Whether you are trying to get around your own city or doing some traveling for vacation, many parents need to take an Uber to get from point A to point B.
This means that their little ones are also along for the ride. Their children must be properly secured to ensure their safety during the trip.
That can often add an unforeseen complication for those who need to use a ridesharing app.
Do Uber drivers have car seats for kids and babies?
Uber and Lyft drivers in certain cities may have a car seat for kids and babies, but it might not be the right size. The standard car seat they have is forward-facing and suits children who are 12 months old, 22 pounds, and 31 inches tall. You may also bring your own car seat.
Whether you bring your own or need an Uber to fit your needs, knowing how to navigate Uber or Lyft with children is a must!
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Can You Bring Small Kids and Babies With Uber/Lyft?
Small kids and babies can indeed accompany their parents on rides obtained through the Uber and Lyft platforms. However, not all rides are going to be considered family-friendly.
Kids who are too small to sit on their own will still be required to be secured in a car seat, which can make it a challenge to find an equipped Uber.
Cities like New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Orlando have a separate service called Uber Car Seat (sometimes referred to as Uber Family).
Lyft only offers rides with car seats in the New York City area. Parents can request a vehicle that has a car seat, but the particular brand may vary.
The standard car seat is mostly considered to be the IMMI Go, but you should verify the requirements with your specific Uber driver.
The IMMI Go is still the standard for Lyft drivers. This car seat model requires that your child be at least twelve months old, 22 pounds, and 31 inches tall. The child is too big for the car seat at 48 pounds or 52 inches.
Keep in mind that minors can ride with their parents or other adults, but they cannot take trips on their own.
Does It Cost Extra to Bring Babies and Kids on a Rideshare Trip?
Bringing your kids along with you on a rideshare trip should not cost you anything additional.
However, you may end up paying a small fee if you have to request an Uber or a Lyft that comes with a car seat.
Both services do charge a $10 surcharge onto your normal fees for the use of one of these special vehicles. Alternatively, you can bring your own and forego this additional charge.
Can Uber/Lyft Drivers Refuse to Take Kids on a Ride?
Generally speaking, the only time that an Uber or a Lyft driver can refuse to take kids on a ride is when they are unaccompanied minors.
Both platforms have a minimum age requirement of eighteen to secure a ride. This means that you must be a legal adult to request and take a ride with an Uber or Lyft driver.
Even teenagers are not exempt from this rule. If a driver suspects that you may be underage, he or she has the right to request identification to prove that you are old enough to use these ridesharing apps.
However, children who are accompanied by their parents or guardians should have no problem taking an Uber or Lyft ride.
Are Kids Allowed on Rideshare Trips Without a Child Seat?
Driving without securing your child in a car seat can be a major safety hazard for your kid and the other passengers in the vehicle. Most places require that your child be secured in these types of seats by law. The local ordinances should take precedence over what your particular Uber or Lyft driver is familiar with or comfortable with.
Many Uber and Lyft drivers will refuse to begin a trip if you do not have a car seat that suits your child. It is a major liability for them, particularly if something goes wrong during your trip. Not only that, but they can also be ticketed and face penalties for ignoring local and state laws.
If you are required by law to secure your child in a car seat, then you must adhere to this even while using rideshare trips.
Many people are tempted to skip out on this safety protocol “just this once,” but it can have some serious effects for everyone involved if there should be an accident. Make sure you don’t skip this rule!
While some drivers may have a very laissez-faire attitude toward the car seat debate, you should be proactive in making sure that your child has everything he or she needs to ride safely.
If you live in an area where it is not possible to hail a ride with a car seat, then you will need to bring your own. There are inflatable versions on the market that are easy and convenient to tote with you.
Are Uber Drivers Required to Bring a Child Seat?
As a general rule, Uber drivers are not required to bring a car seat unless it is uniquely specified. Only certain parts of the country offer Uber Family or Uber Car Seat. These include major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Orlando.
Keep in mind that the drivers who participate in this type of Uber program may not all have the same car seat.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your child fits in the seat and is properly secured before putting the car in motion.
Always make sure that you have the driver park somewhere safe so that you can inspect the installation of the car seat and get your child settled before you move on.
Lyft drivers who have car seats (only available in New York City) will all have the IMMI Go car seat. Drivers with this company are responsible for installing and uninstalling the car seat at the beginning and end of each ride.
In fact, they are required to pass a test proving that they can safely do so before being accepted into the program.
To safely use the IMMI Go forward-facing car seat, your child must be at least twelve months old, 22 pounds, and 31 inches tall. Your child is too big to ride in this car seat at 48 pounds or 52 inches tall.
Whether you choose to ride with Uber or Lyft, there is an additional fee that you can expect to pay for requesting a driver with a car seat. Both services tack on an additional $10 surcharge for the convenience of this bonus feature.
Can Smaller Kids Ride With Uber/Lyft Alone?
Many parents find that it would be convenient if they could send their children to swim practice or a relative’s house without the need to accompany them.
They find themselves wondering if their child is old enough and responsible enough to take an Uber or a Lyft completely solo. Unfortunately, this type of wishful thinking is moot because you must be eighteen to take a ride through one of these platforms.
When you make an account with both of these companies, it asks you for a lot of information, but it does not include your birthdate. This leads some people to believe that age is not a criterion for those who wish to take rides through Uber or Lyft.
However, the full terms of service that you agree to do spell out that you must be over the age of eighteen to use these ridesharing services.
If a driver suspects that your child is under the age of eighteen, they have the right to ask for ID. Drivers are asked to refuse a ride to anyone who is not of age. Not only can they refuse the ride, but they can also report you and potentially have your account suspended. It simply is not worth the risk of trying to find a driver who will take your small child on a ride.
If a minor does end up taking a ride and the trip results in an accident, Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies may not cover the damages. Crash benefits will only apply if the terms of service were followed.
Unfortunately, those terms of service very clearly specify that only legal adults can make use of the ridesharing platforms.
Ridesharing with children adds a new level of complication if you need a car seat to ride safely. In some cities, you may be able to find an Uber or a Lyft that meets your needs.
However, the majority of the country does not have this convenient option.
You may want to instead search for inflatable or lightweight options that can easily be installed when you use these ridesharing apps.
Remember that the safety of your child should be paramount, and securing them in a car seat does matter. It may require a little bit of planning, but it is ultimately worth it.