So you’re thinking of becoming a DoorDash driver.
If you’ve got time to spare and want to earn extra cash, a food delivery side hustle could be just what you need.
So today we’re going to look at how to become a DoorDash driver in 2023.
We’ll walk you through everything you’ll need to know -- from signing up, tips and tricks, and even earning more with DoorDash.
We’ll also take a look at what other seasoned Dashers have to say about this gig so you can finally answer your question:
“Is it worth being a DoorDash driver in 2023?”
Let’s find out!
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Become a DoorDash Driver in 2023
DoorDash delivery drivers are called “Dashers.”
If you guessed that’s because they’ve got a promise to keep, you’re right.
While there is technically no time limit to the delivery, Dashers are trusted to dash through the city and complete orders as fast as they can.
Signing up to be a Dasher is as easy as visiting the DoorDash website or downloading the app on your smartphone.
However, before you can be a Dasher, you have to meet DoorDash driver requirements.
Be at least 18 years old or older
Drive any car, scooter, or bicycle (depending on your city)
Have a driver’s license
Have a social security number (for US residents)
Own a smartphone that can run the DoorDash app
Pass a background check
Think you tick all the boxes?
You’re eligible to sign up and become a Dasher.
Now you just need to follow these few steps before you start your new gig:
Complete the Dasher Sign-Up
Being a Dasher is probably one of the easiest ways to sign-up for a job.
Here’s what you have to do:
Input your name, email, and password
Select your vehicle type
Submit a background check
Add your bank account information
Start your first dash!
You can download the DoorDash app on your iPhone or Android smartphone to get started.
Pass the Background Check
Before being a full-fledged Dasher, you have to consent to a background check.
It also includes a Motor Vehicles check if you’re using one.
This is the most important part of the sign-up process since it determines whether DoorDash will let you drive for them or not.
DoorDash’s background checks are processed by a third-party consumer reporting agency, Checkr.
They will look at your driving record and also perform a criminal background check.
You might get disqualified if you have any of these on your record:
Speeding tickets or stoplight violations
Driving without insurance
But keep in mind that disqualifications vary on a case to case basis.
You can always reach out to Checkr’s help portal if you have any questions regarding your background check.
Checkr usually takes 5-7 business days to process everything before getting back to you.
Choose Your Driver Orientation
Your application to be a Dasher will be processed faster once you complete your driver orientation.
You can choose between:
An in-person orientation,
Online orientation, or
Requesting a DoorDash Activation Kit
For traditional orientations, you’ll have to choose your own schedule and DoorDash will send you the details of where it will be held.
Typically, the whole orientation lasts around 45 minutes to an hour.
Check out this guy’s experience at an in-person DoorDash orientation:
If you’re iffy about going to in-person meetings, online orientations are also available.
What can you learn during a DoorDash orientation?
It will lead you through the basics such as
Accepting a delivery request
Picking it up at the restaurant
Paying for the order
Delivering it to the customer
You’ll also get tips on
How to get a consistent 5-star rating
Best times to dash
Getting in touch with DoorDash customer support
Do you prefer to read manuals instead of attending orientations?
You can opt for the third option -- requesting an Activation Kit.
DoorDash will send you an activation kit that contains a hot bag, your Red Card, and a manual for getting started.
The Red Card is only available in the US and can be used to pay for some orders.
DoorDash credits it with the specific amount you can use to pay at a specific restaurant.
And no, it can’t be used for tips or for cashing out your earnings.
Here’s a quick explainer of how your Red Card should work:
Wait for Confirmation From DoorDash
If everything checks out, you should be accepted as a Dasher in a few days.
DoorDash typically takes around 7-10 days before confirming your application.
They need time to search databases for your background check after all.
But if you’re nervous about your pending application, you can always check your status through the website.
All you have to do is tap on “Already started signing up?” and log in using the email address and phone you used to sign up.
You’ll see either the status of your application or reminders to submit a few more documents.
If you’ve passed, then that means you can start earning towards your goals.
After going through all that, you’re finally ready to accept your first order.
Don’t be nervous on your first day!
If your palms start sweating on the job, draw inspiration from this girl who recorded her first day as a Dasher.
What are DoorDash Vehicle Requirements?
Don’t own a car?
You can still make your dream Doordash gig come to life.
The company lets Dashers use any vehicle to make deliveries.
That’s why some are on motorbikes, bicycles, and e-scooters.
Others even walk to deliver food!
The bottom line is, you’re free to ride your preferred vehicle as long as you complete your deliveries.
However, while you’re not required to own a car, you do need to present a few documents.
