Last Updated on 2024-01-05

DoorDash Car Requirements - Updated For 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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Faith McLaughlin

8 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates, Uber, and Lyft

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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.

If you've ever ordered from DoorDash, you've probably noticed the wide variety of vehicles that Dashers use for deliveries. From compact cars to SUVs, old models to the latest releases, Dashers' vehicles are as diverse as the drivers themselves.

This isn’t coincidental. DoorDash (and also Instacart) happens to be one of the most flexible gig platforms when it comes to vehicle types. 

Before we go into the specifics, here's a quick snapshot of what you might consider “requirements” with regards to using your car for DoorDash:

  • Vehicle diversity: There are no strict requirements on the age, make, or model of the car.
  • Background checks: Emphasis is more on the driver's background, including criminal history and driving records.
  • Vehicle ownership: Cars don't need to be registered in the Dasher's name. Rental cars and cars owned by someone else are acceptable, but with conditions.
  • Legal obligations: You must have a valid driver's license, appropriate auto insurance, and a clean driving record.
  • Alternative delivery modes: Bicycles, motorcycles, motorized scooters, and foot delivery are accepted in certain markets.
  • Car signs: DoorDash stickers and car kits are optional and not mandatory.

Does DoorDash have car requirements?

DoorDash does not impose any strict car requirements on its Dashers. There are no explicit stipulations regarding the age, make, or model of the car you intend to use for your DoorDash deliveries. 

Instead, the only requirements here are on the legal parameters of operating your vehicle. According to DoorDash’s policies, all its drivers must have a valid driver's license, appropriate auto insurance, and a clean driving record.

For instance, your insurance policy should include coverage for commercial liabilities associated with the job. This acts as a financial safeguard in the event of an accident.

A driver’s license, on the other hand, is a legal confirmation that you can safely operate a vehicle on public roads.

Do you need a car to get hired by DoorDash? 

No, you don't need a car to get hired by DoorDash. As long as you have a reliable mode of transportation that complies with DoorDash's guidelines for your market, you’ll be able to operate as a Dasher.

In many cities, DoorDash allows Dashers to make deliveries using bicycles, motorcycles, or motorized scooters. These extra options are particularly beneficial in cities experiencing traffic congestion or parking challenges.

Additionally, DoorDash supports foot delivery in major cities such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. 

When signing up, you will be able to confirm the specific transportation modes available in your market.

What type of car do you need to become a DoorDash driver?

Unlike rideshare services like Lyft and Uber, DoorDash doesn’t have any restrictions on the model, type, and condition of its contractors’ cars. You can do your deliveries in any car you want – including a rental one – provided it’s sufficiently insured. 

DoorDash has taken this stance because the focus is on delivering food, not transporting passengers. Customers themselves rarely interact with your vehicle. Their principal concern is, rather, the timely and safe delivery of their food – not the make or model of the car delivering it.

In fact, most DoorDash customers won't even be aware of the type of car you're driving. While some might be surprised if you arrive in an unusual car., the vast majority won't mind.

This, however, doesn’t imply that you can register as a driver and then proceed to make deliveries on a bike, or vice versa. Some customers might not be too pleased, and their complaints could lead to DoorDash taking action against you. 

How old should your DoorDash car be?

DoorDash remains open even when it comes to the age of the car. The platform doesn't seem to care if your car is a decade old or fresh off the lot. You won’t find any DoorDash car requirements on the model year or condition. 

However, it's in your best interest to use a vehicle that is reliable and well-maintained. 

Not only will this help you avoid delivery delays and potential losses, but it’ll also project a professional image to customers that happen to see your rating – thereby positively influencing your driver ratings.

Ryan Shaw, a Dasher who has beenwith  the company for three years, insists on registering the most fuel efficient vehicle possible. In his words, “If you can’t get your hands on an EV or a hybrid gas/electric vehicle, at least go with a relatively new car –  as they provide better gas mileage than older ones. Doordash doesn't pay for drivers' gas, so the less you have to fill up the more money that stays in your pocket.

