Can You Pay Cash to an Uber Driver?

One of the greatest benefits of taking Uber is that no monetary exchange needs to actually take place. However, there are a few scenarios where you might feel the need to tip. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt that a tip was necessary? I absolutely have. I’ve had different reactions from drivers on the receiving end of a tip as well.

Paying with cash

Reasons that you may feel the need to tip your Uber driver can vary.

The most common reason that I encounter is just experiencing an exceptional driver. Every once in a while I’ll meet a driver who is outstanding in every aspect and, on top of that, is an excellent conversationalist too.

If I have a good conversation with an Uber driver it not only makes the drive go by much quicker, it also makes me much more comfortable about the fact that I’m riding in a car with a stranger. When the ride comes to an end, is usually where I begin to feel grateful and realize that this friendly person is going to leave my life forever. The first few times that I was an Uber passenger, and found myself in this situation, I almost felt guilty if I didn’t tip them. At that time, I knew that tipping was not expected; however, it didn’t really feel right not to.

On several occasions, when I made an attempt to tip the driver, the tip was immediately declined. This did not stop me though. I would be sneaky about leaving tips sometimes too. I would leave a five dollar bill in their cup holder and tell them about it while I was making my exit. On the other hand some drivers accepted the tips without any hesitancy at all and were extremely appreciative.

There are also some drivers who I feel are working for your tip specifically. I’ve been in an Uber before where I’m offered gum, breath mints, candy, cool drinks, water bottles, phone charging, and more. Typically when I encounter this I decline whatever they have to offer because I know I would feel obligated to tip. On rare occasions I’ve had Uber drivers bring up tips and comment on how tips are extremely helpful because they make little money from Uber once fees are taken out. When this happened to me I felt that it was something that this specific driver brought up with each passenger in order to solicit a tip.

There is one scenario where I believe a tip may be in your best interest to give. I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories of outrageous charges for vomiting in an Uber. If you throw up in an Uber there is a $200 fee for detailing their car and this comes out of your wallet (or whoever requested the Uber). If you puke in an Uber, you’ve potentially ended their night of driving other passengers and they could be missing out on quite a bit of money.

I have heard one story where a friend puked in an Uber on their way home. They had not heard about the $200 charge for this but were actually able to avoid paying it. As soon as they arrived home, they helped clean the Uber drivers car, as best they could, and also tipped him $50. They did this and unknowingly avoided that $200 charge. This also helped the Uber driver get back on his way to providing more rides that same evening. If you need to puke in an Uber the first thing you should do is ask them to pull over. There is no harm in vomiting along the side of the street and continuing your ride after. If you do happen to throw up inside of an Uber though — helping them clean their car, as best you can, may make all the difference.

The only other time I’ve heard of someone attempting to pay cash for an Uber is when Ubers become hard to come by for one reason or another, regardless of any current surged prices. I’ve heard stories of people being unable to find an Uber that they’ve requested at a large event, or there simply weren’t enough Uber’s available to meet the passengers’ demand, or phone batteries that die so cash offers become the next available option. Whatever the reason, if you’re desperate for a ride, with enough attempts, you may be able to find someone that will accept your offer.

One Response

  1. Robert Livsey