What to Do When ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber?
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Have you ever found yourself in the dilemma when Uber suddenly decides to show you ‘No Cars Available’ when you are trying to get to that important meeting or that fraternity party or that gender reveal? 

It can be hugely frustrating, especially when you have no other means of transport, especially in the outskirts of the city, not-so-urban places, or areas that are not as lively at night (if you wish to travel at night).

So, what do you do when you keep seeing ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber? We’ll discuss how you can troubleshoot the problem or find your way around it. However, before that, let us start with why you see ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber in the first place.

Why does Uber say ‘No Cars Available’?

Below we have ironed out a few possible reasons owing to which you see ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber:

Out of Service/ Remote Areas

If you have recently traveled to a location that is out of Uber’s service scope, it is obvious that the app will show ‘No Cars Available.’ Extreme outskirts of cities, rural and countryside areas, or areas with bad or no viable transportation routes are usually deemed unserviceable by Uber. Therefore it is only obvious that there are no cars available in these locations. 

Another possibility is that you are constantly seeing ‘No Cars Available’ at a certain point of the day in the area you’re currently in. For instance, if you’re in a region that does not have a very vibrant nightlife with low demand for cabs, Uber drivers may choose not to drive during these hours, therefore contributing to the whole ‘No Cars Available’ situation. 

Out-of-date App

If you have missed out on updating the Uber application for a while now, it may cause the now obsolete version to show you ‘No Cars Available.’ So, even when it’s bright daylight, or just highly impossible for you to not find an Uber cab in the area that you are, it’s possible that you see no cars around you because of the obsolete version.

Bad Weather

Bad weather, such as heavy rain, flood, or hailstorms, can cause Uber to halt their services for a while till the weather clears out. You can also be seeing ‘No Cars Available’ if your local government has put out a warning for bad weather, rendering Uber and other rideshare applications.

Violation of Policy by the User

Cab services have a ‘no ride’ list wherein they are just subtle when telling you that you can’t use their services. With Uber, when you have a bad rating or consistent bad behavior (but not bad enough to get banned by Uber), the application will keep showing you ‘No Cars Available’ even when you clearly know there are plenty of them flooding the streets.

If you violate Uber’s ‘Terms of Use’ or the User Community Guidelines, you may find yourself in the ‘No Cars Available’ situation often. As you rate drivers for your ride experience, drivers also rate you for their experience with you, and if you seem to have bad ratings, other drivers may seem to be passive at accepting your ride. 

Network Issues

More than often, you can find yourself seeing ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber because you have fluctuating network connectivity which is why Uber is unable to sync data. Check if you have network issues by surfing the internet, and if you do, it is highly likely that you are seeing ‘No Cars Available’ owing to the same.

‘Phantom Cars’ that don’t exist

Now, the impregnable question here is, are there ALWAYS no cabs when Uber says ‘No Cars Available’? The answer is a firm ‘no.’ If you can see phantom cars on your screen crowding on the map, moving about, it must get you wondering,”‘If I can see this many cars on the map, why does Uber say ‘No Cars Available’ anyway”?

The answer is these phantom cars may not exist in reality. In a few recent surveys, it has been found that non-existing phantom cars are a strategic aspect of Uber to keep the users on the app, even if they see the message ‘No Cars Available.’ 

How does this pay off for Uber? Even if there are no cabs available, the non-existent phantom cars will make users think that at least one of ‘those’ cars will soon be available to accept their ride. In the meantime, there is a high possibility that by the time the user waits, there will be at least one real-time Uber partner available in the location of the user, thus, accepting the user’s ride request.

Other Reasons

There are a number of other reasons, both social and miscellaneous ones, that could lead to no cars available in Uber. For instance, if the Uber partners are on a protest, or if there is a raging global pandemic forcing restrictions on travel, you can see ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber. 


What to do when ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber?

Now that you know of the possible reasons why you see ‘No Cars Available’ in Uber, here are eight solutions that can help you fix the problem.

Fix 1: Update the app

If you are using an older version of the app, update the app to see if the problem is resolved. You’ll generally see a message as you open the application probing you to install the update if you are running on an old version. To update:

  • Go to Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Type ‘uber’ in the search field on the top of the application.
  • Hit Search and as you see the results pull up, select ‘Uber’ (identified by its logo).
  • Click on ‘Update,’ and once updated, open the app and try finding a cab.

Fix 2: Check for Network Issue

As mentioned before, network connectivity issues can cause Uber to show ‘No Cars Available.’ Check the number of bars you have on the SIM you use for using data. 

