Is there *really* no tipping with Uber?
March 4, 2014 5:13 PM   Subscribe

I just signed up for Uber and I want to do right by the driver. A service charge is included, and the web site says "no need to tip." Is tipping really not expected?

I plan on using Uber to travel ~15-20 miles across L.A. (not during rush hour) for an estimated cost of $25-$30 and I have a $20 credit to apply to that trip. I can't imagine getting out of the car after 30 or 40 minutes, being charged $5, and not tipping the driver!

I would normally tip 20% for services like this, and if my bill is basically comped and the service is really good I might tip much more than 20% (of the full total, of course.) I know tipping is not required, but should I tip anyway? Tip a couple of dollars? I need good car-ma!
posted by Room 641-A to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Nope, no need to tip.

I think it's great.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 5:19 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

The answer is shrouded in controversy. The drivers have been suing Uber over tips. I tipped the Uber guy this morning after asking him whether it was all right. He said it would be "delightful."
posted by steinsaltz at 5:30 PM on March 4 [3 favorites]

thank you for this good question. when a corporate communicator actually tells you not to tip one of its thralls, you are as free as i am to disregard this advisory and tip as you see fit, because the u.s. supreme court has revealed to us that giving money is constitutionally protected free speech. i would go 15%, same as in restaurants.
posted by bruce at 5:31 PM on March 4 [3 favorites]

Well, your tip really is already included. You can add extra if you feel like it, but you're under no moral obligation.
posted by shivohum at 5:35 PM on March 4

I have never tipped an Uber, and I have used it a lot. It's included in the fare. I tip 20% in restaurants.

If they were to do something extraordinary, like carrying luggage up a few floors or running from the cops or something, I might feel like that deserved extra. But just hop-in, hop-out, pt A to pt B? The reason I use Uber is so I don't have to have cash and I don't have to have an awkward conversation.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:47 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]

I have never tipped an Uber, and I have used it a lot. It's included in the fare. I tip 20% in restaurants.


And you people who tip Uber drivers should stop. If you don't like how Uber treats drivers, don't use the service.
posted by mullacc at 5:57 PM on March 4 [27 favorites]

As other users have mentioned, tipping is built into the price Uber charges you and pays out to the driver, which is one reason why it is usually more expensive than the nominal fare to take a yellow cab. You are free to tip above and beyond, but it is not socially expected (yet. If enough people start doing it, it becomes expected - of course, nothing is stopping Uber from then reducing their charges in expectation of passenger tipping, similar to how restaurants can pay less than minimum wage).
posted by pravit at 5:57 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

Is there even a mechanism to tip? I don't think you can add any extra to the fare you're charged. Unless you're talking about using cash?

I mean, it's designed as a cashless service, where payment is completely automated. That's part of the point.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:58 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]

I used uber on a weekly basis, occasionally daily, and have never tipped in addition to the base fare. I use it most frequently in LA, but have used it in Atlanta, NYC, Chicago and Boston.
posted by banannafish at 5:59 PM on March 4

It seems to me that the driver will likely be paid his or her full rate, regardless of whether you use a credit or not. That's Uber's corporate advertising expense, and not the driver's concern.
posted by alexei at 5:59 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

I have offered a tip for drivers who have gone above and beyond several times (like seriously you found your way to somewhere where I don't know where it is and get me home safe when I'm drunk I'm gonna hook you up) and they all politely turned me down.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:01 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]

I have never tipped an Uber, and I have used it a lot. It's included in the fare. I tip 20% in restaurants.

Ditto. The whole point of it is that they have your credit card on file and there's no fumbling to pay the dang thing. Half the time I don't have cash, and it's not like in NYC cabs where you can use a card, and then add tip (which I always do). It FEELS weird not to tip, but tip is included already.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 6:41 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

I haven't tipped on my few rides. And, like you, was wondering about this a few weeks back and asked my colleagues who use it all the time -- they've never tipped either.

I wish people who *do* tip upthread would stop, as it just makes it frustrating for everyone (drivers and passengers) if there's confusion about what's expected.
posted by losvedir at 8:18 PM on March 4

How much is the "standard" tip included in uber?
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:20 PM on March 4

I tried to tip an Uber driver once for going above and beyond (he helped me load my groceries into his car, then helped me unload them, and waited for me to return my cart) and he refused, saying he was sorry but he was not permitted to accept any tips.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 9:02 PM on March 4

One of the reasons I like Lyft is the freedom to tip upward. I'm wondering if UberX is similarly tip capable.
posted by artlung at 10:22 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

I used both Uber and UberX - there's no tipping option. I also use a standard town car service when I book in advance. There's no tipping there either.

If you like tipping, then Uber/X may not be the service for you.
posted by 26.2 at 11:35 PM on March 4

To clarify, I'm going to be using UberX, not regular Uber.

If you like tipping, then Uber/X may not be the service for you.

Oh, no, it's not that I particularly like to tip (or that I'm Ritchie Rich) but I definitely expect to tip for certain services. I know that technically I'm not expected to tip for Uber so I'm finding all these answers very helpful and interesting.

BTW, Lyft can suck it, because I can't join without a facebook account.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:37 AM on March 5

One of the reasons I like Lyft is the freedom to tip upward. I'm wondering if UberX is similarly tip capable.

Interestingly it like looks you can adjust the standard tip percentage (20%) for Uber Taxi but not for UberX. And even with Uber Taxi it seems like you can only do it from the website, not the actual app. Of course it could be different for other cities (I'm in Chicago).
posted by mullacc at 6:53 AM on March 5

I've tipped UberX drivers for above and beyond service. One guy drove me a very long distance and then had to head back in peak rush-hour traffic so I tipped him an extra $20 for being super nice about the inconvenience.

Generally though, I do not include any additional tip. If someone is just really great and professional, but within the realm of not-exceptional service, I make a point to comment that they were good in the little ratings thingy.
posted by forkisbetter at 9:16 AM on March 7

Uber drivers get 80% of the fare charged to you - Uber corporate keeps the remaining 20%.

Here in DC, it has completely changed the way I travel. I tried to tip the driver once and he declined and told me I shouldn't do that, because Uber takes good care of them.

I have heard of passengers tipping to boost their rating (you did know that Uber drivers rated the passengers didn't you?) but the driver who mentioned it to me frowns on that idea.

I would not tip Uber drivers. You're already paying a premium for the service. The drivers know that.
posted by Thistledown at 10:22 AM on March 7

So last night I was still undecided up to the last minute, but when it came time to order the car my phone's battery died so I just took the bus.

I did not know that drivers got 80% of the fare. I guess I thought they were only getting 20%, but that doesn't really make sense either. I also did not know that passengers get rated or that people tip to gain favor but I think I can live with "excessive nervous chatter."

It FEELS weird not to tip

I think that was my biggest stumbling block, although I'd certainly attempt to tip for exceptional service.

Thanks to all, this was very helpful.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:06 PM on March 8

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