Tipping Etiquette: How Much to Tip a Cab Driver?

Quick question… What’s the going rate for tipping cab drivers?

I ask this because I recently had an odd interaction with a cab driver. I took a relatively short, very simple cab ride that resulted in a fare of just under $22. Since I only had $20 bills, I gave him two of them and asked for $14 in change and a receipt. He handed me the change and then just stared at me without giving me a receipt. When I again asked for a receipt, he sort of furrowed his brow, then dug one out and handed it to me.

Perhaps he was just an odd, somewhat anti-social guy, but I got the feeling that he was somehow unhappy with the transaction. But why? I had tipped him 20%. And it’s not like he had done anything extraordinary — I only had a couple of small bags, and I tossed them in the back seat myself. He didn’t even bother getting out of the car at either end of the trip. I’ve noodled around on the web a bit looking for an answer, and it seems that the going rate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15%.

So that brings me back to my question… How much should you tip a cab driver?

180 Responses to “Tipping Etiquette: How Much to Tip a Cab Driver?”

  1. Arch Stanton

    I have traveled a lot for business/work purposes that has required taxis that I can expense, so HELL YES, I am going to ask for a receipt!

  2. Anonymous

    He probably thought it was weird that you asked for a receipt. I don’t know why you would need a receipt for a cab ride if you pay in cash. Between 15% and 20% seems to be about the norm in my area.

  3. Anonymous

    More idiots on here. If people didn’t tip prices wouldn’t double like some idiots think but the workers would make there minimum wage like there supposed to. A employer is supposed to pay workers minimum wage regardless tipping or not. Workers are so scared of there employer that they think customers have an obligation to pay there rent. Haaaaaaaaaa no matter how bad a tipping is or isn’t its always more than minimum wage and if its not the employer is fucking you. Everybody complains about low tips but I dont hear shit about giving back over tips. Tips are set at 15% so people who aren’t rich can eat out also without getting stares or there receipt posted on the internet. Anything under 15% for any service is considered cheap and anything over 15% of your hard earned money is a blessing.

  4. Anonymous

    Restaurant wait staff make much less than minimum wage and depend on tips to make a living, any other service makes minimum wage or better, so to them a tip is above and beyond. That is completely up to each individual.

  5. Anonymous

    This has been really helpful information! My husband and I are taking a trip to California very soon. I have never been in a cab so I wasn’t sure how much to tip the drivers. It sounds like we will be alright providing a 10-15% tip. Thanks for the help!

  6. Anonymous

    I drive a cab. I do not make an hourly rate. Depending upon whether it is slow or busy at the end of the day I divide what I made by how long I worked. 12-15 hours. Depending on companies , but I make 40% of your fare. The rest goes to the company. So if it is a real slow day or period I can make an almost $0 per hour. So I am very appreciative if you round up your fare to the next $5-$10. Say you had a short trip of 7$ , then pay $10. What do you get from me that is worth tipping? Polite service , safe careful driving , clean car. If there are any bags I always jump out and open the trunk (or door if they are small) ask if I might assist with them. Same when we arrive at your destination. Most of this I am not required to do. I am there to drive someone from point A to point B. I can hit all the potholes and corner like a racecar driver … but i don’t. Myself when I go out I always round up and tip an extra $5. I know the person behind the wheel or even those carrying the plates if they are doing their best to serve you well deserve it.

  7. Anonymous

    I am feeling guilty for not tipping a taxi that took me to the airport in DC a few weeks ago, and it just keeps haunting me. I feel like a cheap bastard. But the thing is, I live in Spain, where you do not tip taxi drivers at all. Well, maybe you hand back the change, or round to the nearest euro, but that’s it (unless they’ve been really helpful). I was in Dulles for a 7-hour layover and went into town with my family to see some sights, then took a cab back to the airport. Fare ended up at 66 dollars, and I gave him some crap 67 dollars plus the change I had in my pockets (I wasn’t going to be in the US so didn’t need US dollars). It was an awkward moment. I figured he expected more and we spoke about it… I asked and he said “a percentage” was normally expected. I could have handed over another 5 or 10 dollars, but at the time, I just couldn’t understand why this was reasonable. 67 dollars was a pretty good fare for him, I thought (and a bit expensive for me for spending just a few hours in the city). I didn’t even have any luggage, other than a small bag which I put in the trunk myself. I got blocked and just sat there with my wallet in my hands. He saw me puzzled and said words to the effect of “that’s OK” or “it’s up to you”. In the end I just got up and left. I feel sorry for the guy now, after reading this blog. But I just hadn’t researched it before nor worked in a tip into the expected final amount, and I just brought my tipping habits along from Spain. I wish I hadn’t, cause I still feel bad about it, and still feel I stiffed him (which I did). I wish the norms were more explicit. I am happy to do “the right thing”. It would just be easier if the amount they charged would be the amount I had to pay. Wherever you are, DC cabbie, I’m sorry!!

  8. Anonymous

    I realize this is an old post, but i came across it today and wanted to shed some light on some little known information. I worked for a major cab company for a little over 4 years in Louisiana as a dispatcher/manager primarily on third shift. I had taken calls, complaints, lost and found and any other position that dealt with speaking directly to customers for about a year until i worked my way up. Dispatching, i dealt solely with drivers. Most companies have drivers that are independently contacted. Meaning they pick and choose the fares they want to take, and trust me, some are picky. We had maybe 20 wheelchair accessible cabs in the city, all working whatever hours they please, so you can imagine how heartbreaking it is to try to explain to someone who had already waited an hour, that you don’t know when one will arrive and that you can not force a driver to arrive any sooner. I digress. Point is, after the driver pays the company the daily/weekly rate for their vehicle, they pocket everything else. With lease and fuel expenses, most drivers pay an average of $75-150 per day to operate their vehicle so after that, none of the money made goes to anyone Burr the driver. Down there, the state regulates the cost per mile $2.50 to get in, $2.65 per mile so this can be made back in a couple hours. We also offered the option for a driver to basically rent-to-own the vehicle of their choice. So, if they owned their vehicle, they essentially owned their own business. Cab companies work for the drivers, not the other way around.

  9. Anonymous

    As I said I do tip, and the system is unfair especially for those under a living wage. Of course, i’d gladly see the price of a meal go up to fix the system. Not a problem if i get some basic, minimum service. As long as they aren’t a-holes using the word a-hole especially when I will gladly pay more so they receive a decent paycheck.

  10. Anonymous

    Yes , in a perfect world everyone would work 40 hours & get a fair salary for hours worked. Unfortunately , thats not the case. Also , some people would rather get paid for the quality of their work , vs. hourly. Business owners , real estate agents , waitresses , etc. Is it fair that waiter, waitresses , bartenders , etc make $1 an hour ? No ! Is that the customers problem ? No. However , if the restraint starts paying the waiter $10 an hour or a salary to do their job , then expect to see the price of your meal go up & the value of service go down. If you don’t believe in tipping or you jury thinks it’s not fair because no one gives you a tip at your job , then either never use services that require a tip & quit crying OR quit your salary job & get a job waitng tables somewhere , or become a taxi driver & come back and tell me how unfair it is after 6 months. Understand the cabbie isn’t driving his own car , he’s not your old college buddy just giving you a tide to the airport. He is a business owner who probably pays what he makes in fairs back to the cab company. Is it fair ??? NO. Thats the way it is though. So either admit you are cheap & maybe a bit of an a-hole too or get with the system.

  11. Anonymous

    There is definitely some ambiguity in tipping etique. Why don’t we tip a teacher for spending 20 minutes after class with a student? What about the mechanic, the firefighter, the salesman at any store….? When do we expect a decent job done for the salary someone gets? Do we tip taxi drivers and waiters just because their salary is low? In that case we should definitely tip a lot of other jobs as well.
    It seems bosses like tips so they save money on salary, and a lot of workers like tips because they’ll get more money too obviously. But is that fair to the customer or worker to judge their service. I’d rather pay a living wage across the board when I use the service rather than be taken advantage of by a business who in turn takes advantage of its workers by giving them a low salary. The system is inconsistent and full of greed across the board in my opinion.

  12. Anonymous

    Thanks everyone for confirming what I already thought. My typical tip is 20%. I recently had a airport taxi driver say he will lower the rate and just charge me a flat rate to the airport if I “take care of him”. I’m not sure what take care of him means so I would assume that means over 20% if that is the standard. I have used this guy before and he does a great job. I just text him when I need a ride to the airport and he is there. With that being said, to those of you who don’t understand why you should tip someone for a job well done you have obviously never worked a job in which a majority of your income required tipping. If you don’t believe a taxi driver, a waitress, a bartender, etc. this earth a tip for a job well done then you should just avoid leaving your home altogether. Is driving a car something that requires a brain surgeon type of intelligence? Absolutely not! However if you don’t want to Tip , then drive your own car and then you can pay for gas and avoid tipping. If you’re going to the airport then you can also enjoy paying 10 – $20 a day to park your car there, but hey you don’t have to tip them. Happy tipping everyone.

  13. Anonymous

    I don’t think driver understood you were actually giving him a tip in the first place. I don’t understand why taxi drivers get befuddled when you ask for a credit card receipt and/or cash receipt. Business people get reimbursed and need documentation. Some companies will not reimburse for tips (mine doesn’t), so you get around that by including tip in charged amount on cash receipt. I agree, if the drivers do not do anything extra, then 10-15%.

  14. Anonymous

    Servers generally make 2.13 an hour before taxes. That is Server minimum wage. So to say “I don’t get paid more for doing a good job where I work” is ignorant. You get paid (at least) standard federal minimum wage. Servers do not. Your tip is considered part of their minimum wage. If you do not tip, they do not get paid.

  15. Anonymous

    It’s a bit funny to hear people say other people “need” to tip 15-20+%, rounded up of course. The usual taxi (in my city at least) is a run down piece of garbage, driven predominately by African refugees who cannot speak English, need ME to provide directions, never have a “working” credit card machine (despite this being required by state law), and talk constantly on their cell phone the entire ride (driving with one hand mind you). Meanwhile when I drive for business, the IRS and my company both say $0.565 per mile is enough compensation for my time and expense in driving my own car, while my state sets taxi rates of $3-3.60 per mile with $2-2.50 to start. A colleague of mine needed to get to the airport once — cab broke down in the middle of the highway (sounded funny as soon as he got in) and not only did the cabbie demand full fare, he was pissed he got no tip. “F*** you, why I do no deserve no tip?” (Uh…make me miss a $500 flight because of preventable mechanical issues)

    FYI — I rarely tip cabbies, unless, you know, they actually greet me when I get in, take me where I want to go for the lowest fare (shortest route) available without me needing to provide directions, and have a clean, safe, reliable vehicle to get me to where I want to be, and a working credit card machine to take my payment when I get there. Then I tip about 25%…I get to tip about 1 of every 100 trips. Judging by the iphones most cabbies are on the entire duration of my trip, I don’t think they’re hurting too bad when they don’t get one.

  16. Anonymous

    These responses make me sick! I currently live in Chicago and take a taxi at least 5 times a week. I am a bartender who makes about $4 an hour. I RELY on tips to survive! Make your drinks, deliver your food, CLEAN UP AFTER YOU! No you don’t have to tip at McD’s or Starbucks. The employees there are making an hourly wage. My check is usually $0 after taxes. That aside, taxi drivers choose when they work. They pay about $100 a shift for taxi rental and take home everything else. Most of you who are bitching about the price are probably the jerks who think they are above them. These people (for the most part, the cell phone dickheads aside) are really nice and have a great story if you just give them a minute of your time to treat them as you would a friend. 15 to 20 percent isn’t too much to ask when your taxi is under $20. What’s the extra buck or 2 to you? But to them it’s the difference between a good or bad fare. Don’t be a d*** just leave a tip…. And be nice to people less fortunate than you for a change. We all have less than perfect days and need someone to be a little compassionate sometimes.

  17. Anonymous

    Alex and Dwight, (the 12th and 14th comments on this strand respectively)

    I am a server at a restaurant, and I am paid $4.91/hour. I get less than minimum wage because they assume I make tips. People need to understand this. I do not quite know how it works for can drivers. But I’m assuming that they charge you a little more than the cost of the gas. If you don’t tip them they don’t make money. Se for servers. If you think about what we do, it’s more personal. And no, you probably could not deliver food like someone who has worked in it for more than six months or for years. We are basically taking care of you. Yes there is good service and bad service. When I go out, I tip 50-75%. That’s only because I am a fellow server and I understand working for tips. If I didn’t get tipped, I would make less than $5/hr. My paychecks are tiny. I just wish people didn’t feel like “oh it’s their job why should I tip?” 10% is a crappy tip. If I get that, I worry about what I did wrong and try to think of if I messed up or wasn’t attentive. It’s harder than you think. There is a huge difference between a good server and a bad server. Not anyone can do it. If the person is especially nice, I even tip $2 or $3 at the mcdonalds drive thru so I hope that answers your question. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out. Just saying.

    I found this page because I just got a taxi ride and wanted to see if I tipped well.y fare was $9 and I tipped him $4, so that’s like more than 40%. What’s $4 to me anyway? The man was nice.

    Tipping is just something you do, especially when it involves someone who makes less than minimum wage. All restaurant servers make less than $5/hr. Some only make $2.89 depending on your states cost of living. Think about that. Yeah you could do it yourself, but the fact of the matter is that you chose not to. And can drivers don’t always get paid by someone else anyway. Some people use their own car, which is what the man who drove me was doing. I even tried to tip a retail associate for helping me find something and being polite and nice about it. It’s just something you do. Don’t be stingy.

  18. Anonymous

    To all you morons who are saying you don’t tip, or why do i have to tip someone for doing their job? THAT’S HOW THEY GET PAID. Most of these service workers get paid somewhere around 2 dollars an hour and their pay IS their tips. To the ignorant asshole who said he doesn’t get tipped for being in the office for extra hours..YOU GET PAID SALARY. I work during the week in an office and waitress on the weekends so i am on both sides. I think anyone who doesn’t know why they should tip is absolutely ignorant and will not get very far in life with that attitude. When i waitress i get paid 2 $ an hour and i make money from the TIPS.
    It is ridiculous that you people think you are giving them EXTRA there is no extra THAT IS THEIR PAY they are not getting this on top of a salary, or an hourly pay. I know plenty of cab services and restaurants where the works get paid NOTHING they work only for tips.
    I have never read such stupid remarks in my entire life.

