uber cleaning fee

Uber Cleaning Fee


All You Have to Know About Uber Cleaning Fee

If you travel using Uber, or you are an Uber driver, the cleaning fee is a topic you should be familiar to. Otherwise, you may find out that you cannot get reimbursed for a serious mess, such as vomiting inside your car. On the other hand, a rider may be surprised to find out that he or she has been extra-charged out of the blue for cleaning issues.

I remember cleaning my car, vacuum, wipe, I mean I did the whole nine yards, getting ready to drive for uber on a Friday night.  Next thing, I know I picked up a few drunks, and one of them end up puking in my car. I panicked, at the time; I didn’t know uber cleaning fee was available to drivers as long you have proof, pictures of the mess or vomit. click here if you want to read this interesting story about this drunk pax I picked up once.   

What can be reimbursed?

First and foremost, any bodily fluids will be compensated with the biggest amounts of money, usually the maximum $150. Vomit, blood, urine, etc. are undoubtedly leading to an uber cleaning fee that will not be denied.

I don’t want you drivers to miss out on the uber cleaning fee as I did.  I paid to clean my car out of my own pocket, and I didn’t know I had to take pictures.  I was thinking if I provided Uber with a receipt and that would be enough.

Other types of mess, such as dirt, dust, trash, glitter or food may be reimbursed, but not all the time. Uber will decide on the severity of the situation and then whether or not a cleaning fee should be charge to riders and to give the drivers. They also set the value of the damages using their own judgment.

Do you need a copy of the cleaning bill?

A receipt of the cleaning bill is not needed for an Uber cleaning fee because there is plenty of mess that may be handled by the driver himself. If it does not require professional help, it doesn’t mean that it never happened. It just means that some of the drivers are already having a history with all these types of experiences, and they know how to take care of their car.

Updated as of October 2016:  Uber is now required receipts in certain cases. It’s not clear on what types of cleaning cases Uber ask for receipts, it’s probably a random thing, or if a rider dispute the charges etc…  In most cases, as long you have photo proof of the mess made by the passenger, you’ll most likely receive a cleaning fee.

One more thing that I strongly suggest, in most cases pictures/photos of the mess you took, may not do you justice. So, if you find yourself in this situation, contact Uber through an email or phone to explain and give more details about the issue.

As I stated above, I didn’t take pictures of the mess the pax made in my car, and another mistake I made, I reported to Uber 3 days later.  I should have done so before 48 hours to qualify for the uber cleaning fee. But in my case, it would not make any difference anyway since I didn’t have any proof of the vomiting.

What is the evidence needed?

If you want to receive a cleaning fee as a driver, you need to take photos of the accident or mess. Make sure that you have at least 2-3 pictures which are clear, not blurry or too dark. The main idea is to prove to Uber that your client made a mess. Taking into consideration that they will decide whether to give you a reimbursement or not, as well as the value of it, you need to provide them clear evidence of the issue.

Besides the pictures, you also need to identify the trip the mess occurred within 48 hours. Otherwise, you will not get reimbursed. This requirement is perfectly normal because Uber will not charge a random rider for a mess, hoping that he or she is the guilty one.  Even though your request will be processed later than 48 hours, if you have submitted your evidence, you may be sure that you will be reimbursed.

How much can you get?

$150: This is the maximum amount of money you can get when your request for an uber cleaning fee is approved. Usually, this sum is provided to you in cases of vomit, urine, blood or other bodily fluids that are spread on the inside of your car.

$100: You will get this money in cases of small bodily fluid mess. If the client has stained some surfaces that are hard to clean, most probably you will be reimbursed with $100, too.

$50: The most common situation for this sum is vomit on the outside of your car. Other issues that are smaller or on easy-cleaning surfaces will also be compensated with this amount of money.

$25: This sum has been recently introduced, and it is usually provided for small, ordinary types of mess, such as food.

When can the cleaning fee be declined?

As it was already mentioned, one of the most common situations for declining a fee is the lack of evidence. If the driver does not provide clear photos of the mess, the rider cannot be charged. Moreover, the pictures have to be submitted within 48 hours or less. If not, the cleaning fee will be declined, too. If the company considers that the mess is not large enough for a reimbursement, the driver will not get one. Another reason for rejecting such a fee is the inability of the driver to identify the exact trip when the damage has been done.

Extra tip for riders:

If you vomit or make a mess while you are in an Uber car, you may feel ashamed and think about how to compensate your fault. A thought that may cross your mind immediately is to offer the driver money in order to clean the mess and forget about it. This is definitely not a good idea because you may end up double charged. If the driver accepts the money, nothing guarantees you that he/she will not also take some pictures and request an uber cleaning fee.

