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How Uber Tip Boxes Can Help Increase Driver Income In 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Uber tip boxes encourage passengers to tip in cash, enhancing driver earnings significantly.
  • Visible and accessible tip containers, especially with lights, increase night-time tipping opportunities.
  • Simple DIY or affordable purchased tip boxes can both effectively prompt passenger generosity.
  • Pairing a tip box with a polite sign can subtly remind passengers to appreciate good service.

What Is an Uber Tip Box?

An Uber tip box is a container placed within the car, designed to increase cash tips from riders. It serves as a visible and accessible means for passengers to leave gratuity, beyond digital tipping options.

These boxes can range from simple, such as a mason jar or cardboard box, to more sophisticated options that are lockable, clear, brightly colored or equipped with LED lights, motivating (combined with a cell phone charging station or candy dish), and easily reachable by passengers in the backseat.

The choice of a tip box can significantly impact its effectiveness in encouraging tips. Options are available for purchase on platforms like Amazon or Etsy, offering a variety of features to suit different needs and preferences.

Related: 23+ creative ways to make more money as an Uber driver

Benefits of Having an Uber Tip Box

There’s never a bad time to make extra money in your driving gig, and Uber tip boxes are tremendously helpful in helping you do so.

Tipping in person can make customers feel great about themselves, but often miss out on this opportunity when tipping on their smartphones.

Beyond providing a more gratifying experience, Uber tip boxes can also help you earn more cash for the following three reasons:

1. Some Riders Prefer Cash Tips

Many riders prefer giving cash tips, either for convenience, to reduce credit card use, or due to misconceptions about app-based tipping fees.

An Uber tip box provides a visible reminder and a convenient option for riders to leave a tip in cash, catering to those who either do not use a smartphone for their Uber transactions or prefer not to tip through the app.

This can enhance the tipping experience, ensuring you don’t miss out on gratuities from passengers who might forget or prefer not to tip digitally.

2. You Get Paid Immediately

Unlike the weekly payout schedule for digital tips via Uber, cash tips are immediate. This immediate access to funds can be crucial for covering daily expenses like gas and food, offering financial flexibility without the need for transaction fees associated with instant digital payouts.

3. You May Get Larger Tips

Riders tipping through the app are often prompted to choose from preset amounts, which may lead to smaller tips.

In contrast, cash tipping doesn’t restrict riders in the same way, leading to potentially larger tips due to rounding up or simply the absence of exact change.

This can significantly increase your total tip earnings over time.

My Favorite Uber Tip Boxes

Now that you understand what tip boxes are and why you should consider getting one, let’s look at three of the top tip boxes on the market. All will make effective tip jars, but some will be better for specific situations.

1. AdirOffice Acrylic Donation Box

Our first option is the most basic (short of taping a plastic cup to the back of one of your seats).

It’s also the most affordable, at just over $10.

The first thing we like about this tip box is that it comes with a lock.

This will keep passengers with sticky fingers from prying any of your tips out.

The main disadvantage of this Uber tip box is that it doesn’t come with a way to secure it to your car interior.

You’ll have to get creative with this.

One option would be to drill holes in the back of the box and then attach it to the back of a headrest using zip ties.

You’ll have to be careful in doing this, as you don’t want to crack the plastic or render your front passenger seat uncomfortable or unsafe.

Still, it works if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind using a MacGyver type of solution.

We also recommend decorating the box, as it’s kind of bland in its default form.

2. LightWorks Labs Illuminated Tip Jar for Uber Drivers

This next Uber tip box isn’t a box at all.

It’s an actual Uber tip jar, and it’s quite stylish.

This tip jar is made of glass and is filled with blue LED lights to illuminate it (you can also set the lights to white or pink if you prefer).

You’ll find the phrase, “Thank you!” printed on the jar within a heart shape.

A metal lid fits on top of the jar and has a slot for passengers to deposit cash.

While certainly more stylish than our previous tip jar option, the extra style comes at a higher price tag of $29.99.

Along with the increased price, there are also some design issues.

The main problem is that you have to figure out how to attach the jar to your car.

The cup manufacturers suggest placing it in a cup holder near the passenger seats or using heavy Velcro to attach it to the center console.

You could also use zip ties, chains, or even long Velcro straps to keep the jar in place on the back of the headrest.

This does mean more set up work for you, however, time that you might better spend picking up more rides.

There’s also the issue of the lid, which doesn’t lock in any way.

While it’s unlikely, a passenger could unscrew the lid and walk away with all the cash as they exit the vehicle.