  19. Anonymous

    I really believe that customers are asked to make up for what the taxi driver needs to make for a living, but doesn’t. Taxi drivers should not be mistreated by the owners/companies they work with, with regard to wages. It should not be the responsibility of customers to pay for such short comings. Even so, I tip and I respect taxi drivers.

  20. Anonymous

    Do you not realize well in my city cab drivers dont even get $1. And hour …at least servers get a couple bucks an hour. It is the company gets 55%a then we pay for gas washing the cab and we get whats left ifof anything. If it has been a bad day with no shows or traveling alot of distance between fares a driver can actually go home owing the company money. I think it should be a 20%long and xtra according to service. ….two wrongs dont make it right.

  21. Anonymous

    Tamsie, you are correct; some drivers lease their cabs. I have a friend who leases a cab. He must take in $125 in fares per day to break even.
    There are those who drive company cabs. If they have the worst shift hours (6 PM to 6 AM) they may earn 45% of their fares. They never catch a rush hour; they have to rely on the drunks. The drivers who work the better hours earn about 38% of their fares. The drivers with better hours enjoy at least one rush hour.
    Some days a driver sits longer than he drives, just so he can be there when you walk out of the airport or train station to take you home. Because company drivers are commissioned workers, they don’t fall under the minimum wage laws. Your driver might have made $5 an hour today — maybe less.
    And you can’t toss him a bone?

  22. Anonymous

    Preach it Christy. Anyone who doesn’t tip a waitress needs to feel like crap for it! Waitresses and waiters do not I repeat DO NOT make minimum wage, heck not even HALF minimum wage! Tips are their salaries. Now my issue comes with tipping cap drivers. I know a few who own thier own car/taxi service. Some may subcontract out to get calls but a lot of the calls the ones I know get come from people calling the number they advertise on the car and in ads themselves… If a cab driver is making the profits of my fare why should I tip extra? I know the gas and car maintenance doesn’t cost as much as the fares. But since I can’t tell who’s privately owned and who’s part of a fleet, I tip anyway. I just don’t know enough about their hourly rates/profits to know if 15-20% is fair like it is for restaurant workers! Any taxi drivers want to enlighten us?!?

  23. Anonymous

    I think 15% is perfect, especially if you have no bags. And for the rude people saying not to tip at all (including restaurants) that is ridiculous. I’ve worked at multiple restaurants and you don’t get paid the normal minimum wage. My last job was $4.25 an hour and they tax your tips so usually my 2 week paychecks would be VOID $0. So Tips are everything to waiters. Sorry but couldn’t not comment on those people’s opinions that don’t know we don’t get paid the same hourly as people who work at McDonald ( who standardly make $9 starting)

  24. Anonymous

    The comment:” if you want more money do something more than pick up plates” is the most ignorant comment I have ever heard, H_Roake. It’s 5:22am right now. I’m in a cab on my way home from a bar shift I started at 2:30pm yesterday ( no I don’t drink, I’m allergic to alcohol and I don’t do drugs, I’m 30). I don’t get overtime, there are no health benifits or sick days… And news flash allllll that tipping money goes to other staff. On average, I tip out 48% of the tips I make in a night. I make aperitifs, spend hours juicing and babysit idiots like you for hours. I teach classes on the history of Bourbon and American spirits at my bar. I spend hours on my days off creating and crafting delicious cocktails that have won awards just so asses like you can enjoy a nice cold drink after you shitty day at the office. I can’t remember the last time I had a meal sitting down. And through it all, I’m reminded every night how much I love being a bartender. So you can take your snide little comment and shove it up you pretentious butt. And do us all a favor… Stay the hell home if you don’t feel like tipping. Tipping is not an option. You like you $4 beer and your $8 burger. Without tipping it would be an $8 beer and a $16 burger. Think about that next time you go out and feel like stiffing your hard working server or bartender.
    Oh and on the subject of tipping cab drivers I have three rules
    1) if he is talking on a hand held or driving recklessly = no tip
    2) if he helps me with bags/bike/ or opens the door for me = 20%( never have I had a cab driver in Philly do this)
    3)anything else is a standard 15%

  25. Anonymous

    Wow I feel bad because I honestly never realized you are supposed to tip cab drivers. I’m a college student and the first time I use a taxi from school the driver gave me his business card. He was super nice to me so I always call the same guy whenever my friends and I need to go somewhere. He’s always a really good guy and seems to go out of his way for people, but none of us ever once realized we were supposed to tip him. It just didn’t really occur to us. He’s never been mean about it or said anything, but now I feel rather of odd.

    I mean most of this year a group of friends and I were working with a professor who works at a museum. Towards the end of that project we needed to just drop something of and do some final check-ins with the professor that would have only been around 15 minutes before we had to leave again, so he waited their for us since he wouldn’t really have had time to go anywhere. I’m sure he could have sent someone else, but that’s the sort of thing he would do. I kind of feel like a jerk now…..

  26. Anonymous

    I am a taxi driver. On a slow day, after paying for the cab lease, insurance and filling the tank with gas at around $4 per gallon, I end up showing a loss for the day. Paying to go to work for 12 hours happens to every driver once in a while. We all depend on tips to cover part of our operation costs.

    I will happily accept any tip amount. But an 18% to 20% tip is my most common tip amount. Typically people who work in the service industry are my best tippers. I also tip them well when receiving services from them. When you work in the service industry, you know others in the service industry really do depend on tips to earn a living.

    Driving a taxi makes the 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. list. The taxi industry is heavenly regulated to insure only safe and sober drivers receive permits. And most weeks we don’t make much more than minimum wage after paying for our ever increasing operation costs.

    I hope informing a few people on a Taxi Drivers point of views helps. Thanks.

  27. Anonymous

    For those that tell servers to get a different job if we don’t like your crap tips…some of us CAN’T get another job due to other obligations and/or educational status. Some people had kids too early and are trying to support their family, or just have a lot of kids. This is 2013. 20% is standard. Servers work their asses off. Some of us ENJOY it. Just know we remember you jerk offs who can’t tip the standard for great service. If I were you, I wouldn’t go out to eat at the same restaurant too often. We will give you shit service.

  28. Anonymous

    To those foreigners who whine about the tipping culture in the US, be aware that you come across as assholes. When you come to a country, you should respect that country’s culture. If you’re in the US, include tips when you estimate your travel expenses. Since tipping is cultural practice here, you could really be short changing the below-minimum-wage service staff.

    I do my best to respect your culture when I visit (yes, including knowing whether to tip or not) and yes, being respectful means doing research and observing behavior the people around me). Please respect my culture. But not tipping satisfactory service you’re not making a statement, you’re just being a culturally-insensitive jerk.

  29. Anonymous

    Francesca, I don’t know where this five percent you have in your mind comes from. The standard has always been fifteen for adequate service, twenty for exemplary service.
    For this “fee” you get to be loud and verbally abusive, puke up a night’s worth of drinking, watch me carry your luggage to the door in the rain…
    If you don’t like the terms, rent a car, walk, take a bus!
    I worked twelve hours last night. (I sat most of the night waiting for a fare.) After all the bills were paid, I was on my way home with $40.

  30. Anonymous

    I ONLY tip when the driver is a normal person who doesn’t use the tobacco drug. If the cab shows up smelling like deadly tobacco smoke, I open the door, slam it shut again and tell the driver to MOVE ON!

    Smokers should be shot on sight!

  31. Anonymous

    Some people on here don’t understand that in many cases the cab driver can only pay for his cabs daily service fees with basic fairs the tips are his actual pay.

    Other companies don’t rent out their cars on a daily basis, but instead offer a rate or percentage of the total fares. This depends on where you are and the company you’re employed by. In this case you work for percentage you may make an hourly minimum wage. but you must report every cent, and may have to pay for their own fuel.

    As a cab driver tips keep us able to stay cab drivers. seriously why keep a job that can’t pay the bills?
    In tips drivers usually average about $30-$60 a day in my area not enough to make minimum wage but you may make just above $9-12 an hour after you factor in percentage that’s only 34% where I work it’s usually at around 40% for other companies but the economy is crap so it gets lower..

    If the cab driver asked or ordered you to pay a tip then it’s not actually a tip, and you should give him nothing. I always give back the change or at least ask if they want their change back. Begging or demanding or just assuming a tip is rude and just bad business. It’s understandable if the driver may mistake you giving him 7 bucks for a tip when the fare was $4.75.

    Also tips are usually around 15% The math is
    (price X .15=)
    People will often give bigger tips based on the distance/time/event/drunkenness.

    In this economy every dollar helps. I’ll still help you get your luggage in and out, take your children to school or home from it, pick you up and carry your groceries out, Sit and wait for an hour and a half for your doctors appointment to end, and even have nice chats with some of you and I won’t be the least bit annoyed if you don’t tip me.

  32. Anonymous

    I am a taxi driver. I would like to respond from the driver’s seat.
    I spend a lot of time waiting for you to arrive so I can take you where you need to go. The owner of my company gets the lion’s share of what’s on the meter. I rely on tips to feed my family; my check at the end of the week barely covers my rent.
    I feel that a gratuity is appropriate if good service is provided. I hold myself to this same standard when I am at a restaurant.
    If service is great, a better tip is and should be appropriate. If you are a problem patron (this applies to that night you got really drunk and gave a hard time to everyone with whom.you came in contact) then I should be compensated for putting up with you. You know you were difficult and I know you know.
    It’s not easy making a living in the service industry. Please be considerate of those who are making your time after work more pleasant.
    There are times when I’ve have a patron who feels that he or she is entitled to talk down to a lowly cab driver. Please understand that, while my job may not be on the same level as a doctor or lawyer, I am still entitled to be treated with dignity.
    I have some patrons whom I see regularly. Some tip and some don’t. Regardless of how much you tip, I will treat you with courtesy and respect.
    One last thing: if your service has been sub-par, the owner of the company or restaurant should know about it. People who own service businesses rely on good personnel to service their clients.

  33. Anonymous

    Coming from someone that works in the restaurant industry, in the US tipping a waiter or waitress is crucial. I’m sick of hearing people asking why they should tip a waiter. In the US, waiters and waitresses are paid below minimum wage, and at Small restaurants paid per shift somewhere along the lines of 15-50 per 8 hour shift, depending on the restaurant. And at wedding halls, that gratuity goes to the managers. The wait staff doesn’t see a dime of it. I work at a wedding/catering hall and get paid around 95 a shift of 8 hours, and we all bust our butts. The only tips we see are from the table we wait on, not from that gratuity that’s tacked onto the bill when you pay the hall. I don’t receive bad pay, but when you work at a small place where you make only $15 a shift, like I have, you really rely on the tips as your pay. At a wedding when you tip your waiter/waitress, it’s extremely appreciated. Especially if you’re running a lot of drinks to the table. If you aren’t, you’re doing minimal service and don’t expect a tip. Just remember that at the next wedding you attend at a large place. It’s definitely not easy work, and when you tip, we always make sure to keep the drinks coming until you tell us otherwise.

  34. Anonymous

    So why not just give everyone a decent wage and avoid ambiguity? Why not also tip other services? For example, I was a part time teacher for adults going back to school. My earnings at the time were below poverty level but I would still frequently stay after class for unpaid tutoring time (10-20 minutes). I was never offered a tip, but under the standards discussed here it seems that I should have been. I am against tipping per se and believe all should be given a decent wage, for example what they make now including tips or more.

  35. Anonymous

    I own a small taxicab company in Lake Tahoe so I thought I’d fill the public in how cab drivers make a living. In my area, they are independent contractors and are paid NO hourly wage. As compensation they receive 50% of the meter + tips. They must also pay for their own fuel and pay to keep their company vehicle clean. Here is how this breaks down in dollars. My company does a lot of long distance trips from the Reno Airport to Lake Tahoe transporting mostly skiers in the winter. This trip is about 50 miles and takes about an hour to drive one way. The full meter rate would be $3 per mile, but unfortunately, due to competition, flat rates are the norm usually between $110 to $120 (about $30 to $40 below meter). At $110 the driver gets $55 for the trip. Not bad huh? Well the round trip travel time with wait time at the airport is about 2-1/2 hours to complete the fare. Totals distance is usually about 105 miles. We use Chevy Suburbans as cabs to transport large ski groups with equipment and because 4 wheel drive is necessary in snow conditions. At 15 MPG the fuel cost for the driver is 7 gallons x $4 per gallon = $28. Driver’s net: $55 – $28 = $27 / 2.5 hours = $10.80 per hour as a wage BEFORE tip. This, of course, assumes that I can keep this driver busy nonstop and there is no dead time during his shift. This, obviously, is not the case. After factoring in sitting around with nothing to do during part of a drivers shift, I’d say most of my guys average about $7 to $9 per hour before tips. Not a terribly lucrative job. Okay so back to tipping and what we have noticed here in Tahoe. Short trips of $6 or $7 are usually over tipped and rounded up to $10. I think most of these customers know that a fare that is less than $10 is pretty much a waste of time for a cab driver, so they overtip to compensate. Fares around the lake that cost $20 to $80 (depending on distance) are usually tipped on average between 15% and 20%. There is the occasional cheap skate who thinks cab drivers don’t deserve to be tipped. They often make some lame comment about how it’s the drivers Job to drive them, and a tip is only necessary if the driver does something extra like load bags. But here is the problem with that. This is a list of all the things you should consider when tipping which should factor in:

    Did the driver show up on time?
    Was the driver neatly dressed?
    Was his vehicle vacuumed inside and washed outside?
    Did the vehicle smell clean or was it smoky?
    Did the driver open the car door for you?
    Did the driver load and unload bags?
    Did the driver speak fluent English?
    Was the driver pleasant and able to carry on a polite conversation during your trip?
    Was the driver knowledgable about the area?
    Did the driver give you any tips on restaurants, outdoor activities, things to do, night life, etc?
    Did the driver drive in a safe manner and obey all traffic laws?
    Did the driver drive you in snowy or icy conditions?
    Did the driver take the shortest route to your destination?

    So you see that tip is not just for loading bags. What would happen if no one tipped? Drivers would never show up on time, never load bags, never open doors, be rude to customers, never clean their cab, let people smoke in it, drive like maniacs, drive the long way and run the meter up. Is this what you want? Well that is what you would get from a guy averaging $7 an hour with NO tips.

