Uber Explained: Car types X vs XL vs Select etc.

In the metro Denver area, Uber provides riders 6 options for car types to pick from. In other geographies, they may have options for skis, baby seats, bike couriers, helicopters, etc. so this will focus just on the main ones in Denver that also overlap with most other areas. Given how often I get questions about what the different types are and why it makes sense to pick them, I thought it was worth sharing a quick summary from the rider’s perspective:

Uber Pool

This is the cheapest option from Uber. The car can be up to 15 years old. The driver could be great or crappy. The condition of the car can run the gamut. As a rider, you’ll save a few dollars but will be in a car pool situation to your destination which could impact your commute time anywhere from nothing to more than twice as long. On short rides, you’re taking on this inconvenience to save $1-2 dollars.

Uber X

This is the cheapest non-pool option from Uber. Same conditions as above – cars up to 15 years old, driver of any rating, of any condition, etc. Could be a brand new driver, one that sucks at using GPS, and one who’s car smells horrible. My rider yesterday said their driver pulled up with mud in the back and smelled like feces. They canceled and then got me, a nice clean leather seat Acura with a 4.9 rated driver. It’s a gamble. Cost is roughly $1/mile. The car fits 4 passengers + driver.

Uber XL

This is the cheapest large vehicle option from Uber. These vehicles fit 6 passengers + driver. The vehicle can be the same condition above and in Denver, I’ve seen a number of old crappy minivans that run these routes. Though you could also get a nice new snazzy high-end 3-row SUV like mine too. It’s all up to who’s in the area when you click the button. Drivers can have any rating and any experience level. Cost is roughly $1.50/mile.

Uber Select

This is the step up from Uber X. Vehicles fit 4 passengers + driver, though must be in a certain condition. They could still be Honda Civics, but they’d be newer ones with leather seats. You’ll also find Acura’s, Audi’s, Tesla’s, etc. in this category as well. In addition to a nicer car, the driver must have a high rating and a certain number of rides so you most likely won’t get the new guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s really the step in between a commercially licensed driver and an Uber X driver. Cost is roughly $2/mile.

Uber SUV

This is the commercially licensed version of Uber XL. So if you’re looking to get picked up in the snazzy black Tahoe or Escalade, this is your category. These cars are roomy, comfortable, black with leather seats. The drivers carry a commercial license and are often trained in how to treat and interact with high-end riders. It will cost you more, though chances are if you’re choosing this category cost isn’t a concern.

Uber Black

This is the commercially licensed version of Uber Select. It’s the nice newer cars, without the Honda Civics, that come with professional drivers. The cars are all black with leather interiors. This category is great if you’re looking to get driven in a newer Mercedes or Cadillac or the like. These drivers know how to drive, they know the routes, and they are experienced in the level of service high-end riders prefer. It will also cost a pretty penny, though like above if you’re picking from the commercial categories you’re probably not thinking about cost.

Hope this helps,

PS – If you’re thinking about driving for Uber, you will need a referral code to sign up. This one gives you a sign-on bonus: https://partners.uber.com/i/sarac13944ui


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