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Making money by delivering with UberEats: What to expect

Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 09, 2017

If you want to make money as an Uber driver but are put off by tales about drunk passengers, you can transport food instead of people with the company’s meal delivery service.

Here’s a guide to how to get started as a delivery person for UberEats.


  • It’s easy to sign up. All you need is a method of delivery and a smartphone.
  • You’re paid per delivery and can take rides at any time
  • Get paid once a week or use Instant Pay to cash out up to five times a day

Where you can work

UberEats is available in several U.S. cities — big ones like New York as well as smaller ones like Bozeman, Montana — and it keeps adding locations. Check its website to see if it’s available in your city or state.

What you need

Delivery workers with Uber are not subject to the same rules and regulations as regular drivers for Uber or Lyft. You have to be 19 years old, instead of 21, to use a car to make deliveries for Uber. Your car doesn’t need to pass a 19-point inspection, which makes sure the vehicle is fully functional, to start working for UberEats.

Here are a few basic requirements to become a deliverer for UberEats.

A method of transportation: Depending on your city, you can make UberEats deliveries with a car, scooter or bike. Any two- or four-door car will work, as long as the vehicle was made after 1997 and you hold a driver’s license and registration for it. You should have had your license in the U.S. for at least a year, and in most states, you need to have been driving for at least three years if you’re under 23. A scooter must have a motor of 50cc or less and travel no faster than 30 miles per hour. You also can deliver on a bike, provided you specify that as your delivery method when you sign up.

Insurance: You should have enough insurance for your vehicle. Uber provides up to $1 million of liability insurance during deliveries; it covers you from the moment you take a job to when you complete it. Between rides, you get some injury and liability coverage, but not much. Let your personal insurance company know you’re delivering for Uber, since the policy may be canceled if the company finds out. Discuss the amount and kind of insurance you need for the period between deliveries.

A smartphone: You can use any smartphone that supports the Uber app. You need to have a robust data plan because you’ll be using either the Uber app or a navigation app during the entire work time.

A background check: Create an account with UberEats. Once you upload a few documents to your account, Uber will perform a background check, which can take several days.

You may also need to buy additional gear, such as an insulated bag for food or a car charger for your phone.

Sign up

To get started, download the Uber app. If you already drive for Uber, you’d have the app and can start making deliveries now. You accept deliveries through the same app.

If you’re new to Uber and want to only make deliveries, you have to take these additional steps:

1. Register and complete forms. If you don’t have an account, create one on the Uber app or online. Fill out any necessary information and upload any documents you need for the background check.

2. Set up your preferences. To receive your earnings, you can link your profile to a checking or savings account, as well as a debit card if you wish to use Instant Pay. For navigation, you can use the Uber app. To use an alternative one such as Google Maps or Waze, you can change the default in the Settings tab on the Uber app.

Once your background check clears and your method of payment is set up, you can start making deliveries.

Take gigs

The pickup and delivery process is straightforward. Here’s how orders work:

1. Go online. You can take deliveries at any time by clicking into the app and selecting the blue “go online” button at the top. The app will display deliveries as soon as they become available for as long as you’re online.

2. Accept deliveries. When deliveries become available, the app will flash and beep to notify you and show you the general location where you need to go. To accept, click anywhere in the app within 15 seconds of receiving the notification, after which you’ll get directions to your destination. If you don’t accept in time, the offer will go to another driver in the area. Occasionally, you may get another request to pick up another order at the same restaurant at the same time and deliver both. If you accept both, you will pick up both orders at the same time and deliver them in the order you received them.

3. Pick up the food. Check that you have the correct order before you head out to deliver. Everything is paid for by the customer, so there’s no need to handle any money. If there’s a mixture of hot and cold foods, try to keep them separate. Store the food upright and in a position where it’s unlikely to fall over. An insulated food bag is great for this.

Navigate to the location using your preferred app. You and the customer will receive an estimated time for the delivery. There’s no required window for you to complete your delivery, and you won’t be penalized for traffic delays.

4. Deliver. Once you reach your destination, check in the app for any notes the customer may have left, such as the apartment number or whether a roommate can receive the order. The customer may not mind coming out to meet you, but if you’re asked to take the order to the door, find a safe place to park before you get out. You can also call the customer to work out which delivery method works best for both of you.

5. Complete the order. Once you’ve delivered the order, swipe right on the app to complete the job.

Repeat the process for as many deliveries as you want. The app will continue to notify you of deliveries for as long as you’re online. To take a break and stop receiving delivery alerts during that time, you have to go into the app’s trip menu and switch your status to go offline. You won’t be penalized for doing this; you just won’t be offered rides until you switch your status back on.

Make money

There’s no set price for delivering with UberEats. Instead, the payment per trip is calculated through a formula that takes into account factors including distance and the delivery fees that the customer pays. After each delivery is completed, the customer has the opportunity to tip you through the app and give you a rating according to a system similar to the one for Uber drivers.

Cash out

Payments are made weekly to your linked direct deposit account. Uber also offers Instant Pay, which lets you transfer your earnings to a debit card up to five times per day. You also can view your earnings at any time by clicking on the “Earnings” tab in the app.

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