Uber is a very convenient service. Compared to taking a ride in a taxi, it feels futuristic. You can have a ride to your destination quickly with just the press of a few buttons. Once the ride arrives, you can hop in and be on your way. Payment is easy, too, happening all within the app, meaning there’s no need to worry about fumbling with cash or putting your credit card into an unknown machine.
But what do you do if you need to request an Uber ride for someone else? Is it possible to do this using the Uber app? It is possible, and in this quick guide, we’ll show you exactly how to do it.
- Reasons to Request an Uber for Someone Else
- How to Call an Uber for Someone Else
- How to Deal With Ride Problems and Driver Complaints
Reasons to Request an Uber for Someone Else
Why would you want to call an Uber for another person in the first place? You’re probably used to using Uber to get a ride for yourself or for people traveling with you, but it can be quite handy to call rides for others. Just as you might have “called a cab” for a friend or family member back in the day, you can now do the same with Uber.
One reason you might call a ride for someone else is that they don’t have a smartphone. This could be your elderly family member who has no interest in smartphone technology, or it could be a friend who forgot their phone at home.
The case of elderly relatives is especially helpful, as you may not always be available to drive them where they need to go. If they’ve gotten to the point where they can no longer driver themselves, they can feel trapped at home. Uber can provide them with newfound mobility and freedom.
Another common scenario would be that the person who needs the ride is incapable of requesting it themselves. This can happen at parties or bars where one of your friends has one too many drinks and can’t think clearly enough to call a ride for themselves. You want to make sure these people get home safe, but you may not be in a fit state yourself to drive them. Here, calling an Uber for your friend can really save the day, keeping everyone safe.
Do note that you should only use this service to get rides for people who are over 18. Minors are not allowed to use the Uber service, even if someone else is requesting and paying for the ride. It can be tempting to use this feature as a way to get your kid a ride home from school when you can’t pick them up, but doing so is a violation of Uber’s Terms of Service.
How to Call an Uber for Someone Else
To call an Uber for another person, you’ll follow much the same procedure as you would when calling an Uber for yourself. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:
- Tap “Where to?” and enter the pickup location of the person who needs a ride
- Above the pickup location, you will see an icon that says “For [Your Name Here]” – Click on this menu.
- Then click “Choose who’s riding” and select the contact information for the person needing a ride.
- Enter your friend’s contact details — either select their contact information from the contact picker or type in their phone number. Note that the Uber driver will see whatever name you have for the person in your contacts, even if that’s a nickname
- Select your friend, and make sure they have an arrow on their icon
- Enter your friend’s final destination
- Tap “Confirm Rider” and then tap “Request”
The rider will receive a text message confirming the information about the driver. This will include the driver’s name, the vehicle’s license plate number, and the driver’s contact information. That way, the person can contact the driver if they have any issues. They’ll also receive text updates on the driver’s ETA and current location.
While the ride is in progress, you’ll be able to watch it in the Uber app. This way, you can be sure that the person has safely arrived to their final destination. Note that while this Uber ride is in progress, you won’t be able to initiate any other rides (for yourself or for another person). You’ll have to wait until the ride has finished before you do that.
Also, you should know that you can’t request a ride for someone who’s in your same location. This is a bit annoying, as a common use case for this new feature would be to request a ride for someone in your location who is unable to drive or request a ride for themselves.
You can get around this by placing the pickup location to somewhere that’s near your location. It doesn’t have to be that far away. You can just set it to the business next door or around the corner. That way, your friend doesn’t have to walk far.
Even though it isn’t that much trouble to adjust the pickup location, it would be nice if Uber fixed it so you didn’t have to use this workaround. We hope the company will change this in future updates to the Uber app.
As with any other ride, the payment information stored in your Uber account will go towards the cost of the ride. So if you need your friend to pay you back, you’ll have to work it out among yourselves later. Once the ride ends, you’ll have the option to tip and rate the ride as you would with any other Uber trip.
How to Deal With Ride Problems and Driver Complaints
When someone else is taking an Uber ride in your name, there are certain issues that could arise. To start, what do you do if your friend has a problem with their driver or ride? Since they don’t have the Uber app, they can’t contact Uber customer service themselves.
Your friend will have to let you know themselves of any issues. If they do inform you of a problem, you can take the same steps that you would if you were reporting an issue with a ride you took. Learn more about how to do this in our complete guide to contacting Uber customer service.
Another potential issue that could arise is that of clean up fees. While you hope it won’t happen, a friend that’s had too much to drink could vomit in the car. If this happens, Uber will charge you for the fees. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t the one taking the ride — you’re responsible for any charges associated with rides taken using your Uber account.
To learn more about how this works, check out our guide to Uber fees. If your friend tells you that they didn’t vomit in the car and the driver is trying to commit fraud, you can try to protest the charges. Don’t expect to get an automatic refund, however, as rides where someone else was in the car make it difficult to prove what happened.
Get Uber Rides for Your Friends and Loved Ones
We hope you enjoyed this brief guide to calling Uber rides for other people. As you can see, Uber makes it easy to do using their app. It’s no more difficult than requesting a ride for yourself. We’re glad the company has implemented this feature, as it makes Uber even more accessible to those that need it most.
Curious about how to call a Lyft for someone else? Check out the guide on Lyft’s website. In addition to requesting an Uber for someone else, it’s also possible to get a ride without a smartphone. Check out our guide to requesting Lyft or Uber from a computer to learn how. We also recommend looking at our full guide to how to use Uber for even more information about all the things you can do with the service.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.