A side hustle delivering food is one way to earn an average of $18 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter, and you get paid fast while setting your own hours and working as much or as little as you want. You’ve probably ordered from Uber Eats, so you know they are a global giant in the food delivery industry. 

But how much does Uber Eats pay, and is it worth it

Let’s dive into the details of the Uber Eats pay structure and the expenses you’ll incur to help figure out how much you can potentially earn as a delivery driver.

What Is Uber Eats?

Uber Eats is a popular food delivery platform that connects customers with local restaurants, offering a convenient way to enjoy meals from the comfort of home. As a delivery driver, you have the opportunity to make money fast by delivering orders to hungry customers.

Uber Eats operates through a user-friendly app that allows customers to browse menus, place orders, and track deliveries. As a driver, you’ll receive delivery requests through the app and have the flexibility to choose when and where you want to work.

How Uber Eats Pays

The money you make delivering orders is automatically transferred to your bank account weekly, or you can use Instant Pay to cash out up to six times a day. However, there’s a fee of 85 cents per cash out if you direct the money to your debit card. 

Alternatively, you can choose to send earnings to the Uber Pro Card for free automatic payouts after every trip. This is essentially a debit card that includes rewards such as cash back on gas, electric vehicle charging, and more.

To predict how much you’ll make on each order, you can use the app to see how much an Uber Eats delivery will pay before you accept it. If a customer chooses to tip, you keep 100 percent of the tip money. 

Uber Eats Pay Structure

Now, let’s dive into the heart of the matter — how much does Uber Eats pay? The pay structure for Uber Eats drivers uses this formula:

Base pay + trip supplement + promotions + tips. 

Let’s look at that in more detail:

  • Base Pay: This is the core amount you earn for each delivery, which is calculated based on factors such as distance traveled, time spent on the trip, and location.
  • Tips: You keep 100 percent of tips you earn.
  • Promotions: Uber Eats often offers promotions and incentives to drivers, such as extra earnings for completing a certain number of deliveries within a specific time frame. These promotions provide opportunities to boost your earnings.
  • Pick-Up Fee: This fee compensates you for picking up the order from the restaurant.
  • Drop-Off Fee: You receive this fee for successfully delivering the order to the customer’s location.
  • Trip Supplements: Uber Eats may provide additional earnings in certain situations, such as longer distance deliveries or during peak hours.
  • Surge Pricing: During high-demand periods, Uber Eats implements surge pricing, which can significantly increase your earnings for each delivery.
  • Expenses: It’s essential to consider expenses associated with being a delivery driver, such as fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, and insurance. Understanding and factoring in these expenses is crucial when determining your potential overall earnings.
  • Comparison With Other Delivery Services: To gain a better perspective on earnings, it’s worth comparing the Uber Eats pay structure with other delivery services available in your area. This can help you make an informed decision about which platform aligns best with your financial goals. You can learn more from our article DoorDash vs. Uber Eats

How to Track Uber Eats Pay

The Uber Eats app provides a clear and detailed breakdown of earnings on a per-trip basis, which includes base fare, promotions, tips, and any adjustments made. This transparency allows drivers to understand exactly how earnings are calculated. 

The app also provides real-time tracking of earnings in a day, week, or individual trip, offering drivers the ability to monitor their income closely. Variables like gas, maintenance, and other vehicle-related costs are not considered in this calculation, so you’ll need to consider those expenses when calculating your net pay. 

How to Maximize Uber Eats Pay

Various factors can influence your earning potential as an Uber Eats driver:

  • Time of Day: During peak meal times (lunch and dinner), the demand for deliveries increases, which can lead to higher pay. Similarly, weekends often see a surge in orders. 
  • Distance: Longer trips typically mean more money. However, it’s important to consider the cost of gas and vehicle wear and tear to fully calculate your net profit. 
  • Tips: While tips are not guaranteed, providing excellent service can increase your chances of receiving them. 
  • Promotions: Drivers can earn more than the standard rate if certain criteria are met, such as completing a specific number of deliveries within a set period or making deliveries in certain high-demand areas.
  • Mode of Transportation: In some cities, delivery via walking, bicycle, or scooter may pay more because it allows you to deliver faster and avoid most traffic delays. 

