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How To Cancel Lyft Rides And Not Get Charged

Last updated: December 13, 2021
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vector graphic showing a hand holding a phone about to cancel lyft rides on the screen

Lyft, like other rideshare apps, is about making ridesharing and transportation easier.

Rather than dealing with bus schedules or carpools, you can request a ride and get where you need to go as fast as a driver can take you.

However, travel plans can change.

When this happens, you might have to cancel or adjust a ride.

Let’s take a look at how to do this without being charged any excessive fees.

Can You Cancel Lyft Rides?

The good news is that Lyft allows you to cancel rides from their app.

You can cancel a ride at almost any time, even minutes before the driver shows up.

The great thing about Lyft is how easy it makes getting around town.

With their app, you can connect a payment option and start setting up transportation in just a few minutes with a ride request.

But, things don’t always go to plan.

You might decide that walking is faster thanks to a long wait time.

Or, if you scheduled a ride in the Lyft app that you no longer need, that can cause problems.

However, not all cancellations are the same.

Lyft Cancellation Window

Lyft charges a cancellation fee, depending on when you cancel the ride.

As long as you cancel your ride before this window ends, you will not be charged a cancellation fee for the service.

For scheduled rides, the cancellation window is up to five minutes before the driver arrives for the pickup.

As long as you cancel your scheduled ride five minutes before the estimated pickup time, you’ll be okay.

For unscheduled rides, the window changes.

Because of how Lyft works, nearby drivers elect into pickups.

So, when you place your ride request, a Lyft driver commits to the job and then drives over to you.

Because the driver will take some time to drive out to you, Lyft requires that you cancel the ride before the driver gets too close.

If you cancel the ride when the driver accepts the job, you’ll be charged a cancellation fee for inconveniencing the driver.

This window is typically two minutes after requesting the shared ride.

How Do I Cancel a Lyft Ride?

If you need to cancel a Lyft ride that you requested, there are two ways to go about doing so.

One avenue will be for ride requests placed immediately, while the other method is for rides that you scheduled ahead of time.

vector graphic showing a hand holding a phone about to cancel lyft rides on the screen

How to Cancel a Lyft Ride You Just Booked

To cancel a Lyft ride you just booked, you’ll need to go to your Lyft app.

Look on the bottom left corner of your screen to see the “Edit Ride” option.

If you tap on that menu, you’ll open a small list of options for editing the ride.

One of the options should be “Cancel Ride.”

If you select that option, wait for the prompt to confirm your cancellation before the change goes through.

As long as you cancel the ride quickly, you won’t be charged a cancellation fee by the app.

How to Cancel a Scheduled Ride

Unlike newly booked rides, scheduled rides are in a different place in the app.

To cancel a scheduled ride, you should navigate to the calendar in the top-right part of your screen in the Lyft app.

Tapping this icon will bring up your scheduled ride.

One of the options you’ll see for the ride is “Cancel Ride.”

By choosing that, the app will ask you to confirm the ride cancellation before it goes through.

You won’t pay a fee as long as you cancel this request before the end of the cancellation window.

How Do I Modify a Ride?

If you need to modify your ride instead of canceling it outright, Lyft has tools you can use to do that.

You can adjust the settings for rides you just booked and rides you book ahead of time.

vector graphic showing hand holding phone and user in the process of schedule lyft rides

How to Modify a Lyft Ride You Just Booked

Much like with canceling a ride, you’ll need to navigate to the bottom-left part of your app to find the “Edit Ride” option.

Once you pull up that menu, you can review the options you selected for the ride and make changes there.

For example, you can change your drop-off location by dragging the pin on the map to a different location and approving the new pricing information.

You can also change your rideshare service, assuming that a driver isn’t already on the way.

How to Modify a Scheduled Lyft Ride

To modify a scheduled ride, you’ll have to go into the calendar inside the Lyft app.

This calendar will show you the pre-booked rideshare services you have lined up.

Choose one of the scheduled rides and select the “Edit Ride” option.

From here, you’ll be able to make edits to the ride just like you would a ride you book in real-time.

Dragging the drop-off location pin will adjust the destination and the price for the ride.

You can also change the rideshare service and date if needed.

Does Lyft Refund if You Cancel?

As long as you cancel your ride within the cancellation window, you won’t be charged a cancellation fee on Lyft.

However, other circumstances might cause the cancellation of your ride.

Let’s take a look at Lyft’s refund policy and some of these circumstances to see how the rider is protected.

Lyft Refund Policy

Lyft has a strict no-refund policy if a charge or fee goes through.

Because experiences can vary wildly on the Lyft app, this can cause some headaches for riders that have a poor experience or don’t receive the service they requested.

Read More: Lyft refund policy and methods

What Happens if a Lyft Driver Doesn’t Show Up?

If your driver never shows up, you won’t there won’t be a fee, and you won’t have to pay for the ride you never took.

The transaction for the rideshare does not clear until you reach your destination and your driver checks in at the drop-off spot.

However, be careful to watch your app if the driver doesn’t show up.

Sometimes, a person can claim to be the one who ordered a ride but actually didn’t.

In this case, you’ll need to contact customer service and explain the situation to them about this unauthorized ride.

