At the risk of stating the obvious, Amazon has got delivery down to a science. Want something? Order it one day, and most of the time you’ll have it delivered to your door in a day or two. How does Amazon do something that seems so … impossible? With a fleet of awesome Amazon Flex drivers who use their own vehicles to drop those Amazon smiles on millions of doorsteps.
All the different rideshare and delivery services make claims about what they pay drivers. At Gridwise, we know the truth about driver earnings, so get ready. This blog post is all about how much YOU can make as an Amazon Flex driver, along with what it takes to make it. Here’s what we’ll cover about the world of Amazon Flex:
- Working as an Amazon Flex driver
- How much Amazon Flex drivers make
- Another option for Amazon Flex drivers
- The costs of driving for Amazon Flex
Working as an Amazon Flex driver
Like Amazon itself, the possibilities of earning as an Amazon Flex driver are humongous. You can deliver packages, of course, but you might also find yourself grabbing up groceries at Whole Foods for customers who order them through the biggest of all the shopping apps. That happens when you opt in for the Shop and Deliver app through Amazon Flex. As an Amazon Flex driver, you’ll also be qualified to deliver for Prime Now, which is the fastest service Amazon offers.
Before we get too deep into the Big River of all you can do with Amazon Flex, let’s wade into what it takes to be a driver. For starters, you will need to:
- Be 21 or older
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
- Have a Social Security number
- Drive a mid-sized or larger vehicle; car trailers and truck beds must have covers (any serviceable vehicle for Prime Now)
- Have a smartphone: iPhone 6s or newer with iOS 13 or higher; or Android with 2GB or more of RAM, camera with flash, and GPS
- Be insured to deliver packages in your area. Everywhere but in New York, Amazon adds to your personal coverage by providing the Amazon Commercial Auto Insurance Policy at no cost.
- Pass a background check
Now, let’s briefly cover the opportunities to deliver with Amazon Flex:
With Amazon Flex, just use your smartphone to visit this link and download the app to apply. Once you’re accepted, you’ll be able to open the app and get to work. Here’s what happens next:
- Schedule your block(s). See what time slots are available and sign up for the blocks that work for you. You’ll also see opportunities to take requests for instant deliveries. In all cases, you’ll be shown how much you’re likely to earn, and how long the block is likely to take.
- Pick up your packages. Drive to your designated Amazon location and pick up your assigned deliveries.
- Deliver the goods. Use the Amazon Flex app to navigate to the delivery locations, drop off the packages, and…
- Get paid. Amazon Flex will pay you twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Amazon Prime Now works in much the same way. The only difference is these deliveries won’t come as part of scheduled blocks. You have the option of choosing to take the call or decline the delivery.
Shop and Deliver gives you the option of delivering groceries from Whole Foods to customers. Here’s how that works:
- The Amazon Flex app will know you opted in for Shop and Deliver and send you delivery requests.
- You’ll need to download the Seller App and use it to see and fill the customer’s order.
- Once you’re done shopping, the Amazon Flex app will navigate you to the customer’s location.
With multiple opportunities and ways to earn, Amazon Flex can be a good way for drivers to make money – but exactly how much do Amazon Flex drivers make? Let’s look at real numbers.
How much Amazon Flex drivers make
The claims vary widely, depending on where you’re getting estimated numbers. On its website, Amazon says hourly earnings are $18–$25 per hour for Flex drivers, while some more realistic sources report that it’s more like “up to $20 per hour.”
At Gridwise, however, we don’t have to speculate. We have actual earnings data from Amazon Flex drivers, which has been made anonymous so we can give you an accurate reading.
Let’s start by looking at earnings per hour. In January 2020, average earnings per hour for Amazon Flex drivers were at $15.40. Matters improved greatly throughout 2020 and into 2021. Even though there’s been a slight decline, hourly earnings haven’t fallen too far off the peak of $19.08 in March 2021, and were still at $18.04 in May.
These figures represent the median hourly earnings for Amazon Flex drivers across the U.S. It’s possible that in some places, drivers are making more. Still, the claim of $25 per hour seems to be higher than what reality shows us.
Looking at earnings per month can help us gauge what it’s like to try to earn a workable income with Amazon Flex. As we can see from the graph below, earnings hit a peak of $571.05 back in February of 2020. Monthly earnings hovered around $400–$450 from that point through May 2021, when average monthly earnings were $432.
Looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear that Amazon Flex drivers using Gridwise are working on a very part-time basis. Taking May 2021 figures, a driver earning $18.04 per hour and $432 per month would have worked around 24 hours for the month. That’s far less than most other kinds of drivers work in a week.
Driver forums report that Amazon has been cutting back on the maximum number of hours drivers are allowed to work in many markets. The numbers we’re seeing here could reflect that. Where there used to be a cap of 40 hours per week, in some areas they are being lowered to under 30.
