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Taxi question [tipping]

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Taxi question [tipping]

Old 10-21-09, 03:23 PM
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Taxi question [tipping]

I've only taken a taxi twice in my life, so I don't know about these things.

Today I had to pick up my car from the repair shop.
Usually, I would beg a ride (no luck) or take the bus, but it was raining so I called a cab.

On the website, there was a fare calculator. My ride was estimated at $18. So I made sure I had a twenty in my wallet. (I had more but at least I had that.)

My first question is this: What should you tip a driver? If the ride had been $18, would handing him the twenty have been okay?

Actually, the ride came out to $17, so I gave him the twenty.

My second (more important) question is this:
Should I have just told the driver from the start, "The fare calculator on your website says that this ride should cost $18. I have $20. Whatever the fare turns out to be the difference is yours."

Part of me thinks that's a fair incentive for him to go faster and put more money in his pocket.
Another part of me thinks that would just come off as me being an asshole, like some rich guy waving a coin in someone's face to get them to do my bidding.
Old 10-21-09, 03:48 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

I think a $2 tip is fair, although maybe slightly on the light side (say, equivalent to a 15% tip at a restaurant). The $3 tip you gave him was just right.

The way you should ask the question is to confirm with him along the lines of, "I am going from here to
Torrance Park at Ocean and PCH. Does $18 sound about right for the fare?"

After all, he will run the meter anyways but this way you can make sure there's no huge error.

The only time I discuss tip beforehand is if the driver has to out of their way. For example, in Hoboken, NJ the cabs are $5 flat, anywhere in town. One time the driver had to wait close to 10 minutes because we were double-checking things at the last minute before a trip to the airport. I told him if he'd wait, I'd pay him a double fare.
Old 10-21-09, 04:17 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
Part of me thinks that's a fair incentive for him to go faster and put more money in his pocket.
In Chicago/NYC/etc - it's essentially by distance not time (other than waiting which they have only a little control over). So him going faster will not necessarily save money. And can get him pulled over by a cop which really is not fun for the rider.

As the previous poster said $2 was ok, but a little low for $18; but would have been fine for $17.
Old 10-21-09, 05:12 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Cabbies pay a fee for the cab. Any money they make (or don't) is theirs to keep, so the already have the incentive to get you to point B ASAP so they can pick up the next fare. Unless the own the cab, that is, but I've never conversated with one that was that much of a baller.
Old 10-21-09, 05:30 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

I think if you told him that "you have a $20, etc." - you would have sounded like a complete douche. Do you think that a cabbie, or anyone else for that matter wants someone to expect them to get excited over the prospect of making a possible WHOLE dollar more?
Old 10-21-09, 06:01 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Doug Heffernan View Post
I think if you told him that "you have a $20, etc." - you would have sounded like a complete douche. Do you think that a cabbie, or anyone else for that matter wants someone to expect them to get excited over the prospect of making a possible WHOLE dollar more?
I used to deliver pizza and a one dollar difference (more or less) in a tip would make a huge difference to me.
Old 10-21-09, 06:07 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
I used to deliver pizza and a one dollar difference (more or less) in a tip would make a huge difference to me.
exactly. a $2 tip is junk whereas a $3 tip is good in that price range.
Old 10-21-09, 06:15 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

I've only read the thread title, but my guess is that one or more tires need some air.
Old 10-21-09, 07:37 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

I tip about $4 in the $15-20 range.
Old 10-21-09, 08:57 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Call me cheap but $2 is more than enough for an $18 cab ride. Hell, even for car service in the $30-60 range, I only give $2-3. I price it similiar to food delivery service. To tip 15% in both cases is insane imo.
Old 10-21-09, 09:02 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
I've only read the thread title, but my guess is that one or more tires need some air.
or less air...
Old 10-21-09, 09:14 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by zuffy View Post
Call me cheap but $2 is more than enough for an $18 cab ride. Hell, even for car service in the $30-60 range, I only give $2-3. I price it similiar to food delivery service. To tip 15% in both cases is insane imo.
jesus, you are cheap.
Old 10-21-09, 09:47 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by zuffy View Post
Call me cheap but $2 is more than enough for an $18 cab ride. Hell, even for car service in the $30-60 range, I only give $2-3. I price it similiar to food delivery service. To tip 15% in both cases is insane imo.
A $2 tip on a $60 car service? That's cheap as fuck.
Old 10-22-09, 08:36 AM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by zuffy View Post
Call me cheap but $2 is more than enough for an $18 cab ride. Hell, even for car service in the $30-60 range, I only give $2-3. I price it similiar to food delivery service. To tip 15% in both cases is insane imo.
You are cheap. That's barely over 10%. A cabbie probably could have 2 of those an hour, so at that pace, he's making $4 an hour.

