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What Is Uber Black? Car List, Pricing, & More

Learn the basics of Uber Black - from what the service is, to what it offers, to whether or not we think it is worth paying for.

Key Takeaways

  • Uber Black offers a premium ride in a high-end, black vehicle with a professional driver, and a leather or vegan leather interior.
  • Expect to pay more for the enhanced comfort and amenities compared to standard Uber services.
  • Drivers hold commercial licensing and insurance, ensuring a safe and reliable ride experience.
  • Schedule rides in advance and benefit from extended driver wait times at pickup locations.
  • Uber Black is primarily available in larger metropolitan areas; check availability in your area via the Uber app.

Uber is one of the leading companies in the ride-sharing industry. Scrolling through the app, you’ll come across different services, including Uber X, XL, Green, Black, and others.

That’s when you start wondering: What is Uber Black? And why is it so expensive?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about riding in style with Uber Black – from what it is to how to use the service.

What is Uber Black?

Uber Black is the premium tier of Uber’s ride-hailing services, featuring high-end vehicles operated by professional drivers. It caters to those seeking an elevated travel experience with added comfort and style.

vector graphic showing an uber black driver vehicle

You’ll always get a premium car with black leather and an elegant exterior. At this level of comfort, you can stretch out your legs and enjoy the ride! You can rest assured you won’t end up with a hand-me-down, 10-year-old Subaru.

The best part is that Uber has set a minimum rating of 4.85 stars for drivers to join the Black fleet. With Uber Ride Preferences, your driver will tailor every part of the trip to your liking, from car temperature to setting the level of conversation you prefer.

Your trip will be a breeze with services like handling your luggage and a 15-minute wait before starting the trip.

Uber Black is Uber’s most luxurious ride option, offering professional drivers in luxury vehicles. In addition, there are many unique benefits that riders unlock when using the service.

The Uber Black Experience

Hiring a chauffeur can be a hassle, but Uber has made it a much easier process. You can request a lavish car with a tap of your finger.

Uber Black drivers are the crème de la crème. They need to maintain certain criteria for appearance and car condition. The car shouldn’t have any cosmetic damage, not to mention that having commercial insurance is a must. You can think of it as the business class of ride-sharing.

But what happens when a problem arises? Well, you’ll have access to premium customer support. A professional agent will be reachable during the trip and 24 hours after completing it.

Need to take a quick nap during your trip or respond to a business call? You can set your trip to quiet mode with only one tap. Aside from quiet mode, you can ask your driver if you need an extra hand with your luggage.

During your trip, you can adjust the car’s temperature however you prefer. What’s even more impressive is that some of these luxury vehicles have heated seats.

Unfortunately, there has been a misconception that tips are necessary for Black, but that’s not the case. Tipping is optional for all Uber services, including Black.

Uber Black Car List

The Uber Black Car List includes a curated selection of vehicles designed to provide a luxurious travel experience. These vehicles are a direct step above Uber Select vehicles.

Each car in the Uber Black fleet is held to rigorous standards, ensuring they are no older than six years to provide both sophistication and the latest in comfort and style.

These vehicles, all with a sleek black exterior and premium black leather or vegan leather interior, are required to offer ample space for at least four passengers in addition to the driver.

The eligible models for Uber Black typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Audi’s flagship sedans like the A8, A8L, and A6
  • BMW’s esteemed 7-series and 5-series, including eco-friendly options like the 530e Hybrid
  • Cadillac’s luxurious SUVs such as the Escalade, including the ESV variant, and executive sedans like the CT6, CTS, and XTS
  • Chevrolet’s spacious Tahoe and Suburban
  • Ford’s Expedition from the Platinum Series of 2018 or newer
  • GMC’s robust Yukon models, including the Denali trims
  • Hyundai’s Genesis G90 sedan
  • Infiniti’s powerful QX80 and QX56
  • Lexus’s upscale GX, GS, LS, and LX models
  • Lincoln’s classic MKT, Continental, and Navigator
  • Maserati’s sporty Quattroporte
  • Mercedes-Benz’s full lineup of luxury, including the S-Class, GL-Class, GLS-Class, GLE-Class, and E-Class
  • Tesla’s eco-luxury models, the Model X and Model S
  • Volvo’s Scandinavian luxury in the S90 and XC90, along with their hybrid versions

All Uber Black cars must also meet stringent criteria for maintenance and appearance, ensuring no cosmetic damage and that all amenities like windows and air conditioning are in excellent working order for a seamless, comfortable ride.

