21 Things Every Uber Driver Should Have in Their Car
To snag five-star ratings within the Uber app, drivers need to be prepared for just about anything—specifically, ready to offer their passengers whatever they need to feel truly comfortable. This is why Uber highly recommends that drivers keep their cars stocked with things like bottled water, breath mints, and gum.
Truthfully, though, we feel like that’s the bare minimum. A lot of the most successful Uber drivers keep whole boxes of items in their cars, ready to meet a wide variety of passenger needs. Take a page out of that playbook, and ensure your vehicle is well-stocked at all times. We’ll offer a few suggestions.
What Should Uber Drivers Keep in Their Cars?
Our recommendations, in no particular order…
Yes, you really should keep water with you in the car. This is the amenity riders are most likely to ask for, and even if you decide not to offer it to everyone (a bad move, incidentally), at the bare minimum you should have a few bottles for the highly intoxicated.
Gum and mints
We really recommend having both, as different passengers will express different preferences. This is an extremely affordable item that you can keep in your car to improve your ratings—plain and simple.
We’ll offer you one very specific reason why it’s smart to have a towel available for your passengers. By law you are required to let service animals into your vehicle, and sometimes those animals will have muddy paws! Providing a towel is a thoughtful gesture to your passengers, and it may help keep your car clean, too.
You never know when or why a passenger may need a paper towel—but it never hurts to have them handy!
You may get some people in your car who are on their way to eat, or who have just come from a crowded public place, or who are simply cautious about germs, and hand sanitizer is an inexpensive way to show them that you’ve got their back.
In addition to sanitizer, a tube of hand lotion can be a nice treat for passengers who are wary of dry or cracked skin.
A vomit bag
Yes, this is a little gross—but not as gross as having someone throw up all over your vehicle. Again, think of those passengers you pick up who may be on the inebriated side.
A lint roller
This one serves a couple of purposes. It can help you tidy up your seats for the next passenger, especially if an animal is in the car. Additionally, you can offer it to passengers who are dressed up and look like they might be interested in an extra bit of polish.
It is truly amazing how many small messes or stains can be cleared away with a simple baby wipe. Have a pack of these to offer to any passengers who find themselves in sticky situations.
If a passenger loses something in your car, perhaps under the seat, it’s always good if you can rise to the occasion and aid them in locating it. A flashlight, to see under those dark seats, can go a long way.
An air freshener (with replacement plug-ins)
This one is for your own comfort and sanity as much as it is for your passengers. Here’s the deal: You’ll have passengers who smell bad. You need to get rid of that foul smell ASAP. Having plenty of air freshening firepower on hand can really be beneficial here.
Car charger and adapter
Different passengers will have different devices, and it’s not necessarily possible for you to provide charging options for all of them. With that said, you should have a way for people to recharge Android phones, iPhones, and other common mobile technologies. A good adapter is a really smart investment for any Uber driver to make. (We also recommend keeping a separate cell phone charger for your own, personal device, which you’ll obviously need to maintain plenty of juice.)
An auxiliary cord or Bluetooth player
Passengers may want to listen to their own favorite Spotify playlist or Pandora station. Make sure you provide them with an easy and intuitive way to do that.
A pen and some index cards
This may feel really lo-fi and old-school, but in truth, you may be surprised by how often you have passengers who need to jot things down—like names and phone numbers—and who may not want to use their phones to do so, for whatever reason. (Like they’re out of batteries.) It’s just a smart thing to have on standby.
A small, portable vacuum can go a long way toward helping you to maintain a neat, tidy vehicle—especially after a really messy passenger gets out of the vehicle. Try keeping one of these stashed in a discreet place.
First Aid kit
Nobody’s saying you need advanced medical training, but being able to offer a Band Aid, a bit of gauze, or a pair of tweezers is always a smart idea.
We recommend having around $20 in change handy. One reason is that some people may need coins or small bills where they’re going, and it’s always good if you can help them out. Additionally, you’re more likely to get a tip if you can make change for people!
A mileage log
This one isn’t really for the passenger’s benefit, but for yours: Keep a log in your car where you can record your mileage, if for no other reason than for tax write-offs.
A cell phone mount
You may need to use the Uber app or a navigation app, like Google Maps, while you have a passenger in the car. The thing is, taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel can make passengers feel less safe—and rightly so, we might add. A cell phone mount provides a neat solution, and a good way to use your mobile device without making anyone panic.
A spare tire and tire gauge
Hopefully you won’t need to make use of these things, but it’s always a good idea to have them with you, and to be prepared for anything that might come your way. You might even go a step further and have a basic tool set handy, just in case you need to do any repair work on the fly.
A gas can
Running out of gas is just about the last thing you want to happen when you’re driving for Uber. Just to be on the safe side, it’s smart to keep a gas can handy. Stash it in your trunk, and hopefully there will never come a day when you actually have to use it!
Prepare for Anything and Everything
Now, you don’t want to go overboard in the amenities you offer; we know some drivers who offer things like candy bars, but that really eats into your profit margins. It is smart to be prepared for as many possible needs and scenarios as possible, though—and this checklist should help.
Stock up with as many of these items as possible, and see if it enables you to start earning better and better ratings. Remember that preparedness may make all the difference between being a good UBER driver and a great one!