Let’s face it, an automobile is a depreciating asset. As it ages, it loses value rapidly and drastically. There is very little chance of an automobile used for personal transportation will appreciate in value. However, if used correctly, your vehicle can actually provide you with a return. Today, we’ll explain how you can use your car to make money. All you need is a decently performing vehicle, free time and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Method 1: Wrap Your Car in Advertisements
Car wrap advertising is a great passive income source for those who have longer commutes or live or drive in heavily populated areas. You simply get paid to drive with ads on your car.
Brands partner with car wrap companies to create advertisements in which to wrap your car. Simply sign up and wait for a brand to contact you. If you’re in a region in which a brand wants to target, ads are placed on your car. These ads can cover fully or partially cover your car; it’s your choice. You then get paid a set amount each month, depending on where you live, how far and for how long you drive, the time of day that you drive and how much of your car is covered. Typically, you’ll be required to drive a minimum number of miles in a certain geographical area.
Note that some car wrap companies are less than reputable. A reputable company —
- Won’t reach out to you unsolicited
- Won’t require an up-front payment
- Won’t screen your driving habits
A legitimate company that you may like to look into is Wrapify. It’s available nationwide and doesn’t require any fees to sign up. Be aware that if you don’t live in an area with a dense population, you may have to wait a while for a brand campaign.
Method 2: Deliver Meals or Groceries
Not everyone has time to manoeuvre through drive-thrus, wait in long lines or deal with bad service just to get food. Adding a middleman to the process solves these issues—and that’s where you might come in!
Simply sign up to deliver food via the app of a company that operates in your area. Once you’re set, claim orders or time slots to make deliveries. Then go to the restaurant, pick up the order and drop it off at the order placer’s address.
You can make good tips doing this job, especially during lunch and dinner rushes. You could also deliver groceries—particularly if you serve a place where the elderly live.
Companies that offer these services include DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Instacart. If you are strategic, you can deliver for all four at once by accepting orders that are roughly on the same route. Now, that’s a great way to maximize your earnings.
Method 3: Ridesharing Services
We all need to get around, and buses are slow, not always reliable, and often crowded. People without cars want to get to places faster and in greater comfort. Lyft and Uber are two well-known services that cater for such people. A client goes on the app, selects their origin and destination and then waits for the driver to arrive.
As a driver, you sign up on the same app and then press the button indicating that you’re available. After waiting a few moments until someone needs a ride, you pick them up and drop them off at their desired destination.
The amount you make per ride depends on the length of the drive. The longer the journey, the larger the payment (not including tips).
To offer the best experience to riders, keep your car clean, smelling nice and at a comfortable temperature. The app lets riders rate their drive experience, so you’ll want the best rating possible to continue getting requests for rides.
Method 4: Rent Your Car Out
Is your car just sitting in your driveway unused? Instead of letting it collect dust, bring in some money by letting others use it.
Of course, there are car rental companies out there, but they’re often located near airports and have strict rental terms. Peer-to-peer car renting can avoid these difficulties and also be cheaper than renting from a traditional car rental company.
This option involves more work for you, though. Before you rent out your car each time, you must ensure that it’s super clean and functioning well. Thankfully, peer-to-peer rental services can include insurance for both the renter and the car owner. The coverage varies, but you should get damage protected up to at least the value of the car.
Some Advice and Recommendations
All of these options are great ways to earn some extra cash, but they all have their drawbacks. For starters, your car insurance premiums will noticeably increase because your car is no longer being used by the owner; rather, it is being used for commercial purposes.
A universal drawback is the need to, at least, break even. The money you have to put out for gas, maintenance and repairs will escalate with the increased use of your car. This increased use will also mean that you can’t budget for your car’s expenses based on your current driving habits, as your expenses will be driven up by more frequent fill-ups as well as oil changes, tire changes and other routine maintenance.
Another possible drawback is the age of your car. Some of the above services only allow your car to be, but so old to drive. If you have a newer car, you shouldn’t have any problems, but if you have an older car, your options to earn money may be limited. Check out each companies’ terms of service for information on age requirements.
Tips for Better Earnings
The key to providing great car services is to keep your vehicle clean at all times. Nobody wants to receive meals from, ride in or borrow a dirty car.
For food delivery or taxi services, speed matters. If you deliver the food or arrive at the rider’s destination on or ahead of time, you’ll likely get positive remarks; however, slow drivers often get lower ratings.
Instead of using only one of the above-mentioned money-making methods, use a combination. If you plan to deliver food or provide a taxi service, get your car wrapped, too. That way, you can meet the mileage requirements of the car wrap company.
Keep note of the money you spend on expenses, as you can write them off on your taxes. With all these money-earning strategies, you are your own boss, which means that you pay taxes on your earnings. With the write-offs, you pay less.
Finally, you should be flexible with your time. Peak times for food delivery and taxi services are breakfast time, the lunch rush and right after work. If you already have a full-time job, it can be tough to work these times into your schedule. But if you’re strategic, you can do all of these things while not travelling too far off your regular commute.
If any—or all—of these money-making methods interests you, do your research. Find out which ones are available in your area, get your car into its best shape, and be prepared to provide excellent customer service—you’ll begin to see your earnings increase in no time!