UberX is Uber’s most economical ride, offering safe, comfortable cars that will get you where you need to go. But if you want to travel in style, Uber Black offers a luxury experience in newer, fancier cars.
Before calling your next ride, review our comparison of UberX vs. Uber Black to arrive on time without blowing your budget.
You cannot dictate your preferences through the app.
Use the app to indicate your preferred temperature, whether or not you need help with luggage and whether or not you want to have a conversation.
You can’t reserve a car in advance, which means you may have to pay surge pricing.
Reserve a car in advance, and lock in the price ahead of time so you won’t have to pay for surge pricing.
The driver must drop you off or pick you up in the designated Uber zone — which is sometimes a shuttle ride away from the terminal.
The driver can offer curbside pickup at the terminal.
Professional, commercially insured drivers
All drivers must pass a background test.
All drivers must pass a standard background test and a more extensive background test for the commercial license, which usually includes educational classes and a health screening.
Must be 10 years old or newer in most cities (in LA, Orange County and San Francisco they can be up to 15 years old)
Hundreds of car models from over 40 manufacturers are approved as UberX vehicles, including popular models like:
Chrysler 200 and 300
Mazda3 and 6
Must be 5 years old or newer
All black interior, all black exterior
Only luxury cars are approved. Exact cars can vary by city but include popular models like:
BMW 7 Series
Tesla Model S
Minimum driver rating
Varies by location
Leather or vegan leather
4 — or 6, if you choose Black SUV
Charged after 2 minutes
Charged after 5 minutes — or 2 minutes at the airport
Charged after 5 minutes
Charged after 15 minutes in most cases — but 5 minutes at the airport
Contact Uber’s support team by sending a message through the app
Talk to a live customer support rep on the phone
All 50 states and most cities — though there are some rural areas that won’t have a nearby driver.
Only available in select areas, including:
New York City
What is UberX?
UberX is an on-demand, private ride service for one to four people with the lowest fares of any private Uber ride service. It uses modern, comfortable sedan vehicles and drivers with at least one year of driving experience who have passed a background test.
What is Uber Black?
Uber Black offers private luxury rides in high-end cars that are black on the interior and exterior. Drivers are commercially insured, which often means they have experience as professional drivers. With Uber Black, you can set ride preferences in the app, like your preferred temperature, whether you need help with luggage and whether you want to chat with your driver or enjoy a quiet ride.
Which should I choose?
UberX rides are perfectly adequate when you want to get from point A to point B and don’t care about impressing anyone. It may be slightly more cramped than an Uber Black, so people who prefer ample legroom might want to splurge for an Uber Black. But for regular, everyday transportation needs, UberX is just fine for most people.
Choose Uber Black if an elevated experience is important to you. It can be a strong option for fancy date nights, business meetings and people who enjoy the finer things in life — and are happy to pay extra for it. Uber Black drivers are known for putting in the extra effort to deliver a luxury ride. Also, choose Black if you need to schedule a ride in advance.
And keep in mind that even though UberX is cheaper, prices can spike when demand is high, like at crowded airports or after a show or sporting event at a major venue. In that case, reserving an Uber Black in advance could be the smarter option since you can lock in the rate to avoid surge pricing.
For example, it usually costs about $30 to Uber from the airport to my apartment in Los Angeles. But when I flew in over the Christmas holidays, surge pricing hiked the cost up to $40. In that case, I might’ve been better off scheduling an Uber Black in advance since it costs only $43 and would’ve picked me up at the terminal. Instead, I had to walk about 15 minutes over to the Uber area with all my luggage.
Case study — JFK to Times Square
Here’s how much it costs to take an UberX and Uber Black from the JFK airport to Times Square in New York City:
Black SUV: $178
Prices were obtained in March 2021. Keep in mind that rates vary based on location, distance and time. To get an estimate, you can use Uber’s online price estimate tool.
Alternatives to UberX and Uber Black
Up to 75% off travel deals
Huge savings on travel deals, including hotels, vacation rentals, vacation packages, flights, car rentals and sightseeing tickets.
UberX and Uber Black both offer reliable, private rides on-demand, though UberX is usually cheaper and Black is known for high-end rides in luxury vehicles. But if you’re looking for the best Uber has to offer, go with Uber Lux instead.
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for a range of travel publications including Thomas Cook Magazine and Showpo. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping consumers stretch their travel cash while on holiday.
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