I live rather far from the closest airport. Almost 45 minutes without traffic. And because I hate inconveniencing friends, I either leave my car at the airport or take an Uber.
One day, an Uber driver thanked me for the long ride. This whole time I was under the impression Uber’s preferred numerous short trips, but this got me wondering.. Do Uber drivers prefer short or long trips?
Do Uber Drivers Prefer Short Or Long Trips?
A preference for or avoidance of long Uber trips seems to depend on the Uber driver, the specific service being offered, the location, and the likelihood of picking up passengers for the return leg of the long trip.
This article takes a look at Uber driver preferences for short trips over long ones: why it happens, if it’s allowed to happen, and what to do if you can’t find a driver for your longer than usual Uber journey.
Can Uber Drivers Refuse Long Trips?
Uber drivers, as independent contractors, do not have to accept any trip they would prefer not to take. And many Uber drivers will refuse a long trip simply because the cost of fuel and the likelihood of a long return trip without passengers means they will earn very little for that trip.
When a potential rider logs a request for a longer than usual ride, Uber will alert the driver that this fare will be extra long. The driver can then decline the job without needing to worry about harming their driver rating.
Although this can be frustrating for passengers who want to take a long ride, it is fairer for Uber drivers, who this way, can keep some control over their schedules.
However, although some Uber drivers don’t want these long trips, it’s still possible to find drivers prepared to drive the long miles. There are many Uber drivers who are comfortable investing time into long journeys: it’s must a matter of connecting with them through the app.
Read: How Reliable Is Uber Schedule A Ride?
When Can Uber Drivers Refuse Rides?
Basically, an Uber driver can refuse a ride (in other words, cancel or decline the ride via the app) for any reason at all as they are independent contractors driving their own pvehicles.
Uber drivers can also refuse to accept certain passengers, an absolute must when considering driver safety. In fact, there are situations where Uber encourages their drivers to decline rides. When it comes to the safety of the driver (or the passenger), it is occasionally far more responsible for a driver to decline a request.
This may include situations where riders are under the age of 18, or are rowdy, drunk, belligerent and/or violent.
Uber drivers cannot discriminate rider requests by gender, religion, or race or if the rider has a service animal – that is, an animal actively in service and not a pet.
Uber drivers themselves, must take a break after 12 hours of driving (or being online). At this point they will be prompted to log off for at least 6 hours.
What’s The Furthest An Uber Driver Can Take You?
When an Uber driver is online taking requests, the Uber driver app will let the driver know if a potential ride will take longer than 45 minutes. At this point, some drivers will decline the job, leaving it for others to accept.
That said, there is a formal company restriction placed on how far you can travel using an Uber assigned vehicle, and this is a limit of eight hours on a single trip. Therefore, you can technically travel as far as you want using only the Uber service, provided you start a new trip after each eight-hour limit runs out.
This time limit is a relatively recent addition to the Uber platform, and the company claims it’s a way to ensure their drivers are protected and avoid overwork. However, the time limit (and its enforcement) vary from country to country.
Read: Can You Pay Cash For Uber?
How To Plan A Long Uber Ride
If your Uber ride is going to be longer than usual, you still book the ride as you usually would – and be sure to type in accurate details for your destination. Never type in a location that is closer than your actual one and hope to persuade the driver to just ‘go a little further.’
After making a request, you just need to wait for a driver to respond. Depending on where you’re using the service, getting a driver for a long ride request can take a while.
If you get a driver, and your trip ends before reaching your destination (in other words, you’ve reached the time limit), you’ll have to end the ride. At this point, simply open the app and request a new ride.
You can change drivers or ask your previous Uber driver to accept your new ride request and continue the trip this way. You may need to do this a couple of times if it’s an exceptionally long journey.
Uber recommends calling your driver ahead to ensure they realize they’re in for a long distance trip. An Uber driver is a private contractor and has the right to reject any trip.
What Do Most Uber Drivers Prefer?
Most Uber drivers prefer short trips, each of which is carrying passengers from one location to another one and hopefully earning bonuses on the way. This way the driver is earning money the whole time they are driving. Long trips, for which there are no passengers for the return journey, are not always lucrative.
However, there are drivers who prefer longer trips, appreciating the larger fare at the end of the journey, and not concerned about the ‘empty miles’ on the way home. It’s just a matter of making your needs clear and connecting with the right driver.
Uber drivers, as contract workers using private vehicles, are responsible for creating and maintaining their own driving schedules. This means choosing to accept long drives is completely up to the individual driver.
Many drivers avoid long trips because the drive home, depending on the location, is usually outside of busy urban centres.
This means the Uber driver is unlikely to find passengers for the trip back which will therefore occur at the driver’s expense.
Riders who require a long trip need to be clear and upfront with the details – this allows the driver to appropriately reject the request or accept the trip and the distance and time involved.
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