Most Uber Riders Say They've Never Tipped Their Driver

60% of Uber riders say they don’t tip their drivers.

Most Uber riders say they’ve never tipped their driver.
A National Bureau of Economic Research study published in October looked at data from over 40 million Uber trips during late summer 2017, shortly after the company rolled out its optional tipping feature. It found that only 1% of Uber users said they always tips and approximately 16% of Uber rides ended up with an additional tip. Meanwhile 60% of riders never provided a tip. It also found that the more rides people took, the less likely they were to tip.
The study also found that men tip more often and in higher amounts than women, women drivers get tipped more often than men, and riders leave higher tips if a driver is on time. Tips are highest in small cities and non-coastal area, and higher-rated riders tip more on average. Some variables the study couldn’t account for are cash tips and personal interactions.
“I think Uber drivers are tipped less than taxi drivers because tipped happens after the ride is over and not face to face,” the study’s co-author Uri Gneezy told The Verge. “In a sense, I think that this is the right way. Riders don’t tip automatically, but only if they are happy with the service. Hence, tips provide incentives to drivers.”
In 2016, Uber settled a class-action lawsuit by drivers who wanted the company to reveal that ride fares do not include tips. Uber then implemented a tipping feature. According to the company, drivers and delivery partners have earned nearly $2 billion in tips since 2017. Because the tipping feature was released around the same time of the study period, it’s possible that tippers’ behavior has changed since then—though Uber declined saying if it had.
“This feature remains one of the most popular among riders, drivers, and delivery partners,” an Uber spokesperson told NowThis. “We’re committed to developing and improving features that help detect and mitigate bias on out platform.”
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