If you’re looking to earn a little extra cash, but have an older car, working as a rideshare driver with companies such as Lyft and Uber may not be an option for you. However, there are still some great ways to earn money with a delivery driving job.
The on-demand delivery industry is rapidly changing, and this creates the potential for part-time work, a decent side gig, or one of the best weekend jobs. There are several different service providers, and in this article, we’ll look at three of the leaders; DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates.
So, how do they compare and which is the best for a delivery driving job? Here we’ll delve into this topic to help you to choose the best gig for your circumstances.
→ Related reading: 9 Companies Offering Flexible Food Delivery Jobs
The Food Delivery Service Basics
Compared to rideshare operations, there is a far more relaxed process to become a food delivery driver. These services simply require their couriers to have a mode of transport. So, even if your vehicle has more than a few miles on it, if it can get you from here to there, you’re good to go.
Of course, each platform has its own requirements, so we will look at this in more detail below.
You can earn money as a driver for Postmates on a mileage rate. It’s calculated as the drive time between the pickup and drop off. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t generate any cash for the time it takes you to travel to the pickup location. However, Postmates does have a high demand premium called “blitz pricing”. This is a bonus multiplier that can really bump up your pay. The boost is automatically triggered on the app and ranges from 1.25x to 1.75x.
Additionally, when an order is complete, the customer can tip you from within the app.
DoorDash has a slightly more complicated way to calculate the delivery fees. There are three components to your pay; an initial $1 payout, a “pay boost”, and 100% of any tips earned. The pay boost varies according to the distance traveled and the complexity of the order. However, the smallest payout you’ll receive for any order is $6. While this doesn’t seem like much, it can really add up when you have several minimum orders delivered to an area at peak periods like lunchtime.
What makes DoorDash stand out is that the app has been designed to make tipping easier. It also encourages patrons to tip, so the probability of tips is high, and many drivers report this translates to an hourly rate of $8 to $15.
Uber Eats drivers can expect an hourly rate of $8 to $12 after you factor in the vehicle expenses. The delivery pay does vary a great deal, so if you want to maximize your earnings, it is vital that you work the lunch and dinner rushes.
The Uber Eats pay is lower than if you were working as an Uber driver, but Uber drivers need a vehicle that meets a very specific list of criteria, which can be a problem if you have an older vehicle.
Working for Uber Eats means that you will be paid for every delivery based on a pickup fee, drop off fee, and mileage. You’ll also receive 100% of any tips your customers leave for you in the app.
Winner: DoorDash (slightly)
As you can see, the pricing structure for all three platforms is remarkably similar. While it may vary by a dollar or two, if you work strategically, it’s possible to maximize your income using DoorDash, Postmates, or Uber Eats.
The DoorDash app is easily one of the best food delivery apps, and it is obvious that a great deal of effort has been made to ensure the service is fun to use. The layout is not overly complicated, and there are only a couple of steps to negotiate for drivers performing common tasks. This means that it is easy to contact a customer or check on order status. The only downside to this app is that it lacks a map. Without a built-in map, you’ll need an alternative, which can be a bit of a pain.
Although this may not seem like much, it can be time-consuming. Every time you receive a new order, you’ll need to switch to your default map app to get directions, unless you know exactly where you need to go and the best way to get there. Other than this, the DoorDash app makes it easy for both the customer and the driver. You can even accept delivery requests on the go with little effort. You can also batch deliveries together when they are near each other. This ability to reorganize your delivery on the go reduces the downtime between deliveries, so you can maximize your earnings.
Like DoorDash, the Postmates app has been designed with a smooth layout and easy to use navigation. The crucial difference is that there is a built-in map. There is an interactive map that makes it easier to navigate city streets and avoid traffic jams. The app features ensure it is easy to deliver several orders in an hour, and just like DoorDash, you can batch your orders to boost your earnings.
The Uber Eats app has a simple step-by-step process that takes you from getting a customer request through to picking up the food and delivering it to your customer. You receive audio notifications through the app, and you just need to tap the screen to accept the request. You’ll then be provided with an order number, customer name, and pick up location. The built-in GPS will help you to navigate to the pickup location, then you can tap “start trip,” and the app will provide you directions to your delivery address. You can also receive special delivery instructions through the app. The app also notifies the customer via text as you get nearer to their location, so they are ready and waiting for you.
While all three platforms have a great app, the best has to be Postmates. Everything you need is contained in the app, including a built-in map and navigation. This makes it easier to efficiently pick up and deliver your orders, so you can make more deliveries and more money.
The Process of Becoming a Driver
As we’ve discussed above, it is far harder to qualify as a rideshare driver than it is to make deliveries due to the less restrictive vehicle requirements. Most services don’t have a vehicle age restriction like rideshare companies. However, there are still some regulations, which we will explore in more detail to see how they stack up.
The requirements for becoming a DoorDash driver are not as rigorous as they are for becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. You will need a smartphone and some mode of transport, but this can be a car, scooter, bicycle, motorcycle, or truck. You also need to have a clean driving record and background to maintain safety. So, you will need to consent to a background check that includes providing your social security number. Of course, if you’re using a car, truck, motorcycle, or scooter, you’ll need to have a valid U.S driver’s license with up to date insurance that shows your name on it.
The Postmates sign up process is smooth. There are a few basic requirements, and the application can be completed within a few minutes. You need to have a functional mode of transportation, a license, and valid insurance. Again, you’ll need to have your social security number on hand to complete the process.
If you’re already an Uber driver, then there is no additional work needed to deliver with Uber Eats, you just need to opt in to start seeing jobs. However, if you’re new to Uber, you can become a delivery only driver, so you don’t need to meet the stringent Uber drive share requirements. You need to have a vehicle that is from 1996 or newer and have a year of driving experience. In some cities, you can use a motorcycle, bicycle, or scooter. Unlike DoorDash or Postmates, you need to be 19, rather than 18 years old.