- Tricia Casper
What I Made as a Delivery Driver
Updated: Jan 18
My rule of thumb was to make sure I had more pay than mileage in each order. For example, if the pay was $10, I tried to keep the delivery distance under 10 miles. This made the trip worthwhile, monetarily speaking. (It took me a while to figure this out, so my miles outweighed my pay at the beginning.)
Always record your mileage and earnings to make sure you are still making money, even with gas and vehicle wear and tear. Keeping track of this is how you will stay ahead in the delivery driving game.
GrubHub pays more for mileage but it also goes further and you may be driving longer distances. You will not get paid for the return trip from wherever you ended up, which can be far from their delivery zone. Similarly, UberEats has more higher-end restaurants, but will also send you on longer trips to get to those restaurants. DoorDash seems to be better for short trips and smaller orders. Again, this is just in our area. Other areas may be different.
Sunday people sometimes tip less, so if you are going to skip a weekend day, you might want to make it Sunday.
Higher payouts may mean longer distances, so be sure to check for that before you accept the order.
Time is money when delivery driving. You will have higher paying orders at busier times but will also be waiting more at these times. I look at my overall pay per hour or per shift and not my pay per order.
DoorDash offers Peak Pay, and UberEats offers Delivery Surge. These come during the busiest times and offer additional pay per order, anywhere between $1-$5.
More than half of the pay is from tips, which is why it is important to treat the customers well! Going the extra mile can earn you a higher tip. (I often had customers tip me cash on top of the tip they had already put in the app because I communicated well through the app and/or arrived faster than expected.
Make sure you save part of your earnings for taxes so you are prepared for tax season. I personally put away 10% from all of my earnings, but obviously more is better. PrizePool has the highest interest I’ve found so far; I put a link below.)
Factoring in gas, wear and tear, and earnings, all three apps seem to pay about the same. But it is important when you go out to see which app is the most active and use that one.
Below you will see my total pay, distance driven and hours worked per app. My hours worked and miles driven were from the time I left my house until the time I got home.
I only used DoorDash and GrubHub for a while, then added UberEats. I will continue to update this:
This month is when I was new and still learning the system...
7/11-7/17: DoorDash $358.21, GrubHub $105.40, 662.2 miles, 25 hours
7/18-7/24: DoorDash $281, GrubHub $238.75, 572.8 miles, 24 hours
7/25-7/31: DoorDash $261.65, GrubHub $129.28, 394 miles, 16.25 hours
8/1-8/7: DoorDash $424.94, GrubHub $105.54, 487.5 miles, 26 hours
Total pay (four weeks): $1905.02
Total miles driven: 2116.5 miles
Total hours worked: 91.25 hours
I started to get the hang of it by this month...
8/8-8/14: DoorDash $289.73, GrubHub $255.34, Uber Eats $69.04, 528.3 miles, 24.5 hours
8/15-8/21: DoorDash $61.50, GrubHub $247.49, Uber Eats $246.20, 536.9 miles, 22.25 hours
8/22-8/29: DoorDash $159.07, GrubHub $204.45, Uber Eats $165.55, 627.5 miles, 27 hours
8/30-9/6: DoorDash $56.25, GrubHub $187.53, Uber Eats $273.35, 531.3 miles, 23.25 hours
Total pay (four weeks): $749.32 + $783.42 + $431.50 + $517.13 = $2481.37
Total miles driven: 2224 miles
Total hours worked: 97 hours
Then I was upgraded to Top Dasher because I met these requirements:
Customer rating of at least 4.7
Acceptance rate of at least 70%
Completion rate of at least 95%
100 completed deliveries during the last month
At least 200 lifetime deliveries completed
I started making a little more money as a Top Dasher, averaging $25-30/hour, which came out to $625-750 for my average of 25 hours a week. But I was also driving much less since I could pick and choose which orders I took, and was getting priority on the higher paying orders.
You can see that this is not a bad gig if you need some extra money. It worked very well for me as a supplemental income.
I have included my referral links to DoorDash and Uber Eats below if you want to sign up. (For some reason, GrubHub does not offer a referral link in our area.) I also added PrizePool as a savings account (currently over 3% interest), Robinhood as an investment account, and Planet Fitness if you need a place to work out.