This includes a valid driver’s license, insurance (more on that later), and proof that you’ve got a clean driving record.
As an independent contractor, you’re even free to do the deliveries your own way.
For example, you can have someone drive for you while you complete your deliveries or vice versa -- drive while someone drops off the orders.
But your partner should have a valid Dasher account.
That way, both parties are protected from liabilities in case anything happens.
In any case, DoorDash is pretty flexible when it comes to their Dashers’ modes of delivery.
Hey, as long as the pizza arrives at the customer’s doorstep, right?
What Does the DoorDash Insurance Cover?
Accidents happen in any job and good companies are always prepared to help their employees.
Even if they’re independent contractors.
In case you’re worried about ever needing insurance while you’re on the job, you’ll be glad to know DoorDash covers a few things.
They have an auto insurance policy that covers up to $1 million in bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties involved in accidents during delivery.
To qualify for the insurance, you have to be “on an active delivery.”
That means you’ve already got the goods and are headed to the customer.
But there’s a catch.
You have to maintain your own auto insurance, otherwise, DoorDash might not cover your accident.
DoorDash insurance coverage will only apply when your auto insurance policy has denied your claim.
So let’s say you got injured in the middle of a delivery.
Will DoorDash pay for your medical expenses?
According to the company, US Dashers are eligible for occupational accident coverage.
What benefits does this include?
- Up to $1,000,000 in medical expenses with no deductible or co-pay
- For disability payments, 50% of average weekly wage up to a maximum allowance of $500/week minus other income
- Survivors payments get up to $150,000 for eligible dependents
Every Dasher in the US will be covered by this insurance policy.
You won’t even have to pay any additional fee, enroll for insurance, or have existing insurance to be eligible for it.
Check out YouTuber Bentley Koup’s informative video on Dasher insurance to help you understand it better:
DoorDash having your back is cool and all but let’s hope you won’t ever need to claim these insurances!
However, if you do find yourself in an accident, here are the ways you can file a claim with DoorDash:
- Visit www.bluestarclaims.com and fill out the claim form
- Contact DoorDash hotline: (480) 579-2405 (Available 24/7/365); or
- Send DDintake@bluestarclaims.com an email (indicate availability, leave your phone number for a callback, or request claims forms to be sent to expedite the claim process)
DoorDash does make sure they get back to their Dashers quickly on the claims so you don’t have to worry much.
How Does the DoorDash App Work?
After DoorDash approves your profile, the moment you’ve been waiting for starts:
You’re now a Dasher.
Your most important tool for the job would be the DoorDash app.
The app is pretty straightforward with an easily navigable user interface.
Even “non-techy” people can master it in a few minutes.
It can also be downloaded on any iPhone or Android smartphone.
Once you’re a Dasher, open your app when you’re ready to work and tap on “Dash now.”
You’ll soon receive delivery requests with details on what you’ll be delivering and how much you can make.
You can either accept or reject the delivery request to wait for another.
But once you accept it, the instructions are simple:
- Follow the map and drive to the restaurant
- Show proof or details that you’re a Dasher coming for a customer’s order and pick-up the food
- Drive to the customer’s address and drop off their order
Just like ridesharing services or delivering packages, food delivery with DoorDash is so easy.
But if you’re still confused how to use the app, here’s an awesome DoorDash driver app tutorial you can use as your guide:
Navigating the app is actually that simple and easy.
You just have to turn it on and then you can start earning.
Whenever you need a break, you can pause your Dasher shift and a timer will appear for about 30 minutes.
And speaking of earning…
How Do You Earn From DoorDash?
And now for the part you’ve been itching to find out:
How much can you earn from being a Dasher?
According to the company itself, Dashers earn an average of $25 per hour.
That includes 100% of the customer's tips.
So if you dashed for 4 hours a day, you could earn around $100 which isn’t too bad.
However, on Indeed, where previous Dashers get to share their experience, that amount falls to $13.62 per hour.
We’re assuming that figure doesn’t include the tips. But that does seem like a huge difference.
However, you have to consider the factors that could affect your earnings.
These include the restaurant you’re going to pick up the order from, peak hours, time, and location.
This guy who decided to dash for 24 hours straight discovered just how many unforeseen factors affected his deliveries.
He had to wait in line, got lost delivering in apartment complexes, and even encountered picking up an order from a closed store.
What’s the lesson you should learn from his video?
The key to earning more with DoorDash is being smart about picking your orders.
Accepting $3 orders is just a waste of gas, especially if the drop-off is pretty far.
Choose your orders so you can reach your personal earning quota for the day.
