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If you’re considering driving for DoorDash, you may be wondering, does DoorDash pay for gas? Given the rising cost of gas, this is a valid concern for Dashers and delivery drivers in general.
Knowing the expenses you’re responsible for is essential before signing up for DoorDash or any other delivery side hustle.
Like most delivery gigs, DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas. I’ll share a few tips to minimize your expenses and maximize your DoorDash earnings, so stick around.
Does DoorDash Pay for Gas?
No. DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas or any vehicle-related expenses. As a Dasher, you’re hired as an independent contractor, meaning you use your own vehicle for delivery and are not entitled to employee benefits. You’re essentially running a small delivery business as opposed to being a DoorDash employee.
As an independent DoorDash delivery driver, you’re paid per delivery.
Once logged in to the Dasher app, you receive delivery requests, which you can accept or reject. You then get paid for completing orders, regardless of how much time you spend on delivery.
Since DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas, it’s your responsibility to cover your gas costs and other expenses from your DoorDash pay.
So, you should always be selective about the orders you accept. If the pay for a delivery isn’t worth your time, turn down the order.
Treat your side hustle like a business and ensure you make profitable decisions to make the most of your time.
Why Doesn’t DoorDash Pay for Gas?
DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas or other expenses because Dashers are hired as independent contractors.
As a DoorDash driver, you’re not an employee of the company, so you don’t receive a paycheck or other employee benefits.
When you sign up for DoorDash, you’re under a contract governed by independent contractor laws. As stated on the contract you sign before starting the job, you manage your business.
These companies prefer the independent contractor model rather than hiring employees because it allows them to save on labor costs.
If the drivers were classified as employees, the companies would have to provide benefits like worker’s compensation, health insurance, and reimbursement for work-related expenses such as gas.
So, companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats hire drivers as independent contractors to reduce overhead costs and maximize their profits.
DoorDash Gas Rewards Program
While DoorDash doesn’t pay for mileage or other expenses, the company has a gas rewards program to help Dashers offset the rising cost of gas.
You can benefit from the rewards program in two ways:
- 10% Cash Back on Gas whenever you use DasherDirect, a prepaid Visa debit card available to Dashers. Whenever you make purchases using the card, even when you’re not dashing, you get 10% cash back on all gas purchases. DasherDirect is available to all US Dashers, and you don’t need a credit check to apply.
- Weekly Gas Bonus for Dashers who complete orders totaling at least 100 miles. You earn an extra $5 for completing 100 miles, and the additional earnings increase the more you deliver. For 175 miles, Dashers earn an extra $10, and those who complete 225 miles earn an extra $15.
Both relief efforts help Dashers offset the rising prices at the pump. The rewards can add extra earnings of between $1.27 and $1.69 per gallon for Dashers who qualify.
The savings may not seem like much, but the amount quickly adds up when you’re spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on fuel.
How Much Does DoorDash Pay Per Delivery?
The amount you earn for each DoorDash delivery depends on several factors. Based on the DoorDash pay structure, Dashers earn a base pay plus promotions and tips.
This amount ranges between $2 and $10 per delivery, depending on your location, the time of day, and the desirability of the order.
Deliveries that require you to travel a longer distance and take more time typically have a higher base pay.
DoorDash also runs promotions like Challenge Bonuses and Peak Pay. These promotions can help you earn extra money on each delivery.
Peak Pay is usually offered when there’s a high demand for Dashers, while Challenge Bonuses help you meet specific weekly earnings goals.
Dashers keep 100% of customer tips. All tips earned before and after the delivery are shown on the earnings breakdown.
Customer tips can make up a significant amount of your earnings, so providing excellent customer service is advisable to increase your tips.
How Much Do You Make With DoorDash After Gas?
The amount you make with DoorDash after gas depends on factors like your vehicle type, location, and the number of deliveries you complete.
On average, DoorDash drivers spend between 10% and 25% of their earnings on gas weekly, depending on their location and vehicle gas consumption.
