UBER. I’d never heard of it until my recent trip to Berlin. I was handed several discount vouchers and decided to give them a try one evening. After a long day out on the town, the idea of my very own private limousine to take me back to my accommodation sounded very appealing. I downloaded the UBER app on my iPhone and set up my profile in minutes. A map showed me exactly where I was and how long it would take for the nearest driver to reach me. Six minutes! I hit ‘Request Black Car’ in an instant. I received a text message within seconds announcing that the car was on its way. This included the car’s license plate and the name of the driver. Several minutes later, I received another message saying that my driver would be arriving shortly. Moments after I received that message, the limo pulled up and the driver stepped out to open the door for me. That was simply the coolest way to order a taxi!
That first ride got me hooked – the limo was a very spacious and supremely comfortable black Mercedes S3 with a driver smartly suited up. Very classy! Inside, I found plush leather seats, tinted windows and complimentary bottles of water. The driver dropped me off at my doorstep and that was it. There was no need to fumble around for cash. It’s billed directly to my credit card. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I received another message to tell me how much the ride had cost – I’d already asked the driver but it was cool to get a confirmation. I later received a receipt via email, showing a detailed breakdown of the cost, a map outlining the route, how many kilometers it was and how long it took! I knew it there and then… I’ll be using UBER again for sure!
Your on-demand private driver
UBER is an on-demand private driver service. To get started, simply download the app – available for both iPhone and Android phones – and set up your profile, including your credit card details. Verify your account and you’re good to go. It’s dead easy.
To request an UBER driver, launch the app. A pin on a map immediately shows you your location. You can move the pin to a specific spot or enter an address as your pick-up point. The app will also tell you how long it’ll take for the nearest UBER driver to reach you. It also allows you to punch in your destination and receive an estimate of the fare. Once you request a driver, you’ll be notified of the car’s license plate and the driver’s name. You can easily look up all your previous trips on your profile page – this includes maps of your trips and the costs.
I absolutely loved the convenience of ordering a driver via the app. The notification services are a great touch – you know exactly when the driver will arrive. I ended up using the UBER service almost every day when I was in Berlin. The Mercedes and Audi sedans were very comfortable. Despite the exclusive feel of the service and the luxurious cars, the service doesn’t cost a lot more than a normal taxi. I was expecting double the rates of a taxi but it was closer to a third more. That’s not a bad surcharge for the extra comforts and convenience.
The UBER service is available in numerous cities in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, London, Paris, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney – there’s a list of the cities on the site/app. If you’re interested in testing the UBER service, sign up with my ubervelvetescape promo code and get a EUR/USD/GBP 10 discount on your first ride.
Note: UBER provided me with several discount vouchers during my stay in Berlin. I used them all as I absolutely love this cool service. My enthusiasm expressed above is a true reflection of how I felt about this service.