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How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make?

Last updated: October 12, 2021
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vector graphic of an uber eats driver riding a bike and money icons flying out behind him to show how much do uber eats drivers make

Uber Eats is one of the world’s most popular delivery platforms.

Are you looking for a new gig and want to become an Uber Eats driver?

Then you will need to learn all about this job.

Before you pursue becoming a food delivery driver, you’re probably wondering:

  • How much do Uber Eats drivers make?
  • Is it worth your time to drive for the service?

In the guide below, we provide the answers you need regarding an Uber delivery driver’s pay.

We’ll look at how the company pays drivers, some common driver expenses that can eat into profits, and some reviews of the service from real Uber Eats drivers.

Understanding this information will help you learn whether this gig will help pay your bills, save for a vacation, or even put some money away for retirement.

If you’re looking for rideshare income, check out How much do Uber drivers make? instead.

Uber Eats Driver Pay: An Overview

Despite being one of the best food delivery services for drivers, Uber Eats payment method can be a bit complicated with numerous determining factors.

So, let’s break it down for you.

vector graphic of an uber eats driver riding a bike and money icons flying out behind him to show how much do uber eats drivers make

Does Uber Eats Pay Per Delivery, Mile, Hour, or Salary?

Uber Eats essentially pays its food delivery drivers a certain amount for every delivery.

The time spent delivering and the mileage traveled impact the final earnings of an Uber driver.

First, there is a base fare of payment that considers order pick up, the order drop off, the time spent delivering the food, and the distance traveled.

Next, a trip supplement payment may occur if an Uber driver is stuck in traffic or picking up the food at the restaurant takes up more time than initially predicted.

Sometimes, there are promotions as well that can increase the overall earnings of delivery service contractors.

Lastly, 100 percent of the tips that customers leave go straight to the Uber Eats driver’s payment.

Suggested: Learn more about the Uber Eats fees associated with an order.

Do Uber Eats Drivers Get Paid Only Tips?

Uber Eats driver employees do not get paid solely in tips.

The company does provide payment for each delivery.

In addition, Uber drivers delivering food get to keep all of the tips that their customers leave.

One thing you should remember is that Uber Eats has informed its customers that gratuities are not expected.

As such, you may not get paid as much as you could via tips.

You should also be aware that you’ll need to pay taxes on the tips you earn.

Uber Eats Driver Pay Structure

vector graphic showing the different types of Uber Eats fees that make up the cost of uber eats orders

The total income for an Uber Eats driver is equal to the base fare and trip supplement and promotions and tips.

As previously mentioned, the base fare involves:

  1. The cost of picking up the order.
  2. Drop-off at a customer’s residence.
  3. The time and distance involved.

There are five factors that go into determining the rate of pay for food delivery drivers:

  1. Pick-up fee
  2. Drop-off fee
  3. Mileage rate
  4. Minute rate
  5. Fare reduction and boost multiplier

Below, we’ll give you a breakdown of what goes into these five criteria.

1) Pick-Up Fee

The pick-up fee is a flat rate that you receive every time you pick up an order from a restaurant.

It’s possible that you can pick up multiple orders at the same time from a single pick-up location.

In these cases, a multiplier may be applied to this amount.

2) Drop-Off Fee

The drop-off fee is perhaps better known as the delivery fee.

If you successfully complete a food order, you’ll receive a flat rate.

Note that this payout occurs each time you drop off food at a particular location.

So, even if you pick up multiple deliveries at a restaurant, you’ll receive the drop-off fee every time you reach a new customer.

3) Mileage Rate

This portion of your payout considers the mileage between pickup and dropoff points.

The Uber app, however, uses the most efficient rate.

It does not track the distance that you actually travel.

It also does not consider the mileage that you travel while getting to your next pickup point.

You should also note that this rate is only applicable in certain cities, such as New York and Los Angeles.

You may want to look into whether Uber offers mileage pay in your respective city.

When you sign up to drive, you’ll receive more information about your delivery location and respective pay rates.

4) Minute Rate

The Uber food delivery app will also track how long it takes you to complete orders, from the first restaurant to the final dropoff.

You’ll receive a payout for the time spent fulfilling these delivery requests.

