I admit, I didn't know about this cancellation fee until the last one. The funny thing is I never noticed this before, even though I have cancelled rides a few times. What are the rules?
Uber has cancellation fees? How is that charged? Penalties?
The Guru Take
You've got 2 minutes! (or 5 in some cities)
Many riders are very confused about the cancellation policies and fees. This is because, unlike when the fees were originally introduced in 2012, the rules and fees depends on your city and service (car) type.
Originally in 2012, the rule was simpler. If you cancelled a ride after 5 minutes from the time of the request, you were charged $10. If you cancelled before, there were no fees.
Today (as of December 2016):
Most cities still have the 5 minute charge-free cancellation window. However in some cities, the window is now 2 minutes. For all UberPOOL rides, the window is 2 minutes from the time the driver arrivese at the location. (This is called a no-show fee.)
The amount of cancellation fee will depend on the city and the car type.
Caution - The rules change frequently
It is worth noting that the fees and the window, especially the amount of the fees, do change frequently. They are being adjusted regionally, according to rider patterns, demand, etc. It is also wowrth noting that the cancellation fees are sometimes lowered to $0!
Caution - For UberPool
For UberPools, there will be cancellation fees if you cancel anytime after you are matched up with a driver (and supposedly other riders). Hence, you do not get the 2 minute window.
Rules for Passengers (from Uber):
Rules for Drivers (from Uber):