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Can I Request a Specific Uber Driver? Here’s How

Key Takeaways

  • You cannot officially request specific Uber drivers; system assigns based on proximity.
  • Uber’s “Favorite Driver” feature allows selecting preferred drivers for scheduled rides.
  • Workarounds exist but are not guaranteed and may violate Uber’s terms.
  • Enhance ride experience through Uber Comfort preferences or higher service tiers.

Key Takeaways

  • You cannot choose a driver on Uber. The system automatically connects riders with the nearest available driver to minimize wait times.
  • The “Favorite Driver” feature is chanigng that. Available in select cities and only through Uber Reserve, this feature allows scheduling a ride with a preferred driver at least 30 minutes in advance.
  • Location Limitations: Feature is restricted to certain areas like Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, and others.
  • Alternative Approaches: In areas without the Favorite Driver feature, riders can try contacting drivers directly or repeatedly reject other drivers until the preferred one appears, though this is not officially supported by Uber.

Recommendations: My recommendation is to just use the app and not worry about who is driving you. If you do want a specific driver though, simply ask them for their contact information and then take it from there.

Whenever an Uber driver meets your criteria for a “good” ride, chances are you want them to drive you again. This is why many Uber riders wonder if it’s possible to request a specific Uber driver.

Today’s article explores whether or not that’s a viable option. We’re also sharing tips on how to boost the likelihood of experiencing a great Uber ride every time.

Can You Request a Specific Uber Driver?

You cannot officially request a specific Uber driver through the app. Uber’s system assigns drivers based on proximity and availability.

However, if you know your preferred driver is nearby and available, you can attempt to get them by repeatedly ordering and canceling rides until they are assigned to you.

This method is not guaranteed and does not work in places like airports or during crowded events, where Uber uses different algorithms to assign rides.

Understanding Uber’s Matching System

When you open your Uber app and request a trip, Uber’s system recognizes your location and looks for nearby drivers. Then the app sends your request to the closest free driver, who will accept the ride and head over to your pickup location.

The goal is to maximize user convenience by making the wait time as short as possible.

If your preferred driver is far from your location or engaged in a different trip, this will result in prolonged wait times.

Many riders use Uber for its speed, so they won’t be happy dealing with a delay. It can also negatively affect the driver if it interferes with their planned route or causes them to make fewer trips than they need for the day.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

From a business perspective, the ridesharing companies want you to continue using their services and not call drivers on your own. This ensures that they have a steady stream of riders to meet rider demand, but to also take their own cut from the total price of the ride.

It’s not too far-fetched to think that if a passenger uses the same driver over and over, they may start to call the driver personally when they need a ride instead of using the Uber or Lyft app. The companies will lose out on their cut of the ride.

On a practical note, unless a passenger booked a ride well in advance, it’s not realistic for them to expect to get their preferred driver just when they need a ride. The driver they want may not be available – either driving another passenger or not even working that day.

And not to mention, what if a driver doesn’t want to be a passenger’s preferred driver. Maybe the passenger is annoying, or messy, or overly familiar.

If a passenger can request a specific driver, should the driver have the option to block a certain passenger? It’s a two-way street!

There are times, though, that there are valid reasons that someone would want a specific driver.

If the driver can accommodate a passenger’s specific needs or disabilities, it would be a huge benefit to allow the rider to schedule a ride with that specific driver.

This is of course just one example, but it would be interesting for drivers to somehow build a book of business natively within the Uber and Lyft driver apps, then everybody could win.

Update: A Recent Feature Release From Uber

Uber appears to be working on developing a solution to this sought-after reques, with their unique ‘Favorite Driver’ feature within the rider app.

You can add a driver to your list of favorite drivers by tapping the button ‘Favorite’ on the rating screen following a Scheduled Ride trip.

To view the full list, select the ‘Favorite Drivers’ section from the ‘Settings’ menu in your app. Here, you can also edit the list by unfavoriting drivers.

This feature is currently only available with Uber Reserve when ordering an Uber at least half an hour in advance.

There are also location restrictions since the feature is currently only live in select areas. These include major cities such as Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, and Houston.

