Is tipping a charter bus driver an accepted practice? And if so, how much should you tip?
First things first: Gratuity makes up a significant portion of a motor coach driver’s income and is not always included in formal cost estimates. This is consistent with almost all companies in the hospitality industry.
But because tipping is so subjective and because drivers depend on it, our policy at Lorenz Bus Service is to incorporate a certain amount of gratuity into our cost estimates.
Gratuity built into the estimate
For a single day bus charter trip, the industry average for the expected tip amount is 10-20% of the total cost of the trip.
For multiday and overnight charter bus trips, the tip is usually around $4.00 per passenger.
In order to ensure livable wages for our drivers, Lorenz adds in half of the expected gratuity when our customer converts a quote to a reservation.
We base this calculation on 10% of the total price for local trips, and $2 per passenger/per day for multiday trips. This places Lorenz on the lower end of tipping practices in our industry.
Going above and beyond
Sometimes your driver will play a significant role in the trip, adding their knowledge and experience to the group’s experience.
If a group wants to make an additional tip, it is common practice for them to add it to the invoice or present it to the driver directly.
Some groups collect tip money from passengers. Other groups consider the location of the trip when deciding on the amount of an additional tip; it’s more work to drive a motor coach through big cities than it is to drive on a flat highway.
Tips obviously can be given anytime, but since it’s often determined by the quality of the service, most customers wait until the trip is done.
Rules of the road will vary
Tipping policies will differ by charter bus company, so be sure to ask about standards up front.
That way, you can plan on if, when, and how much you plan to tip your driver.
If you’re planning a trip or just doing research, please feel free to contact us at Lorenz Bus Service for a no-obligation, no-pressure conversation with one of our professionals.