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Do You Tip Lyft Drivers? How Much? [(year) Etiquette]

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Key Takeaways

  • Tipping Lyft drivers is recommended but not mandatory; helps offset their costs.
  • Lyft suggests a 15-20% tip; 100% goes to drivers.
  • Drivers cover own vehicle expenses and aren’t paid for “dead miles.”
  • Tip with cash, within the app post-ride, or by contacting Lyft support.

Key Takeaways

  • Should you tip? Yes, tipping Lyft drivers is recommended. It’s a gesture of appreciation for their service and helps cover their operational expenses.
  • How much? Generally, a tip of 15-20% of the fare is appropriate. For a $10 ride, a $1.50 to $2.00 tip is fair.
  • Why? Drivers don’t get reimbursed for the miles traveled to pick you up. Tipping helps offset their costs and the portion of earnings taken by Lyft.
  • Lyft’s Tipping Policy: Tipping is optional and can be done via the app or in cash. Lyft allows drivers to keep 100% of tips.

Do You Tip Lyft Drivers?

Yes, you should tip Lyft drivers. Tipping is a way to acknowledge the driver’s service and helps offset their operational costs like gas, vehicle maintenance, and the portion of income taken by Lyft.

Tips are especially appreciated since drivers don’t get reimbursed for the time and miles spent reaching you, known as “dead miles.” Although tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s a courteous gesture to reward good service and is always appreciated by drivers.

As a driver who is constantly giving rides, I can tell you that tipping goes a long way. It’s a big part of what incentivizes me to stay on the road and keep giving rides.

Think about it – Lyft drivers don’t make as much as you think we do. When all is said and done, drivers are only making around $15 per hour, which is less than minimum wage in most cities. On top of that, we’re liable for our own expenses.

So you can see how an extra tip on top of that can really add up – even if it is only $1 or $2 for each ride.

What is Lyft’s Official Tipping Policy?

Lyft’s official tipping policy is supportive of tipping but does not make it mandatory. Passengers are encouraged to tip drivers, but this is not included in the initial ride cost.

Tipping can be conveniently done through the app, with an option to tip appearing at the end of each ride. Lyft ensures that 100% of the tips go directly to the drivers.

Passengers can also choose to tip with cash at any point during or at the end of the ride. If tipping through the app, the amount is added to the ride cost and charged to the passenger’s card on file.

Additionally, Lyft encourages passengers to provide feedback about their ride experience.

How Much To Tip Lyft Drivers

A recommended tip for Lyft drivers tip between 15-20% of the total fare, with adjustments based on the quality of service and length of the ride.

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For a $10 ride, a tip of $1.50 to $2.00 is considered fair. On shorter rides costing under $10, a tip of $1 to $2 is suggested, while for longer rides over $10, consider a $5 tip.

If you’re using a promo code for a discounted ride, it’s especially courteous to tip since you’re already saving money. Tipping is a way to reward drivers for good service and is generally appreciated, regardless of the amount.

Calculate Your Lyft Tip Amount

Use our Lyft tip calculator to easily estimate your driver’s tip. Just enter your details, and we’ll calculate it for you.

Click/tap to calculate your tip

Why You Should Tip Your Lyft Driver

Aside from tipping being the norm among service businesses in American culture, tipping your Lyft driver is also important because they bear significant costs and responsibilities beyond just driving.

Lyft drivers use their own vehicles and time, but a substantial part of their earnings, sometimes up to 42%, goes to Lyft. They also cover expenses like fuel, vehicle maintenance, and taxes.

Importantly, drivers aren’t compensated for the time and distance traveled to pick you up, known as “dead miles.” Consequently, the income they make from fares is often less than it seems. Tips help mitigate these costs and make their work more sustainable.

Additionally, exceptional service, which is not as common as one might think, deserves recognition. If a driver provides a standout experience, tipping is a direct way to appreciate and reward their effort.

3 Simple Ways to Tip a Lyft Driver

Sold? Good, I’m glad you’re helping drivers out when you take a ride.

Adding a tip to your ride can be done one of three ways: give them cash, include a tip when you rate the driver, or retroactively add a tip to your Lyft ride.

a vector graphic of a woman handing a lyft driver lyft tipping money through the window of the car after a ride

1. Cash Tips

The simplest way. If you’re satisfied with the service, you can hand cash directly to the driver, often resulting in a warm and appreciative response.

