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Can You Make a Living off Doordash- The Inside Scoop

Can You Make a Living off Doordash- The Inside Scoop
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Everyone knows DoorDash by now, but what most people want to know is how much do Door Dash drivers make, and can you make a living off DoorDash?

The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you’d probably hope since everyone has different factors. But, you might be able to make enough money working for DoorDash in certain situations.

DoorDash Overview

DoorDash drivers make money delivering food and goods in 7,000 cities throughout the United States. You aren’t working for DoorDash when you drive for them, though. All Dashers work as independent contractors, but you can earn frequent pay and work when you want, earning your DoorDash salary.

Restaurants like DoorDash because it’s a marketing tool for them to push their menus and offerings out to more people, and drivers like it because they can make more money by delivering food.

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What Is DoorDash?

DoorDash is an app that works as the middleman between restaurants, customers, and delivery drivers (Dashers). Restaurants partner with DoorDash to offer their food for delivery via the platform. Then, depending on how they want to operate, they can open up their entire menu to DoorDash orders or just some of it.

DoorDash doesn’t own any of the restaurants, though. Instead, they are all partners that work with DoorDash to bring in more business. Restaurants pay DoorDash a fee to be listed on their app, and DoorDash pays drivers like yourself to deliver the food.

As a DoorDash delivery driver, you can make money delivering the food or goods from the restaurant/store to the customers from DoorDash, as well as customer’s tips.

The average driver earns $23/hr!
DoorDash
5.0

Get started delivering food with DoorDash.

You choose the time and delivery goals as your own boss.

Pros:
  • Fast Payment
  • You Pick Your Hours
  • Preview Pick-up/Drop-off Locations
Cons:
  • Vehicle Usage
  • Gas
Sign Up
Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.

How Does DoorDash Work?

It all starts with the app.

To become a DoorDash delivery driver, you must download the DoorDash app and sign up as a delivery driver. You’ll enter your name, zip code, and create a password. In addition, you’ll provide information about your car, car insurance, driver’s license, and social security number. Once signed up, DoorDash will conduct a background check.

Once accepted, you’ll receive your starter kit, which includes a hot bag, and you’ll complete your W-9 to get paid when you work for DoorDash. You can drive for DoorDash as soon as your background check comes back clear, which happens within a few hours for some.

To start ‘dashing,’ you hit’ ‘Dash Now’ on the DoorDash app, or you can schedule future shifts by selecting ‘Schedule’ on the app. When you’re active in the app, you’ll receive notifications of orders in the area.

Before accepting a DoorDash order, you’ll see the location, order size, and even the promised tip amount. You have approximately 40 seconds to accept or decline an order. You aren’t obligated to accept any orders, though. You are in control of what you take.

As a DoorDash delivery driver, you go to the restaurant and pick up the order the customer placed. Then, you deliver the order to the customer’s home, work, or other specified location. All payment goes through the DoorDash app, including your tip.

Remember, DoorDash jobs aren’t a thing. You are an independent contractor who is responsible for the costs involved in running your food delivery service along with paying DoorDash taxes on your earnings. In other words, you aren’t working for DoorDash.

Consumers also use the app to place an order at their favorite restaurant. The order goes to the restaurant as a takeout order but is set aside for the DoorDash drivers who deliver food to them.

Related Article: How to Make 500 a Week With Doordash

How Much Can You Make With DoorDash?

Everyone wants to know, how much do DoorDash drivers make?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.

The DoorDash driver’s pay depends on your location, how often you work, and how pleased your customers are with your service. Customer tips significantly affect how much you make when you deliver food for DoorDash.

According to Glassdoor, the average DoorDash driver makes $21 on average hourly pay. If you were to work 40 hours, that’s $840 a week or $43,680 per year. Because DoorDash jobs aren’t a thing, though, this isn’t a guarantee. Every Dasher earns a different amount of money based on many factors.

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Can You Make a Living off DoorDash?

Yes, you can make a living off DoorDash, but it depends on where you live, your cost of living, and your financial goals.

If you live a simple life and don’t have a large family, the $43,680 DoorDash salary a year (average) may be enough for you. But, here are the factors to consider before deciding if DoorDash careers are something you should consider to make a living.

Cost of Living

If you live in an area with a high cost of living, your chances of living off DoorDash earnings are low. For example, the cost to live in places like San Francisco or New York City are well beyond a $43,680 salary, even if you live alone.