As an aside, there is a rewards program for Amazon Flex drivers. Largely, it features the ability to get priority while scheduling blocks, a cashback offer when you use your Amazon debit card, and some discounts on driver-related products and services such as fuel and insurance.
Another option for Amazon Flex drivers
If you’re really into delivering packages for Amazon, and would like to get more serious about it, you can step it up by signing up to drive for one of Amazon’s delivery service partners. Your schedule won’t be as flexible, but you’ll get a full-time job with benefits. Here are the things Amazon delivery service partners offer:
- A full-time, 40-hours-per-week work schedule
- Full benefits and competitive pay
- A company delivery vehicle, so no expenses to use your own
- Ability to schedule four 10-hour days, if you wish
- Opportunities for overtime and promotion
If this is something that sounds like your ideal job, you can learn more by visiting the Amazondelivers.jobs website. One big advantage this kind of job offers, on top of full benefits, is the company vehicle. If you decide to go with being an Amazon Flex driver, you might see why this is an advantage when you look at the costs of using a vehicle of your own.
The costs of driving for Amazon Flex
It would be overly optimistic to think that, as an Amazon Flex driver, you’d get to keep every penny you earn. Like any kind of gig, there’s a cost of doing business. Let’s break down these costs so you can get a fuller idea of what you’ll be bringing home.
Your car will be the biggest source of expenses. Your payment (if any), the cost of maintenance, plus insurance and registration, are going to be factored in. You’ll have to shoulder most of these costs even if you don’t drive for Amazon Flex, but there will be some increase in your insurance because you’ll be using the vehicle for business.
Amazon Flex doesn’t say drivers can’t use rental vehicles, but the cost of doing so might make it less than practical. It might also be a challenge to find a car rental company that will provide you with the proper insurance.
If you’re going to use a vehicle of your own, you’ll need the right coverage and more. Here’s a list of all the expenses you should factor into your earning potential with Amazon Flex.
- Extra insurance. You’ll have to research what the requirements are in your state, and the blog of the Brookhurst Insurance Company is a good place to start. It’s extremely unwise to go without this extra insurance. Your private insurance company has the right to refuse your claim if they discover you’re using your vehicle for commercial purposes without having the proper insurance – and you can bet they won’t hesitate to use that right.
- Fuel. This is no small consideration, especially since you’ll be driving a vehicle that’s at least as large as a sedan, and you could decide to use an SUV, a van, or even a truck. Unless your ride is electric, expect hefty fuel bills and lower than usual gas mileage, due to the extra weight you’ll be hauling around. The good news is, this cost is tax-deductible. Use Gridwise to enter your expenses as you go. Gridwise will help you track this expense if you use the IRS standard deduction of $0.56 per mile for 2021. Simply link your Amazon Flex app and you’ll be good to go for tracking mileage.
- Depreciation. This happens to your vehicle no matter what, but its value will decrease at a greater rate when you’re driving for Amazon Flex because it’s determined by the number of miles you drive. Use the Kelley Blue Book website to find out how much extra you might be paying in depreciation due to your Amazon Flex gig.
- Maintenance and repairs. If your car isn’t working, you’re out of luck when it comes to being able to make a buck delivering for Amazon Flex … so, you’ll need to keep it in working order. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual, find the maintenance schedule, and stick to it. You can also get more detailed information about car maintenance from this Gridwise post. There’s much you can do without taking it to a mechanic or dealer.
- Taxes. Ugh. No one wants to think about paying taxes, but as an independent contractor driving for Amazon Flex, you’ll have to pay your own. If you can, estimate your earnings and pay your taxes quarterly, and then you won’t be stuck with a gigantic bill at tax time. You can get the information you need from the IRS or your state’s revenue department website, but if you’re at all unsure about what you’re doing, you might want to find a tax accountant to give you some help.
Amazon Flex drivers need Gridwise
Now that you’re up to date on everything there is to know about driving for Amazon Flex, you’re going to need an assistant … and Gridwise is the ultimate rideshare and delivery assistant. With Gridwise, all you have to do is sync Amazon Flex and all the apps for your other gigs and drive away! Gridwise calculates all your earnings and mileage, and presents them to you in clear and concise graphs like these:
You can enter your expenses as you go, and get all the information you need to be the most efficient and high-earning driver possible. Airport passenger volumes, traffic and weather reports, and information about events in your area keep you in the know about what’s out there on the road.
That’s a whole lot, but there’s more. Get easy access to our blog and the Gridwise YouTube channel through the Perks tab, while you enjoy discounts and deals meant just for drivers. Join us on Facebook, and you’ll find a vibrant community of drivers just like you. You’ll also get a shot at our gas card giveaways.
You really can’t afford not to drive with Gridwise, so what are you waiting for? Download the app now.