Using one of the many different Uber services doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice luxury.
Sometimes you’d rather ride in a Tesla rather than somebody’s hand-me-down 2006 Ford Taurus.
Choose Uber Black when you want more options, want to treat yourself, or just want to impress.
This article explains Uber Black, how it works, what makes it special, the size, possible cars, cost, tips, and whether choosing Uber Black is worth it for Uber Black riders and drivers.
Table Of Contents
What is Uber Black?
Uber Black is an on-demand black car service.
It allows you to request a ride in a luxury vehicle with a professional driver behind the wheel.
This ride type provides more than just the sleek look of a black exterior and black leather interior though.
All Uber Black vehicles are in excellent condition and never more than five years old.
Uber Black drivers must provide consistent, outstanding service to maintain their minimum 4.85-star rating.
Most are also committed drivers who know their way around the city well because they must put in some extra effort to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL), like taxi drivers.
Unlike your standard Uber driver, these professionals also usually dress up for the occasion in at least a nice dress shirt and slacks (instead of going for a casual look) to provide an all-around luxury experience.
All in all, it’s the perfect option for impressing clients ahead of business meetings or impressing your partner on the way to an anniversary dinner.
UberBLACK offers a luxury option to riders with higher incomes, access to corporate expense accounts, or just the desire to splurge on a special occasion.
Keep in mind that Uber Black is not available in all cities.
You’re more likely to find it in medium- or large-sized cities.
How Does Uber Black Differ from Uber SUV?
Uber offers two luxury vehicle service types: Uber Black (UberBlack) and Uber SUV (UberSUV).
The main difference between Uber SUV and Uber Black is that Uber Black offers luxury in a smaller vehicle, typically a four-seater.
Uber Black also includes baggage assistance as well as temperature control and conversation options.
What is Special About 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, 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.
Evenven 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.
Uber Black Size
Uber Black vehicles can be a sedan or an SUV, so they vary in size.
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.
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.
Uber Black Car List
Uber Black is an upgrade from the Uber Select (UberSELECT) service.
There are vehicle requirement variations from city to city.
However, most vehicles must be six years old or newer.
As discussed in more detail from our Uber Requirements for Drivers article, here are the examples of UberBLACK cars you can expect to ride in based on Denver car requirements:
- Audi: A8 L
- BMW: X7, 5-Series, 5-Series 530e, 7-Series, 7-Series 745e, 740i
- Cadillac: Escalade, CT6, CTS, XTS, Escalade ESV
- Chevy: Tahoe, Suburban
- Ford: Expedition
- GMC: Suburban, Yukon XL Denali, Yukon XL, Yukon
- Lexus: GS, LS, GX
- Lincoln: Corsair, Nautilus, Continental, Navigator
- Maserati: Quattroporte
- Mercedes-Benz: E350e, E-Class, S-Class, GLS-Class, GL-Class
- Tesla: Model Y, Model X, Model S
- Volvo: S90, XC90, S90 Hybrid, XC90 Hybrid
How Much Does Uber Black Cost?
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact cost for Uber Black, because Uber rates and fees vary a lot between cities.
A luxury car service carries a lux cost.
Uber Black fares usually cost significantly more than basic fares.
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.
Cost of Uber Black Ride Fares
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
- Uber X: $8-10
- Uber Select: $13-$16
- Uber Black: $17-$21
- Uber XL: $15-$19
- Uber SUV: $26-$31
However, it’s a little less than half of the cost of UberSUV.
You can generally expect to pay 20% to 40% more for Uber Black than the standard UberX ride.
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.
Why is Uber Black Sometimes Cheaper than UberX?
UberX is Uber’s standard service.
Strangely enough, sometimes Uber Black car service is cheaper than UberX.
Users speculate that lower Uber Black rates are about driver availability.
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.
How Does Uber Black Work?
As with other Uber services, you will need to install the Uber app to use Uber Black, available free in the Apple Store and Google Play.
If you’re an existing user, there’s no need to go through a separate signup process if you want to request an Uber Black ride.
You are already eligible to request this luxury car service as long as it’s available in your city.
Once you have the app downloaded, follow these simple steps to request an Uber Black ride:
1. Requesting Your Ride
- Open the Uber app.
- Choose the time for your ride. Uber defaults to picking you up “now.” If you need a later pickup, click on the clock next to the “Where to?” button. Click on the current date to choose a date up to a month in advance. Click on the current time range to change the pickup time.
