If you are like a lot of visitors, you may see the high driving service prices and think hmm “Can you Uber around Napa Valley?”. So while the easy answer is “yes, it’s possible” it’s not always the best choice, and let me tell you why.
First off, this is my take on hailing Ubers in Napa Valley. For reference, I build up to 200 wine tasting itineraries every week. So as you can imagine, I receive a lot of feedback about wineries, drivers, and experiences. I also live here in Napa so I know firsthand when and where you can rely on Uber.
Uber – well priced, but not always reliable in Napa
Cell phone service is spotty in Napa Valley. So while you may be able to hail an Uber in town, it can be a lot harder once you’re at a winery. In addition, if you’re tasting and enjoying your experience you might also forget to schedule your Uber in a timely manner. That being said, many of our members have missed their tastings (which they pre-paid for) due to the inability to get a ride.
Where can you Uber in Napa?
If you plan to taste at wineries right along Highway 29 and Silverado Trail, Uber should be fine. In fact, it could be the most cost-effective option. But, If you go and taste anywhere outside of that area don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Other unplanned concerns
Another issue a lot of people run into is battery life. Let’s face it. Napa is beautiful and you’re going to want to snap a bunch of pictures. On top of this, if you’re in remote areas your cell phone is going to be working overtime to find signal. Many people get caught by surprise when it’s too late. Make sure you’re extra conscious of your battery life if you’re gonna Uber.
Uber, what could go wrong?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Uber. Unfortunately, I can’t count how many people have reached out to us in panic when they can’t find a ride. I’ve received customer calls from local landlines begging for help finding a driver.
Ubers have also caused missed appointments and mile-long walks to get cell service. Remember this can put a real damper on a trip. If you’re not flexible in this sense, I say it’s not worth the risk. Especially, if this is a trip of a lifetime or a rare visit to the Valley.
What alternatives to Uber are there in Napa?
Another common question we get is what if I drive myself? While, yes, this is also possible, it’s also much riskier than hailing an Uber. DUIs are all too common in the valley and you don’t want to put yourself or others on the road at risk. You’ll likely be over the limit after your 2nd winery if you’re not dumping out some of your pours.
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So if this is the only option, I recommend investing in a breathalyzer. This small investment will go a long way in saving you from a DUI and from endangering yourself or others. They are quite affordable on amazon.com. Here is our recommended one. Regardless of what you do, it’s best not to take any gambles here.
The case for personal drivers
It’s no secret that Napa isn’t the most affordable place. People drop about $50-$125 per person at each winery. With your Priority Wine Pass, you can cut those prices in half! So with the money, you’re saving you might as well reinvest it back into the trip. If you’re splurging already, I say splurge all the way and get yourself a driver. It’s safe, reliable, and can make your visit even more enjoyable.
Saving on personal drivers
The most affordable way to go is to get a designated driver to drive your rental or personal car. The going rate in Napa is $55-$65/hr for this. If you’re paying less, beware of the driver. If you’re paying more, you’re being overcharged.
Some people don’t feel comfortable with someone else driving their car. If that’s you, then prices will range from $65-$125/hr for a driving service. Of course, this depends on the vehicle you’d like to ride in. If you’re a group of 6-12 people you can get a nice Mercedes Sprinter for about $125/hr and if you would like recommendations on local companies that have great drivers please reach out to us at email@example.com and we would be happy to share our recommendations. Be mindful of prices here as well.
We’re happy to help you here!
If you need driver suggestions we are here to help! We work with many drivers and love to recommend our favorites. You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see the following link to learn more about our driver service in Napa and Sonoma.
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