Whether you’re taking the kids to a playdate or heading to the airport for a vacation, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are a great option for families on the go. Read on and follow our top tips to make your next family trip as safe and smooth as possible.
1. Bring your car seat.
Car seat use is generally required by law, and for good reason. However, since most ridesharing vehicles don’t have a car seat on hand, it’s best for families to plan on bringing their own. After requesting your ride, contact your driver to ensure their vehicle can accommodate car seats.
If you’re in New York City, you can use Uber Car Seat or Lyft’s Car Seat Mode instead. An extra ten dollars will be added to your fare, but it’s worth the money. Not only is it convenient, but it guarantees that the provided seat will fit the car.
2. Double check the details.
Once you request a ride, both the Uber and Lyft apps will provide you with a wealth of information about your driver and their car. Before you enter a vehicle with your family, be sure to take a good look at the car in front of you and cross-check it against the information displayed.
Ensure you’re getting in the right vehicle by confirming that the license plate, car make and model, and car color are the ones shown in the app. Once you’re in, you can also ask the driver to share their name to verify it’s the same one shown on your screen.
3. Pay attention to vehicle size.
Uber and Lyft offer many different sizes and types of cars, and one may be a better fit for your family than another. For example, the standard vehicle size for both apps can only fit up to 4 people. If you’re looking for an option with a little more wiggle room, you can choose a larger car for a few extra dollars. If you’re traveling, remember that your luggage has to fit in the vehicle too.
4. Prepare for extra fees if a mess is made.
Spills and stains from in-car snacking can lead to cleaning fees from Uber or Lyft. These fees can be anywhere from $20 to $250. Unless it’s an emergency, avoid giving your children a snack or drink while in a ridesharing vehicle. It’s not worth the extra cost — or the inevitable hit your rating will take.
5. Remember that minors can’t ride alone.
Uber and Lyft have strict rules banning unaccompanied minors from riding in their vehicles. Drivers are also required to make a formal report when a passenger is visibly underage. This report could potentially trigger a larger investigation. Although it may seem easy and safe to order your child a ride, your best bet is to go along with them.
Calling all families! Do you have advice for traveling with kids? Share your wisdom in the comments section below or let us know your thoughts on Twitter. While you’re there, learn more about our free app and how it can help you ride safer and smarter.