    So back to that long airport trip where I showed you how a driver only netted an hourly wage of $10.80 per hour for $110 flat rate trip. For whatever reason, these large fares over $100 were routinely under tipped (usually between 5% to 12%) I guess people think the driver must be making a killing because the fare is so big or believes a driver is not worthy of more than a $5 or $10 tip no matter how big the fare is, percentages be damned. . I say were because we start doing an automatic gratuity of 16% on all advance airport reservations to insure the drivers get tipped appropriately. My guys were offering a quality service and not be treated fairly on these large fare trips, so automatic gratuity it was. I did not want to do it, but felt I had no choice. I guess that is why restaurants do an automatic gratuity on large groups of 8 or more. They must have experienced the same problem.

  36. Anonymous

    Wow! Quite a few ignorant people here. I don’t mean “ignorant” in the sense of stupidity, but “Ignorant” as you absolutely have no clue what a server actually does.

    If it was just taking orders and dropping off food, then YES, anyone could do it and it should be a non tipped position. However, I’ve worked with hundreds of people that couldn’t handle the amount of work needed to be done at one time, while also keeping their guests happy. You’d be shocked if you heard some of the things they server has to hear from a guest.

    With that said, as a former server myself most of us DO NOT expect that every table will tip. That is why we work harder each and every table to earn and deserve that tip (as should cab drivers). The possibility of a good tip is how servers are motivated to do the best job possible. As someone who enjoys eating out, the last person I want waiting on me is a person who will get paid the same money regardless of the service they give me!!! How often would go out to eat if you received the same service at the Cheesecake Factory as the service you received at Wendy’s?!?!

    This is why tips are discretionary!! Recieve poor service, don’t tip as well. If you recieve great service, then reward the server and encourage another night of great service on your next visit. If you continuously stiff a server, word will spread among other servers and, no we will not spit in your food (that never, ever happens), you will not recieve good service, if any.

  37. Anonymous

    To those who said they dont tip. You obviously dont know how cabbies are paid. Being one myself I will inform you. At my company we recieve half the fare and tips. We also have to pay for gas and simple maitenence such as oil oil changes. A crown vic has a 20 gal tank. Thats around 80 dollars a day on gas alone. add the cost for oil, wiper fluid ,fuses, air filters, and tires and you have almost none of that half fare you made driving. We rely soley on tips to survive. And for they guy that said we dont do anything to deserve it. I wait for hours in the burning hot summer heat with no air conditioning.(air conditioning uses gas.) and in the winter with no heat so that you dont have to wait a second for a ride from what ever station or airport your coming from. Trust me it exausting. Not to mention that its a 12 hour a day 7days a week job where on the days people just decide to be dicks and not tip i come home with 15 bucks in my pocket. Tip your driver its how he eats.

  38. Anonymous

    THANK YOU! At least, for those who a) declare them; and b) actually count them when figuring child support 0.o if applicable… KEEPING THE THREAD UP TO DATE WOO HOO!

  39. Anonymous

    C. Ward: You do it out of politeness just like you would tip a waiter. They don’t make a lot… at all! So you tip them to help them out.

  40. Anonymous

    Thank you Christy! To the other people that said “i work at an office on a computer and nobody tips me for doing my job, etc. You don’t get tipped because you probably make minimum wage or higher! Where I live for doing a job like that you make min wage (8.75) to $10 and hour. As a server I make $4.75 an hour and I’m not sitting on my ass staring at a computer, I’m running my ass off breaking a sweat trying to please my customers so that I can get that 15% tip. You tip us because we dont make as much as you do! Like Christy said, me working 40 hours a week I make about 50 bucks a week. So if nobody tips me… I’d be making $200 a month most apartments are about $500- $900 a month here, so please tell me how Im supposed to live without the tips that I make.

  41. Anonymous

    Why We Tip In America

    This is America, the land of capitalism which means competition for the purposes of generating the best products and services for the customer. Tipping is the right of the customer to pay less for less quality product or service and to pay MORE for better quality product or service. If you don’t like the service, pay less, if you liked the service, pay more. The 15-20% is the standard, not because of inflation, but because customers who demand better should pay for it, and that is the current trend of gratuity customers are paying.

    If you don’t like paying more for better quality, or you don’t like being the one to judge whether the service was good or not, leave America. Go to a country where some government establishment determines the level of quality you are entitled to and how much you are required to pay for it.

    Americans Do Not CHOOSE To Work In The Service Industry

    America is in recession, and as pointed out by others in previous comments, most of us who work in the Service Industry do not have the luxury of CHOOSING our jobs. If we did, we would likely NOT choose the Service Industry, because servitude is certainly not a life we dream of. We do it to pay the bills and feed our kids.

    Additionally, capitalism is competition so that you the consumer can have access to the best products and services available if you are willing to pay for it. This means that when it comes to employment, only the best of the best get the job, and those who are merely competent at their jobs must fall back on the jobs no one WANTS to do in order to survive. No one truly chooses to wait on others if money and survival were not factors of that choice.

    Cab Drivers Are Not Waitresses

    No disrespect intended toward fellow Service Industry Professionals, but Waitors are not Cab Drivers. Wait Staff are employees of the business they work in. Waitors answer to a boss who makes demands of schedule adhereence, appropriate dress, etc. Cab Drivers (at least a large number of them) answer to no boss. If they break the law, they can have their license or medallion pulled, but otherwise, they work for themselves. I’m not saying one or the other is better, I’m just specifying that they are not the same.

    I have been a waitress, and I made more than I have as a cabbie. My first night driving, I was $40 in the hole. Yesterday, after a 12 hour shift in an unsafe car, I brought home $25. The rest of it went to gas, car wash, commissions to dispatch, credit card charges and lease. This is just my personal experience, not what I would call a fair comparison. However, it does make a point. Even a bad waitress on her worst night can still bring home that much in an 8 hour shift.

    My Expenses As A Cab Driver

    I drive cab in a decently sized city in Arizona, not a high traffic or tourist town. I am not allowed to pick up from the airport by law, but I can from the street. My meter runs around $3/mile with about 50 cents a minute in wait times when the vehicle is stationary at lights or parking lots. If I am offered a fare, I must accept or decline blindly, without being able to see what it is ahead of time. If I accept it, I must complete it unless I have valid reason not to (such as passenger is violent or wants to be picked up in an unsafe location or I just don’t feel safe about the passenger).

    Once accepted, I now owe dispatch a commission for getting the fare to me: $2 for a standard fare, 50 cents for a Voucher. Most of the fares I get from Dispatch are Vouchers. Vouchers are paid by some other company (usually a medical insurance company) to transport a customer (usually little old ladies) from one place to another. You may only take them to the specified location and it pays a flat fare no matter how long the little old lady makes you wait while she says her long goodbyes to friends or how long it takes her to get her fragile body in and out of your car. The Voucher rate is always discounted as part of a bulk package made between the Insurance Company and the Cab Company. So the standard voucher pays me $6 (minus the .50 commission to dispatch) to drive less than 3 miles to pick up a little old lady and take her less than 5 miles to her destination.

    Now I like little old ladies, and I am usually very patient. But these ladies know their ride is paid for by their insurance, hence, free, and they do not tip (mostly because the phermeceudical companies are already gouging them on drug costs prescribed by their doctors). Additionally, they are costing me money in the form of time because they can’t just hop into the car and then want to spend 10 to 15 minutes socializing before getting in the cab. What should be a 10 minute fare turns into 35 minutes and I can’t do enough of these to even make lease for the day.

    The alternative to paying Dispatch commissions for fares is to pick up fares on the street, but not many people in this city hail cabs regularly. Most call in to get a cab to come to them and to call them back when the cab arrives. This is the desert, no one wants to wait out in the heat. Those who are out in the heat are either at bus stations cus they can’t afford a cab or car of their own, or walking because they can’t afford the bus.

    My cab company is one of the more fair minded company’s as far as I can tell, but it still sucks. I don’t mind driving a cab, but a lot of regulations are still a pain and I probably would not choose to be a cab driver if I could get something in my chosen field instead. But at my age, I can’t afford to be picky. If all I can bring home every day is $25, it’s better than $0.

  42. Anonymous

    For those of you who commented on tipping servers at restaurants, please recognize that in most states, we only make $2.13 an hour because our tips are considered our income. That $2.13 is only there to cover taxes and we never see a paycheck. So if you go to a restaurant and don’t tip, you’re just a douche. If you can’t afford to pay for the service you receive, then eat at home.

  43. Anonymous

    Tipping is a perverse American trait which has wiggled itself into the daily chores that people in the US daily perform including riding taxis. In foreign countries you just round-off the figure say from 58.00 to 60.00 and it is fairgame. In the US the entitlement mindset has grown so pervasive that cabbies expect 20 percent of the fare! What have they done??? Unless they help with luggage you can tip them what you want. Otherwise forget it. The 15 percent suggested is already too much.

  44. Anonymous

    I just completed an app that would enable the Cab Driver; No Cash Handling, No Receipts dispensed, Locate Passenger via GPS, Easy Referrals,Fast, Tip Options, No Jump Outs or Muggers and No waiting. All the passenger does is upload an app, get a Pre-Paid Cab Card in the mail and they can summon or cancel a Cab with one click on the phone, Tip options of 15%,20% or Other, No Cash necessary, Locate Driver for Lost&Found and most of all price trip via GPS. If you are in Vegas, you can simply load up and ride!

    What do you think. [email protected]

  45. Anonymous

    Tipping really isn’t an option…unless the service was absolutely poor, at least 15%.

    Minimum wage is LESS for waitresses and other service industry people because they get tips, so by not tipping them you’re depriving them of a normal salary.

  46. Anonymous

    Well, plenty of culturals get around just fine without a tipping system. Its quite a pain in the butt. Include the tip in the cost please. Don’t make it a guilt trip exercise.

  47. Anonymous

    Okay, for all you idiots that don’t tip, you try to make a living off $4/hr as a waiter and see if you think you deserve tips. You probably make more than $4/hr at your job and don’t deliver guest service so you don’t get tips.

  48. Anonymous

    Listening to people’s comments makes me think that the USA is a communist country.

    Taxi drivers you ‘rent’ the cab from the taxi company – that is your choice (ie capitalism) to rent at the price they offer. Also you know the rate per mile that you can charge customers.

    Just because you are low paid does not mean anyone should help you. There are many low paid jobs in the world.

    Waitresses in Nevada recieve $7.25 per hour. That is your choice to work at that rate. Once again capitalism allows you free choice.

    The customer should pay the price that is quoted and nothing more, tipping is communism – ie wealth sharing.

    Not everyone can get paid a high wage, especially with limited english skills, lack of education and general handout attitude. Society owes you nothing, and if you are willing to beg for tips – well you may as well live on the streets where you belong.

  49. Anonymous

    I work for this small university area taxi company. We drive large vans, and offer a flat rate… 4 dollars per person, anywhere in town. I get paid well. I don’t work for tips, but I get tipped.
    As long as I get paid my flat rate of four dollars I will be honest and nice. But if your a jerk or treat me as your servant, then don’t tip…. Well let’s just say every cab driver knows more than you think, and we just dropped you off at your house, so we know where to find you

  50. Anonymous

    Oh yeah! The whole reason I ended up reading these posts etc was because I had to call a cab last night to take a trip that was maybe 1.5 miles tops- I wanted to be sure that the driver didn’t lose out by driving to get me etc and I was pleased that they had a low minimum fare. The night before last I was out with a friend who had to go home earlier than expected I live in a small seasonal town that I am new to and felt safe at the bar alone. Someone ended up putting something into my drink, and I don’t remember anything (I was told I only had 2 drinks and my bank account confirms it). The bartender was worried for my safety and she called a cab for me. She explained what had happened to the cab driver and he made sure I got home safe (and helped me get my laptop and other valuables out of my car) for absolutely no charge. Without help from the bartender and the driver I have no idea what would have happened to me. Since I’m new to the town and my few friends were out of town I had no one to take me to my car last night (and still no idea how I made it home safely with my things the night before) I called the local cab company and tipped the drive 20+%- had I known he had driven me home the night before I would have given him a 200% tip because he didn’t care about cash the night before- he cared about my safety and to me is absolutely priceless. Tip well when it is deserved, and never assume that someone hasn’t gone out of their way for you!

  51. Anonymous

    Suppose you sell TVs, imagine if someone who purchased one from you had the ability to under pay you based on whether or not you jumped through hoops for them. “I can read about tvs on the internet- I don’t need that guy to tell me about it..blah blah” well that tv has a set price you get paid for, and there’s a chance you make commission off of a sale. The person needs a tv and you have one to sel- good for you. In the service industry- sure you can drive yourself/do your own dishes/set your own table…- but you’re deciding to use a service for a reason (you want to enjoy a meal without the extra work of setting the table and cleaning up or you don’t have a car to drive and the cab driver does). Order meals to go and do your own dishes or don’t take a cab if you’re not gonna tip- understand that the tip is part of the purchase and that you are lucky to have the luxury to “negotiate” the price of it without even negotiating- think of all of us out there that don’t think the tv (whatever) is worth the fixed price we are charged. I get so sick at the people who fuss about tipping saying that they shouldn’t pay someone who is just doing their job- you get to pay less for a meal because a server makes like 0 $s an hour- if they factored salary into the meal price so the server made standard minimum wage your bill would definitely be higher and I imagine that your quality of service would decrease (why bring out bells and whistles when it’s all the same in the end?) Tip the accepted minimum for any service- unless the treatment is exceptionally good or bad- then use your privilege of tipping as that customer service survey and send the love to a great experience and tip a poor one as little as you would like.

  52. Anonymous

    I just recently started driving a cab, and thoroughly love it. I lease my cab by the week, and pay for gas, everything above that is all mine (after taxes, of course).
    I don’t know how you all are gonna act, when it comes time to pay, so I try to treat everyone with respect, and friendliness!! 15-20% is more than fair, and appreciated, less than that will probably be made up for by the next guy, so it’s not worth it for me to get all worked up over it! I don’t feel like I am “entitled” to a tip, but if I do a good job, and get you to your destination in a timely manner, and SAFELY,I don’t think it’s wrong to expect a tip.
    Besides loving to drive, and getting to know this beautiful city that I live in, I thoroughly enjoy the people that I get to meet!, and prefer the “chatty” ones. At the end of the day, it’s the “friendliness” that I get in return, that makes it all worth it!!!

    p.s. I’ve also got close to 15 yrs of experience, in the food service industry (all back of the house). A good server deserves at the very least 20%.

  53. Anonymous

    I am cab driver. In my jurisdiction I am not an employee of the cab company. I lease the cab from the cab company and make money from fares. My daily pay is the fares + tips – gas – rent. Although tips are not required, days when I do not get decent tips makes my day a lot longer.