We’re not sure of a way to overcome this problem, except for physically offering the jar to the passenger at the end of the ride (though this could make it possible for them to snatch it out of your hands).

3. Carlos Cruz Rideshare, Uber, Lyft and Taxi Drivers Candy/Tip Jar/Box

Designed by Uber driver Carlos Cruz, this one of the fanciest tip boxes on the market.

Not only does it include a box for tips, but it also includes a compartment for free candy, gum, mints, or whatever other incentives you want to have available for passengers.

Additionally, there’s even a built-in braided charging cable with iPhone, Android, and USB C phone chargers.

Finally, the tip box contains LED lights to make it stand out at night, a lock to keep your tips safe, and a strap to attach it to your car’s center console

This is not your average tip box, and the price reflects that.

At $95 (plus $15 shipping), it costs more than you might make in a typical night of driving.

Is it worth the price?

Reviews are mixed.

Many Amazon reviewers remark that it’s a superb product and an investment worth making for serious rideshare drivers.

Others, however, complained that the clear plastic portion of the box was not a high-quality material or that they had trouble fitting the box in their specific vehicle (minivans, in particular, seemed to have trouble).

We think that having a tip jar like this could help contribute to an exceptional ride experience for passengers due to its built-in amenities.

On the other hand, you can provide phone chargers and candy to riders without having to spend $95 on a box to hold them.

Honorable Mention: Tipdash

We couldn’t review Uber tip boxes without mentioning a popular option called Tipdash.

It’s similar in many ways to the Carlos Cruz, except that it’s made of black acrylic and has a message printed on it that says, “Tips not required but greatly appreciated.

Thank you.” It attaches to the center console, and it has an optional 3-in-1 charging cable and LED light with a remote control.

While it’s a good option for drivers (costing only $39 for the box itself or $59 for the version including the accessories), we can’t currently recommend it.

This is because it’s out of stock on the Tipdash website.

We hope that Tipdash resolves this issue soon, as it’s an excellent option (and the fact that it’s out of stock suggests that supply couldn’t keep up with demand)

Bonus Tip: Add an Uber Tip Sign

Even if you don’t want to invest in a tip box, adding a tip sign to your car can be a good way to make passengers aware of tipping.

While Uber has added a tip option to their app, they haven’t gone to a lot of trouble to make it obvious to passengers.

To even see the tipping screen, a rider first has to rate the Uber ride.

This doesn’t happen too often, so it’s in your best interest to encourage passengers to at least leave a rating.

If you can get them to this point, then they’ll be able to see the tipping screen.

There are lots of tipping signs on the market.

If you’re looking for a premade option, we recommend this sign (it’s pictured above).

It covers the basics, is made of durable laminated material, and is easy to hang on the back of the driver’s seat.

If you’re of a crafty persuasion, then you can feel free to make your own sign.

Express your personality and even use some humor if you can.

Just be sure that it’s legible and easily visible to someone sitting in the back seat of your car.

You can feel free to combine a tip sign with a tip box or jar, but we think that having the tip sign is the bare minimum if you want to make some extra cash on your next Uber ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I still need to report the cash tips I receive when filing taxes?

Yes, the IRS mandates reporting all earnings, including cash tips, as they are considered taxable income. While tracking cash tips may be challenging, underreporting can lead to fines based on expected earnings for your occupation.

Am I allowed to request tips through Venmo or Cash App?

es, you can offer additional tipping options by including your Venmo username or $Cashtag on your tip sign, as Uber has no rules against this.

Accepting tips via PayPal, Zelle, or other platforms is also an option, but exercise caution to avoid sharing sensitive personal information.

Are Lyft drivers allowed to use tip boxes in their vehicles?

Yes, Lyft drivers are permitted to use tip boxes in their vehicles, offering a method for riders to tip outside the app. For those driving for both Lyft and Uber, I suggest they record the amounts in and clear the tip box when switching between apps to accurately track earnings for tax purposes.

Can a rider still leave me a star rating if they don’t tip me in the app?

Definitely.
Tipping is always optional in the Uber app, so riders who tip with cash can easily rate you and then choose a $0 in-app tip.

Earn More on Every Trip

You don’t have to be pushy to earn the tips you deserve. By installing an Uber tip box, you can give your earnings an easy boost — and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a few dollars.

Try it out, and you may notice the results straight away.

Once you have your tip box installed, you can take even more steps to save on expenses and earn more.

Get our tips and tricks for maximizing Uber profits, so you can make every dollar count.

Then, check out our guide to the best dash cams for rideshare drivers to learn more.

We also suggest these guides to learn more about other driving income opportunities:

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