This too is similar to the mileage rate.

It’s based on estimated time spent traveling, not the actual time.

So if you hit traffic or are stuck waiting for food at a restaurant, you’ll be out of luck.

The minute rate is also only available in certain cities.

5) Fare Reduction and Boost Multiplier

The last criteria determining your Uber Eats pay is the fare reduction portion.

Depending on the city in which you deliver and the form of transportation that you use to fulfill the request, Uber Eats may pay you less.

For example, if you’re a delivery person who uses a car in New York, you’ll receive more per mile than someone using a scooter in Fresno, California.

A boost multiplier takes place when drivers are not in high supply.

In these cases, you may receive more money to encourage you to drive.

It’s essentially a food-related version of Surge pricing.

Uber will outline what the multiplier is before you accept.

Once you accept and successfully complete the ride, your net fare will be multiplied by the multiplier.

Utilizing the multiplier is an excellent way to further boost your earnings.

6) Tips

Upon delivering food, the customer has the option to provide a tip.

Any tips that you earn are in addition to your standard pay rate.

Drivers are entitled to 100% of the tips that they earn.

However, Uber Eats tells customers that tips are not expected.

You’ll also need to pay taxes on tips.

In addition to prompt delivery, check out these things you can do to boost your earnings while driving.

How Much Does Uber Eats Pay?

The amount of money that Uber Eats pays food delivery contractors varies significantly between cities and when they are working.

Some have found they are making only about minimum wage, while others make $15, $16, or $17 per hour on a good night.

In fact, one survey found that Uber Eats drivers make a median pay of $17.74 per hour.

As such, some can make significantly more than this while others make much less

How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make Per Delivery?

The amount an Uber Eats driver makes can vary greatly.

However, if you work for this delivery service, you can make more depending on the days and times you choose to deliver orders.

For instance, holidays, large sporting events, and evenings tend to be the busiest times for food delivery services.

These times will also net you the most significant pay. You will make much more money delivering food during the Super Bowl than on a typical Tuesday afternoon.

The reason you may make more money during the busiest times is due to Uber’s promotional payments.

You may see Surge and Boost features that multiply the amount you make as an extra promotional fee.

Pro Tip: To increase income, check out the best times to drive for DoorDash or the best times to drive for Uber, then try driving during those times.

Average Uber Eats Pay Per Hour

On average, a typical Uber Eats driver can make $15 or more per hour.

Remember, you will make more money depending on the time and the days you choose to deliver food.

The amount of money an Uber Eats driver makes per hour greatly depends on the city they’re serving.

For example, in Pittsburgh, Uber Eats drivers make a median of $23.36 per hour, while those in St. Louis make a median of only $13.30 per hour.

Nonetheless, even for those living in lower-paying cities, it may be worth it to be a food delivery driver to have an extra gig that supplements your income, especially due to its flexible schedules.

Average Uber Eats Pay Per Year

Let’s say you make an average of $15 per hour driving for Uber Eats, and you work a full-time schedule of 40 hours per week.

At that rate, your yearly salary will be about $31,200.

However, this does not take into account the expenses that food delivery drivers have to deal with.

It also doesn’t take into account any days off or vacation days you’ve taken.

As a food delivery driver, you’ll need to cover the costs of gas, car insurance, and car repairs.

However, you can also sign up to be an Uber Eats bicycle courier to deliver food through the Uber Eats platform.

The average base pay also does not consider the location of an Uber Eats driver.

Those who live in large cities may see much more work available, and their yearly salary may be significantly larger.

Those in rural locations, however, may face too few customers for the Uber Eats platform.

Nonetheless, on average, an Uber driver delivering food can make good yearly pay.

Highest Paying Cities for Uber Eats Drivers

If you’re looking to become an Uber Eats driver, you should know which cities pay the most for these independent contractors.

The highest paying cities for Uber Eats drivers are:

  • New York City, New York
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Austin, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Orange County, California
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Monterrey, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Washington D.C.

Why Does Uber Eats Pay So Little?

While there are cities where drivers make more via Uber Eats, some drivers still state that much of the pay comes from customer tips.

