How to tip your Uber driver

Uber recently added a tipping feature in their passenger app. The ride-hailing and delivery company seeks to have tipping in all US and Canadian cities by the end of July 2017. Uber makes tipping simple and unobtrusive:

  1. After the ride ends, rate the driver. [This is not new, of course.]
  2. A tip screen follows. [This is new.]
  3. Choose a preset amount (usually $1, $2 or $3), or enter a custom amount.
  4. Click “Done.”


Screenshot showing Uber's rating screen. A text bar tells the passenger that the tipping screen is next.
Uber’s new tipping feature follows the rating screen at the end of a ride. Uber sends a receipt before the passenger enters the tip amount.

One minor flaw: two transactions.

Uber adds another transaction to your credit card. The two transactions presents the only flaw in the system. When I used the app, Uber immediately ran my card when the driver ended the ride (see small arrow in screenshot above). Then I rated and tipped, and Uber put through a new transaction. Hopefully, like Lyft, Uber will pause until the tip is entered before running the transaction. 

Screenshot of Uber's tipping interface. It has three preset amounts and an option for a custom amount.
I gave the driver five stars, now on to the tip. Uber’s tipping interface has three preset amounts and a custom option.

If you’re not convinced it’s a good idea to tip, I have nine reasons to tip your Uber driver.

Why did Uber add tipping now?

Emerging Regulations. New York City regulators proposed requiring tipping. The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission proposed that ride-hailing platforms accepting only electronic payment (like Uber) have a tipping feature.

Poor pay/high turnover. Uber charges low rates, and pays its drivers poorly (outside NYC, especially). This helps cause high turnover. According to a recent study, only 4% of new drivers stay with Uber for a year. Lyft, Uber’s major competitor in the U.S., had in-app tipping since its launch. 

CEO Departure. Uber added tipping as part of a driver-focussed initiative called “180 Days of Change.” Over the next 6 months the company promises to release new features to improve driver experiences on its platform. The company announced the initiative on June 20, 2017, mere days after its driver-hating CEO, Travis Kalanick, announced a leave of absence (which later turned into a resignation–whoo hoo!). Coincidence? I think not.

Whenever I’m at a store or restaurant that doesn’t accept tips, I assume that the employees are well compensated. This isn’t the case with Uber. First, the driver’s aren’t employees. Second, Uber pays poorly. So, if you like your service, I suggest tipping the driver.

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