Are you a driver for DoorDash, or you’re considering becoming one?
Like any delivery-based gig, fuel expenses can start to add up very quickly, and cut into your overall profits that you make from the app.
So, you may be wondering – does DoorDash reimburse you for gasoline? Will they cover the gas you use to make deliveries on their platform?
In this article, I’ll be answering this question, and share some tips that can help you massively reduce your total money spent on gasoline as well!
Does DoorDash Pay For Gas?
No. Unfortunately, DoorDash does not pay or reimburse for your full gas expenses. However, they offer small reimbursements through their Gas Relief Program, which was announced in March 2022.
This allows you to get some of your fuel expenses reimbursed through two methods:
- The DasherDirect card, which allows you to earn 10% cash back for all fuel purchases – effectively lowering your fuel expenses by 10%. Thankfully, this card can also be used for non-DoorDash gasoline expenses as well.
- If you drive a certain number of miles for delivery each week, you may earn a bonus to help cover fuel. Currently, you earn $5 for 100 miles driven, $10 for 175 miles, and $25 for 225 miles.
DoorDash claims this can save between $1.27 and $1.69 a gallon, depending on prices in your area, your car’s fuel mileage, and the total number of miles driven. Full details on DoorDash’s relief program can be found here.
So although DoorDash won’t cover all fuel expenses, this does add up to a sizeable portion. I’ll be sharing more tips on how to save on fuel expenses a little later on, so keep reading to save even more while driving for DoorDash!
Can You Use The DoorDash Red Card To Pay For Gas?
When you first began driving for DoorDash, you were sent a DoorDash Red Card to pay for meals at the restaurants, or the stores where you pick up customer orders.
But can the Red Card also be used to pay for fuel at the pump?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
If you try to use the DoorDash Red Card at a place other than the restaurant you’re picking up from (or the amount doesn’t exactly match what you were supposed to pay), the transaction will not go through.
This makes it impossible to use the Red Card to fuel up, even if you wanted to.
How To Save Money On Gas While Driving For DoorDash
Although DoorDash’s gas relief program can provide considerable savings on fuel expenses, your costs can be cut down much further if you are proactively thinking about how to save money.
Below, you’ll find five tips that can help provide significant savings when fueling up for DoorDash deliveries.
1. Use Cash Back Credit Cards
This one has already been mentioned, but is worth repeating.
The DasherDirect card will provide 10% cash back on all fuel purchases – not only the ones that you use for DoorDash deliveries.
10% is very high compared to most other credit card cash back programs – which typically only go up to 5% on certain categories, or 2% for general purchases.
So, you should always take advantage of the DasherDirect card when fueling up.
For all other purchases that go into your DoorDash business however, it’s worth finding another cash back card to use for non-fuel purchases as well.
I’m a big fan of the Citi Double Cash card for general purchases, which provides 1% cash back when you make your purchase, and an additional 1% when the balance is paid.
Over the course of a year, this can add up to a lot of additional cash rewards!
2. Consider A More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
If you own more than one vehicle (or you’re thinking about shopping for one soon), it makes sense to choose one that is fuel efficient.
This is especially true if you are using DoorDash to make a significant chunk of your income – the extra fuel you use directly correlates with lower profits, and lowers your effective hourly pay rate as well.
Thankfully, it is possible to find fuel-efficient cars at all budgets, even if you are purchasing used.
And of course, purchasing a fully-electric car like a Tesla Model 3 or a Nissan LEAF can lead to the biggest savings overall, since they are fully-electric.
3. Be More Picky About The Deliveries That You Accept
Technically speaking, you are an independent contractor when you work for DoorDash.
This means that DoorDash can not dictate which jobs that you accept, and which that you pass on. You are not required to deliver every order that pops up, which means you are free to selectively pick the orders that will be most profitable for you.
When possible, avoid deliveries that have you driving far out of your way, if they aren’t going to pay you enough to be worth your time AND fuel expenses.
This is particularly true when the delivery is also far away from where all of the restaurants / orders are typically coming from, as it effectively means you have to drive both there and back – but of course, DoorDash only accounts for the distance one way.
4. Track Your Miles (So You Can Deduct From Your Taxes!)
Technically, driving for DoorDash is a business.
This means that you can deduct business-related expenses from your income, and only have to pay taxes on the actual profit you made after all expenses.
Considering that fuel costs can be such a huge chunk of every delivery, it really adds up!
So, by tracking the amount you pay along with the number of miles you use for DoorDash, you can provide this to your CPA come tax time, and knock a huge chunk of money off of your tax bill.
Just don’t forget to make note of all your other DoorDash-related expenses either!
5. Consider Delivering On A Scooter Or Bicycle
Finally, delivering with a car is not the only way to handle DoorDash orders!
If you want to save on fuel expenses entirely and you live in an area that makes it feasible, you may also consider doing DoorDash on an electric scooter, or even a bicycle!
Since there are no fuel expenses at all, it can improve the amount of money you make from each delivery.
Of course, if you have to travel long distances, you may still end up making less per hour despite this. So, you’ll need to decide whether or not this is a worthy option for you.
Unfortunately, DoorDash does not pay for the gasoline that you use for deliveries.
However, through the DasherDirect card, you are eligible to get 10% cash back on any gasoline purchases, which can add up to sizeable savings. By combining that with the other tips mentioned in this article, it’s possible to save quite a bit on your fuel expenses!
Remember that gasoline is indeed a business expense, so it can be deducted come tax time.
I hope that this article has answered all of your questions. If you have any other questions about driving for DoorDash, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister