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How Much Money Can You Make with DoorDash? A Fair Assessment

In the ever-changing and competitive world of side hustles, DoorDash stands out as a go-to option for those looking to earn money on their own terms. A common question people ask is, “How much can you make with DoorDash?” This article aims to provide answers to that question and more.


Just like with many side gigs, how much you pull in as a DoorDash driver really boils down to how hard you hustle. As a service provider and subcontractor, you get to set your own schedule and only work when you’re free to do so.

Typically, DoorDash drivers rake in an average of $15 to $25 per hour. While drivers receive a fixed delivery fee, the hourly wage is calculated based on the total fees and the hours put in.

Your earnings hinge on how frequently you’re available and the number of deliveries you can manage, especially during peak hours

What’s even better? As a freelancer offering services for DoorDash, you get the freedom to craft your own schedule and decide your earning potential based on when you’re available and how much effort you put in.

What is DoorDash?

DoorDash isn’t just your typical food delivery service. It’s a logistics company, or an aggregator business, that created software connecting customers’ online orders, restaurants, and drivers. It all began with three college students in the San Francisco area, and it’s one of those genuine money-making apps you can get in on.


The folks behind the wheel are called Dashers, and they find out about delivery requests

through their DoorDash app.

Loan Payments

Doordash is a great option for folks with student loans looking to make some headway in paying them off, or for anyone aiming to tackle payments on personal loans. Clearing off loans can really give your credit score a boost.

How Much Does a DoorDash Driver Make?

The average hourly pay is $15 to $25 per hour. How is that calculated?

Minimum Payment

DoorDash kicks off with a base minimum pay per order, running between $2 and $10. This amount is determined by your location and the time of day—peak hours for restaurant deliveries mean peak pay.


Certain orders come with a bonus, like an extra $2. These are delivery requests tied to special clients or big events, such as catering deliveries.

The App

You’ll hop onto the DoorDash app to log in, letting them know you’re ready to take on delivery orders.

Number of Deliveries

You don’t need to say yes to every delivery request. However, you’ll snag a bonus and pocket extra cash if you accept more deliveries than the average dasher. Usually, hitting an 80% acceptance rate lands you that bonus.


When figuring out how much drivers pocket – the net earnings – with DoorDash, don’t overlook your actual expenses. You’ll be shelling out for your own gas in this side gig, and taking care of car maintenance too.

Modes of Delivery

A DoorDash driver doesn’t have to be a driver using his or her own car – in some areas, they use a bicycle or scooter or deliver on foot.

Wondering about DoorDash drivers’ earnings? You’ll rake in higher hourly wages by completing more deliveries.

How to Earn Money as a DoorDash Driver

Let’s get into the specifics of DoorDash, one of the gig apps that is most popular.

Delivery Payouts

With the base pay system for each delivery, DoorDash keeps track of all your work while you’re out on the road. Each time you successfully deliver a customer’s order, DoorDash adds it to your overall total.

They tally up your deliveries over a Monday through Sunday pay period, and you get paid the following Wednesday. 

How Are You Paid?

You can get paid through direct deposit to your bank account or financial institution, or you can opt for payment via a DoorDash Fast Pay card, which works like a prepaid debit card.

DoorDash Driver Tips

Customers might give you tips in cash while you’re making the delivery.

More often than not, customers choose to add a tip when they’re paying for the food delivery service. Either way, the tips customers provide are included in your earnings as extra income.

Peak Pay

In the restaurant game, there are busy hours, like lunch and dinner. If you hit the road and make deliveries during those peak times, your DoorDash driver earnings go up.

Bonuses and Incentives

If you grab more than 80% of the available deliveries, you might score a DoorDash referral bonus. Additionally, there’s a chance to earn a bonus by hitting the road and making deliveries during peak times.

How to Get Started with DoorDash

Ready to make a dent in your student loan debt, save up for a vacation, or add a little extra to your main income? If that sounds like you, delivering food to hungry customers through an app might be a great fit. While there are various delivery apps out there, DoorDash stands out as an excellent choice thanks to its popularity and user-friendly experience.

