- As a delivery or rideshare driver, your car will experience wear and tear.
- Plan on sticking to a weekly, monthly, and yearly car maintenance schedule.
- You may wish to consider additional car insurance and warranty options.
The rideshare and food delivery industries have exploded in popularity, as they offer a convenient and affordable way for consumers to get around or have their meals delivered. Working as a driver for a rideshare or food delivery company can be appealing, as it allows you to set your hours and be your own boss.
Yet as a delivery or rideshare driver, your car will experience more wear and tear than the average person’s car, and you may need to consider expanded auto insurance and warranty options.
Extra Wear and Tear
As a delivery or rideshare driver, you’ll spend more time on the road and you’ll start and stop more often than the average driver. Common types of wear and tear that delivery and rideshare drivers experience include:
- Tire wear
- Engine wear
- Interior damage
- Exterior damage
- Damage due to accidents
While this is just a sampling of the beatings your vehicle may take as a delivery or rideshare driver, keep in mind that all cars will eventually succumb to wear and tear. However, by taking proper care of your vehicle, you can minimize the amount of damage that occurs.
Additional Vehicle Care
Since delivery and rideshare drivers use their personal vehicles to conduct business, it’s important to take good care of your car. This includes things like:
- Regular maintenance: You should take your car in for regular oil changes and tune-ups to keep it running smoothly.
- Routine cleaning: It’s crucial to keep your car clean, both inside and out. This includes things like vacuuming the interior and washing the exterior regularly.
Suggested Maintenance Schedules
Following a weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance check schedule will help keep your vehicle in good condition and avoid complicated, costly repairs.
Every week you should:
- Check your car’s oil level and add oil if necessary.
- Check the condition of your tires, including the tread depth and tire pressure.
- Visually inspect your car’s exterior for any damage or debris.
- Check for warning lights on your car’s dashboard.
- Ensure brake lights and headlights are working properly.
Every month or every 3,000 miles, you should:
- Check belts and hoses for any signs of wear or damage.
- Ensure your air filter is clean and replace it if necessary.
- Inspect your car’s battery and clean the terminals if necessary.
- Check brake pads and rotors.
- Get an oil change.
When checking your car annually or every 15,000 miles, you should:
- Rotate your tires.
- Check spark plugs and wires.
- Replace cabin air filter.
- Replace shocks and struts.
- Check the timing belt to ensure it’s in good condition.
Beyond 15,000 miles, you should take your car in for more comprehensive maintenance from a professional.
Expanded Insurance Considerations
In addition to maintaining your car, having insurance is a must. There are two types of insurance that delivery and rideshare drivers should consider:
- Rideshare insurance: A rideshare insurance policy, or a similar temporary or usage-based insurance plan, covers the gap between your employer’s commercial vehicle insurance and your personal auto insurance.
- Commercial insurance: Commercial auto insurance premiums are typically higher than those for personal vehicles. However, this insurance provides more comprehensive coverage for business purposes.
Depending on your work, you may be required to have one or both of these types of insurance. If you own your car outright, you may only need a personal auto insurance policy. However, if you are still making payments on your car, you will likely be required to have full coverage insurance. Ultimately, choosing the right car insurance is an integral part of being a delivery or rideshare driver and deserves careful consideration.
Extended Car Warranties
Car warranty companies offer plans to help offset the cost of repairs for drivers who use their personal vehicles for business purposes. While these plans typically come with a higher price tag, they can provide peace of mind knowing that your car is covered in the event of a mechanical failure.
An extended warranty may be the way to go for those with older cars. These plans can help cover the cost of repairs for older vehicles that a manufacturer’s warranty may no longer cover. There are even extended warranties for cars with over 100K miles.
How To Avoid Costly Issues
While there is no way to completely avoid the wear and tear that comes with being a delivery or rideshare driver, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage to your car and avoid costly issues.
- Drive fewer miles: Consider limiting the number of deliveries or rides you accept each week.
- Use a GPS: A Global Positioning System (GPS) helps you avoid getting lost, saving you time and preventing you from putting unnecessary miles on your car.
- Use seat covers: Protect your car’s upholstery from spills and stains.
- Use quality gas and oil: Improve your car’s fuel economy and extend the life of your engine.
The Continued Growth of Delivery and Rideshare
The gig economy has made it easier than ever to get started in this profession, with companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Grubhub providing platforms for drivers. 87% of Uber drivers cited greater freedom and flexibility as a reason for choosing the platform.
From the inception of the first rideshare company in 2009, the industry has seen tremendous growth. The rideshare market value is expected to reach nearly $185 billion in 2026. Total revenue in the online food delivery business is expected to reach $96.37 billion. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including:
- Greater awareness of these services
- An increase in the number of people living in urban areas
- A shift in consumer preferences towards convenience
The COVID-19 pandemic also spurred the growth of these industries, as many people opted for contactless delivery and rideshare services to avoid exposure. Global usage of food delivery services rose 88% in 2020 over the previous year. According to Zippia, there were over 1.3 million active delivery drivers in the United States by mid-2022.
While delivery and rideshare drivers provide a valuable service, it’s important to note that advantages and disadvantages come with the territory.
- A flexible schedule
- The ability to be your own boss
- An increase in job opportunities
- The opportunity to earn extra income
- Dependent on a personal vehicle
- May have to work long hours
- Need to put wear and tear on your car
Since delivery and rideshare drivers use their personal vehicles to conduct their business, it’s important to take proper care of your car if you’re involved in one of these industries. After all, your car is your office, and you need it to be in good working condition to do your job effectively.