Tipping taxi drivers

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Sergio Bernales
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Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Sergio Bernales » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:00 pm

On a different thread opened by Philip, a few of us were debating the issue of tipping in general in Peru and then the subject of tipping taxi drivers came up. Some were in favour and some were against. I've always been told not to tip taxi drivers and generally I don't. However, I agree that there are occasions where it is appropriate, like really good service, carrying heavy luggage for you, getting stuck in bad traffic.

Does anyone have any views on the subject?

Also what sort of fares are people paying? Do you think you're paying the right fare or not?
Last edited by Sergio Bernales on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby sbaustin » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:31 pm

I think the only time I'd entertain giving a taxi driver a tip is if they go out of their way to help carry something AND they didn't charge me 1-2 soles extra for the bulk.

I would never give a taxi driver a tip when there is traffic. I've had them try to hustle me several times and my response is, "do you ever lower your fare when there is less than normal traffic".

There are too many areas to list fares to/from. It would just be better for people to ask about certain routes in my opinion.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Sergio Bernales » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:37 pm

If there was a service like the metropolitano all over the city and more trains, that would be something.
Last edited by Sergio Bernales on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby TShadow » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:46 pm

Well about the traffic you should know about the rush hours in advance as does the taxi driver. I agree on giving a tip if he helps you with your luggage, bags or whatsoever. Very often I'm happy to arrive at my destination in one piece. Meaning that if you would have had a weak heart, I wouldn't know about the end result. I sometimes give a couple of Soles more if the taxi driver drove like a well behaved human and I got out of the taxi feeling well.

Taxi drivers are interesting human specimen. I even found I could talk about the most interesting themes with many of them, like nutrition, politics, psychology, Europe, economy. These people even never ask me the gringo price, so if I have some spare I leave it with them. On the other hand there are drivers asking me e.g. 35 Soles when the normal fair is 20. I don't even bother to talk them down, I just don't take their taxi.

So at the end it all depends. Generally speaking I'm not against tipping a taxi driver under certain circumstances.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Sergio Bernales » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:02 pm

Yeah, I've met some decent taxistas, interesting, talkative, friendly people. Perhaps the ones who quote the outrageous prices in the first place are already showing something about their character. But like you I just walk away. If they ask only a few soles above what I usually pay, then I'll haggle them down a bit. And it can be very frightening to get in a taxi with somone who thinks he's Michael Schumacher. Sometimes you can tell beforehand, if they're young and have a spoiler or large exhaust pipe on their car. I used to pick taxi drivers with older and kinder faces, but some of them think they're driving dodgems at the funfair, too. I find the new blue and white taxis are generally better than the old yellow ones. They rarely ask outrageous fares and tend to drive a bit better than other taxistas.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Sergio Bernales » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:07 pm

sbaustin wrote:I think the only time I'd entertain giving a taxi driver a tip is if they go out of their way to help carry something AND they didn't charge me 1-2 soles extra for the bulk.

I would never give a taxi driver a tip when there is traffic. I've had them try to hustle me several times and my response is, "do you ever lower your fare when there is less than normal traffic".

There are too many areas to list fares to/from. It would just be better for people to ask about certain routes in my opinion.


Even worse than that, I once got hustled by a taxista who got lost and demanded extra money because he had driven the wrong way. I was still quite new in Lima at the time and couldn't direct him, so I just paid him, but in retrospect, I wouldn't have. He shouldn't have taken me as a passenger if he didn't know where he was going.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby chi chi » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:09 pm

If you tip a taxi driver then you must also tip your doctor, dentist, busdriver, ...
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:27 pm

I agree with sbaustin. There are too many areas to list fares to and from let alone variables such as time of day or night.
Tipping is a personal choice. Good to hear you do throw a couple of shekels now and then it does help. But don't assume because you are being charged what you think is unfair on the assumption that it is because the last gringo the driver saw, that gringo tipped him so now the driver charges that sum total, or more, to all gringos as you indicated in the other thread. In addition you should not assume a driver is dishonest just because he quotes a fare that you think is too high as you indicated in that other thread.
Or take it upon yourself to tell others they should not tip because that will be the result, higher fares to all gringos or as in the case of your analogy, Chinamen. Not saying you have told anyone not to tip. But you did indicate tipping only results in higher fares to gringos.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby chi chi » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:51 pm

Josh2U wrote:Or take it upon yourself to tell others they should not tip because that will be the result, higher fares to all gringos or as in the case of your analogy, Chinamen. Not saying you have told anyone not to tip. But you did indicate tipping only results in higher fares to gringos.