Instead of inspecting vehicles, this is what DoorDash checks 

Instead of focusing on the physical condition of your vehicle, DoorDash places more emphasis on the person behind the wheel. This is evident in their background check process, which is carried out during the application stage and maybe once a year after you become a driver.

DoorDash’s background check is a standard procedure that verifies your age and identity, along with any associated criminal history. 

If you're signing up to use a car, truck, or motorcycle for deliveries, the company will also scrutinize your motor vehicle records. This reveals the duration you've held your driver's license and whether you've committed any major traffic violations in the recent past. DoorDash wants drivers who are responsible, reliable, and dedicated to delivering excellent service.

All Dashers are further required to maintain a minimum customer rating of 4.2 – which shouldn’t be a problem if you uphold timely deliveries, reliability, integrity, and cleanliness. That means keeping even your car in tip-top condition.

Can you register someone else’s car on DoorDash? 

Yes, you can. DoorDash's car requirements do not prevent you from registering a vehicle that isn't under your name. You can proceed with the sign-up process even with a vehicle owned by your spouse or parent. 

This policy is part of DoorDash's commitment to making gig work accessible to as many people as possible. It opens up opportunities for individuals who might not own a car but still wish to earn money through food delivery.

Non-owners are however not exempted from the standard driver requirements. DoorDash still expects you to possess a valid driver’s license. Plus, your name needs to be included in the car’s insurance policy for protection against any auto-related liabilities that may occur while on the job.

Can you use someone else’s car for DoorDash?

Technically, DoorDash expects Dashers to stick with the vehicle they registered with during the sign-up process. However, in reality, there's no feasible way for DoorDash to track which car you're using for deliveries. This implies that, theoretically, you could temporarily use any car you wish to fulfill your deliveries.

Ryan himself confirms that whenever you’re beginning a Dash, the app will list the last car you drove along with an option to change the vehicle.

If you choose the latter, just make sure that the third-party-owned car is covered by your commercial auto insurance policy. This prevents complications that may arise in case of an accident. 

Consider switching to another vehicle only if it's absolutely necessary and you've thoroughly assessed the potential insurance implications.

Can two Dashers share the same car? 

Provided both Dashers are insured under the vehicle's policy, they can share the same car for their deliveries.

But, it doesn’t mean that two accounts can run their orders concurrently from the same car. Dashers are expected to complete their orders individually, and attempting to fulfill them simultaneously could be a violation of DoorDash's policy. 

After all, merging orders may lead to confusion, delays, and potential customer dissatisfaction.

Can you DoorDash with someone else driving?

As a Dasher, you have the autonomy to decide how you want to carry out your deliveries. This includes even choosing whether or not you prefer to have someone else driving while you make the deliveries.

You could, for instance, hire an employee or subcontractor to help you on your route. But, your terms of engagement must be in line with DoorDash’s policies. 

In particular, the company insists that your partner must also be a registered Dasher. They’re supposed to register on the platform, as well as undergo the background check and meet all the individual and vehicle requirements prior to working with you. 

If you're thinking of having someone else drive while you handle the deliveries, check to confirm that they’re already on the platform. At least then, you can be confident that they'll uphold a high standard of service, timely deliveries, and a positive customer experience.

Of course, the math behind having two people doing the work of one Dasher seems difficult to justify (why not have one person go work some other job while the driver does the Dashing?). So unless you have some special reason for Dashing in this way, this option might be one to avoid.

Are you allowed to have passengers?

DoorDash does not enforce any rules against having passengers in your vehicle while you're making deliveries. You can always have your family members or friends tagging along.

Faith McLaughlin, a DoorDasher who also juggles roles with Instacart, Lyft, and Uber, believes that having a companion may provide a sense of comfort – particularly when delivering to unfamiliar residences. 

But, they’re not allowed to engage in any delivery-related activities. 

DoorDash's contract is with you, the Dasher, and not with your passengers. Hence, you should be the only one interacting with the restaurants and customers. 

Can you rent a car for DoorDash?

Yes, it’s possible to take up your Dasher role with a rental car. But, there are a couple of things to keep in mind while at it. 

