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What happens if you DoorDash with a different car?

How to Become a Doordash Driver

Before you start driving for Doordash, check out this review for some helpful tips.

Harry Campbell

last updated March 24, 2023 8 min read

Do you want to know how to become a DoorDash driver? Driving for DoorDash is a great way to make money while keeping flexibility at the top of your list.

Check out this all-encompassing Doordash review for all everything you need to successfully work for DoorDash.

In This Article

How to Become a DoorDasher

Becoming a DoorDash driver is fairly easy as long as you meet the requirements.

You don’t need to ‘apply for a job with’ DoorDash in the traditional sense; simply visit to sign up and begin your DoorDash application from there.

If you want to drive for DoorDash, you’ll also need to meet the following requirements for transporting food. Spoiler alert: these requirements are pretty easy to meet!

You can use any car as long as you have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and insurance. Depending on where you are dashing, you can even ride a bicycle or an electric scooter.

DoorDash Requirements

  • Must be 18 or older
  • No vehicle requirements. You can drive any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number (only in the United States)
  • Consent to a background check
  • Vehicle insurance
  • How to Use the Doordash Driver App

Earning Potential: $20-$25 / hour

DoorDash is one of the best delivery apps because it pays a minimum rate per delivery (DoorDash will make up the difference if your pay per delivery is below their threshold!), and encourages generous tips that you keep fully.

Start Driving For DoorDash

How to Deliver for DoorDash

Working for DoorDash delivery is simple and easy as long as you follow the instructions.

Most delivery orders are straightforward: pick up the order from a restaurant or grocery store and then deliver it to a house, apartment, business, etc.

Sometimes the customer may have special instructions that you will need to follow for the delivery to be successful.

For example, they might request that you leave the food behind a bush so it’s not visible to the public, or they might ask you to physically hand it to them to ensure accurate delivery.

Here is an example of a simple drop-off at a business:

Here is one example of an order with detailed and specific instructions for their drop-off at an apartment complex.

This customer is helpful to the driver because they also give detailed instructions on how to get to their apartment.

Some customers don’t give any instructions, and you might need to call or text them so they can guide you to their drop-off location.

Certain orders can be quick and painless, like delivering to a house where they tell you to just leave the order at the door.

Other orders might require a little more effort to complete, such as locating an apartment in a large complex.

You can always text or call the customer if you have any questions or concerns.

If the instructions require you to physically hand the order to the customer, and they are nowhere to be found even after calling or texting, you can leave the order in a safe location after a 5-minute waiting period as DoorDash requires.

What is DoorDash Income Like?

On average, I make about $23 per hour driving for DoorDash in Fremont, California.

Doordash driver pay may vary depending on the location you are dashing in. I noticed that other cities/states I have worked in have different volumes in orders and pay.

DoorDash earnings fluctuate on a daily basis. For example, this screenshot illustrates a shift with a $19 per hour earning rate, which is below my average of $23 an hour.

This screenshot shows a shift with an hourly rate of $29.

Active Time vs. Dash Time

At the top of these screenshots, there are two different times: active and dash time.

Active time is when you are active, meaning that you have an order that is in progress. This consists of driving to the pickup location and the drop off location. As long as you have an order in progress, you are considered “active.”

Dash time is the total time you are online on the DoorDash app. This includes active time and idle time. When you’re idle, you are waiting for orders. You’re not considered active because you have no orders in progress, but you are still online and “clocked in”.

Throughout the years, I’ve learned that every city is different. How much you earn primarily depends on your work ethic.

If you’re not driving to the restaurant or customer location in a timely fashion, or if you’re walking slowly while talking to your friend on the phone, you will earn less than someone who is fully focused and doing everything the right way.

Take a look at the video below to learn more about how much you can make with DoorDash:

DoorDash Employment Offers Flexibility

One great thing about working for a food delivery service like DoorDash is the scheduling and flexibility. You can work whenever and wherever you want. If you want to work a specific number of hours in a day, you can schedule it beforehand. There are timeframes that you can select from and schedule for each day, up to six days in advance.

