Is It Worth It to Rent a Car for DoorDash & Uber Eats?

Last year I started working on a goal to purchase a second vehicle entirely from money made from delivery driving. Some things have postponed that, but it’s still my goal.

One of the strategies I considered was to rent a vehicle for a week to see if the process was worth it and ultimately try to see what I could accomplish with a second vehicle.

Is It Worth It To Rent a Car for DoorDash & Uber Eats?

The first thing I had to do was make a plan and schedule to make renting a vehicle worth it.

Since the first few hundred dollars all go towards renting the car, it made sense to make sure I had more time than usual to dedicate to driving.

Some people drive full-time, and some who consider themselves part-time drivers drive enough that I consider them full-time. But I average 8 to 12 hours a week. Even making $25 an hour, that’s only $200 – $300, or roughly the cost to rent the car.

I also waited until Uber gave me a promotion to improve the deal.

The estimated cost of the car was $325, so my goal was to make at least $700 for the week. This would allow me to cover the cost of renting the car and make extra for the week.

I also waited until a week so that I could dedicate the most time, nights, and the weekend (which I typically do not drive).

Contacted DoorDash and GrubHub

One concern was that I could only drive for Uber since I was renting the car through them.

So I looked online to see how to let DoorDash, GrubHub, and DeliverThat know that I would be using a rental car for a week.

Looking at the site or contacting them directly, I found that for food delivery, once you’re approved, as long as you are insured, they are okay with you using a rental or a different vehicle.

I couldn’t even find a way to let GrubHub know if I got a new vehicle in general if I stopped using my current one. Regardless, I felt safe renting and driving for the other companies.

Picking up the Rental Car

Uber gave a credit to get a ride to the rental company and from the rental company back home. I planned to use the credit to get the whole experience.

However, Uber locks the pick-up and drop-off locations to only approved rental companies. And though I went through the process using the Uber app, and they showed that it was an approved location, the app didn’t let me use the credit for some reason.

Even after contacting Uber support, they said they could do nothing and that it should be working. So I had my wife drop me off.

Once I got to the rental company, they informed me that Uber drivers must set up a business account online before they could give me the car. I had never heard anything from Uber about this, but it took me just a few minutes on my phone to get it. Once set up, I don’t have to do it again if I decide to rent a car for DoorDash delivery driving again.

The woman at the counter also explained that I could keep the car as long as I would like. I don’t need to call to get more time. Just know that I will automatically be charged weekly when I pick up the car.

Due to my schedule, I asked if I could return the car a day early since I wouldn’t need it on the last day. I was told I could, but they would charge me for the whole week regardless.

Finally, when I physically got the car, I was incredibly disappointed. The car had scratches, dents, dings, and other cosmetic things wrong both inside and outside the vehicle.

I took pictures of everything and spoke to the woman again to make sure she was aware, and she said they knew and not to worry about it.

The car also had an almost empty tank of gas, meaning I had to get gas right away to start driving.

The cosmetic damage didn’t bother me much because I would be doing delivery only anyway, but having to fill the tank up right away did.

The Week of Making Deliveries in a Rental Car for DoorDash & Uber Eats

Even though the process of getting the car was rough, actually driving was great. I started on a Friday, drove through the weekend, and every day the following week.

Using all the apps I had, I could drive 36 hours and make $789.58, an average of $21.93 an hour.

Uber Eats, of course, was my number one app, but starting each day with DeliverThat is a HUGE help. Most of my deliveries are $30 or more and take an hour or less. In my area, most DeliverThat deliveries are Pharmaceutical representatives who are getting lunch for a doctor’s office.

At the end of the week, the final day of the promotion with Uber, I needed one more delivery. At that point, the app just stopped giving me requests.

I’m not saying Uber purposely stopped sending me requests when I was about to get a promotion, but it felt like it.

Finally, though, I did get one and took it despite it not being worth it, simply so I could get the promotion.

Uber was Tyler's number one app
Uber was Tyler's number one driving app.

Dropping off the Car

Happy with how the week went, I gladly returned the car a day early since I wouldn’t use it the next day.

Even though when I picked the car up, it had no gas, I brought it back with a full tank of gas.

When I got into the office, it was a different person than when I picked it up. He looked at the car, and when he came back in seemed a bit confrontational.

He asked me if I caused the damage to the car, though it felt more like an accusation than a question. I explained that the person before knew about it and told me there was a note on the file. I also stated that I had pictures to prove it was like that when I got it.

Once he looked on the computer, he saw they knew about the damage and told me the car wasn’t even supposed to be used until it was fixed.

He then asked if I brought the car back with a full tank of gas. Again I explained I had, but it was completely empty when I picked it up.

After this, and because I was bringing the car back a day early, he did take a day off the final bill and brought my total down to $287.90

So, Was It Worth It to Rent a Car for DoorDash & Uber Eats?

At the end of the week, I made $501.68 after paying for the rental fee and working less than 40 hours.

To me, this is definitely a way that someone could make a decent amount of money even if they don’t have a car.

But do you have the time to do it? Driving a week at night for 4 to 6 hours can easily get you the same results that I got. Or if you already work nights, you could drive in the morning before going to work.

I also didn’t drive any passengers, which could potentially make you more money, especially in larger cities.

It’s very likely that I’ll rent a car for DoorDash & Uber Eats again before I get a second vehicle, especially to reach my goal of getting a second car from delivery driving.