Do You Tip Drivers In NYC? (Important!)

Yes, although it is not compulsory, you should tip your cab drivers in New York City.

While you might think tipping is an American custom, it originated in Feudal Europe, where servants would receive a little extra money for doing their job well.

It was imported to the United States by European travelers who had a lot of money to spare and were eager to seem sophisticated.

The practice quickly spread throughout the country after the civil war as employers, especially in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying enslaved workers formerly.

Now, tipping is considered an essential part of American culture. If you need clarification about whether you should tip drivers and how much, I will help you with this article.

Should You Tip NYC Cab Drivers?

Do You Tip Drivers In NYC? (VERY Important)

Yes, tip your cab driver in New York City after you have finished your ride with them.

Tipping is commonplace across the country for everything from restaurants and bars to movie theaters and cab drivers.

Cab drivers are a blessing, especially in a vast, dense city like New York. Even though there are thousands of cabbies here to take you wherever you want, they go unappreciated.

Tipping enables them to continue to do a good job and keeps them motivated in a grueling job that requires them to drive a car for an entire day.

A little-known fact is that most cab drivers in the US are independent contractors and need to pay a daily rental fee as well as pay for their fuel.

Is It Rude Not To Tip A Driver In NYC?

While not rude per se, tips are expected by most workers in the hospitality sector, including cab drivers.

Tipping is optional in name only in the United States and, by extension, NYC. You are not legally required to tip like you are to pay your actual bill, but it is expected everywhere you go.

Cab drivers run on thin margins, as an average driver in NYC makes about $45,000 a year, which works out to about $3750 a month, with only a $2.50 base rate.

This monthly figure also varies widely depending on locale, peak tariffs, and demand during particular days and seasons.

An average cab driver could make as little as $60 a day after accounting for fuel and additional costs and must seek fares for up to 12 hours a day to make a decent profit.

Add to that the sky-high rent in NYC, and you can see why cab drivers could use your tip, even to get by. If you’re in New York, please tip your cab drivers.

How Much Do You Tip NYC Cab Drivers?

Regular taxi drivers expect a 10-20% tip of the total fare, but this can vary depending on the type of service you are looking for.

New York is a vibrant, diverse, and dense city. Navigating it in the shortest time possible takes a lot of skill and know-how.

Given that you’re reading this, I’m assuming you are planning a trip to NYC soon and are looking into the costs.

If you plan to get around by cab, then 10-20% will leave most normal taxi drivers happy, but you should increase the tip to 15-25% for limo and livery drivers.

For quick-to-and-from travel from one of NYC’s many airports, shuttle services are an excellent option but keep in mind that drivers expect a $2-$5 tip per person.

To make things more convenient, most taxis in New York City have a screen that will display the total fare, along with the tip amount added.

If you still find yourself confused about how much you need to tip, here are some things you should take into account-

1. Fast Service

Increase your tip if the driver knows their way around town, selects routes efficiently, and gets you to your destination quicker.

2. Safe Driving

 Even if a driver can offer quick service, you must arrive at your destination in one piece. Increase the tip for safe driving without breaking the bank.

3. Friendly Demeanor

 A driver that makes your ride pleasant through friendly interactions deserves a higher tip.

4. Ride Distance

If you’re in for an extended tour and the driver offers a comfortable experience, don’t hesitate to tip them.

Should You Also Tip Uber Drivers In NYC?

Yes, like taxi drivers, you should also tip Uber and Lyft drivers after your ride.

Like regular cab drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers make little money, to begin with, and could use your tip if you think they provided an excellent service.

For these drivers, even though the apps already include the driver’s pay in the bill for your trip, you can often approve an additional tip.

Depending on the ride fare’s price and the ride’s length, your tip options will be presented in percentages or dollar amounts ($1, $2, etc.)

It would be best if you also kept in mind that, unlike regular cab drivers, Uber drivers are responsible for their cars and are owners and must also account for fuel, additional insurance, and maintenance costs.

I recommend a 10-15% tip of the total fare for an Uber or Lyft ride, depending on factors that might have improved your experience.

What Are The Tipping Customs In NYC?

In New York City, you always tip service workers, but increase or decrease the tip per the services, location, experience, etc.

If you’re a tourist, you might not be sure whether a tip is expected for a service, but you also don’t want to be embarrassed by not offering it. A good rule of thumb is always to tip service workers in NYC.

Apart from taxis, here is a quick rundown of how much to tip for other services in New York-

Restaurants and Bars15-20% of the total bill
Spas and Salons15-20% Cash tip
Tour Guides15-20%, depending on the size of the group
Room Service15-20% of the total bill

Overall, you should tip 10-20% of the total cost of any service provided, as is the custom followed by most New Yorkers.

Final Remarks

Figuring out how tipping works in NYC can be daunting if you visit the city for the first time. I tried to help you with that through this article so that you can know how much to tip the next time you’re in NYC.

Here’s a quick recap of the article-

Do you tip your drivers in NYC? Yes, taxi drivers and Uber drivers, like all other service workers, should be listed in NYC, even though it is not legally enforced. Tips can range from 10-20% of the total fare.