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How To Cancel An Uber Ride And Not Get Charged

Last updated: December 7, 2021
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As you likely know, Uber is a popular rideshare company across the country, from New York to San Francisco.

The Uber service has become so renowned because it prides itself on providing the ultimate convenience and flexibility for the modern-day rider.

However, the company wishes to respect its drivers, as they help the rideshare system function in the first place.

A cancellation fee is supposed to disincentivize riders from canceling their Uber rides or booking an Uber before they are sure they need a ride.

However, there are times when Uber decides to waive a fee for riders who cancel.

Ultimately, riders can cancel Uber rides without a fee in some circumstances.

In other cases, a rider may be penalized for canceling by receiving a fee.

This article discusses the specifics of when you can cancel an Uber ride and not get charged and discusses other fee and cancellation-related concerns that you might have.

Can You Cancel an Uber Ride?

Yes. You can cancel an Uber ride whenever you need to cancel.

However, depending on the specific circumstances, there may or may not be a penalty for withdrawing your Uber ride in the form of a fee.

Uber decides whether to charge a rider a fee for cancellation depending on various factors.

These include discomfort with the driver, wait time for the driver, route the driver is taking to get there, and the window of time between when they called the Uber and when they decided to cancel it.

Uber Cancellation Window

Uber also considers what type of ride the rider booked, i.e., whether it was a shared ride, economy ride, or a premium ride.

The Uber cancellation window—or in other words, the amount of time Uber allows you to cancel without a penalty fee—depends on the type of ride.

For shared rides (i.e., UberPool), if you cancel within one minute after your driver accepts your pool request, then you will not be charged a cancellation fee.

For economy rides, you have up to two minutes after your Uber driver has accepted to cancel without a fee.

Finally, if you booked a premium ride such as an Uber Black or BlackSUV, you have five minutes to cancel your Uber before getting charged a cancellation fee.

Uber may consider how far your driver has already driven to come and get you for all of these situations.

For example, if you cancel at one minute and a half for an economy ride, but your driver is already halfway to your pickup point, Uber might still charge you a cancellation fee.

Uber Cancellation Window Exceptions

If you cancel an Uber after the allotted cancellation window time, as mentioned above, then Uber will typically charge you a cancellation fee.

However, there are two exceptions to these cancellation window rules.

One exception is if the Uber driver has made no progress towards meeting you at your pickup location.

The second exception to receiving a cancellation fee is if your driver is more than five minutes late from your scheduled or approximated pickup time.

How Do I Cancel an Uber Ride?

Uber states that you can cancel a ride for any reason.

This promise is good for both a ride you just booked or a ride you scheduled for a future date or time.

How to Cancel an Uber Ride You Just Booked – Before a Driver Match

To cancel an Uber ride you just booked before you’re matched with a driver, you have to click on the white bar at the bottom of your screen that reads “Finding your ride.”

Next, hit “Cancel.”

Finally, if you are sure you would like to continue the process, hit “Yes, Cancel” to cancel the Uber ride.

How to Cancel an Uber Ride You Just Booked – After a Driver Match

If you have already been matched with a driver, you can still cancel your Uber Ride.

To do so, select the bar at the bottom of your screen that displays the driver’s information.

Next, hit “Cancel Trip.”

Finally, if you are confident you would like to continue the process, hit “Yes, Cancel” to cancel the Uber ride.

Depending on how quickly you requested to cancel and other extenuating circumstances, you may or may not receive an Uber cancellation fee.

If Uber is charging you a fee, Uber will immediately show you the fee and ask you to accept it to complete your cancellation.

How to Cancel a Scheduled Ride

If you have scheduled a ride for a future time, you can cancel it by first tapping your profile icon, located in the top right corner of the app.

Next, select “Trips.”

Then hit the button in the upper right-hand corner and select “Upcoming” from the drop-down menu.

Find and choose the ride you wish to cancel.

Once selected, hit “Cancel Ride” to cancel the trip.

How Do I Modify a Ride?

Everybody makes mistakes, and Uber knows that you may have to change your booked or scheduled Uber ride’s location, date, or time.

How to Modify an Uber Ride You Just Booked

If you need to modify the location of a current ride you just booked, all you have to do is tap the “Edit” button next to where your pickup location is displayed on the app.

Then, you can drag the pin to a different location, as long as it is within the gray circle indicating the boundary of your pickup.

Uber does not want to make a driver go to a very different location once you have already booked your trip.

Alternatively, you can decide not to use the pin feature and simply type in a new address.

Once you hit “Confirm,” your driver will plan to pick you up at your new location.

You will not be penalized for this change with a fee.

How to Modify a Scheduled Uber Ride

To modify a scheduled Uber Ride, you will follow the same initial steps as you would if you were looking to cancel the ride, as follows:

Select your profile icon, located in the top right corner of the app.

Next, tap “Trips.”

Then hit the button in the upper right-hand corner and select “Upcoming” from the drop-down menu.

Find and choose the ride you wish to modify.

Instead of hitting “Cancel Ride,” select “Edit Time” to modify the date, time, or location of your scheduled Uber Ride.

You will not receive a fee for this modification.

Does Uber Refund if You Cancel?

In some circumstances, Uber may refund your trip even if you are the one who cancels the ride.

Uber Refund Policy

Uber does not have a clear-cut refund policy.

Instead, the company looks at the details of each request for a refund.

