Uber announced it will be adding a tipping option to the ride hailing service, potentially making rides more expensive. Should you tip your Uber driver, and if so, how much? Here are things to think about when it comes to tipping your Uber driver.
Should you tip your Uber driver?
The short answer is yes. Uber drivers have complained about reduced fares, meaning they have to work longer hours to make what they previously would make. Tips can compensate for this discrepancy in pay.
Taxi and limousine drivers receive tips, as well as Lyft and other ride-hailing drivers. These drivers are providing a service, and usually services are met with tips.
"Tipping is not expected but appreciated. Just like we want to be rewarded for a job well done, the same applies to our Uber drivers,” etiquette expert Melissa Leonard told USA Today. “Although we want to show our frustration of a poor ride or experience by lack of tip, sometimes it is better to just give a few dollars and carry on. And with Uber you can add a review of your experience after it's over.”
How much should you tip?
Trying to decide what to tip can be difficult.
"Since this is a new trend and there's no widely accepted standard yet, we'd recommend tipping about the same amount you would normally give a cab driver," said Smarter Travel senior editor Sarah Schlichter. "So in the U.S., that could range anywhere from 15 to 25 percent, depending on the quality of service."
In a 2016 interview with USA Today, Wendy Perrin from WendyPerrin.com said she usually tips based on her experience.
“How efficiently do they get me to my destination? Are they savvy about shortcuts, or do we end up sitting in gridlock? The more clever the driver, the more I tip. For a taxi within Manhattan or another city, I tip 15% to 20%. For a taxi to/from the airport, about $5. If it’s a taxi for my family of four with luggage to/from the airport, about $10,” said Perrin.
How will this affect my rider rating?
Drivers give their passengers ratings after a ride to let other drivers and Uber know their experience.
Lyft told USA Today their tipping system does not affect a rider’s ratings because drivers must rate the rider before finding out if he or she received a tip. Only unusual behavior could lead to bad reviews and being kicked off Lyft.
“If either party rates the other as 3 stars or lower, they will not be paired up again. Anything less than a 4 or 5 star rating of a passenger is flagged for our Trust and Safety team, which reviews the circumstances,” said Lyft. “There are some things that can lead to immediate deactivation from the platform, as can a pattern of behavior leading to continually low ratings.”
Uber responded to a request for comment saying their tipping system would be similar to Lyft’s and drivers can’t leave negative reviews if a rider chooses to tip a low amount or not at all.