How much is the appropriate amount to tip a car service or limousine driver? Well, the truth is, it varies. This short guide can help avoid giving too much or too little.
Hourly vs. Fixed Rate
One of the first things to consider when deciding how much to tip a limousine driver is the way that they are paid. Hourly drivers are paid based on how many hours they spent driving around clients, whereas fixed rate drivers are paid a preset amount based on how long the trip may last. If a driver is fixed rate, tips are often calculated into the final price, so it’s a good idea to check if a tip has already been included before figuring out how much to give.
Off the Clock
It’s also important to consider that, although a driver is paid for the time they are driving, more goes into the job than just steering a limousine. They may have to wait while clients are attending events, especially if they are hired to be part of event transportation. The driver may also be responsible for cleaning and preparing the vehicle. Despite the other time that goes into the job, the only time they are formally being paid is when the client is in the vehicle. It’s important to keep this in mind when tipping. If a driver is spending a great deal of time waiting between transporting a client from place to place, it may be appropriate to tip them more out of consideration for their time.
Duration of the Trip
It would be inconsiderate to tip a driver the same amount for driving thirty miles as for driving five miles. The longer the trip, in general, the more one should tip the driver. A short drive from the airport usually requires a tip of around $5-$10, whereas drives over an hour conventionally come with tips of at least $20. To make it easier, use 10% of the total bill at the bare minimum tip amount.
Etiquette and Car Size
Other factors that go into tipping include things like etiquette, cleanliness, and car size. If a client makes a mess in the car, they will certainly be expected to tip more. Higher tips are also expected for larger cars, so, for example, a bare minimum of 15% of the tip would be expected for a stretch limousine.
Tipping a limousine driver doesn’t have to be complicated. Stick to this guide and get it right every time!
Thanks to MIKI Yoshihito for the photo.