What You Need to Know about How Target Drive Up Works


About a month ago, I saw something that filled me with delight at my local Target. It was a sign for Drive Up. I’ve been a fan of grocery pick up at other retailers because of the convenience. So I went to Target last week and checked out how Target Drive Up works.

I couldn’t wait to share with you about this service. For busy parents, Target Drive Up can be a real game changer. Instead of running into Target and spending an hour of your weekend shopping, you can place an order and have it brought to your car.

Related: A Simple Strategy for Better Weekends – free printable

Also, you’ve done Car Seat Math before, right? How many times will you have to buckle and unbuckle and fight your toddler into the car seat? Is the errand really worth it? Drive Up changes that!

And all those times you need a last minute gift for a birthday party? You could just choose something through Drive Up!

I ended up trying out Drive Up twice last week. Here is everything you need to know about how Target Drive Up works.

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How Does Target Drive Up Work?

Target Drive Up is super simple: you place an order, you let Target know you’re on your way, and a Target team member brings your order out to your car.

First, you place an order on the Target app. Simply search for your items and as you add them to your cart, you select Drive Up.

Next, Target will send you a notification and an email that your order is ready. You can expect it to be ready in 1-2 hours.

After that, you’ll let Target know that you are on your way by tapping the button in your app.

You also have the option to select the type and color of your vehicle so they can look for you.


Once you arrive at Target, you park in the Drive Up spots and let the team members know you’ve arrived by tapping the app.

Then, a Team Member will come out to your car and scan your barcode on the app. The team member loads the bags into your car and you’re on your way to do other things with your day!

Can I Place a Drive Up Order Online?

To use Drive Up, you need the Target app. You cannot place a Drive Up order on Target.com on your laptop or desktop computer. You need a smartphone in order to use Target Drive Up.

Can I Shop for Anything with Target Drive Up?

There are certain exclusions for Drive Up. For example, at my store, perishable items are not available for pick up nor is alcohol.

Here’s the easiest way to tell: Search in the app. If you don’t see “Add to Cart,” that means it’s not available for Drive Up.


What if something is out-of-stock?

Make sure to check your order to see if anything is out-of-stock when you get the notification that your order is ready. I ordered underwear for my toddler and it was out-of-stock. Target offered two-day shipping to get it to me and that worked for my family.

If it was something different, like the allergy medication we absolutely needed for my daughter, I would have placed an additional order to pick up at the same time with an appropriate substitute (different size or the name brand of the medication).

Can I Get Discounts on Target Drive Up?

Yes! You can use your Cartwheel offers in the Target app. Simply look for Cartwheel offers on the products you plan to purchase and make sure to check them so they are applied to your order.

Another easy way to save is to use the Target REDCard. With REDCard you’ll get an extra 5% off and it applies to your Drive Up orders!

I absolutely love my REDCard. There is no annual fee, and there are often extra perks and coupons in addition to the everyday 5% off. I also enjoy the free shipping with the REDCard.

Target REDCard is also available in Debit card if you prefer that.

How Much Does Target Drive Up Cost?

Staying in the car is the best part of Drive Up. The second best part about Drive Up?

It’s FREE! Yes, FREE! And there is no minimum purchase requirement.

I use grocery Pick Up at Fred Meyer and it costs $4.95 each time. That’s worth it for a whole week’s worth of grocery shopping, but for just a few items, it’s too expensive.

My second trip to Drive Up was for medication for my child. It saved me from having to lug 40 lbs of sick and whiny toddler while pregnant into the store since the service is free.

Do You Tip for Target Drive Up?

There is no information on Target website’s FAQs about Target Drive Up about whether or not tipping is allowed. However, I checked on social media and it seems like Target’s policy is for their team members to refuse tips.

So I say it’s up to you: if you feel better offering a tip, go for it. But it’s not required.

I received a survey afterwards and gave my Target team member the highest rating possible. I know from talking to employees in the past that it makes a difference on their performance evaluations.

Recapping How Target Drive Up Works

For all the busy parents, here the TL, DR version:

  • You need the Target app.
  • In the app, choose items that say they are eligible for Drive Up in the app.
  • Place an order for Target Drive Up.
  • Wait for the notification that your order is ready.
  • Head to Target and let the team members know you’re on your way with the app.
  • Use Target Cartwheel and Target REDCard to save on your order.
  • Enjoy spending your weekends doing things besides errands!

Let me know in the comments your thoughts about Target Drive Up!

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