Food delivery services are having a bit of a moment amid the coronavirus pandemic. For consumers, they offer a safe way to get food without setting foot in a restaurant or grocery store. For drivers, it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash during a time when more than 30 million Americans are facing unemployment. 

And there are a lot of positives for food delivery drivers during COVID-19, too. You can make your own hours, be your own boss, and work part-time or full-time hours—as an independent contractor, the ball is in your court. So why not put your idle car to use driving for a food delivery app?

Drivers should bear in mind that driving for a food delivery service is actually a commercial use of a personal vehicle. This means that your personal auto policy may not cover you if you’re in an accident while driving for one of these services. Not only that, but you could actually be in danger of voiding your policy if you haven’t disclosed your new use of your vehicle to your insurance company.

If you’re even thinking about using your car for any commercial purpose, you likely need additional coverage to insure your time on the road. Insurify helps you compare personalized quotes for free, so you can protect yourself on the clock for the best price. Give it a try to see what coverage you could be getting as a delivery driver

Score savings on car insurance with Insurify

Compare Quotes

How to Become a Delivery Driver in 2020

Becoming a delivery driver is relatively simple, no matter which company you’re interested in contracting with. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of the top delivery companies drivers can work with to earn some extra cash during the COVID-19 pandemic

Remember, not all contracted driving jobs are the same. Driving for a delivery service is an entirely different game than rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Rideshare gigs refer to jobs where drivers transport passengers, whereas delivery drivers transport goods like takeout, groceries, or other products.

Even if you’re not carrying other passengers in your vehicle, you may need additional auto insurance to fully protect yourself while you’re logged onto the app. Driving for an app goes beyond what constitutes personal use, so you may need an additional commercial policy or endorsement in case you’re in an accident while logged in. It’s true that the company you contract with has its own commercial policy, but there will limitations to this policy. It’s essential to ensure you’re totally covered before you start using your personal vehicle to make money, even if it’s just a small amount on the side.


When it comes to applying for delivery driver gigs across the United States, the basic requirements are pretty similar. Every company requires the following for an applicant: 

  • Access to a car or other vehicle
  • A valid driver’s license
  • An active personal auto insurance policy
  • A social security number
  • A clean background check
  • Ability to use a smartphone, whether it’s an Android or iPhone

Doordash

  • Driver requirements: You must be at least 18 to be a Doordash driver
  • Vehicle requirements: Any running vehicle will do to become a Doordash delivery driver, including cars, motorcycles, and scooters. Cyclists in select urban areas can also deliver for Doordash. If you’re interested in delivery by bike, send an email to support@doordash.com to find out if your city is eligible.
  • Time Commitment: No minimum time commitment
  • Compensation: Earnings are deposited once per week for Dashers, but how much you earn can vary. Payment is based on three components: base pay, tips, and bonuses. If a customer leaves a tip when they order, you’ll see the combined base pay and tip amount with the pickup offer. Whether or not a tip is included, you are guaranteed to receive the offer amount. Customers can also leave you a tip after the fact. Bonuses like peak pay can boost your earnings but aren’t guaranteed. This is a flat fee amount added on to certain deliveries during busy periods. Doordash also offers challenges to drivers to help them earn more. 
  • Insurance: A personal auto insurance policy is a minimum requirement to become a Dasher, but you may still be vulnerable if you’re in an accident on the clock. Doordash’s commercial auto insurance policy will only cover damage you cause to another party when you have delivery items in your car. Depending on your company, your personal insurance policy may not cover damages when you’re en route to pick up a delivery.
  • Get started: To apply, visit Doordash’s website to fill out an application with your information. Once approved, you can request the Activation Kit, which gives you a hot bag for takeout orders, a Red Card to pay vendors upon pickup, and a Getting Started manual with important information. You’ll also need to download the Dasher app to accept and manage your orders.