In my experience using Uber Black, the most common vehicles that I am usually matched with are black Tahoe and Suburban Chevy models. Drivers can get these at a relatively affordable price, they’re easy to maintain, and oftentimes they last hundreds of thousands of miles.

Uber Black Size

Uber Black vehicles can be a sedan or an SUV, so they vary in size.

vector graphic showing man driving for uber

How Many People Fit in an Uber Black?

Uber Black sedans can fit up to four passengers at a time. If your driver has an SUV, they may be able to accommodate more passengers, but there’s no guarantee your driver will have a larger vehicle.

Can an Uber Black Take Luggage?

Uber Black offers luggage assistance and allows riders to request special support, if necessary. UberX drivers will usually be willing to help, but with Uber Black, it’s not a question – they’ll go above and beyond to offer the extra help.

Is UberBLACK accessible to passengers with disabilities?

This depends on the specific disability in question. Uber does require all drivers to accommodate passengers with disabilities to the greatest reasonable extent possible.

Your Uber Black driver will be happy to help you with loading your assistive equipment into the vehicle or making sure that your service animal has a place to sit.

That being said, Uber Black drivers are not professionally trained in assisting persons with disabilities. If you want to guarantee that your driver does have the necessary training (as well as a vehicle that is wheelchair accessible), then we recommend looking into Uber WAV.

What is Special About Uber Black?

vector graphic showing a luxury vehicle next to the text "Uber Black"

Beyond the impressive experience that your Uber Black vehicle and driver can provide, the black car service comes with many unique benefits.

Several premium service features of Uber Black make it more luxurious than other Uber rideshare options. Here are six perks you can experience when requesting Uber Black:

1. Professional Drivers

You can expect superior service from well-dressed and courteous drivers.

For drivers to be eligible for the Uber Black program, they must maintain a minimum rating of 4.85 stars on their Uber driver profile. Uber Black drivers must also stay insured and meet state- or local-level regulations relating to livery services.

2. Ride Preferences

Asking your driver to cater to your needs can feel awkward, even when the air’s just a little too cold for you. In 2019 though, Uber launched a new feature for Uber Black riders that allows you to set your preferences before you get in your ride.

For example, you can make selections for the following:

  • Level of conversation: Quiet mode is actually possible with Uber Black. Alternatively, you can select “Happy to chat” or “No preference.”
  • Temperature: Whether you like it warmer or cooler, you can let your driver know ahead of time.
  • Baggage help: If you’re carrying luggage or a few bags, you can ask your Uber Black driver to help you put your haul in the trunk.

3. Enhanced Safety

When you choose Uber Black, your driver will always have a CDL, which means they pass a more extensive Uber background check than most drivers.

The commercial licensing process — which varies by city — usually requires fingerprinting on top of a typical criminal background check and driving record check, and sometimes includes a health screening and educational courses.

Once a driver has their CDL, they must display their unique Transportation Charter Permit (TCP) numbers on their windshields for easy identification and must be covered by commercial insurance.

Beyond these extensive driver requirements, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is newer, which usually means better safety standards and a better-maintained ride.

4. Better Airport Pickup Access

Because Uber Black drivers have official TCP numbers and CDLs, they are typically eligible to drive wherever taxi drivers can go.

This often means that, even at airports where most Uber drivers are banned from performing pick-ups or drop-offs, your Uber Black ride may still be able to drop you off at or pick you up from your terminal.

For example, at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), you can still get curbside pick-ups by requesting Uber Black. Even when all other pick-ups must occur at the LAX-it taxi stand, which is a shuttle ride away.

5. Premium Support

If something goes wrong with your Uber Black ride, you can actually contact support by phone and get priority access to a customer service representative in real-time. You’ll get a live conversation going with a real person on Uber’s support team.

This is unique to the luxury service, as Uber phone support is otherwise only available to drivers.

6. Longer Pick-Up Periods

Whether your business meetings run long or your time at baggage claim takes longer than expected, Uber Black can help you avoid cancellation fees.

