Tipping etiquette on Uber seems like something George would discuss in a modern episode of Seinfeld. “Do I tip?” “Do I not tip?” “Is my Uber driver expecting a tip?” “If I don’t tip, does that affect my passenger rating?” All definitely things George Costanza would say circa 2017.
Uber doesn’t ban tipping but they also don’t allow it on their app so any tipping must be done in cash. Because of a proposed New York City law, Uber may need to allow tipping within their app.
The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission has proposed a law making any transportation service who exclusively does transactions via credit or debit cards to allow tipping within their service. This is particularly targeted toward Uber because the law is targeting ride sharing apps and other ride sharing services like Lyft have already allowed tipping.
Uber has been against tipping and only lightened up after a couple lawsuits. Uber claims they have a bad feeling about tipping because “it feels drivers somehow prefer knowing exactly what they’re getting financially and that riders view tipping as a “hassle.””
The likely actual reason Uber isn’t thrilled with tipping is that they will need to pay the processing fee on that tip and cannot take a cut of that tip so they would lose money. Granted it’s likely a few cents per ride but that’s certainly noticed.
There is one legit reason why Uber drivers wouldn’t want to allow tipping on the app and it’s something Uber isn’t going to mention. I’m not advocating breaking the law or anything because I paid my taxes like a good American but it’s way easier to not claim income on your taxes if you’re paid in cash. So that would be the only reason I could think Uber drivers wouldn’t support this.