How often do you ride with Uber? Do you tip Uber drivers in Canada?
The service is one of the biggest players in the gig economy, and many customers wonder whether they should tip drivers in addition to the fees charged by the Uber app itself.
Generally, it’s customary to leave a small tip for Uber or Lyft drivers, especially if you received exceptional service. However, it’s not required.
Below, I’ll answer all of your questions and offer some basic tipping etiquette so that you can earn a five-star rider rating!
Should You Tip Your Uber Driver?
In 2022, Uber celebrated its 10th anniversary in Canada, and its partners (drivers) have given over 500 million trips to Canadians and delivered 300 million orders via Uber Eats. While Lyft has been gaining traction in Canada, Uber is still the dominant player in the rideshare economy.
Uber tipping can be a tricky subject, and you’ll get different answers from different people. Most drivers will say that riders definitely should tip, while penny-pinching riders may beg to differ.
As a whole, Canada tends to have a strong tipping culture. It’s considered polite to leave a tip (even if it’s just a couple of bucks) for waiters, bartenders, valets, cab drivers, and of course – rideshare drivers.
Here are some of the key factors that may play a part in whether or not you tip and how much you tip your driver:
- How kind or accommodating the driver was
- How much traffic the driver had to deal with while picking you up
- How clean the vehicle was
- The type of conversation you had with the driver
- How far from the city centre the driver travelled to drop you off
As a general rule, I always try to tip my Uber driver. It’s just good manners and shows that you care. The only exception is if the driver was overtly rude, disrespectful, or had a filthy car (which happens very rarely).
Surge pricing may also affect the tip that you leave a driver. For example, drivers receive far higher base pay for rides during high-demand “surge” periods. During these times, customers pay a higher-than-average premium for their ride, much of which goes to the driver.
If you’re paying astronomically high prices for an Uber surge, then you may opt to tip less compared to if you were paying standard ride prices.
How Much Should You Tip Your Uber Driver?
After completing your trip, the Uber app should prompt you to rate your driver and offer them a tip for their services.
The app usually gives you some go-to options, including a $1, $2, and $5 tip to make everything simpler for riders. However, you can also select your own tip amount.
However, I usually follow restaurant tipping etiquette:
- Average service: 10-15% of the fare price
- Good service: 15-20% of the fare price
- Outstanding service: 20-30% of the fare price
For example, if I request a $10 ride and receive outstanding service, I’ll leave at least a $3 tip. If the driver had to drive through bad rush hour traffic or spent extra time waiting for me to walk out to the car, then I’ll usually leave a couple dollars more to appreciate them putting up with the extra inconvenience on my end.
What About Cash Tips?
The easiest way to tip your driver is through the app. The tip you choose will be added to the total cost of the fare and billed to the card you have on file.
However, you may also offer a cash tip to your driver. At the end of your ride, simply give them the same amount that you would if you were tipping with a card. It’s also acceptable to split your tip between cash and card.
Is It Bad Not To Tip Your Uber Driver?
This is another tricky question that you’ll receive different answers for, depending on who you ask.
One could also ask, “Is it bad to not tip your waiter or bartender?“
Many would say that it’s rude and inconsiderate not to tip. I would be inclined to agree under most circumstances.
Most drivers aren’t able to earn a full-time living with their base fair alone.
Some drivers I’ve spoken with barely earn more than minimum wage from fares alone and rely on tips from their riders to make the side hustle worthwhile. You also have to consider that the drivers are responsible for paying for their own fuel, vehicle maintenance, repairs, and additional auto insurance costs.
Without tips, a driver earning minimum wage from fares alone is actually earning far less once they factor in their expenses. This is why you should always try to tip your driver, even if it’s just a few bucks.
The only time that I would purposefully withhold a tip is if the driver was overtly rude or disrespectful to me, in which case they shouldn’t even be driving for Uber in the first place.
Do Uber Drivers Know If You Tip?
Although riders can tip during a ride, the majority tip after they get out of the car when the Uber app prompts them to.
Whenever a rider tips, the driver can see that they received a tip and can even react with a “thanks” button. However, the driver will only see the tip amount and the ride information. They will not be able to see the rider’s personal information, such as their name and address.
Drivers May Choose Not To Accept Tips
The majority of Uber drivers appreciate tips. Occasionally, though, some Uber drivers may turn off the tipping option. If you happen to come across one of these good samaritan drivers, you won’t have the option to tip them in the app.
If you feel the need to tip them, you can always offer a cash tip or a few words of gratitude for their great service.
How Much Do Uber Drivers Make In Canada?
One of the main reasons why many riders don’t tip Uber and Lyft drivers is that they believe that the drivers receive the full amount of the fare. For example, if the rider pays $10 for the fare, they may think that the driver gets the full amount.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Uber takes around 25% of the total fare, leaving drivers with the remaining 75%. So, if you’re paying $10 for a ride, the driver only earns $7.50.
On average, Uber drivers in Canada earn $20.59 per hour, including income from fares and tips.
In major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, or New York, drivers may earn a bit more as the city tends to be busier. In rural areas and small towns, though, Uber drivers may earn significantly less.
Conclusion – How Much Should You Tip Drivers?
If your Uber or Lyft driver was polite and accommodating, you should tip them at least 10% of the total fair price. The minimum that I would tip for an Uber ride would be $1. In some cases, I’ve tipped up to $10 for outstanding service.
At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you. Despite Canada’s strong tipping culture, riders are never required to tip, and it’s totally optional.
Want to learn more about our country’s tipping culture? Keep reading to see how tips are taxed in Canada!