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UPS Personal Vehicle Driver Requirements, Income & More

  • Deliver packages with your vehicle on a flexible, self-chosen schedule.
  • Peak hiring seasons include holidays, with highest demand from November to January.
  • Earn around $21-$26 per hour, plus mileage reimbursement.
  • Must be 21+, pass background check, and have a reliable vehicle.

Working as a UPS personal vehicle driver is one of the top-rated package delivery gigs.

It offers great flexibility as you deliver with your vehicle according to a set schedule/route of your choosing. This gig role helps the company meet the increasing delivery demand as the popularity of online shopping keeps soaring.

If you’re considering applying to UPS’s Personal Vehicle Driver (PVD) program, chances are you need to learn more about this gig.

Today’s in-depth guide covers everything you need to know, from responsibilities and compensation to hours and requirements.

What is a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver?

UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers (PVDs) — sometimes known as seasonal personal vehicle package drivers — are temporary employees who support the company’s ground services during times of high demand.

They are temporary UPS employees that deliver packages in smaller quantities than regular delivery drivers.

A UPS personal vehicle driver is the equivalent of a self-employed gig delivery job within UPS’s delivery operations. You drive a personally owned car –not a truck– and make deliveries based on the hours and routes you prefer.

UPS calls this role a seasonal support driver. It’s available year-round, but peak seasons, such as Christmas, witness the highest hiring rates because of the massive delivery demand.

A UPS PVD is a temporary employee who helps take some of the load off of regular UPS drivers. Unlike other delivery gigs, you’re not an independent contractor or freelancer.

While PVDs work during certain periods with more flexibility, they must complete their delivery route once they set it. You can’t end your shift until you make the last delivery of the day.

A UPS PVD chooses their schedule/route, but they must commit to working all of it. This is another difference from typical side hustles.

Your key responsibilities as a UPS PVS include:

  • Picking up due packages from UPS warehouses in personal vehicles
  • Loading the packages into the vehicle
  • Driving the assigned routes
  • Delivering the parcels to the correct addresses
  • Unloading the packages and bringing them to the customer’s doorstep
  • Sticking to the set schedule
  • Dealing with the computerized delivery identification and verification system

When Can I Find UPS Personal Vehicle Driver Gigs?

Because the PVD gig is a seasonal driver job, it’s not available year-round. By far, it is most available during the holiday season, when thousands of consumers are shipping tons of packages nationwide.

Some UPS locations will start posting jobs as early as late October, or at least by mid-November, so make sure to keep an eye out to stand out as an early applicant.

In areas of higher demand, the company may even have open availability throughout the full season, which usually lasts from late November to early January.

This holiday season demand for UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers could make the job a great option for college students and teachers, depending on your school’s winter break schedule.

Rideshare drivers who already make a living on the road can even take a break from their primary gigs to earn great guaranteed pay during the season.

Because the PVD gig is a seasonal driver job, it’s not available year-round. By far, it is most available during the holiday season, when thousands of consumers are shipping tons of packages nationwide.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I have done quite a bit of research into working as a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver (PVD). I found that people have offered varying expereinces, depending on factors like location and personal work preferences.

In markets like Tucson and Los Angeles, PVDs can make around $21-$23+ per hour, plus mileage. The job involves flexible hours, with some drivers working long days to maximize earnings, especially around the holiday season.

However, it’s not without its challenges.

The UPS app can be buggy, and the physical condition of packages might require protecting your vehicle’s interior. Also, the experience can differ based on whether you’re picking up packages from a UPS facility or meeting a UPS truck for transfers.

From my perspective, the UPS PVD role is a good opportunity for those looking for flexible, seasonal work, especially if you’re comfortable with long hours and self-management. It fits well for those who prefer working independently and can adapt to the varying daily demands of delivery work.

Keep in mind, though, the income can fluctuate based on factors like hours worked and the specific terms of the role in your area.

