Do Gig Economy Apps Allow Delivery on Bike?

If you’re looking to make money with bike deliveries, you’re in luck. Several food delivery services have a bike delivery option.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

What delivery apps let you use a bike?

Bike delivery positions vary by app and city.

For example, if you live in New York City or San Francisco, jobs for bike couriers are more common because many restaurants offer bike delivery. If you live in a more rural area with larger delivery zones, bike delivery doesn’t make as much sense.

Since each gig economy app focuses on different locations and customer bases, you’ll need to check each app in your area.

Can you do DoorDash with a bike?

You can find a DoorDash bike delivery position in select markets. They also allow scooter and even walking deliveries in some places.

DoorDash doesn’t publish a list of where it allows bike delivery. You can find DoorDash bike courier openings near you by starting the Dasher signup process.

Can I use a bike for UberEats?

UberEats does allow bike deliveries. However, they send delivery orders to delivery drivers using cars first.

If you sign up for Uber Eats for bike delivery, you may have a hard time getting orders. This may be less of a problem in urban settings like New York City, where cars have a hard time parking on busy city streets.

If you’re thinking about signing up for car deliveries and using a bike, it probably won’t work. In addition to asking how you intend to deliver, the Uber Eats app tracks your speed. They’ve previously used speed tracking to deactivate people using electric bikes instead of unpowered bicycles.

Can you use a bike with GrubHub?

GrubHub allows bike delivery in select large cities like New York City and San Francisco. You can see if the bike delivery option is available where you live at the start of the GrubHub signup process.

Can you work for multiple services?

Delivery bikers are considered independent contractors, so you’re allowed to sign up for all of the services in your area if you choose. They can’t prevent you from working for competing services.

Many drivers even keep multiple apps open so they can pick the best orders. Be careful with the apps that offer incentives, because refusing or not responding to too many orders may mean you don’t get the incentive. Once you get an order, it’s a good idea to pause the other app until you complete the delivery.

Where can you work?

Most apps approve bikers for specific delivery zones. The zones are usually the entire metro area, so you can deliver anywhere around your city.

In some cases, there may be different rules inside and outside of city limits or for two neighboring cities. That can cause your zone to be smaller or require you to get approval for multiple zones. The app will usually limit you to taking orders in the zone you’re approved for.

If you’re traveling, you may or may not be able to pick up work in another city. It depends on the app and where you are.

  • Some apps will let you just start working if they already know you meet the requirements for that city.
  • Others will require you to request to be approved for that area.
  • Some apps may not allow you to work at all outside of your home area unless you’re changing your address.

How much can you make Doordashing on a bike?

DoorDash bike delivery earnings are estimated to be $38 per hour by Glassdoor, while Reddit reports around $20 per hour. You can expect similar earnings doing bike delivery in other apps.

Earnings may vary based on where you are and whether you’re able to work during peak delivery hours. Most delivery companies don’t have fixed rates of pay, so what you make often depends on current supply and demand.

Some local laws have minimum wage requirements for food delivery services, so you may have a minimum earnings guarantee. Of course, working during peak delivery hours will still usually mean that you can earn more.

Is it worth doing DoorDash on a bike?

One of the biggest advantages to DoorDash bike delivery is that you can make money delivering with almost no expenses.

Food delivery drivers who use a car often have a tough time staying profitable, especially when gas prices are high. The constant stopping and starting required for food delivery also puts additional wear and tear on a car.

If you do bicycle delivery, you can easily find a good mountain bike for between $100 to $500. A bicycle has almost no maintenance needs, especially if you get one with thick tires that can stand up to road debris in urban areas.

So almost all of the money you make doing DoorDash bike delivery is extra cash in your pocket.

What do you need to get started with bike delivery?

It’s easy to get started with DoorDash bike delivery or with other services.

You may need:

  • A clean background check such as no recent DUIs
  • A bicycle
  • Food delivery backpacks to hold your orders
  • A valid driver’s license (some apps worry you may decide to start using your car or that you lost your license because of poor driving)
  • Auto insurance (while most apps provide auto insurance while you’re working, they often want to make sure you’re covered at all times)

Some apps may not allow an electric bike, hybrid bike, or other bicycle with an electric motor. This may be due to liability concerns or because of local laws.

The exact requirements for bike delivery depend on the app and location. Each app will walk you through its requirements at the start of the application process.

How old do you need to be to do bike deliveries?

Most bike delivery services require you to be 18 years of age or older. This is because you’re an independent contractor, and minors can’t enter into a contract, as well as other insurance and liability reasons.

Depending on where you live, you may need to be 21 years of age or older for deliveries with alcohol.

Do you have to do an interview?

Unlike some personal shopper services, Uber Eats and other delivery-only apps typically don’t require an interview.

You only need to complete an application to ensure that you meet the basic requirements. They’ll also run a background check.

The process should take no longer than a week or two in most cases.

Will you need to get your bike inspected?

Unlike rideshare apps that inspect cars, you’ll almost never need to get your bike inspected for food deliveries. You usually don’t even need to list a specific bike in the app, so you can change bikes as often as you want.

What does the insurance cover?