  54. Anonymous

    So, I talked to my cabbies last night. In my case the cabbie said that he works for the company and doesn’t just lease the cab. They get half of what ever the fair is and split the cost of gas. So, if you want a better way to look at it, think of it as a service per hour ordeal. They told me that for $20 you can use (in town) a cab for an hour to run errands and be driven around… so that would be $10 an hour for the cab driver (minus the gas cost) which is few dollars better than min wage. If you have a 15 min drive across town that cost $12 (which is about what I pay) that is ~$6/15 min = $24 an hour equivalent for the driver.

    Now, they did have to get to you, and will have to go somewhere else to pick up another client, so I guess that would eat into how much money they make per hour, if the cab drivers don’t get many calls in a night or they aren’t primary driver (only called in when other cabs are occupied)then you might help the guy out and finally point of thought: I don’t live in a congested city, so if it takes you an hour go get across town than $6/hr kind of sucks.

  55. Anonymous

    I don’t get it why we are obliged to tip anyone. I mean, first off, if there is a law of minimum wage why the government or any particular owner of a barber’s shop, a restaurant or a cap service owner should break that law. I mean, finally it’s us who has to fill the financial gap stolen by mister know-all. In China, Japan fuck probably the whole Asia there’s no tipping. Again, it has nothing to do with being greedy. Not everyone has a decent wage, it’s about fighting for our rights because somebody is stealing money from your pockets.

  56. Anonymous

    i’m a cabbie myself. 75% of fares don’t tip at all. even if the fair is 19.55, they will reluctantly give you a $20, but I don’t carry coins. 20% is more than enough.

  57. Anonymous

    Alert!!!!!!!!!. If you dont tip, it actually cost your server, cab driver, money. In most cases there is a tax, or huge upfront fees. The sales of service people are taxed. I’m a bartender, and I ” tip out” (portion out) based on sales. If a patron doesnt tip, I litterally pay to serve them. I had 40 people come to the bar yesterday and all orders food, no one tipped,….. Thoes2 hours. Cost me 40$

  58. Anonymous

    that’s exactly how I would prefer it Sith Lord. there would be no confusion, expectations, or disappointments whereever I might be.

    bring food, don’t bring food, i get the food, i get the menu, go to the bar for drinks, waiter is on a ciggy break, so be it. it’ll be like my old home in spain. very relaxed with health coverage for everyone.

  59. Anonymous

    For those that do not believe in tipping and say that restaurants and cab companies should pay better, You’ll still be paying the same when the businesses raise their prices to the consumer to pay their help. If this works for you, the service people will not mind who is paying them. Just remember that the incentive to give good servic is no longer there.(Not from everyone. Many are professional).

  60. Anonymous

    For the person who commented “What are they doing special? I can drive, I can serve my own food “.If you don’t believe in tipping, drive and serve yourself! Most servers make under minimum wage(I do not know this for a fact but I bet that you make more than the minimum) and are taxed on their tips whether they get tipped or not. 15%-20% is standard. Don’t be cheap. Tip those that serve you.

  61. Anonymous

    I just took a cab ride last night in NYC and from now on I’m just going to take some one dollar bills with me when I go in to the city. The cab ride was 10 when ask for change for a twenty the cab driver gave me two fives and I felt like I was being forced to over tip because he didn’t hand me back any one’s.

  62. Anonymous

    I’ve waited tables for years and have recently started working as a cabbie. Most people are great, they are happy to exchange small talk and tip rather well. For all of you who watched Resevior Dogs and buy into the argument that tipping is foolish please reconsider. Cab drivers work long hours and the job is extremely dangerous. Few of you will have to transport folks who are blind drunk, acting badly to impress a date or will insist on backseat navigating then refuse to pay when they choose the long way. Tonight I was working arrivals at LAX and an obviously well off gent offered me $60 to go 34 miles. Threatened to “take my job” when I mapped it for him and it was $100 without adding gratuity. I provide the service and knowledge I gained from chauffeuring and generally make out just fine. If you choose not to tip that is your right, however asking for my card or personal number for future trips may get a laugh outta me.

  63. Anonymous

    I don’t see what the big fuss is about. The more I read this article, the more I like my tipping method. I don’t actually tip based on how much the fare is at all (the meter here is done by the mile). I do it by time.

    I double my ride time (I assume he started at my house before picking me up at work to bring me home) and multiply it by an hourly wage. If they gave me adequate service, I assume minimum wage and for good service, I assume what my hourly pay is. SO:

    For a cab ride home, which is usually 15 minutes (I use actual ride time so I account for traffic provided it’s not an unusual route home), I assume 30 minutes. So I do 0.5 hours x (whichever wage marker, minimum is $7.4 here so I’ll use that) = $3.7 rounded. This means that while taking me where I was going, he was making minimum wage, regardless of other factors.

    HOWEVER! I don’t think tipping should be the norm. I make an effort to type well because I understand that how I think things should be is not how they should be and usually (in restaurants for instance) I aim for 18% as a baseline unless the server was particularly bad (usually have to be rude or ignore me for me to go under 18%). But tipping should be a reward, not normal.

    As laws go here, a server is required to make minimum wage so that an employer must make up the difference between minimum wage and tips if tips aren’t enough but also must pay $2.65 an hour no matter what. In other words if tips account for $4 an hour, the employer must pay $3.4 an hour but if the server makes $7.4 or more per hour in tips, the employer must still pay at least $2.65 an hour.

    I think they should be making $7.4 an hour from their employer. They ARE providing a rather vital function for the restaurant. The tip should be extra based on performance. Besides, why should I be paying the server extra because I got prime rib instead of a burger?

    Further more… Particularly for all of you bitching about being considerate of the person who’s serving you. WHY SHOULD I BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU MAKE? If your previous fare didn’t tip you at all, should I then be making up for their poor tip? NO! You certainly wouldn’t expect that. But you expect me to be responsible for you not being paid properly by your employer? How is THAT my responsibility? And mind you, by so much as uttering what the costs of upkeep are for the service, you essentially ARE attaching the responsibility to me.

    I will continue to tip because I don’t like how service people are treated. But keep in mind that I shouldn’t have to. How much you get paid is YOUR battle, not mine. YOU need to get organized and YOU need to demand better pay. I won’t tip for adequate service then but I’ll certainly tip for good service. And I think most people would fall into that category. So what have you got to lose by doing something about it? Think about it before you answer because you might not necessarily like the answer (and I’m referring to all of you that have the gall to post about not being tipped enough, not the 98% of people who are too busy trying to get by to post).

  64. Anonymous

    Why can’t cab companies and restaurants pay the right living wages to their workers so their workers don’t have to rely on tips to make both ends meet. If tips are expected for cab drivers, why don’t we give tips to bus drivers, ambulance drivers, ambulette drivers and the rest of the working class who does their job day in and day out without expecting any “service charge”. These cab drivers should vent their ire on their employers and not to the riding public who like the most of us are just minimum wage earners.

  65. Anonymous

    Why can’t employers provide minimum wage for all workers so that some workers don’t have to rely on tips to make both ends meet. Is it the fault of consumers if restaurants or cab companies fail to provide the right living wage for their employees? I am also a worker and I work more than 12 hours a day and I never expected tip from the people I serve everday. If tips are expected for cab drivers, why don’t we give tips also to bus drivers, ambulance drivers,and the rest of working class who does their job day in and day out without expecting in return?

  66. Anonymous

    We just got a cab for a very short distance ( due to some health problems) it cost us 13.00 and my husband gave the driver 20.00. We got into a fight later, as I don’t believe it would be fair to me to work hard to save a little and he give it away easily. I say, it is not my fault if a taxi driver gets paid little. I worked several years for a bank and received somewhere between 17 to 30 K a year, and a raised a child on that. No one came forward to hand me a tip of any kind. Why should i go around and tip everyone. Taxi companies should get penalized for paying less than minimum wage, or taxi drivers should try a different job.

  67. Anonymous

    I am a can driver and the way things work at my company is that at the end of our 12 hour shift, we add up all of our fares, subtract what we put in the gas tank and then 40% of that is ours. So say I made $150 on my sheet and $50 in gas. That leaves me with $40 in my pocket after a 12 hour shift. Thats a little more than $3 an hour. Just like waitresses, we primarily work for commission and tips. I don’t expect a tip but yes, it is greatly appreciated. Those of u that say that u can drive yourself and make ur own food, don’t eat out or get in a cab. We’re doing u a service because u don’t drive or don’t feel like cooking. We’re all trying to make it in this world, not just u.

  68. Anonymous

    I’d like to know the answer to this question too. Think it’s pretty crazy we’ve made 20% the standard for tipping, seems to me it’s out of control.

    That being said, it’s important to be fair. From what I understand about cab drivers, what they earn isn’t the same across the board, it really depends on.

    1: Where they work. Different rules and regulations.
    2: Area they work. Some areas have constant fares easy to get a new customer after dropping one off.
    3: Who they work for.

    #3 Is probably the most important factor. I wasn’t aware but not all cab drivers work for their companies under the same agreement. It really depends on their situation. For example: If you’re starting out, the company provides everything to to cab driver, but will also charge the cab driver for all of these things. I mean the car, maintenance, ect…

    Cabbies at least in my area can either choose to “lease” buy the car from their company or they can just use the company provided car. This is a business decision. Those that lease can eventually own their own cars and therefore keep more of the money they earn. They can go as far as maintaining their own car and save on that cost. Finally, cabbies can go independent and just use the companies logo. These guys make the most but also have to take on all the responsibilities of owning the cab…

    This being the case, a passenger can’t really take all of these factors into consideration, they have to decide what’s a fair tip.

    There should be some sort of reasonable standard.


  69. Anonymous

    I am a cab driver and no tipping is not required period, I make everything on the meter regardless of the expenses. If I want tips I should work for them. Also most cab drivers make well over 40k a year let’s stop bitching. Taking the long way is one of the stupid ways to make money, you assume that dropping them off sooner would not result in another quick fare nearby. But delaying the trip you are probably missing fares that are waiting.

  70. Anonymous

    While waiters and bartenders can make out well on 20 percent tips, keep in mind that they’re taking care of multiple patrons at once. Tip your cabbie way more because he’s taking care of YOUR ass and your ass only at the time. Likely he leases is cab for over $100 a day, pays for his own gas, etc. If you can’t afford a decent tip, you can’t afford the fare.

  71. Anonymous

    People, do you know how cheap is yellow cap in the city? why is it cheap? it comes from 70% of cabbies work over 84 hours a week. what’s their hourly rate? its below minimum wage. They take home, if they are lucky $100 per day. After all agravation and abusive customers. The cheaper the fair, the cheaper the cabbie in customers eye.. so the nicer cabbie get ripped off specially by young group of guys.. who cut corners for their fantasy rides.. to impress their girl friends

  72. Anonymous

    I agree, I have seen four guys get on cab and from midtown to downtown for fare of $8.50. Insult the cabbie and tip $.50. what happens here with these guys cab is cheaper than bus or train ride, get to the destination faster. On the otherside, cabbie pays $4 and over for gas on top of all other expense and mistreated by customer and public..isn’t it modern time slavery?

  73. Anonymous

    Wow, Fred. Actually, you are NOT already paying for the service. Unlike in Europe, service is NOT included in your restaurant bill. I was a waitress for many years, and we got paid $2.75/hour, well under minimum wage (and I was also taxed on that tiny income). Almost all waitress get paid well under minimum wage–legally. Tips are not just “gravy” but a very real and necessary payment for a very stressful job. And if you are not open to understanding, respecting, and honoring that, perhaps you should not eat out or use a cab.

  74. Anonymous

    Tipping for for service provided above and beyond just doing your job. I am paying for service or trip already, I dont need to pay on top of that. If you choose a job where you work for tips only, maybe you need to find a different line of business. it is not my job to pay you paycheck. in general I am a very big tipper for attentive service. but if the service stinks I will give you nothing.

  75. Anonymous

    I do tip most of the time and tip pretty well if service is good, but I get offended by people who think just doing their job correctly deserve a big tip, or even any tip at all. It is not our fault that cab drivers or waiters/waitresses get paid little or nothing, and I don’t think we should be “expected” to compensate.

    In responding to those who argues they “get us to our locations safely”, I just want to roll my eyes and say, that’s what you are expected to do. Do people tip airline pilots? no. Do people tip bus drivers? no. Tipping is something extra that should be dependent on the rider, not something that is expected just because your boss don’t pay you well. Cab driver should appreciate tippers, but shouldn’t get all offended when people don’t tip or tip little.

    I can’t remember how many times I’ve eaten at restaurants where I wait an eternity for my food and don’t get my drinks refilled and I’m still expected to pay that 15%~20%. Yes, if my hostess is attentive and service is fast, I will tip big, but I think it should go both ways. If my food is crappy and my service is lousy, I believe the restaurant should pay me back for my wasted time and bad stomach.

    This is why I like Asian countries more, because they don’t believe in tips, be it cabs or restaurants or w/e. If they want tips, they added to the pre-negotiated price, if I think it’s too much, then I take my business else where. People in western countries expect tips for mediocre service or jobs that they averagely perform, that’s complete bullsh*t. Yes, I know cab drivers (or even waiters and pizza delivery people) get that short end of the deal, but tipping should depend on the service provided and the client who is paying, not something that you act like you deserve if all you do is drive me from location A to location B safely.

    I believe in tipping. Because I know how little you would get paid if otherwise. But I don’t like the attitudes of most of these “service” individuals who act like just doing their job is a godsend for us and we should pay accordingly. If you go out of your way to pick up someone or if the client requests extra needs (long distance or they are drunk, for example), then tip is indeed in seesion. But if you just drive me like any other trip, why should I pay you a nice tip? for the conversation that I don’t need? for the door you never opened or luggage that you didn’t help me with? Something to think about!

  76. Anonymous

    If you want more money then just add those 15% to the rate ans stop playing your stupid games with tips. It looks so stupid to anyone who is not an American.

    I never pay tips and I always enjoy looking at dumb faces of drivers/waiters when they are realizing that no tips will be given. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s so funny.

  77. Anonymous

    I have to roll my eyes at the people who are complaining about having to tip on something they can do themselves… then do it. If you don’t want to tip a server, then get take out and you won’t have to. If you don’t want to tip a cabbie, take a freakin bus. And for those who think tips are undeserved “extra” cash, don’t worry, the governement more than compensates for tips by taking out just as much money of servers paychecks as you loose in yours. In the end it relatively evens out (depending on the quality of the business in the first place).