What Happens if a Lyft Driver Cancels the Ride?

While not commonly done, drivers can cancel Lyft rides on their end.

Drivers can have many different reasons for doing so, such as taking a more profitable ride or having an unresponsive customer.

If a driver cancels the ride on their end, Lyft does not charge the rider for the ride.

Instead, the rider will have to book a new ride to get to where they need to go.

Lyft Cancellation Fees

If you don’t cancel Lyft rides ahead of time, you will suffer a cancellation fee.

These fees are there to discourage people from canceling too close to the start of the rideshare.

However, the fees differ depending on when you book the ride.

Lyft Cancellation Fees for Regular Rides

If you book a ride on Lyft, the cancellation fee will depend on what kind of rideshare service you select.

Here’s how those fees break down:

  • Regular Lyft ride: $5
  • Specialty rides like Lyft Lux and Lyft Black:$10

In other words, specialty rides will cost more to cancel than regular rideshare on Lyft.

These fees cost more due to the scarcity of drivers with cars that match these services.

As always, make sure that you give the Lyft and the driver adequate time to adjust when you cancel your drives.

You can save money for yourself and headaches for the driver by doing so.

Lyft Cancellation Fees for Scheduled Rides

For scheduled rides, the cancellation is a static $10, regardless of what kind of rideshare service you book ahead of time.

The reasons for this fee come down to the time and administration work that goes into this preplanning.

The app and the workers behind it have to work to ensure that you have a driver when you need them ahead of time.

By canceling suddenly, you ruin that schedule and affect more people than just yourself.

Lyft has the cancellation window for a reason, so try to take advantage of that window while it’s there!

Disputing a No-Show Charge on Lyft

Unfortunately, there are hiccups sometimes with the Lyft app.

Users will occasionally report receiving a no-show charge on their accounts despite accepting and taking a ride from their Lyft driver.

If you receive one of these charges despite taking the ride, you can dispute the charge with Lyft to try and recover some of the money.

To do this, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  • Go into the app and tap the Menu icon
  • Choose Ride History
  • Select the ride with the faulty fee
  • Select the Get Help option
  • Choose the issue and the Dispute Fare or Charge option in the menu.

Lyft also requires an explanation of the dispute alongside the claim.

From here, you’ll work with Lyft to get to the bottom of what happened and have the issue fixed, if possible.

Getting a Refund

Once you have a dispute in place, getting the refund applied to your Lyft account will take some time.

Here are some things to keep in mind about Lyft refunds:

How Long Does Lyft Take to Refund Cancelled Rides?

The amount of time Lyft takes to refund cancelled rides depends on the time and manner of the cancellation.

Typically, Lyft doesn’t charge for a ride until the ride is completed and submitted as complete by the driver.

However, if you receive false charges for a ride you didn’t take, it will take some time to show Lyft that you didn’t go on that ride.

It can take days, or a week or longer, to work out all the details and have the credit applied to your Lyft account.

How to Request a Refund

To request a refund in Lyft, you’ll have to go into the “Ride History” menu and dispute the charge inside the Lyft app.

You can find your ride history in the menu on the app’s homepage.

Once in your ride history, you’ll want to select the ride with the faulty charge.

By choosing that ride and selecting the “Get Help” option, you can dispute the amount or fare for the ride.

Once done, you’ll start working with Lyft’s customer service to see about getting a refund for the faulty charge.

Be warned that you usually won’t receive a refund on the payment option but rather ride credits or discounts for future rides.

Also, expect to put up a fight with customer service.

Lyft tends to favor their drivers in disputes, meaning that you have to have a compelling case for Lyft to do anything drastic to fix your circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Because canceling Lyft rides can be confusing, here are the answers to some questions that come up often about the service:

How do I know if my scheduled Lyft ride is coming?

While scheduled rides are not guaranteed, they are more likely to get filled than a normal ride.

If you want to check on the status of your scheduled ride, you can review it in the Lyft app.

By going to the calendar in the Lyft app and selecting the ride, you can review its status.

Many Lyft drivers will also call or text their riders when they are on the way to the pickup location.

Can Lyft charge you for throwing up?

If you vomit in a Lyft ride, you are likely to receive a damages fee from the driver.

A damages fee covers the cost of any cleanup or work needed on the car done by the rider.

Damage fees can be expensive, so if you are prone to motion sickness or not feeling well, it might not be a good idea to order a rideshare.

Wrapping Up

While Lyft does not have a customer-friendly refund policy, they try to offer a cancellation window to customers to cancel rides before inconveniencing the driver.

You incur a cancellation fee by canceling a ride outside of this window.

You can dispute fees inside the Lyft app. Just remember that Lyft tends to favor itself and its drivers in these disputes.

In general, it is best to cancel your rides inside the cancellation window to save yourself and your potential drivers a headache.

View All Comments (1) Add A Comment

  1. Janet ellis Says:

    2 things, one late nights I have to catch a train home before the last train. Almost every night 2 to 3 Lyft drivers cancel which makes me late. One she went out of the way to avoid picking me up which forced me to cancel.
    The other is the routing for my location to catch the train on their maps which has drivers taking a long route the map thinks is going right but misses my location and the driver gets lost.

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