Another thing I want to mention is that if you split a fare with someone. He/she makes a mess or pukes in the car, the uber cleaning fee will be split with whomever you that is.  Uber simply won’t charge one passenger for a cleaning fee on a split fare.  The best approach to take if your friend is the one that makes the mess is to ask him/her your money back.

How many of you have any passenger (pax) puking or made a mess in your car? I want to hear about it.  Also, let me know how much you get from Uber for the cleaning fee.

  • Kathleen

    I bought a used 2010 Mazda 6 about a month ago to be my Uber car and I am more than impressed. The interior is HUGE as is the trunk. I keep a car seat in the trunk and there is more than enough space to accommodate luggage for 4 people. The mileage is awesome. The person I bought the car from kept it in nice condition so I was very lucky. Someone asked me if it was a brand new car. I’m very happy with my decision.

    • UberDriver

      Looks like you made a good purchase. Good luck Ubering, and be safe out there.

    • It seems like you made a very good purchase. Good luck Ubering, and be safe out there.

      • Kathleen

        Thank you. I hope I did. I always try to be. 😊

  • Sheri

    I had someone puke in my car and uber paid me $80. I was pretty upset because I feel I should have received the full $200. I lost at least that much in wages. It’s been 2 days and my car still smells, even after having it detailed. The puke went in the passenger side door, down the side of the seat, under the seat, and all in the carpet under the mat. Now, if I pick up a rider, I’ll probably get a low rating for having a smelly car. It’s a no win for me. Not to mention my car is only 1 month old.

    • Sorry to hear of what happened Sheri, did you take/send Uber all the pictures you took? And 1 important thing did you stop working after the mess/puke? If you did. I would contact Uber again through their live chat and make my case again.

    • Sorry about what happened! I’m not sure if you did do the followings, when someone puke in your vehicle while ubering you’ll have to stop taking any more trips at least for the rest of the night/day. So, Uber see that you lost income as a result. Take pictures of the mess, send them pictures of every mess (puke) cause by the rider. I’m sure you probably did all this, sometimes Uber just low balling their drivers when it comes to cleaning fee. Now, Uber is adjusting their cleaning fee requirements, they won’t likely give the full 200 dollars credit unless the cleaning was done by a professional.

  • Yehia Zak

    i’m gonna to drive with Uber soon, but some one tolled according to the insurence conditions id i got any accident i have to pay $50K to Uber,
    is that true??

  • sammy

    highest they will pay now is for a cleaning fee is $150. I did hear about one company in san francisco that cleans 24/7 and doesn’t charge until you actually get reimbursed. Spotless First…I think? At least works for all you bay area drivers.

    • @Sammy, thanks for the update…

    • Shannon

      I know this is an old post but for anyone with a similar problem, maybe you could throw some napkins on the spot and take a picture with the wet napkin there.

  • Truckingamerica

    Urine on a black carpet doesn’t show on a photograh, BUT YOU CAN SMELL IT. So the Uber claim that urine is covered as damages is a lie unless the urine is red, green, blue or purple. If i’m lucky they will urinate (PEE) in my cup holder. Then i’ll have a picture to send you.

  • JoeL

    Avoid the issue all together. If you are an Uber or Lyft driver you can use Spotless First (SpotlessFirst.com). They will meet you 24/7, remove and disinfect the mess and get you back on the road in an hour at no cost.

    • me ohmy

      only on the east coast and in california…

    • Nice to know… Thanks for sharing

    • Daniel Mrw

      Looking for an address for this service, it says we service the Bay area. What’s that supposed to mean? I work in the Bay area too, near Houston, but many cities have a Bay area.

      • If you’re looking to have your vehicle cleaned after an Uber rider pukes in it, you can have your vehicle clean at any professional service, you’ll want receipts to prove to Uber .

  • Rachael

    A group of us were coming home in an uber last night, a friend got sick in the front seat and the driver asked for $300 in cash. Obviously we were more than happy to pay a cleaning fee but $300 was a bit steep so we argued down to $200 and he drove us to an ATM demanding the cash.
    We kept asking about uber’s cleaning policy because this didn’t feel right but we did feel really guilty so we paid him and sure enough, 24 hours later we’ve been charged an extra $150 through the app.
    We emailed back saying we had already paid but i’m not sure what’s going to happen now, does anyone know?

    • There are no cash transactions with Uber unless you’re tipping. Having said that, you were not supposed to pay for your cleaning fee with cash, Uber would charge you the money for the cleaning once the driver reported it. What you can do now, send Uber a copy of your withdrawal receipt and let them know the driver asked you to pay in cash, and you already paid him 200 bucks. You can email or call Uber, and most likely the driver will be deactivated.

