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Here’s How Much You Actually Make as A Delivery Driver

You Really Can Make More Than $15/hr

I always wanted a car but could never truly afford it. After crunching some numbers in my wonderful personal finance spreadsheet, I found that I could purchase one. Everything looked good! There was just one string attached, I would need an extra job to help offset the costs of insurance.

As a full-time college student with two current jobs, it seemed impossible to add another block of work into my schedule. However, after a week or so of searching, I chose to become a delivery partner for Uber Eats and DoorDash.

The flexible hours, high advertised pay, and simple work spoke to me. What could be better than being paid to deliver food to the locals while having a personal concert in your car? Not much!

Signing up for both didn’t take much time although Uber did require more information such as a background check and a copy of my insurance card. All documents were uploaded easily through the app and approved within a few days. Doordash on the other hand seemed to only require a social security number and information about me and my car.

After making my first few deliveries, I had the idea to track every possible metric I could find in the app. I also wanted to see if the claims about making $12–15 hour were true.

The Method

To do this, I set up an Excel spreadsheet and typed in every delivery I made on both platforms. At the time of writing this, I have completed 57 deliveries between Doordash and Uber Eats. 32 of those orders were through Uber Eats while the other 25 were from Doordash.

You’re probably thinking, “Well the order count is cool. But what does this have to do with the amount I could make per hour.” Great question but to reach that number, I needed to find my hours driven and the total amount earned.

Both Uber and Doordash display time in minutes so using tables and the SUM function I added the minutes reported by each in its own table. Uber only reports the active time meaning when I am picking up or delivering an order. Because of this, I took the amount reported and multiplied it by 1.75 times to account for driving time while active but not delivering an order. Doordash simply displays its active time below the dash time so no extra calculation was needed.

Next, I simply used the table and SUM functions again to find the total amount earned from each platform. Both Uber and Doordash pay drivers in a similar model that consists of base pay, promotions, and tips all added together. By totaling each of these and totaling all orders, I was able to find the amount earned from both services.

Now that I had both total earned and hours driven I could calculate the average rate I was earning per hour. However, instead of averaging the two, I used a weighted average system based on the number of deliveries made. Remember that number earlier?

The Pay Rates

So after all calculations, I found that I earned about $20.37/hr when delivering with Uber Eats and $13.95/hr when delivering with DoorDash.

Here’s where that weighted average comes into play though. I divided the order count from both services by the total number of orders. For example, my 32 orders from Uber Eats made up about 56% of my total 57 orders to date. When calculated this means the $20.37 was calculated as 56% of my weighted average and $13.95 was 43% of the weighted average.

The Average Pay Rate

After these calculations, I can confidently say that when I am driving around delivering food, I can expect to make about $17.55 per hour.

Keep in mind this doesn’t consider the gas or wear and tear of my car.

So you can expect to make around $17/hr. But does that differ between locations? I’m not too sure yet as this data is mostly for the York, PA area. What I can tell you is that Uber Eats seems to pay more, but you receive fewer orders.

When looking at average base pay, Uber Eats pays more than Doordash. I would receive about $7.75 base pay for accepting an Uber Eats order or $3.26 for a Doordash order. I looked at the standard deviation of the base pay which shows how large of a spread there is between the amount or how much they deviate from the average. For Uber Eats this number was $3.16 vs $0.66 for Doordash. So while the spread is larger for Uber, the base rate pays more than Doordash. Considering that Doordash has a lower standard deviation, it means that you are more likely to earn a number closer to its average of $3.26 for base pay.

The Promo Pay and Tips

Still with me? Great! Next, I looked at the promotions and tips. The average promotional amount for both Uber Eats and Doordash were $0.54 and $0.16. Uber Eats calculates promotions definitely in two ways. One being that during peak lunch and dinner hours they will multiply the base rate by a certain percentage such as 1.3 or even up 3 times. They will also add a dollar amount to the base pay if the demand for food is higher than available drivers. Doordash doesn’t use a percentage but rather uses the latter method and adds a few dollars to the base pay for every delivery during demand.

My tips also differed between the two platforms where the average tip with Uber Eats was $4.10 and $3.20 with Doordash. So with a difference of $0.90 I can expect a slightly higher tip when delivering through Uber Eats, most likely because base pay is higher and the tip is a percentage of the order. I have also often received larger tips from Uber Eats as those deliveries tend to be further than Doordash.

How often am I tipped? Pretty often. My tip rate for both platforms hovered around 80% so I can expect that for every 5 deliveries, it’s likely one person won’t tip. (Always tip your delivery driver as we keep 100% of the tips and the base rate isn’t much sometimes.) Both platforms also estimate your amount earned before accepting a job so you have an idea of how much you can earn. Uber’s estimate was correct 81.3% of the time while Doordash doesn’t display that information after accepting the order.

The Takeaways

This may look more like a report for a school assignment but honestly, it’s just one of the many side projects I like to do to allow others to make a well-informed decision. So if this helped in any way, here are a few takeaways.

· Uber Eats May Pay More

· You May Receive More Orders With Doordash

· Expect Tips About 80% of the Time

· My Average Rate is $17.55/hr (York, PA)

· Pay Differs Among Locations

I plan on updating my spreadsheet with every order and may report again in a few months. Either way, If you were searching for employment and have a reliable car, look into becoming a delivery partner. The barriers of entry are low and pay is decent. If you live in or near a large city, this can certainly become a full-time job or even supplement income that can pay for your fun expenses.



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