How To Become An Instacart Shopper & Driver in 2022: Is It Worth It?

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Comprehensive Guide to Grocery Delivery Jobs

become an Instacart Shopper

The coronavirus pandemic has hit rideshare companies and accelerated the growth of online food delivery apps including grocery delivery services like Instacart. If you are looking for a part time job or a full time side gig or for a temporary job, just know that Instacart is hiring. In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Instacart delivery jobs and how to become an Instacart driver.

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1. What is Instacart

Instacart is a grocery delivery service app that enables consumers who seek personal shopping and delivery services from retailers in their area to be matched with third party providers interested in providing those services.

Customers do not need a membership to use the service. The app has a lot of features including curbside pickup and allows customers to place orders up to two weeks in advance. Finally, with contactless delivery, Instacart provides safe grocery delivery in North America and Canada.

The delivery hours start as early as 9am and run as late as midnight, depending on local store hours.

The company is growing fast and is considering going public through an IPO.

2. How Does Instacart Work for Drivers?

If you are wondering what it's like to work as a personal shopper you are at the right place. Basically, customers order groceries online at one of dozens of grocery stores, and then they agree to a delivery fee and eventually tip in advance. Once you accept an order, you drive to the grocery store, shop the groceries, bring the order back to your car and deliver it to the customer. An Instacart delivery driver earns money with grocery shopping.

3. Is Working for Instacart Worth it?

is instacart worth it


Working for Instacart is not a stressful job. You make money working when it is more convenient for you.

is instacart worth it

No Complex Requirements

There are minimum driver and vehicle requirements to become an Instacart worker.

is instacart worth it

Instant Payout

You get paid weekly by Friday but you can cash out your earnings daily

4. Instacart Requirements

The basic requirements for becoming a Instacart Shopper are being at least 18 years of age, having a valid driver’s license, and passing a background check.

Unlike Uber and Lyft drivers, driving experience is not required.

Safety is really important for Instacart. This means that Personal Shoppers are independent contractors and must be covered by personal auto insurance and also authorize and undergo a background check when signing up.

In connection with your application, the same day delivery app will request a background check from a consumer reporting agency. You must have a clean driving record and can be disqualified from employment if you have a felony or other serious convictions.

The Instacart background check generally takes between three to seven business days, but can be returned much faster depending on different reasons. The report may contain information about your character, employment, education, mode of living and criminal background history.

It is a final step taken by Instacart to help ensure a sound hiring decision and protect the company from a number of potential risks. So, how do I start working for Instacart?

To summarize, here are the general Instacart requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Eligibility to work in the U.S. or Canada
  • A smartphone with Android 5.0 or later, iOS 9 or later with a data plan for the Shopper app
  • Can lift 30+ pounds
  • Pass a background check
  • Social Security Number
  • Must have a checking account to receive direct deposit payments

5. Where Can I Work as an Instacart Driver?

Instacart is headquartered in San Francisco and it has grocery delivery jobs available in cities all across the United States and Canada. Here are just a few of the many places you can find Instacart job opportunities:

  • AZ – Phoenix
  • CA – Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Orange County, San Diego
  • CO – Denver/Boulder
  • DC – Washington, D.C.
  • FL – Miami
  • GA – Atlanta
  • IL – Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Rockford
  • IN – Indianapolis, South Bend
  • KS – Kansas City
  • KY – Lexington, Louisville
  • MD – Baltimore
  • MA – Boston
  • MI – Detroit
  • MN – Minneapolis
  • NM - Albuquerque
  • NE – Omaha
  • NC – Charlotte, Raleigh
  • NJ – New Jersey
  • NV – Las Vegas, Reno
  • NY – Long Island, New York City, Westchester
  • OH – Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland
  • OK – Oklahoma City
  • OR – Portland
  • PA – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
  • TN – Nashville
  • TX – Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
  • UT – Salt Lake City
  • VA – Richmond
  • WA – Seattle
  • WI – Milwaukee

To view a full list of cities where Instacart delivers, you can take a look at Instacart website.

6. Instacart Full Service Shopper

Shoppers are not Instacart employees but independent contractors, they are not entitled to the minimum wage. The independent contractor agreement outlines the terms of service and conditions and regulates the relationship between you and the grocery app.

It is really important to read and respect the agreement to not take the risk of being fired.

Delivering groceries is not complicated. If you want to know what is to be an Instacart Shopper, here is a job description with the essential activities, qualifications and skills for this role.

You can start by accepting a batch that you will receive with a job alert in your phone, you drive to local stores that partner with Instacart (HEB, Cotsco, Publix, Berkeley Bowl...), you shop or pick up customers' orders and then deliver the order to the customer’s location.

Once you qualify, you can pick your hours and schedule yourself for deliveries. Scheduling allows you to create a flexible schedule to earn when you want without interrupting life. Learn how to set hours with Instacart to make more money.

