Someone recently left a comment on my YouTube channel asking for more information on getting paid to drive. This industry covers a few different opportunities, primarily ridesharing in which you are chauffeuring passengers around town and delivery jobs in which you are getting paid to deliver food, packages, and even drinks.
Delivery job apps have become so popular in recent years as it eliminates the need to let strangers in your car. While I have covered individual opportunities like DoorDash in the past, I haven’t talked much about the industry as a whole.
Today, we are talking about some great “get paid to drive apps,” starting with those deliveries and moving into some great rideshare opportunities as well (the more eggs the better here!). You will see some familiar jobs like Uber and Lyft but also some newer opportunities as well.
Why are Delivery Job Apps So Appealing?
If you are thinking about becoming a delivery driver, your motivations are probably similar to most others out there. Mainly, you are looking for a side job with a lot of flexibility.
The majority of delivery job apps allow people to log in and work whenever they want. You won’t be held down by a predetermined schedule. If you don’t feel like working this week, you don’t have to. If you are available to work all week, you can. If your Saturday night plans get canceled at the last minute, you can go make a few bucks instead. Need to come up with some fast cash? Go to work. You are in the driver’s seat – pun intended.
The application, hiring and onboarding process is also pretty painless. My husband went through the process for Lyft a year or two back and it only took a few days before he was ready to start making money.
What are the Typical Requirements?
Though we are covering quite a few jobs and apps today, most will have the same basic requirements to become a driver:
- Age of majority in your state
- A reliable, late model car (Note: Uber and Lyft both have programs available to help those without wheels get into a car affordably without having to worry about the mileage restrictions that come with leases. You can also check out HyreCar and Maven Gig if you need to get some wheels. Some apps do allow deliveries to be made by bike or scooter as well.)
- Pass a Background Check
- Valid U.S. driver’s license
- Valid auto insurance – In most cases, no additional insurance is required. As long as you have a valid policy, most apps will allow you to start driving. Many provide no-cost supplemental insurance to cover you while you are working. Uber and Lyft both currently provide $1 million in coverage while carrying passengers. Coverage is lower while off the clock or while waiting for a ride. You can also look into “Rideshare Insurance” which is a new offering from many top providers like USAA and Allstate. It’s not available in all states and does cost a little more than a traditional insurance policy. Check with your current carrier to see if it’s available and/or necessary and always disclose to your insurer if you are working as a rideshare driver. Many policies exclude “drive for hire.”
Make Money Delivering Food
GrubHub is a popular app in the food delivery space. The company website says that more orders are placed on their platform than any other and is available in dozens of cities across the U.S. They have also partnered with Seamless, so you may deliver those food orders as well.
The company encourages drivers to sign up for scheduled blocks when they are available though I have heard that isn’t necessary. Log in and work when you want.
No pay rates are available on the site and I have read at least one review saying incentives are almost non-existent. That being said, tips are encouraged during the ordering process and drivers keep those 100%.
You will need a driver’s license (state ID if a biker), car insurance and bank account to receive payment.
UberEats is the food delivery division of Uber. Delivery jobs are available in lots of cities across North America and beyond.
Depending on your location, you may be able to deliver with your car, bike or scooter. You set your schedule and work as much or as little as you would like.
DoorDash allows drivers to not only use a car for deliveries but also motorcycles, scooters, bikes or even by foot in some markets. You will need to be 18 or older, have no major violations on your driving record and less than three “incidents” in the last 3 years. You will also need to pass a background check.
The app is currently available in several major US cities. My research reveals that rates and order loads can vary greatly by location. This app is another one that encourages generous tipping from customers during their order process which can offset low delivery rates in some locations.
Caviar has been around since 2012. It’s still pretty small, however. It’s only available in about a dozen cities.
You are paid a per-delivery fee plus 100% of customer tips. The site says you can earn up to $25 per hour but I haven’t seen the order load supporting that in most locations from the reviews I have read.
I have heard really good things about Postmates. You can go online and work in any Postmates market at any time. I’ve also heard of some really awesome customer tips coming through this app. This one pays a little different in that you are paid based on waiting time and mileage. The Blitz price-multiplier also kicks in during peak ordering times.
On the downside, while some customers tip generously, some don’t tip at all since the app doesn’t ask for it until after the order has been delivered. There is also minimal support offered by the company so this may not be the best option for new drivers who may need assistance.
More jobs like GrubHub
- OrderUp/Groupon to Go
- Tapingo (delivers to college campuses)
- Saucey (alcohol delivery)
Get Paid to Delivery Groceries
If you love grocery shopping, this may be the gig for you. Instacart hires both Full-Service Shoppers which shop and deliver orders and In-Store Shoppers which only doing the shopping and getting the order ready for pick-up.
Full-Service Shoppers need to have access to a car. They are hired as independent contractors and are able to choose hours that work for them.
