This question keeps coming up. Should you sit in the front or the back of an Uber? In taxis, you typically sit in the back, is Uber different? Is it rude to sit in the front seat? Is it rude to sit in the backseat? What is appropriate? Have you been doing it all wrong?
There really isn’t a clear yes or no answer to the front or back seat question. It depends on the region, the driver, and you.
Solo Uber riders tend to get in the back seat sitting diagonal from the driver. This is partially out of convenience because the rider can see the driver and vice versa. People are also used to seeing passengers hop in the back seat of taxis in television and movies. Most often, it is also due to the fact that when a car pulls up the sidewalk or where the passenger is waiting is on the passenger side of the car, so the rider would be sitting diagonal to the driver. The back seat creates a physical distance between driver and passenger, which can help alleviate any awkward silences or the lack of wanting to chat. Sitting in the front seat does not provide the same physical distance, which can make some people feel uncomfortable during silences.
The internet is full of contradictory information. Vice says to sit up front. Driver forums say it doesn’t matter. The list goes on and on. Most drivers do not mind if you sit up front, but it is always polite to ask them before hopping in. Some drivers use the passenger seat to store items they may need, and moving those things can be a hassle. Some drivers may be more comfortable with passengers in the back seat. For the most part, it is really about personal taste and preference.
Sitting up front isn’t rude. In fact, most drivers are completely fine with this. Passengers like to sit up front for a variety of reasons. Motion sickness, comfort, and security are some of the most prominent reasons people like to sit up front. The front seat is less likely to make people car sick. Tall people or people with long legs are more comfortable up front. And some people just feel better in the front seat. All reasons are completely understandable, just check with your Uber driver first.
Etiquette is changing, and it differs depending on where you are in the world. If you don’t know or have a preference, just ask. Most Uber drivers are very kind and happy to fill you in on what is best or local customs.