Driving StrategiesLyft

Why Being Creative Can Help You Get More Tips

By October 16, 2014February 11th, 20203 Comments


    In case you guys didn’t know, I don’t pay any of the people that write for me, they just do it out of the kindness of their heart and for their love of all things rideshare!  For that I am very appreciative and I hope that you are too.  Despite a crazy week at home, RSG contributor Scott Van Maldegiam still managed to put together a great article on how he uses his mental prowess to steer the conversation towards tips, and in turn has seen great results.  I think we could all learn a thing or two from this article because I know that as a passenger I would never give a driver a tip who straight up asked for one.

    It has been a heck of a week personally, but I wanted to get a quick message out to help you all get some more tips… especially if you are driving for Lyft.


    We all have our conversation starters.  You have conversation starter questions right?  Well, if you don’t, this article will give you some ideas.  This also ties in with the most common question I get:  How long have you been driving for Lyft (or Uber or Sidecar)?  Or do you like driving for Lyft (or Uber or Sidecar)?

    If/when the rider asks a question like this, it’s pretty easy to move the conversation where I want it to go.  I will use Lyft as this strategy is generally focused on Lyft, but it could definitely be applied to other companies.  If you drive for UberX, it may be a little trickier, but it’s all about being creative.  Here is my strategy for moving the conversation to the topic of tips.

    1.  Get the discussion on the topic of ridesharing.  The question I normally ask is “what made you decide to use Lyft instead of another option?”  Riders are usually a little surprised by the question, but are not offended.  I always state I am just curious because I get a lot of different and interesting answers.  They give me answers which we talk about for a bit.  It really doesn’t matter what the answers are.  Just show genuine interest and be ready for what comes next…

    2.  The riders almost always ask “why do you drive for Lyft?” or something similar.  If it is very general like that, I always assume they mean “why do you drive for Lyft instead of the other companies?”  This is where the door is opened.  Sometimes you have to be a little creative to get the conversation to why you drive for Lyft, but it really isn’t that difficult.

    3. Once the door is opened, this is where it becomes easy.  Tips can’t be the only reason you give so here is what I use:

    – I talk about why it is great for the rider, which I appreciate.  All the drivers have to go through a mentor ride and inspection.  The mentor ride is unique to Lyft and this is why Lyft has a general higher quality of drivers than the other services.

    Related Article: How To Become A Lyft Mentor In 2 Weeks

    – I then direct it to why I drive for Lyft versus the other services.  The first thing I touch on is what I call “scalable commission”  also known as Power Driver Bonus.  Scalable commission is just easier to describe and understand.  Describe it briefly and move on.

    – Now is where you mention tips.   I drive for Lyft because they provide the ability to tip in the app.  I discuss how I appreciate how Lyft provides greater motivation to provide great service with the possibility of tips.  Lyft says tips aren’t required, but at the same time encourage it through the app.  The focus of this conversation is that not everyone tips, but at the end of the day, the amount of tips I do receive tips the scales toward Lyft.

    The key here is to make sure it sounds like you are NOT asking for a tip.  You are educatiing your rider.  I have so many ask me after I mention this “can you show me how to add a tip at the end of the ride?”  Airport rides are the most likely to tip so bringing this up during an Airport ride which are usually longer is important.

    One other point is that people are either tippers or they or not.  You are only trying to make sure the people who normally tip know they can.  If they are tippers, they usually will tip after this discussion.

    So you may be wondering how I know if this works.  I have unintentionally tested what happens when I do this and when I don’t.  You know, it gets late, you may not be ask talkative and you let the rider drive the conversation.  When that happens, you can be assured that tips will be rare.  If I bring up this conversation, I get tips about 30% of the time, but the ones that do tip, tip nicely.  I usually average 8-10% tips on a night where I use this strategy.  When I don’t, my tips are almost nothing.

    New Lyft Drivers Get Up To $250!

    LyftNew Lyft drivers can earn up to a $250 bonus after 20 rides. You can sign up here using Scott’s referral code.  And if you are an UberX driver in Chicago, you could be eligible to receive $500 when you sign up with Lyft and complete 20 rides!

    So whether you use a strategy like this or not, just remember to be creative.  This isn’t the only way to skin a cat.  Do you have any ideas on how to generate more tips for yourself?  Please share.  I am sure there are some great ideas out there and I look forward to hearing them.

    -Scott @ The Rideshare Guy

    Scott Van Maldegiam

    Scott Van Maldegiam

    I'm Scott, a full time health benefits consultant and rideshare driver. I spent 11 years working for Motorola and Tellabs using my EE degree and MBA before transitioning into the mortgage industry where I spent 6 years. I then spent 5 years in the cycling industry before transitioning into health insurance.