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I've lived in the UK all my life, but since I have got relatively few shared taxis in my life, I don't have that much experience of what the social norms are for tipping.

I almost always tip roughly 10% (to nearest pound, occasionally to nearest 50p as long as that's MORE than 10%), just because that's what my parents taught me.

Is tipping required? Expected? A bonus?

I occasionally don't tip - would that reflect badly on me or would the driver not think anything of it?

When people do tip, how much is the norm?

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I also normally tip circa 10 % but do not know if it is custom in london/uk –  smashtastic Mar 26 '14 at 21:10

3 Answers 3

It's not a requirement to tip taxi drivers in the UK. However, it's generally accepted as the 'done thing'. Note however there are different taxis - the famous 'black cabs', that have official rates, and other unlicensed minicabs where you'll need to organise a rate before you start driving.

Source - used to live in London, and tripadvisor.

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Your comment about minicabs only applies in London — it's only in London where they are obliged to have agreed a fare in advance. Elsewhere they're metered. –  gsnedders Dec 8 '14 at 13:31
    
@gsnedders ah, valid point. I only caught cabs in London in the UK, as far as I can recall. –  Mark Mayo Dec 10 '14 at 7:17

I'm afraid my answer will be nothing more than anecdotal. My source is that I lived in London for a while. The bottom line is that no tip is required. However some people do tip, as it often happens in these cases, be it for habit, or because they feel they have to.

Minicabs

With minicabs (in London) I always agreed the fare in advance, and made sure the driver did not attempt to squeeze a few extra pounds from me by quoting him the price before paying. Anything as simple as "It's £15 right?" will do the trick. I usually never tipped, unless the driver provided an extra useful service, such as helping me with heavy luggage for example. This last consideration applies to minicabs outside of London too. I also tipped one particular driver, who picked me up so many times from Heathrow that I used to ask for him specifically when booking.

Black Cabs

As far as I remember I never tipped a black cab. I certainly never tipped 10%. I always thought of the cost of the service being so high that no tip was needed. I never heard drivers complain about this. Maybe I was (am) just cheap. Or maybe it's just the way I am used. Moreover, now that card payments are widely used, I don't even know if there is an option to add tip before paying.

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I am a Londoner, and born and bred in the UK. Agreed with this - although I sometimes tip black cabs, many/most folk I know don't. I think there is a creeping tendency towards tipping, much as there has been in restaurants in the UK in the last 25 years or so. But it's absolutely not required - although it is a nice thing to do if the cab driver has been particularly polite or helpful. Where I do tip, I round it up, I don't calculate a percentage. –  Andrew Ferrier Dec 24 '14 at 21:33

Yes it is conventional to tip taxis in the UK, just rounding up the fare something like 10%-15% is more than adequate. A professional licensed cab driver isn't going to say anything if you choose not to tip but unlicensed minicabs might ask for a tip. If you're getting a minicab from an office (they often have a yellow light at night) then agree the fare in advance.

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Do you have a source for that? –  starsplusplus Mar 27 '14 at 9:37
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If you book a taxi from an operator, I would assume you don't have to. Never given a single penny in the past 5 years and no cab driver has ever grumbled when I pay the fare. –  DumbCoder Mar 27 '14 at 14:24
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Outside of London, it's practically unheard of to agree fares in advance, as far as I'm aware. –  gsnedders Dec 8 '14 at 13:31

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