An Etiquette Question

Posted by Brandon |

Yesterday I went and got my car washed and cleaned at the Elephant Car Wash here in Seattle and I ran into a etiquette question that I need some advice on.

At the Elephant you drive your car in and give it to a guy, he then takes it, vacuums it, throws away any trash and sends it through the car wash. Then it gets wiped down, the windows cleaned and the inside freshened up. When the guy is done with it he waves his towel and you come and turn in your receipt and drive away with a nice clean car. Basically, It's a full service car wash.

I have never tipped the guy when I pick the car up from him and I don't think many people do, although I think I've seen some people slyly tipping. I'm not sure if it's something that is expected and I've just been a stiff or if it's a real rarity and a huge bonus when someone does tip.

So the question is, should I be tipping these dudes? They stand out in the cold all day wiping down cars and most likely don't get paid very much and I would feel bad about stiffing them if it was expected. On the other hand it is expensive enough to get my car washed at the Elephant and would rather not spend any more money. It's true, I'm cheap. If etiquette calls for tipping, I'll tip pretty darn good. If it doesn't, I won't.

If you have any advice please let me know in the comments.