Why do I have low ratings?

Here’s my guess.
I’ve refused to let customers smoke in my car. I’ve done tons of surge pricing and night time jobs. My car is a 2004 base Chevy Impala. It has a slight dent in the passenger side fender and slight amounts of paint is peeling off in certain places. I’ve never smoked, but the previous owner smoked for at least 7 months when she owned the car. I’ve shampooed the carpets but I don’t know if it’s gotten rid of the smell completely and the car still has the same cabin filter from the previous owner. I also don’t know my way around center city Philly without a GPS and some customers noticed it.
I am selling my car in January and I don’t want to spend an extra penny on it since I’m getting a new car anyway.

Are you able to change your working hours to during the day for a while, so your rating can go up?

As a non-smoker, it’s your wish to not allow smoking in your car. Luckily in the UK, it’s against the law to smoke in a licensed private hire vehicle, and I’ve had nobody ask.

Nobody has ever asked me to use one. I keep one bottled water and a few individually wrapped mints in the rear cupholders. Nobody has ever taken the water, and only a couple mints have ever been taken. I’m still on the first bag of mints I bought from the dollar store.

More important than these amenities, is that your car is clean… spotless. Steam clean your carpets and seats. Vacuum daily. Clean all the glass inside and out. I clean all my exterior glass daily before leaving the house, and all the interior glass is done at least weekly, you may have to clean the interior of the rear doors more often.

If there’s a local car wash that offers unlimited washes for a monthly fee, you will probably want to do that. Where I live, there’s a car wash a couple towns over that offers unlimited monthly washes starting at $15 for the basic washes to about $50 for the deluxe washes.

If you can get an unlimited wash pass, wash daily. Otherwise you will probably have to wash at least every couple days unless you drive exclusively at night, you can probably get away with once a week.

You should be clean and neat. Make sure you’re freshly showered, and you’re either clean shaven, or your beard/moustache is neatly trimmed. You don’t need a suit & tie like Uber leads you to believe.

You may be barking up the wrong tree. We’re drivers, not concessionaires. I show up with an immaculately clean car, inside and out. I am friendly, humorous, and professional.

I dress well and my car always smells clean, just like its driver. But I don’t offer water, soda, lattes, candy, shoe shines, foot massages, aromatherapy, nail fills, neck rubs, etc.

I sit around 4.8/4.7 with Uber,4.9/4.8 with Lyft & 100% with Sidecar. I’ve only offered water to people I pick up at the airport. I’ve only been asked once or twice for a charger. I have gum for my own personal consumption, and only offer it if I’m asked, and again it’s rare.

I think what gets some drivers in trouble are their personalities - not everyone is compatible with the public or the drivers lack of knowledge of the cities or areas. I’ve always had an outgoing personality - nothing over the top, so I’m sure this helps me.

I had one amazing rider that wanted to go to a casino. Simply put this guy plays poker to make cash. He was also not an American citizen, he was on a passport from Australia. He was denied entry to a casino because he was 23 on a passport (never heard of this rule, but whatever) and I was able to get him to a casino that had poker.

Initially I gave away all that shit. Then I stopped (with zero impact on my rating). UberX rates are “no frills”. You should do like the airlines… charge for any extras. Water sir??? Sure, no problem…that’ll be $1.

Great advice for a newbie like myself. I am in Chicago and our winters can be nasty and messy. Am I supposed to get my car washed daily, even when it’s below freezing?

Just keep it as clean as possible. If its snowy outside it is expected that your car may be covered in salt, but if the roads are clean and dry, and your car is still covered in salt, a pax may ding your rating for having a dirty car.