GrubHub

  • Driver requirements: You must be 19 or older to drive for GrubHub.
  • Vehicle requirements: Any automobile is accepted. Cyclists are also eligible to deliver for GrubHub
  • Insurance: GrubHub’s website doesn’t provide the specifics of its commercial insurance policy, so it’s not clear what they would cover if you’re involved in an accident while logged into the app. In cases like this, your personal auto policy must be up to date with the appropriate coverage for delivery driving. 
  • Time commitment: No minimum time commitment
  • Compensation: Drivers are offered a minimum amount for each order they accept; however, GrubHub’s tiered driver level program allows drivers to earn more. Based on your ratings and reliability, you can become eligible to sign up for scheduled blocks ahead of time, which prioritize you for orders and guarantee you minimum payments for that time period. Additionally, drivers keep 100 percent of the tips customers leave on orders. 
  • Get started: You can complete an application online on the company website. Once approved, all that’s left to do is download the app and start delivering! 

UberEats

  • Driver requirements: All motor vehicle drivers must have at least one year of driving experience, but age requirements depend on your vehicle. Car drivers must be at least the minimum driving age in their city. Scooter drivers must be at least 19 with a valid driver’s license, and cyclists need to be at least 18 with a valid state ID. 
  • Vehicle requirements: Drivers should drive a car or 50 cc that is less than 20 years old. 
  • Insurance: Uber’s commercial auto insurance policy covers damage to your vehicle or other vehicles from the time you accept an order for delivery, except for New York drivers. However, drivers are subject to a $1,000 deductible, and won’t be covered while waiting for an assignment. You still need to hold personal auto insurance to be a driver for UberEats, and you’ll want to ensure that your policy is up to date with your actual usage of your vehicle.
  • Time commitment: No minimum time commitment
  • Compensation: UberEats drivers are guaranteed a base fare and any tips left by customers. Additionally, promotional bonuses and trip supplements can apply depending on how busy the app is, as well as your location. 
  • Get started: If you’ve never driven with Uber before, you’ll need to apply online first, then download the app once approved. Those who already drive for Uber are pre-approved. Just log into the app and opt into delivery from the main menu, and you’re ready to start working.

Postmates

  • Driver requirements: Postmates drivers need to be at least 18 years old and be able to lift 50 pounds without assistance. 
  • Vehicle requirements: You can use any vehicle to drive for Postmates
  • Insurance: Postmates’ commercial policy kicks in to cover damage to another party after your insurance applies. If your personal insurance isn’t valid, the commercial policy won’t pay out anything. 
  • Time commitment: No minimum time commitment
  • Compensation: Postmates has one of the most transparent pay rate systems, although not entirely predictable. Each city in which Postmates operates has specific rates assigned to pick up, drop off, minutes waiting at pick up, and per-mile aspects of each delivery. Drivers additionally keep 100 percent of tips customers leave. The average hourly rate ranges from $8 to $15 per hour. Drivers can also opt for guaranteed payout amounts for meeting certain delivery limits. This can vary by city and time of year but is posted through the app. 
  • Get started: You can apply to drive for Postmates directly through the mobile app. Just enter your personal information, upload a selfie and some documents, and wait for approval. 

Instacart 

  • Driver requirements: To drive for Instacart, you need to be at least 18 years old and be able to lift 50 pounds without assistance. 
  • Vehicle requirements: You can drive any type of vehicle for Instacart—just make sure you have space to lug larger grocery runs. 
  • Insurance: Instacart doesn’t specify what its commercial insurance covers. While drivers are required to maintain a personal auto insurance policy (like all the other apps), it’s essential to make sure your policy will cover you even when logged into the app.
  • Time commitment: No minimum time commitment
  • Compensation: Each order is assigned its own rate based on the items ordered, the size of the order, and distance. Basically, the larger the order, the more you can expect to take home.
  • Get started: To start working as a full-service shopper for Instacart, you can download the Shopper app and apply directly there. Once approved, you can start accepting orders. 

Shipt

  • Driver requirements: Drivers need to be at least 18 years old. Since you’ll be doing grocery shopping as part of the job, you also need to be able to lift 40 pounds at a time. 
  • Vehicle requirements: You can drive any type of car, as long as it’s newer than 1997.
  • Insurance: You need to maintain personal auto insurance as a minimum requirement, but it’s not clear what Shipt’s policy covers if you’re in an accident on the job. Make sure your own policy will protect you even when you’re logged into the app.
  • Compensation: Shipt pays its shoppers per order, and you can view the payment in the offer. While this can vary, most orders are estimated to take about an hour start to finish, and the average hourly rate works out to be $22 an hour. 
  • Time commitment: No minimum time commitment. Shipt will direct deposit your earnings each Friday. 
  • Get started: To start shopping with Shipt, apply online. After that, you’ll work directly from the mobile app. 

