DoorDash provides anybody with an opportunity to make a little extra money or can provide a full-time job which has been especially important in the past few years with many lower-income workers being laid off.
How much you make can come down to many factors, but the primary ones to consider are where you are located and delivering, how much time you will spend working, and what times of day you will work.
What’s The Average Income For A DoorDash Driver?
The average income for a DoorDash driver across the United States is $15 per hour worked, including tips which are highly variable and can make up the primary portion of the hourly rate.
However, this is a national average and doesn’t take into account your expenses or your specific location.
Many real DoorDash driver reviews online indicate that an experienced driver can make between $7 – $10 per hour on weekdays and $15 – $25 per hour on weekends, delivering around 2 – 3 orders per hour.
|Length Of Time||Average Income|
If the average DoorDash driver worked 8 hours per day for five days a week and worked the US average amount of weeks of 46, they’d earn $20,010 before taxes and expenses as a DoorDash driver.
In peak times, if you’re trying to deliver four orders an hour, that gives you 25 minutes per order. Your 25 minutes includes getting to the restaurant, waiting for the order, driving to the delivery location, delivering, and then moving on to the next order, which is a tight timeframe.
Average Income On Weekdays
Based on similar real DoorDash driver reviews and experiences, a full-time DoorDash driver working on a weekday (Monday – Thursday) for 8 hours on a split shift of lunch and dinner could earn on average $18 per hour or $144 per day.
What’s interesting about some of the weekday deliveries is that lunch deliveries can be slow, you may only get two deliveries over your 4 hours, but they could be larger and further away and sometimes account for up to 50% of your daily income.
While dinner deliveries may be shorter and more consistent across your working window but require much more work.
If you can’t work a full 8 hours or don’t want to, you can test out different periods in the day to see what works better for you, especially as timeframes may work better for bikes or even walking vs. other times that would be more ideal more cars that can go further faster.
Average Income On Weekends
Based on real DoorDash driver reviews, $25 per hour is on the high end and would typically only be seen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, even when you’re in larger cities like Los Angeles.
The $25 per hour would be based on around 8 hours of a split shift, maximizing peak pay for lunch and dinner. You’d also be looking at approximately 22 deliveries over that 8 hours, which is 2-3 deliveries every hour, and potentially more per hour in the dinner period than lunchtime.
While $25 per hour is on the high end, it’s doable in most regions to be making $20 per hour on weekends if you’re experienced and working peak pay times, which would typically be lunch between 10:30 – 2:30 and dinner between 4:30 – 8:30.
So you could be making $160 per day for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on average days where you work 8 hours. However, you can work more hours, only take big orders and limit mileage on deliveries to increase your hourly rates.
Most Drivers Work For Multiple Delivery Services
When reviewing many experienced DoorDash drivers’ online comments and reviews, many have multiple delivery service apps installed, such as GrubHub, and work with multiple companies so that any quiet periods allow them to pick up the maximum number of orders possible.
It’s not always about how much you make hourly with DoorDash; it’s about how much you can make hourly as a delivery driver. You should be maximizing your time on the road to take as many orders as you’re comfortable with or able to.
Ways to Make Money As A DoorDash Driver
One of the most important things to understand is how DoorDash drivers make money, which can help you understand how to maximize income.
A DoorDash driver gets their money through three different methods, though they’re all from doing the same delivery job.
- Base Pay – This is a variable amount that depends on how long the delivery may take you, the distance you’ll have to travel, and how desirable the job is.
A typical base pay would be $2 – $3 per order.
- Tips – Whatever tips are provided by the customer go 100% to the driver
- Promotions – DoorDash will pay more for certain activities or times of day
- Peak Pay provides higher payouts during busy periods of the day; in some cases, this can mean $1 – $5 more per order
- Challenges may be offered if you’re delivering many orders quickly
A DoorDash driver can determine the best method to make the most money based on their ability, transportation, and time available.
If you’re walking or on a scooter, then taking deliveries that are long distances may not be ideal, as you might get a single large payment, but the time taken is too long.
However, if you’re in a car and trying to compete during peak times in a tight downtown location, that may not be ideal for you as you won’t find parking and may run into traffic issues.
What Your Expenses Will Be Like
As a DoorDash driver, you’re responsible for all of your own expenses, which include your phone and data charges, gas, insurance, wear and tear on your car or scooter, and any tax owed for the money you’ve earned.
If you’re driving a car, a typical 4-hour shift could have you driving 30 miles on average, which is around 1 gallon of gas, and a full shift could cost you at least 2 gallons, which would be about $9 right now. DoorDash does provide some discounts or rewards for their drivers if you sign up.
Essentially anything that you need to be a DoorDash driver must be paid for by you, and if possible, you should be writing that off with your income tax return.
