Last Updated on 2024-01-05

Full Guide To Using A Moped For DoorDash in 2024

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Ryan Shaw

5 years of experience as a DoorDash Dasher

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Scott Jones

7 years of experience working across DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart

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Matt Wheeler

5 years of experience working across GrubHub, DoorDash, Shipt, and Uber Eats

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or insurance advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect recent changes. Any reader should consult with a legal or tax professional to obtain advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

With DoorDash now allowing you to make deliveries on mopeds, an increasing number of Dashers are opting for them over traditional delivery vehicles. They are particularly pulled by the cost benefits and agility of the two-wheelers in city traffic.

A moped refers to a two-wheeled motorized vehicle that’s operated while seated upright. It’s typically characterized by a small engine of rarely more than 50cc.

We at GigWolf consider “scooters” to be two-wheeled vehicles operated while standing. “Motorcycles” are more powerful versions of mopeds, operated from a crouched, leaning-forward position. There are also “e-bikes”, which closely resemble traditional bicycles.

Adding to the confusion: DoorDash refers to mopeds as “scooters” in its in-app experience. So bear in mind that you should select “scooter” when you are trying to Dash with your moped.

This post is about mopeds (pictured above). You can read about DoorDash and cars, scooters, motorcycles, and bikes in our other posts.

Can you DoorDash on a moped? 

DoorDash supports the use of mopeds. But, as with all the other vehicle options for Dashers, there are some guidelines to follow. 

Mopeds, even with their small engines, are still classified as “vehicles” on the platform – as they’re all powered by motors. In that case, your DoorDash moped must be legally registered and insured just like a standard car. 

Where can you DoorDash on a moped?

The platform doesn't provide a list of all areas where you can DoorDash on a moped. But from surveying some of our Dasher community here at GigWolf, we find that most Dashers - even in those that don’t have particularly dense populations or traffic congestion - are allowed to use moped.

Take, for instance, the case of Matt Wheeler, who’s been active on DoorDash for over two years now: “I'm currently able to add a ‘scooter’ to my account as a vehicle in Connecticut. Which Isn't the best state to use a moped for delivery, outside of a few main cities. It seems like drivers will more than likely be able to use a scooter in most areas.”

How to find out if DoorDash mopeds are available in your area 

During the DoorDash signup process, you’ll find a section for selecting your preferred mode of transportation. If the app lists “scooters” (remember: what we’re calling “mopeds,” DoorDash calls “scooters”) as an option for your area, they should be listed here alongside other options like cars, bicycles, or walking.

Dashers who already have an account have the option of changing their method of transportation. They just need to log in to their Dasher app, open up the menu and then click "Account Details." The system will open the 'Vehicle Information' section, from where they should click on "View my vehicles” to add a moped to their personal fleet of DoorDash vehicles. 

Local DoorDash community forums or social media groups can also be a good resource. Through their firsthand experience, other DoorDashers in your area could tell you if they've been able to use mopeds.

If you're still unsure, the most direct way to get confirmation would be to contact DoorDash's support or customer service.

Legal & practical requirements to consider

DoorDash doesn’t have stringent requirements for mopeds. All you need to join the platform is a valid driver's license, proof of insurance, and a clean driving history. 

But, keep in mind that the moped licensing and insurance regulations vary from one state to another. So you might want to confirm the legal requirements in your area before proceeding. 

In California, for example, you’ll need an M1 or M2 motorcycle license to legally ride a moped in traffic. What’s more, you must register your moped with the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as secure liability insurance coverage. Your license category is what will ultimately determine the type of moped you can ride.

Most Dashers tend to go for mopeds with an engine capacity of 50cc. This is the sweet spot that reportedly offers the best balance of speed and fuel efficiency, which is perfect for city deliveries.

A DoorDash moped should also have adequate storage space. That means a secure under-seat compartment at the very least, which may then be supplemented with auxiliary storage solutions like rear-mounted cargo boxes. 

Some deliveries, like pizzas, might otherwise require specialized carrying cases. A rear-mounted pizza delivery box could therefore be a worthy investment if you're planning to accept such orders. 

DoorDash's algorithm itself may try to match orders with Dashers based on their vehicle type. So, moped Dashers can expect to get deliveries that fit their vehicle's carrying capacity.