You can also “Dash Now” and begin working immediately, but only if the area you want to dash in is red, indicating that it is busy. You won’t be able to clock in if the area you want to work in is gray, indicating that it is not busy.

You can clock out from DoorDash whenever you want, even if your shift hasn’t ended yet. You can also take a break whenever you want by pausing your dash. Each pause gives you a 35-minute time period to take care of whatever you need, lunch break, bathroom break, etc.

Example of a busy red area that allows you to clock in (Dash Now) immediately.

Example of a gray area that is not busy, which doesn’t allow you to clock in. You can schedule a future time to clock in instead.

Here is an example of a list of times available for you to schedule in advance.

You can also edit the times if you don’t want to work that long by clicking the pencil icon to the right.

The days on the top with a dot underneath them indicate that you are scheduled for that day.

Notice that I have six dots under six consecutive days because you can schedule shifts six days in advance.

Personal Expenses for the Average DoorDash Worker

DoorDash pay fluctuates based on where and when you drive.

DoorDash expenses also fluctuate, but there are some standard expenses all drivers face. Since you will have to use your own vehicle to work, you are responsible for gas and vehicle maintenance – unless, of course, you are delivering on foot or via bike!

However, some of these personal expenses are eligible for tax write-offs, such as mileage, repairs, parking tickets, and tolls.

As you can see, for this specific week of Feb. 14-20, I spent about $150 on gas for my 2015 Nissan Altima, which averages about 22 miles per gallon in the city. I worked about 56 hours with 114 deliveries.

How to Contact DoorDash Support

As a DoorDash driver, there are several reasons why you may need to contact DoorDash. These reasons may include:

  • Canceling an order because a restaurant doesn’t have it
  • A DoorDash customer cannot be reached
  • The restaurant is closed
  • Problems with drop off
  • Issues with the app

Those are just a few common reasons to call Dasher support, but the reasons are limitless. For every order you receive, there is a help option towards the bottom of the order screen. From there, you can either select chat or call Dasher support.

Wait times vary, but from experience, chat is typically faster since most Dashers prefer to call, probably since phone conversations can be faster than chat conversations.

If you want to email them and/or if you are on your computer you can simply go to their website “,” and scroll to the bottom left corner of the page where it says “Help.” The same options on your mobile app will also appear on the website.

If you have any other questions, you can always contact Dasher Support; they will be more than happy to assist you. I have never had a negative experience with Dasher support and have communicated with people from different backgrounds. I have also been driving for DoorDash for seven years on top of that!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is being a driver for DoorDash worth it?

Based on factors like pay and customer demand, yes, signing up for DoorDash is worth it!

Does DoorDash pay daily?

As a DoorDash driver, you can get paid weekly (this is standard via direct deposit into your bank account), daily (via Fast Pay and for a small fee) or instantly (via DasherDirect).

Does DoorDash pay for gas?

Historically, DoorDash has not paid for drivers’ gas costs. However, that changed recently with gas price hikes.

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Drive for Amazon Flex, Instacart, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Lyft with Carla!

A driver who rented his car from Carla App for his Uber and Lyft job driving with navigation.

You can rent a car from Carla and drive the rental car with Amazon Flex but you must have all required licenses and a proof of insurance with you.

How to become an Instacart shopper?

  • You must be eligible to work in the US.
  • The driver must be at least 18 years old.
  • The driver must have a valid driving license.
  • The driver must have an iPhone or an Android phone that is compatible with Instacart Shopper App.

Can I drive a rental car with Instacart?

Yes, you can rent a car from Carla and drive but you must have proof of car insurance while registering your vehicle to Instacart.

How to become a DoorDash driver?

  • You must be 18 years old or older to be a DoorDash driver
  • You must have a social security number.
  • The driver must have a valid driving license.
  • A background check applies for all DoorDash drivers.
  • You must have an iPhone or an Android phone that is compatible with DoorDash app.

