Welcome to another addition of my series on tipping etiquette. Whether you live in a city and rely on taxis and rideshare apps from time to time or you’re driving your car to a fancy event or dinner where you’ll be using a valet, it’s important to know how to tip when using these driving services.
Taxis and Rideshare Apps
When many of the rideshare apps rolled out, it was not customary to tip. I didn’t tip; however, my stance on this has evolved. Tipping had never been questioned when using taxis and I find the service is much better with rideshare apps. I rarely get a complaint about my destination since the driver has to accept it in the first place. I remember living in Brooklyn around 2008 and how frustrating it was to have taxis refuse to take my there at the end of a long night. This has sort of changed given how developed Brooklyn has become; however, I do encounter this at times if I need to go way uptown in a taxi and it’s equally as annoying.
Here is a great article from Huffington Post regarding Uber etiquette. Not tipping is on the list of “no nos.” Overall, a good read, although most of the items are pretty straightforward “don’ts” in my opinion. Some of the other faux pas were keeping your driver waiting for inordinate amounts of time; eating food and leaving a mess, etc.
From time to time, us New Yorkers may take a car trip in which we drive the car ourselves (not me, I’ll be a passenger as I’m a terrible driver and it’s safer for everyone that I stay away from the wheel). When we do this, we may use valet services. Particularly, at hotels, but also if you are at a fancy party or having dinner at a nice restaurant. Before I researched this post, I assumed it was customary that one tips the valet service at the end of the evening. However, I’ve learned that it is best practice to tip when your car is dropped off as well given that the person who parks the car initially and later retrieves it may be different. Particularly, at a large venue or hotel, it is unlikely you’ll interact with the same valet staff at the start and end of your evening. With valet services, you should tip even if it is complimentary and $2-$5 is customary. You should plan in total tipping approximately $4-$10 for the entire evening.