While the average delivery DoorDash pay in high-cost areas is slightly higher than the national average, it’s not enough to make up for the higher rent/housing, utilities, medical care, fuel, car maintenance, food, and entertainment costs. You’ll need more money to live in these areas comfortably.

If you live in a low-cost area, though, there are fewer costs involved in your daily life, so you might be able to make a living off DoorDash.

Number of Dependents

The number of people relying on you for their wellbeing also determines if you can survive on DoorDash earnings alone. If you’re single and don’t live in a high-cost area, living off DoorDash may be a real possibility.

If you have kids, a non-working spouse, or elderly parents living with you, though, the earnings might not be enough. The more people that rely on you financially, the less likely it is that DoorDash earnings will be enough to pay bills and cover the daily cost of living for you and your family.

Income Goals

Your income goals significantly affect whether you should become a DoorDash delivery driver full-time. While you can likely get by in certain areas working for DoorDash and setting your own DoorDash hours, you might not have much discretionary income.

In other words, you might have enough money to pay bills, put food on the table, and occasionally splurge. If you have goals to build wealth, retire early, travel the world, or just save money for retirement, you might not get by if you only drive for DoorDash.

Your Market

Where you live determines the demand for DoorDash drivers. If you live in a small town or rural area, there’s not going to be a high demand for drivers. Even if you do work for DoorDash, your per-hour average will likely be much lower than the $21 national average.

If the work isn’t there, you might want to use DoorDash earnings as extra money rather than your only source of income.

Hours You Plan On Working

The hours you plan to work determine how much you make driving for DoorDash too. If you deliver during busy times, you’ll make more money simply because more deliveries are available.

You might also qualify for peak pay, which are bonuses for working during times DoorDash needs more drivers.

If you plan to work slower times or not take advantage of any promotions, living off DoorDash may not be an option, and you may not want to become a Dasher.

Related Article: Instacart vs DoorDash: Which Is Better in 2022?

DoorDash Pay Rate

Even though you work as an independent contractor, DoorDash has certain pay rates they pay each Dasher per delivery. Knowing how much you can expect on average can help you decide if making money driving for DoorDash is enough for you or if you should look beyond DoorDash careers for your full-time job.

How Much Does DoorDash Pay?

Many people wonder how much does DoorDash pay an hour. But, DoorDash doesn’t pay an hourly base rate. They pay a flat delivery fee, and there may be promotional pay opportunities. All customers have the option to pay tips to delivery drivers too. While tips aren’t guaranteed, most customers pay at least a small tip. DoorDash drivers receive 100% of the tips paid by customers.

When Does DoorDash Pay?

DoorDash pays drivers weekly on Mondays. Each Monday, you’ll receive payment for the deliveries made the previous Monday – Sunday. While DoorDash pays drivers on Mondays, it can take a couple of days to hit your account, depending on your financial institution.

How Does DoorDash Pay?

DoorDash Hourly Pay

Most people want to know, how do DoorDash drivers get paid?

First, DoorDash doesn’t pay drivers an hourly wage. Instead, they pay a base pay per delivery which varies from $2 – $10. The exact pay depends on the distance, duration of the entire order, and order desirability. In other words, harder orders earn a higher base pay when you drive for DoorDash.

Bonuses

Some orders may have a bonus attached to them. They typically aren’t much, but an extra $2 on a few orders adds up.

Tips

DoorDash drivers keep 100% of the customer tips. Customers have the option to tip when they order (before they receive their delivery) or immediately after receiving their order. Customers can adjust their tip after you deliver (increase it) if you did a great job.

Taxes

You won’t see taxes taken out of your DoorDash pay, but you should keep a percentage from your weekly earnings to pay taxes on your own.

Promotions

DoorDash often runs promotions to help DoorDash drivers make more money. They may run Peak Pay opportunities which is a chance to earn more per delivery if you dash between the promotional hours. They also run challenges which are opportunities to earn more bonuses by meeting the required number of deliveries or any other parameters set.

Reimbursement/Deductions

DoorDash doesn’t reimburse delivery drivers for any of the costs they incur like gas and vehicle repairs. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for your own costs, including gas, car maintenance, insurance, and mileage costs. Consider this as you deal with your car’s wear and tear and required repairs.

But, you may be able to deduct some of these expenses at the end of the tax year. Independent contractors can write off their business expenses as long as they have income to report. You may be able to write off expenses such as gas, mileage, maintenance, cell phone costs, tolls, parking, and supplies. Talk with your tax advisor to see if this is the case for your situation.

Does DoorDash Take Out Taxes?