Can I drive a rental car with DoorDash?

Yes, you can rent a car From Carla and drive but you must have proof of car insurance while registering your vehicle to DoorDash.

How to become an Uber Eats driver?

  • You must be at least 19 years old to drive with Uber Eats.
  • You must have a 2 or 4 door car.
  • You must have a valid driving license and a car insurance.
  • Background check applies to all drivers.

Can I drive a rental car with Uber Eats?

Uber has an official partnership with AVIS and Hertz. You can rent from Carla app with Hertz or AVIS and drive with Uber Eats.

Important note: If the rental car is rented from a different car rental company, it must be checked beforehand to see if it is possible to drive with Uber. Company policies apply.

How to become a Lyft driver?

  • You must be at least 25 years old to drive with Lyft.
  • Car insurance must be presented.
  • A valid driving license must be presented.
  • You must have an iPhone or an Android phone.
  • DMV check, plus a national and county background check apply.
  • You must have a vehicle with 4 doors and minimum 5 seatbelts.

Can I drive a rental car with Lyft?

Lyft has a partnership with Hertz. You can rent a car from Carla app with Hertz to drive with Lyft. The rental car must be insured as well.

What Auto Insurance Do You Need for DoorDash?

As a DoorDash driver, you need special auto insurance. Your personal auto insurance policy will not protect you when delivering for DoorDash.

Fortunately, most insurance companies allow you to easily add business-use coverage or commercial coverage to your policy. For a few extra dollars per month, you can remain completely covered when driving for DoorDash.

DoorDash also extends basic liability coverage to drivers when drivers are actively making a delivery.

Confused about DoorDash car insurance requirements? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about auto insurance and DoorDash.

You Need Special Insurance for DoorDash

What Auto Insurance Do You Need for DoorDash?

Your personal auto insurance policy will not cover you when driving for DoorDash or any other food delivery service (like Uber Eats, Instacart, Seamless, or Amazon Fresh).

Personal auto insurance policies cover personal use of a vehicle – not business use. When you’re driving for DoorDash, you’re using your vehicle for business purposes. You’re using your vehicle to make money. Personal auto insurance policies do not cover you when delivering food for DoorDash.

Instead, you need business-use coverage or commercial car insurance coverage:

Business-Use Coverage: You can add business-use coverage to your existing auto insurance policy. Contact your insurer and explain you drive for DoorDash. For a few extra dollars per month, your auto insurance policy should cover the business use of your vehicle during normal situations.

Commercial Coverage: Commercial coverage covers businesses and their vehicles. If you exclusively use your vehicle for DoorDash, then commercial coverage may be the right choice. Otherwise, business-use coverage is the right option.

You May Not Be Covered for DoorDash Accidents

If you have a personal car insurance policy and cause an accident while driving for DoorDash, then your insurer will deny your claim.

Let’s say you collide with another vehicle while rushing to pick up an order for DoorDash. You cause $50,000 of damage to the other person’s vehicle, and the other driver requires $15,000 of medical bills.

If you were not driving for DoorDash at the time of the accident, then your car insurance would cover these costs under your normal policy.

However, because you were driving for DoorDash at the time of your accident, your insurer will deny your claim. If you don’t have business-use coverage or commercial car insurance coverage, then you must cover damages out of pocket.

That’s why having business-use coverage or commercial coverage is crucial.

DoorDash Provides Basic Liability Coverage When There’s Food in your Vehicle

DoorDash extends car insurance to all drivers when they have food in their vehicles.

Some food delivery services provide basic car insurance coverage, while others do not. Even though DoorDash provides basic coverage, there are still significant gaps in coverage.

If you have food in your vehicle and cause an accident, then DoorDash’s liability insurance should protect you.

However, DoorDash does not cover you during all other times. When you activate the DoorDash app and make yourself available for delivery, for example, you’re considered to be driving for business reasons.

Similarly, if you’re driving to pick up a meal from a restaurant, then this is considered a business trip.

