Get 50% off your first Uber ride

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From April 2018, please use our new Uber sign-up code UBERHEADFORPOINTS via this link, or download the app and add the code via the promo code box on the ‘Payment’ tab.  This gets you £3 off your first ride.

Uber, the ever-expanding taxi / ride sharing / call it what you want car service, is spreading across the UK at a furious pace.

I was amused to see last week that it has now launched in Rotherham (Rotherham is generally not an early adopter – we didn’t get any branded fast food restaurants until 1986!).  It has not yet been added to the official cities list, but it shows that Uber is now operating in:

Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool / Merseyside, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Wakefield

There are another 66 countries outside the UK where it also operates.  I have used it in Canada, Dubai and Singapore so far.

The key point is that the same app works in every country.  It doesn’t matter if you are in Sheffield or St Petersburg – you book in the same way and the ride is charged to your stored card.

The services offered vary by country and city.  In London you can choose from four options (five if you include some of the black cabs which also work for them) varying from a Toyota Prius to a Mercedes S-Class.  In Sheffield, as I found out last week, there are only two options – the Prius (or equivalent) and a Mercedes E-Class (or equivalent).

Uber 350

I have offered Uber referrals using the standard ‘refer a friend’ scheme for a couple of years.

Uber has now offered me an exclusive Head for Points sign-up deal.  If you download the Uber app and sign up with the promotional code HEADFORPOINTSUK you will receive 50% off your first ride, up to £10.

This is more generous than the standard ‘refer a friend’ bonus which is £3 off your first ride.

You can download the app for android here and for iphone here.

Note that the code is only valid for rides taken in the UK.

This is a permanent offer, not a temporary promotion.  If Uber is not yet in your city, bear this code in mind for when it launches.

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  1. PlaneSimple says:

    Can you take a ride from one of the operating cities to anywhere? i.e. Uber works in Birmingham, so could you take an Uber cab from Birmingham airport to a non-Uber city such as Derby?

    • Yes as long as someone accepts your request for a ride- they know your destination before arriving. My company now requires us to use Uber when working late in the city to get us home. I live in Oxfordshire and have never had a proper getting an uber in the early hours from the city to home it’s just pricey although cheaper than a cab or a hotel for the night.

      ROB- Slough/Maidenhead/Windsor is also an Uber UK location.

      • I work in Maidenhead / Cookham and have never seen an Uber on the app! Probably on the fringes of their coverage tho

      • I thought Uber drivers didn’t know the destination before accepting a fare?

        This was deliberate to avoid them cherry picking routes. Mind you I have had a driver accept a fare then call to cancel. They can get in trouble with Uber for this.

  2. Christian Clark says:

    It’s worth mentioning that you do get change if you don’t use it all in the first ride. Any unused amount is applied as a credit to your second journey.

    • Didn’t know that. That is not how the standard refer a friend credits work for the referrer.

      • Mike Jenkins says:

        That is how it has worked for me in the past. When I first signed up any credit I didn’t use straight away carried over to my next ride.

  3. If you use Uber in another country with a credit card linked to your account, will your bank charge the extra charge as it is seen as a cash transaction? This question has put me off using Uber abroad.

    • Don’t know the answer but why would a taxi charge be seen as a cash advance?

      • Jonathan says:

        Also I’m assuming Uber charge you in local currency when using abroad? As I’ve got my Amex setup on the account I’ve not used it, partly due to expectation of the extra FX charges.

        • Good option for the Lloyds Amex!

        • You can add a second credit card ( business / personal) I use Amex in the UK and Halifax clarity abroad.
          OT but if you’re a regular uber user many us airports are geofenced to only allow the premium uber services to pick up there (generally drivers with a local limousine permit)
          You can normally beat this by jumping on any free shuttle bus to an nearest off airport hotel.
          Also from EWR uber charges expensive NYC rates but from any of the local hotels you get a much cheaper NJ rate.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      It’s treated as a purchase, but will be denominated in the local currency.