Most Dashers still find DoorDash worth it, even with gas prices. However, this varies between people, so you may need your own experience to determine whether the side hustle is worth it.
DoorDash drivers make about 75%-90% of their earnings after gas, depending on various factors.
Extra Reading: How DoorDash Assigns Orders
Tips To Save on Gas as a Dasher
Fuel costs significantly affect your earnings as a Dasher, so you must find ways to reduce the expenses to maximize your profit.
Here are DoorDash hacks that can help you save on gas.
1. Track Your Mileage
Mileage tracking is crucial for any delivery driver, whether you’re delivering for DoorDash or Uber Eats.
Tracking your mileage has several benefits. For one, it becomes easier to calculate your expenses. You must factor in these expenses to determine how much you truly earn from DoorDash and whether the job is worth it.
Secondly, keeping an accurate track of your mileage helps you prepare for tax season. Your DoorDash mileage can be deducted as a work-related expense.
The IRS offers a standard mileage rate, so you can potentially deduct your DoorDash miles as a business expense.
To claim these miles when filing your taxes, you must have a clear and accurate record. DoorDash estimations are not accepted by the IRS.
It may be a major hassle to track your mileage manually, so you should consider mileage-tracking apps. Apps like Everlance are designed to help rideshare and food delivery drivers automatically track their mileage.
This way, all you have to do is log into the app whenever you’re making deliveries.
2. Be Selective About Your Orders
One way to save more as a Dasher is to earn more in the first place. You can do this by choosing your orders wisely.
If you only take high-paying orders, you’ll earn more per delivery, giving you more room to cater for gas and other expenses.
Whenever you receive a delivery request, DoorDash shows you your potential earnings before you accept the job.
Ensure you only select orders that pay adequately for the distance covered. Ideally, you should limit your deliveries to a specific radius so you don’t have to cover long distances.
Delivering routes that are closer means you won’t use too much gas, so you’ll save money in the long run.
Since your earning potential depends on your efficiency, you should be very intentional about every aspect of your work, including the type of orders you accept.
3. Use a Fuel-Efficient Car
The type of vehicle you drive determines how much you spend on gas. So, if you want to reduce your gas expenses, you need a fuel-efficient car.
Making DoorDash deliveries driving a pick-up truck or SUV would be impractical. Hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius are great for low fuel consumption.
If you’re willing to go all the way, you can switch to an electric vehicle altogether. This way, you don’t pay for gas, and you lower your maintenance costs.
However, you should consider all options before making major financial decisions, like getting a new car.
It may be cheaper to rent or borrow a friend’s, depending on your situation. Ensure you calculate your expenses carefully before jumping into anything.
4. Consider Using a Bike
DoorDash, like Uber Eats, allows Dashers to make deliveries using a bike and even on foot in some markets.
You can eliminate your gas expenses completely by switching to an e-bike or electric scooter.
Aside from the gas savings, it’s easier to maneuver traffic on a bike than on a car, so you can make your deliveries faster. This way, you make more deliveries and earn more per hour.
Using a bike for deliveries also comes with added health benefits. You get paid to work out, giving you an increased work-life balance.
Making deliveries with a bike also helps you reduce your carbon footprint, so you’ll be doing your part in promoting a greener tomorrow.
If you usually drive long distances for deliveries, switching to a bike may not be a viable option. Ensure you consider your working conditions before making the decision.
5. Use Gas Reward Apps
Another DoorDash hack for delivery drivers is using cash-back gas reward apps for fuel purchases. These apps allow you to earn cash back whenever you fill the pump at participating gas stations.
For most reward apps, the percentage ranges between 2% and 5% cash-back. These savings can add up, especially when you spend thousands on gas.
Upside, for instance, is a popular cash-back reward app designed to help you save on gas.
All you have to do is download the app and create your account. Next, you search for participating gas stations in your area and earn cash back on gas purchases.