Requirements to Become a UPS Personal Vehicle Driver

Here are the driver and vehicle requirements to join UPS’s seasonal support drivers team:

Driver Qualifications

You need to meet the following criteria to apply for a personal vehicle driver position with UPS:

  • You must be older than 21 years
  • You must have a valid driver’s license
  • You should be able to lift heavy packages (up to 70 pounds)
  • You must pass a background check (no serious convictions or felonies)
  • You must have a clean driving record
    • No moving violations within at least one year before applying
    • No at-fault accidents within at least three years before applying

Besides the conditions above, you must have a smartphone with access to a reliable data plan.

You don’t need a special driver’s license to work as a UPS seasonal support driver. It’s one of the delivery gigs that don’t require a CDL.

You also don’t need to worry about previous experience. While it’ll help you faster adapt to being a PVD delivery person, UPS welcomes inexperienced drivers to apply for this position.

If they accept your application, you should know that there’s a uniform you’re expected to wear while on the job.

The company will give you a UPS vest or uniform, but you need to provide your own work shoes. UPS requires its PVDs to wear closed-toe boots or shoes with non-slip soles and sturdy uppers.

Vehicle Requirements

As for your vehicle, the requirements are as follows:

  • You must present proof of registration
  • You must present proof of auto insurance that complies with the financial limit in your state
  • The vehicle must be in reliable condition and weigh less than 10,000 pounds
  • The car must have a covered bed or closed-top
  • The vehicle must be free of damage marks
  • The car must be free of bumper stickers or logos of any other company
  • The vehicle must be free of oversized rims and lowrider suspension

Application Process for UPS PVD

If you check all the boxes we discussed above you can be confident about applying to UPS’s PVD program. Let’s talk about what you can expect from the application process.

The first step to becoming a UPS driver is to answer the questions in the application. They’re simple inquiries regarding personal information (age, social security number, etc.) and professional information (driver’s license, auto insurance, etc.).

You’ll then view an orientation sort of video to help you understand the nature of the job. After that, the application prompts you to upload real-life photos of your car.

This kicks off a review process, and once it’s complete, you should take care of the last onboarding steps. These include sending your paperwork and disclosing payment information.

You’ll also need to submit your employment eligibility and identity proofs before your first day. There’s an option to finalize all those steps online.

The application process in general isn’t too complex and doesn’t take more than a few days in most cases.

Is There a Drug Test?

UPS performs background checks for potential drivers covering their driving record and criminal history.

That said, UPS doesn’t conduct official drug tests during the application and hiring process. If you get into an accident while on the job, however, you may have to do a drug test.

How much Do UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers Make?

Compared to other gig-based delivery and driving jobs, UPS has an advantage when it comes to compensation and benefits.

According to their website, seasonal support drivers’ wages start at $21 per hour.

ZipRecruiter demonstrates that most UPS personal delivery drivers earn between $19 and $26 per hour. The national average is $24 per hour.

Glassdoor shows an even higher estimation of the compensation, with an hourly rate ranging between $23 and $31. It calculates the national average at $26 per hour.

This confirms how the base pay alone is higher than average delivery side hustles, which is around $18 per hour.

Besides the hourly rate, UPS covers your gas expenses. The company compensates PVDs for mileage according to the current standard IRS mileage rate.

If you drive in certain locations, you may also be eligible for receiving a phone stipend.

We should again remind you that a seasonal support driver is an employee of UPS, not a freelancer or independent contractor. Expenses and taxes related to self-employment don’t apply here.

However, vehicle maintenance costs are your responsibility.

When Do PVDs Get Paid?

All UPS employees receive compensation weekly, including seasonal support drivers. Payment goes out on Thursdays, reaching your account within 1 to 4 business days.

Working Hours and Scheduling

Your work schedule is going to be busy and fast-paced whether you work as a PVD or a full-time UPS driver.

You’ll work within the regular delivery hours of UPS, which start from 9 am to 8 pm. You do have the option to start your shift that early or later in the afternoon.

In any way, this means you’ll need to be up and about an hour before your shift. But you won’t have to work the whole 11 hours.

Seasonal support drivers work around 6 to 8 hours on average. Typical work days are Monday to Friday, but peak season may have you working longer hours and on weekends as well.

Keep in mind that your shift must continue until you make all the deliveries you signed up for.

The duration comes down to how fast you work; you could be done before your shift officially ends or work overtime to keep up.