While most Uber drivers can cancel, causing you to accrue a no-show fee, after just five minutes, Uber Black drivers are required to wait at least 15 minutes before they head out.

You still might accrue a small waiting fee after the first five minutes, but it’s better than having to pay for cancellation and lose your ride.

7. Scheduled Rides

Uber Black is one of the few of the company’s service services that allow you to schedule Uber and make a reservation ahead of time.

Not only does this help you ensure a car is available during the exact time frame you request, it also enables you to lock in prices ahead of time. That way, you’re not subject to surge pricing, which drives up fares when demand is high.

Plus, in the rare case that your driver doesn’t show up in your scheduled time frame, you may be eligible for a $10 ride credit.

Comparing Uber Black With Other Uber Services

screen showing all the different uber ride services available on the app

Uber Black is one of many services offered by Uber. Here’s how it compares to other services:

Uber Black vs UberX

Looking for an affordable, comfortable option? UberX is the go-to for most users. It’s a private ride that can take up to four passengers at a reasonable price. You can think of it as a taxi alternative.

UberX Share is similar to the standard one but at an even more affordable price. But there’s a catch: You’ll be sharing your ride with another person.

And you don’t have to be worried about being late for work. UberX Share won’t add more than eight minutes to the overall time of your trip.

Uber Black vs Uber Comfort

If legroom is your number one priority, you need to consider Uber Comfort. You’ll get to enjoy a more comfortable ride with modern vehicles, but the vehicle won’t be as fancy as an Uber Black.

You’ll also have access to setting the service preferences, including quiet mode and four temperature presets. Nonetheless, this comes at a slightly higher price when compared to UberX, but it’s still more affordable than Black.

Uber Black vs UberXL

UberX and Comfort can only carry up to four passengers, but what happens if your party is bigger? This is where UberXL comes in handy!

With UberXL, you’ll have access to bigger vehicles that can carry up to six passengers. These vehicles are typically SUVs or vans.

Uber SUV is a similar service that’s available in certain areas. But, as the name suggests, you only get SUVs with this one.

Uber Black vs Uber SUV

Uber Black and Uber SUV are differentiated primarily by the size and capacity of the vehicle.

Uber Black provides a luxury experience in typically smaller, four-seater vehicles, perfect for individuals or small groups seeking a high-end ride with amenities like baggage assistance, temperature control, and preferred conversation levels.

On the other hand, Uber SUV is designed for larger groups, offering spacious and luxurious rides in premium SUVs that accommodate more passengers, making it ideal for parties of up to six individuals or those needing more space for luggage.

How Much Does Uber Black Cost?

Understanding the cost of Uber Black requires a look at various factors that influence the price.

Unlike standard Uber services, which primarily use a dynamic pricing model that fluctuates with demand, Uber Black offers a more consistent pricing structure.

Our Uber Rates Cost guide can help you calculate the general Uber ride fare using the following equation: ((Base Fare + Time Rate + Distance Rate) X Surge Multiplier) + Tolls and Other Fees.

  • Base Fare: Fixed initial charge, higher than UberX or UberPool.
  • Time & Distance: Charges per minute and mile, higher due to luxury service; varies by city.
  • Surge Pricing: Generally not applied to Uber Black, except in rare, high-demand situations.
  • Additional Fees: Tolls, airport surcharges, and other local fees added to the fare.
  • Gratuity: Optional but customary tip of 15-20% for excellent service.
  • Value Comparison: Costs 20-40% more than UberX, offering luxury cars and professional drivers.

Cost Comparison in Denver (Example):

Here’s a comparison of Uber fare estimates in Denver for a 2.61-mile trip that would usually take 9 minutes:

  • Uber Pool: $5-7 (most economical, shared ride)
  • Uber X: $8-10 (standard private ride)
  • Uber Select: $13-$16 (entry-level luxury ride)
  • Uber Black: $17-$21 (top-tier luxury service)
  • Uber XL: $15-$19 (standard ride for larger groups)
  • Uber SUV: $26-$31 (luxury service for larger groups)

From this comparison, you can see that Uber Black is priced between Uber Select and Uber SUV, offering a balance of luxury and cost.

