Side Hustle Spotlight: Delivery Driver

Blog | August 9th, 2021

One of the easiest ways to start earning cash on the side is by using your personal vehicle to deliver takeout, groceries, or other items from a variety of stores. Today, the process is nearly completely automated, meaning a minimum of work for the driver. Delivery driving is a great, low-effort way to make extra money on your schedule.

Delivery driving offers excellent schedule flexibility. Depending on the service through which drivers complete deliveries, the driver usually works only when they specify. However, the highest-paid times to drive tend to be at inconvenient times. For example, a driver in a city may make significantly more money delivering to the bar-close crowd from 1 am to 4 am compared to driving from 1 pm to 4 pm the previous day.

Potential drivers should also consider the cost of gas and wear on their cars. If your vehicle is in good condition and relatively fuel-efficient, you can likely make good money as a delivery driver. However, drivers who may need to invest a lot of money into car repairs or gas may not find delivery driving worth their time.

How to Get Started

In this context, delivery driving involves working with an established service such as GrubHub or DoorDash to find work. Because of the level of technology and infrastructure required for seamless communication between restaurants (or stores), drivers, and customers, it is impractical for a driver to find their own delivery customers.

Once you have decided on the services you would like to work with, or if you have decided to work with multiple services, you can begin the application process. Generally, companies working with delivery drivers will want proof of your legal ability to drive as well as information about your vehicle.

There are few other requirements to become a delivery driver. Most companies provide brief training and instructions, but you’ll do most of your learning on the job. Companies generally offer a wide margin for error during a driver’s first few deliveries while they learn the ropes of the job.

There is a learning curve to being a delivery driver. Over time, drivers tend to learn what areas are likely to be the most profitable, how to complete delivery quickly and safely, and how to respond to customer concerns. There is a customer service element, as much of a driver’s earnings are tip-based, and exemplary customer service can increase earnings substantially.

Training and Certifications

The only prerequisite to becoming a delivery driver is a legal ability to drive. Some companies reject drivers with multiple moving violations on their driving record, but this will vary. Generally speaking, as long as you are not in jeopardy of losing your driver’s license, you are eligible to begin work as a delivery driver.

Expected Return

Depending on the company you work with, the times you deliver, and the areas you deliver to, you can expect to make between $10 and $25 per hour. Keep in mind, this does not include the cost of gas or wear on your vehicle.

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