If your Uber rating is down in the dumps – and don’t worry, we’ve all been there – there are ways that you can improve it, to show the world that you’re really not as much of a trash person as everyone says, and there are at least some aspects of your life in which you have your shit together.

Last year, we sent one of our intrepid reporters out into the field, with a week’s worth of credit courtesy of Uber, to ride around Brisbane for a week and bump his pitiful Uber rating up a couple of notches. We wanted to find out what it takes to get a truly stellar rating – especially since Uber now bans riders from the service if they dip too low – so we had them put us in touch with one of their top-rated riders to find out how he does it.

Eliot is a Brissie lad who uses Uber roughly one a week, and has been on the app since early 2007, where his rating currently sits at a cool 4.95.

He uses it to get to important work functions with a clear head, so he doesn’t have to stress out too much about getting from Point A to Point B. He likes the convenience of knowing where and when he’ll be picked up, and sometimes finds it cheaper and more reliable than public transport.

When we asked him about the secrets of a good Uber rating, here’s what he had to say.

What advice would you offer to get your Uber driver to smash that five-star rating?

I think the main thing is to acknowledge the driver; such as finding a place that is easy for them to pick you up and stand where it’s obvious that you’re the passenger. Other tips I find helpful, especially if you’re the only passenger, is engaging in a bit of small chat as it doesn’t take much effort on your part and it can go a long way as you never know what you may learn. I’ve had some very interesting discussions across a range of different topics. If I’m busy with work or with other passengers, I still try and at least acknowledge the driver and treat them the same as I would like to be treated if I was giving someone a lift in my car.

What about things you should avoid if you want to be a good rider?

In my experience, overall, I think an important aspect in terms of having a good rating is to treat the car the same way as you would treat your own one. Also to respect the driver, as a common courtesy. Some specific things to avoid would be: not eating or leaving rubbish behind and not being rude or unresponsive when communicating with the driver. Also, when being picked up, make sure to be ready beforehand. When being dropped off, make it as easy as possible for the driver.

What was your most memorable Uber ride like? 

I once got picked up by quite a large people mover for a late trip home and it looked quite ordinary from the outside. When I hopped in, turns out it was like stepping into another world as it was completely done up inside with coloured lights and monitors everywhere including a large one for the front passenger for choosing music, and a couple of displays in the back with a video game console linked up. The driver was really nice and welcoming and turns out that he worked in IT and had spare parts, which he used on his car. I thought it was quite awesome!

Do your mates get jealous of your high Uber rating?

I have to admit, I haven’t really told anyone or thought about it until you asked about it for the article, which makes me more aware of the importance of the rating system.