    If the service (whatever kind it is) was found lacking, tip accordingly. But if the service was good and you screw the person, they will likely remember. And see how much you enjoy it when the server doesn’t make the effort to get your drink and food within a certain time, or doesn’t bother get that side of mustard you want. Speaking as any person in the customer service industry, we hate interacting with people who are so inconsiderate (Most people on this thread have been perfectly nice, so please don’t get offended. Having an opinion is fine, being an ass about it isn’t)

    Too many comments seem like people being bitter and cheap. Nothing like looking at one of these threads to remember how self absorbed people are 😛

  78. Anonymous

    A tip is a tip. Heres how it works:
    15% for Good Service
    20% for Excellent Service
    Whatever you want for bad service.
    Tips are for encouraging good service. Pay them wisely. If someone has treated you outstandingly reward them, if not, dont.

  79. Anonymous

    I am in cabs every week and am not opposed to tipping on services like this. I just believe the tip should be based on the service and if cab drivers want to get their tips up, they should start treating their fares better. Stop talking on the phone the entire trip – folks expect to arrive at their destinations safely and expect you to pay attention to the road. Stop lying to passengers about your inability to take credit cards or how much change you have to break a 5,10 or 20 dollar bill. Start treating people with respect and you will get it back in return. I have given as much as a 100% tip on short fares and 50% on longer ones but only if I am treated with the same respect I provide the driver. It is funny how a lousy cab driver can expect a great trip when they treat you as badly as they do.

  80. Anonymous

    whoooaaa. let’s be honest here. it’s not clear what cabbies or servers make in what restaurant or city and how much is the cost of living/taxes in this city. Tipping is tough and of course not always 15% across the board. This information should be supplied somehow and more readily available. personally, i would prefer the server and cab driver to be given a decent salary so we don’t have to compete with each other and i know what to expect before i sit down. the owners probably could fork over some of their salary if it’s possible. i also don’t expect a hard time to be given to the server or customer who can’t cover more than 10-15%. the customers’ salaries have a large range as well. And we can’t tell someone to just stay home…in that case the cabbie and server should get the low-income apartment and stay home with us. We all are fighting for a bit of leisure and a good time.

  81. Anonymous

    It’s easy to see that people have strong opinions on the subject of tipping. I drive in Detroit and I don’t expect tips but appreciate the few that I get. As others have stated, I start off about $90 in the hole each night. I also have at least one fare a week that jumps and runs. I made up my mind at the start that I’m not going to get killed over these, I just let them go.

    Just like the rest of society, you have ignorant customers that think they can do or say anything, you also have customers that are pleasant and at least don’t treat you like scum.

    And for Scott, sorry you have to be bothered by listening to “sob stories” (as I’m sure you have never complained about your job), but the answer is that there is no set amount. I think most cabbies would be happy at 15% but that’s just my opinion.

  82. Anonymous

    Would somebody answer the original question? What’s an acceptable tip for a Cab Ride? We all know the minimum is 15% in restaurants. So how much for a cab? Spare us all your sob stories, and tell us what to pay you!

  83. Anonymous

    I had a short cab ride from Boston Logan to the seaport the other evening. Yes its a short ride. The fare was $13 and the tolls were $7.50 or at leastb thats what the receipt said. I tipped 15% on the total, or $3.10 because that’s what I usually do. I had no bag to lift just a carry on in the seat. The cabbie whined to me that it was a short trip and he had to get into a cab line somewhere to get another fare. WTF? I tipped him on the fare alone about 24%. Expecting a tip on the tolls is a rip-off.

  84. Anonymous

    So, my last trip from LAX to JFK cost me 150.00 one way. This is about 2,300 miles. My cab from JFK into the city cost me $75.00 this is about 25 miles. When you put it into perspective mayne you can see where the travelers are when they tip 10%. The fares are not cheap, but it shouldn’t fall on the patrons to cover for the fact that the city is hosing you in taxes and fees.
    Please, I implore you take a stand against the real crooks here. The city, taxi comission & the the liscense brokers that skim off the medalian rates.

  85. Anonymous

    I can’t resist commenting on this. Recently I had to fly out of Pearson in Toronto with two heavy suitcases, a guitar case and a carry on camera bag and my purse. As I looked around contemplating the best way to get all my stuff into the terminal a “Red Cap” approached and said in a very good natured manner that it looked like I could use a hand. Immediately I liked this guy. He loaded all my stuff onto his cart and commented escorted me to check in with the airline, then (and this is what I call above and beyond) loaded my two heavy suitcased on the scales one at a time, waited while my check-in was complete then continued to escort me to the fragile section to get my guitar checked in. That wasn’t the end of it, he took me as far as he could before I had to go through security then politely wished me a good flight. I didn’t give him the $5 tip; instead I gave him a $20 bill. He knew his job and performed it well and, in my opinion, deserved no less. Had he simply taken me to check in and left me there to load my heavy suitcases I would have given him the $5 tip which in itself isn’t bad for 10 minutes of his time but he had no way of knowing I was going to put the $5 back in my pocket and give him a $20 yet he still went the extra distance and I appreciated it. In my opinion, that’s what tipping is . . . reward for service rendered above and beyond what is expected. And when I say above and beyond it may only mean a pleasant demeanour and a little compassion. Both go a very long way in my book!

  86. Anonymous

    There’s a big difference between tipping a server and tipping a cab driver. A cab driver’s objectives are generally the same as the customer’s, i.e. get to the destination as quickly and safely as possible. I can’t understand how a cab driver could possibly go above and beyond the call of duty, and thus don’t understand what I could possibly be tipping him for. Sure, he could meander all over town to run up the meter (he could only do this with an out-of-towner, and he’s probably better served by looking for another rider), or refuse to pull my bags out of the cab if I’m travelling (as an able-bodied individual, I’m quite happy to do this myself). Then again, maybe I’m paying for the grand luxury of not being driven into a back alley, being stabbed to death, and having my wallet stolen 

    And for all you cabbies complaining about drunk riders, face it: if it weren’t for all the people who go out to drink every weekend, you wouldn’t have a job.

  87. Anonymous

    I personally respect the cops. Neil is not an idiot but apparently you are, Tony. and cheap 2.
    In the “civilized countries” (LIKE GERMANY) lives civilized people(UNLIKE TONY), the workers get paid respectable wages to cover the tip.
    the US system gives you the choice to tip or not to push for a better service, if you don’t tip u don’t get a good service with courtesy and respect (THAT YOU DON’T DESERVE ANYWAY).

  88. Anonymous

    Neil, you are an idiot. A blue collared retired cop would defend cabbies. Your analysis of “what could happen” is a little dramatic. All of those muggers, rapists, and hooligans on the street should not be there if you and your colleagues did your job!! Instead of loitering at dunkin donuts or harrassing law-abiding citizens with stupid infractions just to feel important and powerful because you are a washed-out bully from high school, you should focus your attention on the real crime in NYC. To pay $20-40 for a 10-20 minute cab ride is CRIMINAL and preposterous. And a tip is required too?? I travel extensively around the world. Especially civilized countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. Guess what? The waiters, barternders, and cabdrivers DONOT expect tips there..

  89. Anonymous

    I use NYC Cab’s, in respect to the (tip), most of the locals are farmiliar with the rates but tourists and people not from the area aren’t always aware of the tipping attitudes and come into town with many different attitudes about the amount and practice itself. 15 to 20 percent is acceptable in this area. I am a retired Cop, and know the pitfalls of traveling around the NY Metro Area with your head up your ass. Remember, no matter what your attitude is about tipping in general,unlike Restaurant and other forms of gratuitity, with the Cab, you are getting Door to Door service, you don’t have to walk up and down the windy Canyons dodging who knows what that might be lerking, drunks, muggers, pick-pockets and others given the opportunity, would assault you. Again you don’t have to walk or ride on a slow wandering Bus. Or with your own vehicle, navigate crowded streets dodging out of control drivers and delivery trucks. Are there poorly mannered Cabbies? sure, but the overwhelming majority are polite and just trying to earn a living. So really think about it, it’s really not such a bad deal, so don’t be afraid to throw the guy a little extra, they have a unique job.

  90. Anonymous

    I never take cabs at home so when I went to NYC to visit my sister, she said take a cab from the airport, it’s a flat rate $45. I thought flat rate meant no tip, tip included or something. When I got to the cab stand the ‘manager’ not the driver hailed the cab and loaded my stuff and gave the address. After an hour and a half ride where I struck up a little conversation but he didn’t wanna talk, no big deal, we got there, he popped the trunk and the doorman grabbed the luggage. I gave him $50. Right away my sis ran up and I jumped out and we hugged and the cab drove off. In retrospect I realize that as I jumped from the cab he held out the money and said ‘hey’ in an annoyed voice, then realized he must’ve felt that was not enough. Guess I’ll leave more next time. It was still a little over 10%….

  91. Anonymous

    I’m from NZ. I’m going to LA in December so i thought i should first check up before i go.

    Can anyone advise me on things i should take note of or watch out for if i need to take a cab from place to place? Do i tip for every pre-arranged transport?

    Now that i know about tipping. I will definitely give more than what the meter shows. Hopefully, cab driver wont be too calculative on what should be the exact 15% on top. However, i prefer whole number, say 15, i may give 20, or if less than 10, i may just give 10. I hate coins.

  92. Anonymous

    I stumbled upon this site looking to see how much I should tip my taxi driver. Tomorrow morning I am taking my son to the doctor and am also taking a taxi for the first time and I didn’t want to feel like an idiot getting into the car. The rates and such are posted on the site and I decided after reading about awful tippers and working INSANE hours and going home in the hole.. i’m probably going to tip something like 50 percent. Sorry you guys have to put up with crap, without you people like me would be walking our butts miles down the road carrying our babies in their carseats. I just thought I would say that I appreciate all that you do and I am going to tip generously tomorrow =)

  93. Anonymous

    @Karla i don’t drive in new york city, but here in my town the fare from downtown to the airport is approximately $31 on the meter. customers will give me anywhere from $33 to $40 for this fare, with the bulk falling in the $34-$38 range. i provide the same great service to everyone, but anyone giving me less than $35 on this trip will have earned some curses under my breath when they are out of hearing range. 🙂

    there is no hard and fast rule on tipping a cab driver, but drivers have an overall general sense of what is acceptable and what is an insult. i give the above as an example.

  94. Anonymous

    I grew up in a small town without cabs and am trying to find the appropriate amount to tip when I visit NYC. I guess to some extent I would consider myself ignorant of the cab tipping knowledge, but I feel better prepared now. For those of you in the service industry, I appreciate what you do’ and if you do it kindly, I appreciate that even more.

  95. Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more. By the way, I’m an RN in an ICU. I don’t get tips for cleaning up vomit, blood, etc, and having patients complain while I’m doing it. What cab drivers put up with is nothing comred to my job. I paid more for a 20 minute cab ride yesterday than I make in 2 hours, and that was before I figured in the tip.

  96. Anonymous

    In Japan, there is no tipping and it’s fabulous!
    I just don’t get it. Restaurant owners are the richest people I have met and I don’t understand why the customer has to pay their help.

  97. Anonymous

    I’m amazed at the amount of people repulsed by tipping servers. Typically, servers make $2-$3 dollars PER HOUR. The salaried poster with a corporate position above assumes he is comparing apples to apples when he is not.

    As for cab drivers, they typically rent their vehicles for $100+ dollars per day. Adding gas, they need to earn $150 or so before they start “making” any money. Shifts are, at their shortest, usually 12 hours. They receive neither a salaries nor hourly wages.

    I think that tips are in order for good service. That having been said, one should really receive terrible service in order to forgo a tip. If one simply EXPECTS great service, he is a hypocrite if he is not the best at what he does every minute of his working day.

  98. Anonymous


    Joseph it’s true you are not the scum of the earth but neither are the overwhelming majority of cabbies who never were white collar professionals.

    People who don’t have to get dirty or rish their lives at their jobs often hold those who do in contempt. Some call it class war. Well, guess what? Often enough the feeling is mutual.

  99. Anonymous

    Joseph – true, you are not the scum of the earth. Neither are the cabbies who never were unemployed professionals. Let’s not reflect the same attitudes you rightly criticize.

  100. Anonymous

    We clearly have differing camps on the subject of tipping, but let me bring up the topic that really sets my blood to boiling.

    If you order a cab to pick you up at a certain time, be ready at that time. It has become epidemic for customers to make me wait for five, ten, 15 minutes and then gripe when they discover that I’ve started the meter before they make their grand appearance. Not only is it rude to make a cab driver wait, but it costs us money.

    So if you make me wait you can expect to pay for the privelege. Remember, I could just leave you. And don’t forget to tip! ~;-)

  101. Anonymous

    Your driver probably just didn’t hear or remember your receipt request. He’s kind of tired and stressed out, and English is likely not his first language. People tip from ten to thirty percent with most around 15%.

  102. Anonymous

    I have been reading a lot of the comments about tiping and cab drivers and I have to say that I am appauled by some of the stuff I am reading.

    First and foremost, not all taxi drivers are scum of the earth. I drive a taxi and I am an out of work network engineer. I drive a cab because no jobs are available right now and I have a wife and two kids to feed (WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO DO THE SAME THING IF THIS HAPPENED TO YOU)?

    I treat all of my customers nicely when they get in my caB and I don’t use my cell phone EVER. I talk to my passengers and I try and help out any tourist who get in my cab.

    I always ask any customer who wants to use a CC, if they need a receipt and I never give a customer who want’s to use a CC a hard time or lie about the CC not working properly. I always give a proper reciept to anyone who asks for it and I never ask for a tip, or expect one, but get one on almost all occasions.

    Because I work the weekends, I have to deal with unrully drunk assholes who are incoherent, fall asleep in my cab and won’t wake up. I deal with drunk assholes who try and scam me and not pay their bill or lost their wallet and try and get a free ride home (ASK ME OR TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED AND YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED, I HAVE DONE IT BEFORE AND I WILL DO IT AGAIN IF THE SITUATION WARRANTS IT, JUST DON’T LIE TO ME).

    I used too and still do from time to time use cabs and tip well! I am only disrespectful to those who are disrespectful to me!

    I work 12-14 hours a day make very little money compared to someone who works 8 hours. I work 12 hours a shift and my expenses are always more than what I make except on Friday or Saturday because I have to deal with the drunks I have said enough about that.

    Don’t get me wrong. Their are assholes out their, both drivers and passengers. Before you condemn me, walk a mile in my shoes and then lets see what you say.

