Unveiling The Mystery: Why Can't I Schedule An Uber In Advance?

Published: December 6, 2023
Last updated: February 29, 2024

An Uber-style arrangement offers workers flexibility in both setting a customized work schedule and adjusting the schedule from week to week and day to day.[1]

73% of drivers prefer having a job that lets them choose their schedule, with Uber's key value proposition being offering schedule flexibility to their driver-partners.[2]

42.2% of scheduled rides happened when the rider was leaving soon in 5 minutes to 1 hour, with many riders opting to schedule a ride instead of using on-demand due to high fares or long estimated time of arrival.[3]

In the realm of on-demand transportation, Uber has emerged as a dominant force. The convenience of hailing a ride with a few taps on a smartphone has revolutionized the way we commute. Notably, an Uber-style arrangement offers workers remarkable flexibility, allowing them to set a customized work schedule and adjust it from week to week and day to day, catering to the dynamic needs of both riders and drivers.[1]

However, one question that often arises is, "Why can't I schedule an Uber in advance?" This aspect of Uber's service model, which is focused on flexibility and immediate demand, plays a significant role in understanding the scheduling feature. Read on as we shed light on this topic and provide comprehensive insights.

Fast Facts

It has been reported that 73% of drivers would prefer a job where they can pick their schedule.

Understanding Uber's On-Demand Model

Uber operates on an on-demand model, which means that rides are typically booked as needed. The system is designed to provide immediate service, with drivers responding to ride requests in real-time. This model is one of the reasons why Uber has been successful in disrupting traditional taxi services.

Significantly, this flexibility is not just beneficial for users but also for drivers; 73% of drivers prefer having a job that lets them choose their schedule, with Uber's key value proposition being offering schedule flexibility to their driver-partners.[2] This mutual benefit of flexibility underscores the core of Uber's business model, aligning the interests of both drivers and riders.

Scheduling Uber Rides In Advance

Despite the on-demand nature of its service, Uber does offer a feature known as "Scheduled Rides" in certain markets. This feature allows users to book a ride up to 30 days in advance. However, it's important to note that scheduling a ride does not guarantee that a driver will be available at the scheduled time. The request is still sent out to nearby drivers in real time, just a few minutes before the scheduled pickup time.

Why Can't I Schedule An Uber In Advance?

There could be several reasons why you might not be able to schedule an Uber ride in advance:

  • Availability Of The Feature: The Scheduled Rides feature is not available in all markets. Uber rolls out this feature based on the demand and supply dynamics of a particular region. If you don't see the option to schedule a ride in your Uber app, likely, that the feature is not available in your area.
  • Driver Availability: Even if the Scheduled Rides feature is available in your area, there might not be enough drivers available at the time of your scheduled ride. As mentioned earlier, Uber sends out your ride request to nearby drivers a few minutes before your scheduled pickup time. If there are not enough drivers on the road at that time, you might not get a ride.
  • Technical Issues: Sometimes, technical glitches might prevent you from scheduling a ride. If you're facing this issue, try updating your app or reinstalling it.

Alternatives To Scheduling An Uber Ride In Advance

If you're unable to schedule an Uber ride in advance, there are a few alternatives you can consider:

  • Book A Ride When You Need It: Given Uber's on-demand model, you can usually get a ride within minutes, depending on driver availability. If you're in a region with a high density of Uber drivers, this might be a reliable option.
  • Use A Different Ride-Hailing Service: Other ride-hailing services, like Lyft, also offer the option to schedule rides in advance. If this feature is crucial for you, consider using a different service.
  • Traditional Taxi Services: Traditional taxi services often allow advance bookings. While they might not offer the same level of convenience as ride-hailing apps, they can be a reliable alternative for scheduling rides in advance.

The Benefits Of Scheduling An Uber Ride In Advance

Scheduling an Uber ride in advance can be a game-changer for many situations. For instance, if you have an important event or meeting to attend, scheduling your ride in advance can save you from last-minute hassles. The Uber app allows you to schedule a ride from 15 minutes to 30 days in advance, providing a great deal of flexibility.

The Scheduled Ride feature is particularly useful when you can't afford any mishaps. For example, if you have a flight to catch and need to be at the airport at a specific time, scheduling your Uber ride in advance can ensure a smooth journey. Similarly, if you have a crucial work event, scheduling your ride in advance allows you to focus on your presentation or meeting rather than worrying about parking or traffic.

Fast Facts

The Uber app allows you to schedule a ride from 15 minutes to 30 days in advance, providing a great deal of flexibility.

How Scheduled Uber Rides Work

Scheduling an Uber ride in advance is a convenient feature that allows you to plan your trips with more certainty. Here's a detailed guide on how to use this feature and some tips for troubleshooting common issues.

