Uber launched Uber Eats in 2014 and has grown to serve more than 6,000 cities in 45 countries worldwide. It made waves in 2020 when it acquired competitor Postmates, and Uber Eats is now the second largestfood delivery servicein the U.S., behind only DoorDash.
Uber Eats specializes in restaurant delivery, and drivers are paid per order (not a flat hourly rate) and keep 100% of their tips. There have been changes to the pay method and driver policies over the years, but overall drivers enjoy the flexibility Uber Eats offers. Drivers can choose the hours they deliver, can accept or decline orders, and can deliver by car, bike, scooter, or even foot in some markets.
- Can pick your hours
- Delivery methods
- Fast Pay feature
- Wear and tear on your car
- App glitches on older phones
- Not the highest paying option
- Driver pay averages $10-$17/hour
- Now owns Postmates
- Drivers aren't required to schedule hours in advance
What’s it like to drive for Uber Eats?
Driving for Uber Eats is overall a flexible and easy way to make some extra money in your spare time, and it's become one of the most popular side hustle apps. The sign-up process is simple, and the app gives you the exact instructions for picking up orders and delivering them to your customers.
You do not have to schedule your hours in advance, and Uber Eats has a couple of different promotions (Boost and Surge) to help you earn more.
However, working for Uber Eats isn’t one of the highest paying side hustles out there. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you know what to expect.
Uber Eats driver requirements
To start working for Uber Eats there are a few requirements you’ll need to meet, and it varies based on the kind of delivery method you want to use. Some states and cities may have even more stringent guidelines for drivers, but overall, Uber Eats is available for a wide variety of couriers.
- Be at least 19 yearsold (18 if you want to deliver by bicycle or on foot)
- To deliver by vehicle: have a 2-door or 4-doorcar, or motorized scooter under 50cc
- Have a valid driver’s license in yourname (government-issued ID if delivering by bicycle or foot)
- Submit your Social Security number for a backgroundscreening
You’ll need to be able to prove residency in your city and state, and you also have to go through a driver screening. The screening process takes around 3-5 days and includes a background check to review your driving record and criminal history.
You can’t have any major driving violations or a history of multiple minor driving violations. Anyone with a felony, who’s been convicted of a violent crime, or any sexual offenses will be disqualified.
Uber Eats vehicle requirements
If you want to sign up for Uber Eats to make money with your car, there are some minimum vehicle requirements to cover:
- Must have 4 doors and be able to transport a minimum of 4 passengers
- Vehicle model must be 15 years old or newer
- Title cannot be salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt
- Rental vehicles - except those from an approved Uber rental company - are not allowed (rentals from HyreCar are not eligible for Uber Eats)
- Cannot have any cosmetic damage, missing pieces, commercial branding, or taxi paint jobs
Drivers don't need to have their name on the registration, but you must be listed on the insurance policy as an insured driver. Uber Eats is very clear that you will not be approved if your name isn't on the policy.
How to become an Uber Eats driver
If you’re interested in driving for Uber Eats, the sign-up process is simple, and you can do all of it online or from your phone in the app.
Step #1: Sign up online
Go to Uber.com and sign up to deliver for Uber Eats. You’ll be asked to download the Uber app, which is free in the Apple or Android app store. You can skip this if you’re already driving for Uber because you use the same app for both services.
Step #2: Register yourself as a driver
You’ll need to create an account if you don’t have one yet and fill out all of the necessary information (name, date of birth, address, Social Security number for tax purposes, etc.). This is also the step when you upload documents required for the background check.
Step #3: Set your preferences
You’ll want to link your checking or savings account information to your profile so you can get paid. You won’t be able to start driving until your payment method is set up. There’s also an Instant Pay option so you can cash out whenever you want instead of getting paid weekly, and you’ll need to connect a debit card to utilize that feature.
There are other preferences you can set here to use an alternative map, like Google Maps or Waze, instead of the Uber app.
And that’s it! You can start accepting orders in the app and making deliveries once your background check clears.
M$M tip:Uber driverswill need to opt into the Uber Eats before you can start delivering. You click on the menu, and then click “Deliveries.” You’ll see an opt-in button to click on, and it sends you an Uber Eats activation email.
How much do Uber Eats drivers make?
Uber Eats drivers don’t make a flat hourly rate. Instead, they’re paid per delivery. Uber Eats isn’t incredibly transparent with their driver pay formula — that’s because there are a lot of different factors, including the market you're delivering in. But here’s what Uber Eats does share about their driver pay formula:
Your per delivery pay is base pay + trip supplement + promotions + tips.
Now let’s break down each of those factors:
- Base pay:This amount is determined by the time, pickup, drop off, and distance it. A larger order at a busier restaurant is going to offer a higher base pay.
- Trip supplement:This is a newer factor that Uber Eats says they added to “Help make every trip worthwhile.”
- Promotions:Surge and Boost are multipliers of the amount you can make, and you’ll find them in the app during busier times. If there’s more than one of these promotions available for an order, you’re paid the higher of the two.