One of the reasons for the smaller payments is keeping customers coming back to their cheapest food delivery service.

If the costs for delivery were too high for customers, there would be no business left.

As such, the pay for delivery drivers ends up being smaller so that customers ordering meals from a restaurant keep coming back to the Uber Eats platform.

Uber Eats Driver Expenses

When looking at how much Uber Eats drivers make, it’s crucial to consider driver expenses.

Uber Eats drivers have plenty of expenses related to their work.

Since Uber Eats drivers are independent contractors, the majority of these expense costs falls directly on their shoulders.

What kind of expenses are you likely to incur?

Here are a few common ones:

1. Gas

If you’re using a motorized vehicle to make deliveries for Uber Eats, then you have to pay for gas.

This is something that unfortunately is getting more and more expensive.

You can offset your costs by choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle and driving in an efficient manner.

For more tips, check out these 16 ways rideshare drivers can save money on gas.

But no matter how efficiently you drive, gas expenses will eat into your profits.

2. Vehicle Maintenance

You can’t make deliveries if your vehicle isn’t in reliable, working condition.

This requires maintenance like oil changes, new tires, and replacement of worn out parts.

If you’re skilled, you can save some money in this area by doing the work yourself, but this isn’t an option for many people.

Plus, all the extra miles you drive for Uber Eats will increase wear and tear on your car (meaning it will need maintenance more frequently).

3. Auto Loan Payments

If you’re making deliveries with a car, then you’re likely making payments on an auto loan.

Or if you have an Uber lease, you’ll also be making payments on that.

Driving for Uber Eats doesn’t have an effect on the amount of these payments, but you still need to count them as one of your expenses since the vehicle you’re using is essential for your delivery job.

Related: the best loans for Uber drivers to finance your next vehicle.

4. Car Insurance

Insurance is another expense that you have to pay by law no matter what you use your car to do.

Driving for Uber Eats is nice in that there are fewer risks involved than if you were transporting passengers around (which means that you probably don’t need any special insurance).

But you still have to maintain state minimum coverage.

Don’t forget about this expense when figuring out how much you make from Uber Eats.

5. Vehicle Registration, Title, and Taxes

The last set of expenses on our list will vary in amount based on your state.

In all cases, though, you’ll have to pay them (unless you’re making deliveries on a bicycle or by foot).

As you can see, more expenses go into making Uber Eats deliveries than most drivers typically realize.

Be sure to keep track of these expenses, as you can likely deduct them at tax time.

Speaking of which, you’ll also have to pay taxes on your Uber Eats earnings.

Since you’re an independent contractor, Uber doesn’t take out any taxes from what you earn.

You have to pay these taxes yourself when you go to file, so be sure to set some money aside.

While these may seem high, some of these expenses can be tax-deductible, such as the mileage you drive, part of your cell phone bill, and supplies, including nice driving clothes or a new phone charger.

Payouts: How Do Uber Eats Drivers Get Paid?

Uber Eats has two main ways for their food delivery drivers to get paid.

You can either request payment via Instant Pay – where your money will instantly show up in your bank account or debit account – or set up a weekly direct deposit into your bank account.

vector graphic showing mobile phone with Uber Instant pay screen on it

Payment Timing

When choosing a direct deposit, the payment will begin processing on Wednesday evening and is directly deposited into your bank account by Thursday.

However, sometimes banks take longer.

It may take until Friday evening before your earnings show up in your account.

Instant pay is usually immediate but may take up to three days before being available in your bank account.

Regular Deposits vs. Instant Pay

You can set up a direct deposit and get regular weekly deposits put into your bank account.

To set up a direct deposit, you will need your social security number, bank routing number, bank account number, and check number.

You’ll also need to put in your banking information for Instant Pay, but you can get your earnings almost immediately.

Fees for Payouts

If you have a personal debit card that you’d like to use for an instant payout, you will be left with a 50-cent fee every time you cash out.

You can cash out up to five times per day, and the platform allows most Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards.

However, GoBanks’ Uber Visa Debit Card does not include any fees for instant payouts.

There are no monthly fees either when using this type of debit card.

Earn Even More with Promotions for Uber Eats Drivers

You can earn bonuses with some promotional features known as Surge Pricing, Boost, and Quest.

