Making Money With DoorDash: How to Start and What to Expect

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can start making money within a few days.
Lauren Schwahn
By Lauren Schwahn 
Edited by Courtney Neidel

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Drivers, known as Dashers, make money delivering food with DoorDash as independent contractors. The gig takes little time to start, pays frequently, offers flexible hours and could be a great way to make money without a traditional job. But earnings can fluctuate along with demand and delivery details.

Is becoming a Dasher the right choice for you? Here’s what to know about making money with DoorDash.

Where can you work as a Dasher?

DoorDash operates in more than 4,000 cities in the United States, plus Canada and Australia. You can deliver in a location near where you live or in cities you visit.

What are the requirements for delivering with DoorDash?

You don’t need prior delivery experience to sign up for DoorDash. However, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Have a car, motorcycle, scooter or bicycle (options may vary by location).

  • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance, if you drive.

  • Have a Social Security number.

  • Agree to a background check.

  • Have a smartphone with the DoorDash app.

If you satisfy these requirements, you can sign up for DoorDash and submit an application online. Then, you’ll either attend an orientation or request an activation kit, depending on where you live. Download the DoorDash Driver app to complete the process.

How does DoorDash work for drivers?

After your application is approved (which usually takes three to seven days) and you finish setting up your profile, you can open the Driver app and view available deliveries whenever your schedule permits.

You’ll see details for each opportunity, such as the location and how much it pays. DoorDash gives you 40 seconds to accept or reject a delivery. If you accept, you’ll follow the instructions given in the app. Usually, that means simply traveling to the restaurant and providing the customer’s name, then picking up the order and dropping it off at the customer’s location. Repeat at your leisure.

How much do DoorDash drivers make?

Dashers get paid a guaranteed base rate from $2 to $10 (or more) for every order. Factors such as the estimated time and distance required to make the delivery determine the exact amount. On top of the base rate, Dashers can earn extra from tips and promotions, like “peak pay” during busy times. Drivers keep 100% of tips.

So how much money do Dashers generally make? The average hourly pay for DoorDash drivers in the U.S. is just under $18, according to ZipRecruiter, an online job marketplace.

If you’re considering delivering for DoorDash, be aware that there are costs involved. For example, Dashers must pay for gas, tolls and vehicle maintenance out of their own pockets. As an independent contractor, you’ll also need to budget for taxes and insurance. DoorDash provides up to $1 million of liability insurance, but coverage applies only when there’s an order in your car. Consider purchasing rideshare insurance for extra protection.

How long does it take to make money with DoorDash?

You can make money fast delivering for DoorDash. Most Dashers start earning money within a few days of signing up, according to the company. How quickly you pocket that money depends on the payout method you choose.

If you stick with the standard option, you’ll get paid weekly by direct deposit for deliveries completed Monday through Sunday of the previous week. Payments typically take two to three days to land in your bank account. Eligible Dashers can use Fast Pay to transfer earnings to a debit card daily, for a $1.99 fee. A third option: Apply for a DasherDirect account and get your daily earnings deposited to a prepaid debit card with no fee.

How can you make more money with DoorDash?

The more deliveries you make, the more money you’ll make. But that’s easier said than done. DoorDash offers a few tips and tricks for increasing your earnings:

  • Deliver during peak times when DoorDash pays extra. The lunch and dinner hours are usually the busiest.

  • Seek out hot spots. You’ll see a heat map in the Driver app that highlights areas with more orders available.

  • Pick up batched orders, which are multiple orders along the same route.

  • Communication, punctuality and ensuring you have the correct order go a long way with customers — and can help you earn a higher rating and tips.

DoorDash isn’t the only company that will pay you to deliver goods. Learn about making money with similar services, such as Amazon Flex, Instacart and Uber Eats.

If you'd rather transport people, learn how to become a Lyft or Uber driver.

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