Doordash With An Electric Vehicle

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Doordash, UberEats, Postmates, Grubhub. The food delivery business has taken off the past few years. Seemingly out of nowhere tech companies have revolutionized how to get people food without restaurants having to employ delivery drivers. 

Instead, these food delivery companies hire independent contractors (qualified individuals with a personal car and a smartphone) to pick up food from restaurants and deliver it to people all through an app. Essentially, think Uber but with food. 

Per Indeed.com, Doordash drivers earn $18.75/hour. Not too bad for a side hustle. So I thought to myself one day, why not try to see what it’s all about? 

In this article, I will share my experience of driving for Doordash with an electric vehicle. I’ll run through how to become a driver, top Doordash Dasher tips, and how much I made per hour with an electric vehicle. 

If you are interested in Doordashing yourself, feel free to use my Doordash Referral Link

How to Become A Doordash Dasher (Driver):

To start, drivers must download the Doordash driver app from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices. The app will run through a series of questions to ensure you are eligible to become a dasher. 

Doordash Dasher Requirements:

  1. 18 or older
  2. Any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
  3. Driver’s license number
  4. Social security number (only in the United States)
  5. Final step: consent to a background check

In efforts to protect people and maintain social integrity, Doordash will run a personal background check. The background check takes about 2-3 days. Doordash will share the results when they are in.

Finally, Doordash will mail you a starter kit. This kit includes an insulated bag that can be used to keep food, well, hot/cold. Overall, this whole process takes about 5 days. Next, open the app and start delivering food.

Delivering Food:

Ding, ding! Order up. The first few deliveries were pretty nerve-racking. Don’t worry, after a few hours in it gets pretty simple. Quite simply, the app will walk you through each step and provided the restaurant and dropoff addresses, contact information, order details, and customer support.  

Here’s how it goes: 

  1. First, the app will notify you when a delivery is available. You have the option to accept or decline the delivery (you don’t have to)
  2. Next, accept the order and pick up the food from the restaurant. If there is a stacked order (two orders back-to-back) opportunity, accept it and go to the second restaurant. 
  3. Finally, deliver the food at the dropoff location. 
  4. Repeat. 

Top Doordash Tips for Dashers:

  1. Choose deliveries that make sense to you. For example, in my region I noticed deliveries ranged from $3 to $9 and mileage ranged from 3 to 6 miles. Since my goal was to make at least $18/hour, this meant with an average of 2.5 deliveries/hour, I needed an average order of $7.20. Any delivery short of around $6 wasn’t going to get me to my goal.
  2. Drive during peak hours. These hours throughout the week offer $1 to $2 bonuses per delivery. I noticed during a two-hour delivery session I could earn an extra $10. This will greatly increase your $/hour. 
  3.  Always accept stacked orders. Sometimes Doordash will smartly stack multiple orders since the restaurants and the delivery addresses are close to one another. Rather than making 2 deliveries/hour, I can make 2.5 deliveries/hour. Again, this greatly increases your $/hour.
  4. Don’t speed or panic. This may sound like a no brainer, however, it is worth saying. Rushing to get to the delivery destination an extra 30 seconds will not improve your earnings or ratings. It will only put yourself and others at risk.
  5. Inform the customer via text or call with regular updates. Quite quickly, I found customers informed when I’m on my way to them or running late are always more appreciative despite the situation. Do this safely by using Apple Carplay, Android Auto, or a car cell phone holder on Amazon. Sometimes, they have even tipped me in cash once I made the dropoff! Even though the app keeps them apprised of your whereabouts, a personal touch goes a long way. 
  6. Use spare insulated bags or drink holders–your car will thank you. When you get stacked orders, you will accumulate a decent amount of food in your car. Keeping all of those items separated by order and hot/cold is a challenge with just the provided single Doordash bag and your car’s small cup holders. Invest in spare insulated bags and drink holders found on Amazon and you will handle the challenge like a pro. 
  7. Use a vehicle mileage tracker app for mileage deductions. In 2020, the IRS paid $0.575/mi for mileage reimbursement (2019 rate was $0.58/mi). To record all my business related mileage, I used the app Strive. With ease, Strive records my mileage when I begin to Doordash and collects all the information into a single mileage report for personal income tax reports. 

My Earnings From Doordash With An Electric Vehicle:

Finally, the fun part. Per Indeed.com, drivers earn an average of $18.75/hour. So, how did I do?

Overall, after 4 months, 102 deliveries, and 40 hours of driving, my gross hourly wage (less tax, vehicle operating cost, and mileage deduction) was $17.83. Not too bad. Surprisingly, it was actually somewhat close to the Indeed.com report. Of course, your results will vary in your specific region. 

Moreover, let’s take a deeper dive at my net hourly wage considering taxes, my electric vehicle’s cost of operating, and the IRS mileage reimbursement. 

To calculate my net hourly wage, I used the following factors:

  1. Income Tax Rate: 20% 
  2. Vehicle Operating Cost: $0.22/mi
    • Charging cost: $0.04/mi (3.79 mi/kWh and $0.16/kWh)
    • Maintenance cost: $0.05/mi (per PlugStar)
    • Depreciation cost: $0.013/mi (per market trends)
    • Insurance cost: $0 (I would already pay my standard insurance as it was and use Doordash’s insurance policy during deliveries)
  3. IRS State Business Mileage Reimbursement: $0.58/mi

Considering these factors, my actual net hourly wage was $17.79.

Doordash with an electric vehicle
My personal Doordash earnings

Notice something strange? My net hourly wage was nearly the same as my gross hourly wage.

Interestingly, this is because the IRS mileage reimbursement is greater than my actual vehicle expenses. Add in taxes and it’s essentially a wash. 

Thanks to the extremely low cost of operating an electric vehicle, driving for Doordash with an electric vehicle is decently lucrative for a side job. In addition, because I was on the electric mode the entire time I Doordashed, I managed to complete all 102 deliveries carbon-free.   

So, does this seem like something you are interested in too? Sign up using my Doordash Referral Link.

Closing Thoughts:

Overall, I was surprised by my results from Doordash with an electric vehicle. I personally thought the pay was going to be around $13/hour, however, at least in my market, the pay is around $18/hour. 

Ultimately, what helped me earn a good-paying side job was the low cost of operating my Chevy Volt. If I had been using my wife’s Ford Escape, the high cost of operating on that vehicle would negatively affect my net hourly wage.

Next, I will spend four to five months with UberEats. After doing so, I will report back to see if UberEats pays any better than Doordash. 

Surprised by results? Interested in Doordashing yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay charged!  

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