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19 min read

    19 min read

    Announcing: Curbivorea new conference I (Harry) am helping organize! Curbivore will take place virtually on October 20 and 21 and will feature discussions on what commerce at the curb means for eateries, small businesses, civic tech, startups and the public realm. Learn more about Curbivore and register here.

    If you want to drive for a delivery company like DoorDash, Postmates or Instacart but aren’t sure what type of vehicle you need, don’t miss our best vehicles for delivery roundup below. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins outlines the best vehicle (and micromobility) options out there for delivery drivers below.

    doordash

    Quick summary:

    • Your best options for delivery might be a scooter or a bike, particularly in big cities with terrible parking
    • Rental cars or carsharing is another good option, especially if it’s hard for you to store or maintain a vehicle
    • We recommend checking out: Hyrecar, Turo, or Riders Share

    Best Vehicles for Delivery

    Basically, the sky’s the limit for what vehicle you can use for delivery. However, there are some top options depending on your market, personal preference and overall efficiency.

    In some cases, you can deliver by bike, scooter or even on foot, so you don’t have to spend extra money on a vehicle if that’s not within your means. It also helps cut down on hassle if you live in a downtown area where parking is limited, costs money or is non-existent.

    If you’re in a more sprawling area that means you’ll be driving several miles, you might want to consider a car, and you’ll probably want something efficient.

    Toyota Prius

    If you’re looking for affordable, reliable and good gas mileage, look no further than a used Toyota Prius. I was able to find a used Toyota Prius for under $12,000 on Carfax.com.

    best vehicles for delivery

    The 2013 Toyota Prius is rated at 51 city / 48 highway mpg. For an older car, that’s pretty amazing! And Toyota vehicles are known to last, but you can also look for ones with lower mileage already on them, but expect the price to go up a notch.

    Managing Editor Melissa Berry drives a 2008 Prius, still going strong after more than 150,000 miles on it. She’s had to replace the battery twice (the first battery was a lemon, so always make sure to use a reputable auto mechanic!) but overall, the value far outweighs the expenses, in her opinion: “My car is reliable and has needed very few ‘expensive’ services, outside of the battery. It saves me a ton of money on gas and is light, so it’s not hard on the brakes. I would never get rid of it!”

    Honda Accord

    Another car I would recommend is the Honda Accord. I LOVED my Accord when I had it. It was a later model but it was spacious as well as reliable.

    Also on Carfax.com, I found a 2015 Honda Accord for $14,200 with only 52,000 miles on it.

    best vehicles for delivery

    The 2015 Honda Accord is rated at up to 27 city / 36 highway mpg.

    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

    To save money on gas, we also recommend looking into hybrids such as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid (2014 or newer). On the low end, you can find a Sonata hybrid for around $14,000 and expect to get around 36 city / 40 highway mpg on a 2014 model.

    Chevrolet Bolt EV

    If you make the switch to all electric, you’ll eliminate the miles per gallon concern, but you’ll need to keep an eye on how many miles you get per charge.

    I was able to find a 2017 Chevy Bolt EV for $17,000 on Carfax.

    best vehicles for delivery

    The range is estimated at about 238 miles between charges. If you’re delivering in your neighborhood, chances are you’d never run out of a charge before the end of the day, then you can plug in overnight and be ready to go the next day.

    Looking for the best EVs for rideshare drivers? Check out our article Best EVs for Uber and Lyft Drivers.

    Delivery Car Requirements

    In most cases, delivery companies have little to no car requirements. This is great if you would prefer to bike, walk, deliver via electric scooter, or have a two-seater vehicle. Here are specifics for delivery car requirements:

    DoorDash does not have any vehicle requirements; you can even use a bike, scooter or motorcycle instead of a car.

    Postmates allows you to use any kind of vehicle including scooter, motorcycle, bicycle or even walking.

    Instacart just requires that you have access to a vehicle. Since delivering for Instacart typically means you’ll be toting groceries, it makes sense that a vehicle is required as opposed to a motorcycle or bicycle.

    For Amazon Flex, they state: “If you are delivering Prime Now orders, you can use any car that can safely and reliably transport Amazon orders to customers.

    If you are delivering Amazon orders, you’ll need to use a 4-door, mid-sized sedan or larger vehicle, such as a truck with a covered bed, SUV, or a van. Small 2 door cars, and also trucks with open beds do not qualify because they may not be big enough to fit all the packages assigned for delivery.”

    Keep all of these requirements in mind when picking the right vehicle for delivery. If you’re planning on doing mostly Amazon Flex and/or Instacart, you’ll need a car of some sort as opposed to walking or biking.

