Become an Instacart Driver
21 Feb 2019
Owning a car is expensive, with the average car payment being about $480 per month. It would be great to have an extra job to help offset that expense or to make extra cash on the side to help pay any other bills you might have.
Applying as an independent contractor at Instacart is a great way to make some cash. Customers order groceries, and independent drivers deliver them from local stores.
If you’re a rideshare driver, this service is great because you’re using the car you already have in the times when you’re not driving for Uber and Lyft.
If you meet the following criteria, be sure to apply as an Instacart delivery driver:
Valid U.S. driver’s license and an auto insurance policy
Be prepared to submit to a criminal background check
Have a newer smartphone that’s compatible with the Instacart app
Be at least 18-21 years old (depending on the state you reside in)
Be able to lift at least 30 pounds
You’re eligible to work in the U.S.
Meet the requirements? Sign up now!
– Apply For Instacart –
How Much Does Instacart Pay?
Instacart can sometimes pay drivers a fixed hourly rate or based on the orders completed. The actual numbers will only be available to the driver at the end of the week. A precise guarantee of salary is hard to establish.
The variation in Instacart’s hourly pay for drivers also comes in the form of busy pricing. This extra delivery fee is used by Instacart during certain peak hours. When the client demands cannot be easily met, the busy pricing fee kicks in.
This allows Instacart to charge extra for urgent grocery deliveries during rush hours and use part of the money to compensate drivers for the extra work they have to put in. This, of course, only works to the driver’s benefit if they manage to complete the order on time.
When busy pricing applies, clients are entitled to a refund on any extra fee if the delivery is late. This means that if the order is not delivered in time, Instacart doesn’t have extra cash to work with to increase the driver’s payment for that order.
Another contributing factor to the variation in driver salary can be attributed to the service fee. This 10% optional fee for orders works similarly to a tip. The customer can choose to pay 10% of the order to the company which in turn splits the profits among all drivers in the area.
This is why actual monthly earnings from salary are hard to estimate; there are too many variables that determine the final hourly rate.
Instacart Hourly Wage
Instacart promotes an hourly wage of up to $25. As previously explained, this is not an average. However, it is an achievable goal if the circumstances allow for it to happen.
Typically, no driver makes less than $10 per hour. Even if they aren’t finding sufficient orders during their schedule of choice, they should still be able to pull in at least the $10. Rush hours present the right circumstances for Instacart to implement the busy pricing fee which can raise the hourly wage for drivers.
It is possible to go even higher if enough customers use the service fee during a whole week. That may be enough to raise the hourly wage average by a few dollars. However, the exact algorithm that determines how profits are split is uncertain, so it is plausible to assume that nothing is being redirected towards the drivers.
Because of these undisclosed formulas, it is possible to go under $10 per hour. You may even go as low as zero income as some reports claimed.
Finally, there are the tips. Whether clients tip via the app or in cash, all the proceeds go to the driver. Instacart doesn’t take a penny from them. Depending on how many deliveries a driver makes in an hour, it is conceivable that with enough generous clients the hourly income can be even greater than $25. This, of course, is more often than not based on pure luck and meeting grateful people.
Considering how much of a discrepancy there is between salaries for different drivers, one would assume that it is possible to make more from tips than actual payment. While that may be true for waiters, it is not the case for Instacart drivers.
Because clients end up paying more for items through Instacart than they would by buying them from the store, not many of them may be inclined to tip. It’s understandable since besides paying more for the items, they may also have to pay a delivery fee.
Instacart Driver FAQ
Although you’re not applying for a 9-to-5 Instacart job and you are allowed to pick whatever orders you want to work on, you still need to meet some requirements before you can join Instacart as a driver.
Instacart Driver Requirements
First and foremost, you have to be 18 years or older to apply. You can’t really lie about your age since you will have to provide documentation.
You have to prove that you don’t have a criminal record or pay a fee for a background check. It is important for the company as they need to ensure their clients’ safety. Since there is also some competition among with drivers, it also makes it a safer “working” environment if no drivers have a violent past.
No special licenses are requested by Instacart. However, you have to have at least two years of driving experience and a valid license for the state you want to work in. You also have to be eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada since Instacart operates in some areas in the north as well.
Drivers should also own their own vehicle. Instacart does not provide transportation for drivers or shoppers, which means that all deliveries are carried out with a personal vehicle.
Much like in-store shoppers, drivers also have to be physically fit and able to lift 30 or 40 pounds without any problems. This ensures that customers can receive their products intact and that drivers don’t suffer injuries on the job.
As a driver, you also need a smartphone. The minimum requirements are iPhone 4S or an Android 4.0 device. It’s usually better to have more recent models as the app may change over time and become harder to use on old devices.
Last but not least, if you want to be able to shop or deliver orders involving alcohol you need to be 21 or older. This is recommended in Canada, too, where the legal drinking age is as young as 18 in some provinces.
Does Instacart Pay for Gas?
Working as a driver for Instacart doesn’t mean that you are an employee under contract and with company benefits. You use your own vehicle to handle deliveries and you pay for your own maintenance and fuel.
This is one of the reasons why Instacart recommends that you have a good car that can handle many deliveries in a day. It is also important that you be familiar with your car’s fuel consumption rate. Sometimes taking long trips for deliveries and working in a low pay area of operation might not make the job profitable enough.
How to Become an Instacart Driver
To join the company and become an Instacart driver you have to sign up through their website.
The registration form is simple enough as it asks for your name, phone number, email address, and area code for a start. From there you have to check questions about your car and smartphone.
The final stage of the form asks whether you want to be a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper. You should choose the first option which will allow you to handle both shopping and deliveries. It’s important to understand that once you choose the first option you cannot take an order and refuse to deliver. The only choice you will have is whether or not you want to do the shopping too.
After submitting the form, the final paperwork can be completed and you will be asked a series of questions, similar to an interview. After that, you need to provide proof of your driver’s license and background information.
You also have to register a payment method. If you don’t own a credit card or you simply don’t want to share your information you can choose PayPal as your payment method.
Have fun making money on your own schedule
– Apply For Instacart –
Here’s the benefits they provide :
Health & Compensation Benefits
Medical, dental, vision and 401(k) retirement plan
Great work spaces at HQ and across various geographic markets
Learning and Development
Without a customer, there would be no Instacart
Commuting & Spending
Flexible spending and commuter benefits
Daily meals and snacks, Yoga Room, 27/7 access
Take what you need vacation (and we really mean it)
Maternity and Paternity Leave
16 weeks maternity leave and 8 weeks paternity leave, so you can truly bond with your child
Instacart Express membership, Free Grocery Delivery!