While there's no real “Uber Eats paycheck” since Uber delivery drivers are not employees, there are several ways that contractors can be paid. In fact, turn-around time is faster for getting Uber Eats earnings than with most traditional jobs.
What does that mean for you if you deliver for Uber Eats? How long does it take to get paid after you complete the tasks? Are you stuck waiting forever?
We'll dive into this topic. Then we'll examine how and when Uber Eats pays its contractors. We'll talk about:
- Why there's no such thing as a Uber Eats paycheck
- Three ways contractors get paid for their deliveries
- How to create your own Uber Eats paycheck
Why there's no such thing as an Uber Eats pay check
You will get paid for your deliveries but won't get a paycheck.
The critical thing to remember is that when you deliver for Uber Eats, you do so as an independent contractor. You're not an employee. There's a pretty big difference between the two.
An employee gets a salary, an hourly wage, minimum wage guarantees, and possibly some benefits. Federal, state, and FICA taxes are taken out of your wages before your paycheck is written.
None of that happens with Uber Eats.
This is because you agreed that you provide delivery services for Uber Eats as a business and not as an employee. It's a business-to-business relationship, not an employee/employer one. It's more like you are a business invoicing Uber for your services and waiting for them to pay up.
Uber Eats pays your business (you) for the services you provide. You are paid for tasks completed (the deliveries) rather than by the hour or with a wage or salary.
In other words, you still get paid. But because the independent contractor world is dramatically different from the employee world, everything about getting paid is different.
Three Ways Uber Eats delivery drivers get paid.
You have options for how you get paid by Uber Eats. It's really more like two regular options and a weird third circumstance where you just end up being paid. I'll explain more when we get to that one.
Before we get into those options, we'll discuss how Uber Eats pay happens.
When Uber Eats offers you a delivery order, they'll tell you how much money you can make for that trip. The final pay can vary from the offered amount, either because Uber has hidden part of the tip or because the customer has edited the tip amount.
Once you've completed the order and marked it as complete, Uber Eats gives you a payment summary that shows how much they paid for the delivery. An hour later, they add the customer's tip to that payment.
That payment accumulates in a virtual wallet in the Uber Eats app. As you complete other deliveries within the time frame, more money accumulates.
In some situations, you may get partial payment for a canceled order or an additional fee if you had to drive further than expected. Those payments accumulate as well.
Now that all your delivery fees, tips, and other Uber Eats fees have built up, how do you get your money? Here's where we get into those three different ways of getting paid.
Option 1: Direct deposit to your bank account.
If you don't choose any other options, Uber will default to the direct deposit option on the first of the week.
Any money in your virtual wallet in the Uber driver app as of midnight Sunday of the previous week is sent by ACH direct deposit to your financial institutions. Uber usually submits the payment information Monday morning (or the first business day of the week if Monday is a holiday).
Most contractors see the money in their bank on Tuesday. Some banks can take as many as five business days to process the payment.
Option 2: Uber Eats Instant Pay.
If drivers want their money sooner, they can receive it instantly using the Instant Pay feature. It's an instant payment feature where you send money to your debit card.
To use Instant Pay, you must give Uber the debit card number and your PIN (Personal Identification Number). Uber charges a $0.49 processing fee for every Instant Pay transaction. An Uber Eats courier can take instant pay withdrawals up to five times daily.
You can also get an Uber Debit card from GoBank. There is no cashout processing fee or monthly fee related to the card.
That weird third option: Cash on Delivery.
This one isn't quite like the others, where you would choose a way to get paid. Instead, it's a sort of one-off circumstance where you get paid for one or more deliveries.
There's now an option where Uber Eats customers can pay for their orders with cash. Instead of paying by debit or credit card, the customer would pay you directly for the entire order, including food and fees. With such a delivery, you keep the whole amount. If the order amount exceeds your delivery fee, the excess will be an advance against future earnings.
For instance, a customer places an order, and their total cost for the food, taxes, and delivery fees is $40. Your delivery fee from Uber Eats is $4. Obviously, the four dollars out of all that is yours to cover delivering that food. On top of that, you would keep the additional $36 as a replacement for direct deposit or debit card payments for other deliveries.
In that example, if the customer chooses to add a tip, they would do so in cash. They might give you $50, which means a $10 tip.
As for the additional $36: If your Uber Eats virtual wallet has $36 or more accumulated by that point, $36 is deducted from your earnings. You would get $36 less in direct deposit or instant pay.
