Last Updated on 2024-02-03

Shipt Car Requirements [Updated for 2024]

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

author image

Melissa Wise

Three years of experience working as a Shipt Shopper

author image

Joshua Merritt

4 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Shipt, and UberEats

author image

Berenice Comón

Three years of experience across UberEats and Shipt (achieving top-tier status with Shipt)

author image

Davis Porter

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

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 current legal developments or insurance changes. Any reader should consult with an insurance professional to obtain insurance advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

As a Shipt Shopper and/or Driver (read about the differences), your vehicle is an integral part of your professional toolkit. Its attributes can significantly influence your job performance, expenses, and customer satisfaction. 

If you’re wondering whether your car is suitable for Shipt, here are Shipt’s official car requirements for shoppers:  

  • Valid U.S. driver's license and auto insurance.
  • A reliable, operable vehicle (1997 or newer). 

If you want to be a Shipt driver, there’s one additional stipulation:

  • Cannot be a 2-door sedan.

Beyond that, Shipt doesn’t have any other concrete requirements, but there are a few other things you should know to make sure you get the most out of Shipt. 

Do you need a car to work for Shipt? 

Shipt insists that all its delivery personnel have access to a suitable vehicle. Although it doesn’t say this explicitly, it’s clear that you need a car for Shipt — bikes, motorcycles, and scooters won’t cut it. 

The car itself should be a model from 1997 or newer and must be in operable condition. 

You’ll also need adequate space to accommodate various sizes and quantities of grocery orders. This rules out compact two-door sedans, as they lack sufficient cargo space for larger orders. 

If you happen to have a hatchback, SUV, or van, you’ll be in a great position.

Any 4-door sedan will work. All you need is enough trunk space to organize your order,” says Berenice Comón, who has achieved top-tier status after just two months working with Shipt. She adds that “you can purchase organizers through the Shipt Shopper Store.” 

“I have only come across one case in which I needed a truck to deliver an order. It weighed over 40 lbs but was designated as a ‘Delivery’ order. Shop-and-deliver orders, which account for 99.9% of all Shipt assignments, tend to be much smaller.”

What about bikes, motorcycles, scooters, and walking? 

Even as the likes of DoorDash embrace bikes and motorcycles for their agility, Shipt remains skeptical about joining the trend. The company feels that the traditional two-wheeled vehicles lack the capacity to safely transport the volume and weight of general grocery orders. 

Many of Shipt’s orders are also quite delicate, making them challenging to move around in a skeleton chassis. As a result, the platform is not open to deliveries via motorcycle, bike, scooter, or on foot. Cars are the only option. 

Vehicle requirements for Shipt Shoppers versus Shipt Drivers

Shipt shoppers and Shipt drivers are two distinct roles, and they each have slightly different car requirements. 

Shoppers are responsible for picking up individual grocery orders and delivering them to the customer’s doorstep immediately after. Shipt Drivers, in contrast, can be described as transporters who work with bulk deliveries. They take up multiple pre-packaged orders from Target stores. 

Shipt shoppers only need to have a car that’s 1997 or newer, in working condition, and covered by insurance. 

Shipt Drivers, on the other hand, have one extra requirement: they can’t use a two-door sedan. 

That’s because drivers manage bulk deliveries. This requires a vehicle with more cargo capacity than what is usually needed for individual grocery orders. The best options are full-size SUVs and vans, with Sprinter vans in particular being a popular favorite. 

The size of the car matters too. Although there aren’t any specific size requirements, Shipt does assign orders by car size. So, if you have a larger car, you can deliver more packages at once and make more money per trip. Here are the order sizes you can expect based on your car size:

  • Medium Vehicle:
    • Average route length: 3-5 hours
    • Average # of packages: 30 packages
  • Large Vehicle:
    • Average route length: 5-7 hours
    • Average # of packages: 50+ packages
  • Sprinter Van:
    • Average route length. 7+ hours
    • Average # of packages: 80+ packages

Cars used by Shipt Drivers should facilitate the systematic loading and unloading of high-volume packages. Having a spacious trunk, foldable rear seats, or even cargo organizers for efficient space utilization is particularly useful.

