Uber rolls out in-app driver tipping in the UK

It's one of many changes designed to keep drivers happy.

Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Uber can only be successful if it has a growing fleet of drivers willing to ferry people around their local town or city. With this in mind, the company has announced a slew of changes today aimed at appeasing the biggest complaints of UK drivers. Following the US, the app will support rider tipping from tomorrow, making it easier for passengers to reward good service. In addition, Uber will charge riders who force drivers to wait at their agreed pick-up point. From August 22nd, passengers will have to pay 20 pence per minute if they fail to turn up after two minutes.

At the moment, riders are charged a small fee if they cancel a trip five minutes after completing an order. Soon, Uber will be reducing this time frame to two minutes in order to discourage last-second back-outs. There is an exception, however — if you book a car and two minutes pass, but your driver is more than five minutes behind schedule, you can still cancel and avoid a fee. That way you're not penalised if what should be a 10-minute trip is fast becoming an hour-long wait for an Uber driver.

Other additions include a "no thanks" button, so drivers can instantly pass on a trip and wait for the next offer. It only works three times, however — drivers will be logged out of the app if they keep turning down work. Uber is also adding a filter so fancy UberXL and Exec drivers can ignore lower-paid UberX trips. Finally, Driver Destinations is being updated with arrival times. That way, drivers can be clear about their schedule for the day — a doctor's appointment at 2pm, or a dinner reservation at 7pm — and pick up passengers that need to be in roughly the same place, at the same time.