    Best Delivery Cars: Car and Vehicle Options for Delivery

    HyreCar

    HyreCar is a marketplace specifically designed for rideshare drivers that allows drivers to rent a car to drive with Uber, Lyft or any other on-demand company like Postmates, Doordash, Instacart, Grubhub, etc.

    Private vehicle owners list their cars for rent on the site and potential renters/rideshare drivers can sort through the listings and rent a car. HyreCar provides insurance as part of the vehicle rental.

    This is a snapshot of what HyreCar’s rental page looks like. It shows all of the available cars in your area and states the amount each will cost to rent daily, weekly, and monthly.

    There is just a two-day minimum for renting a car; you just need to be in contact with the owner of the vehicle so you’re both on the same page as far as how long you’ll be renting is concerned.

    Typically, vehicle owners offer a discount if you rent for longer periods of time. If you know you want it for 3 months, you might be able to get it for cheaper than renting by the week.

    You are not responsible for regular maintenance. If the vehicle needs an oil change during the time that you’re renting it, the owner is responsible for getting that taken care of.

    The vehicle owner also has the option to set the number of miles they will allow. If you go over on mileage, you’d owe an extra fee to make up for that difference.

    If you’re just starting out with delivery driving, try renting for a week at a time to make sure you’re making enough money to cover the car rental as well as whatever else you’re wanting to use the money on. If it’s not working for you, consider finding someone offering a car to rent for cheaper or consider one of the other options listed below.

    If you’re making plenty to cover the expenses and whatever else you want the money for, you might consider renting for one month at a time; keep in mind that you’ll be charged up front for the amount of time you’re renting for.

    Another great thing about HyreCar is you can choose which vehicle is right for you. So, if you want to reduce your costs, you can look at older models and/or cheaper cars. The “passenger experience” won’t really matter since you’ll be doing deliveries—boxes don’t care what car you’re driving—giving you the opportunity to choose a cheaper option that fits your budget.

    They’ve also recently partnered with Arcimoto, which is a vehicle designed for delivery. Arcimoto vehicles known as “Deliverators” are all electric, three-wheeled and have storage space in the back, allowing for easy deliveries.

    Fleet suppliers would have the opportunity to buy Deliverators and put them on the HyreCar platform for gig workers to rent and use for deliveries and other gig work.

    It is currently only available in Los Angeles, but will be released to the rest of the country soon. Learn more about the partnership here and here.

    GIG Car Share

    Currently GIG Car Share is only available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Seattle. Judging from our personal experience with Gig, we expect it to be successful and expand to other cities!

    Read our Gig Car Share review to see if it’s the right option for you.

    Gig is a car rental service provided by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and is a simple way to rent a car without having to fill out a bunch of paperwork and having to remember the time and date you need to return the car.

    GIG has a $1 access fee they implemented on August 1 that you’re charged when you “End Your Trip”. Aside from that, their pricing varies but typically averages around 40 cents a minute up to 1 hour. The access fee can be waived by subscribing to GIG for $14.99/month.

    For longer trips, you are charged a $15/hour flat rate, which is a 38% discount from the per-minute rate. However, if you’re already a AAA member, you get another 10% off.

    You can also use our promo code, ITSAGIG, to save $30 on your first GIG Car Share rental.

    Since you can rent by the hour, you can rent a car after you’ve accepted an Instacart or Postmates gig and only pay for the time you use it to shop and drop off the orders. If your day slows down and you stop receiving requests, park the car in a legal parking area where it won’t get ticketed or towed, and you’re good to go.

    Most delivery services allow you to work for them if you’re 18 or older. Likewise, GIG car share bends the regular rule of having to be 25 or older and actually allows 18 year olds to drive their cars as long as they have a valid U.S. driver’s license and a good driving record.

    If you’re interested in Gig Car Share coming to your city, make sure to let them know!

    Turo

    On Turo’s website, the first thing you see is the message “Way better than a rental car. Book unforgettable cars from local hosts around the world.” This brings to mind that Turo is a worldwide company, allowing you to rent cars abroad as well.

    In addition, Turo offers a wide array of cars to choose from. They range from the Volkswagen Jetta to a Porsche or Tesla and the price per day costs for those vehicles range from $30 to $128 per day accordingly.

    It’s similar to HyreCar except that it doesn’t technically authorize you to use your vehicle for rideshare or delivery services. How does this benefit drivers? You can:

    • List your car on Turo: One of the best ways to leverage your vehicle is to rent it out on Turo’s marketplace since then you can effectively earn passive income without having to drive.
    • Rent a car from Turo: As a delivery driver, you can’t use one of these vehicles to drive for Instacart, Postmates or DoorDash, but you can use it for your personal needs if your car is in the shop getting repairs, for example. We’ve heard from some drivers that they use it for delivery services but according to Turo’s TOS, this is not technically allowed.

