Last Updated on 2023-10-17

How To DoorDash On A Standing Scooter

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 or insurance advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments or insurance changes. Any reader should consult with an insurance professional to obtain insurance advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

DoorDash does permit deliveries via scooters, and for good reasons. 

We’re talking about standing scooters, commonly known as "e-scooters”. They come with a step-through chassis and a footrest platform, just like mopeds. Unlike their counterparts, though,  they lack seats and are operated in an upright posture —  hence the name, “standing scooters”.

If you want to read about the “other scooters” - aka mopeds - go to our post on dashing with a moped.

They are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which feed an electric motor of about 250 to 500W. The resultant speed averages between 12 and 20 mph, ideal for short to medium-range deliveries. A single charge here can cover about 15 to 40 miles at most, depending on the model and usage conditions.

Why dash with scooters?

Electric scooters have a compact wheelbase and responsive handlebar steering. This agile lightweight frame, built from reinforced aluminum alloys, allows Dashers to effortlessly maneuver tight alleyways, congested streets, and even crowded marketplaces. 

Whereas motorcycles or mopeds come with complex gear systems, clutches, and sometimes carburetors, electric scooters operate on a simple "twist and go" mechanism.

Scooters are also more economical. With the US’s current average residential electricity rate of about 15 cents per kWh, it would cost about 4 cents to fully charge a 250W scooter battery. Compare that to the highly unpredictable gas prices for mopeds and motorcycles. 

Additionally, the riding posture itself offers numerous health benefits. Even though scooters are not as physically engaging as their bicycle counterparts, they activate your core and leg stabilizer muscles – thus improving physical balance and posture. 

Scott Jones, who’s been a Dasher since 2018, observes that these benefits make scooters particularly attractive during the summer months, or if you live in a warm place without seasons. 

DoorDash’s official policy on using scooters

On the DoorDash platform, electric scooters don't have their own distinct category. They are, instead, grouped with bicycles due to their operational similarities with e-bikes.

This means that in cities where bikes are allowed, Dashers can just register  as a bike rider, and then go do deliveries riding your scooter - just set your Dash Type to be “bicycle”.Scooters are particularly recommended for urban zones with dense traffic – where you can beat the gridlock by alternating between alleys, pedestrian walkways, cycling lanes, etc. 

The load capacity is, however, very limited. Most commercial e-scooters can only carry between 220-265 lbs, inclusive of the rider. So be careful to not accept any orders that would cause you to be overweight for your scooter.

Dashers thinking of using a scooter should keep in mind that some orders with drinks or a lot of food will be undeliverable due to the carrying capacity,” says Matt Wheeler, a Dasher with four years of experience. He further adds, “They need to confirm that there are enough small, low mileage orders available in their area to make it worthwhile.”

Dashing with a scooter vs driving a car 

Pros of dashing with a scooter 

  • Cost-Efficient: Charging an electric scooter costs significantly less than refueling a car. For the same distance of about 20-40 miles, scooters need less than a dollar to charge, while cars can consume up to 2 gallons of gasoline. Maintenance for scooters is also minimal, with no oil changes and fewer moving parts. What’s more, they are often exempted from vehicle tolls. 
  • Eco-Friendly: Electric scooters, with their brushless DC motors, have a direct energy conversion rate of up to 90%. This translates to zero tailpipe emissions. In comparison, gasoline cars release around 2.3 kg of CO2 per liter burned.
  • Faster Deliveries in Traffic: While maintaining an average speed of 15-20 mph, electric scooters can exploit tight gaps in traffic, use dedicated bike lanes, and even traverse pedestrian zones where cars can't venture. Their compact size also means quicker parking and take off. 
  • Flexibility: Since they’re foldable and weigh between 25-40 lbs, electric scooters are easily portable. You can carry them even into establishments, thus saving yourself parking woes. This lightweight structure additionally accelerates torque delivery, which then helps you in managing stop-and-go traffic conditions.

Cons of dashing with a scooter

  • Battery Limitations: Electric scooters rely on lithium-ion batteries, which degrade with time. After 300-500 charge cycles, a battery might retain only 80% of its original capacity. This reduces the travel range. Other than that, you’ll notice that the charging stations for scooters aren't as widespread as gas stations.