    I finally found a job and I am so great full that I have one now, but I bet some of the people who are saying the bad things are the same people who are disrespectful to their drivers and have ridden stoned drunk and give their drivers a hard time or who ask for extras like smoking in the cab which is illegal or hears a good one (IM LATE FOR MY TRAIN HOME AND I WAN’T YOU TO GO THRU THAT RED LIGHT BECAUSE I HAVE TO MAKE THAT TRAIN HOME TO MY HOUSE IN ON LONG ISLAND AND THEN HAVE THE BALLS TO GET MAD AT ME WHEN I SAY NO)

    I treat all my drivers and passengers with respect until I see the situation warrants different measures.



  103. Anonymous

    I honestly cannot believe how many of you “don’t believe in tipping”. You are either incredibly selfish or just ignorant. If you really think all a server does is “set the plate on your table” or all a cabbie does is “get you from point a to point b” than it’s ignorance. There is so much more that goes into it than you would ever believe. And before you get on your “if you don’t like it, get another job” high horse, think about who would get you your extra lemons or you 9th refill of iced tea if all of the service industry workers did quit. Next time your in a restaurant, why don’t you try actually paying attention to all the things going on around you. See how your server is busting her ass, running from one table to another, picking up trays of unbelievable weight, trying to understand the table who refuses to speak what little English they know, getting food thrown on her by some brat whose parents are too lazy to teach them manners. Go back in the kitchen and listen to her tell the chef how YOU want to change the menu items. Listen to her plead on your unaware behalf to have the food up now. There are so many hard working servers out there. (Cabbies too, but I only speak of the profession I know). They do not deserve to be ordered around and bullied. They are people. I will repeat, they are people. Human beings! Treat them as such. For one day, it may be your child who is waiting on people like you while she tries desperately to work herself through college. Or perhaps even you *gasp*. You may think you’re “better than that”, but you aren’t. In this economy, ANYONE can be laid off and it will be YOU interviewing for a job you hate just to pay the bills for your family. And you’ll be grateful for it too! Imagine that.
    To those who do tip, I apologize for the rant. Your server truly, TRULY appreciates what you give them. Even if it’s only 15%. They appreciate it. But please, if they worked hard for you, if they were friendly, chatted up your family, got your food and drinks on time (harder than you think, they are battling a lot to do this) cleared your dishes efficently, THANKED YOU for your business, etc. (I can’t believe how many people don’t do this anymore) if they did all those things for you and you had a wonderful experience, try to give them more. It’s not expected, but is overwhelmingly appreciated!!! And it really helps if you have a second to just tell the manager that you loved everything. Feedback is a huge deal to us, and to the chefs if you liked the food. I’m not sure where America got off on the wrong foot of not thanking people for things such as good service or great food, but I promise you, not only will they feel good to hear it, but it’ll put a positive mood around you as well.

  104. Anonymous

    @airport driver: thankfully, the likes of jenifer and lisa don’t find their way into my cab very often. i can’t remember the last time i wasn’t tipped. of course i’ve had many meager tippers, but that’s okay. this economy is rough. at least they seem to understand and try. on the other side of the coin, it’s not uncommon for someone who goes on a short three or four dollar ride to just throw me a ten and tell me to the keep the change. these are people who understand that i probably just waited an hour or two for their lousy fare and they try to compensate. 🙂

  105. Anonymous

    Jenifer and Lisa,

    What you fail to realize is; you will pay one way or the other. Increased meal price, increased fare. Do you think the employer just prints money? If you do, then you must think the govt gives you money when you get a tax refund.

    So why not give it up to the person that took care of you and served your meal or got you home safely…etc.

  106. Anonymous

    Tipping. What it should be…
    “The act of recognition and reward for a job that is performed above and beyond expectations.”

    What it is:
    “A socially accepted form of extortion. The expectation of individuals to supplement other people’s poor wages from cheap-sh*t employers.

  107. Anonymous

    i’ve been driving a cab, part-time or full-time, for nearly 25 years. i spent most of my career driving in a largish city and the customers generally tip quite well, meaning 10-30%. i always try to appear grateful regardless of the amount tipped except if a customer is a pain in the arse and cheap to boot. i have a way of making my point to those folks. i have also driven cab in a smallish town where the people seemingly didn’t know the meaning of the word tip. they’d sit and wait for every penny of change. i didn’t last long in that town.

    just a few rules for a smooth transaction: pay with smallest bills possible, don’t make me dig for coin change, and just tell the driver how much you want back in change instead of making him count out all the change and then making a big ceremony out of giving some of it back to him. tips are appreciated, amounts aren’t so important, just don’t be a pain in the arse. time is money.

  108. Anonymous

    I drive for a glorified cab company. They use sedans that have livery tags instead of taxi tags. We get 16.2% of the fare plus a mandatory 15% gratuity. If you work a full shift, 10-12 hours, you will make between 60 and 80 dollars. Usually closer to 60. The owners take care of all the expenses including gas. We only pay for a car wash each shift. Not bad as u can find one for 3 bucks.

    After reading what some of you cabbies go through and make, I am not feeling so bad.

    On a side note, I can’t stand chatty customers and those that tell me “turn here” at the last minute. Shut up and enjoy the ride; leave me alone though. I am busy working and don’t need your idle distractions to talk about the weather or whatever else is on your mind.

    Did you chat it up with the pilot who’s plane you just got off of? No, you didn’t, nor would you. So shut it.

  109. Anonymous

    I work for metro yellow (owned by yellow cab) in suburban chicago. I am an owner operator, and between insurance and dues it runs me 213/week. Lease drivers pay about $400/week. Since I am an owner operator, I am responsible for my own maintence, permits(they do get expensive. 300-500 every quarter), vehicle saftey inspections, fuel, car washes, etc. After running last years taxes, I need to bring in 130+ a DAY just to BREAK EVEN. That’s not including income tax, so its even MORE. Tips can make or break my day.I work a grueling 70+ hours per week, and it takes a toll. I did not want to be a cab driver, but I needed work! I’m a graphic designer by trade, with many other computer related talents. However I was unable to complete college due to finances. So no degree. No degree means no job. I’m desparately trying to finish it up, but life just gets in the way. I am very polite, and thank each and every customer, (unless they are abusive in which I have them arrested, has happened twice in 2.5 years). To the people complaing about overpriced, you have no clue what costs we incur. Most of us drive gas hogs, so its more comfortable for YOU! Do you really want to be squished up in the back of a prius? So you think $1 in gas when its really $3. And that doesn’t include the 3-10+ miles we drive just to get you. Factor in no shows and it goes up up up!. Insurance costs 250-300/mo. For LIABILITY, we have to pay a special tax to pick you up at the airport too, so bam more money gone. On a $60 airport ride, I may walk away with $30 in my pocket, that I still have to pay income tax on, pay maintence with, etc. So that’s roughly $15 for that trip. I also waited 1-3+ hours for that ride, and drove you for an hour. So yes, tips do matter, big time.I think its funny people will spend $100+ getting drunk, tipping the barkeep $.50 or more per drink(hopefully), yet skimp out on us, who get you home safely, when your often too drunk to tell us where you live.(has happened to me more than you think), then you complain about being over charged because I had to drive in circles to figure out where you live because you can’t tell me your address. Luckily, most customers are at least polite, and things go smoothly. I personally thank each and every customer after each trip. Now for the good tippers, or even decent tippers, I go above and beyond to please you. It could be 4am and I’m in my driveway, you call me I’m there. Those who don’t tip, get a company card. Those who do, get my personal number and are virtually guaranteed a ride. I am clean, my car is clean, and smells good. (It is REALLY HARD to keep a cab smelling good, mostly due to customers believe it or not) I go through 20 bucks a week in disinfectant/febreeze and cleaning supplies. (Not including car washes) I’ve had weeks where I actually went negative money, (meaning working 70 hours and actually oweing money) it is hard work, time consuming, and tedious. I do a good job, and while tips are generally accepted, I don’t make a fuss if it isn’t there. Especially for people who rely on us daily, or people who simply can’t afford it. I still smile, thank them, and move on. A lot of people also expecr us to converse with them, and after12 hours behind the wheel, that too can be a chore. Most people I do enjoy talking to though. You literally take your LIFE, and put it in our hands. That in itself deserves a tip. I’ve always tipped well, but after the econ crash, and me doing this job to make ends meet, I tip even better. Waitresses, bellhops etc are by far the best tippers, and I return the favor. Ill be honest, I’ve even had a few days in the last few years where I’ve cleared $1000 in a day, but I’ve had many many many MANY more days where I’ve made $0 or less….. I thought the same way about cabbies as many of you here, but after doing the job, I have a newfound massive respect for them. Cab driving is one of the hardest and most dangerous job in the WORLD, and I see many new drivers fail time and time again because it is so hard to get started. Now I am happy with the standard 15%, and extactic with anything over. And airport runs deserve%20 or greater, at least here. We have greatly reduced flat rates(compared to meter) and we have to load your bags and get you there on time. My last run would have run $122+ on the meter, and it was a flat rate of $64, with a whopping $5 dollar tip, after playing tetris with 6 bags to get them to fit, driving a heavy van, ( which can get difficult in chicago rush hour). So that’s $69 dollar, in three and a half hours time. Not to shabby huh? Now let’s look at costs. $18 dollars in gas, $1 in tolls, $2 airport taxes, and wear and tear. So $ 51 in pocket,(which now gets income taxed) which brings it down to $45 ish, without maint. Or wear and tear. So $45 dollars in four and a half hours time( hour long drive, much longer in any kin of traffic) now I have to make another $25 for that day, just to break even, and over a third of my shift is over, and that’s STILL not incuding repairs. I now see why drivers refuse $3-$10 dollars trips with no tip… they don’t make a dime and often go backwards. And don’t expect the driver to know ever place every street. That’s impossible.

  110. Anonymous

    I am a taxi driver.. I DONT EXPECT TIPS .. but I do appreciate them. Most taxi drivers are just paid a percentage of that run ( believe me, it’s not much ). I’d like to consider myself a friendly,safe,and full of information for my riders. I drive in a small town ( about 24000 people ) and the percentge I get isn’t much and I’m responsible for my own taxes at the end of the year.

    Though tips are nice, I’m never pissed off if I don’t get them. My driving plicy is to be friendly but limit my conversation based on what I feel the rider wants. I load and help unload groceries and open doors for riders.

  111. Anonymous

    You knew what you were in for when you took the job, nobody said it would be easy, I have never expected a “tip” for being nice, I always treat people the way I would like to be treated. What has happened to the world? Every job I have had, I always did more than I was expected when it came to customer service. Why would you think you should receive a tip for that????
    Quit complaining. Do just what you are expected to do and nothing more, if thats what you want, but don’t expect a tip for being a nice person!

  112. Anonymous

    I used to work for a company pushing wheelchairs for airport travellers who couldn’t get from one side of the airport to the other. They were not charged for this service and I depended on tips because I only got paid $4.75 an hour and most people still didn’t tip.

    Sure, air travel is expensive, but I didn’t work for the airline, I worked for a subcontracted company so I wasn’t benefitting a bit from what the customer already paid the airline, but they were surely benefitting from me.

    I pushed people weighing as much as 300 pounds up ramps from one end of the airport to another while hauling their larger carry on bags. I made sure they got to make a restroom stop on the way, made sure they got to their next plane on time, made sure they could stop and get a snack on the way if they wanted one.

    If they missed their flight, I made sure to take them to friendly customer service people to get their flights rebooked. I would check back with them often to make sure they were doing alright while waiting for their next plane. I would listen for gate changes and come back to take them to their new gate.

    If this was their last stop, I stayed with them and helped them collect their luggage and get a ride or meet up with their family. If their family had parked far away, I would stay with the person I was pushing until the family member could go fetch the car and bring it to the curb and I even helped load their luggage. All this service and I still often got no tip or even just a dollar or two for spending as much as two hours helping out a single person.

    The excuses people give for not tipping are just that, excuses. The person that doesn’t tip their cabbie is the same one that doesn’t tip me for taking care of their mobility challenged parent. Why should you tip? Well how about that for a start, the standards of service that we are required to provide you are far below the standards of service you expect. In the case of wheelchair service, all I was required to do was meet you at your gate and either take you to your next gate or take you down to baggage claim. I was not required to do one thing more and obviously I did a lot more.

    So spare us all the excuses. We take the jobs we can get to try and feed our families and we cannot feed them on excuses.

  113. Anonymous

    I agree with you christy, but with the price of food at restuarants, it’s hard to spend the extra. True if you can’t afford going out to eat than stay home.. I think the boss should make up the difference if the table doesn’t tip!! Truly he should be paying at least minimum wage. I have a daughter that works on tips, she pulls in 200-300 per night. Wish I was younger, I would like to make that kind of money for serving.

  114. Anonymous

    The tipping system in the US is just an excuse to keep wages low and keep a form of institutionalized slavery. The slaves would rather defend their masters’ policies than challenge them. I’m sure some people will be offended that somebody said that, but that’s the way it is.

  115. Anonymous

    I’m pretty late this answering this, but my husband is a yellow cab driver and he relies heavily on tips. For the most part, he doesn’t expect much, maybe $2-4 per ride (depending on the distance), but it really helps us survive in New York City. On a good week he can make $700-$900 a week. But that’s rare. Usually it’s down to around $500 for a 60 hour week (for the most part, most of them work 12 hour shifts, 4:00-4:00, unless they own the vehicle). Don’t forget they have to pay out of pocket the cost of renting the cab ($130 a day), gas, and any tickets occurred when the cops are feeling playful. They don’t get paid by the cab company themselves (as far as yellow cabs go) and work for themselves. If it’s a slow day and they don’t get customers, then they’re actually paying the cab companies to work.

  116. Anonymous

    I also should have clarified that I don’t expect a tip because I don’t want to treat you differently just because you don’t tip (or raise my anxiety about whether or not I’m going to make lease that day), but hopefully people reading these responses will rethink tipping if they’re of the mind that it’s unnecessary.

  117. Anonymous

    Cab drivers are independent contractors. I pay $75 per 12-hour shift, and work 5 shifts per week. Then I pay every day for gas and to wash and vac my car. I don’t expect a tip and you won’t get different service if you don’t tip.

    Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, cab driving is not a breeze. Often–as is the case I imagine with bartenders, etc.–there is a sort of milieu therapy that occurs within the sanctity of a cab. There’s also a good deal of abuse, as some view the cab as an opportunity to verbally abuse someone. Most people, however, are really wonderful. Hustling to make money beyond what you spend on the cab every day requires some energy.

