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As a Shipt shopper, you’re hired as an independent contractor, meaning you use your own vehicle to make deliveries.
Fuel costs are an essential factor to consider as a delivery driver. So does Shipt pay for gas?
If you’re wondering if Shipt pays for gas, it doesn’t. However, you can use the tips I’ll share in this guide to save on gas and maximize your earnings.
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Does Shipt Pay for Gas?
No. Shipt does not pay for gas. The company also doesn’t reimburse drivers for expenses incurred when making deliveries. As a Shipt driver, you’re an independent contractor, meaning you’re responsible for all your expenses. Major expenses for drivers include fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.
Since the company does not pay for gas, it’s important to calculate these expenses when determining your income. This lets you see whether the job is worth the effort and time.
While it’s unfortunate that Shipt doesn’t pay for gas, this is standard practice for driving gigs that pay.
As such, jobs like Shipt are ideal if you’re looking for a flexible side hustle, but they may not be a good option if you want a full-time job.
While Shipt doesn’t pay for gas, the company has taken steps to help ease the burden of high fuel costs for shoppers.
For one, Shipt partnered and invested with Upside, a rewards app that helps drivers earn cash back on gas purchases. Shipt shoppers can get up to 35 cents per gallon cash back on fuel purchases at any gas station.
Shipt also has a Fill Up Bonus awarded to the busiest shoppers. If you qualify, you get a one-time bonus of $35 to $150, which helps offset fuel costs.
Shipt also has a Shopper Perks program where it partners with various companies to reward their best shoppers.
Tips To Save Money on Gas as a Shipt Driver
Now that you’re on the hook for all your expenses, it’s crucial to have strategies to help you save on gas so you don’t spend all your income on gas.
Here are tips to help you save money on gas and other expenses to maximize your income as a Shipt Shopper.
1. Track Your Mileage and Other Expenses
Experienced delivery drivers confirm that mileage tracking is a game-changer. It’s important to keep accurate track of your miles and other expenses.
Mileage tracking is especially useful because it will come in handy come tax season. As a Shipt Shopper, you’re an independent contractor, meaning you’re also in charge of filing your taxes.
The IRS allows you to deduct your business miles, meaning you can lower your taxable income. For this, you’ll need a record of your business miles.
When filing your taxes, you can use the IRS standard mileage rate to reduce your taxable income.
Manually tracking your mileage would be cumbersome and time-consuming, so it’s better to use mileage-tracking apps that automate the task.
Apps like Everlance are designed specifically to help delivery drivers. The app conveniently tracks your mileage in the background while you focus on driving and making deliveries.
The app then generates a mileage receipt, which you can use to claim mileage deductions when filing taxes.
It’s also important to track other expenses like vehicle maintenance and repair. This will help you have an accurate picture of how much you’re truly earning and whether Shipt is worth it.
2. Use a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Since Shipt deliveries are mostly groceries, the company doesn’t allow delivery via bike or scooter. You can only use a car for delivery, so the best way to save on gas is to use a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Using a truck or SUV to deliver for Shipt would be expensive and impractical. A smaller vehicle, preferably a hybrid, is a better option.
If you’re looking to buy a new car, hybrid and electric vehicles are a solid option, as they’ll help you save on gas and reduce your carbon footprint.
This is only advisable if you’re already in the market for a new car. Buying a vehicle just for deliveries wouldn’t make much financial sense. There are other options, such as borrowing a friend’s car or using a rented vehicle.
Using a fuel-efficient vehicle will help you spend less on gas so you can keep more of your earnings.
3. Use a Gas Rewards App
Another way to save on gas is by using cashback apps. While these apps don’t pay much, they’re a great way to get something back for purchases you make anyway.
There are specific reward apps designed specifically for gas purchases, where you earn cashback on fuel purchases.
Upside, formerly GetUpside, is one of the most popular gas reward apps used by most delivery drivers. You can download the app to earn cash back on fuel purchases at participating gas stations.
All you need to do to get started is download the app and create an account. On the dashboard, you can search for participating gas stations where you can earn cash back on your gas purchases.
When you search for nearby participating gas stations, you get a list of all the available discounts and offers. You then select the most appealing deal for you and go to the gas station.
As you pay for gas, you earn cash back on every gallon. With Upside, you’ll earn $0.25 back per gallon.
Gas reward apps only offer a few cents cash back per gallon, but this can quickly add up, especially when you’re spending heavily on gas.
