Uber Cancellation Fees – How & Why Uber Charges These Fees

Uber cancellation fees are probably something you’re aware of, but don’t know too much about – until you’re a few minutes late hitting that “cancel” button and all of a sudden have been charged $10! It eventually happens to everyone, and fees aren’t uniform across the board.

In this article, RSG contributor Tyler Philbrook breaks down what you need to know about Uber passenger cancellation fees and how to avoid them below.

Uber Cancellation Fees

You’ve had a great time with friends all night and now it’s time to go home.

You pull your phone out and request an Uber to take you home. Just then, another friend offers to take you home in their Uber, which just arrived.

Now you need to cancel your Uber, but will you be charged? If so, how much? And how long do you have to cancel a ride and not be charged?

Why and When Are Passengers Charged Cancellation Fees?

Why do you have to be charged a cancelation fee at all?

Honestly, Uber is in the business of making money, and a lot goes into getting you each ride, in addition to the driver who’s probably headed your way. It makes sense to pay a cancellation fee, especially for the driver’s sake!

Here are some of the things that go into it. First, the algorithm looks up the closest driver per your request and sends them the request. Once they have accepted the request, they start heading your way.

Some drivers have been waiting for a ride for some time, some have just finished dropping another passenger off. Regardless, they are now on the way to pick you up and spending time and gas to get to you.

When you cancel, they have now wasted that time and gas. If you’re able to cancel in a certain amount of time, you won’t be charged at all. However, wait too long, and you will be charged a cancellation fee.

You don’t need to wonder if you’ve passed this point or not. When you cancel, the app will tell you if you will be charged a cancellation fee or not.

Breakdown of Different Cancellation Fees

Each type of ride you request has different time frames on how long it takes before an Uber cancellation fee will be charged.

Not only is there a fee if you cancel, but you could possibly get charged a fee if the driver arrives and has to wait too long for you to get to the car. Again, this is due to the fact that now that driver has come all the way to you, and now waits, instead of being out on the road with a paying passenger.

Here is a breakdown of each service and how long until you are charged a cancellation fee.

Shared Rides: If you cancel more than 1 minute after your POOL request has been accepted OR if your driver cancels after waiting at least 2 minutes at your pickup location.

Economy Rides: If you cancel more than 2 minutes after your UberX request has been accepted OR if your driver cancels after waiting at least 5 minutes at your pickup location (10 minutes for Comfort rides).

Premium Rides: If you cancel more than 5 minutes after your Black or BlackSUV request has been accepted OR if your driver cancels after waiting at least 15 minutes at your pickup location.

How much passengers are charged for an Uber cancellation fee varies and is partially based on how far your driver has already driven.

You can find out approximately how much you will be paid, as a driver, for a cancellation fee in your driver Fares section. Here’s an example of what drivers in Phoenix could approximately expect to make for canceled UberX rides (see: Cancellations).

In this example, a rider would be charged $5.20 for a no-show fee, but otherwise the total cancellation fee would depend on how far the driver drove on their way to the passenger before receiving a cancellation ping.

How Can Passengers Cancel Rides?

Let’s say you’re a passenger who understands you’ll be charged a cancellation fee, but there’s no way around it. How do passengers cancel Uber rides?

Depending on if you have matched with a driver or not, there is a different way to do so.

How To Cancel Before You’re Matched With A Driver

1. Tap the white bar at the bottom of your screen that says “Finding your ride”

2. Tap “Cancel”

3. Tap “NO” to keep your ride, or “YES, CANCEL” to cancel

How To Cancel After You’re Matched With A Driver

1. Tap the bar at the bottom of your screen showing your driver’s information

2. Tap “Cancel Trip”

3. Tap “NO” to keep the ride, or “YES, CANCEL” to cancel and accept the fee

Is There a Way to Avoid Uber Cancellation Fees as a Passenger?

The first thing you can do to avoid being charged a cancellation fee is to be absolutely certain you are ready for your ride when you make the request.

Obviously, that’s not always the case, like when you or a friend changes their mind at the last second about who’s driving or which Uber you’re taking.

Second, if something does come up and you need to cancel, do it as quickly as possible. As mentioned above, time is one of the largest factors to being charged, so if you cancel your ride in enough time, you won’t be charged.

Finally, if there is something that truly happened or even a bad feeling with a driver, they aren’t wearing a mask, or whatever the case may be, let Uber or Lyft know and likely you won’t be charged for the cancelation.

If you feel something has gone wrong with your cancellation fee, you can request Uber review your cancellation fee.

What Drivers Should Know About Cancellation Fees

Until the passenger actually cancels the ride, there’s not a whole lot drivers need to know. When you receive a ping, start heading towards the arrival as soon as possible.

If a passenger cancels while you’re on your way, you’ll be notified. At that point, you can head in another direction or you’ll quickly receive another ping.

If you’ve arrived at a rider’s pickup location and they’re not there, you will see a countdown timer at the bottom of your app. If the timer hits zero and the rider is still not there, you’ll be eligible for a cancellation fee.

Unfortunately, we’ve all been hit with canceling passengers and no cancellation fees. I’ve had a cancelation in the past that I didn’t get paid for because according to the app and the customer I never started heading to them.

Though technically true, it was because I had got stuck in traffic and no one was going anywhere for a long time. So, though not my fault, I didn’t get my fee and the passenger didn’t get charged.

As usual, drivers who have issues getting paid have less recourse than passengers. While passengers can request Uber review their cancellation fee, drivers have to go through their app or a cancellation form here and explain their case.


The biggest takeaway for riders is: be absolutely sure you want to request an Uber ride before doing so! In most cases, unless you’re really fast (because you made a mistake and recognized it immediately), you’ll be charged an Uber cancellation fee if you cancel.

Yes, it can definitely be frustrating when you’re ready to go, only to request a ride and realize the next closest driver is 30 minutes away. It’s happened to me, and it sucks!

One way to get around this is to occasionally check your Uber app and see what the driver situation is like. If it looks like there are plenty of drivers on the road, no need to call for a driver “just in case” – you have time!

For drivers, know that you are entitled to a cancellation fee as long as you’re on your way to a passenger. In most cases, passengers don’t have a lot of time to cancel, so you should be able to receive something for the time and gas you’ve spent on the road.

Drivers, what’s your experience with cancellation fees? How many do you receive per week?

-Tyler @ RSG