How to tip a cab driver

Ever wonder if you’re tipping your taxi driver the right way? For those of us who ride in taxi cabs regularly, we’ve developed a checklist of sorts in order to make the whole endeavor a bit easier. Was the ride smooth? Did the driver get you to your destination on time? Were they friendly? All of these things factor into how much you decide to tip your taxi driver. But what if you’re an infrequent user of taxis? Do you tip the same amount that you would a waiter in a restaurant? More? Less? Below are our 7 tips for tipping our taxi cab driver to help alleviate the anxiety, avoid embarrassment, and ensure that you’re properly rewarding excellent taxi cab service in the future.

1. Give them a tip (when they deserve it)

First thing’s first, if you got a great taxi ride, then yes you absolutely should tip. Many riders aren’t sure if it’s appropriate to even tip a taxi driver, and we assure you that yes it’s definitely appropriate (when the driver does a good job), and your driver will be very grateful.

2. Tip at least 10% or not at all

If you decide you got good taxi service and want to leave a tip, make sure to leave 10% or more. Anything less, and you might as well not leave a tip at all. More importantly, if your fare is less than $10 and you want to leave a tip, leave a full dollar. It’s more insulting to get a 50 cent tip, and it’s more hassle, too.

3. Tip more if they helped you unload your luggage

If your taxi cab driver is extra helpful and offers to help you load and unload your luggage at the airport, provides friendly conversation, or offers a pleasurable experience overall, it’s best practice to reward them for going the extra mile. Consider tipping 20% or more for these sorts of rides.

4. Don’t ask for changeHow to tip a cab driver

When you’re tipping, it’s easiest for both parties if you just round your tip to the nearest dollar. Don’t tip $11.53 (especially if you’re paying in cash). Tip $12 and call it a day. You don’t want to be fumbling around looking for spare change, and to be honest, most taxi drivers don’t even carry change on hand if you ask them to break your dollar. Save yourself some face and just round to the nearest whole dollar.

5. Know what size tip to give to reflect ride quality

As with other areas of tipping culture, it’s important as a customer to know how to gauge ride quality and to tip accordingly. If you tip a high percentage for a poor ride, you’re just rewarding the driver and encouraging a low bar for future rides. We recommend tipping 10% for an okay taxi ride. Bump it up to 15% for a standard-grade taxi ride. Tip 20% or higher if your taxi driver provided assistance with luggage, offered friendly conversation, got you to your destination in a timely manner, etc. What if your taxi ride was just awful? Don’t tip. This tells the driver that they were providing service that was below satisfactory, and encourages them to improve.

6. Pay attention to the route

Did your driver take the quickest possible route to get you where you’re going? Did they pay attention to traffic and take steps to avoid heavily crowded areas? If it seemed like your driver went a roundabout way or wasn’t adapting the route based on rush hour traffic, this can be a reason to give a lower tip. A good taxi driver will have extensive knowledge of the surrounding area and should also be able to suggest different attractions nearby if you’re a visitor. If your driver is inattentive to your needs and doesn’t seem to have a good understanding of your area, then take this into consideration when deciding how much to tip.

7. Tip Uber and Lyft drivers, too

As Uber and Lyft are pretty commonplace these days, it’s important to remember to tip these drivers as well. Often times, if you can tip in cash for these drivers, it’s better. The apps don’t always provide a space for you to leave a tip, but you should follow the same tipping etiquette that you would for a traditional taxi driver.

How to tip a cab driver

New York City’s iconic yellow taxi cabs are literally everywhere in busy Manhattan. Though they can be costly to ride, taxis are usually the most convenient method of traveling throughout Midtown. Arm yourself with basic knowledge and tips regarding New York City taxi customs so you are prepared for your ride around the city that never sleeps.

Licensed Cabs

Hail only a taxi that’s licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. This ensures the taxi driver and car meet the city’s safety and security regulations. Look for a label with a company name, taxi license number and telephone contact information. Qualified vehicles also display a purple NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission decal on both of its rear passenger windows, and the driver’s taxi license on the back of the driver’s seat.

Payment Methods

You may pay by cash or via credit or debit card. There are no required minimums or extra fees for using a card-based form of payment; if a driver demands extra for such use, file a complaint by dialing “311” on your phone and reporting the taxi driver’s license number. If you use a credit or debit card and your total taxi fare is $25.00 or more, you must sign a receipt.

Taxi Fares

As of February 2010, New York City’s taxi rates start at $2.50, plus $0.40 for every 1/5 mile or 60 seconds of stopping. Depending on traffic, a ride between major attractions in Midtown will cost you $5 to $8. Riding from Midtown to the southern tip of Manhattan Island for attractions like the Statue of Liberty typically run $7 to $10.

