Braai stands and breast pumps – The strangest items South Africans leave in Uber cars

Uber South Africa has published its annual Uber Lost and Found Index – detailing a list of the most common and unique items riders leave behind in its drivers’ cars.

The ride-hailing service provided a number of facts around the items which local riders lose, as well as in which cities and at what times items are typically forgotten in vehicles.

“In 2019, phones, wallets, keys and headphones once again topped the list of most commonly forgotten items, with backpacks, clothing, glasses and vapes following suit,” Uber said.

Odd items forgotten in vehicles

In addition to the most commonly lost items, Uber revealed that riders in South Africa have left behind a number of strange items.

These included a braai stand, plasma TVs, a breast pump with breast milk, a grinding machine, and a scanner.

Additionally, the Index shows in which cities the most people forgot items, as well as the times of day and days of the week when riders were most likely to leave items behind.

“Durban and Johannesburg are tied for the number one spot, followed closely by Cape Town and Port Elizabeth,” Uber noted.

“The Index shows riders are most forgetful on Fridays and Thursdays, and late at night – but the most common hours, specifically are 20:00 – perhaps during the rush to make dinner reservations – and from 16:00 to 19:00,” Uber added.

How to get your lost items back

Uber advised riders that the best recourse for recovering lost items was to call their driver.

If, however, your phone is the item you lost, you can log into your account from your computer and follow these steps to retrieve your item:

  1. Tap “Your Trips” and select the trip where you left something.
  2. Tap “I lost an item.”
  3. Tap “Contact driver about a lost item.”
  4. Scroll down and enter the phone number you would like to be contacted at. Tap submit.
  5. If you lost your personal phone, enter a friend’s phone number (you can do this by logging into your account on a computer, or using a friend’s phone).
  6. Your phone will ring and connect you directly with your driver’s mobile number.
  7. If your driver picks up and confirms that your item has been found, coordinate a mutually convenient time and place to meet for its return to you.
  8. If your driver doesn’t pick up, leave a detailed voicemail describing your item and the best way to contact you.

Below are lists of the top 10 most commonly forgotten items, the top 20 most unique items lost, the most forgetful cities, and the times and days items are most often left behind in Uber vehicles.


The 10 Most Commonly Forgotten Items in South Africa:

  1. Phone / camera
  2. Keys
  3. Wallet/purse
  4. Headphones / speaker
  5. Backpack / bag / folders / box / luggage
  6. Clothing
  7. Glasses
  8. Vape/ e-cig
  9. Water bottle / bottle / thermos
  10. Umbrella

The 20 Most Unique Lost Items

  1. Braai Stand
  2. Skateboard
  3. Scanner
  4. Weaves/ Wig/ hairpiece
  5. Plasma TV
  6. X-Rays
  7. Asthma pump and Medication
  8. Cooler Box
  9. Groceries
  10. Perfume
  11. Grinding Machine
  12. Wheelchair Paddles
  13. 100 piece cutlery set
  14. Bible
  15. Baby Car set and play mat
  16. Helium balloons
  17. Alcohol
  18. Ps4 controller
  19. Breast Pump and breast milk
  20. Crate of eggs

The Most “Forgetful” Cities

  1. Durban
  2. Johannesburg
  3. Cape Town
  4. Port Elizabeth

Most Forgetful Days / Times:

  1. Uber riders are most forgetful on Fridays and Thursdays, and late at night.
  2. People are most forgetful at 20:00, 16:00 and 19:00.

Lost items that peak on certain days:

  • People are most likely to forget jewellery/watches/makeup on Mondays.
  • People are most likely to forget their phone Chargers on Tuesdays.
  • People are most likely to forget passports on Wednesdays.
  • People are most likely to forget their books on Thursdays.
  • People are most likely to forget phone chargers on Fridays.
  • People are most likely to forget groceries on Saturdays.
  • People are most likely to forget a cardholder on Sundays.

Now read: South African Uber drivers with coronavirus – What you need to know

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Braai stands and breast pumps – The strangest items South Africans leave in Uber cars