On-demand food delivery services like Uber Eats have blown up in the past year, and this Uber Eats Driver review will help you decide whether or not you should sign up to start driving for Uber Eats.
I’m going to cover everything you’ve wondered about driving for Uber, like how much drivers make, how to make more, how the app works, and what drivers love and hate about Uber Eats.
Uber Eats Driver Review 2021 | Is Driving For Uber Worth It?
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. 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 the highest paying side hustle out there. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you know what to expect. Speaking of driver pay, let’s jump right in!
Uber Eats driver pay
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. Either way, Uber Eats isn’t saying much about what it is and why.
All of that brings up a good point when talking about driver pay 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. I just want you to be fully informed before you sign up to drive.
How much do Uber Eats drivers actually make?
Uber Eats Drivers average $8 to $15/hour. That wide range is 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, like over $15/hour, and then find themselves making much less another day.
Uber Eats drivers are considered independent contractors, so you are responsible for withholding money for taxes. Uber will send you a 1099-MISC form that you’ll use at tax time, and many drivers use an app like Everlance to track their mileage so they can take the correct deduction at tax time. It helps you keep more money in your pocket.
Uber Eats driver requirements
To start working for Uber Eats there are a few requirements you’ll need to meet:
- Meet the minimum age to drive your city
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S, or three years of experience if you’re under the age of 23
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Have an eligible 4-door vehicle
- Proof of vehicle insurance if you’re delivering via car (not required for bicycle couriers)
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.
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 online. 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.
Pro tip: Uber drivers will 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.
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 because you 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 near you. 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, Postmates, and Grubhub are all good alternatives to deliver for.
Technically, Postmates is owned by Uber now, but the apps still operate separately. So you will need to sign up for Postmates if you want to deliver for them as well.
Read more at Postmates Driver Review | How to Make More Than Average.
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 money when you want, and that’s a big deal. Unlike DoorDash, you do not have to schedule your hours in advance, so it’s incredibly flexible.
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 you get to be your own boss. That’s honestly what I love so much about blogging and so many other side hustles. 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 the pay. Some days you might average less than minimum wage, and that’s the reality. The flipside 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 was 57.5 cents per mile in 2020.
The last issue I want 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 & Cons
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.