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When to Accept vs. Decline Rides

When to Accept vs. Decline Rides

You’ve opened the Uber app and seen rides available in your area, and you’re wondering which to accept and which to decline.

You should accept rides as often as you can. Uber assigns you an acceptance rate once you begin using its service. While the acceptance rate doesn’t factor into your driver rating, it affects your Uber Pro status.

Uber Pro is a tiered status system for drivers. You start at Blue, the lowest level, and can go all the way to Diamond, in part based on your acceptance rate.

Uber reviews your cancellation rate, which shouldn’t be higher than 10% if you want to keep your status and enjoy fuel discounts, cashback on gas fill-ups, and more.

However, plenty of scenarios call for you to decline an order, and they’re as follows:

No-Tip Rides

Sometimes, a passenger makes it known they won’t tip the driver. You can glean this information from the driver app and a history of difficult customers. The rating system goes both ways on Uber, so customers have ratings too.

A 2023 report from Business Insider assessed the tip rate in 2019 for more than 40 million rides through Uber and found that 60% of passengers didn’t bother to tip.

The going rates for Uber drivers are usually not high enough to warrant accepting an order without a tip.

It’s not that your tip is extra money; it’s a payment you’ll put partially toward fuel and maintenance.

Don’t waste your time with no-tip rides. You’ll end up losing money when you get paid, not earning it.

Low-Tip Rides

Likewise, if a passenger won’t tip you enough for it to be worth your while, you shouldn’t accept the order.

Customers should be willing to tip at least 20% unless you’re driving them just around the corner.

Rides You Can’t Reasonably Complete on Time

When you receive an order request, make sure you carefully review how far you’ll have to drive to get paid.

If the drive requires you to go too far for too little money (or a low tip), or if you’ll have to go in an opposite direction than your usual neighborhood, you should reconsider.

After all, arriving late can hurt your Uber rating.

High-Mileage Rides

You have to cover gas and maintenance costs for your vehicle, so consider how many high-mileage rides you accept. They’ll wear down your vehicle faster, and you don’t always recoup what you’ll have to spend.

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