For starters, you might want to check the rental company’s policies before using their vehicle for DoorDash deliveries. Many prohibit the use of their vehicles for commercial purposes, including carrying out gigs on platforms like DoorDash. 

Fortunately, DoorDash has addressed the problem by partnering with Hertz car rentals. You can now get yourself a unit and then use it exclusively for deliveries without worrying about violating any terms and conditions.

Another option is HyreCar, a car-sharing service that operates a bit like Turo, but with dedicated rental options for the gig economy. The platform connects individuals who want to rent out their cars with gig workers who need a vehicle for their job.

This whole peer-to-peer model even provides rates that are more competitive than traditional car rental services. Plus, when you rent a car through HyreCar, you also receive insurance coverage that complies with the DoorDash car requirements. 

How to change vehicles on DoorDash 

Since DoorDash recognizes the dynamic nature of delivery jobs, the platform has made it convenient for Dashers to switch between vehicles directly from its app. 

Whether you need to adapt to the day's specific demands or simply feel like using a different vehicle, here's a streamlined guide to help you with the transition:

  1. Open your profile page: Start by launching the DoorDash app. Click the menu button at the top left hand corner of the screen then select “Account Details” from the subsequent drop down menu. That opens the profile page, where you’ll see your personal information, vehicle information, and emergency contact details.
  2. Edit Account Details: At the bottom of your profile page, you'll find an “Edit Account Details” button. Tap on it.
  3. Go to the Vehicle Information Section: Proceed to the “Vehicle Information” section, which displays all the vehicle types that you've already added to your DoorDash account.
  4. Select your desired vehicle: To switch to a different vehicle, simply tap on the one you plan to use for your upcoming deliveries. This will set it as your active vehicle for the day.
  5. Start Dashing: Once you've made your selection, DoorDash will adjust your delivery assignments based on the chosen vehicle.

But, while you’re at it, keep in mind that you can only toggle between vehicle types already added to your DoorDash profile.

How to add a new vehicle to your DoorDash account

You can indeed add new vehicles to your DoorDash profile. But, the process is not as straightforward as changing vehicles. 

To ensure compliance with DoorDash's car requirements, every new addition is treated as a fresh application. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Contact DoorDash’s support: Reach out to DoorDash support to initiate the process of adding a new vehicle.
  2. Share your vehicle details: Have the necessary details about your vehicle on hand – including its make, model, year, and any other pertinent information DoorDash might request.
  3. Undergo a background check (if applicable): If you initially signed up with DoorDash as a biker or walker and now wish to add a motor vehicle, be prepared for DoorDash to conduct a motor vehicle background check.

After you've submitted all the required information and completed any necessary background checks, DoorDash will take over. They'll review your details, ensure everything aligns with their DoorDash car requirements, and then update your account. You'll finally receive a notification or email when the new vehicle has been successfully added.

Is the car sticker part of DoorDash car requirements? 

DoorDash offers branded stickers and marketing materials for both Dashers and merchants. They are available across the United States and Canada, though prices may differ based on the product and location.

The sticker itself is not a DoorDash car requirement. But, displaying one on your car might enhance your delivery experience in the following ways:

  • It can help promote the DoorDash brand locally, potentially increasing orders in your area.
  • It can alert parking authorities that you're on a delivery job, thereby saving you a possible parking ticket.

And what about other DoorDash car accessories? 

For Dashers looking to go the extra mile in branding, DoorDash offers additional car accessories such as:

  • Car magnet: A removable and reusable magnet that can be easily attached to your vehicle during deliveries.
  • Delivery In Progress parking sign: A distinct sign to be used when you’ve perhaps parked your car temporarily to drop a quick delivery. This sign indicates your Dasher status, useful for busy areas or peak delivery times.
  • Sanitizing wipes: For maintaining a clean and hygienic work environment. 
  • Window clings: An adhesive-free alternative to traditional stickers, offering easy application and removal. 

But, just like the sticker, these accessories are not part of the DoorDash car requirements. They’re entirely optional, and you can get them directly from the DoorDash Store.

Get started on DoorDash

Now that you're well-versed with DoorDash's car requirements, the road ahead is clear. The next step is to kick off your signup process.

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