Why Drive for Uber Eats

People get into driving for Uber Eats for many different reasons — to pay off debt, make extra money for travel or a big purchase, or to offset holiday gift expenses — but flexibility might be the main appeal. With Uber Eats, you are your own boss, setting your own schedules and working at your own pace. 

This is particularly beneficial if you’re balancing other commitments, such as school, a day job, or family responsibilities. In addition, Uber Eats provides a relatively simple and fast way to generate extra income. 

The earning potential depends on your effort, the time you dedicate, and the demand in your area. But there’s no long startup time spent pitching ideas and cultivating a client base. You can sign up, meet the qualifications, and start accepting deliveries all in one day.

This is no desk job. You are out in the world with a nice balance between time alone in your car and interactions with restaurant employees and customers.

Expenses Uber Eats Drivers Incur

As an Uber Eats driver, there are several unavoidable expenses that you need to take into account. To start, gas is a primary recurring expense. The longer you drive, the more gas you’ll need, and the cost can quickly add up. 

Additionally, the wear and tear on your vehicle is a significant factor. Regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake checks are necessary to keep your vehicle in good shape and safe for driving. Of course, you will need to maintain insurance on your car and keep in mind drivers who engage in delivery may incur a surcharge on their policy.

Remember, having a smartphone with the Uber Eats app on it is a must, so you’ll want to factor that in as a business expense. Lastly, don’t forget about taxes — as an independent contractor, you’re responsible for keeping track of your earnings and paying the appropriate taxes. 

The good news is, most business expenses are tax-deductible, so that can offset what you owe as long as you keep good records. 

Helpful Apps for Uber Eats Drivers 

Beyond the Uber Eats app, there are several other software tools and apps that can help drivers manage their bottom line. A good GPS app, like Google Maps or Waze, can be a lifesaver when navigating unfamiliar areas. 

Fuel cost apps like GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas stations nearby, assisting in reducing overhead expenses. MileIQ or Hurdlr can be used to track miles for tax purposes, making it easier to claim deductions during tax season. 

If you’re looking to streamline your earnings and expenses information, consider apps like QuickBooks or Expensify, designed specifically for independent contractors and freelancers. They can aid in tracking income and expenses and provide helpful insights into your financial performance. 

Lastly, an app like Stride can help you discover other potential tax deductions and can even offer guidance in filing taxes at the end of the year. Many of these apps have free versions or tiered subscriptions with an affordable option.

Requirements to be an Uber Eats Driver

To deliver food for Uber Eats, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 19 years old for car deliveries and 18 for motorcycles or bicycles
  • Have a driver’s license, insurance, and proof of vehicle registration 
  • Submit to a background check
  • Provide your Social Security number
  • Have a smartphone (iOS or Android) to manage deliveries through the Uber app.
  • If you’re using a bike or scooter for deliveries, requirements vary by city.

Final Words

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of the Uber Eats pay structure and the factors influencing your potential earnings as a delivery driver. Remember, your earnings will vary based on various factors, including location, time, and the effort you put into your deliveries.

While it’s crucial to manage your driver expenses and maximize your efficiency as you accept deliveries, Uber Eats provides a flexible and potentially lucrative opportunity.

If you’re considering gig work and exploring the world

FAQs

Can I drive for both another food delivery company and Uber Eats? 

Yes. The Uber Eats website makes it clear you can be a driver for other rideshare apps, other food delivery services, or even package delivery services. They will still “welcome you to the Uber platform.” 

Do I have to have a car to deliver for Uber Eats?

It depends on where you are located. In major cities, you can deliver via bicycle, scooter, or on foot. Check their website for more details.