Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Uber has exploded in popularity over the past few years and now there are several options to get around the country and the globe with Uber. You can choose to go the cheaper routes with services like Uber Pool and Uber X or you can make your experience more premium by going with services like Uber Select or Uber Black.
But what exactly is Uber Select and how is it different from Uber X or Uber Black?
In this article, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about Uber Select, including how much more expensive the rates are, the Uber Select cards list, and all of the requirements. I’ll also compare it to Uber Black, another premium service offered by Uber.
What is Uber Select?
Uber Select is a slightly upgraded version of Uber X which allows you to get transported in more luxurious vehicles with more qualified drivers but for a higher price.
How to use Uber Select
It is very easy to switch from UberX and use Uber Select to find rides near you. Simply log into your Uber app and act like you are going to book an ordinary UberX ride but when you get to the map screen and it comes time to select your ride you simply scroll down to “Premium” and select the Uber Select option.
Tip: if you’re looking to cut down on your travel cost, consider getting a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It offers an early spend bonus worth $500 in travel after meeting the minimum spend and is great to cancel out all sorts of travel expenses like Uber.
How much more expensive is Uber Select vs UberX?
I did a test booking from my apartment to the airport in Houston which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. Here is what the rates look like:
- UberX: $43.61
- UberXL: $101.57
- Uber Select: $116.44
- Uber Black: $165.10
So as you can tell the Uber Select ride was almost 3 times more expensive than UberX. I believe that the price difference can fluctuate depending on the route and the timing of the booking but you typically will be paying significantly more for Uber Select, likely at least 2X the price of UberX.
Don’t forget that they’ll also be expecting a tip which will add more to the cost (related: To tip or not to tip?).
Is Uber Select worth it?
Whether or not Uber Select will be worth it will just depend on your personal preferences and needs.
Personally, I would rather go with UberX. While Uber Select does have a nice line up of good vehicles I rarely have an UberX experience that is seriously lacking in the comfort department. I would hate to pay 2X or 3X the price only to be placed in a vehicle that is marginally better than an Uber X vehicle.
If you end up having a bad or subpar experience with a vehicle riding Uber Select, you can contact the customer service at Uber and they will probably be willing to credit you something back for your ride. This is especially true if you can call them out on lacking qualifications (e.g., having torn seats, etc.).
What vehicles qualify for Uber Select (2019 car list)?
Only certain types of cars can qualify for Uber Select. I’ll cover all of the qualifications below.
2008 or newer
First, many different types of cars or limited by the year. Some models go all the way back to 2008 but some can require you to have new remodels such as those ranging from 2013.
Also, only select models or available for certain types of makes. For example, for Ford only the expedition and explore or available for Uber Select. Meanwhile, any type of model of Mercedes-Benz is available. So be sure to check both the make and the model as well as the year to make sure that your car would be eligible for Uber Select.
- Leather or vinyl interior with no tears
- Seat at least 4 passengers in addition to the driver
- No full-sized vans
- No taxi cabs, government cars, or other marked vehicles
- No salvaged or rebuilt vehicles
- Be an active UberX or UberXL partner with at least 50 trips
- Maintain at least a 4.75 rating
So drivers need to have a minimum activity of 50 trips in at least a 4.75 rating. That in theory should help filter out some of the bad drivers but I don’t think it is really that difficult to maintain a 4.75 rating after 50 trips (maybe it is, I don’t know).
Still, given those requirements you can probably expect your Select driver to be better on average than a random UberX driver. I do like that they require vehicles to not have tears, but I wonder how that qualification is enforced over time. It also does feel good that the vehicles are not rebuilt or salvaged.
List of Uber Select vehicles:
- Acura – RL(X), TL(X), MDX, RDX (2013 or newer)
- Audi – A4, A6, A7, A8, S4, S6, S7, S8, Q5, Q7 (2008 or newer)
- BMW – 3-series, 4-series, 5-series, 6-series, 7-series, X1, X3, X5, X6 (2008 or newer)
- Buick – Enclave, LaCrosse (2013 or newer)
- Cadillac – ATS, CTS, SRX, XTS (2010 or newer)
- Cadillac – Escalade (2009 or newer)
- Cadillac – DTS, STS (2013 or newer)
- Chevrolet – Suburban, Tahoe (2009 or newer)
- Chrysler – 300 (2012 or newer)
- Ford – Expedition (2009 or newer)
- Ford – Explorer (2011 or newer)
- GMC – Acadia Denali (2013 or newer)
- GMC – Yukon (2009 or newer)
- Hummer – H2, H3 (2008 or newer)
- Hyundai – Equus, Genesis (2010 or newer)
- Infiniti – All models (2010 or newer)
- Jaguar – XF, XJ (2008 or newer)
- Jeep – Grand Cherokee (2013 or newer)
- Kia – K900 (2013 or newer)
- Land Rover – Evoque, Discovery, LR2, LR4, Range Rover (2010 or newer)
- Lexus – IS, ES, GS, LS, RX, GX, LX (2010 or newer)
- Lincoln – MKS, MKX, MKC, MKT, MKZ, Navigator, Town Car (2009 or newer)
- Mercedes-Benz – All models (2008 or newer)
- Nissan – Armada (2010 or newer)
- Porsche – Panamera, Macan, Cayenne (2008 or newer)
- Tesla – S/X (2008 or newer)
- Volkswagen – CC, Touareg (2013 or newer)
- Volvo – XC90 (2014 or newer)
These lists should be good for whatever location you’re traveling whether it be Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. Read more here.
How expensive are Uber Select vehicles?