Getting Paid with DoorDash
People never really stop ordering food so you’re always guaranteed to earn as a Dasher.
If it’s easy to sign up to become a DoorDash driver, it’s also easy to get paid.
The fee you see on the app when someone orders could be split into three:
- Base Pay
The base pay is what you earn from the delivery and is calculated based on the time, distance, and overall order.
DoorDash is pretty transparent with the amount they will give Dashers.
Your base pay will show up before you even accept an order so if you’re not satisfied with it, you can always decline
The tips are entirely up to the customer but you get to take home 100% of it.
Now for the promotions, this is your chance to earn more than the average DoorDash delivery.
DoorDash Peak Pay feature pays Dashers more per delivery during peak hours when everyone is busy.
DoorDash Challenges, on the other hand, lets you earn extra money when you complete a number of challenges.
(Remember how we said being a Dasher is kind of like being a video game character with quests to finish?)
Your Challenge as a Dasher could be completing an X number of deliveries in a set number of hours.
Take advantage of these promotions to boost what you can already earn.
Cashing Out Your Money
When it comes to actually getting paid, DoorDash gives Dashers three options:
- Daily, or
Weekly payouts are automatic.
You get your earnings directly deposited into your bank account without an added fee.
If you need a daily payout, that’s possible too.
You just need to go to the Earnings tab on the app and select Fast Pay.
However, this does come with a small fee of $1.99.
Finally, there’s the option for instant deposit with no fees.
But this feature is only available for US Dashers with DasherDirect, a prepaid debit card powered by Payfare.
Dashers who use DasherDirect also get up to 2% cashback on gas.
You can always sign up for a DasherDirect card directly on the app in the Earnings tab.
Tracking Your Earnings on the App
A great feature on the DoorDash app is the earnings tracker.
It gives you an overview of what you’ve earned in a week plus the number of hours you’ve spent dashing.
You could even view your earnings history.
For the scatterbrained folks out there, this is an awesome feature.
It will help you compare your statistics to previous weeks and challenge yourself to earn more each week.
How to Earn More with DoorDash
After you get the hang of being a Dasher, you might want to explore other opportunities to earn even more.
Dashing itself is already a good way to earn but take it further -- be smart with your side hustles.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions you can try:
Use Other Food Delivery Services
Yup, you could juggle two similar apps in one shift if you like.
DoorDash won’t always give you a steady stream of deliveries.
Sometimes it will slow down.
Dashers even found that delivery requests stop altogether at certain hours of the day.
So work smarter and shift to another food delivery app while your DoorDash is silent.
There’s Uber Eats and Grubhub, other popular online food ordering and delivery platforms.
Once you have an account with them, the process is basically the same.
You’ll be offered food orders which you can either accept or decline.
DoorDash and Uber Eats have always been compared with each other -- so which one is better?
YouTuber TheMegRye puts both apps to the test in her interesting video.
After trying both out for a day, she made $51.50 dashing for four hours and completing six deliveries.
With Uber Eats, she made $33.13 cents completing two deliveries.
On their own, DoorDash paid her more money but combined, the two apps helped her earn more.
So don’t be afraid to switch things up a bit from time to time!
Try Ride Sharing
You can hit two birds with one stone if you’re delivering for DoorDash with a car.
Use your free time to be a Dasher and a rideshare driver.
If there are no bookings for DoorDash, you can just switch apps and ta-da -- you’re now accepting rideshare passengers.
That’s the beauty of being an independent contractor.
You can clock in and out whenever you like.
After you finish a few deliveries (a.k.a. you’re bored of picking up food), you can instantly switch back to accepting passengers for rides.
Of course, you’d have to have an account for ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft to be able to do this.
But it’s certainly possible to juggle two gigs in a span of a few hours.
This guy on YouTube even did five apps in 24 hours!
Just imagine how much he made at the end of all his shifts.
Tired of ferrying around passengers or picking up food?
Here’s another option:
Deliver packages instead.
This gig is as simple as switching apps to become a rideshare driver.
But you have to make sure you have an account with delivery companies.
You could check out apps like Roadie or Favor which connect drivers to customers who need help with deliveries.
And after you’ve had your fill of delivering packages, you can switch back to becoming a Dasher.
Ah, the hustle life!
Find Out the Best Times to Dash
Like with any delivery gig, the key to earning more is finding that window of time where Dashers are in demand.
Since you’ll be delivering food, peak hours would be at mealtimes.
But what if all the other Dashers are thinking the same thing as you?
Then you just have to work a little bit harder.
