Tipping Cab

by Claire Valenty on April 9, 2010

in Tipping

tipping cab etiquette

Tipping cab drivers is a good idea if you ever want a cab to stop for you ever again. I am not kidding. They have some sort of secret language and world-wide communication system. If you forget one time and do not tip a cab driver, your picture instantly goes up on some undisclosed website where all cabbies go to know which fares to avoid picking up.

Seriously, though, tipping cab drivers is just what you do. They get you where you are going safely (unless you are in New York and then they just get you where you are going; no promises). I stick with a tip of 15% of the cab fare; no more and no less. Their job is to get you there and they did. If they entertained you along the way and you had an interesting conversation and you feel like you connected with the person (cabbies do have great personalities!), then throw a few extra bucks in, but, you are not expected to. If the cab driver did not interact with you (which, sometimes I prefer, anyway), they are still providing the service and deserve the tip. Even if they are downright rude (think about what a pleasant mood you would be in driving around in traffic all day every day), I still tip them. If the cab picked you up at the airport and loaded your bags in the car, they do not get an extra tip for the bag handling. Again, that is just part of their job.

When you reach your destination, if your trip cost $16 and you have a $20, just give it to the driver and say, “Keep the change.” Do not be super cheap about getting your one dollar back. However, if you have a $50, figure out the change you want before you reach your destination, then say to the cab driver, “Here you go. I would like $30 in change.” If you forget that, some cab drivers will take off with your change. Ok, maybe not with your $50 bill, but, just in case, always make it clear you want change.

And, if you are catching a cab home because you are being a model citizen and know you are too inebriated to drive, take a good hard look at that cash a few times before you hand it over to the cab driver. There’s nothing like waking up the next morning and suddenly remembering in your rush to pass out in your bed, you gave the cab driver a $20 to cover a $5 cab ride.

Photo: Dreamstime/Konstantin Sutyagin

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alex Trodder February 27, 2016 at 12:57 am

I’m sure that being a cab driver can be a pretty stressful job. You need to know a city very well, which areas might have traffic depending on the time of day, and ensure that you are safe driver. It’s always polite to tip your cab driver. They keep you safe and ensure that you get to your destination as quickly as possible.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: