Uber Premium to replace Select, Black, Lux, and SUV rides

By David Flynn, June 27 2019
Uber Premium to replace Select, Black, Lux, and SUV rides

Uber is scrapping its Uber Select, Black, Lux and SUV rides in favour of a single top-tier service dubbed Uber Premium.

Uber Premium is available as of today, 27 June 2019, although the other ride options will remain available until  20 August.

In explaining the changes, Uber says "We learned that drivers felt support for Uber Select, Black, Lux, and SUV did not always meet their expectations. Having one premium ride option will help riders know exactly which trip type to request when looking for a premium ride."

Additionally, "the number of premium ride options available to riders (Uber Select, Black, Lux, and SUV) was confusing" while the wide range of vehicles across those categories "made for an inconsistent rider experience."

What's different about Uber Premium?

Uber says its new Premium tier will offer "a luxury car with added style and leg room", although "Uber Premium does not guarantee you’ll get a vehicle with commercial plates," such as HC plates in NSW.

Uber Premium passengers will be able to make in-app requests for "a quieter ride, cooler temperature or help with your bags." In addition, Uber Premium drivers "will now wait up to 10 minutes".

Based on this quote for an Uber ride from North Sydney to Sydney Airport's international terminal, Uber Premium pricing will be pitched above the popular Select option but come in slightly below Uber Black.

Uber Premium airport pickup points

The Uber Premium pick-up point at Sydney Airport will be kerbside at the Limo Pickup area, while at Melbourne Airport "you can also take advantage of pickups from the dedicated VHA pickup bays on the ground level," Uber says.

At Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Gold Coast airports, Uber Premium drivers will wait at the designated ride-share pickup area.

What cars and drivers qualify for Uber Premium?

The list of makes and models eligible for Uber Premium service includes Audi, BMW, Chrysler 300, Genesis, Holden Caprice, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Tesla Model S and Model X and the Volvo S90, XC60 and XC90.

Those car must be less than six years old, and their drivers must have completed 20 or more trips with a star rating of 4.6 or higher.

Executive Traveller has contacted Uber Australia for further information.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Not good news! I use Uber Select a lot, and got a lot of free upgrades to a Black HC-plated car. Will be very interested to hear what Uber has to say about what cars and drivers will be categorised as 'Premium'.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

27 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

The free upgrades were simply Black Driver's accepting lower paying Select rides, it's a shame so many de-valued their own industry like this. Also, the cars on the Premium list can be found by googling 'Uber Sydney Vehicle Requirements', click on the first link, then just click on 'Eligible Vehicle Models' under 'Uber Premium'. You'll find most of the cars are the same you'll find on UberBlack with a few additions from Select, but expect alot of Select level cars until July 2020 as Uber transitions to having only a Premium option

13 Feb 2020

Total posts 2

Do you people actually think Uber is considering, or even thinking about their drivers whenever they make new changes to their services? Don't be so naive.

It's obvious what Uber is doing with these changes, they're looking get all higher end vehicles on a single Premium category, and just charge one rate for any car. This way passengers pay the same rate for any premium ride, taking the black rides from people only paying for select, while still making them pay more, and although black costumers will pay less they may not get the black ride they're used to getting. So everyone looses, except when black riders actually get a black ride ..

But the main reason for the changes is only for Uber's benefit. Uber will collect more on every premium ride requested other than when it replaced a black ride request, but they'll make up for it because passengers will pay more even if they get a select ride, and pay drivers only for the select ride they qualified for. The goal is for Uber to keep more from what you pay, and screw everybody else.

I don't doubt we'll start hearing complaints from Drivers again, especially black drivers, when Uber starts manipulating rides to send select drivers for requests, making black drivers have to wait till there's no select rides available before they get any requests, except maybe at the airports.

But if they turn around and try to pay all premium drivers the same, it's going to be the worse thing Uber could do, and they'll regret ever making these changes.

Mock my words. Drivers aren't stupid, and if they can't make more money driving their higher end vehicle, they will opt out, and buy a much cheeper vehicle to give riders with.

If this happens it could be gold for Lyft, unless Lyft follows in Uber's footsteps like they always do, but if they leave their premiums rides like they are, Uber costumers will soon see the benefit in Lyft Lux, and Lux Black from Lyft.

Uber will have to take imidiate measures if they don't want their premium services to die from this. But aybe that's what they get for being so greedy. I for one can't wait to see what comes from all this. I've always felt like Uber, and Lyft have very poor business skill, and damn near no business sense whatsoever. So who knows what will end up happening. I got my popcorn ready.

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 163

Hmm ... an Uber Select could be something like a Merc GLC like I had last night. Pretty small compared to what most Black or Lux cars would be - this doesn’t seem a good move. Combine Black and Lux yes, but not select or SUV.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

27 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

LOL, you think a Merc SUV with a starting price of $70K car isn't worth being on the list, there is much worse on the list, like a Chrysler 300

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 115

Still looks like a raffle as to what you get with Premium as it does not appear to be make and model reservable; which I can do with commercial plated cars such as VHA in VIC, or HC in NSW.
The list of eligible Premium vehicles is fairly broad and includes some nice rides, but wouldn't be happy if they rock up in a 5 year old Chrysler 300.
Not sure how the 10 minute wait time works with Uber, compared to pre-booked commercial cars who keep an eye on your flight progress in case it is delayed, which is a fair chance for long haul. Anybody had Uber experiences with prebooking 1+ days beforehand, but flights delayed?

