As both an Uber driver and passenger, I was curious to what the proper etiquette was when tipping rideshare drivers. This is an impactful question, since a big portion of a driver’s income comes from tips. After years of both driving and riding, I decided to craft a guide for anyone who is also wondering what the heck they should tip!
In this guide, we will talk about:
• Why you should be tipping your Uber driver every single trip
• The proper amount to tip
• Various ways you can tip
• Inside the mind of your Uber driver and what they expect
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“Am I Supposed to Tip my Uber Driver?”
Yes, yes, YES. You should give your driver a tip after every single Uber ride.
It takes a chunk out of a driver’s paycheck to keep their car in working order, plus all the additional fees that passengers don’t know exist. However, every dollar adds up, which means that the gesture of a tip is enough to make drivers feel appreciative of you as a rideshare user.
The main reason you should always tip your driver is simply because they are working for you, providing a personal service that involves both your comfort and safety. Trust me, we don’t make much from just from the app itself.
Drivers that are paid poorly tend to put off routine maintenance on their vehicles, which means shrugging off bald tires and going 5k miles between oil changes. Feel unsafe yet?
Giving your driver a tip ensures that they are transporting passengers safely. Think about your tip as a contribution to the safety of many in the long run.
“Okay, I am Supposed to Tip. But, How Much?”
As a past Uber driver, I educate folks that use these apps to tip the standard service amount, just like you do when eating at restaurants. The tip I give drivers greatly depends on their level of service during my ride:
• 20% for exceptional service
• 15% for above average
• 10% for average
• No top for below average
Drivers should be earning the same amount as other employees in the service industry. This helps to separate average drivers from ones that truly care about the experience their passengers have. So, if they do their best to give you great service, reward them!
“How Much do Drivers Make on Tips Alone?”
Drivers only make as much as their riders are willing to tip them. Getting tipped, no matter the amount, is one of my favorite parts of the ride for drivers. Why? Because there are many expenses with owning and driving a personal vehicle that riders don’t think about: taxes, maintenance, gas, etc.
“What Does the Average Uber Driver Really Make?”
Uber is not like traditional employment where the employer takes care of all the work-related expenses. You can’t calculate the gross earnings because this only tells part of the story.
Uber drivers earn an average of $16 to $19 per hour and drive around 18 to 25 miles each hour they are on call. The best way I have found to crunch the real earnings is to consider the standard deduction that the IRS sets for mileage, since it figures in the average expenses of operating a vehicle.
The IRS provided 54.5 cents per mile in 2018 as an expense deduction. The higher the deduction, the less money drivers receive. This means that the average driver earns around $19 per hour. If you think this sounds like a lot, think again.
If drivers travel 20 miles each hour they work, this means they incur about $11 in expenses from maintenance, oil changes, gas, etc. When you subtract daily expenses from this, they are left with making around $8 per hour.
“Got it! Tips are Important. But, How do I Tip?”
The tipping process in the Uber app is simple. When the trip has come to an end, your app will ask you to rate your driver and your experience. You must do this to leave a tip.
Once you have reached the next screen, you can then leave a tip. You can pick from a pre-set amount or you can enter your own custom amount. Or, if you have a couple physical dollars on you, you can tip this way too.
Uber gives riders 30 days to tip after a ride has been completed. From the driver’s perspective, however, the sooner the better. This 30-day feature is great for those on the run that may have forgotten to tip their awesome driver.
“Even if I Don’t Tip, Will it Affect my Passenger Rating?”
This is a very controversial topic in the Uber realm, but it is hard to say for sure. Before Uber allowed for tipping, many drivers never even gave their passengers a rating unless they provided a tip, which is when tips were given in cold hard cash.
But, the tables have turned now; drivers don’t know what their riders tip until they rated their experience with you, too.
If you need to improve your rider rating, I suggest providing your Uber drivers with a cash tip before the trip ends. Every driver is likely to give you a 5-star rider rating when they know you tipped them in a physical currency.
That said, even if you don’t tip, your rider rating will not change drastically.
Be a Good Human Being and Tip!
In conclusion, if you are utilizing Uber or any rideshare application, plan to spend a few additional bucks tipping your driver(s). You are playing a small but genuine part in keeping the rideshare economy a positive experience for everyone involved!
First time passenger? Get $5 off your first ride!