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Using Your Car To Become A Food Delivery Driver: A Good Or Bad Idea?

Let’s face it: in the current climate, taking up food delivery, whether as a side job or a new primary occupation, can be tempting. The pandemic has intensified demand for online deliveries – and food is obviously one thing that people can’t choose to live without.

You could even use your personal car for the job. However, “could” is not the same as “should”. When mulling over whether to join the food delivery game, you therefore ought to weigh up these factors…

Would you need a car at all for this work?

The answer might surprise you. In an article for The Everygirl, writer Erika Segal recalls her own experiences of sampling life as a food delivery driver, explaining that “in some cities, you don’t even need a car!” Some firms, including one that employed her, allowed food deliveries by bicycle or motorcycle – or even on foot.

Segal notes that one key advantage of undertaking on-foot food deliveries is that “you wouldn’t be racking up any additional expenses like mileage or maintenance on a vehicle.”

You can make more money in major cities.

Even if your employer lets you do without a car, however, you might find yourself needing one in practice – at least if you’re eager to make big money. That’s because the best opportunities are often found in large cities, which you could struggle to swiftly get around without a car.

You don’t necessarily have to permanently relocate to a metropolitan area, but having a car at hand would make it easier for you to get to one as and when work opportunities there present themselves.

Don’t assume that there’s always guaranteed income.

Segal breaks some good news: “The company I signed up with gives its drivers a guaranteed delivery payout, and in addition to that, I keep 100% of the tips that I make.” However, she warns that some people don’t tip any more than the suggested amount – or even tip at all.

Even the guaranteed delivery payout she gets amounts to little, she admits. Therefore, you should probably expect your takings in this line of work to complement, rather than supplant, your existing income.

You need the right insurance.

While it’s clearly convenient that you can repurpose your existing car for food delivery purposes, there are insurance implications of making this switch. As Grace Gausden of the This is Money website warns, using a car for paid services requires insurance for “carriage of goods for hire and reward”.

Taking out this extra insurance would, of course, add to your financial obligations already arising from insurance for your personal driving. However, the good news is that there are ways to lower your goods in transit insurance cost.

You should avoid slipping into reckless behavior.

One ugly side of the rising number of food delivery drivers on the road has been a similar rise in driving behavior that would usually be deemed unacceptable. Avoid, for example, leaving your car parked with its engine still running, or driving your vehicle with its rear window obscured.

There you have it – a quick rundown of some of the things that should help you to determine whether becoming a food delivery driver really would be the right course of action for you. If you do decide to embark on this particular adventure, you may be surprised by just how rewarding you find it to be – in both personal and financial terms.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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