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 148

Better off using Blacklane as they track your flights, so you don’t have to worry about delays. They also give 1 hour wait times for airport pickups.

09 Mar 2015

Total posts 33

I was a big Uber Black for getting to and from the airport user but changed to Select to help keep the expenses down, even so I got a free 'upgrade to Black probably half the time, especially in the early morning, around 6am. This seems like a decent crop of cars and will no doubt include many Blacks as Premium is now the highest Uber tier?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

27 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

Lucky that you got Black driver's willing to accept Select rides, hopefully this change will help Black driver's maintain higher earnings now that Select is not an option

16 Oct 2012

Total posts 45

So now a lucky dip... professional driver or just another punter with a nice car. I use Uber black exclusively, mostly for convenience. If I can’t guarantee a professional driver I won’t use Uber for my bookings.

26 Feb 2014

Total posts 14

Uber black has been taking away because our state government has failed to address on what is going to happen with the HC plates in NSW as they will be removed as from July 2020! Does uber know something more than what the drivers don't know already.? They are able to use the bus lanes during peak hours too..which is very important for all riders. Black and lux should be in its own category as corporate business needs it more.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

02 Mar 2018

Total posts 10

shame, I liked select a lot. I actually preferred it to black which typically ends up being a very old and used Holden Caprice, I much prefer a newer car even if it doesn't have HC plates.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 2

As a driver of Select, lux and suv, I can only thank Uber for this move. What sort of a moron believes that a Caprice with 400k kms, would come close to a large luxury SUV? They rattle from everywhere, noisy and luck comfort and space. Why would you prefer this to an European luxury SUV?

13 Feb 2020

Total posts 2

I don't think you quite get it. The new changes will make it so that even if you were getting the highest luxury rides now you could get whatever is available. So is you wanted an Uber Black XL, before you could probably get an Uber Black, and once you see they are not sending the Black XL you can cancel and try again. But regardless you always would get a Black ride. Now if you want an XL you will have to request an XL because there will be so many drivers out there Uber will have plenty of available cars to match what's requested.

So you could want am SUV, which is a high end vehicle but could probably get an crossover that sits 6. I'm sure they will have a comfort category for premium rides as well to make sure people pay more for SUV. I wonder how they will do things for LUX though, because you already have comfort for UberX. Could this mean you could probably get a LUX for the cost of Uber Comfort? There must be more to this.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

24 Apr 2019

Total posts 2

The race to the bottom for so called ride "share" operators be they Morons or Milo. You get what you pay for and the Flintstones will soon be back. :-)

Etihad - Etihad Guest

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 2

Once again, if what Uber offers me doesn’t suit me, then I don’t take it and that’s it, we all have the same choice, if you don’t like it, don’t drive for Uber , I bet few if any of you will stop driving for Uber. Your non Uber clients will still be able to book you directly or by your website.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

21 May 2018

Total posts 10

Incredibly disappointing especially since they’re getting rid of SUV. Not only has their customer service driven off a cliff (pun intended), the quality of drivers is at an all-time low. I feel like half of the time I get in the driver hasn’t driven on the left side of the road for more than a month...

26 Feb 2014

Total posts 14

The problem is that uber makes anyone they want a uber driver. Sometimes you feel you are in a taxi instead!..we don't need the changes here in Australia...it's a different market than anywhere else in the world. What pissed me off is that they say they asked uber drivers that black business has gone down and select and suv! That's crap...they didn't ask me..they probably asked all the uber x drivers...and of course they will say bad things about HC drivers. I am a HC DRIVER and yes..I do use uber to supplement the gaps in between..but as I said earlier...no one asked me about the customers opinion if they want black or not!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Nov 2016

Total posts 23

Consistency is good.

19 Aug 2019

Total posts 1

As a HC driver, not all Uber Premium vehicles would guarantee riders that their driver would be available to drive on the bus lane. There is a loophole here. Vehicles that qualify with Uber Premium have no HC plates cannot drive on the bus lane. Here, there is a bit of inconsistency and inconvenience for passengers who expect their drivers to drive on the bus lane down the Harbour Bridge for example. Normally when you drive during morning or afternoon peak hours drivers are expected to wait in queue and this causes delay for passengers who need to get to their place on time. Previously, with UberBlack passengers are always guaranteed that their driver can travel on the bus lane to travel quicker and adds a bit of convenience to their trip.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 465

I used Uber Premium last month and was surprised at what showed up.An Audi A6 of all things.Not that I was complaining when the alternative was taking two buses to cross the city from Burnside Village to reach work on time(I am in Adelaide).It didn't have one of those four number with the MV or whatever it is traditional limo companies use.I will be using them to the airport in December and have no idea what to expect.This definition of High End Cars confuses us all. It used to be a lot easier when there was one rate for the Australian Sedans with the established Limousine companies and then another one if one wanted BMW OR JAGUAR OR MERCEDES.Have booked Astra for when I am in Sydney as a comparison test and will be keen to see what shows up. It could be Audi,BMW,Maserati,Porsche or Mercedes.The Caprice went out of Production in 2017 after Holden Elizabeth shut down so the odds of any Limo companies operating those is limited(I don't think any of them bought the replacement ZB Calais Liftbacks or Wagons or even considered an Acadia or an Equinox before the brand shut shop in Australia for good in 2020)

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