You keep 100% of the base pay and tips from your delivery, and DoorDash never charges you anything or take a percentage of your money; they’re making money by charging restaurants a percentage.
It’s essential that you use some type of app to track your income from DoorDash and the expenses from doing the job so that you understand exactly what profits you’re making.
Fulltime vs. Side Hustle Income
A full-time DoorDash driver would be considered someone that’s working 8 hours a day for five days a week or more, and a side hustle DoorDash driver may only work 2-4 hours a day on weekends.
The full-time DoorDash driver could make $144 per day on weekdays and $200 per day on weekends, which is $888 per week. The part-time DoorDash driver may work three days a week for 4 hours on the weekends, so they could make $300 for the weekend.
|Length Of Time||Full-Time Average||Side Hustle Average|
|Daily||$144 – $200||$100|
Depending on your goals and the costs associated with being a full-time DoorDash driver, you’d need to determine if the extra money from working much more time is worth it over the long run.
One of the big issues that many DoorDash drivers face is when their vehicle breaks down, or the mileage starts adding up too much to the wear and tear on their vehicle. It’s often not a long-term option to be a DoorDash driver with a car.
Scooters or lower-cost vehicles are a more realistic and maneuverable option for full-time and long-term DoorDash delivery.
Average Income By Region
Average income for DoorDash drivers in each region differs to some degree, and every region has the potential to make a lot or the minimum amount based on your ability to pick the right deliveries to take.
The bigger cities in the East and West offer up the biggest per hour delivery rates of $25, southern cities come in behind with an average hourly rate of $18 per hour, and Midwest DoorDash drivers get the lowest average pay of $12 per hour.
|Region||Pay Per Hour|
Average Income By Time Of Day
Unless you plan to work for 16 hours and try to cover the entire day as a DoorDash driver, the average full-time driver will work 8 hours per day, and a part-time driver will work around 4 hours per day.
Peak times of the day are lunchtime between 10:30 am – 2:30 pm and dinner time between 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm. You also need to factor in whether it’s a weekday or weekend as times and income can differ across those days.
|10:30 am – 2:30 pm||4:30 pm – 8:30 pm|
|Weekday||$64 / 2 Orders||$69 / 10 Orders|
|Weekend||$65 / 9 Orders||$140 / 12 Orders|
Based on real DoorDash driver examples in the chart above, you can make the most money ($35 per hour) during the dinner periods of the weekend, and that equates to around three deliveries per hour which isn’t unreasonable for shorter distanced deliveries.
What isn’t ideal is that weekend lunchtime could only bring you in $7 per hour across 2-3 deliveries per hour, whereas weekdays could get you the same money but only be for two orders which allows much more room to work on other delivery apps.
How Ratings Impact DoorDash Drivers’ Income
Each delivery allows a customer to rate the delivery driver and the restaurant. If your rating is good, DoorDash can put you in a “top driver” category which gives you priority in accepting orders; however, a poor average rating doesn’t stop a driver from accepting and delivering orders.
One of the only ratings that can impact your ability to deliver is when you accept deliveries but don’t complete them. If your delivery rating goes too low, you can be removed from the app, but until then, you can accept all of the same orders as anyone else.
Most DoorDash drivers making higher hourly rates indicate that being a “top driver” doesn’t provide better results and what makes them more money is having their own criteria for what they accept and sticking with that.
The best orders to take are short milage and high enough pay to meet your expenses and add profit to the order. Understanding your expenses and then determining milage and profit ratios will be the best option for making the most money.
Minimum vs Many Orders Per Hour
Taking more orders per hour isn’t always the best option for making the most money as a DoorDash driver. Each order is going to have a total payout and other information such as mileage and estimated time for you to complete the delivery.
If you take the time of day comparison again, you can see that on a weekday, you could take two orders over 4 hours and make $64 or take ten orders over 4 hours and make $69. You’re working more for the ten orders and accruing more expenses for a similar income.
|10:30 am – 2:30 pm||4:30 pm – 8:30 pm|
|Weekday||$64 / 2 Orders / $32 per order||$69 / 10 Orders / $6.90 per order|
|Weekend||$65 / 9 Orders / $7.22 per order||$140 / 12 Orders / $11.66 per order|
Most experienced DoorDash drivers are looking to maximize income for fewer orders, which means declining orders that are either minimal payout, far away, or both.
You do get an acceptance percentage, and that decreases the more deliveries you decline, and there is some evidence that DoorDash may prioritize higher acceptance percentage drivers.
However, most experienced drivers indicate that in busy areas or times of the day, there is no issue getting orders with a 15% – 20% acceptance rate on your account, especially if your customer rating is high and your delivery rate is high.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.