Save money by not catching a taxi between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., when taxis add a $0.50 surcharge to trips. Taxis also charge an extra $1 on rides between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Tipping

It is customary to tip your taxi driver between 10 to 15 percent, depending on the quality of service. If your taxi driver helped you with your baggage, add $1 in tips for every luggage piece with which he assisted you.

Exiting the Cab

New York City’s streets are notoriously busy. Always step out of the taxi cab through the passenger side of the car that’s facing the curb, even if this means you must slide across the backseat.

Speak Up

All New York City taxi cab drivers are separated from their customers by a glass partition. The noise of the city can often drown out your voice. Speak loudly if you need to make a request.

Backseat Technology

Many New York City taxis have entertainment consoles on the back of the driver’s seat. These are touch-sensitive screens that display the latest news and show your location on a map. Use your time in the cab to catch up on what’s happening in Manhattan or to plot your travel after you arrive at your destination.

  • "Frommer's New York City 2010"; Brian Silverman, et al.; 2009
  • "Lonely Planet: New York City"; Ginger Otis, et al.; 2008

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.

How to tip a cab driver

Tipping customs for cab drivers vary from country to country and even from city to city. Fifteen to 20 percent of your fare is a good rule of thumb, but you can tip more or less depending on your experience. Check with the locals when you arrive at your destination to determine what you should consider when tipping your cab driver.

Area Knowledge

A good cab driver will have a strong, thorough knowledge of the area in which he works. He should not have to ask for directions if you provide a street address. If he does ask, he should do so no more than once. If you ask for advice on where to go in his city, the driver should be able to suggest a few popular attractions without much effort. He should also be aware of alternate routes in case of a traffic jam or accident that obscures the road.

Speed of Service

Cab drivers cannot help traffic jams, but they can choose the most efficient route and take steps to decrease driving time. Feel free to tip low if your cab driver dawdles or takes an unnecessarily circuitous route. Reward your driver with a few extra dollars if he makes record time or manages to avoid an accident or traffic problem. Time is money — when a cab driver reduces your time in the cab, he’s also reducing your total fare. Make up the difference when you tip.

Extras

All cab drivers should offer to help with baggage; if yours doesn’t, don’t feel obligated to tip above and beyond the norm. Utilize your driver’s local status to get more out of your trip, such as asking him to indicate points of interest throughout the trip. Don’t punish your driver if he’s too busy driving to play tour guide, however. Tip more if he gives you insider advice, such as where to go for extra-cheap drinks or the best time to see a particularly popular place.

Demeanor

Cab drivers deal with dozens of strangers every day and many have become inured to the whole process. If your cab driver is friendly, helpful and doesn’t mind chatting, reward him with a better tip. If he talks on a cell phone throughout the trip, is verbally abrasive to other drivers, drives recklessly or cuts you short when you ask questions, don’t tip more than 15 or 20 percent. Don’t hesitate to get out before your destination and refuse to pay either fare or tip if you feel the driver’s behavior or driving warrants it.

  • CNN Monday: How Much to Tip
  • Vegas Hipster: Las Vegas Travel Guide

Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

How to tip a cab driver

A friendly and proficient taxi driver can greatly enhance your ride, just as grumpy cabbie with questionable driving skills can make the drive a nightmare. In either case, the tip you give upon reaching your destination is a way to show the driver what you thought of his service. In general, the tip should be a percentage of the cost of your trip, with a few extra bucks added for helping you with your luggage, if applicable.

How Much to Tip

The Emily Post Institute, a nationally recognized etiquette organization, recommends tipping your taxi driver between 15 and 20 percent of the total trip fare. As you approach your destination, check the cab’s meter and make a quick calculation in your head or with the calculator app on your smartphone. If you’ve traveled with luggage and your driver has helped you, it’s proper etiquette to tip more. The general rule is $2 for the first bag and $1 per subsequent bag.

Influencing Factors

Although your tip should typically be between 15 and 20 percent, a variety of factors can influence exactly how much you give. Give on the upper end of this range, or even above 20 percent, if the driver gave exemplary service — for example, if he drove quickly but safely, offered friendly banter or provided some details about a city you’re visiting. You don’t have to leave a tip if the driver is unfriendly or drives in an unsafe manner. Additionally, take down the cab company’s phone number and the driver’s number and report him.

How to Tip

It’s a smart idea to always carry some cash when you plan to travel by taxi. Cash is a simple, straightforward method of tipping. Many taxi companies allow you to add a tip to your debit or credit card bill, just as you might at a restaurant. Occasionally, however, you’ll encounter an unscrupulous driver who insists that you pay by cash. To cover your bases, call the cab company before your trip and ensure you can pay and tip with your card.

