Making money with your time and vehicle in 2020 is no longer complicated. In recent years, the gig economy has seen a massive increase in the amount of fast food delivery services for drivers.
Thankfully, Uber Eats has stepped in to offer drivers a way to earn by delivering on their platform. Now you can make money by delivering food orders that people crave using the Uber Eats app—all while exploring your city.
Want to sign up to drive with Uber Eats? Getting started is very simple, and the application process is streamlined for easy onboarding. If you meet the requirements outlined below, give the service a try.
Here’s everything you need to know about the job, the requirements, and how much money you can make doing it.
Everyone knows Uber as a rideshare service. After all, they give more than five million rides every single day. But that’s not all they do.
Recognizing that it already had a large network of drivers, Uber launched the Uber Eats service in 2014. Today, their delivery partners are able to offer food delivery in dozens of cities across six continents.
Uber Eats allows customers to order meals from a variety of different local restaurants. From fast food joints to nice restaurants, Uber Eats makes it possible for customers to have a meal delivered straight to their door.
Using the food delivery app is super easy. All a customer has to do is browse the list of restaurants, choose the items they want from the in-app menu, and place an order.
From there, an Uber Eats delivery driver goes to pick the food up from the restaurant and delivers it to the customer. All payment happens through the Uber Eats app (including tips), making the whole process far more convenient than traditional food delivery.
Similar to Uber, Uber Eats drivers work as independent contractors. As an Uber Eats driver, you make your own schedule. You work when you want and where you want. It’s a flexible opportunity and a great way to make money in the gig economy.
But what does it take to deliver for Uber Eats? Keep reading to find out.
What Does an Uber Eats Driver Do?
Unlike driving for Uber in a rideshare role, delivery drivers do two basic things: pick up food and take it to the customer’s home. Depending on the city you work in, you’ll either have to walk the order to the customer’s front door or have them meet you at your car for curbside delivery.
Uber delivery drivers never have to handle or carry cash. Customers pay via credit card and all transactions take place online and through the app. The only exception is tips. Customers sometimes tip in cash, but they also have the option to tip in the Uber Eats app.
In most cases, you need a vehicle to drive from the restaurant to the customer’s home or office. Uber Eats allows bike delivery and scooter delivery in select cities — mostly in condensed urban areas. And on occasion, some drivers even deliver on foot.
So what does a day in the life of an Uber Eats driver look like? It’s actually not that different from driving for the rideshare service.
You log into the Uber driver app, wait for an order request to come in, and accept that order. You drive to the restaurant, pick up the food, and drive it to the customer’s location. The amount you earn depends on the size of the order, the fees in your city, and the distance from the restaurant to the drop-off location.
In many cases, Uber Eats drivers also work for the regular Uber rideshare service too. And more and more, we see drivers bouncing back and forth between the two services.
Think about it — if there’s no ride request at the moment, why not pick up someone’s dinner and make money that way instead?
How Much Money Do Uber Eats Drivers Make?
Okay — let’s get right down to it — the question that every potential Uber Eats driver has. How much money can I make?
Like any ridesharing gig, earnings vary from person to person. Glassdoor reports that drivers typically earn $11 per hour. But keep in mind, some are making less and some are making more, especially if they’re doing this full-time. Another survey reports them making less than $7 per hour.
Getting paid as an Uber Eats driver is similar to being an Uber driver in that while you’re paid weekly, their Instant Pay option means you can get a payout immediately up to five times a day.
As an Uber Eats driver, there are several factors that contribute to your earnings. Let’s take a look at some things that will affect your pay.
1. Pickup Fees
Every order incurs a pickup fee. You earn a set rate for every restaurant you go to and every order that you pick up. The exact fees vary from city to city, but in most cases, they’re under $5.
2. Delivery Fees
Delivery orders are also subject to fees. The exact fee varies depending on your region, and they’re calculated by the distance between the restaurant and the customer’s home. The further away the restaurant is, the higher the delivery fee.
Uber Eats used to charge a $4.99 flat fee for every delivery. They changed this policy in 2018 to reflect the distance between the pickup and drop-off point.
As with everything else, mileage fees vary from city to city. You earn money for every mile accrued while driving. The mileage fees also vary depending on whether you’re driving, riding a bike, riding a scooter, or walking.
4. Uber Eats Tips
Customers have the option to tip in cash or tip through the app. Uber takes a 25% cut of every bill, but they don’t touch any of your tips. Drivers get to keep 100% of tips, no matter what.
5. Boost Prices
Like surge pricing for Uber drivers, Uber Eats drivers are also paid an increased wage during high-demand times. For Uber Eats, this is called “Boost.” Again, fees vary depending upon the city and the time of day. Regardless of the increased wage, Uber takes a 25% cut.
