Guide to riding for Deliveroo and Uber Eats in the UK

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'Deliveroo On Broad Quay Bristol' by sam saunders is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Deliveroo and Ubereats offer bonuses to new riders. Use the links or codes below when applying to ensure you are eligible for any bonuses.

Apply to Deliveroo or enter code TO99431 when applying.

Apply to Uber Eats or enter code tobys2401ue when applying.

The bonus amount may change but using the code or link will ensure that you receive any bonuses which you are eligible for.

 

About me.

I’m an experienced rider for Deliveroo and Uber Eats and this guide is designed to help people thinking of riding for them. I do bicycle deliveries in the UK, but much of this will apply to motorcycle riders and riders in other countries.

It’s not a job.

The first thing to understand is that riding for Deliveroo or Uber Eats is not a job. This surprises some people, but riders are self employed and therefore there are no guaranteed earnings, and realistically an upper limit on what you can earn. This has both positives and negatives, which I’ll outline in this article, and it’s important to understand these in order to decide if it’s right for you.

There’s no commitment.

The main implication of being self employed is that there is no commitment either way between you and and Deliveroo or Uber Eats. The companies have no obligation to provide you with work and you have no obligation to do work for them. The downside of this is that if there are few orders or too many riders you cannot make any money. The upside is that if you decide that you don’t want to work, for any reason at all, you don’t have to.
This means that, in my view, riding for Deliveroo or Uber Eats is ideal for people who don’t need a guaranteed income or need lots of flexibility. Students, people topping up their main income, and even retired people. On the other hand, if you have financial commitments, and don’t have a job, it may put you in a worse position than other options. Remember, it’s not a job and your guaranteed income is £0.

How much can you earn?

This will depend on where you work, but I’m going to go through the factors that will affect this and give you some typical examples, which should give you a reasonable idea. Deliveroo and Uber Eats operate different payment systems, so I’ll explain them separately. I’ll also explain why you should ride for both Deliveroo and Uber Eats if you can.
Note: If you want to compare these earnings to a normal salary you should multiply that salary by approximately 10%, to account for the 5.6 weeks paid holiday which you would be entitled to in employment.

Deliveroo: How much can I earn?

Deliveroo operates two payment rates. A ‘drop’ rate, which is a set amount per delivery, and an ‘hourly’ rate, which is a guaranteed amount for each hour (or part of an hour) for which you are online plus an amount per drop. These rates depend on the city in which you work, but the rates don’t vary that much by city and will be around £4 per drop (drop rate) or £6 per hour plus £1 per drop (hourly rate).
The second part of working out how much you can earn is how many deliveries you can do. Typically, there will be a slight surplus of riders compared to deliveries so you won’t get jobs continuously. When it is really busy and there are continuous jobs the typical number of deliveries you can do per hour will be between 2 and 3. 2.5 deliveries per hour is typical in my experience and this is actually the rate Deliveroo have used to compensate me when the app has been down.

Screenshot showing Deliveroo using a rate of 2.5 deliveries per hour.

So at a rate of 2.5 deliveries per hour your typical best hourly pay for the drop rate would be, 2.5 deliveries X £4 per drop = £10 per hour, and for the hourly rate, £6 per hour + 2.5 deliveries X £1 per drop = £8.50 per hour. In reality your drops per hour will go up and down depending on the delivery length and pickup duration. But as an example, for two weeks worked only at the busiest times I averaged 2.8 deliveries per hour, at my £4 drop rate that is £11.20 per hour. Conversely I have also worked in a city where even at the supposedly peak times there was often only one delivery per hour, I’m sure you can do the maths for that situation!

The basic rate of pay can also be supplemented by bonuses and tips. Sometimes Deliveroo will offer an extra amount per drop. Typically this is £0.5 to £1, but can be up to £2. Tips are infrequent, and will depend on where you live, but will typically add a few % onto your pay. Your drops per hour (and therefore your pay) can also be increased at busy times by double deliveries, where you will pick up two deliveries at once. The rate Deliveroo pays for these deliveries has dropped, so they now pay less than for two individual orders, but you will still spend less time picking up and it can work out better.

Text message showing an example of an incentive payment.

Further to hourly rates, the amount you earn in total will depend on how much work there is over the course of a whole week. This will very much depend on where you work, but typically there is good work for a couple of hours at lunchtimes and 5 to 6 hours in the evenings as well as lunchtime onwards at weekends. So if you are prepared to work in the evenings and weekends there is a good chance you will be able to make an amount of money equivalent to a full time wage.

