Back to learning Center

Top 3 Tips for New Delivery Drivers

Harry Campbell The Rideshare Guy
May 2, 2022

While delivery driving isn’t rocket science, there are savvy ways to quickly be a better delivery driver, earn more and keep more of your earnings. This article will cover the top three strategies successful delivery drivers employ to keep more of their earnings and make more in less time.

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.

Considering becoming a delivery driver? Many people think it’s easy, and while it can be, there are always ways to make the process more efficient and more profitable.

However, if you’re new, you may wonder what you need to know before you get started. Here are three things I wish I knew beforehand that would have got me making more money faster.

1. Track Everything

Unlike a normal 9 to 5, what you make is not what you take home.

When you get paid from delivering, you have spent your own money to make that money. You’ve used your gas, put wear and tear on your car, and maybe even ate and drank things you wouldn’t if you were at home.

Without knowing how much you spent, you’ll never know how much you really made, and you won’t be able to see what’s working and what’s not.

One app I really like to use to track all of my expenses? Stride! Stride also helps at tax time, since all of your expenses are helpfully categorized, and Stride exports to H&R Block’s tax programs.

Mileage

Especially with gas at an all-time high, it’s crucially important that you track your mileage. Do not just accept whatever amount of miles the app you're driving for says you drove. You need to use an app like Stride that helps you track your mileage.

This one thing can save you thousands of dollars come tax time.

Looking for other mileage tracking apps? Check out this list of the best mileage tracking apps.

Snacks

Another thing you need to track is how many snacks you buy. If you’re out for a few hours, you will get hungry. You may visit a new restaurant and decide you want to get a to-go item yourself, for example.

If you make $50, and spend $25 on food, you only made $25. If that’s good for you, fine, but you need to track it.

If possible, I would recommend bringing snacks, packing a lunch, and staying hydrated so that you’re not tempted to buy anything while you’re out.

Items for Driving

When you first start delivery driving, you’ll quickly realize you need a few items to make delivery easier, if not more enjoyable.

Some of those things include a phone mount, insulated bags or drink holders, and even things like a Spotify or Audible subscription to make driving more enjoyable.

Did you know those things are expenses you can write off? You may be able to - if you track them!

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

When you first start, take your first order that comes in. Don’t look at how much you’ll make or how far away it is. If you get a good one, great. If you got a horrible one, even better.

You need to know what a bad one looks like, and the only way is to see more orders. $7 for a 2 mile delivery or $15 for a 30-mile delivery?

When you’re first starting out, you need to figure out the app, how to accept an order, how to decline, and where to see the information so you can make that decision. As you do, you’ll learn which ones to take and which not to take.

So, for your first orders, take your time. It’s exciting, and you think you’re going to “get in trouble” or something if you don’t accept fast enough. But don’t be afraid to decline an order. See what it looks like and how it works.

Pro-tip: Place an order as a passenger so you can see how the process works from the customer’s side of things and a lot of the companies like Doordash will even give you your first order free or at a discount.

3. Snowball Your Side Gig

Once you start delivery driving, you’ll quickly figure out what you’re good at - specific areas, certain restaurants, or maybe you have an excellent knack for avoiding traffic and getting to delivery spots quickly.

Whatever it is, you’ll realize that one delivery side gig isn’t enough… you’ll want 2 or 3, not necessarily to work longer hours, but to toggle between apps and pick the most lucrative or enjoyable gigs.

After all, once you have the thermal bags, drink holders, and are an expert on tracking mileage (aka having Stride do it for you), what’s next? The answer is driving for multiple delivery services!

Some of my favorite delivery services to work for are the ones most popular in my city, like Uber Eats, Instacart, and DoorDash. Yours may vary based on your city - so try them all out!

As delivery drivers, it’s important to follow these top three tips. Tracking your expenses is key, especially come tax time, as is understanding each app you’re delivering with to make sure you’re maximizing your time while on the road.

Once you’ve accomplished this, you’re on your way to dominating delivery and can expand the services you drive with, giving yourself the ability to pick and choose the best requests for you.

delivery insurance

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.

WE HAVE EVEN MORE TO READ
Arrow up icon