Besides, Upside also offers cash-back rewards for shopping, which you can redeem for gift cards to Amazon and other retailers like Target.
ReceiptPal and Receipt Hog are also popular reward apps you can consider.
6. Deliver During Busy Hours
Another way to work efficiently is to choose the best times to DoorDash. This can help you maximize your earnings so you have more money left after spending on gas and other expenses.
Mealtimes are typically peak hours for DoorDash drivers. Consider working during these hours because you’ll get more orders and earn more per hour.
Busy hours differ depending on the specific market, so take time to understand the patterns in your market.
Once you’ve determined the best times to deliver, schedule your working hours around the same time to maximize your time and effort.
7. Use Cash-Back Credit Cards for Gas
You can also reduce your gas expenses by using cash-back credit cards for gas purchases. With most credit cards, you earn at least 2% cash back on gas purchases.
It may not look like much, but at least you get something back for making a purchase you’d make anyway. And if you’re spending thousands on fuel, the savings quickly add up over time.
Some credit card companies offer rewards in points and miles, which you can use when traveling.
It’s crucial, however, to be cautious about using credit cards. It’s easy to get excited about the potential rewards and end up spending more than you intended to.
Other Expenses for DoorDash Drivers
As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for all work-related expenses. Aside from gas, here are other costs you have to cover as a DoorDash driver:
Car insurance is one of the most significant expenses for any delivery driver. Based on DoorDash requirements, you must have vehicle insurance to make deliveries with a car.
The amount you spend on insurance depends on the specific insurance company you use, your age, and the type of vehicle you’re driving.
Mileage is another significant expense for Dashers and delivery drivers in general. Most of your job involves driving, which adds to your total mileage.
The more mileage your car has, the shorter its lifespan and the lower its resale value.
DoorDash doesn’t reimburse you for mileage, but you can potentially get mileage deductions when filing for taxes.
The IRS offers a standard mileage rate for business miles covered, so it’s important to keep track of your mileage to lower your taxable income.
Since you use your vehicle often when delivering for DoorDash, it can cause significant wear and tear, necessitating regular maintenance.
Routine maintenance procedures like tire rotations, oil changes, and battery replacements are essential to prolonging your vehicle’s lifespan and minimizing repair costs.
However, the expenses can significantly eat into your DoorDash earnings.
Tolls and Parking Fees
This is another expense you may have to pay if you drive on the highway a lot.
This expense is primarily dependent on your location. In some states, local drivers get an annual pass, which helps with cost savings.
Additionally, you may be required to pay parking fees depending on your location. These fees can add up and significantly lower your earnings.
Extra Reading: Can I DoorDash in Another State?
Frequently Asked Questions
Does DoorDash Pay for Mileage?
No. DoorDash doesn’t pay for mileage, gas, or other work-related expenses. DoorDash hires Dashers as independent contractors, meaning they’re in charge of their expenses.
Does DoorDash Red Card Pay for Gas?
No. The DoorDash Red Card, which is the credit card you receive upon activation, can only be used to pay for food orders.
The card is only meant for meal payments, so you cannot use it to pay for gas. DoorDash states that the card can only be used to pay for an order at the correct time and restaurant.
Is Driving for DoorDash Worth It With Gas Prices?
DoorDash is still worth it for most Dashers, even with gas prices. It comes down to how efficient you are as a Dasher and how much you make daily.
With the right strategies, you can minimize your expenses and maximize your DoorDash pay.
So, does DoorDash pay for gas? No. Like most gig economy apps, DoorDash hires drivers as independent contractors.
As a Dasher, you’re considered self-employed by the government, meaning you must also file taxes on your DoorDash earnings.
With the rising cost of gas, some may argue that DoorDash is not worth it, but you’ll only know if you test it yourself.
Dasher earnings vary greatly depending on several factors, so you could easily make $500 a week with DoorDash.
While DoorDash doesn’t reimburse you for gas and other expenses, you can still make a profit with the company, provided you work efficiently.
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