  4. Haven’t used uber before. Just out of interest, what if you order a cab, agree a price, the cab turns up and you get stuck in heavy traffic. With a London cab and other private hire cabs the meter continues to tick along. With Uber do you pay the agreed price irrespective of traffic as I presume they factor in the time of day/traffic when calculating the price ?

    • Kipto my first uber ride cost me 3x than a normal minicab ride. It was night and got stuck into an accident on the way home. It’s not agreed in advance as for minicabs where the price is fixed no matter what. But to be honest i see that Uber is more competitive than in the past so i have started using it again for occasional immediate needs where i can not prebook

    • Unlike most (London) private hire the uber fare is always time and distant dependent. It IS NOT FIXED although some airport fares are CAPPED.
      The driver’s smartphone measures the total distance and time which is then sent to ubers servers which then work out the price. This is slightly different to a taxi meter (legal technicalities) but very similar. At very busy times the uber fare surges (a multiplier is applied) although this can be avoided by waiting or moving out of the surge zone.
      One big advantage is if you get long hauled you do have an audit of your route and the right to complain.
      The biggest disadvantage in London is that many of the drivers on X are beginners, don’t know London and are slaves to the satnav, plus they can’t use bus lanes.

    • Prices like a black cab so slower the traffic the higher the fare, unless going to or from an airport.

  5. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Uber also recently launched in Nottingham and Leicester.

  6. Please note the free credit will probably only work in the UK. I added the £10 free code months ago and used uber from in la from redondo beach to lax. I was billed $17.33 for a 30 min ride. But my £10 free credit was still there. So I presume this is the same.

    • That is what Rob said in the article.

    • That’s useful to know. I am planning on using Uber in Bangkok and had a plan of getting a people carrier to ship everybody to/from airport using current credit from promos/referrals. Either way, will still end up using Uber on that trip as I can’t be bothered with the ‘fun’ of haggling over the normal cab fare.

      Find the service to be great in London, but you can tell the taxi drivers are inexperienced. Both Uber cabs I used refused to go through the barrier at hotel and tried to drop me off with bags on the street and I had to tell them I would sort it for them for free acces (!), watched as the black cabs went in and out without hesitation. Also had one driver fly up the motorway from Heathrow at over 80 mph with 4 passengers in the car, I told him I wasn’t in a rush.

  7. Edinburgh seems to have very poor car availability at the moment.

    • I got one in Rotherham today (up here for a funeral) but it took three attempts before the one sole car within range picked up.

      It always starts slow, though. GetTaxi was absolutely shocking for availability in the early days but is now equally as efficient as Hailo.

  8. Is there a minimum age for signing up to uber. Having a weekend in London next month and taking our 17 and 16 year old with us. Can they sign up ?

    • If they have a debit card you can register in their names, then yes. The site may even accept a card of yours as long as you haven’t used that card with another Uber account. You need a unique mobile phone number for each kid but at 16 I assume that is not an issue!

  9. I had a funny to due with uber in Nottingham the other night. I have used them 4 times now and the service has been great, but the other night I was requesting an uber and the estimate came up as £12-‘£14, the fare to my destination is only £6 at most so I cancelled and got a regular cab home.
    I was afraid that I might be charged double what I usually pay, how would it work?
    I did message uber about it but got a generic reply back about real time calculations.

    • The estimate is just that – with the exception of capped airport fares

      Effectively it is a metered fare, but the calculation takes place away from the vehicle and there is no physical meter in the vehicle

      There are three (potentially four) elements, Nottingham only has X – these are Nottingham Fares

      Fare is from pick up to drop off only,

      a) Base fare – £1.25 PLUS
      b) 10p per minute PLUS
      c) £1.25 per mile PLUS – if required
      d) any amount to bring it up to the minimum of £3.

      So for a 2 mile, 5 minute ride it’s

      + 50p
      + £2.50

      If surge pricing is in effect (you are notified) then the whole fare is multiplied by the surge figure.

      In some licensing areas private hire drivers are restricted to one operator, but in others (e.g. London) drivers can work for more than one operator – so often drivers work for a local office and dip in and out of uber to pick up fares when away from their home patch,

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