When considering the cost of Uber Black in your city, don’t forget to account for a tip. While Uber tipping isn’t mandatory, providing at least 15% gratuity is expected.

Oftentimes, Uber Black riders will even plan to leave 20% or more because of the excellent service that professional drivers provide.

When Uber Black May Be Cheaper

Strangely enough, sometimes Uber Black car service is cheaper than UberX, Uber’s standard ride service.

If I am having trouble getting an Uber ride on UberX, I’ll turn to Uber Black. This is because UberX pricing surges in times of high demand, meaning the price goes up substantially.

Uber Black doesn’t have surge pricing, so its price can remain the same when UberX rates increase during high-demand times and in high-demand locations.

Many Uber users don’t know this trick, which means you can sometimes get a lot nicer vehicles at prices cheaper than regular Uber rides.

My Thoughts on Uber Black Pricing

While the cost of Uber Black is higher than other Uber services, the consistent pricing and high-end experience can make it a worthwhile choice for those who prioritize luxury and reliability over cost.

It is especially valuable for business professionals, those attending special events, or riders who prefer a predictable fare without the fluctuation associated with surge pricing.

Cost Analysis: Is Uber Black Worth It?

Uber Black doesn’t come at a cheap price, but is it worth it? The answer depends on your situation. If money isn’t a problem, riding in a luxurious car with a professional driver is worth it.

It’s also worth it in scenarios like picking up your significant other for a fancy date or going to a classy gathering.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, using Uber Black for commuting or everyday trips isn’t the best idea. Still, using the service every once in a while wouldn’t break the bank.

Besides, estimating a ride fare is easy. All you need to do is enter your destination and confirm the pick-up location. Then, you can decide whether the estimated fair is reasonable or not.

You can still enjoy a comfy car and a professional driver with Uber Comfort. And the best part is that you can save some money too!

How to Use Uber Black

To use Uber Black, the premium ride service by Uber, start by downloading the Uber app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

There’s no separate sign-up required if you’re already an Uber user; you can request an Uber Black ride directly within the app if the service is offered in your area.

Here’s how to do it:

Requesting an Uber Black Ride

  • Launch the Uber app on your device.
  • Set your pickup time. The default setting is immediate pickup, but you can schedule for later by adjusting the time and date.
  • Enter your pickup and drop-off locations in the ‘Where to?’ field.
  • Select ‘Uber Black’ from the vehicle options available.
  • Confirm your pickup location and tap ‘Confirm Black’.
  • Customize your ride preferences, like the car’s temperature, luggage assistance, and desired conversation level.

Once confirmed, wait for the app to match you with a nearby Uber Black driver. You can view the driver’s details and track their arrival in the app.

Meeting Your Driver

  • Check the driver’s details against the information provided in the app to ensure it’s the correct vehicle.
  • Your driver can assist with your luggage if needed.
  • Feel free to discuss or request a specific route with your driver, whether to avoid tolls or enjoy a scenic path.

At Your Destination

  • The fare will be automatically charged to the credit card linked to your Uber account.
  • After your trip, you can rate your driver and provide feedback through the app.

Using Uber Black is a straightforward process, designed to provide a luxurious and comfortable travel experience from start to finish.

Tips for Maximizing Your Uber Black Experience

a vector image of an uber vehicle on a map graphic and map marker points to indicate long distance uber ride

1. Leverage the Premium Amenities

Uber Black comes with a suite of high-end amenities to enhance your ride.

If you prefer silence, select the ‘Quiet Mode’ option. Conversely, if you’re in the mood for a chat, inform your driver — Uber Black professionals are just as ready to converse as they are to provide a peaceful journey.

For assistance with luggage, simply ask your driver, who is there to help. Adjust the in-car temperature to your liking, and don’t hesitate to ask for changes during the ride.

The service often includes additional comforts such as phone chargers, bottled water, snacks, and control over the music — all to make your journey more enjoyable.

2. Schedule Your Uber Black Rides in Advance

Secure your Uber Black ride ahead of time to ensure availability, especially when you need to make an impression or arrive punctually for important events.

The Uber app allows for bookings up to a month in advance, locking in your luxurious transport.

3. Enjoy the Ride!

With Uber Black, your journey is tailored to your preferences, from the car’s climate to the conversation and route. Settle into the comfort of your ride and savor the premium Uber Black experience.

