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Alto driver opening rear door and greeting couple

Alto Review: Why This Rideshare App Might Replace Uber on Your Next Trip

Are you tired of traveling in beat-up cars when you order a rideshare? Do you wish you could have a silent ride without feeling rude? Download Alto next time you need a ride to the airport—this under-the-radar company offers an elevated rideshare experience with a fleet of luxurious SUVs and a fully customizable journey where you control the music, temperature, and conversation. 

Man exiting Alto ride share vehicle at hotel

What is Alto Rideshare?

Alto is a rideshare company that operates on a completely different model from Lyft and Uber. Instead of using independent contractors who drive their own cars, Alto hires highly vetted and trained drivers and gives them a company car for the night. 

Alto drivers are paid per shift instead of per fare, and tipping is not necessary. (There’s no tipping option in the Alto app, but riders could offer a cash tip if they feel inclined.)

Since Alto has its own vehicle fleet, you know you’ll be picked up in a clean and well-maintained Buick Enclave on every ride. The white SUVs are all branded with the Alto logo, and drivers wear Alto gear, so you can feel confident you’re getting in the right vehicle (of course, you should still double-check the license plate.)

The experience is similar to having a private chauffeur—Alto drivers will open car doors, offer water to passengers, and don’t mind waiting or making an extra stop since they’re being paid by the hour and not the mile. 

The clean SUVs are outfitted with car chargers at every seat. Passengers can use the Alto app to choose the music and volume for their ride and can turn on “do not disturb” mode to opt out of conversations.

After an Alto driver completes a ride, he or she will head to a designated waiting area until they are assigned a new pickup. Wait times for on-demand rides with Alto are typically around 10-15 minutes. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can preschedule a ride ahead of time.

Alto Rideshare Locations

Alto is available in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, DC. 

Inside Alto ride share vehicle rear with front sanitary divider

Alto Pricing

Because Alto is a premium service, prices are higher than the basic levels of Uber and Lyft. A spokesperson for Alto told SmarterTravel, “ride prices vary by market and are calculated with a base price plus a price per mile and price per minute.”

When we tested out Alto, we paid $27 for a 20-minute, five-mile ride and $43 for a 24-minute, 9.3-mile ride.

If you’ll be a frequent Alto user, you can sign up for a membership. Memberships can be purchased for $12.95 per month or $119 per year, giving you a discount of around 30 percent on every ride. Family memberships are available for $119 per year plus $25 per additional family member.

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