Uber Eats: How much can I earn?

Much of the information on drop rates and availability of work is the same for Uber Eats as for Deliveroo. The main difference is the payment structure. Uber Eats operates only on a payment per drop basis and payments contain a mileage based component. An Uber Eats delivery payment is composed of a pickup fee, a mileage fee, and a dropoff fee. Like Deliveroo, Uber Eats fees vary depending on the city, but will be around £2 for pickup, £1.50 per mile, and £1 for dropoff. However, the main factor determining Uber Eats fees are ‘boosts’, which act as a multiplier. Boosts vary throughout the day, week and with pickup location. Boost multipliers can range from 0X to over 2X, greatly affecting the rate of pay. An example of identical trips with different boosts is shown below.

Uber payment for trip with no boost.
Uber payment for trip of same length with boost applied.

In addition to boosts, Uber Eats also offers other incentives such as minimum guaranteed hourly pay and one-off incentives. These are generally only used if there is particular demand for riders though. An example of a on-off payment is shown below.

Example of Uber Eats one-off incentive.

As well as the differences in pay, depending on which city you work in, there are large differences in the availability of work with Uber Eats compared to Deliveroo. In general, as Uber Eats is smaller than Deliveroo, the demand for riders is much more variable. As I say, it will depend where you work, but to really maximise your earnings you should try to sign up for both Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Maximise earnings by riding for Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

There really is no reason not to have an account with both Deliveroo and Uber Eats. As a self employed rider they both state that you can use your own equipment, providing it meets their standards. Therefore you can (and I do) use a deliveroo bag for Uber Eats orders. (Note: It’s not advisable to do this the other way round as Uber Eats bags are typically smaller than those required by Deliveroo.)
By using both services to get jobs you maximise the work available to you. If it’s quiet you can be online with both and reduce your (unpaid) downtime. If it’s busy you can go with whoever is paying more.

A note on booking shifts with Deliveroo

In most cities Deliveroo now operates a system of booking shifts. This means that the week is divided into shifts with a maximum number of riders who can work during them. These shifts are signed up for using the app, and whilst there is no actual commitment to ride a particular shift, riders who ride when they said they would and work the busiest shifts get priority in booking shifts for the next week. Having worked in areas with and without booking, my preference is for booking as it means there is less likely to be a lack of work due to too many people working.

Note: Hourly rate riders always work on a booking system.

What is riding for Deliveroo or Uber Eats like?

The first thing people usually ask is, “is it hard work?”. In my opinion it’s as much work as you make it. It is not necessary to ride fast (though it makes you a bit more money) as most deliveries are between 5-10 minutes cycling. The customer won’t notice a few minutes difference on a total time between order and delivery of 30-40 minutes. As a rider you don’t have much responsibility as everything should be dealt with through the official channels. Any problems during work are dealt with through the rider support phone line. Broken bike? Call rider support. Food fallen in the canal? Call rider support. Annoyed customer decided the food took too long and they don’t want it after all? Call rider support and tell the customer to call customer services. Basically, as a rider, your only responsibility is to transport the food and be courteous at either end.
So outside of transporting food around, riding for Deliveroo can be pretty much how you like it.

How do I get started?

The first step is to go to the application website for Deliveroo or Uber Eats. Use any of the links on this page and you could be eligible for up to £100 bonus, which is handy whilst you find your feet. If you are at all interested, I would strongly urge you to start the signup and give it a go. As I stated at the beginning, there is no commitment.
As a self employed courier you are expected to provide your own bicycle or motorbike, but I suspect you won’t have got this far if you don’t. Self employment also means that technically, though equipment is obtained from Deliveroo or Uber Eats (and looks like a uniform), the delivery box and any other equipment belongs to the rider.
After you sign up, the companies will guide you through the process of getting you on the road. You will need to complete online training regarding rider safety and food safety (among other things), but it is not difficult. Any problems during sign up can be sorted quickly and easily by phone or email.
You could be on the road in as little as a week after signing up if everything goes smoothly.

My tips for riding with Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

These are a few tips which I have picked up, which will help you if you decide to sign up.