Uber Black for Drivers

rideshare vehicle driving down the road in a city with an uber decal in the front windshield on the left passenger side

An Uber Black driver must own one of the luxury vehicles listed for their city.

However, just owning a luxury vehicle isn’t enough.

Both the driver and vehicle must meet exacting requirements.

Uber Black Driver Requirements

  • Rating: a 4.85 rating or above, based on the most recent 500 trips
  • Experience: must have completed at least 100 trips with UberX, UberPool, or UberXL
  • Commercial insurance: car insurance must cover commercial business

Uber Black Vehicle Requirements

  • Vehicle: must be on approved the list
  • Age: 6 years old or newer
  • Exterior: black only
  • Interior: excellent condition with no cosmetic damage or stains, no missing parts, all windows must work
  • Seats: black or vegan leather only, seating four passengers in addition to the driver
  • Climate: the air conditioner and heater must work

Uber Black car drivers should have a business registration and commercial insurance.

Their vehicle should be a late-model, high-end luxury sedan or SUV with a leather interior.

Does Uber Black Pay More?

vector graphic of woman handing man a tip to illustrate does uber take cash

Uber Black drivers make more per mile and per minute than UberX and UberXL riders make.

An UberBlack driver may be able to make more money in a shorter period.

However, that doesn’t mean that Uber Black drivers will make more per hour.

The reason for this is that fewer people request Uber Black rides because they are more expensive.

Based on verified experience from real drivers in New York City, an UberX driver may make 15-20 trips in 10 hours online.

In contrast, an Uber Black driver may only complete 4-7 trips in the same amount of time.

An NYC UberX driver will have made $150-$200 compared to $200 to $450 with Uber Black.

Is Driving Uber Black Worth It?

Compared to an UberX driver, an Uber Black driver will make more money from fewer trips.

An Uber Black driver will put fewer miles on their car and spend less time in their car for more money.

The cost of buying an UberBLACK-approved car specifically for the job may not offset the extra earnings.

Without a steady stream of customers, drivers can’t always make their payments.

The commercial insurance required for Uber Black drivers can also be more expensive than regular car insurance.

However, it does cover workers’ compensation and unplanned business interruptions, which is a bonus for an independent contractor.

Additionally, an Uber Black driver will spend a lot more time waiting for customers.

Another consideration is whether a city can support the number of available Uber Black drivers.

The city needs to both be large and have enough people who need transportation and are willing to pay more to arrive in a luxury vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Uber Black offers a convenient way to request a luxury ride experience, from pick-up to drop-off. If you’re interested in more luxury options, read these frequently asked questions:

Does Lyft offer a service like Uber Black?

Yes. The Lyft equivalent of Uber Black is Lux Black, a service that similarly connects you to premium black cars driven by highly rated drivers. Unlike Uber Black, Lyft’s Lux Black does not require drivers to be professional, commercially insured drivers.

Do Uber Black Drivers Open Doors?

You shouldn’t expect your Uber Black driver to open your door for you.If you need help getting into the vehicle, you may want to try Uber Assist instead.

Why is Uber Black so expensive?

Uber Black matches you with top-tier cars and five-star drivers. You also get access to other services, like controlling the temperature, luggage assistance, and quiet mode.

And that doesn’t come at a cheap price. For a business meeting or a special date, Uber Black is all that you need to ride in style!

Is Uber Black safer than UberX?

Generally, all Uber services are safe for riders. You always have access to customer support that can assist you with any problem you could be facing. But accidents happen, even with the perfect drivers. In that case, a more premium car will take the hit better. That means Uber Black could be relatively safer than X.

Is Uber Black available in India?

Yes! Uber Black car service is available in certain cities in India, including Mumbai. UberX, Share, Green, Rent, and Saver are also available in Bharat.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for the most premium ride-sharing experience, Uber Black is for you. With this service, the app will match you with a luxury, modern car that offers the highest levels of comfort.

But what’s a good car without a great driver? Well, Uber has set the bar high for the Black car service drivers. They need to maintain a rating of at least 4.85 stars and keep the car in perfect condition.

However, this service comes at a higher price when compared to UberX, XL, and Comfort. Still, you get your money’s worth with VIP service and a top-tier vehicle.

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