Food service is different because I presume a delivery guy is taking out 4-5 orders at a time.

Last edited by Red Dog; 10-22-09 at 08:54 AM.
Old 10-22-09, 08:40 AM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I tip about $4 in the $15-20 range.
About the same for me as well... But of course it depends on the driver.
Old 10-22-09, 01:29 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

I can't recall what I tipped the last time I was in a cab, I'm sure I was drunk. $3 for a $17 fare sounds good, though.
Old 10-22-09, 02:01 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

I don't understand why you have to tip a cabbie at all considering that he is renting his cab by the day/week and gets to keep ALL OF THE MONEY MADE. HE IS ALREADY MAKING A PROFIT. A pizza delivery guy does not keep the 15 dollars for his pie and relies on the tip for income, as does the waitress. If you disagree with me, fine then go ahead and tip your doctor and car mechanic on your next visit for a job well done.
Old 10-22-09, 02:13 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Mankal View Post
I don't understand why you have to tip a cabbie at all considering that he is renting his cab by the day/week and gets to keep ALL OF THE MONEY MADE. HE IS ALREADY MAKING A PROFIT. A pizza delivery guy does not keep the 15 dollars for his pie and relies on the tip for income, as does the waitress. If you disagree with me, fine then go ahead and tip your doctor and car mechanic on your next visit for a job well done.
It's not that way here. Where I live, there are 2 or 3 large taxi companies and the drivers drive company taxis. They pay their drivers but I'm sure it's either minimum wage (or even lower if it works like waiters in restaurants). The company earns the fare.

Not to mention in places where the driver is an independent, their medallion fee is huge, not to mention gas and vehicle upkeep. So I'm not sure where you come up with your idea of profit.

Last edited by Red Dog; 10-22-09 at 02:21 PM.
Old 10-22-09, 02:21 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Mankal View Post
I don't understand why you have to tip a cabbie at all considering that he is renting his cab by the day/week and gets to keep ALL OF THE MONEY MADE. HE IS ALREADY MAKING A PROFIT. A pizza delivery guy does not keep the 15 dollars for his pie and relies on the tip for income, as does the waitress. If you disagree with me, fine then go ahead and tip your doctor and car mechanic on your next visit for a job well done.
buzzzz. it's not like that everywhere. some cabbies are paid hourly just like other service workers. and even if he weren't, it's not a profit. profit is money that's left over at the end of the day/week/month that didn't go to pay for expenses. do you think cabbies get gas for free?
Old 10-22-09, 02:50 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

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Old 10-22-09, 04:13 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by Mankal View Post
I don't understand why you have to tip a cabbie at all considering that he is renting his cab by the day/week and gets to keep ALL OF THE MONEY MADE. HE IS ALREADY MAKING A PROFIT. A pizza delivery guy does not keep the 15 dollars for his pie and relies on the tip for income, as does the waitress. If you disagree with me, fine then go ahead and tip your doctor and car mechanic on your next visit for a job well done.
He may already be making a proit, provided he has come up with the money already to cover the rent for the week/month.

My big question is, are we required to tip a cab driver, or is it optional like tipping a waiter?
Old 10-22-09, 04:47 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Why do you have to tip someone for doing what they get paid for, in any situation. It is complete nonsense. Don't tip and don't feel bad about it.
Old 10-22-09, 05:06 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

this is going to turn into another restaurant tipping debate, I can feel it...

Isn't a tip always optional? When are they ever required?
Old 10-22-09, 05:09 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

Originally Posted by palebluedot View Post
Why do you have to tip someone for doing what they get paid for, in any situation. It is complete nonsense. Don't tip and don't feel bad about it.
because some professions get paid less, specifically because the expectation of the customer tipping. nobody says you have to tip anyone, but when you don't, you are usually taking money out of that workers hand.
Old 10-22-09, 05:21 PM
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Re: Taxi question [tipping]

What makes America so different than the rest of the world. After living in America, Australia, Japan, France, and London I have found that tipping is purely an American thing, it is just not customary in the rest of the world. Are you saying America is one of the only countries in the world where workers get paid less and require tips?

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