Do you want to know how to become a DoorDash driver? Driving for DoorDash is a great side hustle because you can make extra money while keeping flexibility at the top of your list.
Check out this all-encompassing DoorDash review for all everything you need to successfully work for DoorDash.
How to Become a DoorDasher
Becoming a DoorDash driver is fairly easy as long as you meet the requirements.
You don’t need to ‘apply for a job with’ DoorDash in the traditional sense; simply visit DoorDash.com to sign up and start the sign-up process from there.
If you want to drive for DoorDash, you’ll also need to meet the following requirements for transporting food. Spoiler alert: these requirements are pretty easy to meet!
You can use any car as long as you have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and insurance. Depending on where you are dashing, you can even ride a bicycle or an electric scooter.
According to the company, DoorDash accepts drivers and bikers with experience in the gig economy for competitors like Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and even rideshare companies like Lyft.
- Must be 18 or older
- No vehicle requirements. You can drive any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
- Driver’s license number
- Social Security Number (only in the United States)
- Consent to a background check
- Vehicle insurance
Once you get started with DoorDash by making your first delivery, the company will send you its “activation kit,” which includes a Red Card used to purchase some orders, as well as a hot bag to keep food warm, a mask, and hand sanitizer.
DoorDash is one of the best delivery apps because it pays a minimum rate per delivery (DoorDash will make up the difference if your pay per delivery is below their threshold!), and encourages generous tips that you keep fully.
How to Deliver for DoorDash
Working for DoorDash delivery is simple and easy as long as you follow the instructions.
Most delivery orders are straightforward: pick up the order from a restaurant or grocery store and then deliver it to a house, apartment, business, etc.
Sometimes the customer may have special instructions or a delivery request in the Dasher app that you will need to follow for the delivery to be successful.
For example, they might request that you leave the food behind a bush so it’s not visible to the public, or they might ask you to physically hand it to them to ensure accurate delivery.
Here is an example of a simple drop-off at a business:
Here is one example of an order with detailed and specific instructions for their drop-off at an apartment complex.
This customer is helpful to the driver because they also give detailed instructions on how to get to their apartment.
Some customers don’t give any instructions, and you might need to call or text them so they can guide you to their drop-off location.
Certain orders can be quick and painless, like delivering to a house where they tell you to just leave the order at the door.
Other orders might require a little more effort to complete, such as locating an apartment in a large complex.
You can always text or call the customer if you have any questions or concerns.
If the instructions require you to physically hand the order to the customer, and they are nowhere to be found even after calling or texting, you can leave the order in a safe location after a 5-minute waiting period as DoorDash requires.
Understanding Acceptance Rates
Every DoorDash driver is given an acceptance rate. An acceptance rate = the number of orders you actually accept divided by how many orders you were offered.
Of course, the more orders you accept, the more money you’ll likely make, but the company won’t deactivate your account if you turn down orders.
However, be careful about how selective you are — DoorDash can pause or end your shift for saying no to multiple orders in a row.
You are free to accept or decline as many orders as you want, so don’t worry too much about your acceptance rate.
What is DoorDash Income Like?
DoorDash driver pay may vary depending on the location you are dashing in. I noticed that other cities/states I have worked in have different volumes in orders and pay.
DoorDash provides a base pay for every delivery, plus potential for customer tips, opportunities to work during peak delivery hours, peak pay incentives, and other challenges.
Base pay is calculated depending on factors like how far away an order is, how much time is involved in pick-up and delivery, and how desirable the order is.
DoorDash earnings fluctuate on a daily basis.
DoorDash Active Time vs. Dash Time
Active Time is when you are active, meaning that you have an order that is in progress. This consists of driving to the pickup location and the drop-off location. As long as you have an order in progress, you are considered “active.”
