The message no cars available means that there are no Uber services available to you for the ride service you’re requesting in the location you need the service. There are a number of reasons this can happen.
This article takes a look at the Uber app message no cars available: what it means, why it occurs, and what you can do when it happens to you.
Why Does My Uber App Say, “No Cars Available?”
Uber drivers are independent contractors rather than full-time employees, and they choose their own work schedule. This means availability of rides is influenced not only by demand, but also by the number of drivers willing to work each ‘shift’.
For example, if you’re in a region that doesn’t have much of a nightlife and a general low demand for cabs, Uber drivers may choose not to drive certain portions of the day.
This situation also applies to city outskirts, small rural towns, and any smaller town close to a city, and areas with poor or difficult roadways.
Another recent pressure on Uber availability was the Corona Virus distancing requirements, the policy for which was published on the Uber website:
To allow for more distance between riders and drivers, passengers are no longer allowed to sit in the front seat when riding with Uber. This means every ride requested with Uber will have one less passenger seat available.
Other reported reasons for the ‘no cars available’ notification include:
- The Uber app is down
- An Uber app error
- A general shortage of Uber drivers
- A very temporary shortage of Uber drivers
- Bad weather leads to drivers shortening schedules temporarily
- Cab services have a ‘no ride’ list which flags passengers who are no longer welcome to use the service. With Uber, there is a rating system which flags consistent bad behavior. If you’ve been flagged, the application will keep showing you ‘No Cars Available’ regardless of how many there actually are.
- If you’ve given drivers bad ratings in the past, Uber will avoid matching you with those same drivers. It’s important to not rate yourself out of being able to use the service altogether.
What Can You Do If Your Uber App Tells You There’s No Rides Available?
Regular Uber users have put together a collection of possible solutions to this problem. These range from checking your app to opting for another rider service.
- Check that your network is operating
- Fix your app – update via Apple App Store or Google Play Store and make the request again
- Keep requesting the ride anyway – in some regions, a driver will be prompted by an incentive to take your response and drive a little further to pick you up
- Wait a little longer before trying again
- Change your type of ride service – the ride service you’re requesting may be ‘full’ or not available at all in the region you are using the app
- Change your pickup destination or route to get to your destination
- Choosing a different Uber vehicle
What Are The Uber Ride Services?
Uber offers different types of ride services, and this is why it’s possible to get a ride via a different service to the one showing you ‘no rides available’. It’s also important to know that not all ride services are available in all regions anyway.
Uber ride services include:
Uber Select – entry level luxury for up to 4 people
Uber Green – sustainable electric vehicles (which cost a little more)
Uber Reserve – book your ride in advance
UberX – 4 passengers
UberX Saver – wait a little longer and pay a cheaper fare
UberX Share – a shared ride with another Uber user
UberXL – for up to groups of 6
Uber Comfort – newer cars with extra legroom 4 passengers
Uber Premier – premium ride in luxury cars
Uber Black SUV – Premium luxury rides for 6
Uber WEV – ride assistance for seniors and people with disabilities
Uber pet – a pet-friendly driver for only a few dollars more than an UberX.
Note that Uber drivers have to opt in to Uber Pet and are not required to take pets in their vehicles unless the animal is a designated service animal.
Why Did Uber Charge Me When There’s ‘No Services Available?’
Uber charges appearing in your account which you don’t recognize for a service you didn’t take should be taken seriously and investigated. Uber have some online information resources for users to submit and resolve charges they didn’t incur.
Uber offer the following suggestions:
Uber may have charged you for a temporary authorization hold, which they positions after you request a ride at an upfront regular fare price. Once a trip is competed, Uber voids the temporary authorization hold, but this charge may take up to five days for to be removed from your credit card or bank statement.
- A family member or friends may have used your account to take a ride and forgotten to let you know.
- It’s possible for another rider to have accidently taken your requested Uber ride, especially in busy and congested inner city areas. To avoid this confusion, use the Verify Your Ride feature so that you know you’re getting into the right car with the right driver.
- You may be looking at Uber fees, which include cancellation fees and cleaning fees,
- You signed up for Uber Ride Pass or Uber Eats Pass
- You have received a charge from uber Cash. Uber Cash is a digital balance and in-app wallet that you can refill at any time and you can use that Uber Cash balance to order rides or food.
If you’re sure that you’ve been charged for a ride you didn’t took (or you were overcharged) contact Uber customer service to dispute the charge via the company website or the mobile app. If it is clear that you were wrongly charged, you will receive a refund.
‘No cars available’ is the last notification you want to see before (or during) a night out.
However, there are legitimate reasons for these delays, and there are also a few solutions worth trying to get yourself a ride.
The Uber Help web page is also useful, and you’ll find a number of resolution processes for common issues there.