The system is not entirely accurate, though. According to Matt, moped Dashers occasionally get large orders that are beyond their payload capacity. We’re talking about pizzas, family meals, multiple drinks, etc. 

Recall that you are allowed to cancel up to 20% of your orders without getting penalized, so this isn’t a total dealbreaker for using a moped.

Make sure your insurance covers mopeds

DoorDash mandates that moped Dashers maintain their local area's minimum liability coverage. This is more like your personal insurance, and it’s supposed to provide financial protection if you're ever at fault in an accident causing injury or property damage. The specific coverage amount depends on local regulations and DoorDash's guidelines.

However, it might not sufficiently cater to damages arising from accidents during commercial activities like DoorDash deliveries.

That gap can be bridged in part by DoorDash’s supplemental liability insurance policy, which is provided to you upon joining the platform; but you also may want to consider getting additional “rideshare insurance.” The default supplementary coverage is active during deliveries, and its liability protection stretches up to $1,000,000 for third-party bodily injury or property damage. 

But, keep in mind that DoorDash’s policy only kicks in after you’ve exhausted the limits on your primary moped insurance.

Otherwise, for any personal injuries incurred while DoorDashing on your moped, you may be protected by the platform’s accompanying occupational accident policy.

The background check process for DoorDashers on mopeds

DoorDash conducts a comprehensive background check on every Dasher, regardless of their vehicle choice. For DoorDash moped applicants, this process confirms both your suitability for the platform and your ability to handle deliveries diligently.

The platform delegates the analysis to Checkr, a third-party specialist. One thing that Checkr will look into is your criminal history across all 50 states. It typically goes back seven years, from which it red flags records of serious offenses like violent crimes, sexual offenses, or theft.

DoorDash further reviews your driving history to assess your reliability and safety on the road. Some of the disqualifying factors for prospective DoorDash moped applicants include reckless driving and DUI. The general rule of thumb is that if your records show more than three moving violations in the last three years, you're unlikely to pass the background check.

If you manage to sail through, that won’t be the end of the background checks. DoorDash still proceeds to conduct periodic reviews on active Dashers to ensure they continue to comply with their safety standards. For moped Dashers, this could mean additional checks if local moped regulations change or if DoorDash updates its moped-specific policies.

Pros and cons of Dashing on a moped

The advantages

Here's what you'll love about DoorDashing on mopeds:

  • Fuel Efficient: Mopeds can clock in an impressive 80-100 miles per gallon (MPG), depending on the model and how you ride. To give you some context, the average car barely reaches 25 MPG. So, if your DoorDash route spans 100 miles, you'd burn through just one gallon of gas on a moped, whereas a car would need four.
  • Increased Maneuverability: In congested urban areas, where cars are often stuck in traffic, a moped can easily find its way through, cutting down your delivery times. Quicker deliveries mean you can complete more orders in a given time frame, thereby increasing your earnings.
  • Low Maintenance Costs: Thanks to their lightweight build, mopeds require less maintenance than most vehicles. You can expect to fork out around $300 to $500 for service every year. That’s nothing compared to the $1,400+ annual maintenance bill you’d accrue with using a car for DoorDash.
  • Easy to Park: In crowded city centers, parking can be a nightmare for car Dashers. Mopeds, however, can fit into much smaller spaces – sometimes even on the sidewalk. Such convenience may shave minutes off each delivery, further increasing your earning potential.

The disadvantages

Mopeds may offer many perks to DoorDash riders, but they also come with their own set of challenges. 

  • Legal Restrictions: Some cities have strict rules about what you can do with a moped. You might be required to stick to bike lanes or designated roads, and parking could be limited to certain areas. Violating these regulations could otherwise result in fines or even impoundment of your moped.
  • Weather Dependency: Mopeds are extremely susceptible to bad weather. Wet roads increase the risk of skidding, snow could make riding nearly impossible, and extreme heat might drain your electric scooter's battery faster. You'll therefore need to gear up appropriately and possibly adjust your Dashing schedule based on the weather.
  • Safety Risks: Unlike cars, mopeds offer few protective barriers in case of an accident. Riders are also less visible in traffic – meaning they stand a higher chance of ending up in a collision. High-visibility clothing and safety gear might help, but not completely. You’ll still be vulnerable to crashes while DoorDashing on your moped. 
  • Limited Storage: While you can add a cargo box to most mopeds, the storage space is still limited compared to a car's trunk. You’ll need to be selective about the orders to accept, and that could negatively affect your DoorDash earnings.