If they determine that a refund makes sense for your circumstance, they will send you a refund.

If not, Uber will deny your request.

What Happens if an Uber Driver Doesn’t Show Up?

If an Uber driver does not show up, Uber will see that on their tracker, and the rider will not be responsible.

Sometimes, the ride still goes through on the Uber app, even if the Uber does not show up.

That said, Uber may still charge a rider for the trip.

This situation is a typical example of a trip that the rider should not pay for.

In this case, the rider should file a dispute with Uber to request and receive the refund they deserve.

See Getting a Refund below to understand how to request and receive a refund.

What Happens if an Uber Driver Cancels the Ride?

If an Uber driver cancels a ride, the rider will not be charged for the trip.

However, they may still be charged a cancellation fee for the canceled ride.

This is another example of Uber may charge a rider unfairly.

The rider can dispute this cancellation fee charge and receive a justifiable refund in this case.

See “Getting a Refund” below to understand how to request and receive a refund.

Uber Cancellation Fees

Similar to the cancellation windows, the cancellation fees depend on how long you wait before canceling the ride and what type of ride you are canceling.

vector graphic showing two hands holding two phones. One has Uber running and the other Lyft. This demonstrates Uber vs Lyft fees and pricing

Uber Cancellation Fees for Regular Rides

Uber cancellation fees for regular rides typically start around $5 and go up to $10.

The fee is calculated as between 0.25 and 0.5 per minute and is typically higher for Uber Black cars and Black SUVs.

Uber Cancellation Fees for Scheduled Rides

If you cancel an Uber before Uber has assigned a driver to you, then you will not incur a cancellation fee.

However, if the driver has been assigned and is already heading towards your pickup point, you may incur a cancellation fee similar to a regular ride.

Disputing a No-Show Charge on Uber

As we mentioned, Uber knows that nobody is perfect all the time.

The same imperfection stands for the company itself.

Sometimes, the rider takes the trip as planned, and everything goes smoothly.

Then, Uber suddenly chargers that same rider with a no-show fee.

This circumstance is a mistake on Uber’s part, which the rider can easily dispute.

If a rider did take the ride, Uber would have documented the trip, and the rider can simply request a refund for the no-show charge.

Read below to understand how to request and receive a refund by submitting a dispute.

Getting a Refund

vector graphic displaying money going from phone to wallet to illustrate uber refund process

There are several aspects of the ride-sharing process that can go wrong.

Your driver can show up late or not show up at all.

Your driver can make you feel uncomfortable enough for you to decide to cancel your ride.

Additionally, your driver might cancel on you for an undisclosed reason, leaving you with a cancellation fee.

Or you may have a fine time on your trip, and Uber might accidentally charge you with a no-show fee.

All of these reasons are justifiable reasons to request a refund from Uber.

How to Request an Uber Refund

Although multiple steps are involved, Uber makes it relatively easy to request a refund.

You can do it either through the mobile app or online.

On the Mobile App

You’ll first open the Uber app on your mobile phone and log in to your Uber account.

Next, tap on the three lines in the upper right-hand corner and select “Trips.”

Then, tap “Past” to access your previous trips.

Find and select the trip you would like a refund for, then choose “I want a refund.”

Next, you will have the opportunity to select the concern that most applies to why you want to request a refund.

If none of them apply, choose “Other.”

After reading the policy for the issue you chose, enter more information regarding your problem in the form provided.

Finally, submit your request for a refund.

On Uber’s Website

On Uber’s website, you’re able to request a refund by first logging into your Uber account.

Then, go to the “Help” page.

Next, find and select the “Issues and Refunds” section.

The following stages are similar to the mobile app disputes: You will find and select the trip you want a refund for and select the concern that resembles your own.

Then, tap “Review my far or fee” and complete the form request.

Finally, you can submit your request for a refund.

How Long Does Uber Take to Refund Cancelled Rides?

Depending on your bank, Uber’s refunds may take up to five business days to return to your original payment method.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are two frequently asked questions that we have not yet addressed in this article.

screen showing all the different uber ride services available on the app

How Do I Know if My Scheduled Uber Ride Is Coming?

When your scheduled Uber ride is coming, you will know when Uber sends you a notification.

Uber updates you about your ride as long as you have your Uber notifications turned on and the ride is soon approaching.

If you would like to make sure that your ride is still scheduled, well in advance of the ride time, you can log on to your account, tap the dots in the upper right corner, and select “Your Trips.”

Can Uber Charge You for Throwing Up?

Yes. Uber wants to protect its drivers, and that includes protecting their cars.

If you vomit inside the car, your driver can request a cleaning fee so that the money spent on cleaning up your vomit doesn’t come from their own pockets.

For a bit of vomit, the fee will be around $40.

For major throw-ups, you could be looking at an $80 cost.

And if the mess is so great that the air vents and inside of the doors need to be cleaned, you might have to fork over $150.

Wrapping Up

Now you know how to cancel an Uber ride and not get charged.

Make sure that the next time you want to book an Uber, you are sure about the location and time you want your Uber driver to receive.

If you still need to cancel after requesting a ride, make sure to do so within one, two, or five minutes of your driver accepting the ride if you booked a pool, regular, or premium ride, respectively.

Finally, if something happens to go wrong or you are uncomfortable with your ride for any reason, feel free to cancel the ride and simply request a refund for the ride at a later time.

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