Providing excellent customer service is one of the greatest keys to success for shoppers. As an Instacart provider you must deliver the items from the store in a safe and timely manner and in accordance with the delivery window chosen by the customer.

Full Service Shopper Requirements

In addition of the basic requirements above here is the detailed list of all the requirements for a Full-Service Shopper:

  • Have a vehicle (no vehicle inspection is required)
  • Have a valid auto insurance

As a full Service Shopper you can receive two types of orders:

  1. Delivery only. The order is pre-shopped, you only have to deliver it to the customer
  2. Full service. You have to shop and deliver the order to the customer.

7. Instacart Insurance

Better safe than sorry. Instacart is not an insurance company. They provide liability coverage at certain points during your delivery. You are required to maintain your personal auto insurance.

In addition, since you use your car for business purposes, you should upgrade your insurance to commercial auto insurance.

Getting insurance for Instacar drivers just got easier. Start by comparing auto insurance quotes and getting the most coverage possible. This will ensure that you are not at risk for paying out expensive claims.

8. Instacart Careers & Jobs

Working as a Shopper isn’t the only job opportunity available with Instacart. The company has job openings in the following departments:

  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Business strategy

To get job information for all the current openings with the the grocery shopping app, you can take a look at the Instacart careers page.

If you are looking for similar grocery delivery jobs, or the way to get paid to deliver food, Uber Eats or Doordash are a valid alternative. If you like the grocery delivery you can take a look at our guide to become a Shipt Shopper or become an Amazon fresh driver.

9. Instacart Shopper Pay

Instacart’s payment structure varies depending on which city you’re working in across the United States and the role you will choose.

Instacart Full Service Shopper Pay

As a Full Service Shopper delivery driver, you get paid for each batch you accept and successfully complete.

Before accepting a batch, you can preview the details and additional information including an earnings estimate and a map with the store and customer locations. At this point it is really important to understand how your earnings are calculated and the pay structure.

In 2018, after the tips controversy, Instacart publicly announced that it had redesigned its "shopper experience for more choice and clarity," adding that it aimed to "provide clearer and more consistent earnings."

Here is a breakdown of the full service shoppers pay:

  • Number of items: The more items there are in an order, the more you’ll be paid. This rate is usually around $0.40 per item and varies from city to city.
  • Per mile rate: You get paid for the distance you drive between the store and drop-off locations. The per-mile rates vary by city and it is usually around $0.60 per mile driven x 10 miles = $6.00
  • Peak boosts: These are incentives that Instacart offers to shoppers for working during peak hours, busy times and in busy locations. Bonuses become available when the demand for shoppers is high
  • Customer tips: Providing friendly and fast service is important. Shoppers get 100% of tips.

To understand what you’ll be earning and whether or not driving for Instacart is worth it, there are some expenses you’ll need to factor into your earnings.

Here are the expenses you’ll need to consider as a Shopper:

  • Wear and tear of your car.
  • Insurance, and this isn’t normal insurance.
  • Gas.

With any independent courier app you have to find creative ways to save gas money by using cash back apps, driving with fuel saving techniques and also getting free gas .

Finally, if your question is does Instacart take out taxes, the answer is no. You will pay taxes a little differently than employees do. As a self-employed individual, you are responsible for paying income taxes and self-employment taxes.

10. Instacart Driver Reviews

Now you know everything about the requirements, but what do drivers really think about the shopper job?

At Bestreferraldriver we are a team of side hustlers. Here is our honest review.

The company has been rapidly growing and it sets itself apart from other competitors.

In the past we supported Shipt which pay model was really interesting for shoppers. After the changes they applied to their pay model we are 100% working only with Instacart. The delivery job allows us to reach our set income goal.

We suggest you consult our guide on how to make more money driving with Instacart.

Our job satisfaction rating is 4 out of 5. Becoming a delivery you will not pursue a career and you will not become rich. However driving is not a bad gig. The work is easy and flexible, and you can get paid the same day.

Instacart In Store Shopper vs Full Service

What is the difference between in store shopper and full service shopper? The only currenrly available position is the full service shopper.

11. How to Apply For Instacart?

A qualified job applicant with the required skills and requirements can apply for the position. Instacart application is online. To get started you only need to:

  • Install the instacart shopper app
  • Complete some paperworks and sign up the independent contractor agreement
  • Activate the Instacart payment card

You can join Instacart by using our link. We suggest you take a look at our step by step application process.

Start Making Money Shopping and Delivering Now

Becoming an Instacart Shopper is a great opportunity to make extra cash with a flexible side hustle. Finally, being a grocery delivery driver for Instacart can be a great addition to your income to make a couple extra hundred or thousand dollars a month. It is quick and easy to get signed up and give it a try!

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