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Surveying Americans on Their Biggest Rideshare Pet Peeves [2023]

Alex Miller's image
Alex Miller
Alex Miller's image

Alex Miller

Founder & CEO

296 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 34U.S. States Visited: 29

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3213 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Long gone are the days when Americans needed to hail a cab on the side of the road and wait patiently for taxi drivers to pull over. Nowadays, with the convenience of rideshare apps, Americans can simply order a ride off of their phone and have it arrive at their location all in a matter of minutes. Still, that doesn’t stop some passengers from making a mess in the backseat or some drivers from dropping off their passengers at the wrong location.

Between surge pricing, reckless driving, heinous music selections, and poor ratings, what are Uber and Lyft riders’ biggest grievances when it comes to rideshares? Upgraded Points surveyed over 3,000 rideshare passengers to get the real dirt on their biggest rideshare pet peeves. Keep reading to find out the top rideshare complaints from passengers, as well as the behaviors they’re most guilty of doing in a rideshare car — from fast food drive-thru requests to open containers.

The Most Common Pet Peeves of Rideshare Users

Chart displaying the most common pet peeves of rideshare users
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Rideshare apps come in handy when you’re visiting a new city or don’t have your own method of transportation, but that’s not to say they’re always a walk in the park. Most passengers have problems with Uber or Lyft.

Of those surveyed, we found that surge pricing (65%), lack of driver availability (36%), and unfair cancellation fees (29%) were rideshare users’ biggest pet peeves about the apps. Rideshare apps such as Uber raise their prices when demand is high in a particular area, which can be frustrating to have to pay higher rates than normal for a ride.

27% of passengers cited their top pet peeve as being unable to find their driver (and vice versa), and 24% reported routing/GPS malfunction as their biggest annoyance. If only these rideshare services had some sort of Bat-Signal to help drivers and passengers track each other down.

When it comes to grievances with rideshare drivers, specifically, reckless driving (55%), smelly vehicles (54%), texting while driving (49%), and drivers with bad attitudes (49%) were the top responses.

What Are Passengers’ Worst Behaviors While Ridesharing?

Map displaying the worst behaviors of passengers while ridesharing
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

From throwing up in the backseat to forgetting their personal items in the car, passengers are guilty of several bad behaviors while ridesharing. The most common offense is failing to buckle up. 31% of passengers report forgetting to wear a seatbelt as the behavior they’re most guilty of doing in a rideshare.

Other misdeeds that are routinely committed by passengers include keeping the driver waiting (27%), being overly chatty with drivers (25%), and failing to tip your driver when you say you will (19%). Rideshare users need to respect drivers’ time and property — or simply follow the rideshare golden rule to treat other drivers the way you’d like to be treated.

How Often Do Rideshare Users Tip and Rate Their Drivers?

Pie chart displaying how often rideshare users tip and rate their drivers
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Tips aren’t factored into your rideshare fees, which means you have the option of tipping your driver at the end of the ride if you so choose. The rideshare tipping debate is ongoing, with some drivers saying it’s not expected (but always appreciated) and others saying you should always tip your driver no matter what.

We’re in the midst of a tipping economy where 62% of passengers say they tip their rideshare driver after every ride, with younger generations (Gen Z and millennials) being less likely to tip their drivers compared to older generations (Gen X and baby boomers). Surprisingly, more passengers tip their drivers than rate their drivers –– only 47% of passengers say they leave their driver a star rating after every ride.

If you need to take rideshare daily or weekly, then you may be less likely to tip frequently, as it can add up over time. Of those who do tip, the largest share of users (35%) usually tip their drivers 10% or less.

What Concessions Will Passengers Make While Ridesharing?

Infographic displaying what experience rideshare users would rather do
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

We asked our participants a series of “would you rather” questions to shed light on the ultimate nightmare ride. More riders would rather be with a driver who is a speed demon (56%) than take a rideshare with a smell or odor in the car (44%) — proving stinky cars are one of the worst offenses.

We also found that 62% of riders would rather discuss controversial topics with drivers (like religion or politics) than have 2 drivers cancel on them back-to-back (38%). It’s worth sitting through an uncomfortable topic if it means you get to your destination on time.

With car prices still at an all-time high, many rideshare users opt for services like Uber or Lyft to cut down on expenses. Despite that, 40% of riders still spent $100 or more on rideshares last year, with 25% spending over $150. If most Americans spend $100 annually on rideshares, that means they’re shelling out $5,800 on rides throughout their lifetime.

Rideshare users are still being budget conscious, as over half of Americans (53%) say they won’t request a ride during times or locations with surge pricing.

Every State’s Biggest Rideshare Pet Peeves

Curious about what the ultimate rideshare pet peeve is in your state? Check out the table below to see the top passenger and driver complaints in your home state.

The Best Credit Cards for Frequent Rideshare Users

If you use Uber or Lyft, why not get the most out of it? Frequent rideshare users can now rejoice, as certain credit cards offer special perks and bonuses tied to rideshare purchases. Over a quarter of our survey respondents (26%) own a credit card that offers cash back on rideshare purchases.

Discover the best credit cards for Uber and Lyft rides, and check out some of the special offers you can receive:

  • Bonus credit card points/miles or cash-back earned on Uber and Lyft rides
  • Uber Cash or Lyft credits
  • Complimentary Uber One or Lyft Pink All Access membership

Methodology

To find out rideshare passengers’ biggest pet peeves, we surveyed 3,164 American rideshare passengers across 44 U.S. states. The survey ran from February 22, 2023, through March 1, 2023. We did not include the following states due to a low pool of survey respondents: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

To discover how much Americans would spend on rideshare annually, we subtracted the legal age you can use rideshare alone in the U.S. (18 years old) from the average American life expectancy (76 years old), which equals 58 years.

Final Thoughts

From cranky passengers to smelly vehicles, rideshare drivers and users have to put up with a lot. We found that rideshare passengers complained of price gouging the most, and the behavior passengers were most guilty of is forgetting to wear their seatbelts. Thankfully, most passengers tip their rideshare users a minimum of 10%. We hope this study has shed some light on where the rideshare experience needs improvement, what your rideshare drivers go through, and how to be a more thoughtful passenger the next time you request a rideshare!

Alex Miller's image

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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