Is Driving for DoorDash Worth ItEver thought about driving for DoorDash? If so, the next logical question is likely: is driving for DoorDash worth it? For me, after much thought, the answer was yes.
I started seriously thinking about becoming a Dasher during the pandemic. Even though I have solid in-demand freelance skills, my side hustle was hit hard. I started looking for an additional side gig.
Dashers seemed to work steadily, but I wasn’t sure if it was for me. I tried rideshare driving in the past, hated it, and quit after a short stint.
After much thought and research, I took the plunge. I have been delivering for DoorDash for about six months now.
So, is driving for DoorDash worth it? I’m not the most seasoned Dasher, but I have plenty of deliveries under my belt. I’ll give you some background and my experiences and observations so far.
Why DoorDash Appealed to Me
Since I didn’t have such a great experience with my first gig economy side hustle, I was reluctant to try again. I didn’t want to start something only to give it up quickly.
I need a side hustle that:
- I can work whenever I have time
- It won’t be a huge source of stress
- Pays enough to be worth my time
DoorDash fits the bill on all three of my points. You may have your own requirements for determining whether Doordash or any second job is worthwhile.
For me, the key selling point of becoming a DoorDash delivery driver (or of any side gig) is flexibility. I work full-time, but my hours vary. I also have some freedom to choose when I work my day job.
My primary source of income is project-based, and I work remotely. As long as I attend virtual meetings, keep everyone updated on my progress, and hit my deadlines, nobody cares if I work 9-5 or when it suits me.
I need a side hustle I can do according to my schedule quirks. When I have free time, ideally, I would use it to make extra money.
With DoorDash, you can accept deliveries anytime if restaurants are open. You can work as much or as little as you want. You don’t have to commit to certain days or shifts, which works smashingly for me.
Almost every time I’ve left a job, whether a side hustle, day job, or contract work, it was about my boss. There were a couple of exceptions, like unruly customers and a product I stopped believing in, but I quit bosses, not jobs.
Maybe I’m uncoachable or difficult to work with. Or maybe I have unrealistic expectations. Regardless, not having a boss is a big bonus for me.
As an independent contractor with DoorDash, you can be your own boss. You set your own hours and accept or reject orders as you see fit since there is no minimum acceptance rate required.
OK for Introverts
My fundamental problem with rideshare driving was the passengers. I’m more of an introvert, but I’ve never dreaded encounters with new people. Until rideshare driving.
I got screamed at for not having a phone charger available. I had people try to bring open containers along or stuff over four people in my car. One passenger peed in my car.
Some problem riders should be expected to drive nights and weekends in a decent-sized city. Maybe I never should’ve tried rideshare driving in the first place, given my natural tendencies. My good encounters were heavily overshadowed by the bad ones, which made me quit.
The interactions with DoorDash customers are brief, usually friendly or at least polite, and many customers choose the contactless delivery option. It is much less stressful than babysitting adults or enforcing local laws in my spare time.
It’s not like sitting at a computer by yourself typing, but it’s not like working retail or waiting tables either. If you’re more introverted like me, Dashing is among the best side hustles for introverts.
Aside from my negative experiences driving for a rideshare company, I like driving. My car gets good gas mileage, and I keep it in excellent condition. Other pros for food delivery apps include not having to learn many new skills and being your own boss.
All of that makes driving for DoorDash a reasonable option for me.
DoorDash doesn’t have any car requirements. You can use your car, truck, or cargo van to make money. As long as you have a license, insurance, and a clean record, you’re good to go.
Another good thing is they also allow Dashers to use any type of vehicle in most cities, including mine. I’m not in the best physical condition of my life, but I have a bike I like to ride, so that’s an option on nice days. I like the idea of getting paid to lose weight, and I’d love to be in better shape.
Then there’s the money. The question that’s probably on your mind is, how much does DoorDash pay?
If you’ve been doing your homework on DoorDash, you’ve probably seen $15 to $25 per hour quoted as the average pay. You might’ve also heard that Dashers make $1.45 an hour.
