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I've never used Uber in London and will need to transfer from LHR to SW1. Is it customary to tip the Uber driver?

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    Since the question was in the close queue as "primarily opinion-based", I edited it from "Should I tip the driver?" to "Is it customary to tip the driver?" I think that's a reasonable, non-opinion question. – David Richerby Jan 24 '17 at 15:38
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    In the UK, it's not really expected of you that you tip anyone. People sometimes tip for exemplary service/food in restaurants, but you're not likely to be hassled if you don't. – Prinsig Jan 24 '17 at 16:24
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    It's probably worth pointing out that even in the tip-happy US, tipping of drivers in the Uber-branded ridesharing service is (officially) not expected or required, but is allowed. - Other "ridesharing" services (like Lyft) have different policies/expectations regarding tipping. – R.M. Jan 24 '17 at 17:24
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    @Prinsig It is definitely expected to tip at restaurants with table service in the UK. – Mark Pattison Jan 24 '17 at 21:19
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    It's not expected anywhere, regardless of what you've heard. The entire point of Uber is to make payments painless and easy, using just your mobile phone. If tipping were common or expected, I would expect Uber to include it as a feature in their app. Until then, I refuse to tip Uber drivers. Uber clearly doesn't want me to, so drivers should understand not to expect tips. If drivers don't like this, they should take it up with Uber. – ell Jan 24 '17 at 22:43
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I will interpret your question as "is it normal practice to tip an Uber driver in London?"---otherwise it would be off topic as opinion-based.

No, it is not expected to tip Uber drivers.

It is also not expected to tip other kinds of taxi drivers in London, except that you might round up to the nearest convenient change if paying in cash.

Your Uber driver will be quite happy to be doing an LHR to SW1 transfer as it is.

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As others have said, there is no need.

But I'd like to point you to something else. Don't use an Uber from LHR. It is just going to cause you hassle.

Use the tube to get to SW1, Picadilly line till South Kensington and then District line for 2 stops to take you to the middle of SW1.

If your thought of taking an uber was because you'll have a lot of luggage, us ea service like airportr to bring it to your address, it'll be cheaper than the taxi and less faff, especially with a lot of luggage.

If time is at a premium, the fastest way would be Heathrow express to Paddington and then a taxi / uber or tube.

First trains leave around 5 am so even the first arrivals are no problem.

Seriously, don't drive from Heathrow into central London.

  • -1 for not answering the question. There are many reason to use uber or a taxi over the tube; particularly if you have luggage; you're travelling at rush hour and don't want to inconvenience commuters like me; you need to take a telephone call or need internet access for work on your journey; you're claustrophobic, et c. There are many reason not to use airportr, such as the fact you have to trust yet another third party not to lose or mishandle your luggage, it needs to be organized in advance, et c. There's really no "faff" in using uber. – Calchas Jan 26 '17 at 9:15
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    He's right though. – TheMathemagician Jan 26 '17 at 10:33
  • @Calchas I do answer the question in my first sentence ;) And especially if travelling at rush hour a car will be a very bad idea. Claustrophobia, is a reason I guess, but I just wanted to point out that unlike in many other cities, and airports, LHR to central London is hands down best done by public transport. And the question suggests this would be his first trip to London, so he might not have been aware of this. – ic_fl2 Jan 26 '17 at 20:46
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    Counterpoint - I live "near" (20-30 min drive towards London) LHR and Uber is much more convenient/faster and if there's two of us travelling, about the same price as public transport. – domen Jan 30 '17 at 15:59
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The simple answer is NO. There is no tip with Uber in London UK.

5

From the drivers perspective, Uber's policy on tipping is the following:

  • If someone wants to tip the driver, the driver has to say "It is not necessary to tip the driver when using Uber"
  • If the person insists on the tip, the driver can accept it

Any driver I met would first say no to a tip, but then they would accept if I insist. I only do that if the service is really good.

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In general we tip when we get a good service; if a waitress served us well then we tip her. So why we don't do that for Uber drivers?

Well, simple answer: You can tip him, it will not cause any harm.

From a Uber forum: You cannot tip from the app but you can give me him cash.

Also, there is this link about drivers who added a sign for tips.

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    Meh, you pay the driver for their work, why should they also get a tip for doing that work? The "tipping" culture in the UK is entirely different to that in the US, as our service workers are not exempt from the minimum wage, so tipping here really does mean "you did an exceptional job, above what we should expect as the basics for our interaction", and not "heres some money because you get paid below minimum wage by your employer..." – Moo Jan 24 '17 at 15:29
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    As I said, the Uber driver is already being paid for the service, something spectacular is going to have to happen for them to deliver something exceptional... you don't tip a bus driver, a train driver et al. IMHO tipping is getting out of hand, and people expect tips just for doing the basic job - that is what we need to prevent. – Moo Jan 24 '17 at 15:34
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    In the UK you only tip if the service is exceptional - not simply for the service. The waitress/waiter gets a full wage here and does not rely on tips, as they do in the US. – Moo Jan 24 '17 at 15:40
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    @Moo I don't even meet the train driver. I pay the bus driver before the journey and, in any case, s/he has very little latitude to give good or bad service (for example, they're not free to choose a better route to avoid traffic). Neither a bus driver nor a train driver is giving personal service to me. In the UK, I don't generally tip taxi drivers but I think that they're a different case to bus and train drivers. – David Richerby Jan 24 '17 at 15:41
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    @DavidRicherby I disagree - a service is being paid for in each case, its just in some that the customer has been conditioned to believe that the cost is not simply "advertised cost" but "advertised cost plus a decent amount on top...". – Moo Jan 24 '17 at 15:45

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