Dash Time is the total time you are online on the DoorDash app. This includes active time and idle time. When you’re idle, you are waiting for orders. You’re not considered active because you have no orders in progress, but you are still online and “clocked in”.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned that every city is different. How much you earn primarily depends on your work ethic and, ultimately, the number of deliveries you are able to make.
If you’re not driving to the restaurant or customer location in a timely fashion, or if you’re walking slowly while talking to your friend on the phone, you will earn less than someone who is fully focused and doing everything the right way.
DoorDash Employment Offers Flexibility
One great thing about working for a food delivery service like DoorDash is the scheduling and flexibility. You can work whenever and wherever you want. If you want to work a specific number of hours in a day, you can schedule it beforehand. There are timeframes that you can select from and schedule for each day, up to six days in advance.
You can also “Dash Now” and begin working immediately, but only if the area you want to dash in is red, indicating that it is busy. You won’t be able to clock in if the area you want to work in is gray, indicating that it is not busy.
You can clock out from DoorDash whenever you want, even if your shift hasn’t ended yet. You can also take a break whenever you want by pausing your dash. Each pause gives you a 35-minute time period to take care of whatever you need, lunch break, bathroom break, etc.
Example of a busy red area that allows you to clock in (Dash Now) immediately:
Example of a gray area that is not busy, which doesn’t allow you to clock in. You can schedule a future time to clock in instead.
Here is an example of a list of times available for you to schedule in advance.
You can also edit the times if you don’t want to work that long by clicking the pencil icon to the right.
The days on the top with a dot underneath them indicate that you are scheduled for that day.
Notice that I have six dots under six consecutive days because you can schedule shifts six days in advance.
Personal Expenses for the Average DoorDash Worker
DoorDash pay fluctuates based on where and when you drive. DoorDash expenses also fluctuate, but there are some standard expenses all drivers face.
Since you will have to use your own vehicle to work, you are responsible for gas and vehicle maintenance – unless, of course, you are delivering on foot or via bike!
However, some of these personal expenses are eligible for tax write-offs, such as mileage, repairs, parking tickets, and tolls.
As you can see, for this specific week of Feb. 14-20, I spent about $150 on gas for my 2015 Nissan Altima, which averages about 22 miles per gallon in the city. I worked about 56 hours with 114 deliveries.
It’s important to note that DoorDash drivers, even those who work full-time, are considered 1099 independent contractors, which essentially means DoorDash does not withhold any earnings. Instead, you are responsible for reporting your DoorDash income
How to Contact DoorDash Support
As a DoorDash driver, there are several reasons why you may need to contact DoorDash. These reasons may include:
- Canceling an order because a restaurant doesn’t have it
- A DoorDash customer cannot be reached
- The restaurant is closed
- Problems with drop off
- Issues with the app
Those are just a few common reasons to call Dasher support, but the reasons are limitless. For every order you receive, there is a help option towards the bottom of the order screen. From there, you can either select chat or call Dasher support.
Wait times vary, but from experience, chat is typically faster since most Dashers prefer to call, probably since phone conversations can be faster than chat conversations.
If you want to email them and/or if you are on your computer you can simply go to their website “www.doordash.com,” and scroll to the bottom left corner of the page where it says “Help.” The same options on your mobile app will also appear on the website.
If you have any other questions, you can always contact Dasher Support; they will be more than happy to assist you. I have never had a negative experience with Dasher support and have communicated with people from different backgrounds. I have also been driving for DoorDash for seven years on top of that!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is being a driver for DoorDash worth it?
Based on factors like pay and customer demand, yes, signing up for DoorDash is worth it!
Does DoorDash pay daily?
As a DoorDash driver, you can get paid weekly (this is standard via direct deposit into your bank account), daily (via Fast Pay and for a small fee), or instantly (via DasherDirect).
Does DoorDash pay for gas?
Historically, DoorDash has not paid for drivers’ gas costs. However, that changed recently with gas price hikes.
Disclaimer: Actual DoorDash earnings may differ and depend on factors like the number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90-day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.