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

Last updated: October 14, 2021
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vector graphic illustrating how to request a specific Uber driver

Did you have an awesome experience with an Uber driver and want to use them again?

Maybe they were quick, reliable, and played your favorite music.

Or maybe you loved their new cool car and wouldn’t mind riding in it to work each day.

Perhaps, despite all the safety precautions built into the Uber model, you’re nervous about getting into a stranger’s car at night and would feel more comfortable with an Uber driver you used before.

Or, the driver spoke your native language and had a car seat for your child.

There are many reasons why someone would want to choose their Uber driver.

If you take Ubers often, it can be nice to form a relationship and become friends with your driver.

The question is – how can you get the driver you want?

Can You Request a Specific Uber Driver?

The short answer is, unfortunately, no. According to Uber, passengers can’t put in a request for a specific driver.

When someone puts in a ride request through the Uber app, their software searches for the closest drivers and sends them the ride to accept.

If you know that the driver who you want is in the area and is available, you can get them.

Put in the ride request on the Uber app.
If you get another driver, cancel the ride.
Order the ride again and try your luck to get the driver you want.
You can order and cancel the ride a few times until you get the driver you want.

Note that this trick won’t work at airports or crowded events.

Uber uses a different algorithm for ride requests in airports, by factoring in both the drivers’ distance and how long they have been waiting for an assigned ride. Even if your favorite driver is at the same airport – or waiting at the same terminal as you – they may not get your ride request.

Crowded events can also pose a problem if there are many people ordering Ubers at the same time. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the driver you want, even if the car is right outside the event.

Favorite Drivers

Will Uber ever give users the option to request a specific driver?

It looks like they may, with their new feature for favorite drivers. This feature lets passengers mark their preferred drivers as favorites. When the passengers order an Uber, the app will try to find them a ride with the drivers on their favorites list – if they are available.

Don’t get too excited yet though! The favorite driver feature is only available in limited locations – mostly major cities such as New York City, Orlando, Miami, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Denver, and several others.

The feature is only available with Uber Reserve when ordering an Uber at least half an hour in advance. When you order a ride on the spot, it will not use your favorites list.

Uber Reserve has its own set of regulations with cancellation fees if canceling shortly before the trip for UberX, UberXL, and Comfort, and the full trip fee for canceling an Uber Black, Black SUV, and Premier.

How Does Uber Decide Which Driver You Get?

If you can’t pick your driver, what determines which Uber driver you’ll get?

The Uber app finds the drivers closest to your pickup location and sends them your ride request. If your preferred driver is the closest – call them offline and ask them to come to your location – they are likely to get your ride request, although there’s no guarantee.

At airports, however, the software takes into account drivers who were waiting a while for a passenger. So if there are a few drivers near the airport, the ride request may not be sent to all of the drivers, but only to the one waiting for the longest time.

Why Does Neither Uber nor Lyft Allow Passengers to Request Specific Drivers?

From a business perspective, the ridesharing companies want you to continue using their services and not call drivers on your own.

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.

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.

Workaround: UZURV

UZURV allows passengers to schedule a ride in advance – and request a favorite driver.

What is UZURV?

UZURV is a ridesharing program that pairs up drivers who can accommodate passengers with disabilities and special needs.

As an adaptive transportation network company, its drivers can help passengers into the car, store their wheelchair, and other necessities.

How Does UZURV Work?

As with other rideshare platforms, UZURV passengers schedule a door-to-door ride from their pickup location to their destination. They work together with other transportation agencies to find the best ride for each situation.

Unlike other transportation programs, UZURV accommodates all passengers. Passengers without a smartphone can call the company to schedule a ride. They cater to people with disabilities who may need extra assistance.

If you need an UZURV ride, you have to schedule ahead of time, and there is a fee if you cancel it last minute.

What Can UZURV Do that Uber Can’t

The company has an advantage over Uber and Lyft as it allows passengers to select their favorite drivers and to search for drivers with specific features and accommodations, such as being pet-friendly or accommodating disabilities.

Not only does UZURV allow riders to request their favorite drivers, but they even encourage it!

How Much Does UZURV Cost?

The ride fares for UZURV depend on the transportation program in each location. Before you book a trip, UZURV will tell you what the cost of the ride will be.

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?

You cannot search for a particular driver on the Uber app or request them. However, once you request a ride, you will be able to click on the driver’s profile and view information about them.

After you’ve completed the trip, you will be able to look up the driver. From the Uber menu, select “Your Trips”. A list of your previous trips will appear.

Click on one of the rides to view the details of the trip, including your driver’s name and profile.

How Do I Contact a Specific Uber Driver?

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.

How do I Favorite a Driver on Uber?

The favorite driver feature on Uber is only available in select locations and when ordering a car in advance.

Use the Uber Reserve feature to make a reservation for a future trip.

If the option is available, you can mark a driver as a favorite after taking an Uber ride with them.

  • From the main menu, select “Your Trips” to view your past rides.
  • Choose the trip you took with your preferred driver.
  • On the driver’s rating tab, select the “Favorite” button.

To view and edit your list of favorite drivers, open up the settings tab from the app’s main menu.

Under your Uber app’s settings, scroll to the Favorite Drivers section. From there, you can delete a driver from your favorites list.

Wrapping Up

While Uber doesn’t have the option to request a specific driver, there are some ways you can try to get the driver you want.

If you’re scheduling a car in advance, and the favorite driver option is available in your location, and your preferred driver is available and in the area, you may get lucky.

UZURV allows you to request specific drivers and accommodations if you have special requirements.

Or, you can try ordering your car when your preferred driver is nearby.

Or maybe due to many requests, Uber will add the option to request a specific driver!

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