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Uber has become synonymous with rideshare transportation. It’s so popular, that it has even become a verb. “I’m going to Uber there” is a common expression among millennials, and tech startups frequently brand themselves as “the Uber of this” or “the Uber of that.”
But the term “Uber” doesn’t mean that much by itself. When talking about Uber, we’re actually talking about a wide range of services for a variety of needs (and budgets). To clear the air, let’s take a look at how generic “Uber” compares to the most popular Uber service: UberX. We’ll give you a comparison of price, availability, accessibility, vehicle type, and reasons for using one versus the other.
What Is Uber?
“Uber” refers to the range of services available within the Uber app (as well as Uber Eats). The precise Uber services vary from city to city. In general, however, Uber consists of the following services:
- UberX — This is the standard Uber service, offering rides for up to 4 passengers.
- UberXL — Like UberX, but bigger, offering capacity for up to 6 passengers.
- UberSELECT — Where available, this service offers higher-end vehicles than UberX, while still being more affordable than UberBLACK.
- UberBLACK — This is Uber’s luxury option. You’ll get a professional driver and ride in a luxury car such as a BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, or Audi.
- UberSUV — Like UberBLACK, but with capacity for up to 6 passengers.
- UberLUX — Available in select markets, UberLUX gives you a ride in a luxury sedan with a professional driver.
- UberPOOL — The same vehicles as UberX, but at a discounted rate in exchange for sharing your ride with other passengers.
- UberTAXI — In select cities, you can use the Uber app to call a standard metered taxi.
- UberWAV — Request a ride in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, where available.
Visit the links for each of the above services to learn more.
How Does UberX Compare?
So where does UberX fit in relation to the services we discussed above? Let’s take a closer look, starting with the price.
UberX is not the most affordable Uber ride available, but it’s pretty close. UberPOOL costs less, but it’s not as consistently available. In particular, if you live in the suburbs or a rural area, UberX is going to be the cheapest ride option you can get.
Uber calculates pricing for UberX using a combination of the distance and duration of the ride. They set a “base rate” for every mile traveled, plus a minimum fare for all rides. These rates vary depending on your city, but the rates for UberX will be the lowest compared to all other services except UberPOOL. To get an estimate of how much your UberX ride will cost, consult our Uber fare estimator.
Next, let’s look at availability. When compared with other Uber services, UberX is the most consistently available. There are more drivers for UberX, since it has the easiest requirements for both the vehicles and the drivers themselves.
Therefore, you can rest assured that your Uber driver is qualified no matter what ride type you choose.
How accessible are UberX rides to passengers with disabilities? Certainly, Uber requires all drivers to accommodate passengers with disabilities to the fullest extent possible. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Uber requires drivers to allow service animals into vehicles.
If a driver refuses to allow a service animal into the vehicle, Uber will permanently bar them from driving for the platform. If you experience any discrimination (for any reason), make sure to report it to Uber customer support.
UberX Vehicle Types
What sorts of vehicles can you expect when taking an UberX ride? Certainly, you’ll see the widest range of vehicles in use for UberX when compared to other Uber services. Dependable, fuel-efficient cars such as a Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, or Toyota Camry are all common.
However, you could also get a ride in a pickup truck, van, or even an electric car. Regardless of the vehicle type, Uber expects all drivers to keep their vehicles clean and well-maintained. If yours isn’t, make sure to note it in your driver rating.
Reasons to Use UberX
Why would you choose UberX over other services? If you’re looking for an affordable ride for 4 passengers or less, UberX is the option to go with. It offers a low-cost ride that’s still convenient and safe. You won’t find the luxury cars that you will with the UberBLACK service, but you’re still getting a private, on-demand driver.
Therefore, we think UberX is perfect for the following occasions:
- A night out on the town with friends.
- Exploring a new city while on vacation.
- Commuting to work while your car is getting repaired.
- A casual date.
- Getting a ride to the airport (since the cost of an UberX can often be less than airport parking).
If you’re trying to impress (or you’re not the one footing the bill), then you might want to go with UberBLACK. If you have a large group of people (or lots of luggage), then UberXL is probably a better choice. And if you’re not in a hurry and want to save some money, we recommend looking into UberPOOL.
UberX: Just One of Many Uber Ride Options
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what UberX is, as well as how it compares to the other Uber services available. As you can now see, there’s so much more to Uber than just “Uber.” It’s actually a collection of many services, all of which exist to help you get to your final destination safely, efficiently, and at the price you desire.
Like the sound of UberX and want to get started driving for it? Check out our guide to becoming an Uber driver. If you haven’t signed up for Uber yet, then visit our guide to the latest Uber promotions to get a discount on your first ride.
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.