7 Ways to Make Money With Your Car
It’s your getaway vehicle, your Sunday cruisin’ companion, your passion project, your baby.
But could your car also be a money maker?
Thanks in large part to the advent of the gig economy, the answer is a resounding yes — and ridesharing isn’t the only option. With peer-to-peer apps for everything from delivery services to advertising, there are plenty of ways to make money online these days. And many of them involve your four-wheeled friend!
Ready to drive your way to a bigger bank account? Here are a few of our favorite ways to earn money with your car.
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Doubtless, these are the options you’re already most familiar with. But you might not realize how much earning potential they really offer.
Take, for instance, professional comedian Stefan Davis, who was able to double his income by driving for Uber during his Monday-through-Wednesday downtime.
As far as which option has better earning potential, the jury’s out. According to a recent study by loan company Earnest, Lyft drivers earned slightly more… but folks who drove for both companies made more off their hours on Uber.
Your best bet is to check out the requirements for each company (here are Uber’s; here are Lyft’s) and see which suits you and your vehicle better. And don’t forget to look into lesser-known, specialized ridesharing options, too, like HopSkipDrive or Juno.
2. Become a pizza guy (or gal)
If your jalopy doesn’t quite measure up to rideshare standards, you can still make bank off sharing your extra cargo space — albeit with delicious treats instead of human passengers.
Pizza chains like Papa John’s and Domino’s will always need delivery people, and depending on your location and schedule, you might even qualify for benefits.
Happier delivering mom-and-pop goodies? Try a food delivery conglomerate app, like Grubhub, UberEats or DoorDash. Ingredients count, too: You can take your grocery shopping game to the next level — the ? level — with Instacart or Shipt.
3. Deliver happiness With Amazon Flex
Into the idea of delivery, but don’t want the inside of your car to smell like pizza or curry forever?
According to its website, you can make $18-$25 per hour by driving for Amazon Flex, the fleet of freelance package deliverers who help fulfill all those “Hey, Alexa” orders.
You can set your own hours, either scheduling deliveries ahead of time or picking up an available time block on a whim. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you’re making someone’s day — who doesn’t love receiving a package?
Another freelance delivery option: TaskRabbit, which lists courier and delivery services as one of their featured tasks. Depending on your skills, you could also pick up some spare change through the site as a handyman, furniture assembler or personal assistant.
4. Become a mobile billboard
If you’re willing to let advertisers get their creative marketing team’s hands on your baby, you could make bank just for the everyday driving you’re already doing. It’s called ad wrapping, and chances are you’ve seen a few of these decal-decked vehicles on the highway.
Since you’ve gotta make your commute (or hit the grocery store, or whatever) on a regular basis anyway, we’re basically talking about passive income. And since the decals are removable and paint-job safe, you’ve got nothing to lose.
5. Get paid on moving day
If you have the kind of vehicle that qualifies for this earning opportunity, chances are you already know. It’s well-known that truck- and van-owners have the dubious distinction of being everyone’s best friend on moving day.
Companies like GoShare and BuddyTruk can get you paid for your truck’s hard work — to the tune of up to $70 per hour, according to GoShare’s FAQs. And better yet, you won’t be roped into doing any of the heavy lifting. You’re just the driver!
6. Claim your car’s 15 minutes of fame
True story: This guy got paid $1,000 just to park his car on a movie set. Granted, it’s a Ferrari… but talk about easy cash, right?
Although this option depends a lot on your vehicle, your location and plain old luck, it’s worth looking into. Not only is it crazy easy, but it would also be really cool to have your car featured on film, right?
Movie Car Times is a good place to start if you’re based in the New York/New Jersey area, and MovieVehicles.com claims to offer work in all 50 states and some cities in Canada. If you’ve got a particularly tricked out ride, you could also take it upon yourself to advertise it to local photographers and filmmakers. It could be as simple as a well-made Craigslist ad!
7. Rent it out
If you’re the trusting sort, you can take ridesharing a step further by actually listing your car for rent on a site like Turo or Getaround. Both companies estimate yearly earnings at about $6,000, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at.
It does, however, involve handing the keys over to a stranger. Rest assured, reliable peer-to-peer rental companies like the ones listed above do include insurance coverage (and sometimes even roadside assistance for your renters), but it can still be tough to watch you car drive off without you.
Looking for more useful (and achievable) tips on bulking up your bank account? Check out this stress-free, step-by-step guide to saving money. If you combine those savings tips with the easy earning options in this list, you’ll soon find yourself flush with cash… which, in all likelihood, you’ll turn around and put right back into your vehicle.
Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a writer based in St. Augustine, Florida. She’s written for Yahoo, SELF, Ms. Magazine, the Establishment, Roads & Kingdoms and other outlets.