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Uber and Lyft Drivers Get Tips On Less Than 3 out of 10 Rides

Rideshare drivers rally at a staging area near O’Hare International Airport during a work strike on February 14, 2024, in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Uber and Lyft drivers in the U.S. are receiving tips for rides just 28% of the time, according to a study by gig worker tech company Gridwise. And that might help explain part of the reason why thousands of gig workers staged a strike on Valentine’s Day over low pay.

The data from Gridwise, first reported by Business Insider Thursday, provides an interesting look into how Americans feel about tipping. Anecdotally, reports indicate U.S. consumers have extreme tipping fatigue, even on apps they may have previously tipped while using the same service.

As far as attitudes go, roughly 56% of Americans believe tipping 10% or less is sufficient for rideshare drivers, while only 8% of rideshare users believe in tipping more than 20%. About 8% of Americans don’t believe in tipping their Uber and Lyft drivers at all, according to Gridwise.

Curiously, food delivery was a category where consumers were more apt to tip, with 88% of food delivery trips receiving a tip. Grocery deliveries via apps were tipped less than takeout food, with about 74% of all deliveries getting a tip. But that 28% of tips for Uber and Lyft will likely come as a surprise to anyone who tips consistently on rideshares, recognizing that tips are an important piece of income for anyone who works in the service economy.

Rideshare drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber saw an 8% decline in gross earnings per hour last year, with estimated earnings hovering around $20 per hour after expenses, according to Gridwise. That’s Uber’s claims that drivers are making about $33 per hour, though that figure doesn’t take expenses into account.

“I can’t remember having a harder time making money on the apps.” Eduardo Romero, a rideshare driver, said in a statement in the lead up to the Valentine’s Day strikes. “I am having to work ten hour days to make the same amount I was able to do in six, and even then I’m still not making enough.”

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