Lunch breaks or bathroom stops while on the job aren’t included in the shift. You have to plan your time with efficiency in mind to complete your deliveries without spending too much time off route.

Pros and Cons of Being a UPS PVD

PVDs rated their job at UPS 4.1 stars on Glassdoor and they rated it 3.7 stars on Indeed.

While the general sentiment about working as a seasonal support driver is positive, there are a few drawbacks.

We’ll discuss both the pros and cons below to help you form a more accurate understanding of this gig.

Pros of Being a UPS PVD

The pay is higher than the industry average.

Weekly compensation.

You receive mileage reimbursement.

Helpful and friendly coworkers.

Respectful leadership and supervision.

You can enjoy independence as no one will micromanage you.

You get to meet plenty of new people as customers.

Cons of Being a UPS PVD

Jobs can be difficult to find outside of the holiday season. In this case, consider UPS driver helper as an alternative gig.

Some drivers reported a lack of sufficient time before letting them know they were no longer needed.

More often than not, the workload is heavy and overtime is inevitable. You could do shifts up to 14 hours long.

Your vehicle sustains a lot of wear and tear due to long hours of driving and loading heavy packages.

You may end up doing some heavy lifting.

Preparing Your Vehicle for UPS Delivery

Before you can start working as a PVD for UPS, you need to prepare your vehicle for the job.

First, make sure it’s well-maintained to give you reliable performance.

Remember, you can’t end your shift before making all your deliveries. The last thing you’d want is for your car to break down in the middle of a workday.

Remove any bumper stickers or logos related to other businesses or organizations. Also, remove lowrider suspension and oversized rims if present.

If there are any cosmetic faults, you need to resolve them before applying.

Once accepted, you should prepare your car for long shifts that could last up to 11-14 hours. Stock water, food, and beverages as your shift hours don’t account for lunch breaks.

Don’t forget to get rain gear, a car flashlight, and a first-aid kit in case of emergencies.

Also, make it a habit to always check your gas level and do regular top-ups. Refueling stops can double as bathroom breaks.

Tips for Success as a UPS PVD

Here are some tips and pointers to help you make the most out of your UPS PVD job:

  • Communicate well with your supervisor and coordinate. This improves the chances of a smooth work experience.
  • Use stickers to sort your packages. It helps to keep a sharpie/marker and a sticker pad in your pocket.
  • Use a car organizer to separate different-sized parcels and make faster deliveries instead of wasting time going through dozens of packages.
  • Use a dedicated GPS device to avoid draining your phone.
  • Pack non-perishable food and beverage items to minimize time spent on lunch breaks.
  • Scan the package upon delivery instead of manually inputting packages into the system.
  • Review your addresses often to see if you can group multiple addresses in one stop. This keeps you from unnecessarily restarting your car.
  • Make sure to call first when a delivery is signature required.
  • Invest in a pull cart to avoid lifting and carrying heavy or bulky packages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a couple of common questions you may be wondering about the UPS personal vehicle driver gig:

What is the Highest Paid UPS Driver Position?

Package delivery drivers and tractor-trailer drivers are the highest-paid UPS driver positions. As full-time workers, their average hourly rate is $49 with an annual salary of up to $172,000. This follows a 2023 agreement between UPS and Teamsters Union.

Did UPS Drivers Recently Get a Raise?

Yes, UPS drivers had a raise in their minimum wage per hour following an agreement between the shipping giant and Teamsters Union. The new minimum hourly rate is $21 for part-timers, whereas $49 is the hourly average for full-timers.

Can UPS Drivers Wear Jeans?

No. UPS drivers must follow a strict dress code that does not allow the driver to wear jeans. UPS will provide a uniform for you, and you can choose to either wear shorts or long pants.

Can You Have a Beard and Work at UPS?

The UPS dress code used to prohibit facial hair except for a neatly trimmed mustache.

They recently became more inclusive. UPS relaxed this rule to allow employees to grow a beard in November 2020.

Can I get hired full-time after my UPS Personal Vehicle Driver gig ends?

This will depend on the demand at the UPS location you’re hired at.

If you perform well and the location needs extra hands, there’s a decent chance that you can at least land a permanent part-time job. According to UPS, over a third of seasonal employees end up with permanent roles following the end of their gigs.

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