Your car can earn you extra cash. Here are some of the best gigs to make money with your vehicle.
The vast majority of Americans who are of driving age (or older) have a car, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, 91.4% of households in America say that they have access to one or more vehicles, which they may use to get to work, go to school, or enjoy leisure activities.
It makes sense, then, if you’re looking for ways to put more money in your pocket, that car in the driveway might be one of your biggest assets. Here’s a look at several ways you can earn money with the help of your car, and how to maximize the impact.
How Can I Make Money With My Car? 7 Ideas
Whether you’re looking for full-time work or a weekend side hustle, here are some of the top ways you can use your vehicle to earn money.
1. Deliver food
According to MarketWatch, the demand for food delivery services has more than doubled since the onset of the pandemic. This means that more and more people are using apps to order food to their home, place of work, etc… and more people are needed to deliver it.
You can use your car to deliver meals from local restaurants to app users, like those on DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates, and GrubHub. You might also consider delivering for a local restaurant directly.
Drivers typically earn a flat rate per delivery, as well as tips from customers. Just note that you’ll be responsible for your own gas, auto insurance, and general vehicle maintenance expenses.
2. Deliver groceries
Thanks to apps like Instacart, as well as branded store platforms (including Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods), getting groceries delivered has never been easier. And of course, if customers are ordering groceries to their home, drivers are needed to make that delivery.
As with delivering food, you’ll be responsible for any car-related expenses you incur while driving for a grocery delivery service, such as gas, and general maintenance. However, you’ll typically make money by earning a flat rate per order delivered, and will usually get tips from customers, as well.
3. Give a ride
Rideshare platforms are a popular — and ever-growing — method of transportation for people in nearly every area of the country. These apps allow users to request on-demand rides from vetted drivers, who use their own vehicles to take people where they need to go.
The most popular rideshare apps in the U.S. are Uber and Lyft. Drivers on these platforms are able to choose the fares and routes that they want to accept, driving whenever works for their schedules. Drivers are also protected by each app’s insurance policy, giving peace of mind while earning that extra money.
Rideshare drivers are paid a rate per ride given, and can also receive tips from passengers. However, drivers are responsible for their own vehicle’s maintenance, gas, and cleaning expenses.
Only adult riders can order Uber and Lyft rides, but another app, Hopskipdrive, allows parents to request rides for their children for things like school pick ups or practice drop-offs. Driving for Hopskipdrive involves a rigorous vetting process — requiring a clear background check, clean driving record, etc. — but drivers earn income from every ride (and sometimes, even if a parent cancels a scheduled ride).
4. Deliver packages
If you don’t want to deliver food or people, you can also make money driving your own car to deliver packages.
Amazon Flex delivery drivers earn an average of $18 to $25 an hour, delivering packages to ordering customers. Drivers are able to set their own “blocks,” or available delivery times, according to their own schedule. They’ll earn money based on their route, how many deliveries are made, and any tips received.
UPS also hires flex drivers to make package deliveries during peak times of year, referred to as Personal Vehicle Drivers. These drivers are offered a flexible work schedule, the ability to work in rural or metropolitan areas, and receive mileage reimbursement when using their own personal car.
5. Rent out your car
Another way your car can help you earn money is with someone else behind the wheel. With both the Hyrecar and Turo platforms, you’re able to rent out your vehicle to others, according to your schedule. This means earning passive income from your vehicle when you’re not even using it.
Turo works like a personal car rental platform, making it easy for people to rent a vehicle while traveling, when their car is in the shop, or if they just want to get behind the wheel of something new. You’re able to set your own rates and schedule for your vehicle, and your car will be protected by Turo’s $750,000 car insurance coverage while it’s being rented out.
Hyrecar is similar, except it’s marketed to individuals who need to rent a car in order to drive for a delivery or rideshare platform. You’ll earn extra cash and help people at the same time, but lending your car out to potential Uber, Lyft, Instacart, or other delivery app drivers and shoppers.
6. Give a helping hand
Another option for earning money with your vehicle — whether full- or part-time — is through TaskRabbit. With TaskRabbit, you can offer same-day handyman, delivery, or household task services according to the skills you may have. If you have a pickup truck or large vehicle, you can also offer to help people move.
Taskers can set their own hours and rates, making it easy to pick up odd jobs in your spare time, even if you have a day job. And unlike rideshare services, you aren’t required to have any particular type (or age) vehicle to qualify.
7. Turn your car into a rolling billboard
Advertising on your car can be a great way to make extra money without actually having to do additional work. By allowing other companies to advertise on your car, you can earn passive income no matter where you’re driving… or when.
Most car advertising companies will let you choose what size ad you have placed on your car, which can be in the form of a vinyl wrap, door magnet, or window cling. The larger the ad or the longer you keep it on your vehicle, the more money you can potentially earn.
How much can you get paid to advertise on your car?
One popular car advertising company, Wrapify, lets you choose the size of the advertisement on your vehicle. TA lite car wrap, for instance, could earn you an average of $181 to $280 per month, while a full vehicle wrap averages from $264 to $452 per month. In order to qualify, your vehicle must be in good condition and cannot be older than 2010. You must be 21 or older, and you have to pass a driving record check.
If you’re already an Uber driver or Lyft driver, or if you drive for DoorDash, Carvertise is another car advertising platform to consider. With Carvertise, it’s easy for you to make money while you’re already driving around town, earning between $450 and $1,500 per campaign.
Making Your Car More Affordable
Sometimes, it’s not just about making more money with your car — it’s also about keeping your existing money in your pocket. Here are some ways you can save money on your car-related expenses each month, without needing to take on extra work.
Reduce your auto insurance costs. All drivers are required to carry at least their state’s minimum liability auto insurance coverage, though comprehensive and collision coverage is also available. This coverage can be costly, though, with the average annual cost coming in at $1,245 for drivers of medium sedans.
By reducing your auto insurance premiums, you might be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars per year. Shopping around for coverage through a new insurance company is one way to find a better price, as is increasing your deductible, or even bundling your auto insurance with another policy you carry.
Reduce your auto loan expenses. If you are still paying off an auto loan on your car, you’re likely paying interest on that debt each month. By refinancing your auto loan, you may be able to lock in a lower interest rate (saving you money each month and over the course of your repayment), reduce your monthly car payment, or both.
How Much Money Can You Make With Your Car?
As you can see, there are many, many different ways that you can use your car to earn money. How much money you can earn, though, depends not only on the money-making options you choose, but also the frequency with which you do them.
According to recent data from Zapier, more than one-third of Americans today have a side hustle, or money-making gig outside of their day job. This allows them the security of their career or full-time job, while also giving them the opportunity to earn extra cash on the side… sometimes, with the use of their car.
If you were to use your vehicle to make money as a full-time gig, you would likely earn more than if you’re only using your car to earn money at night or on the weekends. And your income would also depend on your skillset, location, and even the type of vehicle you own.
With that said, you could easily bring in hundreds — if not thousands — of extra dollars each money with the help of your car.
About The Author
Stephanie Colestock is a DC-based personal finance writer with an expert focus on credit and lending. With over ten years of industry experience, she is a regular contributor on sites such as Credit Karma, The Balance, Quicken Loans, Dough Roller, Finance Buzz, and more. She enjoys teaching people how to optimize their finances and save themselves money in the process.