    • There are no cash transactions with Uber unless you’re tipping. Having said that, you were not supposed to pay for your cleaning fee with cash, Uber would charge you the money for the cleaning once the driver reported it. What you can do now, send Uber a copy of your withdrawal receipt and let them know the driver asked you to pay in cash, and you already paid him 200 bucks. You can email or call Uber, and most likely the driver will be deactivated.

  • Atillah Moor

    A passenger made a huge mess in my car just this past weekend. Then even after I cleaned (what I could) the fee by a pro came out to $259 and even though there is no visible trace it still smells. Uber has offered the $150 but there is no way it would cost that much based on the severity of the mess. I was also purposely spit on by one of the passengers. It was by far my worst night as an Uber driver.

    I’ve sent them the receipt in the hope that it’ll be fully reimbursed, but my suggestion to drivers is to

    1.DON’T PICK UP DRUNKS. If you have any suspicion that a passenger has had too many just cancel the ride and let them call a cab. If they barf in your car no amount of money Uber offers will make up for your lost time and potential earnings in addition to your cars quality.

    This will be my approach moving forward. I’d rather miss out on earnings and have a clean car than to make some extra cash and risk permanent damage to my car.

    Right now the reimbursement policy is flawed because no driver should lose money if a passenger can’t drink like an adult.

    • The maximum fee used to be $200 and Uber has reduce it down to 150 bucks and that’s another slap in the face to drivers. You’re right, it’s best not to pick up drunks… If by mistake I pick up one, the minute I heard retching, I offered a brown bag, or I stop the trip and ask them to leave.

      • Atillah Moor

        Yeah I should have listened to my instincts. I’d have pulled over the moment things got out of hand, but I was on the highway and n hindsight I regret not simply stopping the car and pulling that person out regardless of the location. It definitely won’t be happening again.

  • Steve H Manager

    Cleaning fee problems. Not anymore 1099driveradvocate.com

  • Janelle Smith

    I was in Uber pool, as the first passenger, we picked up the second, he was tipsy, but fine. 4 minutes later he was not fine. Puked all over the back, and me. The driver didn’t know what to do. We pulled into a gas station , made that guy get out, tried to wipe off. The girl was nice enough to make sure he got a lyft, and I let her pull into my garage at my house and helped her clean. Shouldnt Uber pay for my dry cleaning of my clothes? I was wearing a furry vest. It can only be professionally cleaned.

    • @ Janelle, I’m sorry this has happened to you… I think you have a case here… Here’s what to do… take pictures of the dirty clothes, and make sure you have your receipt for the cleaning … and contact Uber explain the situation, send them the receipt and photos of the dirty clothes, and see what they say… let me know…

      • Janelle Smith

        I’m not sure if it is a coincidence in timing, but since I moved to Vegas from DC, I find that customer service with uber has really gone downhill. I’ll let you know. I felt so bad for that girl though. And we def didn’t take pictures.

        • I hope you get better Uber experience from now on… Pictures would definitely help your case, but you never know…

  • Jeff B

    I am surely worried now reading this. I had a passenger puke in my car last night, he puked on himself in my front seat, I immediately pulled over to the side of the road. My passenger got out and i gave him a bunch of napkins to clean himself off, while one of his friends from the back used my other napkins to get the puke off my seat. After finally dropping them all off i immediately went offline and opened all of my windows even though it was under 30 degrees out. Drove home because i wasnt picking up any more people with my car smelling like that. When i got home i found more puke inbetween the seat and the door, also some on the floor by the seat. Of course with this being the first incident i didnt know i had to take pictures, now i am worried uber wont reimburse me for cleaning. I know it will take at minimum some shampooing to get the smell out. I emailed uber right when i got homr, really hoping they will still take care of this. Any input?

    • @Jeff B, I would still take pictures of the remaining puke you find between the seat, and take pictures where they’re trying to clean it up and send to Uber. You’ll want to let them know where the pukes were that they tried to clean, basically tell them what you just told me… If you do that, you’ll most likely get some money back for the cleaning. Hope it works out for you, let me know how it goes…

      • Jeff B

        Well after taking multiple pictures of the areas, one of which was stained on my carpet, they denied my claim. Also it took them 24 hours after the initial response for them to respond to me again. So not only do i have to pay for the cleaning myself, i also lost out on a saturday night drive that had at least 2 decent surges that i saw. They didn’t do anything to verify if this happened or not, not even contact the rider which would have been so simple, basically not their vehicle not their problem.

