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When you’re looking for a ride that can impress all of your friends, family, or clients at once, a professional black car service can definitely do the trick. While Uber Black may sound like the perfect option, it won’t fit a group larger than four, and it probably isn’t the ideal option for four people with bags in tow either. Your best solution is Uber SUV.
Uber SUV is to Uber Black what UberXL is to UberX. It essentially provides the same service, just with a couple more guaranteed seats, so you never have to leave anyone or anything behind. If you’re looking to maximize comfort without missing out on the luxurious perks of an Uber black car service, Uber SUV is an easy pick.
This article will give you more insight into this Uber service, including its benefits and cost.
- What Is Uber SUV?
- Uber Black SUV vs. Uber Lux SUV
- Benefits of Uber Black SUV
- How Much Does Uber Black SUV Cost?
- How to Request an Uber SUV Ride
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Uber SUV?
Uber SUV, officially known as Black SUV, is a luxury black car service that seats up to six passengers. When you request this service, you’ll get a ride from a professional driver in a high-end vehicle with a black exterior and black leather interior.
Requesting an Uber Black SUV ensures that you get the same quality experience every single time. This is because your driver — who will likely be more well-dressed than the average Uber driver — is required to provide consistently excellent service and maintain at least a 4.85-star rating.
Black SUV vehicles are also required to be in great condition with no cosmetic damages and be no more than five years old. You can always expect car models among the ranks of these luxury favorites:
- Cadillac Escalade or Escalade ESV
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Ford Expedition (2018 or newer Platinum series)
- GMC Yukon XL or Yukon XL Denali
- Infiniti QX56 or QX80
- Lexus LX (three-row model)
- Lincoln Navigator
Uber Black SUV vs. Uber Lux SUV
While the term “Uber SUV” does refer to Uber Black SUV, there is actually a second luxury black car service for six on the rideshare app: Uber Lux SUV.
The similar names can be extremely confusing, but there is a difference between the two Uber services. When you request a Lux SUV, you’re guaranteed to get the best of the best vehicles around. Uber Lux services always match you with top-of-the-line models from luxury car makers and, in some cases, you may luck out with rare or legacy models, too.
On the other hand, Black SUV cars can include a wide range of high-end models — anything above the mid-tier luxury options you get with Uber Select.
Drivers for both luxury services do have to pass almost identical requirements, so you’ll get the same level of experience and professionalism either way.
Benefits of Uber Black SUV
Much like Uber Black, Uber Black SUV services come with more extra perks than the vast majority of the company’s services.
Uber SUV has long been one of the safest services on the Uber catalog. In addition to requiring newer, well-maintained car models, it also requires drivers to complete the extensive screening processes that taxi drivers also go through to qualify for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This can involve a health screening, training, and fingerprinting on top of standard background checks.
Once your driver passes, they’ll receive a Transportation Charter Permit (TCP) number that must be displayed. This TCP number also gives Uber SUV drivers access to just about anywhere taxis can go — including many airport curbside areas where Uber pick-ups or drop-offs are otherwise banned.
You’ll also have peace of mind that your Uber driver is covered by commercial insurance and your vehicle is newer and well-maintained.
Beyond these basic benefits, which are shared with Uber Lux SUV, Uber Black SUV (and standard Black) rides also gained a few perks in 2019. When you request Black SUV, you can now:
- Set preferences before you ride: If desired, you can select a preferred conversation level and temperature, as well as whether or not you want help with your bags. Uber will inform your driver.
- Get live support: Most riders don’t have access to a dedicated phone line, but with Black SUV, you can talk to live agents if anything goes wrong.
- Get longer pick-up times: Your driver will wait for you for at least 15 minutes (instead of five) and waiting fees don’t start until after five minutes (instead of two).
How Much Does Uber Black SUV Cost?
Uber Black SUV rates are always slightly more expensive than standard Uber Black rates, but never exceed the cost of Uber Lux rides. Still, it’s one of the priciest services that the ridesharing company has to offer.
Exact rates will vary between cities, but to help you get an idea of what to expect, here are the listed rates and fees in Los Angeles as of June 2020:
- Base fare: $15.75
- Per-minute rate: 75 cents
- Per-mile rate: $3.76
- Minimum fare: $25.75
- Rider no-show fee: $25
- Rider-initiated cancellation fee: $10
You can find the exact rates and fees in your market by using this price estimate tool. Just enter pick-up and drop-off locations within your city, scroll down, tap “View all options,” and tap the info icon next to “Black SUV.” A pop-up window will appear with exact pricing information.
Keep in mind that the rates you see can still increase when demand is high due to Uber’s surge pricing, although Black SUV fares are less likely to surge than fares for more popular services like UberX and UberPool.
We also recommend budgeting out at least a 15% tip for every Uber SUV ride, as well. Uber tipping is not required, but it’s custom after every rideshare service. Some riders will even plan to leave Uber SUV drivers 20% tips, since their service is known to be exemplary.
How to Request an Uber SUV Ride
Requesting a Black SUV ride is just as simple as requesting any other service on the Uber app. To start, make sure you have the app downloaded on your iPhone or Android. If you haven’t already, follow the prompts to sign up, which will involve entering your full name, contact information, and preferred password.
Once you’re in, tap the menu icon on the upper left corner and head to the “Wallet” tab. If you don’t have a preferred payment method saved in this section already, tap “Add Payment Method.”
Then, head back to your home screen and tap the “Where to?” bar to enter your pick-up and drop-off locations. You’ll then be able to scroll through your ride options. Select “Black SUV” from the “Premium” section.
When you’re done reviewing your ride price, estimated drop-off time, and payment method, tap “Confirm Black SUV” to request on-demand or tap the schedule icon to request a ride for later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Uber Black SUV is a great way to get more seats, extra comfort, enhanced safety, and better service on your most important trips. Learn more about the service with these frequently asked questions:
Does Lyft have a luxury SUV option like Uber SUV?
Yes. Lyft Black XL will connect you to a ride in a high-end black car for up to six. The main difference is, Lyft does not require drivers to have CDLs or commercial insurance, so you may miss out on some of the perks of riding with Uber SUV. Luckily, Lyft Black XL drivers still need to be highly rated, so you can still expect great service.
How do I know if Black SUV is available in my city?
The best way to find out if the Uber service can be requested in your area is by heading to your city page. Just head to this Uber cities listing, select your market, and scroll down to the “[City Name]: choose a ride section. Then, tap on the “Premium” tab to see if “Black SUV” is listed. If so, Black SUV is available in your city. If you don’t see the “Premium” tab or “Black SUV” listed, the service is not available in your area.
Can I request specific car models when requesting Black SUV?
No. Even if you schedule ahead, Uber will still match you with the Black SUV driver closest to your pick-up location to ensure you get a ride in a timely manner. While some car models may be more desirable, the quality of your ride should be in the same ballpark.
Experience Luxury With the All Your Friends
Luxury is best enjoyed with the people you know and love. Whether you’re traveling for business, traveling for leisure, or just spending a night in the city, Uber SUV is the black car service you can call when you want to make sure no one gets left behind. Or, when you really need some alone time — like many of us after a red-eye flight — a Black SUV ride can maximize your comfort with enough space for all your bags.
By choosing Uber for your luxury ride, you’ll be able to request a luxury vehicle and high-end service right when you need it, with just a few taps. However, if you are tired of ridesharing, there is an alternative on-demand app you can try. Read our guide to GroundLink, a trusted black car service for luxury and corporate clients.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.