If you’ve ever had to wait in a cab line after a night full of dancing in Old Town Scottsdale in your highest of heels, you know how annoying the process can be. One time, I hopped in an unmarked car in the cab line just because I wanted to get the heck out of Old Town — and thankfully, it was indeed a cab, though my hasty decision made by my foot pain probably wasn’t the wisest.
If you’re someone who would rather be fully in control of your ride home, even when you’re not driving, you might want to try out Uber, a private car service that only requires a few taps on your smartphone to get you home safely in no time. The company gave me $100 to try them out, which came in really handily for a friend’s recent birthday.
Download the Uber app on your smartphone, and you’ll enter in your credit card information during sign-up so you don’t have to worry about getting out cash for each ride. Access the app, and you’ll immediately see where the closest driver is — sometimes, they’re less than 5 minutes away. After you choose your pickup location, you’ll be able to track the driver as they’re making their way toward you. Payment is taken from your account information, so you just need to get in and ride away to your destination.
Currently, Uber’s main areas of service include Old Town Scottsdale, Tempe and downtown Phoenix. Uber has something called “Surge Pricing,” which increases rates during peak times depending on driver availability. If there are more requests than there are drivers, users will be prompted to pay higher rates that they’ll also have the option to accept or deny. On the night I used Uber, I was picked up in Paradise Valley, and I experienced Surge Pricing at a 1.75 higher rate than normal, at around 2 a.m. on a Saturday night. For more info on it, go here.
Also, Uber’s pricing in general is slightly more expensive than a cab ride, with base fares starting at $7, at $3.25 per mile. Something neat about the Uber app is that it allows you to calculate an estimate of your ride, which is helpful. Get all of Uber’s pricing here.
There were a few things I really liked about my Uber ride. First, the car was just a lot cooler than a cab. There were flashing colored lights that made me feel like I was in a swanky limo, and there were water bottles for all the passengers. The black town car was sleek and cool, a chic ride if you’re planning on a nice date and really want to impress your companion beyond the typical cab.
Also, since Uber tells you the name and phone number of the driver, make of the car and license plate number, you can rest assured you’re getting as safe a ride possible. The star rating by the driver’s name (out of 5 stars) also gives you an idea of what how highly ranked the driver is by previous passengers. It’s neat the drivers are held to high standards.
Uber just added SUV service for all you big car lovers. Use promo code PHXSUV for $5 off your first SUV ride before April 30. For more information on Uber, go here.