Suppose you don't have enough in your virtual wallet to cover the additional money. In that case, you'll have a negative balance in your wallet, essentially owing Uber money until you have earned enough in future delivery fees to offset that amount.
How to create your own Uber Eats paycheck
Whether you get direct deposit, instant pay, or paid through cash on delivery, there's one thing to keep in mind: it's not your paycheck.
An employee paycheck would have taxes taken out for you. It is also your total pay for services provided. By comparison, pay from Uber Eats:
- Has no money taken out for taxes.
- Is gross pay (meaning your business expenses need to come out of it).
This may not make much difference if you take only a few deliveries here and there as a side hustle for a little extra money. However, if you make a significant amount of money from delivery, you might consider a process where you give yourself a paycheck for your Uber Eats deliveries.
In my experience, this is the best way to manage your money in a business manner. It helps you protect yourself during tax season and get a true sense of your actual Uber Eats driver pay.
Six steps to giving yourself a paycheck
In the article linked just above, we go into much more detail. However, here it is in a nutshell:
1. Get a bank account dedicated to your delivery business.
The best thing you can do as a small business owner is to keep your business and personal finances separate. Try to find an account that gives you different buckets or savings accounts.
2. Have all your gig work pay direct deposited to that account.
If you work with other food delivery services like Doordash, Instacart, Grubhub, and others, have those payments sent there as well. If you can stay away from instant payment options and wait for the direct deposit, you take better control of your money.
3. Create a payday.
I usually choose Friday, as all my direct deposits would have come in by then.
4. Set aside money for taxes, business expenses, and benefits.
Figure out how much to save for taxes. I also recommend saving money for every mile you drive to cover gas and long-term business expenses. Personally, I take out 35¢ for every business mile.
5. Now, give yourself a paycheck.
The money that's left over is your actual take-home pay. Transfer that money to your personal account or write a check to yourself.
6. Use the different savings funds as needed.
Once a quarter, make an estimated payment from the tax money you saved. When you buy gas, get maintenance or have significant car repairs, pay those out of the expense fund.
A note about benefits.
The one benefit I give myself is paid time off. As a full-time driver, I set aside about $50 per week as part of step 4. Then when I want to take a vacation or miss time for an illness, I can draw money from that paid time off fund to replace the money I'm not making because I'm not delivering.
If you decide to deliver full-time for Uber Eats and other gigs, you may also want to add other things to this process. Did you have health insurance in your previous job? Were you taking money out for a 401k?
What if my Uber Eats self-created paycheck isn't enough?
This is one of the best benefits of the self-paycheck process. After taking out money for taxes, expenses, and benefits, you have a better point of comparison.
Too many delivery drivers think they're making much more than they really are. They forgot to account for taxes and the cost of using their car.
You can now look at what's left over when you give yourself a paycheck. It tells you whether you're really making enough for all your efforts.
If it's not enough, then it's time to make some hard choices. Don't be tempted to dip into the tax or expense money you set aside. You WILL need that money at some time. Instead, you must figure out how to make more money delivering for Uber Eats and other delivery companies or move on to something else.
You may have just figured out that your business model isn't working. There's nothing wrong with that, as it happens to many business owners. It's better to find out now than to keep going on.
However, now that you've done all these things, you've set yourself up in a good place. Tax time becomes less stressful. You're prepared for the wear and tear you put on your vehicle. You have a more realistic of your total earnings.
Maybe the best part is that you're not relying on Uber to handle your business for you.
When do I get my first Uber Eats paycheck?
New drivers will be paid by direct deposit for their very first deliveries. Depending on your financial institution's processing time, your payment will be deposited on or around Tuesday of the week after your first delivery. Remember that this is not like a payroll paycheck since you are not an employee.
Does Uber Eats hold your first paycheck?
No. Uber will pay you the very first week following your first delivery via direct deposit. There is no hold time and no deductions from your pay.
Does UberEats take out taxes from your paycheck?
No. Uber Eats does not withhold taxes. As an independent contractor, it is your responsibility to set aside and pay your own Federal, state, and local income taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare.
What day is payday for Uber Eats contractors?
Most Uber Eats delivery drivers receive their direct deposit from Uber on Tuesday. Uber submits payment information every week on the first business day (Monday unless it is a holiday). The date you receive your money depends on your bank's processing time.
What time of day does Uber Eats direct deposit hit?
Generally, at the start of business on Tuesday, although that can vary depending on your bank's turn-around time. It can also be delayed if Monday is a bank holiday. Uber submits the payment information on Monday morning (or the first business day of the week if Monday is a holiday). Some banks make funds available sooner, and some may take longer.