You’ll see an upfront guaranteed minimum in the Uber Eats driver app before you accept each delivery. Then you can view the exact amount you earned for base pay, trip supplement, and promotion once the order is completed.
Uber Eats drivers keep 100% of their tips, and tips can be paid in the app or cash when you deliver.
New Uber Eats driver pay formula
It’s worth noting that Uber Eats changed their pay formula in the spring of 2020, and that’s when they added the trip supplement. The supplement lowers base pay overall, but it’s meant to supplement for deliveries that might not pay as well.
Uber Eats driver reviews are mixed on how it affects drivers. Some drivers have seen lower fares since it rolled out and others are making more. One driver even created a Chrome extension to catch pay discrepancies.
All of that brings up a good point when talking about driver earnings for Uber Eats (and any other food delivery or ride share company) — these companies are known to change their pay model, and it can happen without much warning. That shouldn’t scare you away, because it can be good for drivers. We just want you to be fully informed before you sign up to drive.
Related:DoorDash vs. Uber Eats | Which is the Best Company for Drivers?andPostmates vs. Uber Eats | Which is Better for Drivers in 2022?
How much do Uber Eats drivers actually make?
Uber Eats driver earnings vary greatly. It's a wide range because pay depends on when you’re delivering — busier times net higher pay, like evenings, holidays, and major sporting events.
Remember, you’re not getting paid a flat hourly rate, so your hourly pay is based on how much you make throughout the day or week for each of your orders. It’s not uncommon for Uber Eats drivers to make great money one day, and then find themselves making much less another day.
Here's what we've gathered about pay from Uber Eats driver reviews:
- $12-$13/hour after taxes according to drivers on Indeed
- According to drivers on Reddit, pay ranges from $10-$25/hour
- Glassdoor lists pay around $13-$16/hour
Uber Eats drivers are considered independent contractors, so you are responsible forwithholding money for taxes. Uber will send you a 1099-MISC form that you’ll use at tax time, and many drivers use an app likeEverlance to track their miles to take the correct deduction at tax time. It helps you keep more money in your pocket.
Using the Uber Eats app
Once you’re all set up to start driving for Uber Eats the process for accepting orders and delivering is straightforward. You start by opening the app and clicking the blue “Go” button. This lets Uber know that you’re active and can accept orders.
Many drivers prefer Uber instead of its competitors becauseyou do not need to schedule your hours in advance.You can open the app and start delivering whenever you have extra time.
How to accept orders in the Uber Eats app
Uber uses your location to match you with orders in your area. So when a customer places an order with Uber Eats, you’ll see that order pop up if you’re in the area. New orders appear in the app with a flashing blue button, and you need to accept the order within 15 seconds, otherwise, it goes to another driver in the area.
After you’ve accepted the order, the app gives you all the information you need to complete it. You get directions to the restaurant and instructions for pick-up.
Paying for customer orders
For partnered restaurants, customers pay for their orders in the app. You don’t need to keep cash on hand or pay with your debit or credit card. You are simply going into the restaurant and picking up the order.
Always double-check the order before you leave the restaurant!
Uber Eats has already partnered with more than 600,000 restaurants, so there is a good chance you’ll only be picking up from partners. Uber Eats will give you an Uber Plus Card, a pre-loaded card that you use to pay for non-partner restaurants’ orders.
Delivering food customers
After you’ve picked up the order, you need to tap the “Start Trip” button in the app to get a map for delivery. You’ll see any special instructions, like if you need a key code, in the app. The customer gets a notification in the app or via text when you’re close.
Follow whatever directions your customer has regarding drop off, and then swipe “Complete Trip” once your customer has their food.
How to make more money as an Uber Eats driver
Real Uber Eats driver reviews all give the same advice on making the most money as a driver:
- Pay attention to the promotions.The Surge and Boost promotions can seriously increase how much you make during deliveries. Surge goes on when there’s a high demand for drivers, and you’ll see areas in your map light up red with an extra dollar amount showing you how much more you can make per delivery. Boost is a promotion that pays extra per trip by guaranteeing higher rates in specific times and places.
- Be professional and friendly.This goes without saying when you’re on the job, but it can make a difference in tips. You should dress professionally, be nice when speaking to customers, and be responsive to their issues. Whatever you do, always provide excellent service.
- Drive for more than one food delivery service.This is a big one, and lots of drivers do it. You should sign up and be ready to drive for other services. That way when you have downtime, you’re not just sitting there waiting for an order. You can open another app and pick up an order. DoorDash, Instacart, and Shipt are all good alternatives to deliver for, although the last two are grocery delivery services.
What Uber Eats drivers like about the job
After reading through many Uber Eat driver reviews online, the top thing that drivers like is flexibility. You can set your hours and make extra moneywhen you want, and that’s a big deal.
A lot of driver reviews say driving for Uber Eats is an easy job. The app is easy to use, directions are clear, and you get paid once a week for your time — simple!
