Rideshare vs. Delivery: What Type of Gig Work Is Right for You?

Rideshare and delivery jobs both offer flexible gig work, with different characteristics to consider.

9 min read
Dx Blog (US/CA/AU/NZ) - Rideshare vs. Food Delivery: What Type of Gig Work Is Right for You? - Dasher in car

Gig work has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Gig work can provide individuals with both flexibility and more control over their schedules while earning extra income. And anyone can benefit from the flexibility of gig work — including caregivers, students, freelancers, and people supporting their entrepreneurial and creative pursuits. 

If you value a flexible lifestyle and being your own boss, then both rideshare and food delivery are likely top options. Both are excellent gig work opportunities but have different points to consider. The choice between rideshare or food delivery will largely depend on personal preference. Let’s explore the similarities and differences between the two types of work.  

What to know about rideshare

Rideshare drivers transport passengers from one location to another using their personal vehicle. In order to qualify for rideshare jobs as a driver, you have to maintain a clean driving record and provide proof of vehicle insurance. The earnings from ridesharing will depend on the number of passengers you transport as well as the distance you drive. 

Rideshare characteristics:

  • Must own a vehicle 

  • Transporting people from one location to another

  • Possibility of driving longer distances

What to know about delivery work

Delivery work involves transporting food, packages, or other products from one location to another. This can be done by car, bike, or scooter. As a delivery driver, you will be responsible for picking up the delivery request and transporting the item to its destination. Your earnings will primarily depend on the number of deliveries you choose to accept, the times you decide to be online, and the overall distance you choose to travel. 

Delivery work characteristics:

  • Option to deliver with a car, scooter, bicycle, or e-bike

  • Transporting food, goods, and products

  • Deliver from merchants to customers

How rideshare compares to delivery work

If you’re looking for a side hustle where you can be your own boss and operate on a schedule that suits your lifestyle, then either rideshare or delivery work could fit the bill. Both delivery work and rideshare jobs require access to reliable transportation and benefit those with punctuality, excellent customer service, and the ability to work well under pressure. 

You can work during traditional work hours or outside of them, such as late in the evening or in the early morning, depending on your schedule. While there are peak times for these forms of gig work, requests for both rides and delivery take place at all hours of the day. Your choice between rideshare or food delivery will largely depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and desired level of personal interaction. Let’s take a closer look at how each type of these types of gig work measures up.

Dx Blog (US/CA/AU/NZ) - Rideshare vs. Food Delivery: What Type of Gig Work Is Right for You? - Dasher driving

What to consider about rideshare 

One of the benefits of rideshare jobs is that it allows drivers to meet new people and potentially engage in conversation, depending on customer preference. This can be a positive aspect for more extroverted individuals who enjoy higher levels of human interaction. Consider the following aspects when evaluating rideshare. 

Interacting with passengers

A successful rideshare driver will know how to interact with different personalities and be able to adapt to the preferences of their passengers. Since a large part of the job involves being in the same space as a passenger, a skilled rideshare driver should be comfortable engaging in conversation, or understanding when to disengage should the passenger prefer a quieter ride. Something to note is that while you can always choose which rides you want to accept, you don’t always get to choose the kind of passenger you’ll be driving.

Planning ahead

Being organized and planning ahead, in terms of knowing common routes to major transportation hubs such as airports, subway stops, and train stations, can significantly benefit rideshare drivers. Additionally, ensuring your automotive vehicle is well-maintained is crucial for providing a safe, efficient, and comfortable ride for passengers.

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What to consider about delivery work

One of the characteristics of delivery work is that it can be done solo (i.e. no passengers), providing drivers with independence and autonomy. Additionally, delivery workers have more choice in transportation than rideshare, and are not required to have a car in order to make deliveries. This gives them more control over potential routes, and the ability to avoid heavy traffic when possible. DoorDash delivery options are also particularly varied and include delivery of food, groceries, alcohol, flowers, and more. You may be drawn to choose delivery if you enjoy the following aspects of gig work.

Independent work

Delivery work offers opportunities for individuals who thrive in an independent environment. Delivery work could be attractive for those who appreciate working autonomously, while still keeping in mind that there will be a level of human interaction when picking up orders from restaurants and merchants, and sometimes delivering directly to customers. 

Being task-oriented

Because delivery work involves following instructions, efficiently completing tasks, and making sure every item is accounted for and delivered, this kind of gig work is particularly well-suited for detail-oriented personalities. Seasoned Dashers suggest that successful delivery workers are those who are patient, conscientious, and resourceful while ensuring they meet the needs of their customers in a timely manner.

Alfonso A.

There is going to be a lot of trial and error, the app will upset you once in a while and patience is going to be one of the keys to your success. No one ever told me to look up ‘tips and strategies’ on the internet. By the time I eventually came across them I had already learned mostly all of it on my own.

Alfonso A., Davidson, North Carolina

Rideshare or delivery: which gig work is right for you? 

When choosing between rideshare and delivery work, it comes down to your personal goals and preferences. If you enjoy meeting new people and thrive in social environments, then you may prefer rideshare as your gig work of choice. If you value flexibility, autonomy, and more solitary work, becoming a delivery driver could be an excellent option. 

I enjoy working [with] DoorDash since with [my] crazy touring schedule I can work extra hours [when] I am back home ... It allows me to have a flexible schedule and work when I want, which is something that is priceless to me. I can take time off — or work as much as I want to.

Bridget C., Dasher, Philadelphia, PA

So join our community of dedicated Dashers to find the best gig work for you. Sign up to become a Dasher now.


Alex Campanelli

Alex Campanelli

Content Marketing Manager