Right now, I’m sitting at just over $18 per hour delivering food. What you make will depend on your local market, how much time you put in, and whether you’re available during the lunch and dinner busy hours.
I didn’t start off at $18 an hour. It took me a while to figure some things out. It was more like $9 to $10 an hour at the beginning.
I’m looking to get my earnings over $20 an hour. I feel confident I’ll get there. I’ll share what I’m doing to increase my food delivery earnings.
Maximizing Your Income with DoorDash
I’m learning more about my area, and I’m getting better at knowing which orders to avoid. Those are both good ways to make more money with DoorDash.
For example, I was a little late once after getting stuck in traffic because a high school football game was ending. I should’ve known better.
Certain restaurants are consistently slow to get orders together or don’t pack their food well. That makes customers unhappy. I don’t want to be the guy who brought the spilled soup or showed up unacceptably late, even if it wasn’t my fault.
I also stopped taking orders where I had to put in the order and pay for it with the red card. Waiting in line to place an order then waiting for the food cuts into my hourly too much during peak hours.
Some Dashers say they won’t take deliveries under $5. Some have an even higher minimum of $7. Others use their desired rate to decide whether to take a job, like $1 per mile or $0.50 per minute.
Those are all viable approaches to making more money with DoorDash.
I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I think about how long an order will take me and where I’ll end up. I try to stay close to busy areas with multiple nearby restaurants.
If I have things to do outside the house that aren’t time-sensitive, I’ll log in to the app and see if I can work a delivery in. You can monetize your commute home from work, errands, and any trip across town by combining them with deliveries.
I’ve also started mixing in Uber Eats to complete more deliveries per hour. During prime lunch and dinner ordering times, I can sometimes grab a DoorDash order plus an Uber Eats order headed in the same direction and still be on time for both. Combining the two delivery apps is upping my hourly earnings more than anything.
Frequently Asked Questions
Besides “How is driving for DoorDash?” here is my FAQ about delivering for DoorDash. I base my answers on my experiences and opinions. Your mileage may vary. 😁
What’s It Like Driving for DoorDash?
Driving for DoorDash is a good opportunity to earn money on the side. You work when you want, the job is easy if you don’t mind driving or brief interactions with customers, and the pay is solid. If you’re looking for flexible, part-time work that pays decent, DoorDash is a good gig.
How much money do you make driving DoorDash?
The more you work during peak hours, the more you can make. With base pay, incentives, and tips, you should be able to earn $15 to $25 per hour if you’re selective and do 2-3 deliveries per hour. DoorDash base pay ranges from $2-$10 or more per delivery, with most falling somewhere between $3 and $8.
Is it safe to drive for DoorDash?
Driving for DoorDash is generally safe as you don’t carry cash, and you can reject orders at your own discretion. There are additional precautions you can take to make your experience safer, including driving carefully and parking close to your destination.
Is delivering for DoorDash worth it?
Driving for DoorDash is worth it. It’s a good way to earn extra money. The hours are flexible, and you can choose which deliveries to accept. You get paid for completed deliveries, not how many hours you work. If you work during busy times and are strategic with the orders you accept, you can make $15 to $25 per hour.
How does DoorDash choose who gets the order?
DoorDash gives the order to Dashers with the highest scores first, even if they’re not closest. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your customer rating, your completion rate, and your on-time or early rate. They affect your ability to get orders. If your scores drop too much, they can deactivate you.
Will DoorDash pay me if I get no orders?
No, DoorDash does not guarantee you any pay. DoorDash pays you for the deliveries you complete, not for the hours you work. No deliveries means no money. Base pay per delivery ranges from $2 to $10. You also get 100% of your tips and any bonus you’re eligible for.
Jerry is a personal finance enthusiast, side hustler, and freelance web developer who began his career in financial services. He co-founded KindaFrugal.com, a personal finance and frugal living blog. His insights have appeared on MSN, Newsweek.com, HerCampus.com, Mashed.com, and many others.