You’re busier than ever and can’t imagine how you’ll manage to pick up your child from school and drop them off at soccer practice. Luckily, VanGo is a trusted service that can drive your child.
You’ve heard of Uber and Lyft, but VanGo might be new to you. VanGo caters to busy parents who can’t drive their children to school and other activities.
In this article, we’ll go over what VanGo is, why it’s so convenient, and how you can sign up to get help driving your children.
- What Is VanGo?
- Benefits of VanGo
- How Much Does VanGo Cost?
- How to Use VanGo
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is VanGo?
VanGo is a rideshare platform built for busy working parents. Parents can use the app to schedule safe rides for their preteens and teenagers.
VanGo was launched in June 2018 to provide parents with an easy way to transport their children around town. VanGo drivers pick up your kids and bring them to school, tutoring sessions, after-school activities, or to their friend’s house.
VanGo is similar to other rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, but it specializes in transporting kids between 8 and 18 years old. Eighty-five percent of VanGo drivers are mothers, so they’re practiced at driving children. Also, unlike other rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, parents must schedule rides in advance.
The app enables parents to schedule rides, receive ride notifications, and send teens text messages regarding their trip. It also allows parents or guardians to track current rides so they always know exactly where their child is. Parents, teens, and riders are all on the same page with the app’s help.
In this article, we’ll cover what makes VanGo so special and why you should start using the service.
Benefits of VanGo
VanGo is a convenient and safe way to drive your kids around town when you don’t have the time to do so yourself. You not only save time, but you can also be assured your children are driven by carefully vetted drivers.
All drivers are screened before they can drive for the platform. They undergo a thorough background check and are fingerprinted. Each driver is interviewed and must have at least three years of childcare experience and glowing references. They must also have a great driving record and a vehicle inspection by a certified mechanic.
Parents can even select their drivers. Most families stick with the same three or four drivers to develop a more personal connection with them.
Let’s take a look at VanGo’s pricing structure and what you can expect to pay.
How Much Does VanGo Cost?
VanGo costs about 15% more than other rideshare services like Uber. The price of each trip is based on the total time and distance the trip takes.
You’ll be charged a variable rate depending on how long your child is in the car and how far they travel. Simply put, the further and longer they drive, the higher your fare will be.
You should also be aware of the cancellation policy. Canceling within 24 hours will result in a 50% cancellation fee. Canceling within one hour of the trip will result in a 100% cancellation fee.
While VanGo is slightly more expensive than other rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, you can breathe easy knowing your children are safe. In exchange for the increased rate, you have the peace of mind knowing your children are with a safe and responsible driver.
How to Use VanGo
You can start using VanGo as soon as you sign up. You’ll need to first create an account. Then, you can request a ride, research your driver, and track your child’s trip in real-time.
Set up Your VanGo Account
The first step is downloading the VanGo app. You can download the app at the App Store or Google Play.
Upon downloading the app, you’ll need to create your family account with the following information:
- First and last name
- Email address
- ZIP code
- Phone number
Once you save your information, VanGo will confirm your account by texting you a verification code. You’ll then create your teen’s profile with the following information:
- First and last name
- Profile picture (optional but recommended)
- Phone number (optional but lets drivers contact them when picking up)
- Date of birth
Enter at least two locations where your child may be picked up from. These could be places like your home, their school, or the local soccer field. VanGo will give you price quotes for these locations.
You’ll then be prompted to provide your credit card information. Note that you will only be charged after the completion of your ride.
After completing the above steps, you’re ready to request your child’s first ride with VanGo.
Request VanGo Rides
Requesting a ride requires you to set a pickup location, choose a drop-off location, and wait for your driver to accept your request.
Head to the “Add Rides” page located in the bottom navigation of the app. Provide the following information to schedule your first ride:
- Pick-up date and time
- Pick-up location
- Drop-off location
- How long the driver needs to wait at the pickup location
- Additional instructions
After you’ve provided all the trip details, you’ll receive a fare estimate. You can confirm your trip if everything looks good.
When you request a ride, it will be marked as pending. Once a driver accepts, you’ll receive a push notification and your ride will then say “Accepted.”
Prepare for Pickup
You can view your trip reservation details once your ride is confirmed by the driver. Tap on the “Schedule” tab at the bottom of the screen. From there, tap on the scheduled ride to see more details. You can then see information regarding the reservation and your driver.
You’ll find a picture of the driver, the type of car, and license plate number. There’s also a short description of the driver along with their driver rating. You can even contact your driver through text or phone call. You can pass all of this information along to your child so they also understand who’s driving them.
Track Your Child’s Ride
VanGo keeps you in the loop every step of the way. You’ll receive push notifications when the driver is on their way, when they’ve arrived, when your child is picked up, and when they’re dropped off.
You can also track your child’s location in real-time. To do so, tap on the schedule tab in the app. When the ride starts, tap the “Track Your Ride” button. You can then see exactly where your child is during the trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s important to be knowledgeable about VanGo before you sign up to use the service. Let’s go over some information we didn’t cover above.
Is VanGo available in my area?
VanGo is only available in select areas in the United States. You can sign up for the service if you live in Fairfield County (Connecticut), Phoenix, Houston, or Dallas.
How can I drive for VanGo?
VanGo drivers must pass a background check, give their fingerprints, and have at least three years of childcare experience. You also need to have a clean driving record, pass a vehicle inspection, and partake in an interview with the VanGo team.
Is VanGo safe?
VanGo makes your child’s safety their priority. Every driver is required to have at least three years of childcare experience and complete an official fingerprinting process. In addition, they must complete and pass an extensive vetting process that includes:
- An interview with VanGo team members
- A background check
- A driving record check
- A reference check
- A vehicle inspection
As a result, only 10% of all VanGo applicants are accepted. Incidentally, 85% of drivers you’ll be matched with will be moms, so they’ll know exactly how much your child means to you.
For further peace of mind, every VanGo driver is required to keep their GPS on for the duration of the ride, so as soon as you get the notification that your child has been picked up, you can start tracking their route straight through the VanGo app. Just select the current date on the “Schedule” tab and tap on the ride you’re looking to track.
How can I contact VanGo customer support?
You can contact VanGo customer support via email, calling, or texting. Here is the VanGo customer support information:
- Phone number: (203) 424-2223
- Text message: (203) 349-6278
- Email: Team@ridevango.com
Can my child submit their own ride request?
No. Accounts on the VanGo app are meant for parents and guardians, which means you will have to submit ride requests on behalf of your teen or pre-teen.
When is the latest that I can request a ride?
VanGo doesn’t have a stated deadline for ride requests, though it’s unlikely that you’ll easily find an immediate ride if you’re submitting an on-demand request. Your best bet is to request your ride by at least 8 p.m. the night prior to your child’s requested ride date, as this time frame is a standard deadline for other “Uber for kids” apps.
What information can I see about my child’s driver once they accept?
Within your ride details, you’ll be able to see the driver’s photo, name, rating, vehicle model, license plate number, and their phone number. Tapping into their profile, you can view more information regarding their childcare experience.
If you have any concerns, you can always call or text the driver by tapping “Call” or “SMS” on the ride details page. You can also contact VanGo by calling the company at (203) 424-2223, texting them at (203) 349-6278, or emailing them at email@example.com.
A Safe Way to Drive Your Child
VanGo is a safe and convenient way to transport your child around your city. You can rest easy and tackle other parts of your schedule. VanGo drivers are carefully vetted to take care of your children.
If VanGo isn’t available in your area, you can check out HopSkipDrive, which is another rideshare company that focuses on child transportation.
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.