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Before you signup for DoorDash, you might be wondering, “Does DoorDash pay for gas?”
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.
If they do, it would greatly reduce the financial burden of driving deliveries all over town. If not, would you still drive for them?
It’s an important question, and in this guide, we’ve got all the answers. Keep reading to find out if DoorDash covers gas expenses.
Does DoorDash pay for gas?
Let’s cut straight to the chase:
DoorDash does not pay you for gas. You will pay for gas at the pump normally without financial aid on their part.
However, there are a couple of ways you can reduce the financial burden of paying for gas while making DoorDash deliveries.
How to get cashback rewards when you buy gas
The good news is that you can get paid every time you buy gas, and there are two ways you can get these cashback rewards as a Dasher.
Use your DasherDirect card to buy gas
DoorDash now has a special debit card and checking account program that they call DasherDirect.
There are a few benefits to using DasherDirect.
First off, you get access to your money right away, as in immediately. Once you complete a delivery, the money hits your DasherDirect account, and it’s available for spending (or saving).
Second, you get 2% cash back on gas. This applies to all gas stations and works not only for the gas you purchase while delivering but all gas you buy. Two percent is a pretty good reward on gas, so don’t miss out on this chance to reduce your expenses. Also, the money is put into your account automatically, which is very nice.
Lastly, you get a debit card and access to your money via an app, so you don’t have to wait to withdraw to your bank account. There also aren’t any withdrawal fees, which is a nice bonus.
Get cash back on gas with the Upside app
Another great way to earn at the pump is to use the Upside app.
Upside is a free app that gives you cash back whenever you upload a receipt for a purchase from a restaurant, grocery store, or gas station.
After purchasing gas, make sure to print out the receipt. Then, take a photo of the receipt with the Upside app, and it will be uploaded right away. The receipt is quickly verified, and then the money will be deposited into your account a few days later.
Upside pays 15¢ per gallon the first time you use it and 1¢ per gallon after that:
Every bit helps, so it’s good to establish a habit of earning cashback now so you can improve your earnings in the long run.
Does DoorDash pay mileage?
DoorDash does not pay for gas or reimburse you for your mileage. However, they do pay you for mileage in a roundabout way.
DoorDash pays Dashers per delivery, and they use an algorithm that calculates your pay for each trip. A large part of that calculation is the distance you’re going to be driving.
In other words, you earn more for driving further, so while they do not reimburse you for your mileage, they do pay you more the further you drive.
Additionally, it’s important to keep track of your mileage so you can report it on your taxes. You will get a deduction for the mileage due to the wear and tear it causes on your car, and that’s real money back in your pocket come tax season.
How much do you make after gas with DoorDash?
Dashers make $2-10 per delivery, with earnings leaning much closer to $10 than $2.
Now in order to figure out how much you make per delivery after gas, you need to know the distance of the trip, the mileage your car gets per gallon, and how much the gas costs.
These numbers can vary wildly from one driver to the next, so we can’t give you a simple answer to this question, but we can give you an equation to calculate it for yourself:
Earnings – ((Miles / MPG) x Gas price) = pay after gas
For instance, if you make $8 per delivery, your car gets 24 MPG, your average delivery is 1.5 miles, and gas costs $3/gallon, here’s what it would look like:
8 – ((1.5/24) x 3) = $7.81
In this example, your average delivery earns you $8 and uses $0.19 worth of gas, making your average profit per delivery $7.81.
Again, it’s important to understand that these numbers will look very different if you are making longer deliveries in a rural community, if your car has better/worse miles per gallon, etc.
Regardless, we hope this example gives you a clearer picture of what your DoorDash earnings will be after paying for gas.
Does DoorDash cover any other vehicle expenses?
DoorDash does not cover any of your vehicle expenses.
While this might sound like a bummer, it’s also not unique to the DoorDash platform. None of the other gig services – Grubhub, Uber Eats, Instacart – cover vehicle expenses either.
They don’t cover these expenses because you are not an employee; you’re a contractor. The fact that they don’t help with your costs is a major downside to being a gig worker, which is why it’s important that you leverage the advantages you do have.
For instance, as a contractor, gig companies are not allowed to keep you from delivering for multiple services, so you can work for numerous delivery gigs at once and take the most profitable orders.
We talk about this more on our Getting Started page (it’s called multi-apping).
How to reduce your costs as a driver
As we discussed earlier, the best way to reduce your gas costs as a Dasher is to get cashback on your gas with DasherDirect and the Upside app.
However, if you’re open to using a different vehicle, you can avoid gas costs entirely.
For example, if you are Dashing in an urban community, you can use a bike or electric scooter instead of a car. This completely eliminates the expense of gasoline, and you don’t have to pay for commercial auto insurance either.
This is a huge benefit for food delivery drivers in particular. Back when Uber and Lyft were the only games in town, you couldn’t use alternative transportation methods because you were delivering passengers. But when you just need to carry some lo mein, you can easily fit that in a delivery bag while you pedal your way from restaurant to customer.
If you’re in a rural or suburban community, then, unfortunately, these options might not be viable for you. However, it’s still worth considering the use of a moped for these longer distances.
You may not know this, but a moped can get as much as five times the MPG as a car. In other words, you will pay five times less on gas.
Driving a moped probably wasn’t on your radar before, but it should be now if you’re serious about making a living as a delivery driver.
Earning more and paying less
We’re sorry we had to break the bad news to you:
DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas.
But we hope that our tips about earning cashback with DashDirect and Upside will help you maximize your profits.
Additionally, using an alternative vehicle that gets better MPG or doesn’t use gas at all can massively improve your takeaway pay.
Thanks for reading this beginner guide on whether or not DoorDash pays for gas.
Save on gas & groceries: the Upside app gives you cash back when you fill up your tank, buy groceries, or eat out.
Best of luck with your deliveries!
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