Do You Tip Lyft Drivers or Other Rideshare Services?

Ridesharing has become a huge service, making taxi-like transportation available with ease and speed. All you have to do is pull up an app on your phone, request a pickup, and a few minutes later you’re on the way to your destination. While this service is convenient, it’s often pricey.

Check out our Lyft Tip Calculator for fast & easy rideshare tip calculating!

After paying a healthy fee for the service, you’re prompted to then throw in some additional money at the end of your ride. So, do you tip Lyft drivers? Or any other rideshare service drivers, for that matter? To put it briefly – yes. It is standard courtesy to tip your Lyft, Uber, or other rideshare service drivers.

Rideshare drivers provide a human labor service, similar to waitstaff at a restaurant. They help facilitate and take on the labor of driving so you can get home safely when intoxicated, get to the airport without having to pay exorbitant airport parking fees, and oftentimes, your rideshare driver will let you listen to your favorite bops over and over to their well-masked dismay.

“Could you play ‘Take on Me’ again? I promise, this is the last time…”

Because of the service and human labor aspect of being a Lyft or Uber driver, it is highly encouraged that you tip the driver for their time and for hopefully providing you with a comfortable ride experience.

Now, there are several questions that come up when tipping your rideshare driver. We will go over some of the reasons you should tip your Uber and Lyft drivers, how much to tip under certain circumstances, whether you should tip cash or in-app, when you should NOT tip your driver, and finally – how to make the most of your rideshare experience.

Why You Should Tip Your Rideshare Driver

Beyond the fact that rideshare driving is a service provided predominantly through human labor, there are a few other reasons you should tip your rideshare driver:

  • It helps your driver make a livable wage. Many rideshare services do not pay what’s considered a livable wage for their drivers, leaving it up to the customers to fill the gaps.
  • Vehicles take on wear and tear, increasing the cost of driving with time. This has to be offset somehow and tips help alleviate this cost.
  • Drivers can rate riders! That’s right. While you can rate your driver, they can rate you. The worse your rating is, the harder it will be for you to get a ride in the future; you may be matched with poorer drivers as well.

When it comes to the livable wage aspect first mentioned, it’s a sad truth that many rideshare apps leave their drivers needing more to make ends meet. Things like the amount of work available, demand, and supply can impact average hourly rates for drivers.

While it does seem the average hourly rates for drivers has been increasing with time, it’s still best to tip drivers to ensure the service remains competitive and high quality drivers stick around.

How Much to Tip Lyft Drivers

When it comes to figuring out how much to tip Lyft drivers, you don’t have to be left scratching your head! As with most tip-focused services, it’s recommended to tip 15% to 20% of the total fare.

How Much Should You Tip Lyft Drivers or Uber Drivers?

So, if you spent $50 on a Lyft ride, you would tip $7.50 to $10 for a standard ride. There are some circumstances where you may want to tip more or less than the recommended range.

  • Standard Rides: a ride less than one hour you should tip in the 15-20% range. Excellent service could increase this slightly
  • Long Rides: for rides over an hour, or with stressful/dangerous traffic or weather conditions, you should tip at minimum 20% of the total fare, more if possible. Don’t exceed $25. Some rideshare services cap total tip amount (for example, Lyft caps at $50).
  • Shared Rides: when you ride with others and you’re not the only one in the vehicle, shoot for tipping a little less than 15-20%. The range should be more in the 12-17% range. The expectation is other riders should also tip in this range.
  • Phenomenal Service: a driver who blows your mind with service should get a higher tip amount, in the 21% to 25% range. We will cover what qualifies as phenomenal service later in this guide.

It’s important to know – tipping is entirely optional. Don’t feel pressured to tip. However, if you are capable of providing a tip, it’s highly recommended to do so, in order to help increase the driver’s average hourly pay and keep competitively talented drivers engaged with the service on a macro level.

Tipping Cash vs. In-App

When it comes to tipping your Lyft or Uber driver, you’ll always be prompted to tip in-app. This leaves a new question to be answered: should you tip your driver in-app or with cash?

Let’s go over the pros and cons of both tipping cash vs. in-app for your rideshare service.

Pros and Cons of Tipping Lyft Drivers with Cash

Tipping with cash comes with some pros for driver, but comes with some downsides.

Pros of tipping your Lyft or Uber driver with cash:

  • You get more control over tip amount; you can circumvent tip caps if you would like.
  • Cash is immediately accessible to the driver. No waiting for a deposit.
  • Some rideshare apps have processing fees from tipping in-app. It is uncommon to have these fees, but in some cases they are there.

Cons of tipping your Lyft or Uber driver with cash:

  • Driver now has to deposit the cash in the bank if needed, making an extra trip for them.
  • More difficult to track/report cash tips on earnings and taxes at the end of the year for the driver.
  • Harder to track expenses if you’re riding for business reasons.

Pros and Cons of Tipping Lyft Drivers In-App

On the flipside, tipping your driver in-app comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Pros of tipping your Lyft or Uber driver in-app:

  • Extreme convenience. Tip will get deposited into the driver’s bank account with their routine payouts.
  • Easy record keeping; you can look at total expense for ride at any time (helpful during tax season for both driver and rider).
  • In-app often can help you select a percentage to tip and it will automatically calculate your total tip.

Cons of tipping your Lyft or Uber driver in-app:

  • Some apps have processing fees on payouts/tips. It isn’t common, but can still show up, especially in less-known apps and services.
  • Some apps will have a limited selection of tipping options, restricting you to certain tip amounts.
  • If the app bugs out, it could make tipping difficult.

All in all, The Gentleman’s Playbook highly recommends tipping your drivers in-app, that way both parties have a record of the tip for tax season and to avoid any confusion when attempting to provide a cash tip.

If you’re highly satisfied with your rideshare experience, you can also tip both in-app and then add some more in cash so the driver gets an immediate cash exchange in person.

When Should You NOT Tip a Lyft/Uber Driver?

There’s no uncertainty that, in general, the answer to if you should tip your Lyft driver is yes.

When Should You Not Tip Lyft or Uber Drivers

Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which you should NOT tip your Lyft or Uber driver. Here are some scenarios where you may want to refrain from tipping your Lyft driver:

  • Safety: the driver was not safe while driving. Frequent collision close calls, drastically speeding, or driving aggressively.
  • Rudeness/Harassment: if your driver was particularly rude you may not tip. Some drivers may make rude comments or statements toward you or others. For example, we had a driver who held a $10 bill out of his window in front of a homeless man at a stop, yanking it out of reach until the homeless man “promised not to spend it on dope.” This was inexcusable behavior that impacted the tip for the ride.
  • Policy or Law Violation: if the driver violated the law or the rideshare app’s policies, you may decide to withhold from tipping.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Ride-Sharing Experience

  • Advice for riders on how to improve their ride-sharing experience, beyond just tipping their driver
  • Suggestions for things like communication with the driver and managing the pick-up/drop-off process

Do You Tip Lyft Drivers?

You were wrapping up a ride and asking yourself, “do you tip Lyft drivers?” – we hope we answered clearly and were able to help you determine how much to tip Uber/Lyft drivers!

In short, you want to tip Lyft drivers a percentage that’s reasonable in relation to the service offered while considering quality, length, and safety of service. It’s generally best practice to tip an average of 15% to 20% of total fare for an acceptable service. Phenomenal service would induce a higher than normal tip range. Extremely unacceptable/unsafe service could be a fair enough reason to not tip at all.

Check out the rest of The Gentleman’s Playbook, the men’s lifestyle blog (that even women can enjoy!) that helps people learn the skills they need to make it in an ever-changing world.