How Can I Drive for Uber Eats?

By Nadya JosifovLast Updated September 3, 2020
Photo Courtesy: @UberEats/Twitter

In 2014, the popular ride-sharing company Uber launched a restaurant-delivery service called Uber Eats. Similar to services like DoorDash and GrubHub, users place their food orders from their computers or mobile devices, and delivery drivers go to the respective restaurants, pick up the orders and deliver the food to the users' front doors. Drivers get paid a certain amount per mile and also work for tips and other fees that Uber Eats charges both the restaurant and the customer.

Driving for Uber Eats can be a great side gig that lets you choose when you want to work. Read on to learn more about what the requirements are to become an Uber Eats driver, how pay is broken down and whether it might be a good fit for you.

What Are the Basic Requirements for Being an Uber Eats Driver?

To become an Uber Eats driver, you can choose to make deliveries by car, scooter or bicycle. In urban environments, scooter and bicycle deliveries are more common because they can be easier to navigate traffic with. To drive for the service, you must meet the minimum age to drive in your city, and your car must be a two- or four-door vehicle that's 20 years old or newer. You must also have a current driver’s license, insurance and registration, and have at least one year of driving experience or three years if you're under age 23.

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To use a scooter, you must be at least 19 years old and have a motor scooter under 50cc that's 20 years old or newer. Your scooter (insured and registered) must also be legal to drive, and you must have a valid driver’s license. For bicycle delivery, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid, government-issued ID.

Being able to pass a background screening is also a must. This report accesses your driving and criminal records. Having certain types of criminal convictions on your record, including murder, sexual assault and terrorism-related offenses, immediately disqualifies you from driving for Uber Eats. You can’t have any major traffic violations, convictions for driving under the influence, felonies or a registered sex offender status on your record; these also result in disqualification.

To start the process of becoming a driver for Uber Eats, you can sign up on the Uber platform. If you’re already a driver with Uber, you can sign up through your existing account. If you don’t already have an existing employee account, you’ll have to create one. It can take two weeks or longer to become accepted as an Uber Eats driver, depending on your state and how quickly you submit your documents. The activation process typically takes up to a week, and the security and background checks can take a week or longer.

How Do Uber Eats Drivers Get Paid?

Drivers don’t rely on tips alone for their Uber Eats earnings, but they also don't make an hourly wage. Instead, the pay breaks down into several different categories for the total fare. Each time you make a delivery, you earn "base fare," which includes pay for picking up an order, dropping it off, the length of time it takes you to make the delivery and the distance you travel to make the delivery.

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Drivers also earn what's called a Trip Supplement, which provides extra money if the order takes a particularly long time to deliver or you need to drive farther than anticipated to deliver it. Boost and Surge are two types of multipliers than can affect your pay as a driver, too. During periods when there's excessive demand from customers for Uber Eats services, you can earn more money if the Boost and Surge promotions are activated, but these multipliers aren't always available. Drivers also get paid tips if customers choose to leave them.

The Pros and Cons of Uber Eats Driving

There are several pros and cons of being an Uber Eats driver. One of the pros is that you're able get paid daily. If you work a long shift and make multiple deliveries, this is much more convenient than waiting for one weekly paycheck. There’s a lot of flexibility to driving for Uber Eats, as the company doesn’t demand that you work certain hours or shifts. This means you can pick up work when you have the time.

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However, to make decent money being an Uber Eats driver, you’ll need to work during the in-demand shifts, which means evenings, weekends and holidays. Another potential downside is that driving can put a lot of wear and tear on your car. Of course, there’s also the issue of dealing with irate customers or customers leaving you bad reviews. If your driver rating drops low enough, Uber could potentially kick you off the platform.

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