DoorDash is one of the most popular delivery jobs around, and the platform is currently available in over 5,000 cities across North America.
And, you’re probably thinking about delivering for DoorDash if you’re searching for the question: does DoorDash pay for gas?
This is an incredibly important consideration: after all, you want to know all of the costs you’re taking on with any side hustle idea, and DoorDash isn’t an exception.
So, today I’m covering DoorDash gas questions as well as tips for Dashers to save on gas and maximize their earnings.
Let’s get to it!
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Does DoorDash Pay For Gas
DoorDash doesn’t pay drivers for gas for any vehicle expenses. This is because, when you work for DoorDash, you’re working as an independent contractor and therefore don’t get any employee benefits and are responsible for covering your own expenses.
Here’s how Dasher pay actually works:
Your earnings = Base Pay + Promotions + Tips. As you can see, none of these categories cover gas expenses.
This is the case for other gig economy jobs like Postmates and Uber Eats since again, you’re working as an independent contractor.
So, in short, you have to factor in fuel costs into your DoorDash earnings since this comes right out of your paycheck.
DoorDash Gas Rewards Program
While DoorDash doesn’t reimburse for gas, it introduced a new gas rewards program in 2022 to help offset the rising cost of gas around the world. Dashers who qualify can earn anywhere from $1.65 to $2 per gallon, which is a significant amount of money to save on gas.
There are two ways you can qualify for the program:
- DasherDirect Users: All U.S. Dashers can earn 10% back on gas if they use the DasherDirect prepaid Visa debit card when at the pump.
- Weekly Gas Bonuses: Every week, Dashers who complete at least 100 miles of deliveries earn an extra $5. For 175 miles, you earn another $10, and at 225 miles you earn another $15. According to DoorDash, this incremental mileage reimbursement can add $1.27 to $1.69 per gallon for drivers who qualify.
This is a step in the right direction for Dashers, and it kind of means DoorDash pays for mileage as long as you’re driving at least 100 miles per week.
Can You Use Your DoorDash Red Card For Gas?
Your DoorDash Red Card is the credit card DoorDash sends you in your activation. You use your Red Card to pay for certain food delivery orders. However, you can’t use your DoorDash Red Card to pay for gas since it’s only to be used for meal payments.
According to DoorDash: “you can only use the Red Card to pay for a DoorDash order at the correct time and at the correct restaurant. The card will only charge the correct amount of money due to the restaurant.”
Furthermore, DoorDash states your Dasher app prompts you when it’s time to pay with your Red Card, so you know the scenarios when you’re supposed to use it (and paying for gas isn’t one of those scenarios!)
Why Gas Costs Matter For DoorDash Drivers
With any delivery job, it’s critical to understand your fixed and variable expenses so you know how much you’re really earning.
And, for DoorDash, factoring in gas costs is extremely important for several reasons.
1. Impacts True Earnings
It’s possible to make great money each week with DoorDash.
In fact, some couriers are capable of earning over $1,000 per week with DoorDash by driving many hours, working for tips, and taking advantage of peak pay.
But, you need to consider how much you spend on gas since DoorDash doesn’t cover this expense. This is the only way to truly understand your profit.
You should also consider vehicle depreciation, although this is a bit of a tougher calculation.
To factor in depreciation as well, you can use a depreciation calculator from StateFarm or plenty of other websites.
2. Rising Cost Of Gas
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude oil prices are steadily rising since reaching multiyear lows back in 2020.
In other words, gasoline prices are currently on the rise, and it looks like things will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
I mean, I’m sure anyone can reflect on their childhood in some sort of sweet nostalgia and say something like: “Back in my day, gas cost under $1.50 a gallon!”
So, because DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas, you need to anticipate that serious dashing means forking out some of your earnings on gas, which is slowly becoming more expensive.
Arguably, wages should slowly creep up to help match things like inflation and rising gas prices, but we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.
3. Potential Tax Deductions
Ah, time for some positive news!
While DoorDash doesn’t pay drivers for gas, you can potentially claim some vehicle and gas expenses on your tax return.
This is because when you drive for DoorDash, you’re basically running an independent contractor business with business related expenses like:
- DoorDash Mileage
- Vehicle repairs
- Vehicle maintenance (oil, windshield wiper fluid, etc.)
- Potential tolls and parking fees incurred during business
- Your phone bill, in some cases
The taxes can get a bit tricky, but this video provides a great overview of how to use Turbo Tax to file your rideshare and delivery driving tax return:
At the very least, make sure you keep all of your gas receipts so you can try and claim some business mileage on your tax return.
