Given that I’m a travel blogger, you’d assume I’d be comfortable with new technology. As a general rule I am, but I must confess when I decided to use Uber WAV during our trip to World Travel Market in London I was shitting myself.
Apologies for the language but it’s true, I literally lost sleep over it because I had visions of being stranded in London with a wheelchair. The reality was, it turned out to be a very positive experience and today I want to tell you all about it.
What is Uber?
Uber is basically a private hire taxi service and App rolled into one. Uber, is the company that designed the app and private drivers use their cars to ferry users around much like a private taxi.
This is where I had the first concern “Private Drivers”, there was no way I was going to jump into a car with any random driver, I needn’t have worried. Uber drivers in London are licensed by London Transport.
Uber also has a control mechanism which means that drivers with bad reviews can be taken off the system immediately and not receive jobs. It’s actual people who’ve used the specific taxi that review the driver so that puts the onus on the driver to provide a good service.
We used 3 different drivers and were very happy with each one of them. They were friendly and most importantly, appreciative of Bridget’s needs, I really couldn’t fault them.
What is Uber WAV?
Uber WAV is much like standard Uber except they send an adapted vehicle to carry a wheelchair. We used 3 Citroen Berlingo which were big enough for us.
If you are using a very large wheelchair or electric mobility scooter there are size restrictions so you’d need to check first. I would recommend you visit the Uber FAQ’s page or contact them directly if you have any questions. There is also a helpful video on the Uber website to give you an overview of the service.
Uber WAV is not available everywhere, you can check on their website if adapted vehicles are available in your area or when you use the app it tells you what type of Uber’s are available.
- uberWAV is now called uberACCESS
- uberAccess is now available in Birmingham and Manchester
Is it Safe to use Uber?
From a safety point of view, when you use the app to order an Uber car you can see on your screen, who the driver is, what his or her rating is, what car they’re driving, what their registration number is, how far away they are from your location and how long it will take them to get to you.
In all honesty, this made me feel safe using Uber, it gave me confidence that I wouldn’t be standing around waiting for a taxi and that they would send the right car to transport Bridget’s wheelchair.
Each Uber WAV driver has undergone training to deal with the wheelchair ramp, strapping chairs down correctly and of course driving safely as there is nothing worse than being thrown around in the back of a taxi.
You can also use the app to send your ETA in real time to a friend, that way they can see that you are safe.
Why I decided to use Uber WAV
There were two reasons I decided to try the Uber WAV service.
#1 – Convenience
We travelled to Euston Station and needed to get to the Travelodge at London City Airport. Doing my research, I would struggle to use the tube because not all stations have step free access and frankly the tube is too busy to be messing about with a wheelchair.
The bus route or routes just looked confusing and stressful. After a couple of hours on a train, the last thing I wanted to do was mess about on buses.
I did consider the River Taxi but again, access was an issue at some of the piers. I would have to travel to accessible piers and make a few connections, again stresses I didn’t need.
And of course the famous London Black Cabs.This would have been my transport of choice, but I simply couldn’t justify the cost which I’ll mention next.
#2 – Price
All told we used 3 Uber’s. If I had used Black Cab’s the cost was an estimated £110. However, using Uber the cost for 3 WAV’s was £42 which included a first-time user discount of £10. As you can see, that is a saving of £68 – need I say more.
If you are new to Uber and would like a discount, you can use our friend referral code to save £15 on your first ride, if you do, we also receive a discount or something on our next ride so thanks. Our friend referral code is:
How to use Uber WAV
If you want to get an overview of Uber, visit their website, there is a helpful FAQ’s section. Take time to read through them, if you’re happy:
- Download the App on IOS or Android
- Follow the setup instructions
- Add your payment details (credit card or PayPal)
- You’re ready to use Uber
Once you are registered:
- Choose the ‘uberWAV’ option on the slider at the bottom of the screen
- Make sure it’s somewhere where it will be safe for your driver to stop the car, the GPS will find your position
- The app will show you available WAV’s
- Tap ‘Request uberWAV’
Once your request is confirmed, your driver is on their way to collect you. You can get in touch at any point by sliding the block with the driver’s details upwards and tapping ‘Contact’
Would I use Uber WAV again?
Based on our experience of using Uber WAV in London, the answer is a categorical Yes. I’ve read some pretty bad reviews, but all I can say is it worked for us and we’d definitely use Uber WAV again.
If you’re visiting London, read this: 10 Free and Accessible Things to do in London