  • If the order isn’t ready when you go to pick it up make sure to ask for a specific waiting time. If they say ‘just a minute’ it’s probably 5. If they say a ‘few minutes’ it’s probably 10-15, and if they offer you a seat or a drink then who knows.. A 10-15 minute wait is costing you significant lost earnings, so get unassigned if you think it could be anything over 5 minutes.
  • Before you set off with the delivery take your time to work out where you’re going and how to get there. If you can accurately remember your route and destination you can work more quickly than having to use a map.
  • Take your time packing the food. Not minutes, but also not just shoving it in as it comes. This will make the food less likely to be damaged and customers won’t look at you funny when you’re struggling to get out all those bags you carelessly put in.
  • Be prepared to work in the rain. This is the best time to make money if you can put up with getting wet. Fewer riders work and more people are ordering food which = orders for you!

If you have any questions, or are a rider who has any comments or would like to add anything, please comment below or get in touch using the contact us form.

Deliveroo and Ubereats offer bonuses to new riders. Use the links or codes below when applying to ensure you are eligible for any bonuses.

Apply to Deliveroo or enter code TO99431 when applying.

Apply to Uber Eats or enter code tobys2401ue when applying.

The bonus amount may change but using the code or link will ensure that you receive any bonuses which you are eligible for.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for your detailed information. I am planning to work for short term (maybe around 6 months) in both Deliveroo and UberEATS to earn extra money. If I sign up for both, how much does it cost for the uniform and the delivery box for each company? How can I get the equipment? Can I get the refund by returning those equipment? Thanks for answering!

  2. Hi Terry, as the riders are self employed there is no requirement to use the kit of the particular company. The only item you will probably need to get is the delivery bag or box, if you don’t already have one. I personally use a deliveroo backpack for both uber and deliveroo. The deliveroo box is bigger, so that way I never have problems fitting pizzas.

    Currently I believe deliveroo have switched to a purchase scheme and uber is a deposit. In either case you don’t have to pay upfront and they will take payment over a number invoices. The equipment is the last stage of the application process so you can apply and then decide at the end what equipment you want to take.

  3. I currently do approx 30-35 hours a week in my job, which is mostly on foot so weather doesn’t bother me really however, I want out!! I’m really interested in deliveroo/uber eats delivery on bicycle. I need to make approximately £55 + a day. I’m aware there’s a few riders already in my City (Leicester) but I desperately want out of my job and this appeals to me as I know the City extremely well. Is it possible to take home £260+ a week?? Thanks all☺

    • Hi Matt,

      It’s very likely that you can make that much, but there are no earnings guarantees. As the article says the work is self employed, so you can sign up and get started with no commitment then see how it goes. There’s no requirement to keep working or do any work if the pay isn’t enough.

      • I make over £600 a week by working both for Deliveroo and Über Über EATS!
        I work in an area for Deliveroo where 2 orders per hour is guaranteed at £4.00 each, therefore I would get £8.00 an hour even if I don’t have any orders. And 48 hours per week is available that is £384 a week.

  4. Hi there. I just got turned down by deliveroo. He said that my visa(tier 2 dependent) are not eligible to work with deljveroo aa they dont do sponsoring. In a way it doesnt make sense and i have just asked the company again. Not sure if it is the same with ubereats.

  5. Hi! To work with both Deliveroo and UberEATS at the same time, you can’t be working with the deliveroo shift scheme, right?

  6. Hi, could you sign up with ubereats as a bicycle and use a car to make the deliveries. Only because I can’t get food delivery/business insurance on my car.

    Would uber find out that I’m using a vehicle?

  7. Hi,
    I am on student visa and permitted to do part time for 20hrs/week, I am planning to buy a car and want to do deliveries in Liverpool city once i receive my British Driving Licence. How much can I earn using a car for delivery for part time, is there any other way to earn more using my car ? Thank you.

  8. Hi,

    This is a really useful guide, thanks! Just a question about insurance – I’ve signed up for Uber Eats with a bicycle and they apparently include personal insurance automatically. I’ve noticed that Zego who partner with Deliveroo state it is a legal requirement to have food and courier insurance on their website but haven’t found anything else about this online. Have you come across this and have you opted for this type of insurance as a delivery rider?

    Thank you!

    • The thing which you are required to have is third party public liability insurance. Deliveroo now cover you when you ride for them so you don’t need to get your own policy.

      Zego and others sell, or used to sell, these policies but it is now longer necessary.

      (Obviously if you operate using a motor vehicle you would need an insurance policy for the vehicle which covered commercial use, which is not provided by Deliveroo or Uber.)

  9. Hey there

    Can you sign up in a town and city and then drive in other town and cities , say if I’m at uni and come home for holidays . I know on deliveroo it’s allowed but not sure about Ubereats.