I think that the only foreigners that tip are the Americans. I rarely heard about a European giving a tip.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:56 pm

I never heard one way or the other. Then again I do not go poking around.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby bobg » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:27 pm

EVERY NOW AND THEN WHEN WE GET A TASTE FOR FAST FOOD , BEMBO' OR WHAT EVER ,WE'LL TAKE A TAXI AND SEVERAL TIMES WE WILL BUY THE TAXISTA A HAMBURGER AND FRIES , THEY SEEM TO LIKE IT AND WE GET A LOT OF SMILES,
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby metal moth » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:34 pm

Like I always say, when ever possible take the bus or combi.
Safer and cheaper with no tipping & no haggle prices.

I once saw a taxi driver in Chorillos traveling at a high rate of speed leave the road and wound up wedged between two boulders under a cliff.

Don't know if he survived or not but seeing that cured me of wanting to take a taxi.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby chi chi » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:58 pm

metal moth wrote:Like I always say, when ever possible take the bus or combi.
Safer and cheaper with no tipping & no haggle prices.


That's what everybody does. Taxi's in Lima are very expensive. Very rarely somebody takes a taxi so they have to charge a lot of money.

If you take public transport then you don't even have to have money on you. Just slide your card trough the reader at the Metropolitana bus station or the Metro station.
The bus and metro stations are very safe and the staff is very helpfull and friendly.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby dh2012 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:58 pm

chi chi wrote:That's what everybody does. Taxi's in Lima are very expensive. Very rarely somebody takes a taxi so they have to charge a lot of money


I agree with you on this, sometimes I might take a cab if its a short distance and a nice taxi comes by, but for the majority of the time I like to take the busses and combis, for the following reasons:

No banal smalltalk
No Haggling
Fixed Route
No risk of renegade taxi drivers
Less risk of serious injury in accident as have some bodies to cushion you
Super cheap

I have tipped a taxi twice in Peru for waiting times when my fault. I understand a lot of people like to take taxis and i understand when there are a few people. But I have also seen fixed rate taxi companies try and charge "gringos" 30-35 Dollars for airport pick up from Miraflores.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby chi chi » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:12 pm

dh2012 wrote:But I have also seen fixed rate taxi companies try and charge "gringos" 30-35 Dollars for airport pick up from Miraflores.


Every 2 minutes, there's a bus that goes to the airport and the fare is 1.50 soles.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby dh2012 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:39 pm

chi chi wrote:Every 2 minutes, there's a bus that goes to the airport and the fare is 1.50 soles.


yes i know its great value, i am agreeing with you. If you can do it then the bus is a good option, i know for some people its not doable or desireable.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby metal moth » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:18 am

Re: Renegade taxi drivers

It's really a crap shoot when you hail a taxi.
You never really know if the situation is dangerous or not.
Some of them might appear legit but they're on the take waiting for a victim to rob or mug.

Sometimes a seasoned taxi cab rider can read the driver's faces like a poker player.
Don't ask him how he knows...he just knows.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Sergio Bernales » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:13 am

metal moth wrote:Re: Renegade taxi drivers

It's really a crap shoot when you hail a taxi.
You never really know if the situation is dangerous or not.
Some of them might appear legit but they're on the take waiting for a victim to rob or mug.

Sometimes a seasoned taxi cab rider can read the driver's faces like a poker player.
Don't ask him how he knows...he just knows.


Yeah, I agree with you about being able to read the face. I've started to do that. The gf always looks at her taxi driver before she'll get in.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:18 pm

Hey folks, I think we have gone off topic. We should go back to Sergios original question about Tipping taxi drivers. Maybe another thread should be started about how to take a taxi or taxi horror stories.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby falconagain » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:25 pm

The only time that I have seen taxi drivers tipped was on TV, when they returned
the wallet or the luggage of a tourist.Back in 2009 a Peruvian taxi driver returned
$30,000 dollars to a European Tourist in Miraflores.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby chi chi » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:53 pm

falconagain wrote:The only time that I have seen taxi drivers tipped was on TV, when they returned
the wallet or the luggage of a tourist.Back in 2009 a Peruvian taxi driver returned
$30,000 dollars to a European Tourist in Miraflores.


