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Wait, let me show you exactly how Instacart work for drivers like you to make money on the side. Maybe you’re wondering to yourself how does Instacart work and how can I make money from it. As an Instacart driver, you sign up via the website or app, providing your details and completing a background check. Once approved, you accept batches through the app, shop for the items accurately, and communicate with customers.

You’ll use an Instacart card to pay and then deliver the groceries. Earnings include base pay, customer tips, and potential bonuses for working during busy periods. You have full control over your schedule, allowing you to work when it suits you best. To boost your success, focus on optimizing routes, managing time effectively, and ensuring customer satisfaction. There’s more to explore!

Sign Up On Instacart

To sign up as an Instacart driver, you’ll need to visit their website or download the app and create an account. Start by providing your email address and creating a password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to complete the application by filling out your personal information, such as your name, phone number, and address.

After filling in the initial details, you’ll move on to account activation. This step involves verifying your phone number and email address. Instacart will send you a code via text or email to confirm your contact information. Make sure you enter this code correctly to proceed.

Next, you’ll need to meet certain driver requirements. Instacart requires applicants to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. You also need access to a reliable vehicle and should own a smartphone capable of running the Instacart app. Additionally, a background check is mandatory, which includes a review of your driving record and criminal history.

Once you’ve met all the driver requirements and your account is activated, you’ll be ready to start taking delivery jobs. It’s a straightforward process designed to get you on the road quickly.

How To Make Money On Instacart As A Driver

Once you’ve signed up, your first steps include completing a background check and verifying your information.

You’ll need to provide some personal details and consent to a review of your driving history and criminal record. This process ensures that you meet Instacart’s requirements and can start shopping safely.

Signing Up Process

Starting your journey as an Instacart driver begins with a straightforward and user-friendly sign-up process. First, visit the Instacart website or download the app. Look for the option to become a shopper and click on it. You’ll be prompted to start your account setup by entering your email address and creating a password. Make sure to choose a strong password to protect your account.

Next, you’ll move on to profile creation. This involves filling out some basic information about yourself, such as your name, phone number, and address. Instacart will also ask for details about your vehicle, including its make, model, and year. This helps them ensure you have a reliable mode of transportation for deliveries.

Once your basic information is entered, you’ll need to upload a clear photo of yourself for your profile. This photo will be visible to customers when you deliver their groceries, so make sure it’s professional and friendly.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a functional Instacart driver account.

From there, you’re almost ready to start shopping and delivering. Just a few more steps, and you’ll be on your way to earning with Instacart.

Background Check Steps

Before you hit the road with Instacart, you’ll need to pass a background check to ensure the safety and reliability of your service. This process is straightforward but crucial. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Submit Your Information: First, you’ll provide some basic personal details. Instacart will need your full name, date of birth, and social security number. This info is essential for identity verification and to start the process.
  2. Documentation Review: Next, you’ll upload important documents like your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Make sure these documents are current and clearly legible. This step confirms your eligibility to drive and deliver groceries.
  3. Consent to Background Check: You’ll then give permission for Instacart to perform the background check. This typically involves checking your criminal record and driving history. It’s a key step to ensure you’re a safe and reliable driver.
  4. Wait for Results: After you’ve submitted everything, you’ll need to wait for the results. The review process can take a few days. You’ll be notified via email once it’s complete, and you can start accepting orders.

Passing the background check is essential for becoming an Instacart driver, ensuring a secure and trustworthy platform for all.

The Shopping Process

As a driver, you’ll start the shopping process by accepting a batch through the Instacart app. Once you’ve accepted a batch, head to the designated store. Your main goal is order accuracy, ensuring you pick the correct items listed in the app. The app provides detailed information, including product images and aisle numbers, to help you locate everything quickly.

Customer communication is crucial. If an item is out of stock, use the app to notify the customer and suggest suitable replacements. The app often provides alternative suggestions, but it’s always a good idea to message the customer for confirmation. Clear communication helps avoid misunderstandings and keeps the customer satisfied.

As you shop, scan each item’s barcode using the app to confirm you have the right product. This step eliminates errors and maintains order accuracy. Pay attention to specific customer instructions, like preferences for ripe or green bananas.

Once you’ve collected all the items, proceed to checkout. Use the Instacart card provided to pay for the groceries. Double-check the receipt to ensure everything matches the order list. After confirming, bag the items properly to prepare them for delivery.

Delivering Groceries

Once you’ve finished shopping, it’s time to pick up the orders and get them to your customers.

You’ll need to navigate delivery routes efficiently to ensure timely deliveries.

