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Lyft Tipping Guide For Passengers: Should You Tip? How Much?

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Before the rise of rideshare giants like Uber and Lyft, tipping a good amount on almost every service rendered was common practice.

But as the on-demand service model expanded into virtually every industry available, the question of Lyft tipping for passengers was called into question.

Should you tip Lyft drivers?

Yes, we think so. And in the post below, we’re going to break down why we think you should.

Video Summary:


Why You Should Tip Your Lyft Driver

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Lyft, like any exchange of services for dollars, requires a driver to use their own vehicle and time to come pick you up, then give you a ride.

Most passengers consider the fare more than adequate, but as an experienced driver, I can tell you there are a few things that most passengers don’t realize that drivers are responsible for.

  1. Lyft takes a large portion of a driver’s income. In some cases, this can be as much as 42% of total earnings.
  2. Drivers pay for more expenses than you realize. This includes gas, vehicle maintenance, taxes, etc..
  3. Driver’s don’t get paid for the time and miles they incur to come pick you up. These are “dead miles” that they waste.

In short, drivers pay a lot to operate their vehicle, and they get reimbursed for almost nothing. At the end of the day, they make much less than the fee you pay them for the ride.

Tips are a great way to offset these costs and make driving somewhat worthwhile.

Additionally, there really aren’t that many 5 star drivers on the road.

From my personal experience, I almost always tip 5 stars. However, the amount of drivers who deserve 5 stars is probably only around 10% of rides I take.

If you notice a driver that stands out from the rest and seems to go above and beyond to provide you with a good experience, tip them.

They gave you good service, so they deserve to be compensated accordingly.


Related:


How Much To Tip Lyft Drivers

Lyft drivers understand that some passengers tip and some don’t.

Overall, they’re pretty happy with any amount they get.

I’ve been there before, and even a dollar makes a driver’s day a little better.

Lyft Tipping Screenshot from Quora
Lyft tipping explanation from Quora

The explanation above is a great reason of why you should tip, and the 15-20% suggestion isn’t too far off the mark.

If you take a $10 ride, giving $1.50 – $2.00 is pretty fair for both parties.

My suggestion is to give a dollar or two on short rides (under $10) and $5 on longer rides (over $10).

If you’re using a Lyft promo code and taking a discounted ride, then make sure to definitely tip.

You’re saving a good amount, so passing along part of those savings to the driver goes a long way.

Tip the driver to reward them for good service. It’ll go farther than you think.

Lyft Tipping Calculator

To make things easy on you, we’ve built a Lyft tip calculator that you can use to estimate what the tip for your Lyft driver should be.

Simply enter the information in the fields within the calculator, and we’ll do the rest.

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Lyft Tipping Policy

Lyft encourages you to tip drivers, but they do not include these in the ride cost, nor require passengers to tip.

If a rider wants to tip, they make it incredibly easy to do so via in-app tipping, but they don’t have to if they don’t want to.

At the end of each ride, a tipping button pops up and riders can add or subtract a tip from the ride.

They are also encouraged to provide the driver with feedback, highlighting what they liked or didn’t like about the ride.

According to Lyft, 100% of tips go to drivers. Whatever you give a driver, they will get to keep.

If you decide to tip a Lyft driver with cash, simply hand them the cash before, during, or at the end of the ride.

If you tip through the Lyft app, the tip will be added to the ride cost, and charged to the card you have on file.


3 Lyft Driver Tipping Options

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

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.

1. Cash Tips

This one is easy. If you’re happy with the service, pull out some cash and hand it to your driver.

You’ll likely get met with a warm and heartfelt thanks.

2. Completion of Ride

Tips can still be added to a fare, up to 72 hours after a ride has been completed.

After the ride, just navigate to the trip history, and near the rating section, you’ll see a prompt to tip. Add the tip you want and you’ll be set.

3. Retroactive Lyft Tip

If you wait longer than 72 hours to leave a tip, the link to the ride receipt will no longer be valid and you won’t be able to click through to it.

Contacting Lyft support is the only way around this, but they’ll be happy to add a tip to the ride.

Provide them with the following information and your tip will find its way to the driver:

  • Driver’s name
  • Time and date of the ride
  • Pickup and drop-off locations
  • The amount you’d like to add

Still confused? Check out this step-by-step Lyft tipping tutorial from Hank Williams.


Does Tipping Lyft Drivers Affect User Ratings?

Tipping a Lyft driver does not directly affect a passenger’s user rating.

Drivers cannot see the tip amount until after the ride has ended and you’ve rated them, so there is no way for them to know until they’ve completely closed out your ride.

However, I’ve noticed that rideshare drivers will sometimes watch me end the ride and rate them, and rate me according to how I ended the ride.

To counteract this, simply exit the vehicle, then rate and tip them after you’ve completely ended the ride.

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


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

13 thoughts on “Lyft Tipping Guide For Passengers: Should You Tip? How Much?”

  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

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