Traveling Abroad

Taking a taxi while traveling abroad requires a slightly different approach. The tipping expectations in each part of the world vary greatly; in some countries, 10 percent is appropriate, while in others, $1 is acceptable. In many European nations, such as Spain and Greece, you can simply round up your fare to the nearest dollar. To avoid being exploited financially, check with the cab company about how much a trip to your destination will cost. Many airports also sell tourist guides that explain tipping customs in the country.

How to tip a cab driver

Whom do you have to tip when you travel and how much?

Traveling is supposed to be relaxing, but many feel their chest tighten when they encounter multiple tipping opportunities: cab drivers, bellhops, doormen.

Do you tip them all?

Do you tip them all the same amount?

How do you know?

To help Americans better understand appropriate gratuities, Angie’s List, a consumer website for rating service professionals, surveyed members and service professionals to get their take on tipping protocols in the United States. The tippee’s unsurprising consensus: When in doubt, tip big!

Hotel Tipping

  • Bellhop: $1 to $2 per bag
  • Car valets: $1 to $3. You can tip when you drop off the car if you like, but definitely tip at pickup.
  • Room service: 10 percent is acceptable, 15 percent to 20 percent for a large or difficult order.
  • Housekeeping: $2 to $3 per night; $5 if you have more than three people in a room/suite. Leave the money in an envelope with "Thank You" on it, so they know the money is for them.
  • Concierge: Nothing. But if you have something brought to your room, such as a sewing kit or extra toothbrush, a $2 to $3 tip is appropriate.
  • Cabana attendant: 15 percent to 20 percent of your total bill
  • Tanning attendant: $5 to $10 per lotion application
  • Doorman: $1 for help with each bag, $1 for hailing a cab

Transportation Tipping

  • Cab driver: 15 percent to 20 percent tip of the fare. (Find out ahead of time if your cabbie accepts a credit card. If he or she doesn’t, make sure you have enough cash for both fare and tip.)
  • Airport Red Cap/Baggage personnel: $1 to $2 per bag
  • Wheelchair attendants: This really depends on the level of service. If the attendant is transporting the passenger from the check-in to the gate, $5 to $10 is the standard, especially if the attendant assists in helping the passenger from a car. If the attendant is also wrangling bags and with the passenger for a longer period of time, a $10 to $20 tip is appropriate, depending on the number of bags.
  • Airport transportation attendants: If the driver helps you with your bags, offer $1 per bag.

Restaurant Tipping

  • Servers: 15 percent to 20 percent of your total bill after tax. Most servers make less than $3 an hour, so tips are really their salary.
  • Bartenders: $1 per drink. If you’re waiting for a table, it’s also polite to close your tab at the bar and then start fresh with your server for your meal.
  • If you order food at the bar: Same as if you were seated — 15 percent to 20 percent.
  • If you use a discount coupon for your meal: Tip your server on what the bill would have been before the discount. A little extra for discounted "happy hour" drinks is also appreciated.
  • Host/hostess/busboy: Nothing. Generally, they receive a cut of the waiters’ tips each night.
  • Coat check: $1 per coat. Pay when you retrieve your belongings.
  • Bathroom attendant: Nothing, unless your attendant gives you a safety pin for that broken strap or a piece of gum for your garlic breath. Then, tip generously.

Personal Care Tipping

Salons and spas can be among the most confusing places to determine who to tip. A good rule of thumb is to tip each person based on the cost of the individual service, not your total bill.

For most people, the question “Do I need to tip?” is a familiar one. In the United States, tipping is customary for good service, and in many cases it’s considered a basic courtesy. Because tipping practices and amounts are not mandated by law or by most private businesses, the particulars around this custom can be confusing. Aside from the typical tipping locations like bars and restaurants and hotels, salons, spas, coffee shops and even dry cleaners often now present tip jars, which can flummox even the most seasoned consumer.

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb at restaurants and salons is 15 percent to 20 percent; bartenders receive $1 per drink; and a pedicurist can receive anywhere between 10 percent and 20 percent. An area that regularly confuses people is taxi tipping. Generally speaking, the rule for taxi or car service tipping is 10 percent to 12 percent, with an extra dollar or two if you receive assistance with your luggage.

Why tip?

No, tipping is not mandatory (although some establishments do include a service charge as part of the overall bill), but it is common practice, particularly in the United States. One reason is that many workers ‒ particularly in the restaurant industry ‒ rely on tips as a large part of their income. Other reasons to tip are to compliment a service employee for going above and beyond the basic duties of their job, for performing an exceptional service or for being especially personable. Some people use tipping as a way of being remembered in the hope of receiving exceptional treatment in the future.

What about Las Vegas?