Make sure to double-check the items and address before heading out to avoid any mix-ups.

Picking Up Orders

When you’re ready to pick up an order, head to the designated store and use the Instacart app to check in. You’ll receive order notifications that guide you to specific store locations.

Here’s a simple guide to help you through the process:

  1. Check-In: Upon arrival at the store, open the Instacart app and check in. This notifies the system you’re ready to pick up the groceries.
  2. Locate Orders: The app will direct you to the exact store location where the order is waiting. Follow the instructions carefully to find the designated pick-up area.
  3. Verify the Order: Before leaving the store, double-check the items against the list in your app. Make sure everything matches to avoid any issues during delivery.
  4. Load the Car: Once verified, load the groceries into your car, ensuring they’re securely placed to prevent damage during transit.

Using the Instacart app streamlines the process, making it easy to navigate store locations and pick up orders efficiently.

Navigating Delivery Routes

With the groceries securely loaded, it’s time to navigate the delivery route using the Instacart app’s built-in GPS for efficient and timely deliveries. The app is designed to help you with mapping routes that are both quick and convenient, taking a lot of the guesswork out of your job.

As soon as you start driving, the GPS provides turn-by-turn directions, ensuring you stay on track.

One of the best features of the Instacart app is its real-time traffic updates. By constantly monitoring road conditions, the app can help you in avoiding traffic, which means less time on the road and more time earning. If a sudden traffic jam appears, the app will automatically reroute you, providing an alternative path to ensure that you reach your destination as swiftly as possible.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your local area. While the app does a great job, knowing shortcuts and frequently congested areas can be incredibly beneficial.

Earnings Potential

As an Instacart driver, you have the flexibility to control your earnings by choosing when and where you work. The payment structure is designed to give you a clear understanding of how you earn. Your earnings are based on a combination of factors, including the size of the order, the distance you need to travel, and the time it takes to complete the delivery.

Instacart also offers incentive programs to help boost your earnings. I also recommend you read about our previous article answering weather Instacart worth it or not to see if it’s the best side hustle for you. These programs can include bonuses for completing a certain number of deliveries in a set time frame or for working during peak hours.

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you maximize your earnings:

  1. Base Pay: This is the standard amount you get for each order, calculated based on the effort required.
  2. Tips: Customers can add tips, which go directly to you and can significantly increase your earnings.
  3. Peak Boosts: Extra pay during busy times, encouraging you to work when demand is high.
  4. Promotions: Special incentives and bonuses for completing a set number of deliveries or working in targeted areas.

Flexibility and Schedule

You can tailor your work schedule to fit your personal life, providing unmatched flexibility as an Instacart driver. Whether you’re a student, a parent, or someone looking to supplement your income, you can choose when and how much you want to work. This flexibility allows you to maintain a healthy work life balance, accommodating your other responsibilities and interests.

One of the key benefits is that you have control over your shift preferences. You can opt to work during peak hours for higher earnings or choose quieter times if that suits you better. You’re not tied down to a traditional 9-to-5 schedule, which means you can easily work around family commitments, social activities, or other jobs.

Instacart also allows you to see available batches in real-time, giving you the freedom to accept or decline orders based on your preferences. This means you can plan your day effectively, maximizing both your productivity and earning potential.

Tips for Success

To excel as an Instacart driver, prioritize understanding your local market and customer preferences. Knowing which stores are popular and what items are frequently ordered can save you time and improve your efficiency. Also, mastering customer interaction can boost your ratings and tips, making your job more rewarding.

Here are some tips for success:

  1. Optimize Your Routes: Plan your shopping trips to minimize travel time and maximize efficiency. Use GPS and familiarize yourself with store layouts to locate items quickly.
  2. Effective Time Management: Balance speed with accuracy. Faster deliveries are great, but not at the expense of quality. Allocate enough time for shopping, driving, and potential delays.
  3. Communicate Clearly: Keep your customers updated, especially if items are out of stock or if there’s a delay. Good communication can turn a potential complaint into a positive experience.
  4. Pay Attention to Details: Double-check orders to ensure accuracy. Small touches, like selecting fresh produce or notifying customers of substitutions, can make a big difference.


Driving for Instacart gives you the ultimate freedom to earn money on your terms. You’ve learned the ropes from signing up to delivering groceries and maximizing your earnings.

With a flexible schedule, you can fit this gig into your life seamlessly. Remember, every successful delivery can feel like a small victory.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be the superhero of grocery delivery in no time! Now, let’s get those groceries to their grateful owners!

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