In this situation, personal auto insurance will not protect you because you were driving for business reasons, and DoorDash car insurance will not protect you because there was no food in your vehicle.

To cover these gaps, most DoorDash drivers get business-use coverage or commercial car insurance coverage.

DoorDash’s car insurance coverage is worse than most other food delivery services. Uber provides liability coverage to drivers when they’re picking up food and making a delivery for Uber Eats, for example. Postmates covers you from the moment you accept an order to the moment you deliver it.

Grubhub is the only major food delivery service with worse car insurance than DoorDash: Grubhub provides no car insurance to drivers whatsoever, which means Grubhub drivers are wholly responsible for their own insurance.

How Car Insurance Works with DoorDash

If you are delivering food for DoorDash, then you are considered to be using your vehicle for business purposes. Yes, DoorDash provides basic liability coverage when there’s food in your vehicle – but this still leaves a gap in coverage.

The moment you activate the DoorDash app and make yourself available for deliveries, you are driving your vehicle for business purposes.

When you accept an order and drive to the restaurant to pick it up, you are also considered to be using your vehicle for business purposes.

If you get into an accident after activating the app or while driving to pick up food, then DoorDash’s car insurance will not cover you. Remember: DoorDash only covers you when there’s food in your vehicle.

In other words, you have a gap in coverage. If you only have personal auto insurance and DoorDash’s built-in car insurance, then you are not covered during all situations. This leaves you with a gap in coverage.

What Does DoorDash Car Insurance Cover?

DoorDash provides excess auto insurance for Dashers, although it only covers the following:

  • The damage you cause to other parties, including third-party property damage and bodily injuries.
  • Accidents while on an active delivery when there’s food in your vehicle.

Furthermore, DoorDash only covers these claims after you go through your own insurance policy. DoorDash is not primary coverage: it’s secondary coverage for any excess damage after an accident.

In fact, if you don’t have your own car insurance policy or business-use coverage, then DoorDash may refuse your claim, forcing you to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.

How Do Insurers Know You’re Delivering Food?

Let’s say you sign up for DoorDash and begin making deliveries. You’re a good driver so you don’t think you need extra insurance coverage.

Then, you cause an accident. You have car insurance, but it doesn’t cover business or commercial use.

You come up with a plan: you hide the DoorDash delivery bag. You disable the DoorDash app. You claim you were simply picking up food for yourself.

Drivers for DoorDash and other food delivery services try this trick regularly, and some of them get away with it.

However, it’s a huge risk. Your insurer investigates your claim. They might check with DoorDash to see if you were active at the time of the accident. The police report might mention that a food delivery bag was found in the vehicle.

If you are caught lying about your DoorDash delivery at the time of the accident, then you could face insurance fraud charges – not just a denied claim.

How to Get the Best DoorDash Car Insurance

For most drivers, the best way to get DoorDash car insurance is to contact your current insurance company and explain the situation. Ask about food delivery coverage, rideshare insurance, or business-use coverage.

All major insurance companies offer some type of food delivery insurance. Some call it business-use coverage. Others bundle it under commercial coverage.

However, you should be able to easily add DoorDash coverage to your policy with minimal hassle. For a few extra dollars per month, you can ensure complete coverage from the moment you turn on the DoorDash app to the moment you turn it off.

Alternatively, shop around with other car insurance providers. Some car insurance companies welcome DoorDash delivery drivers, while others would prefer to not provide insurance.

Check with your insurance company or compare quotes online today to obtain the best possible DoorDash insurance coverage.

Final Word on DoorDash Car Insurance

DoorDash, like other food delivery services, provides limited car insurance to drivers. As a Dasher, you need your own car insurance policy with business-use or commercial coverage.

If you don’t have business-use or commercial coverage on your policy, then you’re unprotected against accidents. DoorDash provides liability protection when there’s food in your vehicle, although drivers still have a gap when they’re available for delivery or driving to pick up food.

Contact your insurance company and ask about business-use coverage for DoorDash.

James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.

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