2. Completion of Ride

Tips can be added digitally up to 72 hours after completing the ride. Go to your trip history in the app, and near the rating section, you’ll find an option to add a tip. Choose the amount you wish to tip, and it will be included in your fare.

3. Retroactive Lyft Tip

If you decide to tip after 72 hours post-ride, the regular method through the app won’t work, as the link to the ride receipt becomes invalid. In such cases, you need to contact Lyft support.

Provide them with the driver’s name, the date and time of the ride, pickup and drop-off locations, and the tip amount you wish to add. Lyft support will then process your tip to the driver.

For a detailed walkthrough, check out this tutorial from Hank Williams:

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Tipping Lyft Drivers Affect User Ratings?

No, tipping a Lyft driver does not affect a passenger’s user rating. Drivers cannot see the tip amount until after the ride has ended and the passenger has rated them. To maintain privacy, rate and tip after exiting the vehicle.

What Percentage Does Lyft Take From Drivers?

Lyft’s take rate from drivers varies, but according to the article, it can be around 33%, not including tips. This percentage is calculated by comparing the amount the passenger pays (minus tips) to what the driver earns (also minus tips).

What are your thoughts on Lyft tipping? How much would you suggest giving a driver? Let us know in the comments below!

18 thoughts on “Do You Tip Lyft Drivers? How Much? [(year) Etiquette]”

  1. Here is a 100% example in real life that explains the word “Irony”. Any rideshare driver that picks up passenger’s at the local drinking establishments – where they were tipping the very people(bartender,waitress,waiter, who were serving them the booze that could possibly get them a DUI! Yes, of course, tip those people heavily.But, when it comes to your rideshare driver, who has to smell you nasty alcohol breath and try to decipher while you attempt to complete a sentence(all the while praying you don’t vomit)and saving you at least $10,000.00 minimum,plus, probably a suspension on your driving privileges,(cannot begin to count how many passenger’s I have driven because of a DUI – driving privileges revoked – you can see it in there face when they tell you – shame)So,to get to my point on Irony – why wouldn’t you tip the guy that is saving you, if you are willing to tip the guy or gal who is going to bring a shit storm into your life? Just Say in – Eddie

    Reply
  2. Here is a 100% example in real life that explains the word “Irony”. Any rideshare driver that picks up passenger’s at the local drinking establishments – where they were tipping the very people(bartender,waitress,waiter, who were serving them the booze that could possibly get them a DUI! Yes, of course, tip those people heavily.But, when it comes to your rideshare driver, who has to smell you nasty alcohol breath and try to decipher while you attempt to complete a sentence(all the while praying you don’t vomit)and saving you at least $10,000.00 minimum,plus, probably a suspension on your driving privileges,(cannot begin to count how many passenger’s I have driven because of a DUI – driving privileges revoked – you can see it in there face when they tell you – shame)So,to get to my point on Irony – why wouldn’t you tip the guy that is saving you, if you are willing to tip the guy or gal who is going to bring a shit storm into your life? Just Say in – Eddie

    Reply
  3. What is Lyft’s ‘Tip Increase Receipt’? What does it mean I did or did not do when I tool a Lyft ride a few days ago?

    Reply
  4. I always tip drivers, in cash. Most are delighted to get the “free” extra. Funny, though: one day last week a driver seemed insulted that I offered him money; he actually refused to take it because we are “neighbors.” It may have been a cultural thing (male/female, employer/employee), but it left me feeling bad. Maybe Lyft should instruct their drivers that tips are meant as a sign of gratitude, not that the passenger thinks you’re a servant or something.

    Reply
  5. I tip in cash, the standard issue 20% except I round up to a whole dollar. Not round down so I don’t have to dig around for coins. However the fare is much higher here! In comparison to Vegas where I use the service the most. I will probably knock that down to 15% cash tip here! it’s so expensive.

    Reply
  6. it’s sometimes under $10, yes, but that’s like $8 more than what the same route will cost you if you took public transport, or would be worth paying versus taking your bike, so an additional dollar just makes it so much worse. Uber and Lyft are so expensive. If you’re not happy with the pay, don’t do it.

