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Rideshare/Delivery Driver Expenses & Cost-Reduction Tips

Harry Campbell The Rideshare Guy
September 30, 2022

Learn about rideshare and delivery driver expenses online at Buckle. We discuss the average delivery driver expenses and share tips about how to reduce rideshare driver expenses. Explore our guide to rideshare driver expenses and how you can pocket more money today at Buckle.

Buckle has partnered with Harry Campbell, founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, to provide our Members with the very best tips, tricks, and news to help maximize their income as a rideshare and delivery driver.

According to Pew Research, inflation is up to 8.6% - the highest it’s been since 1981! What’s a gig worker, who can’t just charge expenses to a company account, supposed to do?

There are five major delivery and rideshare driver expenses to know about before getting hired for your next gig, and below I’ve outlined how you can reduce them and keep more money in your pocket.

Biggest Rideshare/Delivery Driver Expenses for Gig Workers

Expense #1: Equipment

The biggest expense for most gig workers is their vehicle, and while there’s not a ton you can do to reduce the cost of a car nowadays, there are smaller ways to make a big impact.

One of the best car accessories for delivery drivers is a good phone holder allowing you to safely use your phone for navigation. You’ll also need a good charging cable, not just the cheapest one you can get. Finally, a dash cam can save you in so many ways, so you have to get one. Check out RSG’s guide on the best dash cameras for delivery drivers.

In addition to these must-haves, there are some additional items that you should keep in your car just in case. These include insulated bags for food delivery that will help keep hot food hot and cold food cold. While not every driver does it, some drivers also swear that you’ll earn more in tips if you stash bottles of water and candy in your car for passengers.  

Of course, all of these items fall under the category of rideshare driver expenses! So, how can you reduce these expenses?

First, buy the best, but buy it on sale.

When you are going to choose your phone holder, charging cable, and dash cam, make sure you get one that is going to last. Sure, you can buy cheap things, but you’ll end up buying multiple of them.  

Buying something that costs $5 to $10 may not seem like a lot, but if your phone holder breaks every month, that becomes a monthly expense or $60 to $120 per year. Whereas if you spend $25 to $40 for a phone charger one time that will last you for years, you save money. The same is true with the dash cam and power cords you buy.

Expense #2: Meals  

While you are out driving, you need to eat. Sometimes you’ll do a short shift and can go home, sometimes you just push through the hunger and eat when you get home. But if you’re doing a full day of driving, especially if you’re delivering food and can smell it, it makes it harder to work while hungry.

Instead of stopping for some fast food or snacks at the convenience store, try packing a lunch! You can get an insulated lunch bag and include simple things like a sandwich, snacks, and a few drinks. Buy these items (especially snacks) in bulk to reduce those costs even more. Trust me, making food at home is much cheaper than going out to eat, especially as food and service costs have increased!

Plus, this typically saves you time, which means you can hit the road sooner to make your earnings goals.

Expense #3: Accounting  

It may be hard to think that using an app to make money with your car is a business, but it is, and requires that you track all of your rideshare driver expenses and income.

There are many apps out there that help you keep track of miles and expenses, and even help with taxes.  

One platform that many gig workers, and indeed many freelancers and small business owners use, is Quickbooks. You’ve probably heard of it! Quickbooks offers features like inputting expenses, mileage, and tracking your earnings so you’ll know how much to pay at tax time.  

Other apps are cheaper (or even free!) like Stride, which helps you track mileage, the cost of car washes, and much more associated with rideshare and delivery driving.  

Check out some of the best apps to track mileage in 2022 for a comparison of some of my favorite accounting options.  

Expense #4: Car Maintenance

Maintaining your car is one of the most common rideshare or delivery driver expenses that many people overlook. After all, how often is your car breaking down? Other than oil changes and tire rotations, you may completely forget the cost of major maintenance… until it happens to you.  

The better you maintain your car, the longer it will last and cost you less in the long run. Rather than wait till you have a tire blowout while you’re driving, regularly check your tires, inflate them properly, and rotate them.

Get your oil changed! Trust me, if you overlook it, it’s not good! For the most part, oil changes are relatively cheap. Many people I know look for packages offered at their local auto mechanics, which is a great deal.  

And when it comes time to replace things like tires, or other parts, don’t just get the cheapest one, get a quality item that will last.

Expense #5: Gas

Gas prices have been increasing for a while now, and it’s not odd to see gas prices higher than $5 in many big cities.  

As rideshare and delivery drivers, we have to get gas, and we have to get a lot of it. Full-time drivers drive thousands of miles a month, and this adds up!

While most drivers can’t stop buying gas, they can save money! First, buy at the best price.

Don’t drive around wasting gas to find the best price, but use apps like GetUpside to see what the best price is around you, and use that app to get cash back.

While things may be getting more expensive for drivers, there are several ways you can reduce gig driver expenses and keep more money in your pocket.  

Sign up for a FREE Buckle membership, which provides plenty of valuable offers and helpful information for rideshare drivers. Find rideshare and delivery driver benefits and perks that work best for you!

Frequently Asked Questions About Rideshare/Delivery Driver Expenses

What expenses does a rideshare/delivery driver have?

Common rideshare driver expenses come down to food, gas, equipment, accounting, and car maintenance.

Harry Campbell is a former Boeing Aerospace Engineer and founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, a blog, podcast and Youtube channel for ridehail drivers and other gig workers and author of, The Rideshare Guide. Over the years, Harry has covered the gig economy industry closely and talked to tens of thousands of drivers and gig workers about their experience on the road.

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