Tipping in Las Vegas is a little different from tipping in other areas of the U.S. Most employees in Las Vegas, as in other tourist cities like Miami, work for tips and a low hourly rate. While prices for services may seem low, factoring in a tip for all services that require personal interaction with an employee is the standard practice. There are several reasons why. For one thing, the pace is faster in Las Vegas, and cab drivers work very hard to ensure that you safely get where you’re going on time in a busy city. Generally speaking, with fares up to $15, a $3 dollar tip is sufficient. For rides with a fare that falls between $15 and $33 dollars, a $5 tip is appropriate. For rides that cost more than $33, a tip of 20 percent to 30 percent is considered appropriate. Generally, if you are going to the airport, the practice is to give a higher tip, particularly if the driver has assisted you with your luggage or gotten you to the terminal during an especially busy time of day.

New York City

New York City is another busy city where service professionals thrive on tips. Bartenders, servers, hotel concierges and housekeeping all rely on tips from patrons to build their income. Cabdrivers are among the most famously tip-dependent employees in the city, particularly since ride-share apps have changed the climate for workers like these. Whether you’ve hailed a yellow cab or are using a ride-share app, all drivers appreciate tips, particularly in cash, although new technology enables you to swipe for your rides and add the gratuity to your card. An appropriate tip for cabbies is between 10 percent and 20 percent in the City of New York, but rides to the airport should absolutely receive a 20 percent gratuity, if not more. Rush hour in the city is particularly challenging, so if your driver takes a circuitous route in an effort to give you a more timely arrival, you’ll want to tip on the higher side.

New York City Taxi Fares and Tipping A cab ride to or from John F. Kennedy International Airport and anywhere in Manhattan is a flat rate, plus any toll fare. If your driver was courteous and drove safely, you should tip between 15 and 20 percent.

How much do you tip a car service driver?

In most companies that have customer service, the tip is based on 20% of the total price you pay for; others give 10% depending on whether or not the service was to their liking.

How much do you tip a limo driver for 8 hours?

Remember, a tip of 20% should apply to the total amount of limousine rental. While it may seem generous to tip a limo driver $20, a stretch limo could cost more than $100 per hour.

Can Uber drivers tell if you tip?

Uber drivers do not see their tip amounts until after they have rated you. In fact, Uber drivers have to rate their passengers before they can even accept another fare. In the Uber driver app the driver must swipe to complete the ride and at that point they are immediately taken to a ratings screen.

Can I request a woman Uber driver?

You are not able to request specifically for a female driver with Uber and Lyft. With local taxis and limo companies, you may be able to request one. If you want to stick with rideshare companies, there are specific companies that only employ female drivers, check out the following: Safr.

Can I request the same Uber driver?

The Uber app cannot match you with a specific driver. When you request a ride, your app sends your request to nearby drivers to pick you up at your pickup location.

Can I have someone ride with me as an Uber driver?

The short answer is no. You can’t ride with someone else while you drive for Uber and Lyft, and doing so can get you deactivated from both platforms. However, you can drive with a companion if you’re driving for UberEATS, other delivery services like Postmates and DoorDash, and some other on-demand jobs.

Can Uber drivers talk on the phone?

Are Uber drivers allowed to talk on the phone? Uber does not say that you can or can’t talk on the phone while driving. It says to follow state laws regarding phone use.

How to tip a cab driver

The subject of tipping in America is a minefield of dos and don’ts, of etiquette or protocol, what hard and fast rules and blurry lines. Most people know that 15 percent is the generally accepted amount to tip in restaurants, but when it comes to paying for a cab, many people aren’t even aware of the need to tip, let alone how much.

So how much should you tip a cab driver? Do you need to tip at all? And how to new ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft come into the equation? Here is a guide for all of your tipping questions.

Tipping Cab Drivers

First of all, do you need to tip a cab driver at all? The answer for almost any situation is yes. Of course, as with any tipping situation, you have the choice to forgo a tip. But, as with any tipping situation, it is a generally accepted social norm to tip your driver, and unless they did an absolutely abysmal job or were rude to you, you should probably do so.

Now that you know that you need to leave a tip, how much do you tip? Again, there is no hard and fast rule for this, but the general rule of thumb seems to be around 20 percent. If in doubt, round up. Of course, there are certain things that will affect the exact amount that you decide to tip. Some factors to consider might be:

  • Chosen route–a driver cannot control traffic, but the rare dishonest driver might take an unnecessarily long and winding route to the destination.
  • Whether they help you with your bags and such.
  • General demeanor, how friendly they are to you. If a driver is rude, you do not need to tip at all.
  • You may also want to consider how the driver acted towards other people on the road, whether they swore, talked on the phone, or were generally offensive.

Tipping Uber Drivers

With new ridesharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, there is less pressure to tip drivers, and both services have told riders that tipping is not necessary. However, there are means within the app that allow riders to tip their drivers, so if your driver does a good, efficient job, a tip might be worth your while–especially since riders get ratings too!

For more tips and advice, check us out on Facebook or take one of our courses for defensive driving Texas.