I recently took a vacation over December break to Hollywood, Florida. Since I was just traveling with my son, I decided that I may not need a rental car. We only planned to leave our resort for dinners. I thought that the rental car fees plus hotel garage/valet fees would probably end up costing more than using Uber. My concerns with relying on Uber would be the wait times and the unknown cost. We would be at the hotel for 4 days and 3 nights.
The total for the rental car:
$85 per day plus Valet parking fees of $32 per day… $450 plus tax
We spent the following with Uber:
Fort Lauderdale Airport to Hotel Sunday morning 9 mi: $17.01
Monday Evening dinner in Fort Lauderdale 21 mi (surge): $37.82
Monday Evening dinner return trip from dinner 21 mi: $24.03
Tuesday Evening dinner in Fort Lauderdale 18 mi (surge): $35.49
Tuesday Evening return trip from dinner 18 mi: $22.16
Wednesday Evening trip to Airport 9 mi (surge): $26.44
Each evening around 6 or 7pm there was a surge in activity for Uber. When I tried to ping a car it said that the demand was high and they were charging more due to scarcity of cars. I always got a car within 12 minutes, but the price was higher. I still think that even during surge times it was more economical than a yellow cab. We did not use Uber on Sunday night. If we had it probably would have added another $40 to our cost. I would have stayed a bit more local. Even so the total of $162 versus $500 is an obvious savings.
I had one Uber driver twice in one night. He said that a ‘repeat customer’ had never happened to him. I found all the drivers very kind. One driver was a tad too cautious, drove a bit slow and was in the right lane the entire time. I was in a hurry that evening and there was lots of traffic. I think that was my only complaint. The cars were all very tidy. I chose UberX which is the economy level. The cars were all completely fine. The last car ride to the airport was a Lexus. One driver offered me a charger for my phone. They usually asked if I was happy with the music. I liked the fact that I never had to reach in my wallet to get money. The whole transaction is electronic. Just a simple thank you at the end and you are off to dinner or your flight. Tipping is optional. You are able to rate your drivers. Mine were all great so I gave them 5 stars. Uber drivers also rate you, so be a good passenger. Tips for riding like a pro can be found here.
I enjoyed my Uber experience in Florida. Definitely check your destination for Uber availability where you will be traveling before canceling your rental car.