DoorDash drivers are independent contractors, so you are responsible for your own taxes, including self-employment tax. DoorDash does not take taxes out of your direct deposit. You must report your earnings quarterly and pay estimated taxes according to your current tax bracket.

The average driver earns $23/hr!
DoorDash
5.0

Get started delivering food with DoorDash.

You choose the time and delivery goals as your own boss.

Pros:
  • Fast Payment
  • You Pick Your Hours
  • Preview Pick-up/Drop-off Locations
Cons:
  • Vehicle Usage
  • Gas
Sign Up
Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.

DoorDash Tips for Making a Living

Make Sure the Orders Are Worth It

Many new DoorDash drivers accept every order that comes across the app. They don’t consider the pay versus the expense of taking the order. If orders aren’t worth your time and will lower your average DoorDash pay, don’t take them.

You don’t get penalized by DoorDash for turning orders down. Instead, you get penalized if you have a lot of negative customer feedback or you’re always late. Pick the orders that are worth the money and that you can deliver great customer service so you can make a living when you become a Dasher.

Know the Best Time to Dash

Get to know your area and its peak hours. Try working when you’ll earn peak pay and/or bonuses. This is a matter of working smarter, not harder. For example, if you could deliver at 11:00 AM for $8 a delivery or at 7:00 PM for $12 a delivery, it makes sense to work your schedule around the higher paying times.

Provide Great Customer Service

Work DoorDash in the hours you can provide the best level of customer service. Make sure you’re getting customers’ orders right and going that extra step to make them feel special. Customers can add to your tip after you deliver the food. If you consistently deliver high-quality service, you might make more per order, making it easier to make a living off DoorDash.

Related Article: Postmates vs DoorDash: Food Delivery Side Hustle Comparison

Can You Make a Living off DoorDash FAQ

How Does an Annual Doordash Salary Compare to GDP per Capita?

The GDP per capita for the United States is $62,200. If we use the DoorDash average hourly rate of $21 and a standard 40-hour week, the average Dasher makes $43,680 yearly, which is well below the GDP per capita. This points to the fact that other American jobs are higher paying and better options than working for DoorDash full time.

How Does DoorDash Average Pay Compare to Minimum Wage?

The good news is that the federal minimum wage is much lower than the average DoorDash hourly pay. However, the federal minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour, which is well below the average DoorDash pay of $21 an hour DoorDash drivers make in most areas. At $7.25 an hour, you’d earn $15,080 per year, which is much less than the potential earnings as a DoorDash driver.

What Do Real DoorDash Drivers Say About Going Full-Time?

The reviews are mixed with real DoorDash drivers about using DoorDash as a full-time job. Some say they love it and would take the less stressful job over what they were doing. This is mostly in low-cost areas where drivers can make more driving for DoorDash on their own schedule than working for someone and being unhappy.

Other drivers say DoorDash is best used as ‘extra money’ rather than a way to make a living full-time. This is especially true for anyone with a family or dependents.

How Does DoorDash Pay Compare With Other Driving Apps?

Most food delivery service apps pay about the same amount. Not all apps publicize how much they pay per delivery, but the average comes out to be about the same for each app. The key is which app is the most popular in your area, aka which markets are more saturated?

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How Long Does It Take To Make Money With DoorDash?

You can start earning money with DoorDash as soon as your background check comes back clear. It might take a week or so to receive your starter kit, but you aren’t obligated to wait for it to start. Since DoorDash pays weekly, you could receive a direct deposit as soon as the following week.

Can You Get Rich Working for DoorDash?

No one has claimed to get rich working for DoorDash yet. Can it help you make extra money, pay down student loan debt, build wealth, or just pay bills? Yes. You might even be able to make a living working as a DoorDash driver depending on where you live. However, getting rich is nearly impossible driving for DoorDash.

Is DoorDash Worth It After Taxes?

Whether DoorDash is worth it after taxes depends on where you live and how much you make. Everyone must pay self-employment tax on their earnings. There’s no getting around it. But if you work with your tax advisor and take as many deductions as you’re entitled to as a self-employed person, it may still be worth it.

The Bottom Line: Can You Make a Living off Doordash?

How much does a Doordash driver make? If you ever wondered how much do Doordashers make or can you make a living off DoorDash, you aren’t alone. DoorDash does provide opportunities to make all the money you need, but that’s only if you live in low-cost areas without any dependents.

Anyone who needs to make more than $40,000 per year may want to use DoorDash to supplement their income but find another way to make full-time money.