How to save money when riding with Uber in Singapore

How do you save money while riding UBER in Singapore? As a driver, I think many other drivers would hate me for sharing tips with riders to save money, as this would mean the drivers would earn lesser. However, I believe that with customers able to save money, they would be happy. They would continue to use the service which would turn into income for the drivers. What use is there if there are lots of drivers with no customers.

Previously I post blogs to help drivers to start driving with UBER and also how much could a UBER driver earn. This post will talk about what you should know about UBER and how to save money taking UBER.


What is UBER

UBER is a transportation network company that created a mobile app. This app links passengers with available drivers with a tap on a smartphone. By tapping for a ride, the system would find the nearest driver available and your ride will be on your way. It removes the need of calling for a taxi or paying extra for booking a taxi.

The drivers of UBER were supposed to be partners of UBER. Which means they either use their own car or rent a car to provide transport services. UBER is just the platform linking the passengers with the drivers. UBER will charge a service fee of 10%-30% from the driver depending on the type of services provided. There isn’t much screening on the driver, unlike the screening done by LTA and medical checkup required by taxi drivers. However, it may change with the implementation of having a Private Hire Licence in order to drive for UBER or any other transportation app. As of now, only Singaporeans and PR are only allowed to sign up to drive for UBER in Singapore, while taxi only allow Singaporeans.

So what are the different services provided by UBER?

There are UberX, UberPool, UberXL, UberExec, ExecLarge, UberTaxi. So what is the difference?

UberX – Car with 4 doors and can sit up to 5 pax, including driver.

UberXL – Car with 4 doors and can sit up to 7 pax, including driver.

UberExec – High end car of models such as Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Jaguar. Must be black in colour and can sit up to 5 pax, including driver.

ExecLarge – High end car of models. Must be black in colour and can sit up to 7 pax, including driver.

UberTaxi – Public Taxi. Booked using UBER app.

UberPool – Car Pooling with other passengers going the same direction.


How to save when using Uber?

Below is a list of how you can save using Uber

  1. Look out for promotion on their facebook page
  2. If it is your first ride, get a friend to pass you their code so that both can earn some credits. For your first ride, you will be given $10 credit. If you don’t have any code to use, you can use mine code 8HXSV.
  3. Use either UberX or UberPool, depending on your needs. Which to use will be discussed next.


So when to use UberX or UberPool to save cost?

If you are alone or with just another one friend, which service should you use in order to save the most? UberPool was only available for maximum 2 passengers per call. If you are in a group of more than 2, you can only use UberX.

You should use UberX when:

  1. You are late for work/meeting/school and do not have time to deviate
  2. You do not like to share your ride with strangers
  3. You and your friends are dropping of at different locations. (Individual UberPool request will cost more rather than making multiple stops)
  4. You are making very short trips. (Using UberPool for short trips may end up going away from your intended destination to pick up another passenger going to the same place, which will result in you paying more as compared to using UberX)
  5. You are at the airport with lots of luggage. (If you UberPool at the airport, there is a high chance another passenger with lots of luggage may have gotten the ride first, resulting in you not able to share the ride due to insufficient luggage space and have to wait for a next ride)
  6. You feel rich but don’t wish to take the Taxi

You should use UberPool when:

  1. You don’t mind sharing your ride with strangers. (I have driven a pool ride with the riders making friends with each other and adding each other on facebook)
  2. You have spare time to deviate (expect deviation for at least 30min or more as it takes time to exit expressway and get back onto it, or stuck in the jam while transiting to pick up/drop off the other passenger)
  3. You are travelling during off peak hours where the chance of you having to share a ride is low
  4. Your pick up point and destination is near the expressway (Seldom drivers will get new request when they are traveling on the expressway. But the key word is seldom, as it is still possible and it would depend on the driver if he wants to sacrifice his acceptance rate)
  5. You are travelling long distance, from one end of the island to the other, eg Jurong to Changi. (The savings you can save is worth the deviation, if any.)
  6. You are going to the airport and do not have many luggage. (Chance of you sharing a ride to the airport is low as not many people goes to the airport from your pick-up location throughout the day.)


Things to take note of when cancelling rides

Now that you know when to use which service, there are some things that you need to take note of when cancelling the ride

  1. DO NOT CANCEL a trip if the driver has accepted the job for more than 3-5 mins or if the driver is near or at your location. You will be charged a cancellation fee of $6.
  2. DO place your pin as accurately as possible on where you wished to be picked up, instead of just putting some address. If your pin is not where you are and the driver proceeds to the pin. If he cancels the tip and stated that you did not show up, you will have to pay $6.
  3. Only call for UberPool when you are ready as the driver is told to wait for only 2 min. If there is no other customer, the driver will gladly wait. But if there are other passengers, you will be charged $6 for not showing up.


How to make your UBER trip more enjoyable

If your driver is happy, he/she will provide a service that you will be happy of too. So what can you do to be a 5Star passenger. (Even though it doesn’t really matter if you are 1 Star or 5 Stars passenger as you are the boss using the service)

Setting Location

  1. When you set your location, please be as accurate as possible.
  2. Place the pin at where you wished to be picked up. Try not to use current location if you are in a building and your GPS location is inaccurate.
  3. Try not to use postal code only. The driver at most will know your block number if you are staying in HDB.
  4. If you are staying in condominium, it is good to provide the condominium name instead of the street address or postal code. The GPS system in the app may not be accurate and drivers may end up going to the wrong condo, waiting at the wrong condo.

By setting your location well, the drivers can locate you as soon as possible, reducing your wait time, improving your ride.


Giving Ratings

The passenger’s rating does not really affect the passenger as the drivers would still have to pick up your call if they wish to earn money. However, the ratings for the driver may greatly affect their performance or even their ricebowl.


So what does the ratings mean to the drivers?

5 Stars – You are doing a good job, keep it up

4 Stars – You are a ok driver, but you should stop driving for Uber

3 Stars – You are not a good driver, you should stop driving for Uber

2 Stars – You are a bad driver, you should stop driving for Uber

1 Star – You are a road hazard, you should stop driving immediately, not only for Uber


Out of 1-5 Star, 3 star is the middle and it should mean the average right? But that is not the case as Uber compares the rating with other drivers, thus an average rating of less than 4 stars would result in the driver no longer able to drive. Giving 4 stars to a driver can be considered above average on the scale of 1-5, but it is still below the drivers’ average. So the next time if you wish to give the driver a rating, see if he/she is so bad that you should give him a poor rating to cost his/her job.

The rating allows drivers to know how good is their service and what to improve. I don’t mind getting 4 stars as I will have other 5 Stars rating to support the drop in rating. However, I wish to know what did I not do so well that I did not manage to get a 5 Star from you. It is just stating a person is not good enough without providing reasons to back the statement. So it would be good if you can also provide some comments or feedback on what things to improve on.

If you wish to make the driver’s day, it would be good if you leave a good comment or compliment if you think the service is very good. Getting compliments from passengers may be the next best thing for the drivers, apart from the fare we are earning.


This should be the last post on UBER for the time being. Happy UBERing.

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