Workarounds for Requesting a Specific Driver

If you’re not located in one of the areas where Favorite Drivers is available, you can try the following tricks to match you with a specific driver.

  • Call your preferred driver offline and ask them to drive near your location.
  • Open up the Uber app and put in your trip request as normal.
  • The driver should receive your request, then they can accept it and you can continue the trip as usual.

We should point out that there are no guarantees that your preferred driver will get your request. Also, other nearby drivers will likely receive your request too. You can keep rejecting drivers until the specific driver pops up on your screen, but once again, this may not happen.

Keep in mind that this workaround goes against Uber’s operation standards. The company doesn’t approve of drivers having personal contact with riders.

While many drivers might be on board, especially if you give them a big tip, it is technically against Uber’s terms of service which could get the driver deactivated.

Alternative Ways To Ensure a Preferred Ride Experience

There are other solutions besides choosing a specific driver to improve your Uber ride experience.

You can access preference features if you request a ride through Uber Comfort. These options include quiet mode, extended wait periods, and temperature control.

Quiet mode means no conversation or music, while temperature control lets you pick whether it’s cold, cool, warm, or hot. You can also request for the driver to wait for up to 10 extra minutes.

Booking a ride through a higher service tier like Uber Black can also enhance your experience. The drivers are more professional whereas the vehicles are more comfortable and feature-packed.

Besides these alternatives, leaving positive feedback on your preferred delivery helps prioritize them for receiving requests. This boosts your chances of matching with them.

How Do I Contact a Specific Uber Driver?

Vector graphic showing a confused Uber driver speaking with Uber driver support on the phone

While you can’t search for a driver and contact them, you can communicate with the driver once they assign one to your ride.

To contact a driver, first order a ride on Uber. Once a driver accepts the trip, you will be able to message or call the driver.

At the bottom of the app, there will be a message bar where you can type in notes for the driver, such as where you are waiting or a description of the passenger.

You can also click on the phone icon to call the driver directly. If you think you left an item in the Uber, you can contact the driver after your trip.

  • From the main menu, select “Your Trips”.
  • Find the ride you took, scroll down past the trip details, and click on the “Find Lost Item” box.
  • Then select the option, “Contact driver about a lost item.”
  • Enter your phone number in the “Your phone number” field.
  • If the driver has your lost item and brings it back, Uber will charge you a $15 fee for the driver’s time and expenses.

Other Uber Driver Requests

Rideshare passengers often want a driver with specific qualifications, but it’s not always possible to get.

Can You Request a Male Uber Driver?

No, Uber does not have the option to request a male driver. Gender discrimination isn’t legal and giving passengers the choice of picking a male driver can discriminate against female drivers.

Can You Request a Female Uber Driver?

No, you cannot request a driver based on gender, neither male nor female. Though female passengers may be more comfortable with a female driver, especially at night and in a deserted or unfamiliar area, it can be discriminatory to ask for a female driver only.

Can You Find an Uber Driver by Name?

No, you cannot search for or request a specific Uber driver by name through the app. However, after booking a ride, you can view the driver’s profile.

Post-trip, you can find the driver’s name and profile by selecting “Your Trips” in the Uber menu and reviewing past trip details.

Wrapping Up

Whether to enjoy high-quality service or to feel more secure, being able to request a specific Uber driver is an option we’d all like to have.

Uber does allow riders to choose a preferred rider through the Favorite Drivers feature, but there are multiple limitations. It’s only available in certain cities and riders must schedule 30 minutes in advance.

To ensure a pleasant Uber experience, approve rides with high-rated drivers and be there on time. Also, consider using higher-tier services for a more comfortable ride.

1 thought on “Can I Request a Specific Uber Driver? Here’s How”

  1. Believe it or not, many drivers are pretty picky about their passengers and who they pick for their trips. Think about it, they’re putting their own miles on their own vehicles. The last thing they want to do is deal with somebody that is known to be a pain. If it were me personally driving and there was an option for riders to be able to select me, I would turn that feature off so quickly!

    Reply

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