    I have a 157 IQ, worlds of experience in human service management, editing, graphic design, and alternative bodywork therapies, and am considered talented and successful in all the above-mentioned fields. However, times are hard, and I turned to cab driving as a viable supplement. Cab drivers span the gamut in terms of experience, personality, dedication, and acumen. And the work can be fascinating.

    I’ll continue to learn a lot from career cab drivers. There are some really wonderful people driving, and getting the science and art down of successfully driving cab to feed your family is no easy task.

    Lumping people into one category indicates tremendous intellectual laziness. Perhaps some cerebral calisthenics are in order.

  118. Anonymous


  119. Anonymous

    Cabbies DO NOT GET PAID by the hour!!!! At the beginning of a shift we are in the hole. We have to pay for gas. We have to pay a $20 fee everyday just for the privilege of driving the damn car. Then we have to pay for EVERY trip. Yes, the company charges us for the trips they dispatch us to! Right off the bat before I even sit in the car, I owe my company $46.00! Trust me, it’s a small world and if you’re a local, I’ll see you again. When I see you, I will pass you up or accidentally get lost. I will leave your ass to bake in that 110 degree weather and call in to my dispatcher for the next trip! Just like that server that spits in your food; kharma is a bitch.

  120. Anonymous

    This is also a bit off topic – but I’m a server and just had to comment.

    This is what my paycheck looks like every two weeks: $0.00.

    That’s why you tip your server.

    Seriously, people – get informed.

    I don’t know how much a cabbie makes an hour. That’s why I came to this forum – to see what proper ediqutte is. If their paychecks look anything like mine – I’ll gladly tip more.

  121. Anonymous

    With cab drivers I agree with everyone 15% ish.

    But this is a message for everyone who doesn’t think they should tip, “why tip for what I can do myself, why should I tip ppl for doing their job…blah blah blah”

    Most people who you are expected to tip MAKE NO HOURLY MONEY. I am a waitress and a college student and my paycheck at the end of the week MIGHT have 3 dollars on it, I rely ONLY on tips. It’s state law here that we get 2 dollars an hour, and that goes straight to taxes. Tip your servers at least their 15%!!! All we have is about 3 tables and when you don’t tip, we pretty much just worked an hour for FREE. And most of us are trying to work our way through college or other pursuits. We DO deserve tips until the laws are changed to getting hourly or salary!

    And I know most other tipped positions, are the same with little to no hourly money at ALL. Don’t be cheap, you work hard at your job and we do too, we expect, need, and rely on our 15%.

  122. Anonymous

    Uh people don’t seem to understand how precentages work on here. Doesn’t a percentage naturally keep up with inflation? Basic math, anyone? (This puts those working in tipping professions at quite a privilige.) So why on earth has standard tipping risen from 5-20% in my short lifetime? A fifth of the price, esp. when things are alread so expensive?!!

    The more you give to service people, apparently, the more they seem to expect rather than feel greatful for. This really makes me want to be cheap-I hate entitlement.

    As for the server who found 10% unwelcome, fine then, I won’t give it to you, since it’s “Unwelcome.”

  123. Anonymous

    I’m sorry, but you really shouldn’t have to tip on anything so already stupidly expensive as a taxi. I get tipping at restaurants, even though that gets out of hand, but why do we tip cabs?

  124. Anonymous

    Just a visitor from Canada to vegas , I dont mind tipping cab drivers ,unless they ramble on talking to themselves and shaking there fist at cars that arent there. We had a crazy habibe sort of guy from some foreign land, who scared the crap out of us, he reminded me of some crackhead, should not have been driving. His tip from me was stay off drugs crackhead.

  125. Anonymous

    Just a note here –

    Cabbies many times – even most times take calls in the blind – you call ‘dispatch’ – – they tell me – ok – 5th and main – a lady in the lobby of the fleas are free hotel – I drive 18 miles to get her – – then – she goes 5.00 – – i am screwed right there – the only possible salvation is a tip – then no tip – i just stopped going blind like that – I must MUST talk to the client and be satisfied I will make a PROFIT or I refuse and this is why sometimes you wait 2 hours on a cab – because we KNOW going in – -it is a total loser and 5 of these a day – and we make ZERO money.
    The more you’re educated as to the cab drivers expenses the more you will realize transportation isn’t cheap – and if it was you would have a rental car and not need a cab – funny thing to me is people rely on cabs a lot do the least complaining – -it is very expensive to keep a cab – hot -cold – clean – in good repair -and on time with a safe – sober clean – good smelling well dressed driver and when I was that you almost never tipped me extra. I was sharp – embroidered on my shirt with tie was PROFESSIONAL DRIVER – to give you a little something for confidence and class – most people didn’t tip me a bit more than the smelling unshaven driver -so I QUIT the biz – so now all you get are stinking foreigners. ALSO believe me people who call for a cab then no show by walking or hopping into any cab that happens through screw everyone. If you call and then no show it is comparable to going into a restaurant -ordering a meal then while they cook it for you – you just quietly walk out – – so they are stuck with the expense of labor – food and no money for it – and YOU do this to CABBIES EVERY DAY –It is you screwing up the cabbie before he ever gets there that doesn’t help prices.

    Just think about this too – the cabbie has to pay daily rent and gas — even if the fare’s are less then he makes – –it is a dog eat dog business with the customer many times eating the dog too – because of walk offs – or no shows.

    Best of it to you but know the truth about how cabbies make their money too.

  126. Anonymous

    BRUCE _

    10 miles @ the standard 2 dollars a mile – if Gas was the only expense then you might have a complaint but Cabbies RENT the cab daily and commercial Insurance is in the thousands – adverts – phone – office use – etc – gas – these are all part of the expense of running a cab and isn’t cheap – the fare is REGULATED and no cabbie ever messes with the meter because they are SEALED by the POLICE department.
    22 dollars for 10 miles and he had to GET to where you WERE and that cost money –
    let’s not for get here that driving a cab is the most DANGEROUS job in the world – even worse than being a cop – and you bitch — next time WALK or call a RELATIVE.

  127. Anonymous

    As a former cab driver in Columbia SC I want to first off make sure everyone here knows the Cabbie isn’t an employee of the cab company. Matter of fact the Cab driver pays the cab company all the money they get. Without the money I pay for daily rental of the vehicle where would any cab company get money to live on? Someone mentioned tipping as comparing a tip to a waitress and one mentioned a tip for a 5.00 trip. Well first off a waitress serves many more people than a cab driver – for instance a table of 4 generates say 35.00 for the bill add this 20% to say an often given generous tip from one of the 4 of say 4 dollars you see right off a single table [ as compared to a single cab ride -consider the cab driver had to drive to where you are picked up so the driver has an investment before he sees you] the money received by the waitress is all profit too. The cab driver has to pay his own fuel and rent -the waitress gets an additional 2 dollars an hour too. Also cabbies have to pay about 28% and their own Social Security taxes.
    You do not have a clue what it takes to make a living in a cab – – people called me for a cab 40 miles away then left ‘with a friend’ just as I turned into the hotel. You call for cabs then just get in the first one that happens by screwing the guy coming to get you at near breakneck speeds. Here in Columbia – when I pick you up at the air port – I have waited up to 6 hours ‘on the hill’ where cabs sit hoping someone gets off the plane with a 40 dollar fare, then I do not charge the standard additional 2.00 ‘TRUNK FEE” as allowed by law. I don’t turn the meter on until AFTER I have your destination plugged into the GPS or firmly in my mind and I get a 20.00 fare and a stinking 2 dollar tip and drop your fat ass off at Ruth’s Chris – oh hell yeah I quit the cab business and you complain that cabbies are this and that – – I challenge you to make money driving a cab.
    Oh let’s not forget some people want you back in 4 hours to go somewhere else. This of course many times causes the driver to either break the law because the law says – must stop driving after 12 hours.
    Trust me – you never see a guy or gal saying they made their bundle driving a cab.
    Believe me – you calling for a cab – then taking the next one without caring to see if it is the guy you called or just not showing up cost many drivers tons of money and caused me to let you screw with them — not me.

    People who take cabs from Airports and tired and many times angry because the Airlines screwed them up and many of you take it out on the cab driver and for that you have mommies.

    Best of it
    Gary Rice
    [email protected]

  128. Anonymous

    In Manhattan, the rule of thumb is for every $10, give a tip of $1. And then add another $ for each consideration- handling your luggage (which they don’t usually do anyway), rush hour, asking to make 2 stops, etc. One time, I asked my cabbie for about $18 in change (for a $2 tip) and he asked if I had singles instead. I said I only had $1 and he took it. So sometimes they even prefer forgoing their tip as long as they have change, and a 20% tip is is more than enough.

  129. Anonymous

    At least 20%.
    a guy gave no tip to the cab driver, not knowing that he left a set of house,car and safety box keys plus cell fone in the back seat. when the passenger called his on cell, the cab driver answered it and told him the address of the trash can where he was to drop the set of keys and the cell fone!(way out in jersey)

  130. Anonymous

    I had a similar thing happen, which is why I looked this up. I handed the guy what I thought was a generous tip, and he very pointedly looked at what I had handed him, then back up at me in disgust. There was no mistaking it with anything else – no “he was tired, couldn’t write a receipt”… etc. I couldn’t tell whether he was mad or if it was just a ploy to get more money, but it really stuck in my mind. I have had some other bad cab experiences, but most are nice and seem pleased with a $2-4 tip for shorter rides. I always tip $1/bag for airport car rental shuttles, because they do really lift my bags, and I rarely see them get tipped. I think these are really the folks that aren’t getting what they deserve!

  131. Anonymous

    Well I took a trip that consisted of no more then 10 miles and was charged $22 now that’s less than a dollar in gas. The cabbie was a foreigner that didn’t have good English skills and we had to give details on where to go and how to get home and we were going to the Palisades Mall. I mean come on your a cab driver and you don’t know how to get to the mall. I mean if i send my computer in for repair do you think there going to call me and ask for instructions on to fix it. This isn’t the first time i have called many different cab services in the rockland county area and same thing, if your that stupid you don’t get a tip from me. Maybe their cabs should be required to have gps.

  132. Anonymous

    I find this subject so interesting. My friends out there: if you want to see good Cabbies, and probably one of the best in the world, go to Nfld.Labrador. They wear uniforms in some parts where I visited last year. Somebody from Ontario, or West of here would most likely take them for a Security Guard, whatever. Hats on, white long sleeve shirt, nice pants. Open the door for you, talk nice. Reach your destination, again, come around, open the door, you pay the cabbie, and he tells you – “thank you, my darlin, and if you need anything- call me”. You pay, you smile, and all is well. Now, I ask: if that Cab Driver doesn’t deserve a tip, then we don’t deserve to have them around. They are great people, and I find this throughout Canada, and other countries as well.

  133. Anonymous

    Cab Drivers are the VERY PEOPLE we should tip over everything, and that includes poor service in Restaurants, rude people who supply poor service via delivery, and ON AND ON it goes.

    I have been known to give a Cab Driver a $5.00 tip for a short distance, because first of all: he helped me with bags, groceries, into my Residence, sometimes having to shut off the meter, so which brings me to this tip. It was well deserved, because during that time the driver helped me out, another call could have come into him, and he could have been down the street, and off somewhere for a good trip, etc. etc. So, I strongly believe Cab Drivers deserve tips, starting anywhere from $3.00 and up. Festive Season: they should receive a $5.00 and up tip if possible, as they may remember you as a previous customer. They work long hours and have families too, so if we are satisfied, and are treated well, yes, we should give them a tip. It is not asking too much in today’s fast life-style, it is just being decent, and moral. Most of these Cab Drivers will go out of their way for the customer, and are very helpful.

  134. Anonymous

    Just talk to the cabbie once in a while and you’ll get a feel for the competitiveness of the business and the regulation they have to deal with. IMO from talking to them, if it’s a solid fare like $40-$50 to the airport, it isn’t necessary to tip them big because they actually made some money on the fare. I give that guy around $5-$6. But if the guy is standing in line at the airport and gets your fare and drives you two miles for an $8 fare, then that guy is screwed for the next 3 hours. I would tip that guy $5 which as a % is 62%.

    Bottom line though is if you tip a guy well and get his number and get him to remember you, you can call him on a Saturday night when it’s impossible to get a cab and he’ll be there for you. Or if you don’t have a car and need a cab to go get groceries twice a month, if you tip well you can get a regular guy that will take the fare. Lots of cabbies won’t take those $5-6 fares to the grocery store.

  135. Anonymous

    I’m currently working at a waitress, so tips are my livelihood. I make $4.25 per hour (before taxes, of course), and I generally make $30-$90 in a 5 hour shift, depending on the day of the week. There is one woman that I work with who is a single mom, has 4 children under the age of 13, and she brings in the only income to her household. Waitressing sucks, but I can only imagine that being a cab driver sucks worse. That extra dollar or two that you leave for your waitress or your cabbie will mean SO much to them, but you will have forgotten about it as soon as you leave. I take cabs home from the bars about once a week, with a tab of $5-$8. I always tip at least $3, which has gotten me many cab drivers’ personal cell phone numbers so that I have reliable service with polite, clean cab drivers. Take it from me, service people remember good tippers and will go the extra mile for them next time.

  136. Anonymous

    Tipping is an individual thing. As a cabbie, I find that most of my tips exceed 20%. Some people, however, don’t tip at all. Those people don’t get my card with my cell number, either. Others go with the standard 10-15%. That’s entirely up to the individual.

    But try to bear a few things in mind. I pay $485.00 a week – in advance – just for the privilege of driving my cab. I pay for my own gas, my own maintainance and repairs, including a set of tires about every 7-9 months, and in the event of an at-fault accident I have a $1,500.00 deductible.

    Fortunately, I have other income, or frankly I wouldn’t do it. There’s no way I could support my family solely by driving a cab. I don’t know how people do -I’d have to work 70 hours a week, and pray that business (and my luck) was good. I do it to keep a car available, and meet the gap between survivor benefits my kids receive and what they need. And it gives me the flexibility to be home when my kids need me, since I make my own hours.

    I keep my cab clean, I know the city well, and I’m a very competent driver. I’m also pleasant – if you are. People pay me well for that. And people who are obnoxious and think I owe them something walk. Bear in mind I deal with a night time crowd, so I have leeway there. I can also have them arrested on a PI for being a pain-in-the-butt. But I have never had to do that – instead, I’ve driven back to return property they left in the cab, I’ve walked them up stairs when I was afraid they were too sloshed not to fall – I’ve even gone to great lengths to find out where they live when THEY couldn’t tell me.

