Uber introducing tipping for UK drivers
Uber introducing in-app tipping and more features for its UK drivers Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Uber has introduced a number of changes to its app in a bid to improve its relationship with drivers in the UK and add more cars to its existing fleet of vehicles.

After jotting concerns put up by several Uber drivers in the UK, the ride hailing giant has added tipping into its app - an option that allows riders to reward good service. The feature, which rolled out in US and Canada back in June, will allow riders to pay an additional something to their drivers or UberEATS couriers without handing out cash from their pockets. It pushes Uber's agenda of convenient, cashless travel while reaffirming its stance towards ensuring sufficient earnings for UK drivers. The company has also noted it won't take a cut on tips and transfer 100% of the amount to the drivers.

"While drivers have told us they love the freedom of being their own boss, we've also clearly heard that we need to make improvements," Uber UK Regional General Manager Jo Bertram said in a statement to TechCrunch.

As part of the changes, the cab aggregator is also introducing a unique 'pay for wait' programme.

Designed specifically for riders who're always late to the designated pickup point, the new programme envisages an added charge of 20p per minute for the passengers. Meaning, starting August 22 (when this feature rolls out), if any rider fails to reach the pickup point within two minutes, the company will add an extra waiting charge to compensate its drivers for their time.

Uber has also slashed the minimum free cancellation time for the convenience of its drivers. Originally, customers cancelling cabs five minutes after booking their ride were charged a nominal cancellation fee but now, the minimum cancellation time has been reduced to two minutes. So, a slight delay in canceling your cab and chances are you'll have to pay a cancellation fee to Uber.

Detailing the reason for the change, Bertram said: "Following feedback we feel this is too long as drivers are well on their way to the pickup point and have already invested time and fuel."

Among other driver-focused improvements, Uber is adding a "No thanks" button and an option for destination control. The former lets drivers deny cab requests immediately, while the latter aims to match drivers willing to go to a particular destination with riders looking for the same route.