Uber and child car seats
In the ten years since its founding, Uber has revolutionized the transportation world. Urban residents no longer need to stand in the rain to catch a taxi. Young urbanites are turning to a car-free lifestyle with ridesharing as a viable commute option. Travelers around the world (such as you) do not need to worry about language barriers and “broken” counters. With nearly a million drivers in the US and another 2 million in other countries, Uber is conquering the world.
But what’s the deal with Uber and car seats? Sure, Uber (as well as Lyft, Grab, and others) are convenient for unplanned trips for adults, but life gets harder when children are involved. In this article, we will answer some important questions for parents who want to use Uber with their children:
- Can Uber take their children with them? Is Uber suitable for children?
- Can you ride Uber without a car seat? Where is Uber exempt from car seat regulations? Or do you need an Uber child seat at my destination?
- Can I install a car seat in Uber? Which car seat is best for Uber?
- Where is Uber Family/Uber Car Seat available? Is my child eligible? Where is the car seat option on Uber? How can I request a car seat on Uber?
Can Uber take kids?
Absolutely! We found that Uber is very child-friendly and have used it in many countries. Drivers are usually more patient than regular taxi drivers, probably because they know they will get feedback from us after the ride. Uber is perfect if you are planning a family vacation without a car.
I think Uber is especially convenient for kids because you can specify the (approximate) size of the car that suits your needs. Do you have a lot of kids in car seats and a lot of Luggage? The Uber XL size will surely suit everyone!
We have never had any problems taking our children to Ubers, and we believe that they are much more convenient for the family than a taxi. Some child-friendly Uber drivers even suggest playing Kidz Bop on the radio! Sometimes they come with bottles of water and small candies for children, which I have never seen in a traditional taxi.
Does Uber require car seats?
Technically, Uber’s car seat policy does not require children to be in car seats; however, they do require drivers to comply with local laws. And an Uber driver may refuse to allow you to travel with your family if you don’t have a safe way to keep your child (as this affects the driver’s responsibility and safety). I know families who were left standing on the curb because they didn’t have a car seat and the driver had the right to refuse to drive them.
Before you go anywhere with a car seat age child, be sure to search the Internet for your destination and “Uber car seat laws” or “Uber child seat rules”, but sometimes even this is not so easy. Some states, cities, and countries treat Uber like a taxi (often shockingly exempt from passenger safety regulations), while others treat Uber like a personal car (subject to the same rules as in your own car). And sometimes local laws do not yet take into account the use of car-sharing services with children!
Regardless of Uber car seat rules or local laws, the laws of physics don’t change when you hail a ride through the Uber app. Even if it’s a short ride, it’s important to put your kid in a car seat of some sort to keep them safe. Accidents can still happen in an Uber.
Bringing your own child car seat for Uber.
Fortunately, there are plenty of amazing lightweight car seats for travel and even folding car seats that are easy to take with you on flights or spend a day in the city. If you’re riding Uber with an infant, it’s hard to beat the Doona baby car seat as the perfect Uber baby car seat!
OK, but can I use my own car seat with Uber?
We found that Uber drivers are much more patient about installing car seats and allow us to find time for a secure fix than traditional taxi drivers, probably because they know that we will evaluate them after the ride. However, they may not know what installing a car seat entails. One of the techniques is to leave the car door open until you finish installing the car seat and fasten the child. You can be sure that no one will leave until all the doors are closed! Learn how to quickly install a car seat.
If you have multiple children in car seats and the driver’s seat is completely pushed back, feel free to ask them to move forward if possible. Regardless of whether you are installing a car seat or not, everyone deserves a leg room!
Make sure that you have mastered several ways to install a car seat. While LATCH may be the most convenient, sometimes it is not available for all seats (or not available at all in some countries). Just in case, conveniently fasten the car seat with a seat belt. If you’re leaving the US, you may find that your seat belts don’t lock when you pull them out completely, so bring a locking clip with you and learn how to use it.
Keep in mind these useful Uber services
Over the last few years, Uber has rolled out the much-needed Uber Family/Uber Carseat service in a few major cities in the US. You can also arrange the nearly-identical Lyft car seat mode in New York City. For cities outside of Uber/Lyft car seat areas, Welcome Pickups can generally provide a car seat on request (including cities in Europe, Asia, South America and even parts of the US).
