How Far Does Instacart Deliver: Average Delivery Radius & Factors Affecting It

Instacart has been all about convenience when it comes to grocery shopping for a very long time. Nevertheless, one of the factors that sometimes creates slight inconveniences is distance. So, how far does Instacart deliver?

Instacart delivers packages to customers within a 10 to 15-mile radius. This delivery radius determines the number of stores you can shop from, depending on your location. 

This guide covers how far Instacart drivers travel to deliver groceries and the factors influencing or motivating Instacart to expand its coverage. But first, let’s have a quick run-through of how delivery works. 

How Does Instacart Delivery Work?


Shopping on Instacart is very straightforward. Customers only need to log into their account via the app or website to select the items they want, add them to the cart, and check out. 

After checking out, a personal shopper is assigned to prepare your order for delivery or pick up. Delivery fee begins at $3.99 for same-day delivery above $35. 

The fees for orders below $35 and service fees vary. Customers will see these fees before agreeing to check out. Only Instacart Plus members enjoy free delivery throughout the year. 

How Far Does Instacart Deliver? 

10 miles. On average, Instacart maintains a 10 to 15-mile delivery radius for both customers and delivery drivers. As a customer, if what you want to buy is unavailable at stores within this radius (which is rare), you might have to improvise or try other apps. 

On the other hand, drivers should expect most batches to be within 5 to 12 miles round trip. They are also allowed to choose from as many batches as possible. 

Only drivers can know the actual distance they covered to deliver a package. This is because Instacart’s algorithm will always show them the calculated distance from the store to the dropoff zone, like other rideshare apps. 

However, how they get to customers is strictly their business. This means they can take an alternative route and arrive faster or a bit late (perhaps in an attempt to beat gridlock). 

Whichever one it is, the distance traveled recorded will be based on Instacart’s suggested route. Drivers can also check completed batches to calculate how many miles they covered within a specific period (based on Instacart’s recommendation). 

Factors That Affect How Far Instacart Delivers 

Aside from delivery radius, how far Instacart delivers depends on: 

1. Your location 

Most stores and supermarkets on Instacart primarily service urban or suburban areas. These locations feature a high density of grocery stores and customers. 

As a result, there is a constant demand for delivery, and drivers are willing to cover up to 15 miles or even more, depending on the traffic. On the other hand, remote or rural areas feature limited stores and drivers. 

Hence, grocery stores prioritize short trips rather than longer ones or those outside Instacart’s service area. This is necessary to ensure profitability and sustainability. 

2. Expanding reach

Instacart is still expanding its network of grocery shops to ensure online grocery shopping becomes as convenient as possible. So, do not give up if there are no eligible grocery stores for your location or zip code on Instacart. 

Things may take a positive turn in a matter of weeks or months. All you need to do is to check and update your Instacart app regularly. 

3. Customer demand 

Aside from residing in an urban or metropolitan area, customers can also influence partnerships with local supermarkets. 

Once Instacart identifies a pattern of recurrent requests or demand for their service from a region, they tend to prioritize such a region. Delivery drivers will become available after the partnership. 

How Long Does It Take Instacart to Deliver?

Same-day delivery has a 5-hour window. This type of delivery may be prepared, paid for by a full-service shopper, and delivered to the customer. 

Ensure you place your order very early if you want it delivered the same day. Other deliveries will likely occur the next day or when the customer needs the package. 

How Much Does Instacart Pay Delivery Drivers? 

Instacart has in-store shoppers and independent contractors. The role of an in-store shopper is to select and prepare your orders and hand them over to an Instacart independent contractor (or delivery driver).

Delivery drivers earn between $8 to $24 per hour, depending on the service they provide. The $24 range is for independent contractors responsible for shopping and delivering your groceries. 


How does Instacart deliver so fast?

Because it has a fulfillment algorithm configured to complete deliveries in less than an hour. This system decides the best route to a grocery store and for delivery. 

Does Instacart accept tips? 

Instacart regards tips as a gesture of appreciation and recognition of excellent service. These tips also go directly to the delivery driver or independent contractor. 

Can you make $1000 a week with Instacart?

Full-service shoppers can make up to $1000 or more per week on Instacart. One way to achieve this is to maximize peak hours. 

How fast does Instacart pay delivery drivers? 

Weekly via direct deposit to the bank associated with your account. However, full-service shoppers or independent contractors can choose the Instant Cashout, provided they have earned up to $5.

Does Instacart take cash on delivery?

Instacart does not accept cash on delivery. Other grocery delivery services that do not accept cash on delivery are Shipt, Bite Squad, and Amazon Fresh. 


Instacart remains a game-changer in the online grocery shopping industry. However, to retain its excellent service and renowned efficiency, the delivery service sticks to a 10 to 15-mile delivery radius. 

This does not mean Instacart does not deliver to distant locations. The only issue is that such services usually attract a long-distance delivery and service fee.

If you are comfortable with the fees, check out your order, and Instacart will deliver your package promptly. Otherwise, go for a cheaper alternative. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Please see how Instacart shoppers pay for groceries

Thanks for reading.