Don’t leave your driving experiences and their riding experiences to chance. Plan ahead so that you’re covered before, during and after any ride with the exact essentials you need to succeed. Learn from my experience as well as my mistakes. You’ll see below where I could have avoided a cleanup and will now be a lot better prepared because of it!
And keep a look out for the #5starsecrets tips you’ll find sprinkled throughout. Not only will these car essentials keep you prepared, some of them can even land you 5-star ratings from your riders (which could very likely include tips and keeps your overall rating high so you can keep making good money and getting lots of tips)!
Below is my compiled list of 21 Uber Car Essentials.
*Disclaimer: Most of the links below are affiliate links, which means if you click on them and choose to purchase I will receive a small referral commission at NO additional cost to you. But not to worry, I would never recommend an item that I don’t actually use and love or plan on buying and using myself!
Electronics & Accessories
It’s important (for your safety and for your rider’s comfortability) to keep your phone in a phone mount while driving. It also makes driving easier when your phone is stationary while you’re following the GPS and using the Uber app to start and complete rides. I found this phone mount at Best Buy and it works very well, my phone hasn’t dropped once and I’ve been using it for at least a year. My previous phone mount dropped my phone several times! But because of the little feet that hold your phone underneath along with the gripping sides, this one really keeps your phone safe. I also prefer my phone mount placed in the vent instead of stuck to the window for a more sleek overall look in my car.
This is a big convenience for you and a huge hit with riders. It’s inevitable that you will need to charge your phone while driving for long periods of time, especially because the Uber app and GPS definitely drain your battery a lot. It’s also inevitable that at any given time a rider will need to charge their phone. Since you will need to be able to charge your phone and your rider (or multiple riders at a time) could need to charge their phone(s), it’s important to have a multi-port car charger. Riders are usually surprised and impressed with the multi-port function. #5starsecrets
In order to be fully prepared (for yourself and your riders), in addition to the car charger, it’s important to have the proper charging cord for your phone. And you never know what type of phone your riders will have so having an Android charging cord available for them is just as important as the next item on the list. #5starsecrets (going above and beyond – not just having the charger, but also the cord is definitely impressive to riders)
The great GPS debate. I would say for the first 6 months of driving Uber I was a diehard Google Maps user. I didn’t care how many people mentioned Waze and sang their praises, I wasn’t buying it and honestly despised it when I first tried it. But I finally decided to give it a real chance and used it for a full week, and I’ve been hooked ever since. To be fair ALL GPS systems have their quirks and give unnecessarily roundabout and ridiculous directions at times (including Waze). But with all of the extra things Waze tells you because of the community of “Wazers” reporting the conditions on the roads, it makes it incredibly convenient to use. On top of it routing you around high traffic routes, it will notify you of cops, speed cameras, red light cameras, objects on the road, accidents ahead, bad traffic jams, construction, floods, fog, cars stopped in the road or on the shoulder, and the list goes on. It’s incredibly convenient and I think the best GPS to use for Uber drivers.
Having some type of music
Cleaning & “Smell Good” Supplies
You never know when a rider may be transporting some type of strong-smelling cooked food, or they themselves could be emitting a strong odor for many different reasons (trust me, this happens). It’s important to be able to immediately eliminate any odor riders may leave in your car so the next rider doesn’t experience it (and so YOU no longer have to experience it). For this reason, I always keep some type of air freshener spray in my glove compartment. My current favorite is California Scents Coronado Cherry.
Outside of the random occasions where you’ll need to spray some air freshener, it’s also good to keep a stationary air freshener in your car so that it will always have a pleasant smell. I can’t count how many times a rider has gotten into my car and said how good it smelled. They almost seemed surprised by it (which means to me more Uber drivers don’t do this and should). It starts them off with a very pleasant thought of you, your car, and the ride they are taking. They automatically appreciate you as soon as they step in. It’s a great way to start and offer a ride. #5starsecrets
It may seem unusual to see Lysol on this list, but trust me, it’s necessary. It’s inevitable that riders will get in your car with some type of cold, cough or sickness. It’s important to keep yourself protected while you’re in this enclosed space with others. Anytime a rider gets in my car with a lot of coughing or sneezing, or even just admits they have a cold, I immediately spray my Lysol as soon as they get out. I don’t need to be getting sick! It helps to eliminate odors as well.
You never know when a spill can happen, or even just accumulated crumbs and dust. Having car wipes available to easily and quickly clean the inside of your car are a must. I use these most often in the cup holder area, on the dashboard, and even the steering wheel and arm rests. I also like the Hawaiian scented kind!