Another positive is that it's a self-driven side job. You’ve got to hustle and keep yourself motivated, but for self-starters, it’s a great fit.
What Uber Eats drivers don’t like
Now let’s talk about the bummers, and the biggest complaint in Uber Eats driver reviews is about how much you make. Some days you might not get paid much as you want, and that’s the reality. The flip side is that you can have a great day right after that. But if you want steady pay, food delivery driving might not be for you.
Another complaint from drivers is the wear and tear on your car. It’s par for the course, but it eats into your take home pay. Wear and tear equals more frequent maintenance. You can take a mileage deduction on your taxes to help make up some of those costs; it's 58.5 cents per mile for 2022.
The last issue to mention is that some drivers complain that the app can be a little buggy at times. It mostly happens to people who are using older smartphones, so keep that in mind!
Uber Eats pros and cons
- No need to schedule hours:Uber Eats doesn't require that drivers schedule their hours in advance, so you can hop on the app and drive whenever you have extra time. Most drivers find this as a major advantage, but the disadvantage is that if there are lots of drivers on the app already, it may be difficult to find orders.
- Delivery methods:You can deliver by car, scooter, bicycle, or even on foot.
- Instant Pay feature:Drivers can cash out their earnings up to 5 times a day using Instant Pay. It's $0.50 to transfer payments to your personal debit card, or it's free to transfer earnings to an Uber Debit Card from GoBank.
- Wear and tear on your car:This isn't unique to Uber Eats — all of the extra miles you spend driving causes more wear and tear on your car, resulting in more frequent maintenance and repairs.
- Glitchy app on older phones:Older model smartphones may struggle with glitches in the Uber Eats app. Because this is an app-based side hustle, the user experience is extremely important!
- Not the highest paying option:Compared to DoorDash, Instacart, or Shipt, Uber Eats drivers average less overall.
Alternatives to Uber Eats
There are lots of choices for drivers instead in food delivery, and here are our top-rated alternatives to Uber Eats:
Over 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan
Over 5,500 cities across the U.S. and Canada
DoorDash Driver Review
Get Started With DoorDash
Get Started With Instacart
DoorDash Disclaimer: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.
The final word — Is driving for Uber Eats worth it?
You’re not going to get rich driving for Uber Eats, but you can easily make some extra money in your spare time with this side hustle. The ability to make money in your spare time is what’s so appealing to drivers.
Overall, driving for Uber Eats is a low-commitment way to supplement your income, save up for a vacation, pay off debt, or to start investing for retirement. And if that’s the kind of side hustle you’re looking for, then Uber Eats may be worth your time.
Can you drive for Uber Eats and Uber at the same time?
Yes, and many drivers do. You will have to enable the delivery side in the Uber app, and you will need to follow the steps in an activation email before you can start delivering.
How much can you make with Uber Eats in a week?
Driving part-time for Uber Eats you can realistically expect to make $300-$500/week. It honestly depends on how many hours you can commit to driving and whether or not you’re driving during busy hours.
How old do you have to be to drive for Uber Eats?
You need to meet at least the minimum driving requirements in your city and have one year of driving experience. You need to be at least 19 years old to deliver via scooter and 18 to deliver via bike.
How do Uber Eats drivers get paid?
Uber Eats drivers are paid via direct deposit once a week. You link your bank account to the app when you sign up, and then Uber Eats automatically pays you for what you make each week. You can set up Instant Pay if you want to cash out sooner. There’s a $0.50 fee for each Instant Pay transfer unless you have an Uber Visa Debit card, and then it’s free.
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Bobby Hoyt is a former band director who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in 18 months on his teaching salary and then left his job to run Millennial Money Man full-time. He helps other Millennials earn more through side hustles, save more through budgeting tools and apps, and pay off debt. He is a personal finance expert who has been seen on Forbes, Reuters, MarketWatch, CNBC, International Business Times, Business Insider, US News, Yahoo Finance, and many other personal finance and entrepreneurship media outlets.
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Don't worry. One low rating won't have a significant impact on your overall average. If you're consistently rated poorly, check out Uber resources, including tips from other delivery people. If your rating doesn't improve, you may lose access to the app (see Uber's Community Guidelines for more information).
Flexible, low-paid part-time job
You get a lot of flexibility, of course. However, the downsides are too substantial to be ignored: you depend on customers requiring the service you provide and, since there is much competition, both from within the company and outside, it is really hard to make enough to get by.
A driver or delivery person can lose access to part or all of the Uber platform for ratings that are below the minimum average rating in their city.
Overall, ride share drivers earn between 50 cents and $4 more per hour than food delivery drivers in major markets. That includes tips, which are far more likely to be given to food delivery drivers than ride share drivers. Roughly 68% of food deliveries include a tip; just 32% of ride share drivers get a tip.
Your best bet is to give yourself a good buffer. My general recommendation is to keep your satisfaction rating at 90% or higher. That way, you have to solid buffer so that if you have a few bad deliveries, you'll still avoid potential deactivation.