Uber recently sent out an e-mail to drivers and riders that call for both to clean the spots they come into contact with. While I am 100% for sanitization during a pandemic, this is not a good thing for drivers, at least those who care about how their car looks.
Here is the part of the e-mail that is directed to riders:
So basically, Uber wants riders (who do not have the first clue about cleaning a car) to bring their own disinfectants and to use them on YOUR VEHICLE. While those bleach wipes are somewhat safe when it comes to color and fading, they can still do a number on your car, especially when used constantly (UberX riders can have up to 20 riders per seat a day) As drivers, we know the chemicals that are safe for our vehicles that still end up killing 99.9% of germs. I know of one particular chemical solution that leaves my car nice and shiny. A bleach wipe will fade this off and make it look like I missed a spot – and thus give the impression of my vehicle being dirty. Could I do without it? Sure! But eventually, the sun will fade and crack the ABS plastic because I did not take care of my vehicle. Bleach wipes can speed this process up greatly.
Uber means well by this, but they are not taking into account the drivers that will snap when a rider uses a wrong disinfectant that they think will hurt their vehicle. Since we are independent contractors, anything bad drivers do will not fall on Uber, so why would they? There will be some stories to come from this, but just know that rider who messed up your ride, did it because Uber told them to.
In the end, I suppose its better for a rider to be safe, and the majority of UberX drivers are not going to give a flying f*** about how their car looks for rides that are $2.44, but the real question is.. will riders actually bring their own disinfectants en masse? I am sure there will be some, especially on UberX since those vehicles are sometimes dirtier than a taxi, but I would expect the higher tier drivers too, such as Lyft Lux, Uber Select/Black to really keep their cars sanitized as part of the higher fare package. After all, you get what you pay for.
If you don’t want riders bleaching your car, my best advice would be to keep your car tidy and smelling clean. There is a strong chance they will forget to wipe down your car because it is so clean.