Rider ratings can make or break your reputation as a driver and determine whether future passengers confidently book a ride with you or end up canceling.
Getting consistently high ratings largely boils down to common sense, but there may be some extra touches you haven’t considered to boost your ratings.
If you’re wondering how to improve your rideshare driver ratings, read on for some expert-approved strategies that will elevate your passengers’ experience and get you more five-star ratings.
Top 15 Ways to Improve Rideshare Driving Ratings
Here are some great ways to help improve your rideshare driver ratings:
- Understand the Rating System
- Take a Ride
- Get the Right Passenger
- Keep Your Vehicle Clean
- Greet Your Passengers and Offer Assistance
- Provide a Safe and Comfortable Ride
- Cater to Music and Temperature Preferences
- Offer Refreshments
- Keep Chargers Handy
- Get a Read on Your Passengers
- Use a Dash Mount
- Get to Know Your City
- Don’t Give Into Road Rage
- Navigate Like a Pro
- Invest in Your Business
1. Understand the Rating System
Understanding how the system works is the first step to improving your rideshare driving ratings. As a refresher, the rating system is based on a five-star scale.
Your riders can rate you based on their overall experience, factoring in your behavior, driving skills, cleanliness, and their general experience.
Your overall rating is the average of all your recent ratings. It’s crucial to maintain good ratings because consistently low ratings may lead to deactivation or permanent banning from the platform.
2. Take A Ride As a Passenger
One of the easiest steps to improve your average rating is to take a ride for yourself.
I recommend booking a ride ASAP and continuing to do it from time to time. Think of it as an investment and ask your CPA if you can write it off as business research.
Getting in the passenger seat allows you to learn from highly-rated drivers and poorly-rated ones, too.
- How do they greet you at your pick-up location?
- Do they ask for directions or use GPS even if they know where they’re going?
- Do they seem to generally care for your well-being?
- If they make a mistake or a wrong turn, do they let you know?
- What do they do that you don’t do and vice versa?
3. Get the Right Passenger
Don’t assume someone is your passenger just because they’re at the pickup location.
Verify your passenger’s identity before they get in the car. Confirm their names when you greet them to avoid a mixup or unsafe situation.
If you don’t make it to your actual passenger, you can incur poor ratings for falling through on the trip.
4. Keep Your Vehicle Clean
One of the most important things that passengers notice when they get into your car is how clean it is.
Having a clean car not only makes you look more professional but also shows that you care about your passengers’ comfort and well-being.
- Vacuum the seats and floor mats to remove crumbs and dirt.
- Wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, and other surfaces with a microfiber cloth.
- Use an air freshener to keep things smelling fresh.
- Check the backseat for items from previous passengers.
- Go through the car wash regularly.
- Clean the windows for visibility.
- Remove any decals that might be outdated or controversial.
Maintaining a clean car will require some effort, but it’s a small price to pay for maintaining a high driver rating.
5. Greet Your Passengers and Offer Assistance
Always greet your passengers with a smile and a friendly hello. If you notice they’re hauling luggage or other heavy items, offer to help them get it into the car.
This small act of kindness can go a long way in creating a positive impression, which can boost your rating and tips.
6. Provide a Safe and Comfortable Ride
Your passengers’ safety and comfort should be your top priority. Make sure your car is clean and well-maintained, with comfortable seating and adequate climate control.
Drive defensively and obey traffic laws to ensure a smooth and safe ride. If your passenger has any special requests or needs, do your best to accommodate them.
It’s also crucial to buckle your seatbelt and ensure that your passengers do the same.
7. Cater to Music and Temperature Preferences
Music and temperature are two factors that can greatly affect a passenger’s ride experience.
Ask your passengers if they have a preferred music genre or artist. If they don’t have a preference, consider playing some popular and upbeat music to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. You can also let them DJ.
Additionally, make sure your guests are comfortable with the temperature in the car to avoid bad ratings.
8. Offer Refreshments
Keep a cooler with bottled water and offer it to your passengers at the beginning of the ride. Similarly, you can keep a stash of snacks, candy, or mints on offer.
By personalizing the experience for your passengers, you’ll create a positive and memorable ride that might lead to better ratings and more business.
Small efforts can go a long way in creating a loyal customer base and improving your rideshare driving ratings.
9. Keep Chargers Handy
It’s all too easy to let your phone die and forget to bring a charger when you’re on the go.
