Is there a way to automatically search and request a ride when there's no cars available for a ride at the moment. In case I'm flexible with my time, and can tolerate an hour or two of waiting.

Other than constantly staring at the app? Is there third-party app maybe?

  • 29
    I'd suggest calling a normal, old-fashioned taxi, no?
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 1, 2016 at 14:48
  • 2
    Try other apps like Lyft
    – nikhil
    Jul 1, 2016 at 15:52
  • 4
    Is there any reason to be hung on Uber specifically? Jul 1, 2016 at 18:50
  • 20
    How about using public transport? People did get places before Uber started, even without spending on taxis.
    – Willeke
    Jul 1, 2016 at 21:55
  • In my instance, the only thing you can do is leave Japan, or find alternative transport. Nov 4, 2016 at 1:32

6 Answers 6


In general, your best bet in a situation like this is to give up on Uber.

You can try other ride-sharing services like Lyft, or one of the many local alternatives, such as Juno in New York.

But in many cases, if you don't see anything on one ride sharing app, you won't see anything on the others either. In this case, your best bet is to pick up the phone and call a good old fashioned taxi service. Google and Yelp should have plenty of listings. Pick one with a few decent reviews or ratings, make a phone call, and be on your way.


Uber is about to launch a scheduled rides service. Details are available here and here. What might be possible, if you can sign up to this service, is to just schedule a ride an hour from now if you can't find any cars available.

An alternative way that might work, is to move your pin to a nearby area with a car available. Call an Uber and when you get a ride, call the driver and say you're in another location and will he still pick you up. If no, then you'd cancel the ride.

  • 1
    I think the OP is asking for something slightly different - get the first cab available. Even if OP is OK to schedule the earliest possible cab, the minimum "waiting period" (can be several hours) to schedule one can be an issue. Moving the pin to a nearby "available" area may work if the drivers in a good mood; else, apart from facing a rejection/cancelation, the driver may give the customer a bad rating (yes, they can and do rate customers) which may impact future chances of the customer getting a prompt booking/service. help.uber.com/h/e9302f73-8625-427f-abf7-dbe7ab25af7d Jul 3, 2016 at 16:19
  • 1
    @alwayslearning I think the conclusion is that there isn't a service matching the requirements, so we're all just offering alternate suggestions
    – Berwyn
    Jul 3, 2016 at 18:08

If you want to stick to uber, you will simply have to play the waiting game. Yes, you will have to keep watching and book as soon as you see a cab (you don't want to lose out to others in the same area in the same situation). If you are in a downtown area, the situation will pass in a matter of minutes because one or the other uber cab will come close by to drop someone else. It can get tricky if you are in a "remote" area with ubers plying rarely. You can also try competing cab aggregator apps servicing your area. They should work with different cabs, so your probability of success should increase. Source: My experience with uber.

  • So in other words, there is no way to "queue" a ride request and have it automatically fulfilled when a car becomes available? I think that is what the OP really wants to know. Jul 3, 2016 at 14:22
  • To my knowledge, there is no facility to queue a ride in uber yet. Jul 3, 2016 at 16:02

This happens when no cars are available for your location at that given moment. If you can wait an hour or two for a taxi, I would suggest checking every 15 minutes and seeing if there's any vehicle nearby. However, I would suggest you to take a regular cab straight away if there are no vehicles available.

If you are a tourist and you don't know how popular uber might be in that area, going for a regular cab would be the best way to get around. Many cities have their own versions of uber (Colombo has Pickme) as well, so get some local knowledge as well.

I could not find any third party application that does this either, which is no surprise as there is very little practical value of such an app, unless uber was the only taxi service in the milky way.


If there is no Uber available, move the pointer to an area where Uber is available. Ask him to come to your area. If he hesitates, tell him that you are ready to pay for the trip he is going to have till your home.


You can put your pickup pin in an available location and call the driver when he arrives at the pin to inform him that you are at another location. To avoid a canceled ride ask the driver to push the picked up button and drive to your location. You will pay more in fare but it may be worth not having to wait.

  • This is very bad, as Uber and Lyft audit their drivers routes, penalising those that take longer routes.
    – user29788
    Nov 25, 2016 at 20:07

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