Did you know that you can schedule an Uber up to 30 days in advance?
It’s a feature called Uber Reserve that comes in handy if you want to plan ahead for a ride.
Reservations give you an upfront price, match you with a driver before your pickup time, and give you more wait time than other Uber rides.
Read on to learn how scheduled rides work, how much they cost, and what you can do to make sure that your scheduled ride actually arrives.
How to schedule an Uber ride
On the home screen of the Uber app, tap the clock icon in the “Where to?” search bar. Then, select a time for your reservation from the dropdown menu and input your pickup & drop-off locations.
Next, the app will ask you to select a ride type and confirm your reservation. Finally, you’ll see a confirmation screen, and the ride will appear in your profile’s upcoming trips.
Drivers can see and accept your reservation in advance. You will get a notification when you are matched with a driver.
If you aren’t matched with a driver in advance, you will still be matched with a driver around 20 minutes before your reservation.
How to manage or cancel a reserved ride
To update or cancel your reserved ride:
From the home screen: Tap Account > Tap Trips > Tap the button in the upper corner and select Upcoming > Find your scheduled ride.
You can’t edit your ride after making the reservation. So if you made a mistake, you must cancel the ride and start over.
There is no cancellation fee if you cancel more than 60 minutes before the reserved time, so there’s no penalty for adjusting your ride when your plans change.
How much do reserved rides cost?
You will see an upfront price estimate when you place your reservation.
The system prices your ride by using market data to predict the appropriate cost on the day and time that you schedule.
Is your scheduled ride more expensive than the same ride would be at another time? That’s because Uber is predicting higher volume at your scheduled time.
The upfront price also includes a ‘reservation fee,’ a variable charge that riders pay to compensate drivers for the additional wait time with reservations.
Because of the reservation fee and other variations in the upfront pricing model, a reserved ride might cost more than a regular Uber ride that you request on demand.
Your upfront price may change if your trip is much longer than expected or if you change the destination.
Typically the upfront price will stay the same as long as the ride isn’t significantly longer than the initial estimate.
The old scheduling system (still active in some markets)
In the past, Uber had a scheduling feature that only sent out an automated request a few minutes before your scheduled time. Uber did not match you with a driver as soon as you organized the ride.
This scheduling system is still active in some markets. You’ll know if you’re using the older system if there’s no information about upfront driver matching.
Under the older system, there was a much greater chance that nobody would accept your ride during a busy time. Uber Reserve has proved to be more reliable for passengers.
Cancel fees and wait time for reserved rides
You can cancel a reserved ride for free up to 60 minutes before your reservation. You will be charged a cancellation fee if you cancel less than 60 minutes before your reservation.
You can also cancel for free if your driver is going to be 10+ minutes late when they are matched with you.
Example of cancel fees & wait times in Los Angeles
|Ride Type||Cancel Fee||Wait Time|
|Uber Comfort||$37||5 minutes|
|Uber Black and SUV||Cost of the full fare||15 minutes|
How reliable are Uber reservations?
There’s an important section in the terms and conditions for Uber reservations: “Uber doesn’t guarantee a driver will accept your ride request. Your ride is confirmed once you receive your driver details.”
If Uber doesn’t guarantee that a driver will accept your request, how reliable can reservations be?
Generally, there’s a good chance that the driver will show up if you reserve a ride and get pre-matched with a driver.
But keep in mind that Uber drivers are independent contractors, and they are free to cancel your ride with little or no penalty.
It’s easy to find stories from upset passengers who had drivers cancel reservations at the last minute. What’s going on?
Some Uber drivers don’t like reservations: Why your reservation is getting cancelled
The benefits of Uber reserve come with some drawbacks for drivers. Some drivers cancel reservations or never accept them to begin with.
One reason is that the reservation pricing system may not correctly predict the best market price at the time of the ride, resulting in a scheduled ride that doesn’t pay the driver as much as it should.
Let’s say your upfront reservation price was $25. If there is unexpected surge pricing at the time of your ride, it might mean that your driver could get paid more for another ride that uses the current market price.
Another reason is the excessive wait time for drivers. Reservations sometimes send the driver to the pickup location up to 25 minutes before the reservation, and drivers aren’t directly paid for that wait time.
Any additional unpaid wait time is frustrating for drivers, so they may choose to cancel the ride or skip reservations altogether.
Keep an eye on your phone when you have a reservation coming up!
To ensure you get a ride, keep an eye on your Uber app at least 10 minutes before your reservation time.
If you aren’t matched with a driver and there are only a few minutes until your reservation, consider cancelling the reservation and manually requesting another ride.
You can cancel the reservation at no charge if your driver is going to be 10+ minutes late when they are matched with you.
More about Uber
- What’s the difference between UberX, XL, Comfort, and Black?
- The best way to use Uber at airports
- How Uber prices work, and how to get an accurate estimate
Christa Mitchell says
When reserving do I pay immediately
Doug H says
No. A hold will be placed at the start of the trip and the final charge will go through about a day after the ride
Judith Fuller says
I am needing a ride from Newport, De to Baltimore airport in May 2023 and return in June (2 weeks) can Uber accommodate me (older woman & (puppy in crate) need cost asap. Am flyinf Southwest.
Doug H says
Download the Uber app to get an estimated and to get a feel for using the app. For such an important trip, I recommend taking a few practice trips around town to get comfortable with the app.
Mark Dunn says
When I first started reserving Ubers in advance they were prices that I paid when I didn’t reserve the Uber. Now, it’s $33+ dollars, no matter how close the ride, some of which I have to make.
Doug H says
Yes, that is a relatively new thing. Uber only gives a very general explanation about pricing: “When you book a reservation, the amount you see will be an estimate that includes a variable reservation fee. The exact amount of the reservation fee will depend on the location of the pickup address.”
I haven’t yet figured out how much the Reserve premium is. One thing is for sure: Drivers haven’t said that they are getting more money for these rides!
Carrie Freeman says
I hv the same issue it was like bk in may or april mayb of 2022 an my usual ride to wrk got injured an was out of wrk for almost 2 months an then whn she did return to wrk she had moved to a diff shift so i was unable to continue to ride with her so needless say my ubering had become quite the normal. An i was scheduling them every day at least for my ride into wrk an my trip to wrl is approximately 5 miles an uber usually charges me btween 9 an 12 bucks thts thr biggest inflación i had seen thus far. An so then my friend moved back to my shift an I was able to start getting Rides again and didn’t need Uber so much except for on her days off and I went to schedule an Uber and all of a sudden it went from 9 to $12 to $30 or over. And it’s done this to me not every time I’ve tried to schedule one ahead of time but don’t matter where it’s going it don’t matter enough $30 or more for this ride like damn dude ⁴
I’m not finding an answer either. I work early in the morning and used to schedule my ride the night before. Now the price is $30 if I try to schedule my ride.
I don’t think there’s anything you can do. Instead of scheduling, just request the ride in the morning. Check your phone to see if rides are far away or not
I’m dealing with the same issue! It’s such an inconvenience and just another way Uber is getting money out of their riders!
I used to schedule my rides the day before, but now I’m stuck with Reserved, which is over three times the cost. When I was on a chat with Uber, she told me you could still schedule, but I’m not seeing the clock where she said it should be and I uninstalled and reinstalled the app three times. Could that be because I’m in a market where they’ve completely done away with scheduling? Thanks!
I looked for new information on this and wasn’t able to find a clear answer. It’s most likely that Reserve is the only option in your area. Instead of making a reservation, try requesting your ride around 20 minutes before you need it to arrive. Check for ETAs and then make your request, or wait a few more minutes if the ETAs are fast.