On average it seems like you'd have to take a break every two hours or so to find a charging station and recharge. That would really cut into profits over time,” argues Matt.

  • Cargo Restrictions: Scooters offer limited storage in their front basket and under-deck space. This can be a problem for large orders or catering deliveries.

“A scooter has no sort of storage or cupholders,” notes Ryan Shaw, a Dasher with three or so years of experience.  “You’d have to carry whatever bag or drinks that you're picking, meaning you’ll be left steering with one hand while holding items in the other.” 

Scott reports that he observed a Dasher switching their Dash Type from a car to scooter resulted in going from having normal order options to only getting muffins, coffees, and kids’ meals. 

  • Weather Sensitivity: While some electric scooters have IP54 or IP55 water resistance ratings, they cannot withstand heavy rain. Water could still damage their battery or motor. They also come with small wheels, usually 8-10 inches in diameter, which offer less stability on wet surfaces
  • Safety Issues: Electric scooters, due to their open design, expose riders to direct impacts in case of collisions. Their smaller profile also makes them less visible in traffic, thus increasing the risk of accidents. And even though some scooters come with anti-theft alarms and GPS tracking, they’re still prone to theft when left unattended. 

Scooter requirements for dashing

  • Minimum Age: All scooter Dashers must be at least 18 years old.
  • Driver’s License: In many cities, electric scooters with a speed below 15.5 mph (25 km/h) and a motor power under 500W don't need a traditional driver's license. But, if your scooter surpasses these specifications, some jurisdictions might require a specific permit or specialized license.
  • City Regulations: With the rise of electric scooters, some cities have set zones with scooter restrictions – especially during peak hours. This is to prevent congestion and protect pedestrians. So, you might want to confirm the traffic zoning laws in your area before proceeding. 
  • Background Checks: DoorDash conducts thorough background checks on all its applicants, including prospects in the scooter category. The platform passes on your application details to Checkr, a third-party service, which then looks into your past criminal records for any red flags.
  • Scooter Equipment: Beyond the scooter's basic operational capabilities, DoorDash recommends certain accessories for Dasher. You might need to get yourself an insulated delivery bag to maintain food temperature during transit. A phone mount could otherwise help in navigation, while reflective vests will keep you visible to motorists during night-time deliveries. 

Here’s an interesting example of reflective safety gear, recommended by Scott

Yes, I know it is on a dog,” he says. “I bought this from Amazon last year in October. They are awesome. I wear them whenever I go out dashing! They light up really well and have literally saved my life in parking lots. If I was on a scooter, I would always have these on after dark. They last like 3-4 hours on a charge and are super bright.”

Compare these requirements with the requirements for dashing with a car.

Do I need any insurance?

While DoorDash doesn't strictly require scooter Dashers to have insurance (neither health insurance nor scooter vehicle insurance), it would be wise to obtain coverage. At minimum, you’ll want to make sure you have health insurance to protect you in case you have any falls or accidents.

Scooter gear options

  • Helmets: Try out one of the many helmets that come with multi-density EPS foam, which disperses impact energy to minimize the risk of injury. You could otherwise go for helmets with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology, which offers extra protection against angled impacts. Then for nighttime deliveries, consider helmets with LED lights and reflective materials to increase visibility.
  • Knee and Elbow Pads: Contemporary designs offer dual-layer protection through PE hard shell caps combined with EVA high-density foam. In the event of a fall, the two layers diffuse the impact force to reduce the risk of fractures or bruises.
  • Waterproof Jackets: For ultimate wet weather protection, you could get yourself waterproof jackets built from Gore-Tex fabric. The microporous material repels rain while allowing sweat to evaporate.
  • Bag Covers: To keep deliveries dry, use rain covers made of 210T polyester fabric with a PU coating.
  • Thermal Gloves: In chillier regions, scooter Dashers can wear thermal gloves with a three-layer design – a water-resistant outer sovereign, thermal insulation, and a soft inner lining. That’ll keep your hands warm, dry, and comfortable.

