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Do you tip roadside assistance?

April 26, 2024

Two men in the desert using an off-road SUV to jumpstart a Class B RV

Sean Richards

In short, yes – if you can. However, you don’t need to break the bank or feel bad if you aren’t able to tip. In fact, there may be situations when you shouldn’t tip for emergency roadside assistance.

By Sean Richards

In short, yes – if you can. Roadside assistance technicians are still service providers, just like waiters or rideshare drivers. While tipping isn’t required, it’s certainly appreciated. Especially if you received great service.

However, you don’t need to break the bank or feel bad if you aren’t able to tip. In fact, there may be situations when you shouldn’t tip for emergency roadside assistance.

But let’s dive a little further into the question when it comes to tipping for roadside assistance.

How much do you tip roadside assistance?

As a general guideline, tipping between 10% and 20% of the service cost is reasonable; however, also discretionary. Ultimately, it’s up to your own judgment.

Determining an appropriate tip for roadside assistance depends on the level of service provided, the complexity of the situation, and your overall satisfaction. For instance, if the service technician jump-started a dead battery late at night or drove a long distance to get to you, you might consider a larger tip.

But again, it really depends on your happiness with the job and how much you can comfortably offer. If you have only $5 to spare and it was a $100 job, then that’s great — it’s the gesture that counts.

Do people normally tip a tow truck driver?

While it’s not expected, it’s certainly appreciated. Especially if the service provider helped tow your vehicle or RV at an unusual time or out of a remote location.

As of 2023, tow truck drivers in the U.S. earn an average of $19 per hour. To put that in perspective, the average American salary is $58,563, or $28 per hour. So, if you have a few dollars to spare and are happy with the service you received, consider tipping your tow truck driver.

Do you tip roadside assistance for a flat tire?

Tipping for a flat tire change is certainly not mandatory, but it’s definitely welcomed.

The complexity of the tire change and the efficiency of the assistance provided may influence your decision. If the technician promptly resolves the issue and demonstrates exceptional service, showing your gratitude through a tip goes a long way.

When not to tip roadside assistance

There may be situations when you do not need to tip roadside assistance, including:

  • The roadside assistance company does not accept tips: Some auto roadside assistance providers have policies against tipping. If you aren’t sure, simply call the company or ask the service technician directly if tipping is allowed.
  • Poor or unsatisfactory service: If the roadside assistance technician provided subpar service, such as being rude or unprofessional, damaging your vehicle, or failing to resolve the issue adequately, it may be reasonable not to tip. After all, tipping typically reflects the quality of service received.
  • Mandatory service fees: Some roadside assistance programs or insurance policies include service fees as part of their coverage. In such cases, tipping may not be necessary since you have already paid for the service through your subscription or policy.

Remember, tipping is discretionary and based on your judgment of the service provided. While it’s a kind gesture, it’s always up to you.

Alternatives to tipping roadside assistance

If you prefer not to tip but still want to show your appreciation, there are a few other ways to express gratitude:

  • Sincerely, thank the service provider. Verbal appreciation still matters.
  • Leave a positive review about their service.
  • Refer your friends and family.

A final tip for RVers

While there is no hard and fast rule about tipping roadside assistance, it’s a kind and welcome practice that acknowledges the efforts of your service provider.

When determining whether to tip, follow the rules of thumb outlined above: Use your own discretion in considering the level of service received and the complexity of the situation.

With Good Sam Roadside Assistance, you can rest assured you’re getting the best service possible, regardless of whether you tip. We’ll come to you anytime, any day, and get you back on the road to adventure. Learn more about our industry-leading roadside assistance plans and enroll today.

Tipping Roadside Assistance FAQs

How can I tip roadside assistance if I don’t have cash?
No cash? With the technology we have access to today, that’s likely not a problem. You can use money transfer apps like Venmo, CashApp, and Zelle, to quickly and easily send your service technician a tip without having to hit the ATM.

Do I tip the person who changed my tire?
Tipping the person who changed your tire is not mandatory but generally appreciated. If the technician provided prompt, efficient, and courteous service, a $5 to $20 tip can be a thoughtful gesture to express your gratitude. Consider factors such as the complexity of the tire change, the level of assistance provided, and your overall satisfaction. Ultimately, tipping is at your discretion, and it’s a way to recognize and appreciate the help received during a stressful situation

Is it customary to tip tow truck drivers?
Tipping tow truck drivers is not expected, but if you feel they have provided exceptional service, a tip can be a way to acknowledge their efforts. If the tow truck driver goes above and beyond, such as by stopping so you can purchase refreshments, picking you up late at night, or enduring a challenging drive to reach you, you might consider tipping them. If service fees are already built into their pricing or their employer does not allow tipping, then you don’t need to worry about it.

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