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

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.

Do you tip Lyft drivers? Yes, we think so. And here’s why.

Why You Should Tip Your Lyft Driver

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 a 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: Mobile Tipping: A Guide For The Most Popular On-Demand Services

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 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.

One case not to tip is if the driver directly asked for, or strongly hints at a tip. If a driver does this, don’t tip them. They know better.

I’ve had this happen only handful of time on rides I normally would have tipped on.However, when the drivers started suggesting I tip, it made for a very uncomfortable situation and I opted to not reward that behavior.

But to reiterate… if you have good service that you think deserves an extra couple bucks, don’t think twice. Tip the driver to reward them for good service. It’ll go farther than you think.

Lyft Tipping Policy

Lyft encourages tipping 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, 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 in tips, they will get to keep.

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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.

How 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.


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 heart-felt thanks.

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.

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 ride
  • Pickup and dropoff locations
  • Amount you’d like to add as a tip

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


Does Tipping Lyft Drivers Affect User Rating?

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 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!

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This post was last modified on December 1, 2017, 9:18 pm

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