Get up earlier to accommodate breakfast deliveries.
Those usually fall between 6 AM to 9 AM.
You can also eat an early lunch so you can focus on bringing people theirs during lunch time.
And if you’ve got the energy for it, try dashing after 10 PM.
You’d be surprised by the number of people ordering food in the dead of night.
Customers might also be more likely to tip you if they see you’re working well into the night just to get them their meal.
Plan Your Day
Moore Finance on YouTube shared how he was able to successfully earn $2,000 a week as a Dasher.
Check out his video to see how he does it:
His first few tips are to plan your day.
Prepare your meals beforehand so you don’t have to take breaks in between.
You can eat in the car or, as he does it, substitute solid meals for bottles of nutrition shakes.
And speaking of breaks, he advises that Dashers should only take an hour-long break throughout the day.
Any more than that and it’s going to be a challenge to hit $2,000 a week.
(That is if you actually plan on doing that.)
Full disclosure though, he had to work 7 hours a day in the morning, break it up with an hour break, and 7 hours at night to reach his personal quota.
Now you don’t have to follow his schedule to the dot.
But it’s still good to get tips from someone who has actually experimented with the food delivery gig.
Go to a Hotspot for Restaurants
It could be a mall or an area people frequent for the number of places to eat at.
The point is to wait in areas close to multiple popular restaurants.
This way, when someone pops on the app trying to book for one popular restaurant, you’re already there.
All you have to do is accept their order, wait to pick it up and deliver it.
Multiple restaurants also give you the opportunity to do multiple dashes and that could save you time and money in the long run.
Know Which Orders to Avoid
In order to earn more, of course, you have to spend less too.
When you’re a Dasher -- or doing any delivery gig for that matter -- always take into consideration the fact that you have to do everything on your own.
You have to pick up the food or the package on your own and you have to deliver it alone too.
So you might want to avoid dashes like those from a grocery store with 60 items in total plus 10 cases of drinks.
Unless you’re willing to carry everything to the 10th floor of a building.
You should also know how to avoid orders by location.
Accepting a DoorDash delivery for the other end of town during peak hours will most likely have you stuck in traffic.
You could’ve accepted two more deliveries in all that time you spent staring at the unmoving car in front of you.
Besides, gas prices are always going up.
Pick your dashes so you won’t have to drive across the city just for one order.
If you want to hear it from a Dasher, check out this video on DoorDash driver mistakes beginners should avoid.
Why Should You Become a Doordash Driver?
We’ve covered the step-by-step of becoming a DoorDash driver.
We also talked about opportunities you can do to earn more while dashing on the road.
And now we get to your why.
Why should you even consider driving your car around to deliver food to people?
Isn’t the skyrocketing gas prices enough to keep you at home?
It might sound a bit cliche, but the pros outweigh the cons of becoming a Dasher.
Here’s why you should consider becoming one:
Zero Work Experience Required
Being a Dasher doesn’t need a diploma, a three-year experience in marketing, or being “proficient in Microsoft Word.”
There are no equations to solve here.
All you need is a trusty mode of transportation plus a smartphone and you’re good to go.
Some folks even dash on foot like this woman who only took subways and buses to get around delivering in New York City:
How’s that for exercising and earning?
Even if you’re horrible with directions, never fear.
The map on the DoorDash app will be your guide.
You’re Your Own Boss
You want freedom?
This is it.
Dashers are independent contractors who own their time.
You won’t be expected to deliver food from 9-to-5 -- you work at your own schedule and your own pace.
Of course, your schedule would affect how much you earn.
For example, if you only worked 2 hours that day, you’ll most likely earn a little less than working 5 hours straight.
But the flexibility of a Dasher gig is the best part.
You can work around your own schedule and dash on the side, part-time, or even full-time.
DoorDash themselves said that the job is a “great alternative to seasonal, temporary, and part-time work.”
You Earn on the Side
The reason people love dashing as a gig is because it’s not a demanding job.
Your task is simple and you can pick it up or leave it off whenever you like.
While your wages might not compare to a 9-to-5 job, you do get a chance to add a decent amount to your bank account.
Imagine having a desk job in the morning and moonlighting as a Dasher for a few hours in the evening.
That’s enough to set aside money for your goals.
Plus, you get to do all this with a vehicle you already own.
So, really, you’ll just be paying for gas (if you drive a car) and a few maintenance fees and nothing else.
You’ll Get Paid Fast
While other gigs will have you waiting weeks to months before payout, DoorDash doesn’t.
You have the option to cash out daily (with a small fee), weekly, or even instantly.