The current business mileage rate is $0.585 per mile according to the IRS, so this can lead to some massive savings!
Tips For DoorDash Drivers To Save On Gas
In my opinion, DoorDash is still an extremely viable side hustle because it pays more than minimum wage on average and lets you work at your own schedule.
There are also Dashers making thousands per month, driving full-time, or at least seriously boosting their incomes.
But, you can always optimize a gig job, and why would you pay full-price for gas anyway?
So, here are some DoorDash hacks to save on gas while you’re delivering.
1. Drive A Fuel Efficient Vehicle
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but you want to drive a fuel-efficient beater of a vehicle when doing DoorDash, not a pickup truck.
A lot of long-time DoorDash drivers also emphasize the “beater” part of this. If you can find a clunky yet reliable car you don’t mind driving into the ground, this is an ideal candidate for dashing in.
Extra Reading – DoorDash Driver Tips & Tricks.
2. Use A Mileage Tracking App
Because DoorDash doesn’t pay you for gas, you need a way to track how many miles you drive during food deliveries to help you claim tax deductions.
Thankfully, there are numerous mileage tracking apps you can use to do this automatically as you drive, so you don’t have to keep a mileage log book.
One app that lets you do this is Hurdlr.
Hurdlr also lets you track your driving income, so if you drive for companies like DoorDash or Uber Eats, you can keep track of your different income streams to once again help when filing taxes.
Checkout our Hurdlr app review for all the details!
3. Use A Cash-Back Credit Card At The Pump
Another way to save money on gas is to refuel with a cash-back credit card.
Certain credit cards even pay bonuses on gas, and you can usually earn at least 2% back at the pump.
This doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you spend $1,000 on gas over a few months, that’s a free $20 back.
Cards can also pay bonus introductory rates or points bonuses for signing up.
The bottom line is that even though DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas, you can still earn something back when you’re at the pump.
Extr Reading – How To DoorDash For The First Time.
4. Use Cash-Back Reward Apps To Save Money On Gas
I love reward apps because they help you save on everyday purchases like groceries, household essentials, and gas.
So, unsurprisingly, you can use reward apps to save more on gas while you’re driving for DoorDash!
The best gas rewards app in my opinion is GetUpside.
With GetUpside, you can save up to $0.25 per gallon at thousands of gas stations across the United States.
GetUpside also helps you save on convenience store purchases and, more recently groceries…but gas is definitely where the savings are at.
Ultimately, this app can help you save a few extra dollars when you’re driving for DoorDash, and the app is completely free to use.
To save even more, you can use receipt scanning apps like Receipt Hog and ReceiptPal to earn small amounts of free PayPal money back for fuel purchases.
Extra Reading – The Best Apps Like Fetch Rewards.
5. Drive At The Best DoorDash Times
The best times to drive for DoorDash are typically around lunch time, dinner, and late-nights.
Friday and the weekend are also days when people typically order more.
But, one way to save on gas while driving for DoorDash is to try and take breaks during the worst rush hour times.
So, for example, you can work the lunch shift and deliver from 11am to 4:30pm. You can then take a break from 4:30 to 5:30, skip some of the worst rush hour traffic, and then get back to deliveries.
This is a small tip, but if it makes your driving more efficient, it’s a win!
6. Consider Being A Scooter Or Bike Courier
DoorDash doesn’t pay drivers for gas, but is this really a problem if your vehicle doesn’t require gas in the first place?
If you want to get paid to workout, become a bike courier for DoorDash and get some exercise in while you make deliveries.
This is what my friend Grant does for Uber Eats and DoorDash, and he loves it as a side hustle.
And, DoorDash is smart: it knows if you’re delivering via bike and only gives you orders that are somewhat close and are therefore bikeable.
The same logic applies for delivering with an electric scooter or a gas-powered scooter that might be more fuel efficient.
So, does DoorDash pay you for gas?
But, I still think DoorDash is an effective way to boost your monthly income for reasons I mentioned above: solid pay, flexibility, and accessibility.
The bottom line is that you can still make hundreds or thousands of dollars with DoorDash.
And, even though you don’t get DoorDash gas money, you can easily turn a profit with this company if you drive smart.
So, my advice is to sign up for DoorDash and give it a test run.
There’s no harm in trying, and if you don’t like your hourly wage after a few shifts, you can try something like Instacart instead (where there’s less driving since you’re mostly grocery shopping for people).
In any case, I hope you find the right gig job that lets you make extra cash.
I’ll catch you guys in the next one, happy hustling!
Looking for other ways to make extra money? Checkout:
DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Start Dashing today: Subject to background check and availability.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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