Using Uber in Nice

uber car with iphoneUber is a welcome alternative to Nice taxis; much less expensive, no risk of overcharging tourists, no money changes hands, no need to speak French, and much friendlier and more professional.

You register on-line with your payment details, and then when you want a car you can quickly do so on your smartphone in English.   Shortly after, you get a message confirming the car and driver, and in how many minutes the car will arrive.  The driver’s photo, name, car type and license plate number is on your phone, and you rate the driver at the end of your ride.  It is more efficient than a taxi, the drivers are friendly and helpful, everything is clear from the outset (so no getting ripped off), and you don’t need need to fumble for euros or worry about tipping.

Many of the drivers speak English, but even if they don’t it doesn’t matter!  When you order the car on your phone (in English) you set the pick up point and destination, you see the route and estimated arrival time, you can click ‘fare estimate’ to know the approximate cost in advance, and the final cost is debited from your credit card automatically with an immediate receipt by email, so there is nothing to negotiate or discuss… just a ‘bonjour‘ and a smile will suffice!

There are two levels:

Uber-X is the most popular service. It costs a 3rd to half as much as a taxi, and you are picked up by professionally licensed and insured drivers.  The cars are clean and well-maintained, the drivers are friendly and professional, and they usually even offer you a bottle of water!  The minimum charge for an Uber X is 6€.

Uber Black Car is the more expensive service (but still less than a taxi) where you are picked up in a luxury sedan by a professional chauffeur wearing a suit.  The minimum charge for an Uber Black Car is 15€.

Check out the cost comparison that the Nice-Matin did for the trip between the Meridien Hotel and the airport:

  • The taxi was 35€
  • An Uber X cost 18€
  • The Uber Black Car was a black Mercedes Viano with leather seats and a bottle of water, the driver was impeccably attired, friendly and professional, and the cost of the trip was 26€

If you order one for an airport transfer, just get on the free airport wifi and click the app.   The app tells you exactly where to meet your driver at the airport and you just look for the driver and car (photo is on your phone).  It usually takes them 5-10 minutes to arrive.

Insider Uber at the airport tips:  The app will tell you where to meet your driver, and will say for instance ‘Meet at Door D2’ but you will only see the D markings from outside the sidewalk; the doors are not marked inside the airport.  Another tip: request that your driver take the route along the Promenade des Anglais, which will cost less than the highway and will be infinitely more scenic!  

Uber-X is especially great for getting to the Matisse and Chagall Museums on Cimiez, which can be kind of a hassle to get to by bus, especially on Sundays.  From the Old Town, an Uber-X car would cost 6-7€ to get to the Chagall Museum, and 8-9€ to get to the Matisse Museum (versus 15-20€ or more by regular taxi).

Unlike taxis, Ubers don’t charge more at night or on Sundays, so it is a great way for getting back after the buses/trams/trains have stopped, or after you’ve had a few.

The only caveat to Ubers is that when there is a sudden surge in demand, they raise the prices.  This is called ‘surge pricing‘ and is clearly communicated to you before you place the order for the car.  If you see that surge pricing is in effect, just get out of the app and try again in 5 or 10 minutes.  The higher prices discourage customers, so the surge in demand usually ends rather quickly.

Deal Alert: Get 5-10€ off your first Uber ride on any Uber service Just go to the Uber site and enter this promo code when you sign up: uber-get-ten.

Wow, no wonder the Nice taxis are so mad!

Taking an Uber in Monaco

If you miss the last bus, or even the last train, instead of taking a taxi back which will set you back around 90-100€, better to take an Uber which will only cost around 40€.  The catch is that Uber is banned in Monaco, so what you need to do is walk up to the top of Casino Square, past the bubble shops, and up the stairs, then cross the street.  Now you are no longer in Monaco, but in the French town of Beausoleil, and now Uber will work!

See related page Taking a Taxi in Nice, and related blog post Taxi Uber Wars!

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