    Reply
  7. I just started working for Lyft this week, literally 4 days ago. I have completed 15 rides or a few more ( I don’t feel like opening up my driver app and locating the actual number of rides I’ve given but just wanted to give you an idea of the percentage of riders whom tipped VS the number of riders whom did NOT tip). Out of the 15 rides I’ve given in my city, North County San Diego, CA; only 2 let me spell it out to emphasize T-W-O people gave me a tip amounting to 5 dollars. The first was a gentleman coming from college approx 21-25 years old he gave me 3.00$ on a 4.25$ non-shared ride. The second rider was approx. 23-28 years old male and he gave me 2.00$ tip on a 3.00$ shared ride. To familiarize anyone whom wouldn’t know what “shared ride” is compared to the regular ride option. Shared rides are discounted anywhere from .20 cents – a few extra dollars because you are splitting the cost with a rider locking to take a Lyft that can be picked up in a very close vicinity of your drop off location at the same time you are already inside your Lyft vehicle in transit. I found it quite frustrating that if you want to call it quits and you are dealing with “shared riders” I started a ride and as I finished another ride popped up, and then it continued for about 4 rides. I had wanted to stop “Lyfting” passengers bit your ratings
    Go down if you do not accept Lyfter inquiring to catch a ride to their destination. It costs a certain amount extra if you have a second person with you – and I believe on a shared ride you are only given the option to have a second person accompany you on your ride. On a side note, I found out later you are able to turn off your driver availability mid ride if you are finished and it will allow you to finish out the current rider and once the ride reaches their destination the app will automatically take you offline (GOOD to know!!’). A regular more expensive priced ride is by yourself with any of your added passengers, and once finished with their ride it searches until it fonds another Lyfter needing pick up. So anyway, the total amount of tips I’ve received thus far is 5.00$, which let me state this I AM SUPER GRATEFUL FOR THE TIPS – I’m a waitress I love off tips normally and I work hard to ascertain a gratuity from the people I serve at my job(s). The percentage of tippers versus NON tippers is. 13.3%….. I also recently just started taking Lyft rides over the past month or two and no matter how expensive or inexpensive, far or short distanced, quick or having to sit in congested conditions I always tip my drivers a minimum of 1.00$. If I had a pleasing ride, the driver engaged in conversation that was light and enjoyable, the driver was respectful and accommodating, etc I tip accordingly. But at the bare minimum 1.00$ is always tipped. NO MATTER WHAT. Period. The driver is taking their time to take me from point A to point B. They used their gas. The car was clean and smelled good. They are performing a service for me and that deserves a tip or Lyft wouldn’t give the option of tipping the driver was sufficient. I like the gentleman’s comment above about the similarity of a Lyft driver to the bartender serving you the alcohol, causing you to get wasted, that being the reason you are not driving and requested for the Lyft driver to come pick you up so you do
    Not get a DUI and have the MANY EXPENSIVE consequences that come as a result of breaking the law. All I’m saying is why is that 13% TWO people only decided it was necessary and appropriate to give me a tip while the other 13 plus riders, who predominately had very cheap fares didn’t choose to give a gratuity. I mean and many asked me to drive to a near by different location than initially stated at the start of their inquiry. And I happily obliged.. to be helpful accommodating and make sure they got to their destination safely… idk. Tipping is not an obligation it is a personal choice and I just don’t understand how there is any difference between a waitress, a bartender, the valet whom parks your vehicle while u are at their establishment, and so on… my rides mainly cost the rider 3.00$-4.80 and were the shared discounted option during peak hours… and if you can’t pay a gratuity on a service that inexpensive then that’s a Damn shame I truly hope people learn to have some compassion and etiquette for receiving services from people working to make a fair living as well. What is the alternative having a low life scum bag all drugged up steal your purse, you credit cards identity social… break into your car or home and steal so they can’t make a living. I know these are very extreme examples but it’s real life and everyone complains about that alternative and wishing those criminals would make an honest living…. so be fair and help
    Out your fellow community members And tip accordingly please! Okay rant over! Lol

    Reply
    • Good rant. These things need to be said. I honestly cannot imagine not tipping a driver. I mean we tip when we pick up takeout food for heaven’s sake!

      Reply
  8. I always tip more than the stated percentage… even if it’s going to set me back. I just want to make sure my drivers are taken care of and also cause I feel guilty for being quiet and distant, not being an exciting conversationalist.

