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Is Delivery Driving Bad for Your Car?

Many people have jumped at the opportunity to earn supplemental income by working for delivery companies such as Door Dash, Uber Eats, and Postmates. However, few pause to consider if delivery driving is bad for your car?

Using your own car for delivery services can put a lot of extra miles and wear and tear on your car all of which will decrease the value of your car and its lifespan.

Quick tip: you can get cash back every time you fill up your gas tank by using the Upside app. It's free and pays out straight to your bank.

In this article, we will look at some of the ways that working as a delivery driver can cost you more in terms of car expenses than you think.

How Many Miles is an Average Delivery?

According to Door Dash, the average delivery distance is approximately five miles. On average a delivery driver can make about 40 deliveries in an 8-hour time frame. This means that you are putting approximately 200 additional miles on your car for every 8-hour shift that you put in. 

How Does Additional Mileage Decrease the Value of My Car?

Of course, it depends on your car’s year, makes, and model, but all of the additional mileage can detract from the value of your vehicle. In extreme instances, your car can lose value at a rate of $0.08 per mile!

To put that into perspective, your car could lose $16 worth of value for each 8-hour delivery shift. If you put in the average 40 hour work week, that’s $80 a week.

How Do I Estimate My Cars Value and Expected Loss of Value?

To estimate your car’s current value, you can go to Kelly Blue Book and enter the year, make, model and mileage of your car. 

If you estimate how many miles you’ll drive while delivering, you can then recalculate the value of your car after the additional mileage. This won’t take into account the loss of value due to ageing, but it will give you a rough estimate of the cost of delivering.

Does a Cars Smell Effect Its Value?

You bet it does! While making food deliveries you are going to have spills. Even the most careful of delivery drivers will have the odors of several different types of cuisine soak into their car’s interior. 

The smell of a car can severely decrease its value. Car dealerships have to invest a lot of money into cleaning your car to remove the smell. Therefore, you won’t get as much money back once you sell your car. 

Does Delivery Driving Effect My Car’s Maintenance?

Another unexpected cost of delivery driving is increased maintenance. All of the additional miles add up quickly. That means that you’ll need to get oil changes, replace your breaks and address any repairs on a more frequent basis. 

Does Your Driving Behavior Become More Reckless as a Delivery Driver?

An increased amount of time on the road usually leads to an increase in reckless driving behavior. You’ll often see delivery drivers leave their car on while going to pick up or drop off items or even drive with obscured vision.

While these behaviors aren’t necessarily bad for the car itself, they could easily lead to theft or an accident. 

Do Delivery Drivers Have an Increased Chance of Getting in an Accident?

With more driving time comes a higher risk of getting in an accident. Even the most cautious drivers put themselves at risk by being on the roads for a longer period of time.

Additionally, delivery drivers usually park or drive in areas that have an increased chance of their car being hit. Parking on the side of roads of city streets and going in and out of busy parking lots could lead to severe damage.

Is There a Tax Benefit to Delivery Driving?

The IRS does allow you to take a tax deduction to help with the cost of gas. In 2021 the deduction is 56 cents per mile.
While that may seem like a lot, this is also factoring in the cost of maintenance and insurances. When everything is added together, your cost per mile delivery usually adds up to more than 56 cents per mile.

This video from Keeper Tax lists some things you can write off when using your car for delivery work.

Is it Better to Use a Hybrid or Electric Car for Delivery Driving?

It’s much better for the environment and gas costs if you use a hybrid or electric car for deliveries, but that’s not the entire story.

Hybrid and electric cars are usually more expensive than gas cars. With an increase in the value of the vehicle comes a higher insurance rate and increased maintenance costs. Therefore, you should consider more than just the cost of gas when selecting a car for deliveries.

Do You Make Good Money Delivery Driving?

Is the cost of maintaining your car and paying for gas worth the money you earn for delivering food? It depends.

Save on gas & groceries: the Upside app gives you cash back when you fill up your tank, buy groceries, or eat out.

If you are selective about the deliveries you accept and keep your vehicle costs at a minimum, you can make a decent living off of delivery driving. However, it’s important to consider all costs associated with your vehicle when calculating your actual or anticipated income. 

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