You should also pay special attention to the vehicle's payload capacity, as the weight of multiple heavy packages can accumulate quite rapidly.

Car insurance requirements

When you work with Shipt, you are required to maintain the minimum liability coverage stipulated by your state’s laws. 

A personal auto insurance policy is the legal standard in most places, and it normally covers bodily injury and property damage that the driver may cause while operating their vehicle. 

As you’ll come to learn, though, this protection typically doesn’t extend to business errands and may leave drivers exposed when they are using their vehicle for Shipt-related activities.

To address the gap, you can always get yourself a commercial auto insurance policy or maybe add a business-use endorsement to your state-mandated coverage. 

Melissa Wise, who’s handled Shipt deliveries for over three years, explains that the resultant impact depends significantly on your state and insurance agency. 

The difference that supplementary coverage makes in your premium, for instance, could be negligible or it may increase by up to 100%,” she insists. 

So, you might want to do your homework extensively before committing. Start by checking out the options from various providers.”

Such add-ons are meant to cover vehicles whenever they’re engaged in business assignments, including Shipt deliveries. They even come with higher liability limits, thus sufficiently safeguarding drivers from any potential risks arising from the long hours they spend on the job. 

For more information on how car insurance works with Shipt, check out our full post on the topic. 

You don’t need to own a vehicle, though 

If you’re interested in working with Shipt but don’t have a personal vehicle, there are ways to work around the problem.

As it turns out, the platform doesn't require its drivers and shoppers to own the vehicle they use for deliveries. You can always operate a car owned by someone else – like a family member or friend – as long as you have their permission for Shipt deliveries. 

If you decide to try this, remember that you are responsible for any traffic violations, accidents, or damages that occur during Shipt deliveries. You should thus get yourself listed as an insured driver on the vehicle's insurance policy, as well as extend its coverage to address even commercial liabilities. To work with Shipt, you must be listed as a driver on the car’s insurance policy. 

Using car rentals 

Apart from borrowing a car for Shipt deliveries, you could choose to rent one. Shipt allows drivers to use hired vehicles for both short and long-term assignments. 

There are no limitations on the rental company. You’re free to work with whichever you prefer, as long as its units meet Shipt’s car requirements. 

The rental must, for instance, be insured – either through the rental company or your personal auto insurance. 

For convenience, we’d recommend partnering with a provider that specializes in rideshare car rentals. Companies like HyreCar have already developed programs targeting gig workers on platforms such as Shipt, DoorDash, and Uber. 

Whereas regular dealers would restrict you to personal use, rideshare vehicle renters are flexible enough to support commercial activities such as Shipt deliveries. Their cars even come with comprehensive rental insurance that covers commercial liabilities. So, you probably won’t need to purchase add-ons above your state’s minimum policy.

Keep in mind that rental cars can be pretty costly, so make sure you carefully factor in that expense — you don’t want to end up spending more on the rental than you’re earning with Shipt. 

Sharing with other Shoppers and Drivers

In the event you find yourself sharing the same household or group with other registered Shipt drivers or shoppers, you could all work out a plan to use the same car for your deliveries. 

Shipt doesn’t care much about your vehicle’s usage routine. It’s only concerned about your order completion and customer satisfaction rates. So, you can go ahead and agree on an equitable vehicle access schedule based on your individual and collective availability. 

While at it, keep in mind that everyone in your group must be independently approved by Shipt, possess a valid driver’s license, meet all the car insurance requirements, and be listed as a driver on the car’s insurance policy. 

Can passengers tag along?

Well, technically, they can. But that doesn’t mean they should. 

Whereas Shipt does not explicitly prohibit drivers from having passengers, drivers should consider the practicality and professionalism of having someone else in the vehicle during deliveries. 

Passengers could potentially distract you, thereby compromising your job performance and overall customer experience.

Take it from Joshua Merritt, who’s been on the job for over four years now. In his words, “It may also be considered a violation of Shipt's terms of service if store workers or fellow Shoppers report that someone else is doing shopping and deliveries for you, even if you are present at the time.”

Get started

Can you see yourself as a Shipt Shopper or Driver? Read about the differences, or apply now to be a Shopper or Driver.

Keep Learning...