    Look forward to hearing back or anybody else know?

    • Yes, you can do that with UberEats. You might need to visit the local office (called a GreenLight Hub) to ensure you get local boosts and other promotions though.

  10. Hi I am in the process of joining uber I do I need a food insurance as I have full comprehensive insurance on my car also how long does background check to come back once completed

    • You need specific insurance covering your vehicle for commercial use. Normal insurance would be invalid.

      There are no standard times for application processing. It depends how much they need new workers.

  11. Hi! I’m interested in applying for both UberEats & Deliveroo , however I was wondering if there was a sign up bonus for UberEats, as I only see the one for Deliveroo? Thanks.

    • You can use tobys2401ue or click here for Uber, but there are not many locations where the bonus is still available.

      It’s similar for Deliveroo at the moment too unfortunately.

      There’s no harm in putting in a code just in case though.

  12. Hi, thanks for this article. How can i find out how many restaurants are registered to ubereats and deliveroo in my town.

    • One way is just to search the customer website for who will deliver to your area. There may be a simpler way though.

  13. Hi there, I have attempted to sign up for Deliveroo using the links but I only get an option for Car or Scooter. Any ideas?????

    • Deliveroo won’t be looking for every type of vehicle in every area. Some areas are not recruiting at all.

      You would have to contact them to know for certain, bit this is the most likely reason.

  14. Hi.I’m currently working on Full Time morning 6am-2pm monday to friday its a factory job.It is necessarily to be self employed to do the job if i want to do few hours Daily (evenings) and possibly more hours on weekend?
    Thanks

    • If you earn more than £1000 a year from self employment you have to register as self employed. You don’t have to register immediately though.

      It doesn’t affect your current job in any way.

  15. Hi.
    I’ve been delivering with UberEats for couple days now, in Norwich. The pay’s alright, but thats ok. I can live with that.

    However, its now 6:15pm – which i expected to be the peak time & not had any trips for couple hours? Is this normal?

    Also, earlier as I was doing a delivery i had 2/3 requests, I declined them as I was already doing a trip. I was wondering, if you’d recommended to accept them & do them afterwards?

  16. Hello.

    I am currently receiving Universal Credit and I don’t know how working self-employed (as a future rider, future supporting artist and future entrepreneur) would affect my benefits as I do not know how to do the tax calculation and discount the expenses and others and if I want to save/invest some money before NI and tax deductions for tax purposes if I am going to declare taxes after the financial year but receive Universal Credit monthly.

    I have my “Work Couch” but he is really not helpful and I have asked him many times for this information but he says he has no idea as “it is a different department”. He just told me I had to apply for a UTR number but for what I understand from http://www.go.uk I can not apply for one until I register to pay for taxes for the first time.

    I am really confused.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    • I’m afraid I don’t have any experience of Universal Credit, but the guidance for self-employment seems relatively clear. The main point is that you’ll have to record your income and expenses and report it monthly so they can calculate how much UC you will get. Expenses will mainly relate to your vehicle.

      Paying tax and NI is separate from this. You will do an assessment at the end of the tax year and receive a tax bill afterwards stating what you owe like everyone else.

      Your point about the UTR number: you can register for self assessment without filing a tax return. Just search for ‘register for self assessment’ on the gov.uk.

  17. Hi there. I am registered to work for uber and I have an account but is asking me for the car insurance but I want to work with my bicycle.

    • Are you sure the area is accepting applications for bicycles? Some areas are only accepting cars or motorcycles.

  18. I live opposite McDonald’s and I’m looking for a part-time job I have an electric push bike and was wondering if I could earn about £10 an hour delivering for uber eats is this possible?

    I also was thinking about just leaving the App on all-day and just pausing the TV and run across the road when there is a delivery is it possible just to work for one restaurant and pick drops?

    • You can easily earn £10 an hour when orders are available. Order availability is difficult to say, but most places will have at least a few hours a day when it’s really busy.

      E-bike is, in my opinion, the best option for transport so no issues there.

      On Uber you can select orders as you wish.

      You don’t have to get to the restaurant really fast, so you should be fine with waiting at home.

  19. I registered with Deliveroo nearly three weeks ago and with UberEats two weeks ago and I am still waiting for both of them to have an appointment for me to verify my documents and start working for them.
    Is this normal?

    • It can be. The speed they process applications does depend on how much they need people.

      The support during sign-up is usually good, so it’s best to call or message them to check for sure.

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