Whether you don’t yet have a reliable vehicle or it’s simply in the shop getting some work done on it, you may be considering a rental car as an alternative option.
If Doordash is an important source of income for you, you may be wondering – can you use a rental car for Doordash? And if so, how can you make sure that you’re dashing as profitable as possible?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about doing Doordash with a rental car.
Can You Use A Rental Car For Doordash?
Yes, using a rental car for Doordash is perfectly fine. In fact, Doordash have partnered with the rental car company Hertz to give exclusive deals to Doordash drivers.
That being said, the average rental car in the United States costs $345 per week. And although you certainly don’t need anything fancy for dashing and may be able to get a cheaper price, the rental car will still be a huge expense that cuts into your profits.
Therefore, while there are several ways to make it work, it doesn’t make sense for everyone.
Later on in this article, we’ll cover some tips specifically for Doordashing with a rental car, that will help you minimize your expenses and make the most amount of money possible.
Pros Of Using A Rental Car For Doordash
Although it doesn’t usually make sense to deliberately rent a car for Doordash unless you have to, there are a few benefits of doing so.
Some of these benefits include…
1. You’re Not Responsible For Maintenance
One of the hidden costs of doing Doordash with your own vehicle is maintenance costs.
You typically don’t think about these when you’re starting out, but Doordash can put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle. And when you have to take it into the shop to get new tires or have a part replaced, it can be a really big hit.
Rental companies are responsible for all maintenance on their cars, so this is one expense you don’t have to budget for.
2. Put As Many Miles On It As You Want
Rental car companies typically charge by the length of the time you have the vehicle in your possession, not for the number of miles put on the car.
This ties in heavily with maintenance costs – as cars rack up more miles, they tend to have more issues.
With rentals, you can drive as much as you want and only have to really worry about fuel.
3. Rental Cars Are Often More Reliable
Because rental cars are typically newer than most people’s cars, you may find that they’re more reliable.
There’s something special about having your own unique car that you know inside and out, but more than anything it’s nice to have a car that’s dependable – especially when you are relying on it for income.
If in the event you have any issues, rental companies will usually let you swap out the car for one that’s around the same price.
4. You Get To Try Out Different Cars
One thing that’s neat about renting different cars – especially for a lengthy period of time, is you get to try out a bunch of different cars.
You’ll get to discover what you like about them, and what you don’t like.
This can help when deciding which car you may want to eventually purchase yourself.
Cons Of Using A Rental For Doordash
Of course, there are some downsides to using a rental as well. Let’s look over some of these now.
1. Rentals Are Expensive, And Cut Into Your Profits
This is the obvious one.
Rental cars average out to around $50 a day, and this price can be even higher in certain areas of the country.
It can be hard to turn a profit that’s worth your time, even when dashing in your own car. This added expense can really hurt, and you’ll need to consider whether it’s even worth dashing at all after factoring in the price of rental.
2. You Have To Take More Care Of It
One of the perks of driving for Doordash instead of something like Uber or Lyft, is that you don’t have to keep appearances quite as good.
You can leave your personal belongings in the back of your car and don’t have to keep it looking quite as nice.
Since you’ll have to give the rental back, you’re expected to take better care of it than you may have to with your own car.
3. No Smoking
Most rental cars don’t allow you to smoke cigarettes (or anything else) in their cars.
Since the cars have to be used by other people, this is a fair policy.
However, we recognize how important this is for some people, so we wanted to mention it as another potential downside of using a rental car for Doordash.
4. The Money Could Be Going Towards Ownership
If you don’t have an acceptable car to use for Doordash, you could be spending the money you’re using on a rental car, towards actually owning a car itself.
This could come in the form of a car you’ve bought and are making payments on, or a lease-to-own situation.
While you would be responsible for all maintenance costs, you at least have a sellable asset later down the line that may leave more money in your pocket.
What Rental Car Company Do We Recommend?
If you’re going to be renting a car to Doordash, we recommend going with the rental car company Hertz.
Hertz has an exclusive deal with Doordash, and is actually listed on Doordash’s ‘Dasher Discounts’ page on their website.
Other than having some of the cheapest prices available for rental cars, Hertz also has over 2,700 different locations across the US, so it’s likely there’s a place near you to pick up and drop off the car.
How To Doordash With A Rental – Top Tips
Personally, I believe it’s much better to Doordash with your own car. The rental car companies price their cars in order to make a profit after all of the expenses they incur – you will almost certainly save money with your own car, even if you have to keep buying temporary beaters that ultimately break down.
That being said, there are a few things you can do in order to maximize your earnings, and save as much as possible while renting a car. Here are some of my top tips for doing Doordash with a rental vehicle.
1. Reserve Early To Get The Best Price
If you’re going to be renting a car, it pays to set your reservation as early as possible.
Typically, reserving in advance will help you lock in a much better price, and give you more options in terms of what cars you may rent.
This also gives you time to track other options for potential price drops, and switch to something cheaper if the opportunity pops up.
2. Doordash Frequently
If you’re going to be paying for a rental, you should definitely make the most of it.
Calculate your cost per day on the car you’re renting. Whatever that number is, you need to earn at least that amount (plus your cost for gasoline and other expenses) before you even turn a profit for the day.
Using a rental makes the most sense if you are able to complete a lot of deliveries in a day, and you can actually cover the cost of the car while still earning enough for your time to be worth it.
Rentals don’t make sense if you are only dashing casually a few times a week.
3. Rent For The Short-Term If You’re New
If you’re just starting out with Doordash and you aren’t yet sure of your numbers, then you should avoid taking on any long-term rentals.
You need to know exactly how much you can expect to make, and how long it will take you to earn it.
It helps to know what days and times are the most busy, and what orders are actually worth taking.
If you’re just starting out, you may make less than you think, or decide that Doordash isn’t for you. In this case, you don’t want to be locked into any sort of long-term contract.
4. Use Credit Cards With Bonuses
Credit cards are a nice way to shave an additional 2-5% off your expenses, in the form of cash back.
Fortunately, there are credit cards that offer bonuses in a wide variety of areas.
Some offer bonuses specifically on rental cars. Others can give bonus cash back specifically on fuel / gasoline.
And finally, there are other general use cards that give up to 2% cash back on all purchases.
It may not seem like a lot, but these can really add up to a lot of additional savings over the course of a year.
5. Remember To Deduct Rental Expenses
When it comes time to do your taxes, don’t forget to deduct the cost of your rental car from your taxes.
Because this is a business expense, you should be able to deduct the cost of the rental from your taxable income, provided that you’ve used it for business purposes.
Since rental cars can be so expensive, this can save you thousands of dollars come tax time.
Can you use a rental car for Doordash? Yes. Should you? That is up for debate.
While there are a lot of ways to cut down on your rental expenses and still maximize your earnings with Doordash, you’ll almost always come out ahead by using your own car instead.
Still, you can certainly make it work if a rental is your only option.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions about Doordashing with a rented car, feel free to ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you success!
– James McAllister