Ridesharing is an easy and eco-friendly way to get around. And while companies work to improve the experience, new (though not unexpected) guidelines for etiquette emerge. From backseat driving, to riding while intoxicated, to knowing where and when to meet your driver, find out what you should (and SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT) do while ridesharing.


Be timely 

GPS makes it easy to see where your driver is and the direction they’re coming from. As soon as you request your ride, check to see how many minutes until your driver arrives. If it’s under 5, it’s best to head outside immediately to meet your car. When you make your driver wait, you’re costing them money — the more rides they’re able to take during their shift, the more money they can make. And always keep in mind that just because someone’s driving you from Point A to Point B, they’re not your personal chauffeur. If you’re running late, shoot a quick text to let your driver know — they’ll appreciate it!

Be respectful

Saying hello and introducing yourself isn’t a requirement for ridesharing, but it’s always pleasant to make an initial connection. Plus it’ll help you make sure you’ve got the right car and driver (as sometimes multiple people in the same vicinity may have called one). And remember, you’re climbing into someone’s personal car that they’re using for their business. Other passengers will likely be hopping in after you get out, so be sure to clean up after yourself.

Some drivers have candies, water, or mints available to their passengers. If you partake, be aware of your wrappers or bottles and leave the car as neat as you found it. If your kids are along, consider waiting until the ride’s over to dole out the snacks those pesky crumbs in the backseat are a hassle to clean and could affect the next person’s ride.

Assess the vibe

Sharing a car with strangers brings a new level to being a passenger. If you’ve dialed up a shared rideshare (meaning you’ll be sharing your car with other strangers along the same route as you), the first rule of thumb is to assess the vibe of the car. Although this might be hard to do as most people sharing rides with strangers these days have their heads bent toward their phones, each time you enter a situation where you’re in close proximity to others, it’s a good idea to assess the energy of the space.

If it’s first thing in the morning, are other riders awake, alert, and chatty? If you want to be, join in. But if everyone’s quietly sipping their coffee and enjoying some calm before work, maybe it’s best to do the same. And if you’re the one who just wants to zone out on your phone or look out the window, keep in mind you’re under no obligation to chat. There’s no one “right” way to rideshare. The most important thing is to be mindful of others.

And then, of course, there’s what to skip while ridesharing.


Backseat drive

This may seem like a no-brainer, but try not to backseat drive. If there’s a route you prefer, feel free to let the driver know as soon as you get in. Or if the driver is going too fast for your comfort, by all means speak up. But unless there’s a real reason to chime in on the driver’s performance, it’s best to just sit, relax, and let the driver do their job.

Cancel rides

Life’s unpredictable. And there may be extenuating circumstances that cause you to cancel your ride after you’ve dialed it up. But try not to call a ride you think you may cancel. This inconveniences the driver on several different fronts because a cancellation means a loss of gas, money, and time for them. And you may get hit with a charge for it.

Ride overserved

Dialing up a rideshare after happy hour is a safe, responsible way to get yourself home. There is, however, etiquette to riding while under the influence. And it may go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t vomit in the car. If the worst happens, be prepared to pay a cleaning fee.

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about Hannah

Hannah Fairbanks is a freelance writer living in San Francisco with her husband and 2 daughters. When she’s not writing, you might find her reading, packing bento box lunches for her kids, and making sure she gets in at least 10,000 Fitbit steps a day.