tipping on a fixed price fare
July 14, 2014 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Currently in LA. Negotiated with a driver the hotel recommended to drive us around this morning for a couple of hours for 250 dollars. Do we tip on top of that? If so, 20 percent or less?

Complication: he had driven us twice before. Once from Anaheim to Santa Monica for a fixed price of 180 and I gave him 230. The second time he said 100 from Santa Monica to long beach, which my mother paid and (I found out afterwards) she didn't tip. So when the driver told us 250 today he might have been expecting no tip.

He picked us up from long beach and is taking us on a short tour of downtown LA followed by sunset boulevard and then dropping us at the airport.
posted by lollusc to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (10 answers total)
As you're getting in the car, ask him whether the total he quoted you includes tip.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:12 AM on July 14, 2014

I would ask the hotel concierge who introduced you about the expectations. I would likely err on the side of a tip assuming he does a decent to good job. If he is not doing a good job, have your mom pay without the tip. That will be in line with expectations.
posted by 724A at 11:15 AM on July 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: We are already in the car on the way so it's too late to ask at the hotel or anything
posted by lollusc at 11:17 AM on July 14, 2014

If you feel like he deserves a tip, tip him. If he would normally be turning over fares quickly running to the airport, you are probably cutting into his days take if he is driving you around for more than 2 hours.
posted by maleru at 11:18 AM on July 14, 2014

Best answer: Does he own the car and his driving business? If so, no tip. If not, tip. It should be fairly easy to determine those parameters, even if you need to ask him.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:19 AM on July 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: By the way - your tip of $50 on $180? Way too high. Cab drivers should be tipped 10% unless exceptional.
posted by Dragonness at 11:38 AM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Rough guide is that black car sedan is about $60 bucks an hour before tip. That would give you a bit less than 4 hours (with a 15% tip and no tax). Generally, black car services quote the price with the tip built into the fare. Cabs and vans do not. There's no shame in simply asking the guy how he quoted the fare, but if it's more than 4 hours I would assume no tip had been included.

If he's doing a tour guide (finding nice spots to see, etc), then I would tip for that service since it's above driving. Then again, he may have booked than into the fare also.

Sorry, it's itchy but you gotta ask.
posted by 26.2 at 11:42 AM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: BTW, 10% seems low to me. I tip cabbies 15%. If I ask them to handle bags I tip a buck or two a bag - same as hotel staff.
posted by 26.2 at 11:50 AM on July 14, 2014

Best answer: That sounds pretty high to me. You could probably do this through UberX for substantially less than that, with no tip.

If you want to tip, I would tip $10 or $20.
posted by Slinga at 11:54 AM on July 14, 2014

Response by poster: Okay, thanks everyone. That all gave me lots of ways to think about it. It turned out he owned his own car and worked for himself, and he ended up driving us around for about 4 hours, so the price he quoted probably included tip, but he was pretty awesome, and stopped at inconvenient places for us to take pictures and was a great tour guide and helped us with enormous amounts of luggage, so I tipped him anyway.

Good to know that I overtipped the other day too. I have been paranoid about undertipping as my countrymen are known for it, so ice probably been erring on the side of too much. I'll do more like 15 percent on cabs in future. (Although we seriously have like seven suitcases and I heard you were meant to add a couple of dollars for each of them too so that's another 15 dollars right there, right?
posted by lollusc at 1:44 PM on July 14, 2014

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