    Click here to sign up for Turo

    Motorcycle/Mopeds/Highway Scooter Options for Delivery

    Keep in mind, if you choose one of these modes of transportation for delivery (or any time), be sure you follow local laws concerning the use of helmets. It’s smart to always wear a helmet when using these kinds of vehicles for your protection, but especially if the law requires it in your area.

    Riders Share

    Riders Share is a peer-to-peer motorcycle rental marketplace, similar to HyreCar and Turo, but specifically for motorcycles. The goal is to make riding motorcycles more affordable. Not everyone can afford a motorcycle, but they have the license and ability to do it.

    All Riders Share motorcycles are required to be newer than model year 2000 and includes scooters.

    Learn more about Riders Share over at Harry’s interview with founder and CEO Guillermo Cornejo.

    Riders Share does require that a renter be 21 or older and have a valid motorcycle license (or equivalent), unless it’s a vehicle that does not require it. They may run a background check when you book. They also allow you to purchase damage waivers at the time of checkout since most motorcycle policies do not cover motorcycle renting.

    Their terms do not specify that delivery services are not allowed while renting a motorcycle or scooter. If the price fits, and you have a motorcycle license, this could be a good fit for you while delivering for DoorDash or GrubHub.

    On the rental page, you can sort by type (so you can narrow down to just scooters if that’s what you’re interested in), price range, brand and more. Scooters tend to cost less per day to rent than motorcycles, but it depends on the model and type, plus the owners set their own prices.

    best vehicles for delivery

    I narrowed down my search to scooters and it came up with several options, all under $60 per day. Most of the listings show the seat height, price per day, how many 5-star trips have been assigned to the owner of the vehicle and more.

    Click here to get started with Riders Share.

    Micromobility Options for Delivery

    Bolt Bikes now known as Zoomo

    Zoomo’s e-bikes are designed with delivery riders in mind. They hold an 8-hour charge, can go up to 25 miles per hour, and feature built-in lights for more visibility. You can rent a bike with Zoomo for as low as $39. They also offer rent-to-own options (with a down payment) or allow you to buy a bike outright if that’s what you’d prefer.

    If you’re not ready to commit, you can even book a test ride to give an e-bike a trial. This is a great idea if you’ve never used an e-bike before, so you can get a feel for it and see if it’s for you.

    They include servicing and maintenance, 24/7 support, on boarding and bike education, quality accessories, fast charging batteries and a smart lock.

    Currently, Zoomo is available in New York City, San Francisco and is coming soon to Los Angeles.

    Wheels

    On their homepage, Wheels boasts they are the safest and most accessible form of micro transportation.

    You can check out what it’s like to use the Wheels scooter below at our video: Wheels Scooter App Review PLUS Working As A Wheels Transporter

     

    The e-bikes Wheels features that are made for deliveries include a 25 mile range, up to 18 mph, fully electric (takes about 3 hours to recharge) and no pedals.

    You’ll have the options to rent by the week or by the month. They offer to deliver your e-bike to your preferred location within 5-7 business days or you have an option to pick up at a service center for a faster turnaround time.

    You’ll be charged a refundable security deposit of $99. Their weekly plan is $39.99 and monthly it’s $99.99. These plans include a charger, lock and 1 basket, which comes in handy for your deliveries. You will need the Wheels app to unlock and use your e-bike.

    Wheels currently operates in Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orlando.

    Buy Your Own Ebike

    If you’re looking to purchase your own e-bike, we recommend one of the following:

    1. RadPower Wagon – The RadPower Wagon is perfect for making deliveries and using the bike for family. It offers plenty of room in the front and back for attaching baskets, platforms and more. You can also easily mount child seats and more.

    The RadPower Wagon retails for $1,599.

    2. VanMoof S3 – Features classic straight frame geometry, supercharged with next-gen innovation, an updated motor, automatic electronic gear shifting, and integrated anti-theft tech.

    Buy it here starting at $1,998

    3. Specialized Vado SL – Features 28 mph cruise for up to 80 miles, and as light as 33 lbs. Total range is 120 miles with a full charge time at 2 hours and 35 minutes to get you out there fast. It also has front and rear built-in lights for visibility. A rear rack even comes standard.

    best vehicles for delivery

    Find the right one for you starting at $3,350 here.

    Wonder what it’s like delivering via ebike? We had an RSG contributor try out DoorDash with an ebike, and his top tips are:

    • DoorDash (and other delivery companies) will restrict the types of orders received – so you won’t receive a bunch of drink or pizza orders!
    • You’ll deliver shorter distances and, depending on when you drive, will be able to accomplish more deliveries in less time
    • Look for higher meal values – these will bring in higher tips

    FAQs

    Is a Prius the best car for DoorDash?

