What to Do When ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber?

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While the modern way of obtaining a ride is quite the blessing 99% of the time, it can get pretty annoying when you are entirely dependent on Uber for a ride, but you find yourself unable to book a cab for a long period because the app says there are no rides available near you. This is not an uncommon dilemma, and it happens to most of us at some point.

The frustrating part is that it usually happens when we do not have any standby and are in a hurry. And as expected, you do not face this problem when you are in a busy locality where alternate transportation is readily available. If you are trying to book a cab late at night, for any reason, this is an expected possibility, especially if you are not in a very happening area with thriving nightlife or living near an airport.

This often leaves us in a frenzy of what to do next because it seems almost impossible to book a cab no matter how many times you refresh the app. but don’t worry about it. There are many different ways to go about finding a cab, even when it seems impossible to do so. And in this post, you will receive some useful tips on how to get a cab when none are shown to be available in your location.

Step One: Identify the Problem

There may be many reasons why your application is unable to find you a cab and is stating that there are no cabs available, and here are the most common issues:

Remote Location: The most obvious reason as to why there are no cabs available is because you are most probably in a region that is not very accessible or alive at certain times of the day. If you reside in or happen to be in a remote location, it can often get very difficult to find a cab due to the general lack of accessibility and low demand for cabs in the area.

Network Issues: If you are in an area where your app is not able to refresh itself and identify new cabs around you due to a poor network, you might happen to receive this message. In this case, try fixing the network issue by checking your phone settings and switching it off and back on to get proper internet. Check your Wi-Fi settings if you are at home.

App not up-to-date: If you are certain that you are in an area where cabs are generally available, and it is still an active time of the day locally, you might want to consider deleting the app and downloading it again or just updating it to the latest version.

Social and Miscellaneous Reasons: While these are not very common, look for any possible event or incident in the general area that might have caused cabs to be suddenly unavailable- a workers’ protest, a low scale natural calamity, or any unprecedented event preventing vehicles from travelling to your location. Ensure that this is not the case by checking online or asking someone.

Step Two: Fixing the Problem

If there is any other problem that is mentioned above, besides the problem with the location or the timing being a bit off, it is resolvable easily, as mentioned above. And for the issue of being stuck in a relatively remote location, you can easily resolve it by applying the following methods:

Schedule the ride for later

If you have time to book a cab for later and rearrange your travel plans such that they can be postponed by an hour or more, it is worth giving this option a try. In the Uber App, just choose to schedule a ride for a different time, half an hour or later than that. Once you do that, you just need to wait and depend on if the situation was temporary; you will be able to fix that easily by rescheduling your ride and just waiting it out.

Change the type of ride

Yes, we all prefer Uber for the economical prices and easy availability, among other factors, but sometimes you might have to opt for the premium options in case you are finding it almost impossible to get a cab that is within your usual budget. The best idea is to weigh your options over here and sort out your priorities- is getting to your destination urgent, or can you wait it out? If you can wait it out, this is your best option. Otherwise, if you need to get somewhere quickly, check out options for premium rides, and you might just find a cab home or elsewhere.

Changing the location

Now, this can get tricky depending on where you are exactly and what time of the day it is. And this is a comparatively more expensive option when it comes to walking a bit and figuring it out. For this, you need your driver to be understanding and supportive as well.

Open your Google Maps and look for the closest possible location that is busy and happening. Make sure that this is an area that is regularly frequented by cabs and that you will be able to easily find a cab over here. Alternatively, you can just zoom out on the Uber app and find a location that happens to be an easily identifiable landmark.

Once you have identified such a location (remember that it is best if it is the nearest), drop the pin on this new location or manually type in the name of the new location and set this as your new Pickup Point. Make sure that you have spelt it right and you know exactly where it is. To ensure cost efficiency, make sure that it is the closest location possible as well.

Thanks to Uber’s multiple drop options, you will be able to set your current location- wherever you are at that point- as the first drop point. After this, add the final destination that is your original drop off point as the final drop point. This way, you will be ensuring that you get to your destination provided you are clear about what you want and communicate it well to your driver.

So the first thing that you need to do after booking a cab to the location that you selected previously is to call the driver and let them know that your first drop point is your pick up point. Once you communicate this to them, agree with them when they say that it will cost you more and acknowledge their trouble and thank them for understanding. If all works well, you have got yourself a ride in the shortest possible amount of time!

Make sure that you select a location roughly 20 minutes away from your current location because of the following reasons:

  • If the first drop point is not sufficiently far away from the cab’s general area, the driver might be reluctant to accept the ride request as they might not get paid well enough for the ride.
  • The chances are that rides are pretty scarce around you at a general 3-5 km radius, and hence this broadens the chances of you finding a cab.

Other Alternatives

Ah, well. Uber is not the only cab provider out there. Try Lyft or any other popular and trusted cab service in your area and see if you find yourself a cab. The prices may vary, and since the same cabs may associate themselves with different services, you might not find one easily, but it is worth a try. Then, there are always the more reliable methods of calling a taxi (either look up a number for a taxi service or look online) or find a bus to take you to your location. You can always just call a friend and get a ride if it comes to it.


Do not panic if no cars are available. Pandemic aside, it helps to remember that we live in 2021, and it will be super easy to find transportation with the help of technology or otherwise. Just ensure that you try out all the above-listed methods and see if they are of help to you.

Read More

  1. How to change the phone number in the Uber app when arriving in a country?
  2. How to book early morning rides with Uber or Lyft?
Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.


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