        • Jeff B

          So after they denied my claim, i responded basically the way i wrote on my most recent reply here, they then responded just now that they are reimbursing me, so to all of you who have an issue like this, dont give up. If a customer really did damage your car in some way keep fighting even if they deny you. Unfortunately i am still losing money as the detail is 100, and i lost a weekend night of earning which is between 50 and 100. Uber gave me 80 for it so i lost 70-120 but it is what it is. Happy i was able to get something back out of it. Good luck to all the rest of ya.

          • Happy for you that you get something from Uber for the cleaning fee. Next time, something like this happen, remember to always take pictures.

  • Sherchan

    Uber in Houston doesnot compensate more than $50-$60. I had to show them the proof like the receipt from the professional cleaning shops. I wonder how much they billed the passenger who made a mess

    • Uber will most likely charge the same amount they give you for the cleaning fee to the passenger. I don’t think they’ll charge the customer more money and then give you less…

  • William Frymire

    rode in a uber in tacoma Wa friend throw up in car, driver warned me about a fee of $300 not $150

    • @ William Frymire, The fee is $150 for throwing up inside a driver’s car… Some drivers might say a higher fee so riders control themselves and don’t puke in the car… No one likes someone pukes inside their vehicle no matter how much you get paid for cleaning it… Thanks for stopping by

  • Adrian

    Drivers hospital bags is mostly better to carry in your car

  • Jennifer Romano

    Hello, I got really drunk last night and I puked a little bit in the drivers car it may have been a few little spurts of vomit, I puked outside the window but I don’t remember how much was outside on the car. How much do you think I’ll be charged?

    • You’ll probably get charged between $100-150. Keep us update. Remember it’s better to pay a cleaning fee than risking driving yourself and end up with a DUI which costs thousands of dollars.

  • Jennifer Bishop

    My husband drives with Uber and had someone get sick in our car over the weekend. The kicker is, he got sick and it got into the window…which then travels into the door panel. It cost us $250 to get it cleaned professionally and now we are removing the door panel today because there is only so far that professional cleaning machines can get. Its a good thing I don’t mind working on cars.
    I implore anyone who drives, pick up medical grade vomit bags. :seriously: The car that he uses is my car, in other words, our family car. I don’t mind him using it at all and I understand the risks that go along with it. That being said, I’ve studied forensics and vomit gets EVERYWHERE, seriously, mad trajectory. You need an enzyme cleaner to get it thoroughly out and even then, if you don’t get it right away, you’re going to be working really hard to get it out at all. :Think cat urine, it takes 7 years to fully break down.:
    We did get reimbursed the full $150 but that means that we also paid roughly $100 out of pocket. He took the pictures and filed the claim accordingly. Does it stink? Yes. (Pun fully intended) Does it mean that he isn’t going to drive again? No, he will. We’ve learned the in’s & out’s at this point. I would just advise people to always carry medical grade emission bags that can be found on Amazon, a few trash bags (the good ones, don’t skimp on stuff like that), and Febreeze. No one likes the smell of vomit. I’m a mom of two and that is the one smell that I just can’t handle…especially in 80 degree weather.

    • @Jennifer, it’s best to know… If you drive on weekend nights, get some vomit bags as you stated. Uber is only paying $150 for cleaning fee, it should have been if you ask me…

  • Wayne

    Well last night I had an Uber rider vomit in my car just as I was ready to drop him off. He through up all over the cup holder and on the running board of the car and a little on the side of the seat. I did not take pictures of the incident right after it was done, since all I wanted to do was clean it up. When I reported it to Uber they wanted pictured of the vomit before I cleaned it up. I guess that I was my mistake. I did not know that he wiped his hand on the seat and damaged it from the stomach acid. I sent clear picture of the damage to Uber, which shows the damage but they told me the pic was unclear and could not verify how much that it would cost to get it repaired. I just can’t believe this.

    • @Wayne, I’m sorry this has happened to you… With passengers dispute cleaning fees from left to right, it’s best to have taken pictures… Use this opportunity to learn from your mistake, next time take pictures, that’s the only proof you have… If you have receipts from a professional cleaning company, you can send it to Uber and ask to reconsider… I know how you feel, that happened to me once…

  • STuberDriver

    Had a pax open the door and puke out my car but hit the door frame and along weatherstripping. Was able to clean most of it off with a water bottle after documenting. Sent the pictures to uber with an additional picture of the mess instead of a reciept and was given $40 shortly after

    • @STuberDriver, it happens and it sucks when passenger pukes and dirty your vehicle, at least Uber give you a little something for the cleaning fee. It’s always good to document, glad to hear you did.