After you complete an order, you can immediately withdraw it to use your hard-earned money.
If you need to get a hold of your money fast, these are pretty good options.
Dash Anywhere You Like
As long as you have the smartphone app, you can pretty much dash wherever.
Doing deliveries in your city is a given.
But how about being a Dasher while you’re visiting a different town for a while?
To do that, you just have to fire up the app to accept deliveries.
That could even be a quick way to familiarize yourself with the city.
Having a handy app for gigs sounds like a good way to live sustainably.
Not enough money for a movie ticket you wanted to see that night?
Complete a few deliveries and you’re good to go!
What Do Previous Dashers Have to Say?
By now you already know that being a Dasher is a good way to earn money.
But is it all rainbows and butterflies?
It sounds amazing -- what’s the catch?
Thankfully, you don’t have to search in the dark for answers.
Check out what other Dashers have to say about this gig on Reddit.
One Dasher said that it “puts a lot of wear and tear on your car.”
However, any gig that involves driving your car, motorcycle, or bicycle would have you running the risk of wearing and tearing them.
The same Dasher also said that their earnings fluctuate.
Based on their experience, sometimes they make $20 per hour and sometimes $9 or even less.
That could be from a number of factors such as location, time of operation, and even the amount of tips you get.
A Dasher review from Indeed seemed to counter this experience though.
They recommended DoorDash for being a gig that pays well.
According to the Dasher, you just have to pick through the orders and accept only the best ones.
They worked for 40 hours a week and got to earn between $700 to $800.
And yet another Dasher put things into perspective.
Being a DoorDash driver is only a good side hustle to earn a little extra cash.
Emphasis on the “side hustle.”
It’s not meant to be a full-time gig to sustain you and your bills.
As long as you go in with realistic expectations, you’ll find that being a Dasher is actually a fun experience.
You could pull in 40 hours but really, in the long run, that won’t do you any good.
Another Dasher said they had a great experience working for DoorDash but it lacks in the employee benefits department.
That’s understandable since Dashers are independent contractors.
You should know the risk you’re taking if you do decide to work for the company.
These are just a few points to consider from seasoned Dashers who’ve had months to years of experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’ve read how to become a DoorDash driver and the benefits of becoming one, hopefully, you’ve reached a conclusion.
Will you become a Dasher or let an opportunity to earn pass you by?
If you still have a few questions, we’ve answered the most pressing ones below to help you out:
So is it worth being a DoorDash driver?
Here’s the short but sweet answer:
It’s totally worth signing up to become a DoorDash driver.
If you’ve reached this far down the article, you know we’re not just saying it either!
You get a gig where you have full control of your schedule and you earn a decent amount of money too.
Being a Dasher either frees you from the 9-to-5 and lets you do other freelance gigs or it adds to your day job earnings.
Plus, you have the option to get paid weekly, daily, or instantly.
No waiting an entire month before you can withdraw your earnings.
However, everyone is bound to have a different experience.
Dashers who loved working for the company might not have the same experiences as you.
But still, there are too many pros to being a Dasher to just let the opportunity slip by!
How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?
According to DoorDash themselves, Dashers earn an average of $25 per hour.
They also get to take home 100% of their tips.
But your total take-home pay is also dependent on a number of factors.
These include the number of deliveries you’ve made, the hours you’ve worked, peak hours pricing, and more.
You should also take into account that that figure is yet to be deducted for expenses such as gas and car maintenance fees.
But still, compared to Uber Eats’ hourly earnings of $8 to $12, DoorDash is a little bit better.
So What’s Better: DoorDash or Uber Eats?
And here we have the ultimate question when it comes to food deliveries.
Which is better: Being a Dasher or an Uber Eats driver?
Uber Eats is a similar platform to DoorDash.
Drivers accept orders through the app, pick up the orders, and deliver them to the customer.
It’s also similar in the way that Uber Eats will give you a quick and easy sign-up experience as a driver.
These two gigs have been pitted together since who knows when.
But here’s our take:
Try them both.
Why choose when both are perfectly good side hustle options?
If you’re experiencing downtimes with DoorDash, you can simply switch to Uber Eats and not break a sweat.
Take advantage of the gig economy and hustle smarter.
That way you get more channels of income and you build on your financial goals faster.
And that’s basically everything you need to know about becoming a DoorDash delivery driver.
Now you’re prepared to dash through your city delivering food.
It’s a pretty cool gig, don’t you think?
Let us know in the comments if you do decide to become a Dasher.
Or maybe you’re already one with experiences that are one for the books.
Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts to help others on their journey!