If you are like me you might be wondering how expensive the Uber Select vehicles are on average. Maybe you want to know how expensive the car is you are going to be riding in or maybe you want to drive an Uber Select vehicle and need to know the price.
I’ve looked up some prices for these vehicles that can give you an idea how expensive they are. I am pretty sure that the prices below are for base models though so if you are considering being a Select driver then you might want to get a car more equipped so that your passengers have more features. So just keep that in mind.
- 2019 Acura RDX/MSRP: From $37,400
- 2019 Acura MDX, MSRP: From $44,300
- 2019 Audi A4/MSRP: From $37,400
- 2019 Audi A6, MSRP: From $58,900
- 2019 Audi S4/MSRP: From $50,200
- 2019 Audi A7/MSRP: From $68,000
- 2019 BMW 3 Series/MSRP: From $40,250
- 2019 BMW 5 Series/MSRP: From $53,400
- 2019 BMW 7 Series/MSRP: From $83,650
- 2019 BMW X3/MSRP: From $41,000
- 2019 BMW X5/MSRP: From $60,700
- 2019 Buick Enclave/MSRP: From $40,000
- 2019 Buick LaCrosse/MSRP: From $29,570
- 2019 Cadillac ATS/MSRP: From $38,995
- 2019 Cadillac CTS/MSRP: From $46,995
- 2019 Cadillac XTS/MSRP: From $46,795
- 2019 Cadillac Escalade/MSRP: From $75,195
- 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe/MSRP: From $48,000
- 2019 Chevrolet Suburban/MSRP: From $50,800
- 2019 Chrysler 300/MSRP: From $29,220
- 2019 Ford Expedition/MSRP: From $52,130
- 2019 Ford Explorer/MSRP: From $32,365
- 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali/MSRP: From $54,700
- 2019 GMC Yukon/MSRP: From $49,600
- 2019 INFINITI QX50/MSRP: From $36,550
- 2019 Jaguar XF/MSRP: From $49,965
- 2019 Jaguar XJ/MSRP: From $75,700
- 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee/MSRP: From $31,945
- 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque/MSRP: From $41,800
- 2019 Land Rover Discovery/MSRP: From $52,950
- 2019 Land Rover Range Rover/MSRP: From $89,500
- 2019 Lexus IS/MSRP: From $38,410
- 2019 Lexus ES/MSRP: From $39,600
- 2019 Lexus GS/MSRP: From $46,710
- 2019 Nissan Armada/MSRP: From $47,100
- 2019 Porsche Panamera/MSRP: From $86,300
- 2019 Porsche Cayenne/MSRP: From $65,700
- 2019 Porsche Macan/MSRP: From $49,900
- 2019 Tesla Model X/MSRP: From $82,000
Uber Select vs Uber Black
The vehicle list is much shorter for Uber Black. Also, the vehicles must actually be black with black leather interior that is in great condition. Therefore the experience should be more consistent with Uber Black versus Uber Select and will align more with traditional limo service.
Here is a list of all of the vehicles available for Uber Black:
- Audi – A6, A8, A8L
- BMW – 5-series, 7-series
- Cadillac – CT6, XTS, Escalade, Escalade ESV
- Chevrolet – Tahoe, Suburban
- Ford – Expedition Platinum, Expedition Platinum MAX (model year 2018 and above only)
- Genesis – G90
- GMC – Yukon, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL, Yukon XL Denali
- Infiniti – QX56, QX80
- Lexus – LS, GS, GX, LX
- Lincoln – Continental, MKT, Navigator
- Maserati – Quattroporte
- Mercedes-Benz – E-Class, S-Class, GL-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class
- Tesla – Model S, Model X
- Volvo – S90, XC90
- *Note – All vehicles must have a black exterior and black leather interior in excellent condition.
As you can tell there is some overlap with the Uber Select list. However many of these models are more luxurious and more expensive. For example, the 2019 Ford Expedition Max Platinum has an MSRP from $76,060, which is much higher than the standard Expedition.
And it’s not just about the more luxurious vehicles, Uber Black drivers also have to meet the following requirements:
- Keep a star rating of 4.85 or higher
- 5-year-old vehicle or newer
- Commercial insurance
- Limo license
- Black exterior and black leather interior
- Seats for at least 4 riders in addition to the driver
So an Uber Black driver is going to be much more qualified since they have to have a higher rating not to mention the limo license. The higher rating qualification is nice but there are several advantages of having someone with a limo license driving you around.
First, these drivers usually have to perform a test at the DMV. Although it is not necessarily a driving test the fact that they have to go through a written test shows you that they have commitment to their career as a driver and are probably less likely to take the job less seriously since they have more invested.
Also, typically divers have trouble getting those limo licenses if they have a bad driving record, so you can feel like you’re in good hands. And if they are driving to and from the airport they might have to be subject to additional screening such as criminal background checks and fingerprinting. So your odds of dealing with a shady driver go down substantially when using Uber Black.
And finally, if you ever have to deal with the dreaded experience of losing something in an Uber ride, you might have more faith in the Uber Black drivers to return your items. (Read how Uber Lost and Found works here.)
Therefore if you want that true luxury transfer service for yourself or for someone else then Black is likely going to be a better choice than Select.
Uber Select is a way for you to have a more premium experience with Uber. However, this comes at a cost which can mean paying 2 to 3 times more than UberX. Also, while there are some specific qualifications for the drivers they are not as stringent as they are for Uber Black, so you might not be guaranteed a quality experience.
For that reason, I would typically just stick with Uber X unless you need or desire true luxury experience in which case I’d say to go with Uber Black.
Cover Photo: The NRMA.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
H-Town based Attorney turned credit card rewards expert. Founder of UponArriving.com.