1. Surge Pricing

Surge Pricing increases drivers’ income when there is high demand for food delivery.

On the Uber Eats app screen, you’ll see a red shade displaying areas in high demand with an extra dollar amount.

2. Boost

Boost allows you to multiply your earnings within a specific area during a designated time frame.

Boost promotions have particular zones that will be visible with outlines on the home screen of the Uber app.

3. Quest

Quest allows you to earn a bonus for every goal you meet in a specific amount of time.

For example, there may be a goal where you complete ten trips between 7 PM and 11 PM on a Saturday. If you reach that goal, you might get an extra $30.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of the current Uber promotions that are running for drivers.

Which Pays More: Uber Eats or Rideshare Driving?

Working as an Uber Eats food delivery driver is likely to pay more than a general Uber rideshare driver.

According to Indeed, an Uber driver in the United States makes only $28,881 per year on average.

Is It Worth Working for Uber Eats?

If you live in a large city and you’re willing to work evenings, holidays, or weekends, then you can make a decent wage by working for Uber Eats.

If you’re looking for ways to earn supplemental income in a part-time role, Uber Eats may be an intriguing option.

However, you may want to do a bit of research before trying it out.

Consider the type of transportation you’ll be using and where you’ll be delivering, as these factors can impact your pay rate.

Overall, Uber Eats drivers earn less than minimum wage.

This comes mostly from a lack of compensation for drivers’ time (such as long waits to pick up orders) and the fact that Uber Eats doesn’t automatically add tips to orders in the Uber Eats app.

There are certainly exceptions to these low earnings, especially if drivers can make deliveries on foot or by bike, or find other other ways to cut down on their expenses and boost their tips (like tracking earnings for tax purposes).

It appears for the moment, however, that you’re better off driving for Uber or Lyft if you want to make money.

You may also want to be particularly mindful about only driving when a boost multiplier is in place.

Otherwise, your earnings could be below the minimum wage.

Be mindful of this when starting out, as you could potentially earn more working for other food delivery companies.

Since Uber Eats is just one of many food delivery apps out there.

We also suggest checking out our guides to becoming a DoorDash driver and Postmates driver for other ways to make money delivering food orders.

Uber Eats Driver Pay Reviews

How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make

When looking at how much Uber Eats drivers make, the best source available is what real drivers have to say about working for the company.

This information is easily available on sites like Glassdoor, so we decided to take a look.

We discovered that Uber Eats drivers have somewhat mixed opinions about driving for the service.

In fact, the number one complaint drivers had was the poor pay.

Let’s look at some real quotes from reviewers regarding driver pay.

“Very disappointing. Driving 12 hrs, 22 deliveries and making like $7.00 an hour. 22 deliveries and 2 tippers. and greatly appreciate those 2 customers.”

“Without boost and quest you are basically delivering for almost free.

Especially after schools opened your distances like 1 block away which you only make like $3.49 for each delivery but during rush hour you have to wait over 20 minutes for food plus you usually do not get any tips either from college kids.”

“The pay breaks down to less than minimum wage at $7.50 in average an hour because most customers don’t tip.

Uber pays a SMALL amount for your drive and only starts paying once you have picked up the food but does not take into consideration the drive it took you to get the food.”

Even the one 5-star review we found mentioned, “Higher reimbursement for each trip would be better.”

Based on driver feedback, then, it appears that driving for Uber Eats is not worthwhile from a financial perspective.

Of course, it’s important to remember that the reviews on Glassdoor do not represent the experience of all drivers.

There could well be some drivers who are quite satisfied with Uber Eats pay and haven’t felt compelled to leave reviews (or don’t even know about sites like Glassdoor).

Still, seeing reviews like this makes it appear that there are better ways to make extra cash than delivering for Uber Eats.

Wrapping Up

You will find that working as an Uber Eats food delivery driver could bring you wages of $15 per hour or more.

You can also choose to have your earnings deposited directly into your bank account weekly or via an instant cash-out process.

Certain promotions can give you an extra bonus too.

If you want to make some extra cash, sign up to be an Uber Eats food delivery driver today.

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