What To Know About Tipping Your Uber Driver

It's no secret that tipping has long been embedded in American culture. While tips are never compulsory, they have become customary, considering how many service workers rely on them to keep afloat. For instance, when you eat at restaurants, it's expected that you tip anywhere from 15 to 25%, regardless of the caliber of service you receive.

Tipping when eating and drinking out is involuntary for many at this point, as is tipping hotel housekeepers, hairdressers, nail technicians, movers, and even pet groomers. You also likely tip the valet for parking your car safely, but how about Uber drivers? They take you from point A to point B at the push of a button, and you most likely heavily rely on them when traveling in an unfamiliar city, during a night out, or when you need someone to take you to the airport at dawn.

Tipping on ride-hailing services like Uber can be confusing since it wasn't even an option from the get-go. When Uber was launched in 2009, a tipping feature was notably absent, with the app's primary appeal being rooted in the fact that your fare already covered all the necessary expenses. It wasn't until 2017 that the tipping was introduced in-app, allowing riders to tip their respective drivers with just a few taps. But how does one go about tipping? And most importantly, what's the proper amount to tip a driver for safely whisking you from one place to another?

How much should I tip my Uber driver?

The process of tipping on Uber is as easy. After you complete your trip, the app will nudge you to rate your driver, and then you'll be taken to a screen where you can either chooseĀ from predetermined tip amounts or key in a customized tip. You can do this up to 30 days after the trip. And yes, 100% of your tip goes to your driver's pockets.

Of course, you should never feel pressured to tip, and surprisingly, 60% of riders never do anyway, according to a 2019 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. But considering how Uber drivers only earn an average of $8.55 and $11.77 per hour after expenses, per Ridester, with some even offering extra services like assisting you with carrying your stuff or providing you with a charger, you may feel inclined to tip. International etiquette consultant Julia Boyd suggested tipping 10% at the minimum and 15 to 20% for outstanding service. "Uber drivers will often have exceptionally clean cars and fresh water for their passengers," she told The New York Times. Meanwhile, rideshare driver Christian Perea told Quartz that "it's smart to tip" if you've asked Uber drivers to wait or have them drive you to a remote location.

At the end of the day, it's your prerogative how much you'll tip, or if you'll even tip at all. But after exiting the vehicle, it's worth taking a minute to assess if your decision is fair to the driver who got you there.