A Lyft riders guide to Tipping

Tipping is a social norm that shows the level of satisfaction a person has after receiving a satisfactory or excellent service. There are certain percentages that were deemed standard practice, and they varied between 8 to 12% of the service fee. For some reason, ridesharing was not included in this social norm, and we have always wondered why this so. We now present an article explaining the importance of tipping Lyft drivers and how much to tip.

Lyft is a service just like any other, such as waiter services, taxi services, and courier services. While all these other sectors receive tips, passengers for some reason think that Lyft drivers earn enough and don't need to be tipped.

This assumption is not correct, just as in any other service industry, there are expenses and fees to be paid. Lyft takes 20-25% of all income and the cost or expenditure to manage a ride is around 25%, this leads the driver to earn around 55% of the actual fare. So, if a ride was $12, and it lasted 30 minutes, the driver will only earn $6.6. Lyft drivers do not work non-stop, there are lull times, and in between rides they sit waiting for a ride, and during the time they are not driving a passenger they are not being paid.

To summarize, while Lyft markets high incomes for drivers, in reality, the average driver doesn't earn much and there are days when they earn less than $5 an hour. The best way to supplement earnings is from tips.

Another source of confusion is the rating system, passengers will seek out 5-star drivers, but in reality, maybe 10% of all drivers have 5 stars. If you do get a 5-star driver, it means that he or she is either working especially hard to provide you with a comfortable and safe journey or just a new just driver(New drivers start with a default 5 star rating). This means you should tip them for their services. Having stated this, most of the drivers have a 4.7-4.9 star rating, so you should tip them anyway irrelevant to their star ratings.

Some interesting facts;

Lyft drivers will be very pleased to receive a minimum 10% tip, in the case of a $6-$10 trip this comes out to $0.60 to $1.00. To you, this might seem like "small change," but to the driver when added up over the number of rides he provides daily it can reach $20-30 by the end of a good day. It also states quite emphatically that the rider enjoyed the ride and appreciated the driver.

In reality, most passengers that do tip tend to give around 15%-20% since a $10 ride will only cost an extra $1.00 to $2.00 and these are important amounts for the driver.

Suggestions from Passengers

Most passengers do not tip their drivers. But the riders who do give tips, they tend to give around 20%-30% for short rides under $10 and a minimum of $5 for rides over $20.

We also found out that drivers that speak or hint about tipping are usually left without a tip, and that is a lesson they need to learn. Since the tipping process is via the app, the uncomfortable feeling you have is alleviated since you don't need to tip in person, only after you leave the ride.

Lyft Tipping Policy

Lyft does encourage tipping and even states that the tips are 100% the drivers, Lyft does not take any part of the tip.

When a ride is over, the passenger receives a tipping button popup; the rider can tip or not, should provide feedback for not tipping. In the case of a cash tip, riders can tip the driver with cash. For in-app tipping, the rider does not need to tip immediately and can do so up to 72 hours after the ride is completed. If a passenger misses a tip, that means after the 72-hour period is up, they will need to contact Lyft support to tip the driver, this is termed retroactive tipping.

To retroactively tip a driver you will need to provide the Lyft support with the driver's name, the time and date of the ride, the pickup and drop off locations and the amount you want to tip.


Tipping should not affect ratings since ratings should be anonymous.Drivers do not see if the rider have tipped or not until after rating the rider. However, if you tip and rate in the car after the ride, drivers will see this and be able to reciprocate. So, if you don't tip, or if you rate low, you will get a reciprocated response from the driver affecting your rating. We suggest you never tip and rate in the car when dealing with a ride that has problems. If the ride was great and the driver perfect, then tip and rate in the car, even complement the driver while you are doing it, otherwise, if you intend to rate low or not tip, only close off this feature once you are at least 60 minutes after the ride.