DoorDash Driver Review: How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?
Driver App Experience
Consistent Work Availibility
- Work when and where you want.
- Pick only the jobs you want.
- Get paid quickly.
- Earn more with promos and bonuses.
- Work depends on demand.
- You get paid per delivery, so you're not earning an hourly rate.
- Since you're not a full-time employee with DoorDash, you're responsible for making sure you pay all relevant taxes on your earnings.
DoorDash delivery drivers earn money by picking up and delivering orders from local businesses like restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, pet stores and flower shops. As self-employed gig workers, the drivers, aka Dashers, work when they want and as much or as little as they want. Most drivers won’t replace a full-time job driving for DoorDash, but you could bring in enough cash in your spare time to make a real difference in your budget.
Keep reading to find out more about DoorDash and what you need to do to start dashing.
What Is DoorDash?
DoorDash is a technology-driven delivery service company. The company operates in over 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada and Australia. It is also available in Japan and Germany. The company connects hundreds of thousands of merchants, over 20 million consumers and over a million drivers. DoorDash went public with a $60.2 billion initial public offering in December 2020.
The service lets people order food and merchandise from nearby businesses. Although best known for restaurant deliveries, DoorDash serves a variety of merchants. For example, last month, the company announced just before Christmas that it had partnered with JCPenney to offer on-demand delivery of home electronics and beauty and personal care products from 600 stores nationwide. Once a customer has placed an order, a Dasher accepts the order, picks it up and delivers it to the customer. Payments are handled through the app, so no cash or credit cards are needed at delivery.
How To Become a DoorDash Driver
Becoming a Dasher is easy. All you need is a mode of transportation and a smartphone to manage your deliveries. There are some additional qualifications and requirements, including:
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must have a driver’s license number.
- Must have a Social Security number if dashing in the U.S.
- Must pass a background check.
With those qualifications, getting started is simple and takes just a few minutes. Go to the Dasher sign-up page on the DoorDash website or download the app and type in your email to begin. Follow the prompts to sign up and submit any documentation DoorDash requires, including a W-9. During that process, you’ll have to consent to a background and motor vehicle check and select a driver orientation, which can be in person or via an activation kit. You choice will be confirmed after you’ve completed your W-9 form.
Once you’ve submitted your information and passed the background and vehicle checks, you’re officially a Dasher and can immediately start making deliveries.
If you selected to complete your orientation via the activation kit, DoorDash will ship it to you. The kit includes a hot bag for food, a Red Card — needed to pay for some, but not all, deliveries — and a Getting Started manual. DoorDash says it will take one to four business days to deliver the kit to you. However, you don’t have to wait for the kit to begin dashing.
How It Works
As a Dasher, you have access to the Dasher app. The app is your go-to place for all things dashing. In the app, you can dash now, schedule a dash and review your earnings and your customer ratings. You can also manage your account details, Red Card and app settings.
To start dashing, tap the “Dash Now” button on the main Dash page to start receiving orders in your area. Alternatively, you can schedule a dash for another time.
When you begin a dash, you’ll need to confirm that you have charged your phone and you have enough gas, your Red Card and your hot bag.
When a delivery is ready, DoorDash will let you know via text message and app notification. You’ll see the business name, order size, delivery distance and how much you’ll earn. To deliver the order, tap the “Accept” button in the app.
The app will give you step-by-step instructions on how and where to pick up the order, as well as how and where to deliver it.
How Much Do DoorDash Drivers (Dashers) Make?
How much you can make as a Dasher depends on several factors, including order size, how frequently you make deliveries, delivery distances and how fast you can complete your deliveries.
The Dasher pay model is comprised of three elements that make up your total earnings:
- Base pay.
The base pay is what DoorDash pays you directly for each order. This amount ranges from $2 to $10 or more depending on the order’s time, distance and desirability.
Promotions are additional pay for specific orders or circumstances. There are several types of promotions, including:
- Peak pay: Premium paid during busy times
- Challenge: Extra pay for completing a certain number of deliveries within a set time period
- Drive: Large-order deliveries with premium pay for eligible drivers
- Guaranteed earnings: Specific minimum earnings guaranteed to select drivers for trips taken within a specified period.
