Why Do Uber Drivers Cancel? (7 Reasons Why)

Uber’s biggest draw is arguably in how it gives its users access to on-demand rides whenever they want them and from wherever they are.

However, when a driver calls off a trip, it could be really frustrating. So, if you’re wondering why Uber drivers cancel trips, here are some of the most likely reasons why!

Why Do Uber Drivers Cancel in [currentyear]?

Uber drivers cancel if the trip looks risky from the information they have, looks like too much work, or if they’re afraid of violating the platform’s guidelines in [currentyear]. Uber allows drivers to cancel the trip at any time without a reason, but they could get charged a cancellation fee if it’s done too late into the process.

Continue reading to find out the top reasons why Uber drivers cancel rides, including why they do it before or after meeting you, what you can do about it, and more!

1. You Took Too Long

If you take too long to get to the pickup location, the driver might decide to cancel on you, and you’re the one that will get charged.

Despite what programs you’re enrolled in, what ride option you’ve chosen, and other factors, you still have a limited timeframe within which you need to get to the pickup location.

For rideshare drivers, time is money, so many of them won’t spend too long waiting for a rider, especially after the designated wait time has elapsed.

In busy locations or high-traffic times like late afternoons on Fridays, this is more common, because drivers can usually expect to get an offer after canceling on you.

2. You Have a Low Rating

When Uber drivers receive a trip offer, they see the rider’s average rating from other drivers and, if it’s low enough, they might cancel after initially accepting.

Your Uber rider rating might be low due to the following reasons:

  1. You keep drivers waiting long
  2. You’re rude or unpleasant during rides, e.g. yelling or slamming doors
  3. You leave a mess inside the cars, e.g. littering or bringing a pet that sheds without asking
  4. You provide pick-up locations that aren’t easy to find but don’t help the driver locate you

Aside from addressing the issues above, you could improve your rating faster by tipping the drivers in cash.

3. They Don’t Think Your Trip Is Worth the Effort

When drivers get a trip request, they don’t get a lot of information, but they see the pickup location and, if it’s far, they might decide not to take it.

For example, if a driver spots you with a lot of luggage, they might cancel the ride because they don’t want to have to load it up into the car.

4. Your Pickup Location Is Unsafe

If your driver feels that your pickup location is unsafe, they might cancel the ride to avoid potentially putting themselves in danger.

This is most common at night and is usually explained by the cases of robbers and carjackers posing as people looking for rides and targeting rideshare drivers.

5. They Can’t Get to Your Location

If a driver can’t find exactly where you want to be picked up, and you haven’t given clear instructions, they might cancel the ride altogether.

Even if you use a pin for your location, the driver might struggle to find you if the area isn’t flat, e.g. an intersection with over and underpasses.

They might also have failed to find a good place to wait or park, e.g. because there’s construction.

To avoid this, set your pickup location to easily findable landmarks where drivers can wait with no issues like gas stations.

6. They Don’t Want to Give You a Ride

6. They Don't Want to Give You a Ride Uber

Since Uber allows its drivers to cancel the ride without having to provide an explanation, drivers are allowed to turn you down for personal reasons.

Some of these reasons include the following:

  1. You have a pet that isn’t a service animal – aside from possible allergies, most pets leave messes and strong smells inside cars, so drivers prefer to avoid them
  2. They believe that you’re a minor and you’re unaccompanied – Uber does not allow anyone under 18 to ride by themselves, and drivers are allowed to cancel rides if they suspect you’re not old enough
  3. You’re drunk and they don’t want to deal with you in that state
  4. There are more riders than their vehicle is intended for and they don’t want to risk it

You could address some of these issues by requesting a different ride option that’s better for the situation.

7. They Got a Better Offer

Many rideshare drivers use other apps alongside Uber and, if an offer with a better payout comes after they’ve accepted yours, they might cancel.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can protect yourself against, and the only thing you can do is request another ride.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on Uber Go, Uber One, and is Uber 24/7.


Uber drivers cancel if they decide that a trip is going to be more trouble than it’s worth. This includes reasons like long distances and rowdy or drunk riders. Uber also shows drivers your rating, and if it’s already low, then more of them are likely to cancel on you.

To reduce the chances of drivers canceling on you, you could start with improving your rating. Do this by being respectful during rides, getting to the pickup location on time, communicating extra information ahead of time, and not leaving a mess in the car.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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