When delivery services offer insurance or set insurance requirements, it’s usually to protect them from being sued. The insurance may not give you all of the coverage most people would want to have.

Here are a few insurance situations you should think about.

  • Your bike gets stolen.
  • Your bike gets damaged in an accident with another car or a fixed object.
  • You injure someone during a delivery.
  • You injure someone when you’re working but not during a delivery (this is a situation where it’s common that neither your personal insurance nor the app insurance may cover you).
  • You get injured (you’re usually not eligible for workers’ compensation and should review what your health insurance would cover).

Also check the insurance limits that you’re offered. If you do this for extra money or are in school for a high-paying job, the delivery company’s insurance limits may not be enough to fully protect you.

Talk to a business insurance agent specializing in the gig economy if you have insurance concerns.

How does taking a tax deduction for a delivery bike work?

When you do bicycle delivery, you can take a tax deduction for each business expense you have. That’s because DoorDash bike delivery and similar services classify you as an independent contractor.

Independent contractors report their earnings from the DoorDash delivery app as well as any other tips as income. When you complete your Schedule C tax form, you’ll get to deduct your expenses.

You can generally deduct the cost of your bicycle, insulated bags, and other equipment you need. If you use your bicycle for personal commuting or pleasure rides, you can only deduct part of the cost based on what percentage of your use of the bike is delivering for DoorDash or other apps.

You can’t take the standard mileage deduction for a bicycle, hybrid bike, electric bike, or even a motorcycle. The standard mileage deduction is only for cars.

If you pay to charge your bike or it uses gas, you can deduct those expenses. If you charge at home and want to deduct part of your electric bill, you have to be able to figure out how much electricity your bike is using to charge.

What are the pros and cons of DoorDash bike delivery?

DoorDash bike delivery can be a good job, but there are also a few things you need to know.

Pros of Food Delivery by Bicycle

  • You can make as much money as you want.
  • You don’t have to commit to a set schedule or a minimum number of hours.
  • If you can work peak hours, you can make more money, including peak pay bonuses.
  • You can refuse DoorDash orders you don’t think are worth it.
  • You have much lower expenses than delivering by car.
  • The eligibility requirements may be lower than for car deliveries.

Cons of Food Delivery by Bicycle

  • DoorDash biker positions may not be available in your area.
  • Uber Eats and other services may give priority to car delivery drivers.
  • It’s harder to use the driver app for navigation while riding a bike.
  • Delivering for several hours at a time can be tiring and limit how much you can work.
  • You may have to deal with heavy traffic and dangerous drivers.
  • You have to buy and store things like a delivery bag.
  • Customers may blame you for long delivery times outside of your control.

What type of bike should you choose?

The bike you choose is very important since being able to ride faster and not get tired as quickly means you make more money.

Standard Bike

A standard bike is probably what you’re thinking about when you think about bikes. It’s a bike that you move by pedaling and can find in most sporting goods stores.

The biggest choice is usually whether you want to get a road or mountain bike. A road bike is designed for speed, while a mountain bike is heavier but gives you more durability.

The problem with a road bike is that the tires are designed for smooth roads with no debris. If you’re riding in normal street conditions, you have a high chance of damaging your tires.

A lighter mountain bike can often be your best bet as it will give you more durability. Having hydraulic shocks can also help when you need to jump a curb.

Hybrid Bike

When you hear hybrid bike, people might be talking about two things.

It might be a bike that allows you to switch back and forth between manual pedaling and electric power.

It may also be a bike with more speed gears that’s designed to help you easily navigate things like hills while also being able to pick up speed on open stretches of road.

Electric Bike

An electric bike can either power itself or give you extra help when you pedal. The biggest advantage to an E-bike is that you can make faster deliveries while saving your energy.

Check your local laws before buying an E-bike. Many places don’t allow E-bikes because the higher speeds increase the risk of an accident with pedestrians. You may also have limits like not being allowed on sidewalks or on certain streets.

Delivery services like Uber Eats can also have their own restrictions on electric bikes. Don’t forget the location services in the DoorDash app or other apps can track your speed and know what type of vehicle you’re using.

So how exactly do you deliver food on a bike?

Using a bike to deliver for Uber Eats or other services might sound like a great idea so far, but how exactly do you deliver food on a bike? It’s easy to put a fast food bag in a backpack, but what do you do with a pizza? How do you keep drinks from spilling?

The best way to keep a delivery secure is to get a pizza bag like you see corporate pizza delivery places use. Instead of wearing it like a backpack, get a rack that attaches to the back of your bicycle and strap it down.

To keep drinks secure, you’ll need to get either a bag or rack with a cupholder. Bags are usually the better option since they offer better insulation and an elastic fit.

Finally, you may want to get a phone holder for your handlebars so you can use GPS directions while you ride. Check your local laws to see if this is something that’s allowed where you live.

Summary

  • Most food delivery apps allow bike deliveries in select areas.
  • You can usually deliver by bicycle in large cities where bicycle use is common.
  • Delivering by bike has lower expenses than delivering by car and can increase your profits.
  • You may need to buy extra equipment like a pizza bag or delivery bag.
  • Compare the best DoorDash bikes and choose the bike that will let you make more deliveries in less time without getting tired.

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