10 Ways to Make Money With Your Car
We just got new tires for our car, along with a tune-up, new wiper blades, and a new gas cap — all in the same week. Ouch! Cars are expensive. A study by AAA found that a medium-sized sedan will cost you about $8,876 per year to own and operate (based on driving 15,000 miles). Bigger, higher-priced vehicles cost even more.
Or you could do what me and others have done; turn that expensive machine into a revenue generator. Here are ten ways to make money with your car.
1. Sell Rides to Work
I once had a job 26 miles from home, and several co-workers lived along my route. I charged them a couple dollars each to pick them up. I rarely had more than three riders, but over time the money added up. It helps if you have a job where at least a few coworkers don’t have cars. Otherwise, price your rides so customers still save money versus driving their own cars.
2. Become a Taxi Driver
One of the most common ways to make money with a vehicle is to sign up with a ride-sharing outfit like Uber or Lyft, and effectively become a part-time taxi driver. You can work when you like, and these companies provide additional liability insurance (you still need to have your car insured). Turning your car into a taxi opens up other money-making opportunities as well. One Uber driver makes $252,000 per year selling jewelry to passengers.
3. Sell Your Car
If you buy a used car cheaply enough you can use it for a while and then sell it for a profit. I’ve done this several times over the years. I never made more than about $600 profit, but I drove the cars for as much as a year before cashing in. Make low offers on cars for sale by the owner or head to a local auto auction (I’ve done both). Buy your next vehicle before selling your current one, so you aren’t stuck without a car.
4. Sell Ads on Your Car
The concept is simple; get paid to wrap your car in ads. But car wrap scams are common, and many legitimate companies doing this have failed. Fortunately a list of “get paid to drive” companies shows a few that are still around. To avoid the scams, never pay to sign up and never send any money back after cashing a check sent to you.
If you drive for Uber or another ride-share company you might have a better chance getting paid for ads by one of the taxi advertising companies. Blue Line Media, for example, places ads on taxis in 100 cities across the US.
5. Deliver Pizza
In my twenties I made good tips working as a pizza delivery driver, and this can be a decent weekend job if you need extra cash. Find a company that pays a decent amount for your car expenses. Some pay by the mile, and one place I worked paid 7 percent of sales, which worked out to more than the actual cost of operating my vehicle (yes, I calculated it all). There are more than 17,000 pizza delivery jobs posted on Indeed.com at the moment.
6. Start a Pet Taxi Service
If you don’t mind animals riding along, you can turn your car into a pet taxi. Pet owners need to get their dogs and cats to various destinations. How much can you make? It depends on where you live, but Pet Taxi New York charges from $95 to $135 for trips to the airport, and from $45 to $190 for trips to the vet.
7. Start an Amish Taxi Service
If you live in an area where there are Amish and Mennonite communities, you can make money helping out people who don’t drive (most Amish and some Mennonites). Start by reading my previous post on starting an Amish taxi business.
8. Deliver Newspapers
This is another decent job for extra income. I used to deliver just the Sunday edition of a local paper, and only to coin-operated boxes and bulk-drop-off locations. I was paid $65, started late Saturday night and was done after three or four hours.
You’ll usually be hired as an independent contractor, with no benefits, and you need a car that can comfortably carry 1,000 pounds or more (I had a van). There are 1,247 newspaper delivery jobs on Indeed.com at the moment.
9. Run Errands
When people don’t have the time or the vehicle for doing some things, they turn to you, at least if you’ve signed up with websites like TaskRabbit.com. You can choose only the tasks that mostly involve driving if that’s what you want.
10. Rent Your Car
Although I once rented my car to a friend I never thought it could be a practical way to make money on a regular basis. But now, with companies like RelayRides.com and GetAround.com you can put your car to work for you anytime. Both of those companies provide insurance (and roadside assistance); RelayRides gives you $1 million in liability coverage. You decide when to make your car available.
With FlightCar.com you park in their lot at an airport when you travel, and they’ll pay you if they rent it out. At the very least you’ll get free parking. With other services you just let them know where renters can pick up your car and when it’s available. If you have a two-car household and need extra cash you can rent out one of your cars.
Your Thoughts: Have you ever made money with your car, and how?
Photo Credit: NRMA Motoring and Services on Flickr.com