Want to try a delivery gig? Uber Eats and DoorDash are two of the top options. Drivers with each app can earn around $10 – $20 per hour, and requirements to get started are fairly easy compared to other lines of work.
But which app is better for drivers: Uber Eats or DoorDash? This article compares the two apps on the most important issues for drivers: Requirements, earnings, and quality of life.
Uber Eats vs. DoorDash at a Glance
|Vehicle Requirement||Any vehicle (exceptions in some markets)||Any vehicle|
|Pay Model||Base fare + trip supplement + promotions + tips||Base pay + Promotions + Tips|
|Schedule Hours?||No||Yes, but exceptions during busy times|
|Earnings Potential||$10 - $20 per hour||$10 - $20 per hour|
Uber Eats vs DoorDash: Requirements & Application Process
Both Uber Eats and DoorDash have similar requirements to become a delivery driver. Each accepts younger drivers, and most vehicles will qualify. The application process is online, and both perform background screening.
Uber Eats Driver Requirements
- Must be 19 years or older (18 for bicyclists)
- Any vehicle, 2 or 4 door (some cities have model year requirements)
- Have auto insurance
- Must pass a background check and driving record check
DoorDash Driver Requirements
- Must be 18 years or older
- Any vehicle qualifies – No model year requirement in any city
- Have auto insurance
- Must pass a background check and driving record check
Key differences in the application process: Both apps offer a fairly simple online application process. You apply online, upload documents, consent to a background check, then wait for a decision.
For DoorDash, after the background check you have to request an ‘activation kit’ that contains the Red Card, which allows you to pay for some orders. But in many markets you can begin Dashing before you receive the red card.
When it comes to the background check, many drivers have found that DoorDash is less strict than Uber. A few recent driving record issues may be acceptable by DoorDash but not by Uber.
- DoorDash Driver Requirements
- Too Young for Uber? Try These Apps Instead
- Delivery Vehicle Requirements for the Top Apps
Uber Eats Vs. DoorDash Earnings
Generally speaking, drivers on both Uber Eats and DoorDash earn around $10 to $20 per hour*. The city you work in, the days and times you choose to drive, and the humber of hours you put in are all big factors that determine how much you will make.
*According to DoorDash, you can get paid $23 per hour while on a delivery. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts
Drivers for both apps are paid for each completed order. Each apps show an earnings estimate before you accept a delivery request, so you’ll have a general idea of how much you will make. Neither service offers guaranteed minimum earnings (except in California).
Both apps pay drivers via direct deposit. You can wait for a weekly payment, or choose to withdraw your earnings daily.
Comparing Pay Models
Both DoorDash and Postmates use a formula to determine how drivers are paid for each order. When a delivery request comes in, both apps show an estimated payout that follow these formulas:
Uber Eats pay model: Base fare + Trip Supplement + Promotions + Tips
DoorDash pay model: Base pay + Promotions + Tips
For both apps, the base fare or base pay is an algorithmic calculation that includes estimated time, distance, and local demand. In other words, you won’t know exactly how Uber or DoorDash came up with the order payout.
Order requests will come in, and you’ll either accept it or reject it based on the information displayed.
For a long time, both apps included some or all of the customer’s in-app tip in the order offer, which allowed drivers to skip orders that didn’t come with a tip. But recently, DoorDash began experimenting with order request screens that don’t include the tip amount. That may mean it’s easier to ‘cherry pick’ for higher paying orders on Uber Eats.
More on Uber Eats Earnings
How to Earn More: Comparing Strategies
Earnings strategies on Uber Eats and DoorDash are similar, but there are a few differences.
On both apps, you should avoid taking the lowest paying orders, and avoid restaurants that take up too much of your time.
You’ll also need to learn how the bonuses work on each app, and work towards maxing them out.
DoorDash bonuses: DoorDash offers Peak Pay and Challenges. Peak Pay is a bonus for each delivery completed, and Challenges are a bonus for completing a set number of deliveries within a certain time.
Successful DoorDash drivers learn how to regularly get more Peak Pay. Sometimes it’s smarter to avoid Peak Pay if you think it will oversaturate the market with too many drivers.
Uber Eats bonuses: Uber Eats offers Boost and Surge. Boost is an earnings multiplier for deliveries that start and end in a specified area and time. Surge is a similar multiplier. Both Boost and Surge are included in up-front order payout estimates.