Delivery bags for scooter Dashers

  • Material and Insulation: A good Dasher bag features thermal insulation, built from closed-cell foam. While that insulation maintains food temperature, a high-denier nylon exterior ensures durability and water resistance. Some even offer UV protection to prevent fading.
  • Size and Capacity: For Dashers on scooters, an ideal delivery bag measures around 13x15 inches in width and length. Depth, on the other hand, should also be just enough to add up to a volume of about 20-25 liters. At least that can sufficiently hold standard takeouts without causing discomfort. If you otherwise hope to take on larger orders, we’d recommend bags with adjustable straps and expandable compartments.
  • Comfort and Ergonomics: A functional bag must also be comfortable. Straps padded with memory foam help reduce shoulder strain, and mesh-designed breathable back panels minimize sweating. Adjustable chest and waist straps further distribute weight and maintain stability during rides.

Selecting the right electric scooter for dashing

If you hope to find the best scooter for dashing, here are the most critical considerations to keep in mind:

  • Area of Operation: Start by evaluating your typical delivery environment. Consider the terrain, average delivery distance, and usual order size. For hilly areas, choose a scooter with a motor power exceeding 350W. Then in congested urban zones, prioritize scooters with a tight turning radius and responsive brakes.
  • Battery Life and Range: Most electric scooters use lithium-ion batteries due to their high energy density. To get the best battery life, consider the Ampere-hour (Ah) rating. The higher the Ah, the longer it lasts. A full-time Dasher may need a scooter with at least a 15Ah battery, as it can cover 25-40 miles a day. 
  • Speed and Performance: Beyond just the top speed, assess the scooter's torque based on its motor wattage and voltage. This is what determines its performance during starts or on inclines. Quality scooters typically feature 250W to 500W motors, achieving 15 to 25 mph.
  • Durability and Build Quality: A scooter's resilience is often determined by its chassis material and build. Aerospace-grade aluminum is a popular choice for its blend of strength and lightness. We’d also recommend scooters with IP ratings (Ingress Protection) – an IP54 rating or above means it can repel dust and moisture
  • Value for Money: Apart from the initial price, factor in the scooter's long-term cost of ownership. Check the availability and price of replacement parts like batteries, tires, and brake pads. A scooter might be cheap upfront but could cost more in the long run if its parts wear out quickly and are expensive to replace.

The 5 best scooters on the market for dashers

After sampling reviews from Dashers on platforms like Reddit, Amazon, and the Dasher community, we’ve collated these five scooters as the most recommended for the job:

  • Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 ($600): A favorite among many, this scooter boasts a range of up to 28 miles on a single charge, with speeds reaching 15.5 mph. Its aerospace-grade aluminum frame guarantees durability, while the accompanying double braking system is meant to increase safety.
  • Segway Ninebot MAX ($899): With a whopping 40-mile range and a top speed of 18.6 mph, this scooter is built for the long haul. Its 10-inch pneumatic tires offer a smooth ride, and the IPX5 water resistance keeps rain away.
  • Apollo City ($499): A performance beast, the Apollo City offers a 28-mile range with a top speed of 25 mph. Its 600W motor is for tackling inclines with ease. 
  • Gotrax GXL V2 ($279): For those on a tighter budget, the Gotrax GXL V2 offers a respectable 12-mile range with a top speed of 15.5 mph. Its 8.5-inch pneumatic tires offer comfort, and the dual braking system means it's safe for scooter Dashing. 
  • Glion Dolly ($499): Compact and portable, the Glion Dolly offers a 15-mile range with a top speed of 15 mph. Its unique foldable design and lightweight structure make it perfect for Dashers alternating between riding and walking.

What about scooter rentals? 

Several providers who’ve recognized the growing demand in this sector are now offering scooter rental solutions for delivery personnel.

Loop Scooters, for instance, has positioned itself as a go-to platform for delivery riders, including Dashers. They highlight the advantages of bypassing traffic, lowering operational costs, and promoting a greener environment. The rental process here is streamlined, with flexible terms that accommodate Dashers' diverse requirements.

Ryan notes that the scooters even come with a little storage bin in the back, allowing you to use both hands for steering.

Another notable mention is Torii Scooters, which caters specifically to Uber Eats and DoorDash delivery riders. Operating out of Orlando, Florida, they offer Segway MAX scooters on a daily rental basis. The scooters come equipped with a lock and charger, and there's a geofencing feature to keep them within designated zones. They’re delivered every morning and collected for storage at the end of the day. 

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