Earlier this year, Uber fell in line with fellow rideshare giant Lyft by offering riders a chance to tip their drivers.
However, you’ve always been able to tip Uber drivers in cash. The new functionality of the Uber app will just let you tip electronically. This could make tipping more convenient, or fill in on those days when riders wish to tip but don’t have any cash.
But, should you tip your Uber driver?
Many experts say that, yes, you should absolutely tip your Uber driver if you’ve received good service.
And since Lyft drivers, as well as limo and taxi drivers, receive tips, some would argue that Uber drivers are just as worthy and just as likely to need the cash.
How much to tip your Uber driver is an entirely different question, and it may be situational.
You may want to tip your driver more if, say, they drove you all the way across town, helped with your luggage or dealt with an unruly friend. You may feel like tipping less if your driver only went a few blocks or didn’t go out of their way to make your ride enjoyable.
Still, there are some basic standards for tipping taxi drivers that can presumably apply to Uber workers. CNN Money’s Guide to Tipping suggests handing over around 15 percent of the fare plus an extra dollar or two to help with bags. That would mean tipping $1.50 for every $10 in Uber charges at the minimum.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to tip Uber drivers or, well, anyone. Tipping in the United States and elsewhere is voluntary and totally at your discretion.
However, there are a few benefits you can get out of tipping—however abstract as they may seem.
For starters, you can feel better about the fact you helped someone earn closer to a living wage—or at least enough to make their side hustle worth it. A Drive.com report from earlier this year noted that 96 percent of Uber drivers left the company within 12 months, mainly due to the fact they aren’t earning enough.
Some U.S. drivers even reported this year that, after paying for expenses like gas, auto insurance and car repairs, they barely made above minimum wage.
In addition to helping tickle your generosity bone, tipping Uber drivers just seems fair since other types of drivers have been receiving tips all along.
On the flip side, you don’t have to worry about receiving backlash for failing to tip. Even though Uber drivers can and do rate riders they serve, the rating system is only accessible before they see whether you tip or not.
So, tip if you’re feeling generous or skip it if you’re just not ready. Either way, Uber has decided their drivers deserve the chance to earn their keep.