    We earn our tips. If your cabbie sucks, by all means feel free to skip the tip. But seriously, if they were that bad you owe it to everyone else to call the company with their cab number and complain. And bear in mind, most of you couldn’t do this job. We provide a valuable service – from airport service to rescuing people when their car stalls on the highway to getting you home when you party too hard. We get you to work when your car breaks down, and we let you – a complete stranger – into our vehicles. Some of you don’t even pay the fare. I get ripped off about 6 times a year. But I still don’t ask for payment upfront on most trips(even though dispatch encourages us to) because I think it’s rude and I believe that most people are honest. And most of you are 🙂

    But I’d like to make one other suggestion – if you no longer need a cab after you place the call, please cancel your request. Another expense we deal with is when we waste our time (which is money) and our gas driving to pick up someone who isn’t there or no longer wants a cab. Like the time call for the airport I wasted 45 minutes and 15 miles of driving on. Thanks 🙂

  137. Anonymous

    I tip the standard 15%.

    Some people say that is too little because of inflation, but they are forgetting that the tip is a percentage of the overall cost. Therefore, if the cost rises the tip also rises even though it’s still 15%.

    I believe tipping 20% is too much and, overall, tipping has gotten out-of-hand. Raising your tip from 15% to 20% is a 33.3% increase!

    In addition, I don’t tip if the person serving me does a poor job (this has only happened once).

    Also, when the service you are paying for adds a “service charge”, that is the tip; there’s no need for you to tip if you are charged a “service charge”

  138. Anonymous


    Tipping is not a requirement or it wouldn’t be a tip, it would just be part of the original price. It is ENTIRELY up to the patron. If you’re offended, I don’t really care. I have had jobs that suck to and I never got extra money…nor was I payed well. If the servor is unhappy with 15% then do something other than pick up a plate and set it on my table.

  139. Anonymous


    i’m sorry to go on a rant, but alex’s comment really offended me as a previous server. according to the new york times the current us average tip rate based on a survey is 18%. when i was serving tables I never complained about anything 18% & above. 15% seems low by comparison. 10% is never welcomed by any server. i think it could be due to inflation, cost of living and so on. again servers make 2.13 an hour (even with inflation the federal minimum wage for servers hasn’t changed since the 80’s) in most states. i know of some servers who can’t even pay they’re federal taxes at that rate and end up owing at the end of the year. when you consider servers tip an andditional 2-5% of the bill to other employees the servers aren’t walking away with as much money as you might think. i know the price of dining out has spiked due to inflation but not as much as cost of living in my opinion.

    Alex made it sound like servers don’t do a whole lot but they were very hard for their money. 1 tip on a table can make or break an entire shift of work. i don’t think most people understand what a tough industry service is

  140. Chad: I’m curious as to why you think “15% is below standard”? It sounds like you think we should be tipping more. Why? Just guessing here, but perhaps you’re thinking of inflation… But wouldn’t inflation be accounted for by the fact that restaurant bills are higher, so the tips at a given percentage point are likewise higher? Or do you mean something else?

  141. Anonymous

    this one is for alex. who thinks tipping is not neccessary, news flash, the standard minimum wage for servers in the United States is 2.13 an hour, this hardly accounts for taxes let alone income. servers make they’re living off what is left on the table, and nothing more. many times they share those tips with the hosts/bartender/kitchen. in Europe all tips are included in the price of the meal. i think that should be the case here. when someone gives you good service, tip them (20% for adequate service). 15% is below standard. get with the times

  142. Anonymous

    I just started working as a limo driver in Vegas. A 20% tip is fine. Some clients are great and tip more – some are from other countries or areas that just do not tip as well as others. It is very true. With them 10% is a huge deal. I have no way of taking credit cards or printing reciepts. We run into all kinds of people during our shift. We never know if the person will be mad, sad, or glad. Your guy was probably just tired. At the end of the night all I have are $20’s and a dirty car to clean. Then I walk to my car and hope not to get mugged. I take my own money (change) to work that I get on the way in each day. Sometimes people jump out and don’t pay. I get paid $0 per hour. My take (without tip) is about $10 commission of the $40 to $60 fare. The airport takes $5 for every pickup we take. And the company had to raise the fuel surcharge to $4 because gas is so freaking high – drivers get none of that. I have to wait 1 to 3 hours to get one fare. So far I have averaged about $80 total for a 9 hr shift and that is including tips. Do you see all the cab and limo drivers lined up at the hotels and airports? How long do you think they have to sit in line until they get to you? There are rules we have to follow – we cannot go out and get business – we have to wait for you to start the conversation. Whatever tip you give your driver is about 1/2 of what they make every 50 minutes. Please don’t put your own bags into my car – I have to pay for the scratches made on the rear bumper when it is dragged in – plus the exercise is welcome after I have sat in my car for an hour or two waiting to reach you. My only chance of making a decent living is if someone goes to a strip bar and I get $20 extra if they are not busy that night. Or I get some happy drunks that tip me $50. I am looking for a new job.

  143. Anonymous

    Lynn: Is it nickel’s fault that a person doing business in an predominantly English-speaking society can’t communicate well with his clients? A person living in the States who lacks English skills and business etiquette should expect to be misunderstood in social and business situations.

    We can be understanding toward those who lack basic literacy without faulting the customer for being taken aback by the driver’s forgivable, but nevertheless odd, behavior.

  144. Anonymous

    To those up in arms about tipping:

    There is an attitude that a tip is some kind of undeserved bonus, when it is actually part of, not in addition to, the price you are paying for the service.

    Would it be a better world if Olive Garden, instead of expecting tips, simply charged an additional, non-negotiable 15% premium on your meal and passed that amount to the wait staff? Maybe. But then you would lose the discretion that allows you to reward exceptional service and penalize poor service.

    We don’t tip McDonald’s employees, because their customer service practices and pricing structure has evolved in such a way that the fixed prices of their meals produce the revenue necessary to compensate employees without relying on tips.

    There is certainly room to debate the practicality and economic efficiency of the gratuity system, but the “I’m a computer programmer and no one pays me tips!” argument ignores the real issue, which is that employees will be compensated one way or another.

    That being said, if the whole world quit tipping, hourly wages, and thus meal prices, would rise to compensate. Also: in a world that tips, those who tip are paying they way of those who do not.

  145. Lynn: Actually, I always assumed that they were trying to do people a favor by giving them a blank receipt that can be filled out for reimbursement of whatever amount they wish. Not that I would claim more than I paid, but I’m sure that there are those among us who would.

  146. Anonymous

    I have friends in the industry, and I can tell you two things: 1) you tipped enough, and 2) the driver you had is probably illiterate and was afraid you were asking him to WRITE a receipt. Note that other commenters mentioned often being given blank receipts by drivers, which they had to fill out themselves. Illiteracy in quite common among taxi drivers. Before you folks assume someone is being rude to you, take a moment to remember that there are millions of adults in America (yes millions) who don’t have basic reading and writing skills. Sometimes (gasp!) it’s NOT all about you!

  147. Anonymous

    Interestingly enough, I was in Las Vegas a few weeks back and the cabbie was pulling a bit of a tipping scheme.

    He asked where we were from, and once we told him, said people from where we were from didn’t tip well.

    It was a ploy for us to say, not true, we do tip well. And seemingly buck the trend and give him a big tip.

    Watch out for stuff like that…tips can be their livelihood, but at your expense.

  148. Anonymous

    It’s really interesting that I ran across this post today. My husband and I have been talking about cabbing expenses. I start work at five in the morning, we don’t have a car, the buses don’t run that early, and my lungs aren’t very good. My fare, including that stupid fuel charge, is usually between five and six bucks. I tend to give them ten dollars. My husband had told me that I was overtipping but I said that I didn’t think so. And the thing is that a lot of these cab drivers are RUDE or whine when I tell them where I need to go.

    And now, I find out that I HAVE been overtipping. Maybe I’ll start paying less…

  149. Anonymous

    A cabbie once told me he didn’t have change to give which would’ve resulted in about a 25% tip. Fortunately, I had the exact amount after using all my small bills and coins. Worked out well for me cause I didn’t have anything small enough for a tip.

  150. Anonymous

    I usually round up to the next dollar, as long as the end amount on the fare is lower than .40. If it’s above that, I round so they get a dollar and change. I usually take short trips ($6-8), so I think that’s quite fair. If a cabbie is particularly helpful, or doesn’t need any directions, I might tip an extra dollar. Though, in my city there is currently a fuel surcharge ($1-2, depending on the week and gas price), so I sometimes don’t tip — because when you think about it, if their car gets, say, 20 miles to the gallon, and the cabbie does short trips in the city, they’re making probably about $8-10 more per gallon, and that more than covers the higher charge of gas.

  151. Anonymous

    It may have been both the “large” bills and asking for a receipt. I once had a cabbie hand me several of the blank receipts when I asked for one. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because other cabbies on the same trip (NYC) claimed they were out.

  152. Anonymous

    Discussions like this make me so glad I live in Australia, where I’m not expected to use 20% of my spending money topping up the wages of underpaid service industry workers. Employers pay them less because tips are considered part of their pay, but it never makes the prices cheaper. Here we pay people properly and tip only for exceptional service. I don’t know anyone who’s ever tipped a taxi driver, because taxis are already so expensive. We usually leave some sort of tip for excellent service at a restaurant, but it’s not expected.

  153. Anonymous

    I don’t like to tip them anything. They are usually jerks and don’t deserve a tip.

    I’ve had the same problem as well with reciepts. When I do ask for one, they give me a blank ticket and I have to fill it out myself.

  154. Anonymous

    Speaking of tips–this is only slightly off-topic, I hope–has anyone else noticed restaurant servers changing amounts charged to give themselves a larger tip?

    This has now happened to me three times. And I don’t think I’m a chintzy tipper…I never leave less than 15%, even if the service is mediocre, but the amount is usually 20%. This last episode, which I just noticed on the Visa bill, made me so mad I’m complaining to Visa and sending copies of the complaint and the receipt (which I happened to still have) to the restaurant manager.

  155. Anonymous

    I think 15%-20% is enough. I only take cabs in the US once or twice a year, at the most, and I don’t understand why tips are required at all. In other countries I have been to where usually the fares are $1-$2, it is standard to count the coins they give back to make sure they didn’t shortchange you. Why is the US such an outlier here? One thing they all have in common is they are the scum of the earth. I think cabbies are the most worthless, dishonest people I have dealt with – and it’s the same all over the world.

  156. Anonymous

    Why tip someone for a job I’m capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did however, tip my urologist, because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones.

  157. Anonymous

    I am in Vegas right now, taking many, many cab rides. I round up and add a dollar, usually. One guy was very funny and chatty so I gave him a bit more (the fare was only $5 anyway). But I’ve had several that chat on their phones the entire time, which I consider rude and unprofessional. To me, that is lousy service, so I don’t tip them much at all.

  158. Anonymous

    Tipping is a funny business. Why should someone get extra money just because they did their job? When I work my butt off by staying at the office for 14 hours, no one tips me. I’ve been “recognized” and given a promotion, AND had my pay cut at the same time. Tipping is an uniquely American thing, which has spread to other cultures that deal w/ American tourists. TIPS, by the way, TIPS was a way To Insure Prompt Service. I don’t know about you, but too many people think they are entitled to something when they don’t. When that happens, I make a point NOT to give them a tip. When a person genuinely does a good job, then yes, I would tip. It’s a cultural and personal thing. Do what makes you feel good. I tip 15% when I go to restaurants, my parents 10%, and some of my friends tell me they never tip at all when they go to certain restaurants. I mean, when was the last time you feel compelled to tip the minimum wage McDonald’s guy that cleans the table and dumps your trash? But when we sit in a “restaurant”, we’re suddenly compelled to give them money for doing that? Give me a break.

  159. Anonymous

    pbpbphttt! That’s not atypical. One time we tipped a cabby 20% and as we walked away he stood on the curb yelling invective at us. We made no special demands of him and were not carrying luggage.

    It’s just a scam to make you feel like a sh** so you’ll pony up some more.

  160. Anonymous

    I echo Lily’s response. I give around $2 for small fares (under $10), for larger fares, I usually tip around 20%. In your case, I probably would have rounded up and given him $5, but it’s basically the same.

  161. Anonymous

    20% is more than fair. As others have stated, 15-20% is standard with just about any service (assuming it’s good service), including cabbies, hair stylists, manicurists, wait staff, etc.

    Maybe your cabbie was having a bad day. Maybe his back hurt. Maybe he didn’t like your face. I wouldn’t worry about it or try to read his mind. You did well considering that you did all your own lifting. Don’t let the guy intimidate you or ruin your day. More than likely, it had nothing at all to do with you.


  162. Anonymous

    I think you may be being too hard on him. There’s a good chance he didn’t hear/understand your request for a receipt, especially if you was concentrating on how much change you asked for back. Then he was surprised when you didn’t get out of the car, which is why he looked at you. Then when you asked again, it registered that you already had ask him, plus cabbies tend to want these transactions to go as quickly as possible. Unless he made a specific comment, I’d give the guy a break.

    That being said, I usually go with 15-20%.

  163. Anonymous

    I think you did fine in terms of tipping but I think he may have been irked because he didn’t want two twenties, it’d be hard for him to make change later.

  164. Anonymous

    If I had a lot of bags I would consider tipping as much a $5. When you think about it, we tip a server 20% for brining food and drinks to our table. Cab drivers open doors, load/unload bags, and transport us safely our destination (of course, not all of them do all three things). If you find one that does it well, reward them for it.

  165. Anonymous

    Why should I tip a cab driver? I get in the cab, am driven to where I need to be, and I get out of the cab. What, exactly, has the driver done that is deserving of a tip?

    Sometimes, at airports, the driver will pick up my bag and place it into the trunk. I do not ask the driver to do this, in fact, I ask them NOT to do it. Let me handle it. Please.

    Unless the driver does something to deliver superior service, I don’t believe any tip is warranted.

  166. Anonymous

    The tip amount sounds fine, but some cabbies hate changing larger bills – I think they fear they’ll end up with too many $20s and no change for future riders. Sometimes I’ll tell them right away that I only have $20s.

  167. Scott: I don’t think the receipt was the problem, in that he just did what all cab drivers do… He simply handed me a blank, business-card like receipt. No fuss, no muss.

  168. Anonymous

    Maybe he was just exceptionally bad at math?

    I usually tip at least $2 for short trips (as in under $8). Then I tip 15-20% depending on whether the cabbie helped me with bags. I’ve never had anyone react to my standard or big tips, one way or the other.

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