Ten years ago not tipping your taxi driver was considered incredibly rude and almost unheard of in the United States. Then everything changed when ridesharing popped onto the scene. Uber and Lyft started out promoting a “no tipping culture” during their first few years. In fact, during this time, not tipping was so heavily enforced that driver’s even faced deactivation if they asked for or hinted at a tip from the rider.
After a couple years, Uber and Lyft did change their tune and allowed tipping, though they were still quick to state that “tipping is not mandatory”. Now, in 2022, both companies have done a 180 and encourage tipping! Through all the confusion, many riders are now unsure on the tipping etiquette across all for-hire vehicles.
We are here to say, yes, you should 100% still tip your taxi driver (and rideshare drivers!). Many drivers depend on tips to earn their living. If a driver provides excellent service then it is only appropriate to compensate them accordingly.
What is the appropriate tip amount? The tip percentage can vary from location to location but here are some good rules of thumb.
Tipping in the United States
In the United States, the standard rate in big cities like Boston, New York to Los Angeles is between 10-20%. To help decide which end of this bracket you should tip on, look at the service that was provided. Did the driver have impressive local knowledge? Was the speed of service appropriate? How was the driver’s overall demeanor? And, did the driver go out of his or her way to help with your luggage or make an extra stop?
In Europe, tipping is not as common as it is in the United States. Generally, riders will simply tip 1~2 Euros instead of a percentage.
When you start traveling overseas, customs transform and in some cases a simple gesture of gratitude could actually be insulting. For example, the Japanese are uncomfortable accepting tips and are more likely to be confused or offended. Australia, South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil are other countries that do not consider tipping a common practice. Turkish cab drivers do not expect to be tipped, but the cab fare will usually be rounded up. In India, tipping is traditionally not an obligation but it is becoming a more widespread practice. Economic factors in New Zealand, such as the high income tax, highly discourage society from offering gratuity for such services.
To compare rideshare and taxi options, complete with estimated prices, check out our RideGuru Comparison Calculator.