What’s the best moped for DoorDash?

There’s no specific model that stands out as the best moped for DoorDash. You can, however, find the most appropriate one for your case by taking these factors into account:

  • Engine Capacity: A 50cc engine moped is fuel-efficient but may lack speed and cargo space. But, a 150cc moped offers a good balance of both, with speeds up to 60 mph and a decent cargo capacity. Then for longer trips or heavier loads, you might even look at mopeds with 200cc engines or higher.
  • Storage Options: Look for mopeds that can accommodate insulated food bags. Some Dashers even customize theirs with additional hooks and carriers to optimize for food delivery tasks.
  • Safety Features: Opt for mopeds with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) for better control during emergency stops. A steel or aluminum frame could also help with stability, whereas LED lights would improve visibility in low-light conditions. 
  • Cost of Ownership: The purchase price starts at $1,000 for basic mopeds to over $5,000 for high-end models. Fuel costs are also minimal, with most DoorDash mopeds achieving 80 to 100 miles per gallon.

The best moped for DoorDash should offer a balance of engine capacity, storage options, and safety features, all while keeping the cost of ownership below average. Here are three particularly popular moped models that tick all the boxes:

#1. Honda Ruckus

The Honda Ruckus is a favorite for its rugged design and exceptional fuel efficiency. Its 49cc engine is sufficient for city deliveries, and the moped's minimalist design allows for easy customization – including additional storage options.

  • Engine Capacity: 49cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Around 114 miles per gallon.
  • Storage: Under-seat storage and optional rear storage racks.
  • Safety Features: Hydraulic drum front and rear brakes, but lacks ABS.
  • Additional Features: Rugged frame, fat tires for better grip, and automatic V-Matic belt drive transmission for ease of use.
  • Price Range: Starts at around $2,749.

#2. Yamaha Zuma

The Yamaha Zuma gives you choices with its two engine sizes – 50cc and 125cc. The latter version offers more power and storage, ideal for aspiring scooter Dashers who are possibly looking to handle large orders.

  • Engine Capacity: Available in 50cc and 125cc variants.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Around 132 mpg for the 50cc and approximately 89 mpg for the 125cc.
  • Storage: Under-seat storage and optional rear and front racks.
  • Safety Features: Hydraulic disc front brakes and rear drum brakes, with ABS in the 125cc model.
  • Additional Features: Telescopic front forks and dual rear shocks for a smoother ride, automatic V-belt transmission.
  • Price Range: Starts at $2,599 for the 50cc and $3,699 for the 125cc.

#3. NIU NQi Series (Electric)

For those interested in electric mopeds, the NIU NQi series offers impressive range and fast-charging capabilities. Its smart dashboard even allows you to monitor battery life and other metrics in real time, making it easier to plan DoorDash routes.

  • Battery Life: Up to 80 miles on a single charge.
  • Storage: Under-seat storage and optional rear box.
  • Safety Features: Hydraulic disc brakes with EBS (Electronic Braking System) and regenerative braking.
  • Additional Features: LED lights, smart dashboard with real-time metrics, GPS tracking.
  • Price Range: Starts at around $2,899.

How do I change my DoorDash vehicle to a moped?

To transition to a moped on DoorDash, you'll need to add it to your account. The process is especially simple for Dashers who already have a vehicle on their account.

But, if you originally signed up as a cyclist, DoorDash might additionally require an authorization for a Motor Vehicle Report check before proceeding. They’ll then review your driving history to confirm that you’re eligible for a motor vehicle contractor role.

If that sails through and the moped is finally added to your profile, you should be able to activate it from the DoorDash app. Just proceed to the “Account Details” option at the bottom of your screen, and tap on "View my vehicles". 

The system will subsequently reveal all the cars, bikes, motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds associated with your account. You can then select the moped to make it your primary vehicle for Dashing.

Again: remember that the app refers to mopeds as “scooters.” So, you should choose “scooter” when setting your Dash Type.

Join DoorDash with your moped today

Now is a great time to join the growing community of moped Dashers and turn your two-wheeler into a money-making machine. Sign up today to start earning with your moped (subject to Dasher approval and local availability).

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