result, Splend customers enjoy Uber ratings and earnings well above the national average. Here are some ways we can help.

Every ride is a joyride with a new car

We know there is no way to be competitive with a car older than five years, regardless of how well it has been looked after. That’s why we offer exclusively new-model, 5-star ANCAP rated, Uber-compliant cars, and always choose the best cars for ridesharing – plenty of luggage space and a roomy interior are always a must when we choose our newest models.

The car is yours 24/7 to drive for Uber and personal use. You, your friends, your family, and most importantly, your passengers will love the quality of your car.

Apart from the obvious new-car feel and the head-turning factor, driving a new car also means they are packed full of the latest tech that allows for a more pleasant experience.

Get a rideshare-ready car and start earning

Get a new-model Uber-ready car with our Flexi and Flexi own plans

Dedicated support

Your dedicated Customer Specialist provides you with coaching, training and mentoring. They will make sure you know all the latest Uber tips and tricks and keep track of your performance to let you know if there’s something you can improve.

Customer benefits and discounts

We’re constantly working on bringing you the best customer benefits. Ask your Customer Specialist about the list of currently available benefits.

Goodies to hand out to your passengers

We stock up your car with a range of delicious goodies that you can hand out to your riders. They always appreciate it with a smile, but this also increases their willingness to leave you a tip.

You can pick these up free of charge during your visit to the local Splend Hub.

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About Splend

We enable people to make money by driving for on-demand apps such as Uber.

We’re more than a car subscription provider. In addition to new-model cars and all the essentials to start earning money with Uber as quickly as possible, our customers enjoy driver training and dedicated support, as well as customer benefits such as partner discounts and exclusive events.

For more information about Splend, make an appointment and drop by to your local Splend Hub, email us, or say hello on 1800 775 363.