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If you are new to the Uber ridesharing service, some of the options and terminology can be confusing. You’ll see terms like UberX and UberSelect. What is the difference between Uber and UberX, you might wonder?
Actually, there is no difference between UberX and Uber – UberX is simply a level of service that Uber offers.
Uber offers a variety of service options. They range from cheaper, economy rides to luxury rides. These levels of service have various names, such as POOL, UberX, UberSELECT, UberXL, UberBLACK, UberSUV, and UberLUX.
If this is still confusing you, don’t worry, we’ll break this down for you.
These various Uber ride options in part describe the different types of Uber cars that are available. They generally delineate between economy cars and luxury cars, as well as larger cars that can hold more people.
Additionally, some Uber options designate rides that will be shared (POOL or UberPOOL), while others indicate accessibility for wheelchairs (UberACCESS or WAV). UberX + Car Seat offers a family-friendly option.
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Uber’s 4 Basic Levels of Service
We understand that all of this can be a little overwhelming in the beginning, but what’s important to know is that Uber has four basic levels of service: Economy, Premium, Accessibility, and Carpool. Before signing on to the app and choosing a ride, understanding these options will make your ride choices a lot easier.
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While the Uber website describes their economy rides as “affordable, everyday rides for up to four people,” this is a little misleading. Economy options includes UberX and UberXL, and with UberXL, you can get a ride for up to six people.
Note: UberSELECT is listed as an economy option on Uber’s website, but is also shown as a premium option in the app. It could be considered the “economy” luxury option.
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Premium rides are Uber’s higher-end luxury ridesharing options. These rides will cost a little extra, sometimes twice as much or more than UberX. The driver will pick you up in a luxury car such as a BMW, Mercedes, or high-end SUV. Options include UberBLACK, UberSUV, and UberLUX.
Accessibility options are for people with wheelchairs and families who need car seats for child riders. Services include UberACCESS, WAV, and UberX + Car Seat. These options will also cost a little more than a standard UberX ride.
UberPOOL (sometimes called POOL) rides are shared rides with other people who are headed in the same direction. This is the cheapest, but slowest option.
As with using a shuttle to go to the airport, you will have to wait while the Uber driver picks up and drops off other passengers on the way to your destination. It is also not always available when you might need it.
How Uber Ride Options Differ in Each Uber City
Each Uber city (or metropolitan coverage area) offers different services. Very large cities such as Los Angeles might offer almost all the options. Many offer their own unique combination of ride types with different names.
For example, Austin, Texas offers UberPOOL, UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, UberACCESS, and LUX. Baltimore, Maryland offers UberX, UberXL, UberBLACK, and UberSUV, while Tampa, Florida currently only offers UberX, UberXL, and UberSELECT.
Uber’s options vary in each city in part due to the general demographics and market service. High-end luxury ridesharing services will be more in demand in cities with rich clientele available.
You don’t need to remember all of the various option names to use Uber. When you book your ride in the app, you will be shown available options in your city. Services that are unavailable entirely in your city won’t be shown at all. Services in the app that are greyed out indicate that a driver with that type of car is not available at that time. Generally, UberX will always have some available drivers nearby.
A Look at 4 of Uber’s Most Popular Services
Since each metropolitan area that Uber covers offers its own unique Uber services, we will only touch on four of the most commonly used Uber services here. Uber lists the types of services and cars it offers for each metropolitan area in its city pages.
If you are an average person using Uber, you are likely to use UberX as your go-to service. This is Uber’s economy option, which includes travel in a four-door sedan for one to four riders.
UberXL is what it sounds like, an “extra-large” version of Uber. This is for people who are traveling with a lot of luggage that requires extra storage space, or parties of four to six people. The cars driven will be SUVs and vans.
UberSELECT can be a bit confusing because, as mentioned above, it is listed on Uber’s website as an “economy” service, but in the Uber app, it is a “premium” service. This service is basically a step up from UberX. Better cars will be used (such as an Audi or a Lexus vs. a Honda),prices will be a bit higher, and the drivers are highly rated.
UberBLACK is also called simply BLACK in some cities. This is “The original Uber” – what Uber first offered when it launched. Why is it called black? Because the high-end cars employed all black. This is to offer a professional, classy service for executives and others who want a sophisticated profile.
The Uber black car vs. a basic UberX car provides that extra level of distinction that may be just what is needed for an important business meeting, event, or date night.
The other main difference between UberX and UberBLACK is not just the cars but the drivers. With UberBLACK, you get professional drivers. While Uber’s website doesn’t expand upon what exactly makes the drivers “professional,” in the least, you can expect a high-rated driver for this service.
For Most Rides, Using UberX Is Your Best Option
For the average rider who does not need extra accessibility options or a high-end car, UberX is your best everyday ridesharing option. If you need more room for more people or stuff, get UberXL. For a higher level of service, try UberSELECT. And if you want to really impress your date, get UberBLACK.