How To Become An Uber Eats Driver
The first step before you can drive for Uber Eats is to determine if the food delivery service is available in your city. You also need to make sure you can meet both the driver requirements and the vehicle requirements. (Keep reading for more details on those.)
Uber Eats Driver Requirements
You don’t need a college degree or a special skill set to drive for Uber Eats — but you do have to meet the driver requirements.
Driver Requirements Overview:
You must be 19 years or older (18 if delivering by bike or foot)
You must have at least 1 year of driving experience
You must have a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and up-to-date vehicle registration
You must be able to carry at least 30 pounds
You must pass the Uber Eats background check
To qualify as a driver, you must be more than 19 years old. The only exception to this rule is if you plan to deliver by bike or by foot. If you want to deliver by bike or foot, you must be at least 18 years old.
You must also have at least one year of driving experience. So if you’ve just gotten your license today, you can’t start working for Uber Eats tomorrow.
You also need a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and up-to-date vehicle registration. And you have to be able to carry at least 30 pounds. Most food orders are considerably lighter, but you need to be able to lift heavier items when needed.
For some drivers, the trickiest part is passing the Uber background check. Uber Eats uses an app called Checkr to conduct background checks on every driver. You’re checked before you’re approved for the job and then again every year that you stay with the company.
They don’t care if you’ve had a parking ticket or two in your past. What they’re looking for is evidence of serious violations, such as DUI charges, violent crimes, and sexual offenses. They also look for theft charges, major traffic violation, and felonies. If you have any of those on your record, you won’t pass the background check.
Uber Eats Vehicle Requirements
In addition to meeting the driver requirements, you also have to meet a set of vehicle requirements. Even if you plan to deliver via bike or scooter, there are some standards you’ll need to meet.
Vehicle Requirements Overview:
Vehicles can’t be older than 15 years
Your car can’t be dented, damaged, or missing parts
If you’re driving a car, your vehicle must be from 1999 or later. Since you’re not actually transporting passengers, the vehicle requirements for Uber Eats are less stringent than for Uber itself.
That said, though, you still cannot drive a rental vehicle for Uber Eats. That is, unless, you rent it directly through Uber. The company provides a variety of vehicle options for drivers who don’t own their own car.
Assuming that your car meets the requirements, you have to also have an insurance policy in your own name. If you borrow a vehicle from a relative or friend, your name must be listed on the insurance policy.
For delivery partners that want to deliver by scooter, your scooter has to meet a different set of requirements. It must have two wheels and a 50cc motor or lower. Plus, it must travel at speeds under 30 mph. As with a vehicle, your scooter must be covered under a valid insurance policy.
Prefer to deliver by bicycle? There are no cosmetic or insurance requirements for drivers who wish to deliver via an un-motorized two-wheel bike.
You’ll need to create an account and enter some basic info, including your name, address, phone number, and email. You’ll also need to show your driver’s license and provide proof of vehicle registration and insurance.
Submit your info and wait for your reply — it usually takes 24-48 hours, but sometimes it takes longer. During that time, Uber conducts a background check and processes your application.
When the process is complete, Uber will contact you via email. If they accept you, they’ll send you a username and a password that you can use to log into the app.
With your username and password, you can download the app and start making deliveries as soon as you’re ready.
Already Drive for Uber? Switching to Uber Eats Is Easy
For current Uber drivers, making the transition to drive for Uber Eats and earn some extra cash is easy. The driver and vehicle requirements are the same, so if you’re already qualified to drive for Uber, you can drive for Uber Eats.
As an existing UberX driver, you qualify to opt-in to the Uber Partner app. To start delivering for Uber Eats, just open the Uber app and scroll down until you see the window that says “get more requests by upgrading to delivery.”
Once you find that window, click “Yes! I want to do delivery!” and follow the instructions and prompts from there. If for some reason you don’t see this window, contact support for assistance. They’ll be able to guide you through the process so you’re up and running on both platforms at the same time.
Once you’re signed up to driver for Uber Eats, you can receive delivery requests and ride requests in the same app.
Anyone that works as a rideshare driver knows that it’s crucial to diversify your income with different tasks.
So if you’re an Uber driver, becoming an Uber Eats delivery partner is a natural extension of the job you’re already doing. And if you’re not a rideshare driver, Uber Eats is a viable alternative that can put some extra money in your pocket.
How to Deliver for Uber Eats
Now that you know the requirements to drive for Uber Eats, let’s take a look at how you can make your first Uber Eats delivery.
Once Uber has approved you, you’ll need to download the Uber driver app for Android or iOS.
Don’t be confused by the name — you use the same app to make deliveries and pick up passengers. If you’re only making deliveries, you won’t see any of the passenger functionality.
After you download the app and log in to your account, you can start accepting delivery requests. Uber Eats orders are super easy to complete, as you’ll see in the next section.
