Get the inside knowledge on tipping great service during your stay in the capital.

  • It is usual to leave a tip of between 10% and 15% when dining out, although you should be aware that some eateries do include a ‘service charge’ as part of the bill.
  • When viewing your hotel bill, you will typically find that a service charge has been automatically added. If it hasn’t been, it is customary to tip between 10% and 15%. In addition to this, people will often tip porters when they carry their bags to their room.
  • When using cabs, both hackney carriages licensed minicabs, a tip of between 10% and 15% is customary.

A tip for good service whilst in London is often welcome, but it is not always appropriate. However, there are some instances when the practice is a customary one. To help you along, we now take a look at some times when it is and isn’t customary to tip.

In Restaurants

When dining out, a good rule of thumb is to tip anywhere from 10-15%, however this is not the case when your bill shows a ‘service charge’, which is typically added at a rate of 12.5%. Check before you pay, as you don’t want to end up double-tipping.

Takeaway meals or self-service food will not require a tip.

A good piece of advice to follow when receiving a service is to check whether your server/waiter gets the tip you pay directly or whether it goes to the company. This is particularly applicable when paying by card.

In Pubs & Bars

It is not traditional to leave a tip in a London pub, but what you may experience is your change being given back to you on a tray, which you can choose to pick up or not.

In London Hotels

Just like in most restaurants in London, hotels in the capital generally add a service charge of around 10 to 12% to your bill. If you don’t find that this has been added, then it is traditional to tip around 10-15% of your total bill. A discretionary tip can be left in your room if you would like to tip the cleaning staff for the service they have provided. It is also optional to tip other members of hotel staff, such as the concierge, door staff and porters.

Tipping for a Taxi

When using licensed minicabs and black cabs in London, it is polite, but not mandatory, to tip anywhere between 10% and 15%. However, what is more common, is to round up the fare to the nearest £1, £5 or £10, depending on the total fare. “Keep the change” is an often used phrase by taxi users in London.

Should you have taken a particularly long journey and been given help with your cases and belongings, it might be appropriate to tip a little more.


Traveller Information
Travel Cards & Oyster Cards in London
The Main Differences Between Standard and Visitor Oyster Cards
London Underground
Free Maps for London Travel
Tipping Whilst in London
London buses