In-Store Shoppers are hired as part-time employees with a flexible schedule. No vehicle is required.
Several people in my blog community have noted that when they are out completing shops for Instacart they are seeing a lot of Shipt shirts these days. The Shipt website at the time of publishing this post gave an earning potential of $22 per hour which may be one reason for the increase in popularity among personal grocery shoppers.
This company requires shoppers be 18 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license and car insurance and the ability to lift 40 pounds (standard weight lifting requirement among these gigs). You also need a reliable vehicle that’s 1997 or newer, knowledge of produce and have insulated cooler bags. And a newer smartphone, of course!
They also have some pretty cool shopper swag displaying on their website. I’d like some of that!
Other jobs like Instacart
Make Money Delivering Packages
This delivery platform allows customers to ship almost anything, including their pets! And, they can ship to almost anywhere within the U.S.
Delivery rates are determined by the size of the item and distance it’s being shipped. According to the website at the time of publishing this post, drivers can earn up to $60 for local deliveries and up to $650 for long-distance trips. You will also have access to special driver discounts on food, rentals, and repairs once you become a Roadie driver.
Drivers need to be 18 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance and be able to pass a background check. You also need to maintain 4-star review status once hired.
Amazon Flex drivers are helping Amazon get that new same-day delivery offering done. According to the site, drivers get to set their own schedule and can earn $18 to $25 per hour.
I have heard this can be a pretty stressful gig. Some recent reviews state that you don’t know how far you are driving for a delivery until you pick up the packages. From what I understand, you pick up blocks of time based on your availability and the packages and routes within that block are already put together by Amazon and ready to go. You don’t get to pick and choose deliveries like a lot of similar apps. And you won't know what deliveries are in a block until you pick up the packages.
Flex is currently available in more than 50 cities. If yours isn’t yet covered, you can get on the waitlist.
Deliv is currently available in 35 markets across the U.S. This site makes same-day deliveries for sites like Best Buy, Walmart, PetSmart, Walgreens and more.
Unlike other sites, you do need to work with a somewhat set schedule when driving for Deliv though you can choose your hours. Log into the app by midnight on Tuesdays for priority access to the hours you want, or you can grab open hours the same day if they are available. When it’s your time to make deliveries, check the app for your set tasks. Deliveries are typically within a 15-mile radius.
Jobs like Amazon Flex
Get Paid to Drive Passengers
Uber and Lyft are the most well-known and readily available rideshare apps today. They operate in very much the same way. You can log in and work whenever you want. You are paid a flat fee per ride plus tips. On occasion, incentives may be available during peak hours.
These are the two to cut your teeth on. There’s a lot of support available within these communities and from the companies’ staff.
If you like ridesharing, you can start looking into some more unique opportunities:
This service offers transportation for kids. As you might expect, the requirements are a little more strict:
- 23 years of age or older
- 4-door car, 2008 or newer
- Clean background check
- Proof of insurance
- Good driving record
- 5+ years childcare experience
The site currently says drivers can earn up $30 per hour. Once accepted as a driver, you can pick the rides that work with your schedule and location. Each ride is assigned a flat rate so you will know ahead of time how much you will earn. You can also earn bonuses for recruiting families to try HopSkipDrive.
GroundLink hires experienced limo and car service drivers. Their clientele includes corporate and luxury customers only.
You can set your schedule and their auto-dispatch system guarantees jobs are distributed equally and fairly among available drivers.
More jobs like Uber
Things to Keep in Mind when Becoming a Rideshare and/or Delivery Driver
You are responsible for most expenses while operating as a delivery driver. This includes gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance and repairs. On the upside, you can deduct mileage you drove while performing rides and/or deliveries. Speak to your tax preparer for more information on taking this deduction.
There is no guaranteed hourly rate in most cases. If you log in and no deliveries or rides are available, you may not earn anything. Many drivers also complain that the per-ride or per-delivery rate is really low in many cases.
There are a few exceptions to this, such as working for a company that hires employees as opposed to independent contractors or working for a company that offers guaranteed minimums during peak times, but there are usually drawbacks to that as well. Working as an employee usually means giving up some of that freedom and flexibility you are after.
Most drivers report that the majority of their income comes from tips. And most companies recommend customers tip the higher of $5 or 20 percent of the order or ride. How many do that is often dependent on the setup of the app as I mentioned previously, specifically whether the tip is encouraged during the order or after the delivery. The Zebra has some really interesting data on that.
Combining driving jobs can increase your earnings. In fact, some companies encourage this. And many veteran drivers certainly encourage this. It allows you to pick-and-choose the most profitable orders in your area.
Most companies will have you meet with an experienced driver in advance of taking your first ride or delivery. This is a good opportunity to ask questions of a veteran driver and get some much-needed tips for making your new gig life more profitable and enjoyable.