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Here’s how to tip your Uber driver in the app

It’s really easy — and totally optional.

New York Uber Drivers Protest Rate Cuts Spencer Platt / Getty

After years of driver demands for an in-app tipping feature, Uber has finally rolled out the much-sought-after addition to its app in more than 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Long something Uber intentionally left out of its product, tipping is part of the company’s newfound effort to appease drivers and was one of the first changes the ride-hail giant introduced as part of its commitment to improve the driver experience in 180 days.

For riders, tipping is entirely optional and doesn’t require much by way of steps and takes little extra money. After updating your app to Uber’s newest version — and assuming the driver has signed up to accept tips — there are three steps.

  1. When your ride is over, you rate your driver.
A screenshot of the Uber app. Uber

2. You can then choose from a preset tip amount of $1, $2 or $5.

A screenshot of the Uber app rating and tipping landing page. Uber

3. Or you can hit “enter custom amount” and put in exactly how much you want to tip.

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had resisted adding tipping — in spite of internal pressure from staffers — because of the “friction” it causes when a rider has to check out. There is the argument, however, the drivers will work harder to make it a good overall rider experience in order to increase the chances of getting a tip. And many drivers have already posted signs in their cars asking for cash tips, which creates even more friction.

While many driver groups applaud the move, some vocal critics say they use Uber because they’re not required to tip, and others argue over the merits of tipping in general, saying they’d rather Uber just pay their drivers a living wage. But, philosophical discussions over tipping are nice to have when you’re not a service worker banking on that extra cash to pay your bills.

For drivers, it’s certainly not likely that Uber will be substantially increasing its fares any time soon. Many of these drivers have leased or bought new cars to drive for Uber so any extra income that can go toward their car payments is helpful.

It’s also worked for Lyft so far. Recently, Uber’s rival ride-hail company announced that its drivers had cashed out over $250 million in tips.

Some riders worry, however, that not tipping will cause drivers to rate them poorly. But Harry Campbell, an Uber driver who runs the blog TheRideshareGuy, says he tested out the tipping option as soon as it rolled out and that’s not the case.

“Drivers won't be able to see whether or not a passenger has left a tip until after they leave a rating for the passenger — so passengers don’t need to worry about getting low ratings for not tipping,” Campbell told Recode. “It’s been this way before/after tipping.”

So, tip if you want. Or don’t.

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