Driving passengers or delivering? Which option is better?

Ridesharing or delivery? Which option is better?

Gig-economy services have become a go-to solution for lots of people seeking flexibility in their routine life. Millions opt for rideshare and delivery services on a daily basis. It concerns both customers and independent contractors. With hundreds of services available out there, which ones do you prefer driving for?

We at Rydar have prepared an overview of driving for rideshare vs. delivery services. Enjoy!


As we have mentioned here, onboarding for rideshare services is usually pretty similar, however it still depends on the service. The onboarding process for rideshare services includes checking of a person’s criminal and driving background, as well as necessary documentation, like driving license, vehicle registration and insurance. It is notable that Uber does a background check online, while Lyft sends its representative to meet a driver in person, make sure if he/she possesses decent driving skills, carefully check the state of a vehicle, and explain how the app functions.

The same applies to delivery services. The onboarding process looks pretty similar, however there are definitely some stones to tumble over besides the background check. Wish to drive for UberEats? You may do it any time if you are already an Uber partner. You qualify by default. You may also download the Uber Driver App and become a partner to drive exclusively for UberEats. In this instance, however, you will face certain requirements in relation to car age limit, for instance. Cars older than those manufactured in 1998 are not allowed in Eats-only profile areas. There are also insurance related requirements in such areas. So, please check your city if you ever decide to drive for UberEats. The number of doors in a car doesn’t matter as it does if you are doing Uber, however. We remind you that your four-door vehicle has to be manufactured not earlier than the year 2000 to qualify for the rideshare service. Wish to try Lyfting? Your car must be made not earlier than the year 2003 to be accepted. It is notable that vehicle age requirements differ from city to city. But overall Lyft cars tend to be a bit newer than that of Uber.

Back to delivery. Would-be dashers (DoorDash drivers) are instructed in-person at the company office and get subsequently provided with all the necessary stuff, e.g. t-shirt and insulated bags. The onboarding process itself is very encouraging and ends in a twinkling of an eye. A driver may start working right after onboarding. The same day, literally. Instacart, however, admits contractors online. You will have to pass a comprehensive test on their platform to qualify. It may take several days for a driver to start working since there is a necessity to receive a mail containing a contractor’s payment card and a lanyard. A driver shall enter a unique code in the Instacart app thereafter and it will be done. When you start delivering, Instacart will ask you whether you possess insulated bags. If not, you will be required to buy them at their preferred vendor. If yes, you will have to send the photo of the bags you have to Instacart and they will subsequently verify if your bags are fit for the purpose. Considering the above mentioned, our advice is for you to carefully check what rideshare and delivery services are available in your city/area and then find out exact requirements you have to meet in the app. Rideshare and delivery services have different onboarding policies even in the framework of their own categories. Don’t forget that it also concerns driver’s age. You have to be at least 19 years old to work for UberEats and 18 years old to drive for DoorDash and Instacart, for instance.

Driving & payment peculiarities

With rideshare services it is all very simple. A driver accepts an order, he/she picks up a passenger, drives to point B, drops a passenger, gets paid and cashes out when there is usually around $5 earned. There is often a tipping option at the passenger’s disposal and an occasional possibility to get bonuses at the driver’s disposal. As far as rideshare companies’ share goes, Uber is known to take roughly 25 % from each fare, while Lyft takes around 20 %. And the shorter the ride, the more significant the companies’ share becomes since they also take a booking fee. However, there are at least two times more Uber customers than that of Lyft, which means that profit gained from Uber is much steadier just for the reason that there are more orders coming from Uber. One has to bear in mind that there are different ranges of vehicles available at rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. For instance, Uber has UberSELECT (luxury sedan for four passengers), UberBLACK (high-end luxury sedan for four passengers), UberSUV (high-end SUV for six passengers) options, while Lyft has only a Lyft Premier option (higher quality sedan compared to other Lyft sedans for four passengers). Here one may find a luxury option he/she is able to qualify for and get significantly more money while doing rideshare. According to Rydester, an UberX driver earns $13.70 before tip and $14.73 after tip per hour. As far as Lyft driver pay is concerned, it is about $17.50. Sounds good for Lyft. However, if we take the whole range of options that Uber provides, then the figures will be much different. It should be also noted that Lyft takes around 30 % of the US market share, while Uber’s share is almost 70 %. So, there are at least two times more Uber customers than that of Lyft.

As far as delivery services are concerned, driving for them differs in terms of the way orders are handed in to customers, shift requirements, payment, order waiting time and order nature. In any case a driver is required to find a customer to hand in an order. If we take UberEats, however, customers are required to find a delivery driver’s car to pick their orders. This surely saves a driver much time and effort. UberEats drivers also don’t have to state their working hours meaning they can’t get forced to start delivering when they don’t want to. Orders are prepaid and fresh out of the oven when an UberEats driver arrives to pick them up meaning a driver doesn’t have to wait any extra time. Please note that UberEats tends to have a 25 % fee share, whereas other delivery services usually take 20 %. With UberEats one earns $ 10-15 per hour. There are also various incentives like Quest and Boost that may increase earnings more than 2 times. Speaking of DoorDash, a driver usually earns around $ 15-20 per hour. This particular delivery service is known for paying their drivers very well. It is notable that DoorDash requires its drivers to meet their working schedule and sends alerts if a driver hasn’t signed in half an hour after a shift begins. The same applies to Instacart. In this case, however, a driver receives a loud reminder when his/her shift starts which is even stricter. Being an Instacart driver means that he/she is also a shopper which is more time consuming and requires physical strength to carry up to 40 lbs without assistance. There are also such delivery services like Postmates that deliver not only groceries or cooked meals, but all sorts of thing out there. One should also bare in mind that usually delivery services allow their drivers to cash out only once a week as opposed to a relatively free rideshare services cashout policy. UberEats and Doordash have daily optional cashout system, but each of them has its own rules associated with daily cashout. At UberEats, for instance, one may cash out up to five times a day. It will cost a driver around $1 for every cashout.

Our take

It is always better to embrace all opportunities the economy brings. Moreover, the range of on-demand services is impressive. A potential rideshare and delivery driver may choose services to his/her liking that suit the needs and correspond to the desired work shift (full-time/part-time, day/night). It usually depends on whether a person is eager to deal with passengers in various states (sad, drunk, aggressive, etc.), occasionally report damage incurred by riders and receive a stable order flow, or shop/deliver stuff, prearrange shifts and earn a bit less, because the demand is not as high as it is in the rideshare field. It also depends on whether a person is extroverted or introverted, physically strong, financially ready to wait for a week to receive the money earned. It should be borne in mind that there is peak activity time in ridesharing like early morning and evening till night, bad weather, or holidays when there is usually high Surge/Prime Time that increase earnings multiple times. We at Rydar recommend considering delivery services as a wonderful supplementary source of revenue generation when demand for rideshare is not so high, for instance. Feel free to choose the options you find right for you. Rydar 2.0 will become your helping hand in tracking earnings and delivering priceless statistics on when it is more profitable to drive right now and what on-demand service to choose!


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