Amazon

  • Driver requirements: Drivers must be 21 or older. 
  • Vehicle requirements: You need to drive a four-door vehicle to ensure you have enough space to store packages for delivery. Whether you drive a sedan, van, or truck doesn’t matter.
  • Insurance: Amazon’s commercial policy covers you from the time you head to the pickup station through the completion of all of your deliveries, but only covers liability for other parties. You’ll still need your own policy to cover your own vehicle and possible injuries. 
  • Time commitment: There is no minimum requirement; however, you will work in shifts. You can reserve shifts ahead of time, or opt for a drop-in shift the day you want to work. Unlike other delivery apps, you’re not guaranteed work just because you log on to the app—you need to opt for an available shift. That being said, opportunities are available seven days a week.
  • Compensation: Amazon Flex pays a fixed hourly rate based on where you live. While some drivers can earn up to $25/hour, the starting base rate is $18/hour. This is an excellent option for anyone who wants more predictability for their take-home pay compared to other apps. Even though this is an hourly rate in shifts, you are still an independent contractor and not an Amazon employee. Amazon delivers earning twice per week via direct deposit.
  • Get started: First, you’ll need to confirm that Amazon Flex is available in your city on the company website. If so, you can download the app and apply directly to be a driver. Your application includes providing personal details, consenting to a background check, and completing a video training series and passing related quizzes. 

How to become a liquor delivery driver

Drizly is another company that gives car owners a shot at a side gig but operates a little differently than the other options. Instead of connecting drivers with customers, Drizly connects drivers with local liquor outlets. Everything from an hourly rate, vehicle standards, and driver requirements are therefore determined by the seller. However, you’re still guaranteed to take home 100 percent of your tips. 

Drivers should note that due to the complexity of liquor sales, it’s only possible to work with one liquor store at a time with Drizly. You’ll also need to be in good shape; items like kegs can be heavy to manage, even with the help of a dolly.

Delivery Driving in 2020: FAQs

How do I become a delivery driver?

Each app has its own application process. You’ll need to ensure you meet the minimum requirements to become a driver, which usually includes an age and vehicle requirement, owning a smartphone, and holding a social security number. You’ll also need to pass a background check, and in some cases be able to carry loads from 30 to 50 pounds. If all of that checks out, you can submit an online application and follow the next steps for your chosen app. Once approved, driving is usually as easy as logging into the app when you want to work.

How much do delivery drivers make?

Each delivery service has its own pay schedule for drivers. Some offer a fixed rate for completing parts of the delivery journey, like Postmates, while others like Instacart or Doordash, offer a guaranteed minimum amount for individual assignment offers. Most of the delivery apps, except for Amazon, do facilitate tipping and drivers can keep 100 percent of that. Average hourly rates come out to $8 to $25 an hour depending on the app, but it really depends on where and how much you work, customer tips, and any bonuses that apply.

Do delivery drivers need special car insurance?

Every delivery app requires its drivers to hold a current personal auto insurance policy. Unfortunately, it may not be enough to cover you if you’re in an accident while working. Personal auto insurance is intended for personal use. By nature of the gig, driving for a delivery app means you’re apt to spend many more hours on the road, thus making you more likely to have an accident. If you’re in an accident while en route to pick up an order, you may not be covered by your personal policy or your app’s commercial policy.

Conclusion: How to get cheap car insurance—even with your new delivery gig

Using your personal vehicle for gig work is a great way to earn extra money on the side. But without the right car insurance, your side hustle could leave you on the hook for unexpected expenses if you’re in an accident. 

Don’t worry, though—you can still get affordable car insurance even while driving for a delivery app

The best way to get a deal that protects you? Compare personalized quotes. Insurify does the hard part for you by pulling quotes specific to your personal profile. Give Insurify a try today and see the best deals on car insurance that can protect you on and off the clock.

Score savings on car insurance with Insurify

Compare Quotes

Updated May 6, 2020

Mandie Kelleher is a freelance content writer for financial services and personal finance. With a background in financial administration, and teaching, she crafts content that deepens her readers' understanding by making complex topics simple. You can learn more about Mandie by visiting her site, mandiekelleher.com.