Must have been those old guys that drive those old beaten up Tico's. They are the most honest and cheapest.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby tomasb » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:32 pm

Maybe the Euroman was going to the laundry with his $30k?

So hear is my horror story about taxi drivers and one reason why I do not tip these guys. On my arrival at the airport in Punta Arenas, Chile last year, the taxi driver quickly got out of the car and opened the trunk and deposited my backpack facing the opposite direction on the curb. Just as quickly, he returned to his car and sped off. He also stopped at a gas station once and the below described incident could have begun there.

After he drove off, I casually turned around the front portion to wheel the pack into the airport when I realized he had unzipped the smaller backpack attached to the main backpack. I hope he enjoyed the peanut butter as this bag was full of various sundry food items, electronic cords, and other non-valuables as I tend to take everything of value on board with me less airport personnel have their way with me.

So, what a fool I would have been if I had tipped him on top of this pétty thievery.

I will say this that the other taxi drivers at the airport were quite upset about this incident and explained that I should have asked for a receipt, which is required to be provided by law in Chile. The receipt has the car, driver and taxi license number listed on it. By doing so, it limits this type of theft.

BTW: Always tip the taxi driver in NYC unless you want an earful...correct Alpine Prince??
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:48 pm

I guess is you need to justify not tipping that will work.
Don't leave a tip because the guy probably stole something.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Chavin » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:56 pm

I'm half Peruvian and half Swiss. I've lived in the States, Europe and Lima and usually I drive a car if I'm in the States and Europe or I take public transport as taxis are way too expensive. Here, taxis are more like public transport and that's how many people treat them, because maybe they don't have a car or they can't carry their shopping home from the supermarket in a tiny combi. There are so many taxis here that the system is just not the same and I've never seen anyone tipping taxi drivers in Peru apart from tourists straight off the plane. But then again most tourists catch the secure taxis or are in a tourist bus, so I don't think this is a big issue in Lima. Maybe for a few expats who think it's important, but for us it's nothing.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby metal moth » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:32 pm

chi chi wrote:
falconagain wrote:The only time that I have seen taxi drivers tipped was on TV, when they returned
the wallet or the luggage of a tourist.Back in 2009 a Peruvian taxi driver returned
$30,000 dollars to a European Tourist in Miraflores.


Must have been those old guys that drive those old beaten up Tico's. They are the most honest and cheapest.



Yeah, those old dudes are pretty cool but those Ticos have seen better days.
I remember being in one and seeing the road from the holes in the floorboard.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby metal moth » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Sorry about driving the topic off the cliff again, folks.
Back to taxi tipping.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby chi chi » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:08 am

metal moth wrote:Sorry about driving the topic off the cliff again, folks.
Back to taxi tipping.


Would you also tip the crook who just stole your wallet?
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby metal moth » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:47 am

Maybe taxis should have weight scales.

Charge extra for heavier bags and heavier people since extra weight affects gas mileage, makes the car burn more fuel, causes the tires to deflate prematurely, etc..
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby metal moth » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:49 am

chi chi wrote:
metal moth wrote:Sorry about driving the topic off the cliff again, folks.
Back to taxi tipping.


Would you also tip the crook who just stole your wallet?



Probably tip him with a left hook and right uppercut.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:57 am

Hmm taxi tipping. Why to I get this picture of teenagers tipping a Tico on it's side, like cow tipping out in the country.
Weight scales. Please as a portly fella don't give them any ideas. I hear one airline is already doing that.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:29 am

It I knew a cook stole my wallet I certainly would not tip. Based on information provided by one poster in this thread, not to tip a taxi driver because he probably stole something, you should not tip the cook anyway, he probably spit in the food.
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Chavin » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:13 pm

Josh2U wrote:Hmm taxi tipping. Why to I get this picture of teenagers tipping a Tico on it's side, like cow tipping out in the country.
Weight scales. Please as a portly fella don't give them any ideas. I hear one airline is already doing that.


It does not matter if you a fat man. These cars are surprisingly sturdy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daewoo_Tico
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Re: Tipping taxi drivers

Postby Josh2U » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:59 pm

Airplanes are sturdy too but that does not stop one pioneering airline to weigh people.

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