One of the best items you can offer your Lyft or Uber passengers to make their ride more convenient is a phone charger.
Keep a handful of Android and Apple chargers handy in case your passengers need a quick charge and consider investing in a device with multiple ports so a car full of passengers can charge if they need to.
10. Get a Read on Your Passengers
Some passengers like to chat nonstop from the moment you pick them up until you reach their drop-off location, but that isn’t always the case.
Whether they’ve had a long day at work, an exhausting flight, or they’re simply more introverted, some passengers prefer a quiet Lyft or Uber ride.
Uber Comfort riders can choose a quiet ride in the app. Even if your passenger doesn’t use that feature, try to read their mood and match their conversation preferences.
11. Use a Dash Mount
Seeing your Uber or Lyft driver look at their lap or console for directions isn’t a comforting feeling. To keep your passengers safe and ease their minds, invest in a dash mount or car phone holder.
Not only is this safer, but it also lets the passenger see that you’re following the GPS and not just making up the route as you go.
And keep in mind that a phone mount can also be tax-deductible if you purchase it for your rideshare business.
12. Get to Know Your City
Another way to improve your Lyft and Uber driver ratings is to be knowledgeable about your city.
Even though a lot of drivers are part-timers, it can still pay huge dividends to know your way around town.
Memorize the top 10 landmarks in your city so that if a passenger gives you that destination, you can be on your way without hesitation.
You can also help riders from out of town by recommending local restaurants, bars, shopping centers, or attractions.
- Uber Driver’s Guide to Miami
- Uber Driver’s Guide to Atlanta
- Uber Driver’s Guide to Chicago
- Uber Driver’s Guide to Seattle
- Uber Driver’s Guide to Portland
- Uber Driver’s Guide to Los Angeles
13. Don’t Give In to Road Rage
Expressing road rage is a surefire way to land yourself a one-star rating. If someone cuts you off, refuses to let you into traffic, or honks their horn at you, it can be tempting to react.
But when there’s a passenger in your car, it’s important to maintain self-control and prioritize their safety.
Reacting to other drivers can make your passengers feel afraid, but it can also put them and you at risk. At the end of the day, honking back, cursing, and matching other drivers’ hand gestures isn’t worth it.
14. Navigate Like a Pro
The top complaints from Lyft and Uber riders usually involve navigation. Here are a few things you should take care of immediately if your ratings are suffering:
- Use Google Maps or Waze: A lot of new drivers make the mistake of using the stock navigation in the driver app. I prefer Google Maps since it now integrates traffic information from Waze and the screen isn’t as cluttered.
- Practice using your navigation: Navigation should be second nature to you, so when you hear “Turn left in 800 ft.” you should know how far 800 ft is without having to look at your screen or break from your conversation.
- Turn off your sound: Passengers don’t need to hear the turn-by-turn directions over your music so you may want to consider muting the directions. Alternatively, you can use a Bluetooth piece so you still get audio from the turn-by-turn directions while music is playing on the radio.
- Use your GPS: Once the ride starts, it’s difficult to put information in your GPS, so make sure to enter it beforehand. Even if I know where I’m going, I still enter the destination if it’s over 5-10 mins away. Make sure you let your passenger know why you’re entering it.
15. Invest In Your Business
Some drivers are short-sighted when it comes to spending money on products and services that can help their business. But as a business owner, you need to think about investing in your business.
My friend Rez at R3Z Solutions, who runs deactivated driver training for Uber markets across the country, tells me that drivers in his markets often wait until it’s too late to take his training.
To be proactive, check out free content on this site and other online resources, or consider a one-on-one consultation to improve your ratings.
(We’ll also have an extensive module about ratings in our new video course for drivers: MaximumRidesharingProfits.com)
A lot of people think investing in your business requires money, but the bulk of your investment will likely be time. It takes time to get good at something and you’ll have to practice over and over until you have it perfected.
If you’re a low-rated driver, remember that change isn’t going to happen overnight.
You need to employ all of these tactics and be patient since Uber calculates your rating based on your last 500 trips, while Lyft calculates your rating based on your past 100 trips.
Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft don’t always provide clear feedback. Here are a few resources to help you on your path to improving your Uber and Lyft ratings.
There are plenty of insights to help you get more 5-star ratings from Uber Eats, Doordash, and other food delivery apps, too.
Nobody is going to be able to magically increase your ratings, it’s going to come down to the work you put in and how you execute what you’ve learned.