How to Earn More Income as a Delivery Driver

Larry Bernstein

August 22, 2021

Larry Bernstein

The old and famous saying “Money can't buy happiness” is attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. While this idea is nearly universally accepted, having enough money to take care of your bills does make one happier. And a little something left over is good, too. It’s this drive (pun intended), in addition to other factors, that inspires people to earn more money at their job. So, what can you do to earn more as a delivery driver?

Be Professional

As a delivery driver, most of your working hours are in your car by yourself. However, the moments when you interact with customers are the key to making more money.

When you are professional you impress the person on the receiving end of the delivery. This leads to them giving you a higher rating. Maintaining a high rating is important because customers consider a driver’s rating when requesting a delivery. In addition, some delivery services make you ineligible if you fall below a certain rating. Also, some delivery services, including DoorDash, have special programs and incentives for drivers who maintain a certain rating.

Let’s look at some professional traits that can help a delivery driver get a higher rating and ultimately, earn more money.

Be Pleasant

Read the room! Some customers might want to chat a bit, whereas others prefer simple pleasantries. Recognize what the customer wants and act accordingly. If a customer does want to chat, keep it simple, be empathetic, and don’t discuss controversial topics.

Mind Your Appearance

Customers will make a judgment within seconds of seeing you. While you are working as a delivery driver and not trying to make friends, creating a positive impression is important as you are representing the company you are driving with.

So, dress appropriately (wear closed-toe shoes for example), make sure you have good personal hygiene, and maintain a friendly facial expression and body language.

Be Reliable

At some point you will run into traffic. Although customers will inevitably be annoyed when a delivery is late, lateness does not have to be detrimental. If you keep the customer informed and sincerely apologize (note that you apologize even though it’s not your fault), most customers will get over it and view you favorably.

Follow the customer’s instructions, always. If you have questions, call them. If you communicate clearly and graciously honor their wishes (within reason, of course), you’ll be that best driver out there.

Be Prepared

Like the Boy Scouts, as a delivery driver you need to be prepared. Determine the tools that help you be more successful at the job and use them. Make sure your phone is charged (and/or you have a charger). Use a reliable GPS.

For drivers delivering food, bring a thermal bag with adequate thermal insulation to keep deliveries at the proper temperature and to prevent spills. For drivers delivering construction and industrial material, we recommend having blankets in the back of your car, and even PPE such as a face mask, gloves or protective glasses. Either way, have the tools you need to help ensure the delivery item is as the customer expects it when you deliver it.

Expenses and Efficiency

Track tax-deductible mileage

Keeping more of the money you earn in your pocket rather than the government coffers is another way to grow your income.  The vehicle expenses you incur as a delivery driver are tax deductible (check with a professional tax preparer for details).

Tracking expenses, however, can be time consuming and annoying. Apps like Gridwise, make it easier to track your expenses and earnings and ensure your accountant has the information needed to prepare your taxes. The app allows you to track tax-deductible mileage and link your driver account to track your earnings and trips automatically.

Know when and where to drive

Some hours and locations are less profitable. If you track your earnings you can recognize which locations and hours lead to the highest hourly wage. Gridwise helps here too as it can also show drivers what times of day are more profitable for driving - goodbye, slow shifts!

Drive enough and a few cents here and there for gas add up. Note where gas is most reasonably priced. In addition, have an E‑ZPass in your vehicle in case you need to take toll roads. Read how Curri reimburses drivers for tolls incurred during deliveries. Finally, shop around for insurance so you can get the lowest rate possible.

Understand how each app works

Are there pick-up and drop-off fees? Do you get paid per mile or per minute or some combination thereof? How and when do you get paid – via PayPal, at the end of the month, etc.? Note that Curri pays delivery drivers daily. Talk about instant gratification!

By knowing the ins and outs of each app and ultimately where you make the most money, you can determine which service you should drive for the most.

Similarly, high-value items and more expensive loads lead to an increase in pay. Companies that deal with high-value items are able to pay drivers a higher rate. Curri drivers transport construction and industrial materials, which are high-value items.

Take advantage of the free and reduced-price stuff

Gridwise often shares special deals on cell phones, data plans, insurance, and even vehicles throughout their in-app experience and through their driver perks. They note deals on auto detailing, auto parts, and maintenance services may also be available. Curri delivery drivers get free swag, including hats, T-shirts, and phone holders. Email us at is you are interested in receiving swag!

With these suggestions you are bound to make more as a delivery driver. Although this doesn’t guarantee happiness, the additional income can help to pay the bills. And that’s pretty good, too.

Want to be a delivery driver for Curri? Get started today.

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