How to Get a Five-Star Driver Rating on Poparide

This article was written by Phil, one of many Poparide drivers you can find on the road. You can usually catch him traveling from Quebec to Montreal visiting old friends.

Poparide Profile of Phil, a driver and passenger with 77 people driven, 39 rides taken, and more than 17 000 kilometers shared

As a driver on Poparide, I know firsthand how important your rating can be. It shows potential passengers that you’re safe, reliable, and courteous. The higher your rating, the more likely you are to fill the seats in your car for carpooling trips. Getting five stars – the highest possible rating – takes some attention to detail and consideration, but it’s achievable.

I joined the app back in 2017 and in that time, I’ve learned a lot about carpooling – and I have the track record to prove it. Sharing has always been the essence of the Poparide community, so I thought: Why not share some tips to make every ride smoother and more enjoyable? Time to go the extra mile and give a five-star experience!

Communicate before the ride

Driver talking to a happy passenger on Poparide

The Poparide app is where you and your passengers will make plans before a ride. You’ll get ride requests that you’ll have to accept or deny, and you also might have passengers ask you questions or send you messages. Don’t leave anyone hanging! Passengers need to know if they’re carpooling with you, or if they have to find a ride elsewhere. You should try to respond to requests and messages immediately – and be friendly when you do so.

I also find it helpful to send a short courtesy message to passengers a few hours before the trip to confirm that it’s happening. There’s no such thing as over-communicating!

Check in often with your passengers 

Thermometers and music notes

Is the music too loud?

Am I switching lanes too fast?

Is the temperature ok?

Do you want to chat, or do you want a quiet ride?

Communication is just as important once your passengers are in the car, so try to be proactive. Ask your passengers how they feel and what they want in order to keep them comfortable.  Some passengers may simply be too shy to tell you when they’re freezing (or sweating!) in the back, and anticipating their needs shows you truly care about your passengers.

If you have to use your phone, ask for help!

Phone illustration vibrating with alert icons around it

We’ve all been there: You need to tap on your phone while driving to check something. Maybe it’s because there’s a detour alert on Google Maps, or maybe you just got an important SMS from a Poparide passenger you’re picking up later on the way. It happens!

Remember that yes, you are responsible for keeping your eyes on the road, but you’re not driving alone! The passenger next to you can check your phone for you. They trust you to be a safe driver, and there’s nothing safer than asking them to check your phone for you.

Passengers are usually happy that you care to ask them to help instead of splitting your attention between your phone screen and the road. I’ve learned that this habit makes the difference between getting a good review and a bad review for safety!

Be prepared for the unknown

Preparation list checkboxes with one box unchecked

You never know what you might encounter on the road. Make sure you have what you need if you run into something. Some items to consider:

  • Spare tire
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire chains
  • Blankets
  • Snow shovel & ice scraper
  • Gloves
  • Deicing liquid
  • -0°C wiper liquid
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

Provide some extra kindness

Hearts of different colors

I like to greet my passengers by name when I pick them up. It helps to build rapport and ensures I’m picking up the right people! (Yes, mistakes happen! 😁) Similarly, I always make sure I say goodbye. It might seem obvious, but I find it goes a long way towards making someone feel good about having ridden with me.

I also like to think of ways I can make someone’s ride a little bit brighter. Maybe that means offering to go through a drive-through to pick up coffee. Maybe that means letting them use my phone charger, keeping additional chargers in my vehicle for different types of phones,  picking up Timbits before a ride, or letting a passenger pick the music. Whatever it is, I never regret providing a little bit of extra kindness. 

Think beyond the five-star rating

Five star rating illustration with an extra blue star for fabulous drivers

Achieving a five-star rating on Poparide is not just about providing a ride; it’s about creating a positive and memorable experience for you and your passengers. Effective communication, proactive engagement, and courteous respect will all ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for everyone. Going the extra mile to do small acts of kindness can significantly impact your passengers’ overall satisfaction. By following these tips, you can consistently offer a five-star experience and contribute to the shared spirit of the Poparide community.

If you’ve got tips of your own for getting five stars on Poparide, comment below! We’re all here to become better members of the Poparide community.