If you’re using WiFi, toggle the notification bar down to see if you have an exclamation mark attached to the WiFi logo; you could also be seeing a message that says ‘no internet’ below the circle that depicts WiFi.

Switch your internet source to either mobile data or WiFi if the other is not working out for you, and refresh or reopen the app. Check to see if your problem is resolved. 

Fix 3: Request a Ride anyway

One possible workaround to solve ‘No Cars Available’ is to request a ride even if you clearly see there is none available. Uber allows you to request a ride even if there are no cars available. This way, although it may take some time for an Uber driver to pick up your response, there is still a chance that as you put out the request for a ride, you find a car, after all.

How does this work? Basically, when someone requests a ride at a location when there are ‘No Cars Available,’ it creates a surge in that specific area, offering Uber drivers 50% for the ride you are requesting. This is a good incentive for drivers to drive to your area if they are in a nearby locality, and therefore accept your ride request.

If you have some time in your hand, this is a solution that works a lot of times; however, if you are in a hurry, this may not be a very viable option since it isn’t completely foolproof.

Fix 4: Book a different Uber Car or Ride

Certain types of Uber rides are less available than the others; for instance, if you are trying to book an Uber XL, it is possible you’ll see ‘No Cars Available’ since SUVs are less abundant on the roads in comparison to sedans. 

Sometimes, it’s also possible that you could not find Uber Pools or Uber cabs that allow pets in your location, depending on the availability. 

In such cases, you can try booking a different Uber ride – one that is available, unlike the other.

For example, if you see ‘No Cars Available’ for an Uber XL, try booking two Uber Go’s since there are more Uber Go’s than Uber XLs at any given time. 

Similarly, if you are the only person traveling and you don’t seem to find an Uber Pool, try booking an Uber Moto, which will not only be cheaper but also equally feasible.

Fix 5: Log in Using a Different Account

If you have been on bad terms with Uber lately (and hopefully taken measures to correct the same), you could be seeing ‘No Cars Available.’

To know if this is the case, ask someone else to fill in your location in their Uber account and check if they are offered rides. 

If they are not facing the ‘No Cars Available’ dilemma, but you are, it is probably because you have been flagged by Uber (i.e., if you have violated some of their policies lately).

Considering that you do not have perpetuity to fix the same and get on Uber’s good side in an instant to get out of your situation, we suggest signing up or signing in to a different account. 

To sign up into a different account, or in other terms, create a new account, follow the following steps:

  • Go to the Uber application and tap on the three-lined bar on the top left corner.
  • Go to ‘Settings’ and scroll to the end of the page.
  • You’ll see ‘Sign Out’ at the very end of the page. Tap on it and sign out of your existing profile. 
  • Now, Choose ‘Sign Up’ on display and fill out the details.
  • Use a different phone number than the one you used to create your previous profile. Use a different email too. Generally, everyone has two numbers; make sure the number you are using to create the account is active. 

You will be verified before being signed up. Once signed up, check to see if your issue is resolved.

If you already have another existing account (which is not flagged), you should opt for signing into that account instead of creating a new account. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Sign out as guided in the steps above that discuss creating a new account.
  • Now, choose ‘Sign In.’
  • Once you are redirected to the sign-in page, choose how’d you like to sign in, whether by using email, phone number, or a third party such as Google or Facebook.
  • Once signed in, check to see if the issue persists or not.

Fix 6: Try a Workaround for Privacy Violation

If you do not wish to give up your flagged account that has violated some user community guideline or policy by Uber, try to contact the support and present them with a ‘civility course certification that you recently took. A civility certification course is available online for a certain fee, which is usually small. Be nice to the support staff, and it’s highly possible you will be removed from the ‘no ride’ list of Uber and start getting your ride requests accepted again.

Fix 7: Uninstall and Reinstall the app

If there is some temporary bug that is causing Uber to show ‘No Cars Available,’ you can try refreshing the application by closing and reopening it after a minute or two. If this does not work, try uninstalling and installing the app back again.

If it’s just a glitch in the server, uninstalling and installing the Uber application is highly likely to fix the same.

Fix 8: Try a different mode or application

If it’s not Uber, it’s still not the end of the world; try a different means of transport such as a bus or a No-Refusal Taxi. Try Carpooling with one of your acquaintances if possible.

Besides, you can also try other applications such as Lyft to find a ride to get where you want to be. Although Lyft can sometimes be a little expensive in comparison to Uber, it’s at least better than ‘No Cars Available’ at all. 


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