Read More about Pay & Bonuses
- Are Peak Pay and Challenges Worth it?
- About Boost and Surge for Uber Eats Drivers
- Pictures Showing the Highs and Lows of DoorDash Income
What it’s Like to Do Deliveries for Each App
When it comes to the actual delivery work, both apps are fairly similar. Drivers with one will easily be able to switch to the other without having to make many adjustments.
At the core, this is the workflow for both apps: Go online, wait for orders, accept or reject offers, navigate to the restaurant, pick up the food, navigate to the customer, drop off the food.
For choosing order offers, both apps show the pickup location, drop-off location, and an estimated payout. On both apps, you’ll be able to screen out low-paying orders once you learn how the order offer system works.
For both apps, you can contact driver support if you have an issue with the restaurant or the customer. You are free to cancel/unassign the order at any time, but make sure not to cancel more than 20% of your orders.
Key differences in the day to day work: DoorDash has a scheduling system for Dashers, so you won’t always be able to go online whenever you want. With Uber Eats, you can log on any time.
On DoorDash, it’s possible to go online without a schedule if the local market is busy enough. Otherwise, try to get Early Access scheduling to grab the best hours.
DoorDash also splits large cities up into zones, and during a shift you can only pick up deliveries inside of the zone. That limits your working area and forces you to return to the zone if a delivery takes you out of it. With Uber Eats, you can deliver anywhere in the city without having to worry about zones.
Comparing Ratings Systems, & Rules for Drivers
On both Uber Eats and DoorDash, you have to maintain good ratings and performance metrics in order to continue delivering.
On both apps, it’s important to maintain a high customer rating and a low cancellation rating. Failure to complete deliveries after accepting them is the biggest reason for deactivation on both apps.
DoorDash ratings and metrics: DoorDash drivers have a customer rating, acceptance rate, completion rate, and an on-time/early delivery rating.
The most important ratings for Dashers are the customer rating and the completion rate. Customers rate you on a 5-star system, and your rating is the average of the past 100 deliveries. Completion ratings measure the percentage of accepted deliveries that you finish.
Dashers must maintain at least a 4.2-star rating and an 80% completion rate. If you save cancels for your worst deliveries, you’ll easily be able to stay above 80%.
DoorDash offers benefits to drivers who meet certain metrics. For example, you can qualify for Top Dasher if you maintain a 4.7 star average, a 70% acceptance, and a 95% completion rate. Top Dashers receive order priority and scheduling benefits.
Uber Eats ratings and metrics: Uber Eats drivers have a customer rating, an acceptance rate, and cancellation rate.
Customers can rate you as a thumbs up or thumbs down, and your rating is the percentage of ‘thumbs up’ that you receive. So if 9/10 customers gave you a thumbs up, your rating is 90%.
Key differences in the ratings system: DoorDash puts more emphasis on rations and metrics. The Dasher app prominently displays all of your ratings, and programs like Top Dasher and Early Access incentivize you to focus on ratings.
On Uber Eats, you’re mainly trying to avoid a low customer rating and a high cancellation rate. Uber doesn’t have as many incentive programs to make drivers obsess over ratings.
Deactivation policies: Uber Eats and DoorDash both have deactivation policies that list all of the reasons that can lead to you being kicked off the app.
Top reasons for deactivation on both apps are the same: Failure to complete orders, accusations of fraud, and consistently low customer ratings.
More about Ratings and Deactivation
- Top Reasons Why Uber Drivers Get Deactivated
- Dealing with Doordash Deactivations
- Is it Worth it to Be Top Dasher?
Which App Should You Deliver for?
With so many similarities between Uber Eats and DoorDash, how should you decide which app to deliver for? Both offer similar requirements, similar pay, and similar work.
Ultimately, you will have to experiment for yourself to see which app is best for you. You may find that one app has better order volume and pay than the other. You might also find that bonuses and incentives come more frequently on one vs the other.
One potential benefit of Uber over DoorDash is that if your car is new enough, you can also do Uber rideshare. You can give rides when delivery orders are slow, or you can switch to delivery if you aren’t getting many rides.
We always recommend signing up for as many apps as you can. Stability is never guaranteed on any gig app, so it’s smart to have a backup app when things go wrong on one.
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