Uber NZ Lost and Found Index 2023: Chainsaw, cat flap door, fish among weirdest items left in Ubers over last year

What do a jandal, cat flap door and set of false teeth have in common? They've all been left behind in an Uber over the past year. 

Mercury is currently in retrograde, which can cause people to become frazzled and forgetful - according to astrologists, anyway. But fear not, flustered friends: Uber's seventh annual Lost and Found Index shows that, no matter how crazy life gets, there's always something crazier to be found in the back of a rideshare vehicle. 

If the list is anything to go by, our memories really took a backseat this past year. One rider somehow lost a chicken, chocolates and five medals in a single trip, while others forgot their false teeth, fishing rods, and even fish. One scatterbrained passenger left a chainsaw in the back of their rideshare, while another forgot the door to their cat flap. Bizarrely, a tattoo kit was also discovered by a driver.

And despite our rep as rugby's most ardent supporters, Kiwis are seemingly quick to lose sight of their sporting merch: All Blacks scarves, a signed Warriors jersey and even a game-day ticket have been left behind over the last year.

Technology is also easily misplaced, it seems. While leaving an iPhone in the backseat isn't hard to imagine, electric scooters were, weirdly enough, the fourth most forgotten tech item for 2022, and even internet modems made the top seven. 

It all turns to custard after the stress of the weekly food shop too, it seems, with Kiwis requesting their olive oil, butter, milk, soy sauce, cake and lemons be returned.

Saturdays appear to be the most forgetful day of the week, with 4am being the peak time for misplaced items. Perhaps unsurprisingly, alcohol, vapes, cash and wallets were the most commonly forgotten items during the wee hours. 

And while New Plymouth reigned as the Most Organised region in Aotearoa, Tauranga locals were forgetting everything but the kitchen sick, earning them the title of the nation's Most Forgetful City. 

"Uber's annual Lost and Found Index is back for its seventh year, and it's more bizarre than ever. From a chainsaw to a cat flap door, Kiwis have really outdone themselves when it comes to forgetfulness this year," said Hoa Nguyen, head of rider operations at Uber ANZ. 

"The important thing to remember is that we do have a process if you suddenly realise you've left your phone, wallet, or chainsaw in the driver's car - head to the app for help and follow the prompts to retrieve your items."

Uber Lost & Found Index 2023 campaign image
Photo credit: Supplied

2023 New Zealand Uber Lost and Found Index

Top weird and wacky items 

  • Chainsaw
  • False teeth
  • Lotto tickets
  • Cricket bat
  • Chilly bin
  • Jandal
  • Fishing rod
  • Fish
  • Tattoo set
  • Cat flap door
  • A chicken, chocolate, and five medals - in a single trip.

Most forgetful regions (rate of loss in proportion to rides)

  1. Tauranga
  2. Palmerston North
  3. Dunedin
  4. Christchruch
  5. Auckland
  6. Queenstown
  7. Napier-Hastings
  8. Nelson
  9. Wellington
  10. Hamilton
  11. New Plymouth.

Peak days and times for forgetfulness

Days of the year:

  • 2 April, 2022 (Saturday)
  • 9 April, 2022
  • 1 April, 2022
  • 12 March, 2022
  • 4 March, 2022
  • 10 December, 2022
  • 24 September, 2022
  • 30 September, 2022
  • 9 July, 2022
  • 16 July, 2022.

Days of the week:

  • Saturday
  • Friday
  • Sunday.

Most common hours:

  • 4am
  • 6am
  • 9pm.

Most commonly forgotten items

  1. Clothes
  2. Phone/camera
  3. Bags
  4. Wallets
  5. Jewellery
  6. Headphones/speakers
  7. Umbrella
  8. Vapes
  9. Keys
  10. Laptop.

Most lost clothing items

  • Blazers
  • Caps/hats
  • Birkenstock
  • Jandals
  • High heels.

Most lost technology items

  • Phones
  • USBs
  • Electric scooters
  • Gaming devices (e.g. Xbox controller or Nintendo)
  • Monitor
  • Internet modem
  • Golf range finder.

Most lost medical and beauty items

  • Diabetes insulin
  • False teeth/tooth
  • Lip balm
  • Hair clip
  • Wigs.

How to retrieve lost items from an Uber

The best way to retrieve a lost item is to call the driver-partner via the app, but if you've left your phone itself in the Uber, you can login to your account on a computer. Here's what to do:

  1. Tap 'Your Trips' and select the trip where you forgot something.
  2. Scroll down and tap 'Find lost 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 instead (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.