When determining if it’s worth driving for Instacart, also consider the expenses of using your vehicle. Although the mileage and some maintenance costs may be deductible from your income tax obligation, it won’t be enough to entirely offset the cost of fuel, insurance, and wear to the vehicle. Also, most standard auto insurance policies only cover personal use, so you’ll probably want to alert your insurance company that you’ll be using the vehicle for work and perhaps add some commercial coverage in case you’re involved in an accident while making deliveries.
Fuel costs will take a chunk of your earnings. Last year, Instacart implemented a Fuel Assistance program that paid drivers an extra $0.40 per order which wasn’t amazing, but it was better than nothing. Since then, the promotion has ended and no fuel reimbursement whatsoever is provided, so be careful choosing which orders to accept. Even though longer-distance orders can pay more in an absolute sense, it might not be enough to be worthwhile.
Depending on where you live, driving for Instacart might not provide income significantly more than your state’s minimum wage, especially after deducting your expenses. Then again, it’s easy to get “hired,” you can work whenever you like, and driving groceries can be an attractive alternative to driving people.