Uber Lost and Found Index 2022: The weirdest items Kiwis have left in rideshares

Display of random items behind a phone with the Uber app in use
Releasing its annual Lost and Found Index earlier this month, the rideshare giant said Kiwis have been "more forgetful than ever" this year. Photo credit: Uber

Look, we've all been there: staggering into an Uber, Ola or Didi for the short pre's-to-party ride before performing the customary pocket pat-down and realising you're sans phone or wallet. 

According to Uber, Kiwis are a forgetful bunch. Releasing its annual Lost and Found Index earlier this month, the rideshare giant said Kiwis have been "more forgetful than ever" this year, leaving a wide range of possessions - from smartphones to "sentimental" straws - in the back of their cab.

"With travel back in full swing, and with Mercury in retrograde influencing forgetfulness, we're back with Uber's annual Lost & Found Index," Margarita Peker, head of rider at Uber ANZ, said in a statement. 

"From a prosthetic eye and a sewing machine to a sentimental metal straw and a leaf blower, Aussies and Kiwis have been more forgetful than ever this year. As we continue encouraging the country to get going again, we look forward to helping return these lost items - no matter how bizarre they may be."

As per Uber's data, New Year's Eve takes the cake as "the most forgetful day" on record, with exuberant party-goers too excited - or inebriated - to pay much attention to their valuables. 

As one might expect, phones were most commonly left behind over the past year, followed by wallets, keys, backpacks/bags/luggage/folders and eyeglasses. Bizarrely, one poor customer failed to keep an eye on their, um, prosthetic eye, which was crowned the "most unique" item to be left behind, while another Kiwi was gutted to discover they had disregarded their "sentimental" metal straw, which was later located in the Uber. 

Among the other "unique" items to be left behind were organic heirloom tomatoes - oddly specific - a trophy and a family member. For God's sake, who left their child in the back of a cab?

Check out the full list below – and most importantly, instructions for how you can retrieve your lost items.

The top five items that are were most commonly left behind during a trip over the past year:

  • Phone/camera
  • Wallet/purse
  • Keys
  • Backpack / bag / folders / box / luggage
  • Glasses.

The 5 most 'unique' lost items:

  • A prosthetic eye
  • Organic heirloom tomatoes 
  • A trophy
  • A sentimental metal straw
  • A family member.

How to retrieve lost items:

Look no further than this video, which outlines the simple steps you can take the next time you leave something behind during your ride. 

The best way to retrieve a lost item is to call your driver - of course, this is a bit hard if you're left your phone in the car. However, you can log into your account on a computer. Here's what to do:

  • Tap "Your Trips" and select the trip where you left something
  • Scroll down and tap "Find lost item"
  • Tap "Contact driver about a lost item"
  • Scroll down and enter the phone number you would like to be contacted at. Tap submit.
  • If you lost your personal phone, enter a friend's phone number instead (you can do this by logging into your account on a computer, or using a friend's phone).
  • Your phone will ring and connect you directly with your driver's mobile number.
  • 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.
  • If your driver doesn't pick up, leave a detailed voicemail describing your item and the best way to contact you.
  • If you're unable to find a convenient time to meet the driver, perhaps consider using Uber Package to retrieve the item. You can learn more about this here.
Uber and UberEats apps on a phone screen
Kiwis have forgotten everything - from folders to family members - in the backseat of their Uber. Photo credit: Getty Images

For a few more giggles, here's the annual Lost and Found Index for the US - if you rummage through the lost property box, you can find a Bernie Sanders-themed fanny pack, a pet tortoise, and an urn containing ashes.

The 2022 Uber Lost & Found Index US

The 10 most commonly forgotten items:

  • Phone / camera
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Backpack / purse
  • Headphones / speaker
  • Glasses
  • Clothing
  • Vape
  • Jewellery 
  • ID.

The 50 most 'unique' lost items:

  • Tater tots
  • A fingernail on the seat
  • "It's Boba Time" apron 
  • Foldable unicorn kid chair 
  • 500 grams of caviar 
  • Grandma's teeth
  • A Buddha locket
  • Cat litter and a reptile heating bulb 
  • "Life is tough but so are you" blanket 
  • A grass cutter and tree trimmer
  • Supreme underwear
  • Pizza costume
  • A "sh*tty" painting of a moose
  • Unicorn band-aid box
  • Pie 
  • A Billie Eilish ukulele
  • Six pool drains and an Employee of the Month plaque 
  • Breathalyser
  • 40 chicken nuggets 
  • Bernie Sanders fanny pack
  • Harmonica 
  • A crochet strawberry made by a girlfriend
  • Toy airplane
  • Star Wars Yoda headband and Darth Vader helmet
  • Part of a soft-serve ice cream machine
  • Metal leg
  • Painting of Kung Fu Panda and pink air pump shaped like a pig
  • A piece of a broom  
  • Antique walking cane with a sword
  • 17 flowers and three milk teas
  • Urn with pet ashes and urn of a family member
  • Tube for chugging drinks - "very expensive"
  • Two pairs of snorkelling goggles and a passport from China
  • A power washing machine and a wooden carved fish 
  • Dream catcher and a deck of tarot cards
  • Diamond grill 
  • Loose pear-shaped diamond - US$1000 reward if found
  • A bucket of slime
  • Small rhino sculpture 
  • A wig and a cloth
  • Brown tortoise 
  • A single blonde strand of hair
  • Spray tan machine 
  • Paw Patrol blanket
  • Breast pump and a white cowboy hat
  • 10lbs of hamburger meat
  • Burger and banana fridge magnets
  • A dart that says "unleash the beast"
  • Ball gag and stethoscope
  • A windmill.

2022 Lost and Found trends:

  • Forgetful fans: More than 50 jerseys from the Rangers, Warriors, Giants, Eagles, LA Dodgers and more were left behind by fans. 
  • Keys: Toyota keys are the most frequently left behind, followed by Honda, BMW and Jeep.
  • Timing is everything: 5pm is the most forgetful time of day (for US customers).
  • Beloved brands: Nike seems to be forgotten most, followed by Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Samsung and Apple products.
  • CPAP machines: Over the last year, more than 40 riders reported leaving behind their CPAP machines.
  • Sweet teeth: More than 30 riders reported leaving behind their retainers; more than 20 forgot their gold or diamond-encrusted grills; and five folks left their dentures in the backseat.
  • Musical instruments: Flutes, drums, trombones, ukuleles, DJ equipment and more were all left behind this past year.