Step-by-Step Guide to Schedule an Uber Ride

  1. Open the Uber App: Launch the Uber app on your smartphone. Make sure you're logged in to your account.
  2. Choose Your Ride Type: Select the type of ride you need (UberX, UberXL, etc.) from the options available.
  3. Set Your Pickup Location: Enter the address or move the pin to your desired pickup location on the map.
  4. Select 'Schedule a Ride': Look for the “Schedule a Ride” option, usually found next to the request button.
  5. Choose Pickup Date and Time: Set the date and time for your ride. You can schedule it for any time from 15 minutes to 30 days in advance.
  6. Set a 10-Minute Pickup Window: Choose a 10-minute window during which you'd like to be picked up.
  7. Confirm Your Drop-off Location: Enter where you're going, just like a normal Uber ride.
  8. Review Fare Estimate: You'll receive a fare estimate which will be locked in once you confirm the ride.
  9. Confirm and Schedule: Review all details and tap 'Schedule UberX' (or your selected ride type) to confirm.
  10. Receive Confirmation: You'll get a confirmation of your scheduled ride and a reminder notification closer to the pickup time.

Troubleshooting Common Issue

  • No Drivers Available: If no drivers are available in your selected time window, Uber will notify you at the end of the window. As a backup, consider having an alternative transportation option in mind.
  • Changing or Canceling a Scheduled Ride: You can change or cancel your scheduled ride without a fee up to a certain time before your scheduled pickup. To do this, go to the 'Your Trips' section in the app and select the upcoming trip you want to modify.
  • Pricing Queries: If you have questions about the fare or see a discrepancy, contact Uber support through the app for clarification.
  • Technical Issues: If you encounter any technical problems while scheduling, try restarting the app or your device. If the issue persists, contact Uber support for assistance.

Note: While the Scheduled Rides feature adds convenience, it's important to remember that it doesn't guarantee a ride. The availability of drivers at your scheduled time is subject to change. However, Uber will make every effort to match you with a driver and notify you promptly if there are any changes.

Troubleshooting: Why Can't I Schedule An Uber Ride In Advance?

If you're wondering, “Why can't I schedule an Uber in advance” here are a few potential reasons and solutions:

  • More Than 30 Days In Advance: Uber does not allow you to schedule a ride more than 30 days in advance. If you're trying to schedule a ride beyond this timeframe, you'll need to wait until the desired date is within the 30-day window.
  • Rides From The Airport: Interestingly, Uber only allows you to schedule rides TO the airport, not FROM the airport. If you're leaving the airport, your only option is to request an on-demand ride from the app.
  • Scheduled Rides Feature Not Available: The feature to schedule rides is available in most major cities where Uber operates. If you're having trouble scheduling a ride, it could be that this feature is not available in your pickup area. You can check if your city is on the list using the official Uber website. If the feature isn't available, you can request an immediate ride at the time you need it.

Fast Facts

You can change or cancel your scheduled ride without a fee up to a certain time before your scheduled pickup.

Flexible Uber Rides

If you're trying to arrange an Uber ride for someone else, you can order a flexible Uber ride. This type of Uber ride allows the rider to request the ride when they're ready, within the next day. Once you book a flexible ride, the rider will receive a text allowing them to request a ride at their convenience. The flexible ride expires at 11:59 p.m. on the same day (in the rider's local time zone).

Rider Testimonials on Scheduling Uber Rides

Hear from real users who have experienced the convenience of Uber's Scheduled Rides:

  1. Sarah, Marketing Executive: "Scheduling my Uber rides has been a game-changer for my early morning airport commutes. It's reliable, and I no longer worry about last-minute rushes."
  2. David, Freelancer: "I used the schedule feature for a crucial client meeting. The driver was on time and professional, making a great impression."
  3. Emma, College Student: "As a student with a tight schedule, pre-booking Uber rides helps me manage my time effectively. It's one less thing to worry about during exam season."


Ride-sharing apps like Uber offer a great deal of convenience and flexibility, whether for daily use or special occasions. Scheduling an Uber ride in advance can help you focus on what matters, leaving the transportation logistics to Uber. 

While Uber's model is primarily based on immediate, on-demand service, the option to schedule rides in advance is available in some regions. However, due to various factors like regional availability, driver availability, and potential technical issues, you might not always be able to schedule an Uber ride in advance.

Exploring alternatives like other ride-hailing services or traditional taxis can provide a solution in such cases. Find out more about the automotive industry by checking out our guide on DoorDash requirements and what you need to know to start delivering. Visit Keep Driving to learn more.

Sales Development Lead Scott spearheaded a collective blog site before expanding his automotive knowledge and joining the team. Now he leads our team of experts by building ideas on our Sales Development department.
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