4. Choose Shipt Orders Wisely
The key to saving on gas and other expenses as a Shipt Shopper, or delivery driver in general, is working efficiently. One way to work efficiently is deliberately choosing orders that help you meet your income goals.
Aside from choosing when and how much to work, you can also accept or reject orders based on your criteria. As a rule of thumb, only accept orders that reimburse you adequately for the work involved.
When accepting orders, consider limiting your deliveries to a specific radius so you don’t have to spend much time and gas driving to the delivery destinations.
Delivering routes that are closer together means less driving, so you’ll use less fuel and ultimately save on gas.
5. Use Credit Cards To Earn Rewards
Consider using credit cards that offer rewards when making gas purchases to help you save on fuel expenses.
Most credit cards offer a 2% cash back, which may not seem like much but can easily add up if you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars.
You should research your options when looking for a credit card. Different cards offer different rewards, so you should find one that suits your needs.
Responsibility is highly encouraged when it comes to using credit cards. It’s easy to get carried away and end up spending on items you don’t need.
Financial management skills are essential, especially since you’re working a job where every cent counts.
You can talk to a financial advisor about your options regarding the various credit card options available to you.
6. Choose the Best Working Hours
Working efficiently also includes choosing your working hours and even days strategically. This will help you maximize your income.
Increasing your income gives you more wiggle room, leaving you with more money even after spending on gas and other expenses. Study your market to determine the busiest hours and the best places to work.
This way, you can strategically position yourself to make the most of this side hustle. Working during busy hours means you can make back-to-back deliveries instead of idling in your car.
Peak hours differ depending on the market, but in most markets, busy hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Scheduling your working time around these hours will help you boost your income significantly.
7. Optimize Your Routes
You can also save on gas by optimizing your delivery routes using navigation tools that help you find the best routes.
Shipt’s built-in navigation system and route optimization apps can be very useful when choosing the best routes.
Google Maps, for instance, is a free tool you can use to plan your deliveries by finding the quickest routes and avoiding traffic, which helps you stay on schedule and reduce driving stress.
Google Maps’ “My Location” feature will help you plan your routes accordingly as you make deliveries.
You can also use route optimization apps like Waze, designed with multiple features like live traffic updates that can come in handy, especially during busy hours.
The more efficient you are as a driver, the more money you’ll make and the more wiggle room you have for spending on expenses.
8. Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition
Another way to save on gas is to keep your vehicle working in tip-top condition. Regular maintenance ensures your car is running at its most efficient, meaning it uses less gas, so you save on fuel costs.
Ensure you change the oil when necessary to keep your engine lubricated and everything running smoothly.
It’s also important to keep your tires inflated and cleaned. If there are any signs of wear and tear on the vehicle, ensure it is fixed before going on the road.
Maintaining your car is not just about saving on gas. It also guarantees your safety as you drive it.
9. Always Compare Gas Prices
It’s always advisable to compare gas prices before fueling your vehicle. As you go out for deliveries, try finding cheaper gas from local gas stations.
Driving around looking for cheaper gas would be counterproductive, so consider using an app that gives you access to the information.
Several apps help you compare the gas prices at different gas stations near you in one simple click. The few dollars you save at the pump can easily stack up as you continuously make gas purchases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Shipt Pay for Mileage?
Shipt does not reimburse shoppers for mileage. Shoppers and drivers are hired as independent contractors, meaning they’re responsible for all work-related expenses.
While Shipt doesn’t pay for mileage, shoppers can earn a mileage deduction for Shipt miles. The IRS allows delivery drivers to record their business miles and file mileage deduction claims come tax season.
Can I Use my Shipt Card for Gas?
No. Shipt does not pay for gas or other expenses. The Shipt card is only meant for making customer purchases at the store.
You can only use the Shipt card to pay for orders instead of paying from your pocket. You cannot use it to fuel your vehicle for deliveries.
Is Shipt Worth It With Gas Prices?
Shipt is still worth it for most shoppers, even with gas prices. There are plenty of ways to maximize your income on the platform and reduce your expenses.
Still, whether Shipt is worth it depends on your income goals and factors like your location. Some markets are better than others, so the drivers make more.
So, does Shipt pay for gas? No. Shipt doesn’t pay for gas or any other expenses. Shoppers are in charge of all work-related expenses.
Most gig economy apps hire drivers as independent contractors. This means they don’t get any health benefits or work-related expense reimbursement.
As a Shipt shopper, you must find ways to reduce your expenses to maximize your income.
With strategies like keeping track of your mileage for tax deductions, you can significantly cut down on expenses.
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