DoorDash hooks you up with a delivery bag to keep those restaurant orders nice and warm (or cool). Plus, they throw in a DoorDash shirt (but hey, you don’t have to rock it if you’re not into it!).

Getting started is a breeze. Check out this step-by-step guide on how to kick off your DoorDash journey:

Step 1: Sign Up

First things first, sign up for a DoorDash account. That means agreeing to a background check and credit report. Don’t forget, you’ll need a valid driver’s license.

Step 2: Receive DoorDash Kit

Once you’ve successfully signed up, DoorDash will send you a kit. It comes with a delivery bag to keep the food at the right temperature and a cool DoorDash shirt. You don’t have to wear the shirt, but it could give you a more professional look if you choose to.

Step 3: Install DoorDash App

Next up, you’ll want to download the DoorDash app on your smartphone. It’s up for grabs on both iPhone and Android devices.

Step 4: Availability Indication

You can indicate your availability for deliveries by turning on the app. This will notify the system that you’re ready to accept delivery orders.

Step 5: Choose and Make Deliveries

Fire up the app to check out available deliveries in your vicinity, and snag the ones that match your schedule and location. Remember to be punctual and professional when picking up and dropping off orders.Doing this boosts your odds of getting positive reviews from both restaurants and customers, opening up more opportunities down the road.

Comparison Table

Check out this handy comparison table that shows the step-by-step process to kick off your journey as a DoorDash driver. It’s a quick-reference guide, outlining the key steps from signing up to acing your deliveries. Plus, it underscores how professionalism is key in garnering positive reviews, a crucial element for your success as a DoorDash driver.

1. Sign UpRegister an account, agree to a background check, credit report, and provide a valid driver’s license.
2. Receive DoorDash KitGet the DoorDash kit that includes a delivery bag and a DoorDash shirt.
3. Install DoorDash AppDownload and install the DoorDash app on your iPhone or Android device.
4. Availability IndicationTurn on the app when you’re ready to start accepting deliveries.
5. Choose and Make DeliveriesUse the app to accept deliveries, ensure prompt and professional service for positive reviews.

Maximizing Earnings as a DoorDash Driver

To max out your earnings with DoorDash, think about these strategies:

1.Strategic Scheduling: Even though flexibility is a big perk of driving for DoorDash, being smart about when you work can really make a difference in your income. Those peak times, like lunch (11 am to 2 pm) and dinner (5 pm to 9 pm), tend to have higher demand and can jack up your earnings. Plus, hitting the road on weekends and holidays, when demand is through the roof, can be extra rewarding.

2. Efficient Routing: Bumping up the number of deliveries you handle each hour can give your earnings a boost. Utilizing navigation apps to discover the quickest routes and strategizing your pick-ups and drop-offs can save time and open up the possibility for more deliveries.

3. Maintaining High Ratings: Making customers happy is key to your success as a Dasher. Top-notch ratings can mean more frequent and higher-paying delivery gigs. Keeping things on time, being polite, and handling orders with care all contribute to maintaining those high ratings.

4.Taking Advantage of Promotions: DoorDash throws in promotions and challenges from time to time that can give your earnings a lift. These could involve extra pay for finishing a specific number of deliveries in a set timeframe or bonus pay for clocking in during specific hours.

5. Reducing Expenses: Because costs like gas and vehicle maintenance can cut into your profits, it’s crucial to find ways to trim these expenses. Keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance, adopting fuel-efficient driving methods, and planning routes to minimize mileage can all play a role in lowering your expenses.

Understanding the Impact of Location

Where you decide to dash can really make a difference in your earnings. Urban areas and cities usually see more demand and provide more delivery opportunities compared to rural areas. Plus, dashing in well-off neighborhoods might up your chances of getting bigger tips.

The Role of Customer Tips

Customer tips can make a big impact on your overall earnings. While you can’t control how much a customer decides to tip, delivering excellent service can encourage more generous tips. Some Dashers discover that offering a friendly greeting and making sure orders are accurate and well-handled can positively influence tipping.