    Reply
  9. Just lyfted today! Gave 15 rides in the Cincinnati area. 1 tip. Wow. I drive a clean Lexus, I’m friendly, I get them there safe and efficiently, but only 1 $2 tip.. It boggles the mind. It’s not a race or age thing either. People just aren’t tipping anymore. But there is something fun that I discovered. Considering I’m a contracted employee, I CAN go back and look to see if a passenger tipped me or not. I simply wait about 8 hours, and if I do not have a tip, I give them a 3-star review with the comment No tip. Why 3-stars? Because, based on Lyft’s algorithms; if you give a passenger a 3-star rating, you will never be matched with them again. So, my theory is that one of two things will happen…Either I stop getting rides altogether and I get a real job, or I will start to only get matched with riders who have a high likelihood of tipping. Either way, it’s a win win. I would invite all Lyft drivers to to this! Imagine, Joe Passenger trying to get a Lyft, but not being able to because he can’t be matched with anyone anymore! There is a service for people like that! It’s called the bus! Oh and thank you to that one guy who tipped me today. Seriously, you don’t know how much it means…or maybe you do and that’s why you did it. God Bless!

    Reply
    • I just this week received 2 Lyft rides provided by 2 separate businesses. I did not tip as I thought the tip was already built into the fare. I feel really bad now because my drivers were very polite. Maybe there are more riders out there that just don’t know any better. Now that I know, I will do better in the future.

      Reply
  10. For those who are baffled about the lack of tipping- it’s a good old 80/20 rule!
    Unfortunately in this example tipping is at 20%
    ONLY 20% of the people tipping
    “WHAT A PERSON DOES WHEN NO ONE’s WATCHING AND WITH NO KNOWN CONSEQUENCES”
    Simply put they’re not paying the driver directly so ….. .
    I HAVE DRIVEN FOR LYFT AND UBER
    IT WAS ONLY WHEN I OWNED AND OPERATED A TAXI THAT I WOULD GET TIPPED 80+ % OF THE TIME.
    by the way for the record the county sets the prices on how much a taxi charges per mile not the company !
    24/7 365 days a year ‘NO’ surge pricing !(which I like to call gouging)
    With ‘Luber’ the drivers are only only getting 10% of the gouging anyways!
    face it UBER was a good idea when they had it, and that’s where it sits
    The General public is always gonna go for a cheap alternative to transportation.
    Raise your hand if this makes sense…. you’d pay someone to smile take your order and walk from the kitchen which is probably 20-30 ft away to your table smile and maybe come back and ask how your food is ?
    but tipping the person who has your life in their hands and is providing an oh so crucial service (said by most) that they get to where you need to go .
    Its the 80/20 rule again
    In my opinion !
    Stay tuned for my follow-up post about how it is that Uber and Lyft drivers are employees not independent contractors
    By how much control that they wield over everything that driver does.

    Reply
  11. I tip each driver $5.00. That’s the best I can do. I’m a senior on a fixed income. I thank the driver for the rides that get there and home safely. I salute you all. God’s blessings on you all. I just started to use my rides this year because I had to. I pray the 18 rides I have last for the remainder of the year! That means I only get 9 rides for a year round trip. So I am thankful to have these safe trips back and forth!

    Reply
  12. I drive for Uber. I was driving for Lyft, but Lyft is crooked and taking the tips. I have no doubt that Lyft does not report and give you all of the tips riders give. I rarely got a tip with Lyft, maybe 10% of rides, or less. With Uber it is over 50%. And I have the highest of ratings with both.

    Reply
  13. I typically tip in the %20 range, but lately Uber has screwed me over with pricing. The app says the ride that is normally $60 will now cost you $97! When this happens I have to recoup some of the added expense by reducing the tip. I don’t know if the driver or Uber gets that temporary increase.

    Reply
  14. I have over 6000 rides driving with Lyft. 5 star rating, nice car, conversation if wanted, very careful driving, etc. I’m lucky if half of my passengers tip and it is frustrating and hard to understand. What other service provider takes responsibility for your life and safety and gives their 100% attention to the very demanding job: in this case, driving? It is exhausting work to always be on.
    That said, the other 50% are often very generous so that my overall tip rate ends up being about 20% to 25%.
    I’m sure that if passengers knew that drivers only receive 50% or less of what the passenger is being charged more would tip.

    Reply

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