- Confirm your pickup and destination locations. Click the “Where to?” button to set your pickup and destination locations.
- Choose Uber Black from among the service options on your screen.
- Verify your pickup location.
- Tap the “Confirm Black” button.
- Choose your ride options. What’s your preferred temperature? Do you need luggage support? What level of conversation fits your mood?
- Confirm preferences with the tap of a button.
- Wait for a successful match with a nearby Uber driver. The app screen will show a loading bar to signify that it’s searching for a nearby driver.
- Get matched with a driver. After being matched with a driver, you can view their photo and vehicle details and track their arrival time.
2. Meeting the Driver
After Uber finds a nearby driver to accept your request, the app will show the driver profile, vehicle details, and arrival time.
Before getting into Uber Black, make sure the vehicle details match what you see in the app.
If you have baggage, your driver will help.
You are always welcome to request a different route through the app.
If you’d prefer to avoid a route with tolls or want to take a longer or more scenic drive to get the most out of your Uber Black experience, just let your driver know.
3. Getting Dropped Off
After the driver drops you off at your destination, the app will automatically charge your credit card.
You will also be able to leave a star rating and feedback for your Uber Black driver after your ride terminates.
Tips for Using Uber Black
Take advantage of the amenities, schedule your ride ahead of time, and enjoy the ride!
Take Advantage of Amenities
You’re already paying for amenities with Uber Black, so why not use them?
If you’ve had a long day and aren’t feeling up to conversation, request quiet mode.
On the flip side, if you are starved for adult conversation, you can fill that need with a talkative driver.
Don’t wrangle your suitcase or those groceries yourself; let the driver take care of it for you.
You can let the driver know ahead of time what temperature you usually prefer, but if you change your mind, be sure to let the driver know.
While some UberX drivers have extra amenities available for their passengers, you’re more likely to find additional amenities for your use in an Uber Black car.
Top-rated drivers sometimes offer these perks:
- A phone charger
- Bottled water
- Musical choice
Schedule Your Uber Black Rides in Advance
If you have a hot date or a client you want to impress, be sure to schedule your ride in advance.
You wouldn’t want to lose your opportunity based on availability.
Can you schedule an Uber ahead of time on the app?
The Uber app allows you to schedule your ride up to 30 days in advance.
Enjoy the Ride!
Uber Black allows you to ride in a luxury vehicle with the perfect temperature, the route you want, and the conversation level that suits you best.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Rider Summary: Is Uber Black Worth It?
If your transportation choice is important to you, Uber Black can be worth it.
Choosing Uber Black guarantees that your driver has a luxury car.
Uber Black can help you avoid the embarrassment of being picked up in a grandma car and ensure that people see you arrive in style.
Uber Black for Drivers
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?
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:
Are Uber Black Drivers Safer?
Yes, it is.
Uber requires all drivers to undergo a background check, DMV check, and vehicle inspection to ensure that they can safely transport passengers.
UberBLACK drivers must meet even more rigorous standards, maintaining a driver rating of at least 4.8 as well as possessing commercial insurance and any local licenses or certifications necessary to be a professional driver.
If you ever do feel unsafe for any reason, you can also contact Uber customer support for assistance (unless it’s an emergency situation, in which case you should call 911).
Does Uber offer shared UberBLACK rides?
No, they do not.
While UberPOOL offers riders the opportunity to save on the cost of a ride by sharing it with other passengers the driver picks up on the way, there is no equivalent service for UberBLACK.
If you’re concerned about cost, then UberX is probably a better service for you to use.
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.
What Is Uber Black XL?
Uber Black and UberXL are different services.
UberXL provides a ride for larger groups of up to 6 people in a comfortable van or SUV.
Can You Drink Beer in an Uber Black?
Uber asks that you not bring open containers of alcohol into an Uber car.
However, ten states allow Uber Black passengers to either consume or possess an open container of alcohol:
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Does Lyft offer a service like Uber Black?
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.
Uber Black provides a luxury black vehicle, leather seats, baggage assistance, along with temperature control and conversation options.
If you want to be sure that you’re arriving in style, Uber Black can be a great choice.
If luxury and Uber Black amenities are important, using Uber Black can be worth the extra cost.
Next time you choose Uber, consider Uber Black.