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How Much Should You Tip Your Rideshare Driver?


Andrey Popov / iStock.com

Determining the appropriate amount to tip your rideshare driver can be a difficult balancing act. How much more should you tip if your driver helps you with heavy luggage? Or if your location is difficult to find? Should you reduce the tip if your driver is talking loudly on the phone while driving? What if the drive is smooth, but the car is littered and smells like fast food?

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If you’re in a rideshare vehicle, you shouldn’t worry about how much to tip. To address these tipping concerns and more, we reached out to etiquette specialists to share their insights on the subject and help you be confident in tipping after your next ride.

Tip 10% to 20% of the fare

A good general rule of thumb when tipping ridesharing is to stay between 10% and 20%.

“Most ridesharing drivers make very little per hour,” said Arden Clise, business etiquette and customer service trainer for Clise etiquette. “Tipping helps them earn a reasonable wage and is a form of gratitude for their service. You should tip 10% to 20% of the fare. The better the service, the bigger the tip should be.”

As long as the trip went well and you found the service reasonable, be sure to tip these independent contractors in this magnitude.

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Consider the time of day, weather conditions, and friendliness

There are several factors to consider when deciding what percentage of a tip to leave.

“If the driver is friendly and efficient, the car is very clean, and maybe they offer treats or bottled water, then the driver should be tipped 20%,” Clise said. “You should tip above standard if your origin or destination is difficult to find or if you have a lot of luggage that the driver will help you with. In these situations, tip up to 25%.”

Drivers don’t have to help you lift your luggage or your groceries. If they offer these extra services or allow you to borrow items like a charging cable or water bottle, show your gratitude by giving them a little something extra when tipping.

Also, be aware of the time of day and weather conditions that your rideshare driver is navigating to. These extra reservations often merit a higher tip percentage to offset the added inconvenience.

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“Try to be as generous as your budget allows, and include premium tips for special circumstances: early morning or late night transportation, carrying heavy luggage, rush hour driving, or extreme weather conditions,” said Jennifer Porter, an expert on etiquette and manners with Satsuma designs.

When requesting a ride, remember that these drivers do not get paid to drive to the pickup location. If you live in a rural area, it’s appropriate to tip a little extra to help the driver offset the cost of gas required to drive back into town to get to their next pickup.

Should you tip if the service is bad?

The answer is – it depends. It can be difficult to manage the tipping situation when service is less than ideal. How do you determine when to just give a small tip and when to skip tipping altogether? Clise and Porter provided some fantastic expert insight on what to do.

“If the service is less than outstanding, I recommend reducing the tip but still adding a small amount,” Porter said. “It’s important to remember the hard work each of us puts in to earn a living to help ourselves, our families and communities.”

While in some situations it’s appropriate to simply lower the tip percentage, in others skipping the tip altogether is perfectly acceptable.

“If the driver is rude, the car is messed up, or he’s on the phone while driving, tipping isn’t necessary,” Clise said.

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About the author

Maddie Duley is a content intern for ConsumerTrack and writes about finance for GOBankingRates. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications and design from the University of California Davis.

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