    Overall, a Prius is a great option for rideshare drivers in general, whether it’s for passengers or deliveries. Here’s why: A Toyota Prius is a fairly affordable car (starting as low as $24,525) whether you’re looking at buying new or used (I would recommend used), and they are known for having decent mileage.

    The 2020 Toyota Prius boasts up to 58 mpg city and 53 mpg highway. For any kind of delivery services, you’ll be saving on gas with this kind of mileage.

    Plus, it’s a hybrid, meaning it uses a combination of gasoline and electricity to power the motor. In the video below, RSG contributor Jay Cradeur shares how to buy a car as a rideshare driver (also applicable to delivery driving): Best Car For Uber: Easiest Way to Buy a Car For Uber Driving

     

    What is the best car for Doordash?

    See above, but also consider any hybrid or electric vehicle options that are affordable. The lower your mileage and monthly cost of the vehicle, the better.

    I own a minivan, which I would never use for delivery unless I had no other choice. It’s a bit of a gas guzzler and barely makes rideshare driving worthwhile unless I mostly pick up XL rides, and even then, not the greatest.

    What is the best car for rideshare?

    If you’re looking for the best vehicle for any rideshare services, check out our Uber Vehicle Marketplace article.

    What’s the best SUV for delivery?

    Be careful when it comes to SUVs, and pay serious attention to mileage. SUVs aren’t always known for having great mileage, but there are some that are better than you think. For example, the Toyota Rav4 gets an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 29 on highway.

    A newer Jeep Cherokee also features 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. These both would make great options for working for Amazon Plex or Instacart where you’ll be packing more into your vehicle than just a bag or two of restaurant food.

    Are there car rental options for delivery drivers?

    Yes, I would recommend HyreCar. Keep in mind, you’ll want to know your earnings average up front before considering your rental options. You’ll want to make sure you can cover the cost of renting the car as well as earning enough money for whatever you’re wanting to use it for.

    Another thing to keep in mind is if renting is a cheaper option for you than buying outright or financing your own vehicle.

    Should you drive for Postmates on car vs bike?

    That’s completely up to you, and it partially depends on what area you’re servicing. If you live in a bike friendly city, absolutely use a bike instead of a car. You’ll have more chances of finding a spot to park your bike versus a car, getting you in and out quickly for a more efficient run.

    How old can your car be to drive for delivery?

    This depends on which company you’re driving for. Most don’t have set vehicle requirements, as long as it’s reliable and gets your delivery where it needs to go. It’s not the same as driving passengers where they might have certain expectations on cleanliness and newness. Though, please keep your vehicle clean, especially when dealing with food delivery.

    What are Grubhub’s car requirements?

    If you’re using a car for GrubHub, they require that you have auto insurance and a valid driver’s license. Other than that, you do not have anything holding you back from delivering with whatever vehicle you want.

    Does DoorDash provide auto insurance?

    DoorDash provides a $1 million contingent liability policy “when you are in possession of goods to be delivered,” meaning only from restaurant to delivery, not driving TO a restaurant.

    It can only be used after you’ve exhausted the coverage from your personal policy and only applies to damages and injuries drivers cause to other parties while on an active delivery.

    There is no collision coverage at any point.

    For insurance options, check out our Rideshare Insurance Marketplace.

    What kind of car do you need for Uber Eats?

    To deliver with Uber Eats, you must meet the minimum age to drive in your city, have a 2-door or 4-door car that is 20 years old or newer, have a valid driver’s license, registration, and vehicle insurance, and have at least one year of driving experience.

    You can also use a scooter if you’re at least 19 years old, have a motorized scooter under 50cc that is 20 years old or newer, have a valid driver’s license, registration and vehicle insurance, and choose Deliver with a Scooter under transportation method.

    Uber Eats also gives you the choice of using a bike. For that, you must be at least 18 years old, have a government-issued ID and when signing up, choose Deliver with a Bike under transportation method.

    Can you rent a car for Postmates?

    Yes you can rent a car for Postmates, and we recommend HyreCar if you want to rent a car for delivery, including working for Postmates. You can get a car quickly and affordably (just choose a car that suits your needs). Plus, it includes insurance for you and is typically rideshare ready for any platform.

    What if I don’t have a car to deliver with Postmates?

    You don’t need a car! Postmates allows you to use any kind of vehicle including scooter, motorcycle, bicycle or even walking.

    What kind of vehicle do you drive as a delivery driver – do you use a car, bike, scooter or something else? Let us know below!

    Want More Tips? Deliver With DoorDash

    ddlgoDashers receive tips on 97% of their deliveries. DoorDash has a tip button and encourages customers to setup "automatic" tips. Become a dasher here.

    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.