What is Uber Family? What is an Uber car seat?
UberX Car Seat (also called Uber Family) provides a forward-facing car seat appropriate for ages 2 and up. The driver installs it, and you strap your kid in. Off you go!
The official Uber Car Seat program provides an IMMI Go car seat, fits kids 31-52″ and 22-48 pounds. If your child is too small, you’ll need to bring an infant car seat or one of these smaller travel car seats. Once your child outgrows the IMMI Go Uber car seats, she should fit well in a travel booster car seat.
Each driver has only one seat available, and not every driver has a car seat. So you may find the wait for an Uber with a car seat to be very long; if that happens, it’s worth exploring your public transportation options.
Where is UberX Car Seat available?
Officially only new York city at the time of this writing. Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Orlando were also on the list. But what’s confusing is that in some of these cities, you can still book a car with a car seat, and car seats are still listed as an option on the information pages of these cities (but not on the Uber Car Seat page). Before visiting a major US city, you should open the app and set up a dummy ride to see if the car seat option appears – it may be quite far down the list of car options!
Here are Uber car seat options that you can find by digging through the website:
- New York: Uber car seat
- Washington, DC: UberX car seat, Uber Black car seat, Uber Black SUV car seat.
- Philadelphia: Uber Black car seat, Uber Black SUV car seat
- Orlando: UberX car seat, Uber XL car seat, Uber Black car seat, Uber Black SUV car seat.
We’ve also heard reports that Uber Car Seat offers more car seat options in some cities. Leaked screenshots from Uber’s driver information show that seats have to be at least 6 months old from the expiration date, never had an accident, and selected from an approved list (mostly Graco, Britax, Chicco, Maxi Cosi, and other high-end brands).
How to request a car seat on Uber
Requesting a car seat in Uber is no different from arranging any other Ride through the app. Just open it, go to your destination and continue scrolling through all types of cars. If there is an option with a car seat, you will probably see it at the end (and it will be listed, as I showed above, for each of the cities where an Uber car seat is available).
How much does the Uber Family/Uber Car seat cost?
There is an additional charge of $ 10 for the car seat in excess of the normal fare. As you can see above, in some cities, car seats are only available in premium cars. In such cases, the cost may actually increase, and it may be better to use public transport or rent a car.
What does Uber do to make sure the car seats are safe?
When Uber first rolled out their Uber Family program, they ran a very tight ship. The program was created in partnership with a local expert, who oversaw training to make sure that drivers knew how to install their seats, ensured that seats were replaced after an accident and more.
That partnership no longer exists, but in New York City many of the features are still in place. In the other cities, drivers only need to submit a photo of the car seat (to prove that it’s an approved option) and a photo of the sticker (to prove that it has at least 6 months until expiration) and attest that it has never been in an accident.
Uber with child car seat FAQs:
Can you put a car seat in an Uber?
Absolutely! Installing a car seat in an Uber is the safest way for your child to ride.
Can a toddler ride Uber without a car seat?
That depends on where you’ll be riding. It’s never safe, but in some jurisdictions Uber falls under taxi laws and short rides are exempt. But an Uber driver can still leave you on the curb if they see that you have a toddler without a car seat.
Does Uber have car seats?
In several cities, Uber has car seats in a small number of forward-facing car seats. Read this article for all the details!
Is there an Uber baby seat option?
No, unfortunately, Uber does not offer car seats suitable for a baby. In New York and Pennsylvania, their car seats are only legal for children at least 2 years old.
Can you Uber with a baby?
Yes, you can Uber with a baby but you’ll need to bring your own car seat to keep your child safe.
How do I add a car seat to my Uber?
If you want to try out the Uber car seat service, you’ll find that as a ride type you can select when you’re booking your ride if it’s available in your area.
Where is an Uber car seat available?
As of this writing, Uber car seat is available in NYC, DC, Philadelphia and Orlando only.
Do Ubers have car seats in [city you’ll be visiting]?
Probably not. You can always try to set up a fake ride before