What It’s Really Like To Deliver for Uber Eats, as Told by an Uber Eats Driver

What It’s Really Like To Deliver for Uber Eats, as Told by an Uber Eats Driver
Image: iStock / Michele Pevide

This article has been sponsored by Uber Eats.

When it comes to ordering food delivery, we know what’s in it for us, but what’s in it for the people on the other side making the magic happen? Well, it turns out that convenience is also a big appeal for the people making your delivery, too.

We’ve all heard it before: becoming an Uber Eats delivery driver can be a great way to earn a little bit of extra cash, right when you need it. In fact, there’s a very valid reason why it seems so obvious, and that’s simply because it’s true.

A few months ago, we interviewed an Uber Eats delivery person, Sabrina, to find out how we (the food orderers) can make their lives a little easier when receiving our take away. This time around, we wanted to find out whether it’s as simple as it sounds to sign up to be a delivery person, then flick on the app when you have some spare time to bolster your bank account. So we spoke to the perfect person, Rodel Antonio.

Antonio told Lifehacker Australia that he became an Uber Eats delivery person almost two years ago when his day job — as a programmer technician — dropped regular overtime shifts and he suddenly needed to fill the new gap in his earnings. He says becoming an Uber Eats delivery person became a great way to earn a little bit of extra cash, right when he needed it.

“Suddenly, I had some free time and because I noticed every fortnight, when I received my wage, that it wasn’t as big as before, I wanted some extra income,” he explained. “My day job finishes at 6 p.m. and after staying inside the house every night, I realised I was really bored, so I thought — why not try delivering with Uber Eats.”

Antonio admits that he only started driving with Uber Eats to start with, as a trial. But after realising it was quite an easy way to earn some additional income in his spare time, he was sold. Ahead, Antonio answered all the questions you may want answered before deciding to sign up to be a delivery driver, too.

Antonio Prefers Being a Delivery Driver To Gigs He’s Had in the Past

When Antonio first moved to Australia from the Philippines eight years ago, he worked as a cleaner doing 14-hour shifts, six days a week. When I asked him if delivering with Uber Eats was tiring, he laughed.

“It’s not physically demanding or tiring at all,” he said. “With my past jobs there has been a set time that I need to be on-site and, of course, I needed to be there on time. But with Uber Eats, you can control your time and start in the morning, the afternoon, or at night — it’s really up to you.”

The only exception is that Uber Eats requires delivery people to take at least an eight-hour break once they’ve been online on the app for 12 hours.

Signing up Was Quick, Easy, and Painless

Antonio explained that signing up to become an Uber Eats delivery person is very easy to do and admitted he was pleasantly surprised that it could all be done online. One small gripe he did have was that you’re required to submit a specific page from your car insurance policy, which he felt was a fair request, but did mean he had to wait a few days to receive the paper from his insurance provider before hitting the road.

It’s worth noting that the insurance paper is only required for delivery people who use a car, as opposed to a bike. On the flip side, before cyclists can deliver with Uber Eats, they need to complete a number of safety modules and checks, including a bike safety test and a visual bicycle safety checklist.

Bike riders are limited to a smaller delivery distance — this could be seen as a pro or a con. It just depends on which type of vehicle fits your lifestyle better.

You Control Your Own Work Schedule

One of the most obvious (but compelling) reasons to sign up to be an Uber Eats delivery driver is to choose your own hours and have control over how much money you can earn each week.

According to Antonio, the name of the game when delivering with Uber Eats is to be as efficient as possible to earn the most money possible. Antonio said that when he first started, he would usually complete two deliveries an hour but after almost two years of experience, he can usually do three to four — simply by using the upfront pricing to his advantage by being selective with the trips he decides to take.

When picking up a trip, Antonio considers the pick-up and drop-off locations, minimum earnings for that particular route, and the estimated time the entire delivery will take. However, he does also point out that he’ll be compensated if the trip takes longer due to circumstances like heavy traffic.

Antonio explained that when he started, being held up at the restaurant for 15 to 30 minutes when picking up the food would have once severely impacted his earnings for the night. But these days, Uber Eats will pay the drivers for their waiting times, which he said eases his nerves.

You Can Get Paid Whenever (and as Often) as You Want

According to Antonio, as a standard, you receive a weekly paycheck from Uber Eats (which is way better than fortnightly or monthly, in my opinion) and he personally finds this to be ideal.

“We do get paid weekly, but you also have the option to get the cash any time you want. So if you earned some money today and you wanted the cash tomorrow, you could do that.” So, if you prefer to cash in your paycheck after every shift or you have an unexpected bill come up, you can opt to take the instant cash out without any penalty to the amount you receive.

Even better, there is no limit on the number of times you can do this — so not only are you your own boss, but you’re also controlling when you get paid.

A Fuel-Efficient Car = More Money in Your Pocket

This may seem like an obvious hack for earning more money delivering on Uber Eats, but Antonio stressed that using a fuel-efficient car while on shift is the difference between earning good money on Uber Eats or earning less. “When I have used a very fuel-efficient car, I noticed that I only had to refuel every week (or more) and with my other car, I had to fill up my tank every four days,” he said.

Interestingly, Antonio also noted that the areas you drive could impact your fuel efficiency and, therefore, nightly bank. For example, he’s noticed that delivering in areas that have a lot of uphill driving will significantly increase the amount of fuel he goes through in a night. So, if he’s planning on pulling a long shift, he’ll drive his fuel-efficient car, but for quicker shifts of only a couple of hours, he’ll use his older car.

As a sweetener, when you sign up and complete 20 trips on the Uber Eats platform between now and the end of April, you will automatically score an extra $500 in your account the following week.

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