How Much to Tip Uber Driver

How much should you tip an Uber driver?

The recommended tip is a 20 percent tip for an exceptional service, 15 percent for good service and 10 percent for a just fair service. The Uber app currently has an option for in-app tipping in all cities that have the tipping functionality enabled. You can give the tip directly to the Uber driver or do in-app tipping. In the app, there's a number of tip amount options you can pick from and tip your Uber accordingly.


The Uber Tipping Culture


Uber was the first of its kind. It was established in 2009. Uber, as a ride-hailing company, set the standard for ride hailing.

In 2009 when Uber had just entered the market, there was no option for tipping on the app. Further, in the years that followed, when customers reached out to Uber asking whether they should tip, Uber responded in a twitter post that tipping is not necessary with Uber.

That a tip is neither required nor expected by the drivers. They, at that time, informed customers that a 20 percent tip was already incorporated into the fare and that there was no need for riders to tip because drivers take home most of the fare.

Under this facet of tipping, tipping is seen as a way to help drivers earn more revenue. This is only one facet of the diamond.

Tipping is not only for ‘charitable' purposes, but there is a main reason why tipping should be done.

By definition, a tip is extra money given to a service provider, on top of payment for the service, as a token of appreciation for a service well or exceptionally delivered.

Thus, if you have not received good service, you don't have to tip. Tipping is not like a reflex as it has turned out to be taken in recent times, in certain parts of the world.


The Flipping of the Coin.

Because of the monopoly that Uber was enjoying around the initial years of its establishment, Uber drivers would make on average 1,500 dollars per month, which was a liveable wage.

The story changed around 2014, when many other ride-hailing apps like Lyft, Juno, FlyWheel, and others joined the market.


In economics, when faced with stiff competition, a business has to differentiate the product or lower prices in order to survive amidst the competition.

Uber decided to lower their prices so as to stay competitive in the market that was now getting saturated.

The pay of Uber drivers took a downward plunge.

Many of them complained that it was not sustainable anyone. A number of strikes broke up in various cities where drivers expressed their dissatisfaction.


The Infamous Video

In February 2017, a controversial video circulated on social media. In this clip, Uber's C.E.O at that time, Travis Kalanick, was arguing with an Uber driver.

The driver was expressing his dissatisfaction over Uber's focus on raising standards like upgrading software, while dropping prices.

The driver expressed that the lowered prices were making drivers bankrupt and to lose a lot of money.

Kalanick defended Uber's stand by emphasizing that Uber is having many competitors, so Uber has to lower its prices to stay in business.

A few months after this experience, Uber included a tipping option on its app. Initially, Uber culture was of not tipping the drivers because Uber was paying them adequately.

What caused this shift in paradigm? The prices of Uber had gone so low that the drivers were no longer able to make a liveable wage.

So, does that mean that the burden was being shifted to the customers by the company? This is a controversy.


The Four Facets of Tipping.

The tipping culture has four different contexts to it. In some countries like Japan, tipping is frowned upon.

The attitude is that if you tip a service provider, it's like you're insinuating that they are poor. In Japan, it is also emphasized that everyone must receive unconditional service.

So, anything that could bias the service provider, like tips, is unacceptable. In other countries, like Australia, tipping is not a consideration to prioritise.

The rule is that employers must pay their employees an adequate pay that's fair enough to compensate for their work or service provided.

In the United Kingdom, tipping is done out of appreciation for service that goes above and beyond.

And in America, tipping is customary because it is argued that by tipping, you are a considerate and good person since some service providers are not paid a sufficient wage.

Therefore the tip received makes up for the deficit so that the workers can be able to earn liveable income. Therefore in America, tipping takes on an ethical facet.


Humanity Vs Economy

A number of people are against the tipping idea. Their opinion about tipping is that it takes out humanity out of human interaction and replaces it with a commercial transaction.

What is your thought on this? On the other end of the spectrum is a group that supports tipping under the reasoning that in the capitalist economy present in most countries in the world, money is the medium of expression.


“Are you shifting the burden to us?”

The way tipping has become almost something mandatory to Uber customers does not resonate with a number of people.

The drivers themselves currently expect a tip and most of them would be very frustrated on not receiving one. This has raised many questions.

Why did Uber have to cut down on the pay the drivers receive? Why wouldn't the company adequately pay its drivers that are supporting the business to a large extent?

Is Uber paying the drivers less because they are factoring in revenue from tips when determining how much to pay?

Honestly, not everyone taking an Uber has the capacity to tip every time or even at all due to financial constraints.

An Uber customer once remarked that “If the economy is so bad that you can't improve the driver's wages, don't expect the rider living in the same economy to afford the tip.”


No Money to Waste

Financial discipline requires that you make sense of every penny you spend; that you make accountability for the expenses you make.

There's not much money to splash around without reason. The question then arises, should you tip an Uber driver?

The answer is dependent on a finite number of reasons. In some cases, it is an outright “yes”. Excellence speaks for itself.

If you have always been an Uber rider, and you meet an Uber driver that gives you an excellent service, one you will notice it, and two, you will want to tip them.

Then obviously it's great to go ahead and tip them. The other end of the rod is when you meet a careless Uber driver that almost causes an accident.

Why would you tip this one? This highlights that you only have to tip at particular times when certain preconditions have been met.


The Standard Reason

Yes, you should tip the driver on grounds that they deserve it. Not because of the pathetic business they're in, but because they have offered you a service above and beyond the call of duty.

This is the main criterion and reason for tipping an Uber. If the Uber driver has been very respectful, supportive or done anything that has made their service outstanding and above normal service, then sure, why not give them a tip?


When the Driver Has had to Wait.

Another reason is when the Uber driver has had to wait for you for sometime beyond the agreed time on a scheduled ride.

Compensate for this time they have lost and appreciate them in form of a tip. Like it was noted earlier, the current world economy is mostly capitalist.

Therefore the tip should be monetary. Don't tip with a beautiful smile or say to them “good luck”. It won't be much appreciated.

Considering the fact that the pay the drivers receive from Uber is not enough to make a liveable income, a tip will be received with much gratitude and joy.


Reward Extra Efforts

When an Uber driver provides extra services or products in their car to make you comfortable, tip them. Most Uber drivers will not go this extra mile.

Whenever you are given distinguished and extra service, it is very good to tip because you're encouraging excellence and also appreciating someone's efforts.

Where it's Due.

These are not the only reasons why you should tip an Uber. You can always tip whenever you feel grateful or whenever you feel like.

The reason for your tipping could be divine, out of inspiration or any other reason. What should be ruled out is the allegation that you should tip as a must, which puts you in a tight position and compromises your satisfaction and power of decision-making as an individual.

Similarly, it would really be absurd to hold back a tip from someone who deserves it. Give thanks where it's due.