Driving with germs: the "ick" factor in ridesharing

Your Uber probably has more germs than your toilet seat


ORLANDO, Fla. – You may want to pack the hand sanitizer when you order your next Uber.

A new study shows that people are sharing more than rides -- they’re sharing germs.

An analysis done by NetQuote insurance agency compared the different types of germs found in rideshare vehicles such as Uber and Lyft, taxis and rental cars. 

NetQuote sampled six different types of germs from the vehicles. Note, not all germs found on a surface are harmful, but they do hold the potential for problems. Their study focused on bacteria levels. The higher the level, the more likely the combination of microorganisms are harmful. NetQuote breaks down its numbers by bacteria present per square inch on a surface.

Rideshares lead the way, hosting more than triple the average amount of germs than rental cars. Taxis are deemed the cleanest.


For comparison, rideshares host more harmful germs than your toothbrush holder, Keurig and toilet seat combined.

Rideshares also have the most diverse set of germs, meaning with the right combination passengers could get sick.

The surfaces lurking with germs seem to be seatbelts, door handles, window buttons and shifter.


NetQuote says to stay safe when jumping into a vehicle that isn’t your own, take a moment to wipe down surfaces. If you don’t have a wipe handy, be conscious and don’t touch your face or put your hands in your pockets to keep from spreading bacteria. Of course, wash your hands once you’re done driving with germs.

For more information on NetQuote’s study, click here.

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