Seasonal Variations in Earnings

It’s crucial to keep in mind that earnings with DoorDash can change with the seasons. In colder months or bad weather, more folks might opt for delivery, potentially boosting the demand for deliveries. However, this could also mean dealing with trickier driving conditions, so it’s essential to weigh the potential for higher earnings against safety considerations.

When Does DoorDash Pay?

How often do you score that extra cash? DoorDash pays out on a weekly basis instead of monthly.DoorDash totals your deliveries from Monday through Sunday, and DoorDash pays the following Wednesday. DoorDash will add your base pay and customer tip totals.

Business Expenses DoorDash Drivers Should Consider

Though being a DoorDash driver can bring in some extra cash, it’s crucial to keep in mind that there are costs linked to the job. Here are some of the main expenses to think about when assessing potential earnings:

1. Distance, MPG, and Fuel Costs: Factors like fuel costs and your vehicle’s efficiency can have a big impact on your net profit. City driving, in particular, might lower your miles per gallon (MPG), resulting in higher fuel expenses. Keeping thorough mileage records can help you deduct fuel costs when filing a Schedule C. However, it’s worth noting that you can’t deduct mileage expenses if you qualify for the standard deduction.

2. Vehicle Maintenance: Beyond fuel expenses, the wear and tear on your vehicle are inevitable costs as a DoorDash driver. Routine maintenance like oil changes and tire replacements will need to be included in your overall costs. Additionally, you should also consider potential repairs that may arise due to the increased use of your vehicle.

3. Income and Self-Employment Taxes: Being an independent contractor for DoorDash means you’ll get a 1099 form, and you’ll be responsible for federal, state, and local income taxes on your earnings. On top of that, there’s self-employment tax, covering contributions to Medicare and Social Security, which adds up to an  extra 15.3% of your earnings.

4. Insurance Costs: Depending on your own car insurance policy, delivering food might not be included, and you might need to get extra coverage. Some insurance companies provide a rideshare insurance policy that can be added to your current coverage. Always double-check with your insurance company to make sure you’re properly covered.

5. Smartphone and Data Usage: Being a DoorDash driver means you’ll be relying heavily on the DoorDash app, so having a reliable smartphone and possibly a large data plan is essential. The expenses related to upgrading your phone or data plan, along with any potential repair or replacement costs, should be considered in your overall expenses.

Conclusion: Maximizing Earnings as a DoorDash Driver

Understanding DoorDash Earnings:

  • Income Factors: Your earnings hinge on how dedicated you are, how available you make yourself, and the number of deliveries you take on.
  • Average Pay: Typically, drivers pull in around $15 to $25 per hour.
  • Delivery Fees & Hours: Your pay depends on these factors, and the more deliveries you do, the higher your earnings.

DoorDash’s Role in the Gig Economy:

  • A Logistics Platform: Links online orders, restaurants, and drivers.
  • Opportunity for Flexibility: Great for paying off loans or handling personal finances.

Being a Dasher:

  • Flexible Work: Pick your hours and how you want to deliver (car, bike, scooter, walking).
  • Income Components: Your earnings are influenced by base pay, bonuses, and the number of deliveries you handle.
  • Startup Process: Sign up, pass background checks, and get a delivery kit.

Financial Considerations:

  • Weekly Payments: Get your earnings calculated weekly through direct deposit or the DoorDash prepaid card.
  • Boost from Tips & Peak Pay: Customer tips and peak hour pay can boost your income.
  • Expenses to Factor In: Fuel, vehicle maintenance, taxes, insurance, and smartphone use.

Strategies for Increased Earnings:

  • Peak Time Management: Work during the busy hours for better pay
  • Expense Tracking: Keep an eye on and handle costs to maximize your net earnings.
  • Quality Service: Deliver top-notch service for extra tips and better opportunities.

Being a DoorDash driver provides a flexible way to earn money, but it takes strategic planning and considering various factors to maximize your earnings. By knowing peak times, handling expenses wisely, and delivering excellent service, you can boost your earning potential. Keep in mind, success in this role isn’t just about the hours you put in, but also about how cleverly you work those hours.

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