Local delivery drivers struggle with high gas prices

(ABC 6 News) – Delivery may be convenient, but as gas prices rise delivery drivers in the gig economy say it’s getting too expensive. Local delivery drivers for apps like Doordash and Instacart pay for their gas.

While drivers are saying they were picky about where they delivered to before the high prices, they are pickier now. If the driver’s tip doesn’t make up for the miles driven, they won’t take the order.

"You’re losing money if you’re not paying attention to what’s going on," said Jay Carroll, a delivery driver, and owner of delivery service The Grocery Getters.

"I always calculate if the tip amount is worth the miles I’m going to drive. You’re an independent contractor. You’re not an employee. You don’t have to take every order," said Jose Marquez, another delivery driver.

Marquez gets gas once a day and says if drivers could get higher wages from the company, they could be more flexible about which orders they pick up.

"Instacart is doing nothing to help us," Carroll said.

Carroll has his own business alongside working for Instacart. He raised his delivery fees to compensate for higher gas prices. Both Carroll and Marquez have delivered for over four years and say it’s difficult to make a living off of one delivery app alone.

Oil production and demand plummeted at the beginning of the pandemic. Since then demand has increased, but production hasn’t yet caught up. This coupled with some countries considering boycotting Russian oil due to the conflict in Ukraine, means gas prices are skyrocketing.

Some analysts say we’ll continue to see prices rise as tensions with Russia continue, but no one is sure how long that could last.