3. Make Your First Delivery
Now, the part you’ve been waiting for. Once you have the Uber driver app set up, all you have to do is go online and wait for the delivery orders to roll in. If you’ve never delivered food before, don’t worry. The Uber Eats app walks you through the entire process.
You’ll first see the places you need to pick up orders, along with directions to the restaurant. You should always follow the directions that the app gives you, as Uber Eats carefully calculates the most efficient route. Following this route will ensure that you can get all your orders delivered on time (which will help you to boost your tips).
After you’ve picked up the food, the app will guide you to the customer’s address. Again, be sure to follow the directions the app gives you.
Naturally, if there’s an obstruction in the road or something else that would make it unsafe to go the way the app tells you, you should use a different route. But besides that, we don’t recommend deviating from the directions.
Once you’ve reached the destination, follow the delivery instructions that the customer has given you. These will specify if you need to take the food to their door or if they’ll just meet you outside.
If the customer is in an apartment complex and you’re having trouble gaining access or finding their apartment, then you should contact them to get further instructions. Customers will appreciate this extra step, as it helps them get their food faster.
When the food is in the customer’s hands, you’ve successfully completed the delivery. You can now head to your next destination and repeat the above process until you’re done for the day.
4. Collect Your Pay
The only thing left now is to watch the money roll in. Uber Eats pays weekly, making it easy to stay on top of your bills. If you need money sooner, you can cash it out quicker using Instant Pay.
Uber Eats pays using a system that’s based on the orders you pick up and drop off. You get a pick-up fee for getting the order from the restaurant and a drop off fee once you deliver it to the customer.
This system exists to protect you from not getting paid if a customer isn’t where they say they are or you’re otherwise unable to deliver the order.
In addition, customers have the option to leave you a tip after you complete an order. They can tip as little or as much as they want, and Uber Eats never requires customers to tip. In order to boost your chances of getting a tip, we recommend that you always provide the best customer service possible.
This includes things like staying in communication with the customer while you’re delivering their order, always arriving on time if you can, and letting the customer know if there’s traffic or something else that will delay you.
These are small touches, but they can make a big difference in the tips that you’ll ultimately earn.
Frequently Asked Questions About Driving For Uber Eats
To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions about driving for Uber Eats:
1. Does Lyft offer a food delivery service?
Currently, they do not. If Lyft does decide to offer a food delivery service similar to Uber Eats, we’ll be sure to write about it here.
2. Can UberX drivers deliver for Uber Eats?
Absolutely. In fact, all Uber drivers can transport passengers and make deliveries during the same shift. Uber carefully schedules everything so that you never have to worry about a delivery conflicting with a passenger pick up.
If you’re already driving passengers around, then accepting food deliveries can be a good way to earn even more money.
3. Who are some of Uber Eats’ competitors?
Uber Eats is far from the only player in the food delivery space. Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates are some other food delivery apps worth checking out.
4. Do I have to handle cash or make change as an Uber Eats driver?
No, you do not. Uber Eats is designed to be an entirely cashless experience. All payments occur within the app using the credit card that the customer has on file.
The only time you’ll have to handle cash is if a customer offers you a cash tip (which we assume you’ll have no problem accepting).
Time to Drive for Uber Eats
Some people don’t want to drive passengers around in their car or have to deal with drunk people that need a ride home from the bar. That’s understandable. So if driving passengers isn’t for you, consider delivering food instead.
To decide if being a food delivery driver is the right move for you, check to make sure you meet the requirements. You’ll need to be of a certain age, be able to pass a background check, and have car insurance, a driver’s license, and a vehicle registration. Your vehicle also needs to meet certain standards.
If you qualify, sign up on the Uber website and give the company a few days to process your application. When they accept you, they’ll send you a username and password for the app, and you can get started picking up and dropping off food right away.
Be sure to check out other food delivery apps, such as DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub, as well. (Lyft does not currently have a food delivery option.) You could potentially start delivering with all of them and make great money on your own schedule.
As a delivery driver, you can work as much or as little as you want. If you provide excellent service, you can earn decent tips. And if you’re already a rideshare driver, delivering for Uber Eats is the best way to supplement your income.
When no one needs a ride, you just might be able to find someone who’s hungry and needs you to bring lunch or dinner to their door.
Maintain a high degree of communication, especially when communicating with restaurants and customers
Ensure food order is complete and correct, to the customer’s specifications outlined in the order details
Safely transport the items from restaurant to customer location
Deliver complete order to customer, ensuring quality upon delivery remains consistent as when picked up
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
Be 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. When signing up, be sure to choose Deliver with a Scooter under transportation method
Be at least 18 years old and have a government‑issued ID. When signing up, be sure to choose Deliver with a Bike under transportation method
Uber Eats is offering new drivers sign-on bonuses in many cities around the country. To learn about these promotions and how much could be available in your city, check out our Guide to Uber Eats Bonuses