Uber Logo Pros & Cons
Last Updated: 2017/06/09
Should you always have rideshare trade dress on your car?
Maybe not! But lets look at some of the pros and cons of displaying rideshare trade dress. Keep in mind, your experiences may differ depending where you are and when you drive.
Note: Some locations actually require you to have trade dress on your car while doing pickups. I'm not advocating that anyone should break the law. But when and where applicable, you may want to consider removing any logos.
Certainly when picking up in busy areas, having a logo on your car can make it much easier for your passenger(s) to spot you. Especially if you're in a market with Uber Beacon.
Clubs / Bouncers
As cab drivers have known for ages, some venues encourage drivers to bring people to their establishment. They do this with cold hard cash.
Without a logo they may think you're just dropping off some friends.
1. Unwanted Passengers
You may be sitting in a parking lot waiting for a ping, or have just dropped someone off and suddenly you have someone in your window trying to get a ride. Sometime they'll let themselves in!
I don't know about you but I like to cherry pick the trips I accept. If you've got someone in your face who is potentially drunk, smelly and peeing on themselves you now have a problem to deal with. Or they could be completely sober and sane but you simply do not want to accept trips from that location.
Either way you have to deal with this person, who may have a group of friends with them.
Even without any logos, it's still possible for people to pick out a rideshare car just by how it's behaving but you'll cut down on a lot of these issues by not displaying anything.
2. Confused/Old People
Lets say you had someone in your window that you do want to give a ride to. They hop into your car and then you realize they don't know how rideshare even works, they don't know how to use the app. They may not even have the app!
Now you're stuck holding their hand walking them through the whole process. Imagine if this was during a surge and you're missing out on huge profits while some man-child tries to remember what their password is!
3. TSA / Traffic Enforcement
If you do a lot of airport runs then you're familiar with these folks. They tend to be irritable, angry people who want to see their dream fulfilled of having perfectly flowing traffic. In this impossible fantasy of theirs, cars would never stop. People would just leap in and out of the windows of moving vehicles.
Nothing makes these people more upset than seeing a car parked for more than zero seconds. Regardless of the reason they want you to go now. They particularly don't like rideshare drivers. Possibly because so many of them don't know the rules of the airport curb. Whatever the reason, it's best to blend in at the airport if at all possible.
If you get into an accident, altercation or anything unusual while having a logo on your car, the event can go from being a non-story to a headline, "Uber Driver fucked up again! Read all about it!".
There are dozens of stories like that all the time. Here's an article in the Denver Post about a driver who fell into a sink hole.
They had no passengers in the car. For all we know they weren't even logged in at the time. But the car had the logo on the windshield so suddenly it's news with "Uber Driver" in the headline.
5. Rival (Cab) Drivers
I personally have not ran into this problem. In my area, we get along just fine with the local cabbies. In fact I look to those guys for wisdom as they're far more experienced than most of us rideshare drivers.
But my experience seems to be the minority. In many areas there is a lot of conflict with the cab industry and rideshare. They see us as a cancer that's eating away at their income.
To be fair, rideshare has taken a large percentage of passengers from the cab industry. The thing is, some cab drivers see this as supply and demand in action, just business doing what it does.
While others see this as being all your fault, you personally! As if you took their money right out of their pocket!
Odds are, you're going to be around other drivers while waiting for pings. Not just cab drivers but even other rideshare drivers may take offense that you're in what they think is their territory. If you find yourself getting the stink eye from these types, consider driving without the logo(s).
6. Sting Operations
In some areas where it's either illegal or the law is still gray on rideshare, there have been stings conducted at airports and other hot spots. In 2016, actual cab drivers pretended to be Uber passengers while collaborating with the Tampa Police. The Uber drivers were fined hundreds of dollars for each "passenger" they attempted to pick up.
Another common tactic is for an undercover officer to attempt to pay a driver in cash for a street hail. If the driver accepts they just broke the law (only cabs can accept street hails), they get fined, and their rideshare account is likely deactivated.
Stings have happened all over the country. It's just one more reason not to draw attention to yourself.
1. Law Enforcement
Like many things in the rideshare world, this can differ depending on your location. In general it's safe to say that the police treat us differently. That could be good or bad.
For example, I primarily work within two counties. In one county the police actually appreciate us. They see the public service that we do so have been nothing but kind to me.
In the other county they see us as a problem. To them we're just in the way and they treat us like trash that needs to be removed. Best not to advertise who you are to those types.