If you’re looking for an affordable ride from your location to just about anywhere, UberX can likely get you where you need to be. In less than a decade, this iconic rideshare service turned a San Francisco startup into a global phenomenon — one that disrupted an entire industry and is now available on each of the world’s inhabitable continents.
Uber Black may have been the first rideshare service dreamed up by the company’s founders, but UberX is the vehicle option that launched the company into fame (or into notoriety, depending on who you ask). This classic Uber ride type challenged the status quo of the transportation industry by putting everyday drivers behind the wheel and allowing you to request a ride in just a few taps.
So is UberX really worth the hype? This definitive guide to UberX will tell you everything you need to know about the ridesharing service.
- What Is UberX?
- How Much Does UberX Cost?
- UberX vs. Other Economy Services
- How to Request an UberX Ride
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is UberX?
UberX is a peer-to-peer ridesharing service that makes it easy to access affordable, private rides. When you request an UberX ride, you are matched with a nearby driver in a standard sedan with room for up to four.
It’s a no-frills service that’s simply meant to help you reliably get from your current location to your destination. In most cases, your UberX driver will be behind the wheel of a common car model like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or Ford Fusion. Once in a while, you may be matched with a roomier minivan, truck, or SUV. In rare cases, you may luck out with a luxury vehicle like a BMW or Mercedes-Benz if a driver for a high-end Uber service has turned on UberX requests.
Though your UberX car usually won’t be glamorous, you can rest assured that whatever car you get in will have passed an annual inspection and is safe to ride. Uber is pretty strict about cosmetic requirements too, so you won’t have to worry about sitting on dirty seats or getting into a vehicle with a softball-sized dent.
Don’t expect your driver to have any special skills either. UberX drivers only need to meet bare-minimum requirements, which luckily does include passing a criminal background check and driving record check.
How Much Does UberX Cost?
UberX is a basic economy service, so it’s often the cheapest ride option you have. UberPool and Express Pool are the only ride types that cost less than UberX, though these carpool-style services aren’t even close to being as widely available.
The exact cost of an UberX ride can vary immensely from city to city, but here are the rates and fees in Los Angeles as of January 2021 for reference:
- Base fare: $0
- Per-minute rate: 28 cents
- Per-mile rate: 80 cents
- Marketplace fee: $3 (fee only exists in some markets)
- Minimum fare: $6.50
- Rider no-show or cancellation fee: $5
The time and day you request UberX can greatly impact your final price, as well. All Uber rides are subject to surge pricing, which multiplies fares in times of high demand, so because of its popularity, UberX prices tend to be heavily influenced by this factor — especially during rush hour, at events, and in busy areas.
When calculating your trip costs, don’t forget to budget in a tip. Though Uber tipping isn’t a requirement, it’s custom for drivers to leave at least 15% gratuity for every ride.
UberX vs. Other Economy Services
UberX is cheap, but it’s not the only affordable service on the app. Uber riders can also commonly access economy services like UberPool, UberXL, and Uber Comfort — all of which are pretty basic services that aren’t driven by professional drivers, just like UberX. So what makes each of these services different from the classic UberX ride? We’ll explain in this section.
As we mentioned in the section above, UberPool is a carpool-style service. Instead of just getting matched with a nearby Uber driver, you’re also matched with other Uber users who are headed on a similar route and will share your ride. Once you’re in the car, your driver may need to make a few stops to pick up and drop off riders before you reach your destination.
This shared ride type is cheaper than UberX, but you can only bring yourself and one friend along. UberX is also a much more reliable option. Since new riders can always be added to UberPool trips, you can only get an estimate arrival time range, so it’s not the best option for anyone in a rush.
When you make an UberXL ride request, you have room for up to six people every single time. UberXL is basically just a larger UberX ride, and you’ll be connected to minivans and SUVs for your whole party every single time. UberXL is also a great option for small groups with large bags or luggage in tow.
UberXL does come at a slightly higher price than UberX, but it’s still affordable, especially if you’re splitting with a group.
Uber Comfort is a newer economy service that has been introduced to plenty of cities already. Uber Comfort is almost the same as UberX, providing a private ride for up to four, but you’ll always have more legroom. Plus, you’ll be able to set your optimal temperature and level of conversation before your driver arrives. It’s a great way to get comfortable after sitting in a cramped airplane or movie theater for hours.
This upgraded service is priced slightly higher than UberX, but when you use Uber Comfort, you’re guaranteed to get matched with newer car models.
How to Request an UberX Ride
If you’ve never taken an UberX ride before, there’s a good chance that you’re new to Uber altogether. If this is the case, you’ll need to download the Uber app from the App Store or Google Play and set up your account before you request your first ride.
To sign up, simply open the app and tap “Register,” then follow the prompts to create your account. You’ll need to provide your full name, contact information, and preferred password, then verify your phone number with a code (sent via SMS). You should also get an email to verify your email address, too.
The Uber app should then prompt you to enter your desired payment method, but if you don’t get the prompt or if you need to update your credit card information, just head to the “Wallet” section of your app to do so.
Once you have an account, requesting an UberX ride only takes three simple steps:
- Tap the “Where to?” bar to enter your pick-up and drop-off locations.
- Select “UberX.”
- Review your ride price, estimated drop-off time, and payment method, then tap “Confirm UberX” to request an on-demand ride. Alternatively, tap the schedule icon to schedule a ride for later.
If you ever want to request a different ride type, follow the same steps, but select your desired vehicle option instead. Make sure to check your rideshare driver’s license plate before getting into their car.
Frequently Asked Questions
UberX is a simple service that helps you get from your pick-up location to your destination with more comfort than public transit and better prices than most taxis. If you’re looking to learn more about UberX, read these frequently asked questions:
If I’m matched with a vehicle with more than four seats, can I bring along some extra friends?
Unfortunately, an UberX ride is only good for four passengers, no matter how many seats the car you’re matched with actually has. If you want a ride for more than four people, you’ll need to upgrade to UberXL.
Is UberX available in every city?
No. While UberX is by far the most widely available Uber ride type, it’s not available in every single market. It’s pretty standard in the United States, but some global cities are not as rideshare-friendly and only allow Uber’s black car services or Uber Taxi.
To find out if UberX is available in your area, head to this Uber cities page, select your market, and scroll down to the “[City Name]: choose a ride section. If you see UberX listed here, you can request it in your city.
How does UberX compare to the standard Lyft ride?
The standard Lyft service and UberX are almost identical. Vehicles and drivers that qualify for one service usually qualify for the other. In fact, many drivers do drive for both services at the same time, so if you request a standard Lyft ride, you might actually get the exact same in-car experience as an UberX user.
When operating in the same market, UberX and Lyft pricing is usually extremely close, too. If you don’t have any particular brand loyalties, you can always go for whichever service is cheapest in real time without worrying about missing out.
Choose the World-Famous Uber Service
UberX is the quintessential Uber service that millions of global riders know and love. It’s the perfect option when all you need is a reliable ride to wherever you’re headed. While UberX may not be available in every city, it has definitely made transportation more convenient than ever for drivers like you.
Of course, Uber was just the start of a rideshare revolution around the world. These days, there are plenty of smartphone apps that can connect you to rides with everyday drivers on demand. If you want a few more options before you officially stick with UberX, read our list of nine rideshare apps you can try.
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.