Tips To Maximize Your Earnings
Experienced Dashers will tell you that you can maximize your earnings by being selective about when and where you drive and the types of orders you accept.
Ways To Increase Earning Potential
- Be patient and only take large orders. It may be tempting to quickly accept the first order that comes your way, especially when you’re starting out. However, you might be well served to pass on a small order in favor of accepting a large order. Large orders have a higher base pay, and customers typically tip as a percentage, so larger orders will also come with higher commissions.
- Focus on peak times. You may waste a lot of time waiting for orders if you dash during slow times. However, if you deliver during peak times, you might constantly be busy dashing, and you might even get a peak pay bonus. In addition, you could get a batch order, which is when you can accept two orders near each other. Dashing at dinner time or on the weekends will be much busier than mid-afternoons during the week.
- Avoid locations with lots of traffic. Remember, you get paid per order. The faster you can deliver orders, the more money you’ll make. You don’t want to waste time sitting in traffic when you could be in a less crowded area making more deliveries. You may also find it challenging to meet your customer or find a place to park in a high-traffic area.
- Try different locations. You’re not restricted to driving in your own town. If you live in an area where demand is low, it might be worth it to go to a busier area, especially during peak times. You can even drive while you’re traveling.
How Do DoorDash Drivers (Dashers) Get Paid?
Dashers get paid via direct deposit, which you’ll set up in advance. DoorDash initiates fund transfers each Monday for deliveries completed between Monday and Sunday of the previous week. The funds are generally available to you by Wednesday night. If you need your earnings sooner, you can pay a $1.99 fee for Fast Pay, which lets you cash out early.
Dashers who don’t have a bank account or who prefer an alternative to direct deposit can use DasherDirect. This program loads your earnings on a debit card every time you complete a trip. The funds are available to you instantly, and you’ll earn 2.00% cash back when you use the card to purchase gas. In addition, there are bonuses for referring friends to become Dashers.
Does DoorDash Withhold Taxes?
It does not. Dashers are independent contractors, and as such are responsible for any withholding tax required by the state and the IRS. You’ll receive a 1099-NEC by Jan. 31 each year you earn $600 or more on the DoorDash platform. To further assist drivers, DoorDash has partnered with Everlance, a subscription-based app that helps you track mileage and expenses that could reduce your tax bill.
Contact a tax professional for advice about preparing and filing tax returns as an independent contractor.
Comparison to Other Driving Gigs
There are other delivery services out there besides DoorDash. Popular ones include Instacart and Uber Eats. For the most part, the driver experience will be similar, although Instacart is primarily for groceries and Uber Eats is primarily for restaurant meals.
Depending on your location, you might find one of the other services busy. You can try more than one and see what works best for you — or whether you can earn more by driving for two or more services.
The differences between delivery driving and ride-sharing are more significant. Most notably, you’ll never have passengers in your car when you dash. In addition, you don’t need a four-door car — or any car at all — for DoorDash. If you prefer, you can make deliveries by bicycle or motorcycle.
Is DoorDash the Right Gig for You?
If you’re looking for a side gig where you can make decent money and be your own boss, DoorDash is a great option. You’re in complete control of your schedule, including when and where you want to work. By focusing on the tips above to maximize your earnings, dashing for DoorDash can pay well.
Delivering for a service like DoorDash can be an excellent way to earn extra income with a side hustle. You can create your schedule, take only the jobs you want and get paid quickly. Instead of delivering from just one restaurant, like a pizzeria delivery driver, for example, or one category of products, like groceries, you can deliver food and merchandise from hundreds of businessess.
DoorDash Driver FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming a DoorDash driver.
- What do I need to get started?
- You'll need a mode of transportation, active insurance and a smartphone. You'll also need to pass a background check.
- How much will I get paid?
- Your pay will be anywhere from $2 to more than $10 per order, plus any promos and customer tips.
- How often will I get paid?
- DoorDash processes payments every Monday, so you'll have your earnings deposited to your account by Wednesday.
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Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of Nov. 8, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.