Making sure to protect your car while cleaning it is important. You don’t want to leave scratches or streaks. Many times if I have to do spot cleaning on the outside of my car because of bird poop, etc. I’ll use my microfiber cleaning towels to protect my paint. I also use these on my display because it gets dusty very easily.
As upstanding Uber drivers, we have to abide by the law that states we must accept all service animals in our cars no matter what. These service animals can be large at times. So to make sure that you can keep your car clean after a rider with an animal, keeping a lint roller in your car is a must. You can quickly clean up any pet hair or debris left on your seats with a few swipes of your lint roller and keep moving to your next ride. Don’t let having to accept animals into your car interrupt the flow of your money making.
After you’ve given many rides you can start to see stains appear on your back seats. And even beyond many rides, with just one ride, you never know what kind of stain could be left after a spill or some sort of accident. I’ve found this Oxi Clean Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner really helpful for stain remover. It’s a relatively quick and easy cleanup. You just spray the foam on the stain, wait a few minutes for it to set and scrub with the brush head attached to the bottle. You can use your microfiber cloths to wipe up any remaining residue. Then let it dry for several hours or overnight and the stains will be gone. I’ve used this at least 3 times so far and it’s worked like a charm every time.
I’m admittedly slacking on this one and don’t actually have these yet because although I’ve given over 7,000 rides I’ve never experienced a rider vomiting in my car. BUT unexpectedly during the day when the entire city celebrated the Washington Capitals winning the 2018 Stanley Cup in their hometown parade, I experienced a very drunk rider who didn’t vomit but did slobber all over my seats and floor. At that point, I saw just how valuable having vomit bags could be. Now, because of my preferred schedule, I normally avoid drunk rider experiences. But as you can see, on rare occasions they can still happen even on a weekday during the day. So it’s important to be prepared, regardless. For this particular experience, I had to my use carpet and upholstery cleaner to get that guy’s slobber stains up, but I wouldn’t have had to if I could have offered him a vomit bag to hold as he slobbered!
Most drivers (Uber or not) usually keep some leftover napkins in their glove compartment from eating out. These can be very handy for quick cleanups or even to prevent them. So you don’t actually have to go out and buy any if you already have a collection. Just be sure to keep a good amount of napkins or paper towels available. And if you want to be prepared in the event you run out of your leftover “eat out” napkins, it’s definitely a good idea to buy some simple napkins or paper towels to keep handy.
It’s important for your own personal use to keep a trash bag in your car, especially when you’re driving for hours at a time. And it’s even more useful to have one when you have riders in and out. You never know what trash they may accidentally leave behind. I simply use empty grocery bags and I keep mine in the middle console so that it’s hidden from sight but still conveniently placed. You could also use a small trash bag designed for the small trash cans in your house. I found these on Amazon that seem pretty cool.
It’s important to fuel yourself when you’re driving for a prolonged period of time. Protein bars are good to help keep you awake and curb your hunger while you’re driving so you can stay out there and keep making money for as long as you want. My favorite is Quest Bars and the best flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and S’Mores.
Another great snack I’ve found to help curb hunger while driving is Granola Minis. These are great because they are easier to eat while driving than nuts/trail mix. I really love them because they’re super healthy with everything that’s in them (and not in them), plus they only have 6 sugars yet they’re really good!
Water is important because it’s important to keep yourself hydrated while driving. I keep a bottle of water with me every time I get in the car. You could also keep bottles of water in the back door pockets for your riders if you want. I don’t do this, but I do know that some drivers have offered this.
Mints are a big hit with my riders. They LOVE the fact that I offer them. I can’t count the times that riders have said, “These are my favorites!” because I offer the soft peppermints. I also recommend putting the mints in the back (in the little open compartment that’s right in the middle of the front seats and facing the riders in the back) so you don’t have to verbally offer them. It’s the perfect/easy way to give them a treat that they will greatly appreciate you for. #5starsecrets
This may seem odd to be on the list, but it’s definitely beneficial! If you have allergies like I do, this could be an alternative to allergy medicine. I had to stop using Zyrtec D when I started driving so often because it makes me drowsy and I can’t risk that while driving. Cough drops open up my nose and calm my throat. Works great and doesn’t cause drowsiness. They’ve become like my own personal mints while I offer the mints to my riders lol. My favorite is Ricola.
BONUS TIP: I keep all of my items (except the Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner) hidden in my glove compartment, the middle console (under the armrest), and the dashboard console. I keep my car completely clean of visible clutter, while still remaining prepared. So just know, this is possible and recommended!
Share Your Thoughts in the Comments Below:
Which are your favorite Uber Car Essentials?
Which item(s) were you most surprised to see on the list?
What are your favorites to stock your car with while driving?