7 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Make Extra Money With Just Your Car

Updated November 23, 2016
by Dana Sitar
Staff Writer

Do you love driving your car around town? There are tons of opportunities to earn money while you do it!

Whether you want to launch a new full-time career — or just make some extra money on the side — here are some great ways to turn your vehicle into a money-making machine.

Drive With Uber

Get paid to drive
Photo from Uber/Facebook

If you like spending time in your car, finding the best routes through town and chatting with all kinds of new people, this is a great way to make money doing it!

As an Uber partner driver, you’re responsible for setting your schedule and motivating yourself to work — no one is keeping tabs on you. You get 80% of everything you earn as a driver (Uber keeps 20%.).

If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You need to be at least 21 years old.
  • You need at least three years of driving experience.
  • You’ll need an in-state driver’s license, a clean driving record and be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • You’ll need a four-door car that seats at least four passengers, registered in-state and covered by in-state insurance.

Here’s a link to apply with Uber.

Earn Up to $25/Hour Delivering Groceries

Get paid to drive
Photo from Instacart/Facebook

Want to get paid to navigate your city without driving strangers in your car? Sign up to deliver groceries with Instacart!

This app and website lets people who don’t feel like battling crowds at the grocery store skip it. Instead, you’ll act as their personal shopper, picking up and delivering their grocery order.

If you’re interested in giving it a try, Instacart is currently recruiting for drivers in these two cities:

San Francisco — apply here

Boston — apply here

You should be at least 21 years old. To apply, you’ll take a short online quiz to ensure you can identify common grocery store items — like a lemon or an 18-pack of eggs.

After that, your city’s manager will call you to set up a time for a 15-minute phone interview to learn about your background and experience.

They tend to look for people with past customer service experience and candidates who have experience doing plenty of shopping for either their roommates, families or themselves.

Carpool to Work

Get paid to drive
LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

Did you know some cities will pay you to carpool to work? Here are four cities that will pay you to help reduce traffic and congestion!

If you start or join a new carpool in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, you can make up to $2 per day over a 90-day period, up to $130.

In the counties near Birmingham, Alabama, drivers make up to $70 over 90 days for taking alternative transportation or carpooling.

Commuters who live, work or commute through San Mateo County, California can receive a $50 gift card for retail or online stores when they start or join a new carpool.

People who drive on the busy highway between Boulder, Colorado and Denver can make more than $75 for carpooling or vanpooling.

Get Paid to Test Drive Cars

Get paid to drive
mikeinlondon / Getty Images

Working through a company like BestMark, you’ll go to car lots and pose as a potential buyer.

So you get to test drive a car, which is pretty cool.

It also means you listen to the sales pitch, which is less exciting. But then you report back on your experience and get paid!

Our CEO Kyle Taylor got his start doing automotive mystery shopping, and made $60 for each dealership visited.

Set Your Own Schedule as a Mobile Mechanic

Get paid to drive
Photo from Your Mechanic/Facebook

Want to work for yourself on a flexible schedule as an auto mechanic?

YourMechanic offers unique opportunities for anyone who wants to work in the automotive service industry.

Instead of running an auto-body shop, this “mobile mechanic company” sends a specialist to a customer’s home or office when their car needs service.

YourMechanic has technicians in more than 700 cities nationwide and is actively hiring now in 53 cities.

The company handles marketing, scheduling appointments, ordering parts, invoicing and customer support — so all you have to do is show up when a customer needs you.

In this position, you’ll set your own hours through the YourMechanic app — as many or little as you want, any days, evenings or weekends you prefer. The company schedules service calls for you within your availability.

You’ll be doing basic repair and maintenance, “no engine overhauls or major transmission work.”

Pay is between $40-$60 an hour. You’ll work as a contractor and provide your own transportation. If you want something less hands-on, the company also has work-from-home positions.

Fill out the online application here. A service advisor will call you for a phone interview and to get you set up. Then you’ll set your hours and get to work!

Rent Out Your Car

Get paid to drive
Jupiterimages / Getty Images

If you own a reliable vehicle, but leave it sitting in your driveway all the time, turn it into an income stream by renting it!

Through Turo, you can rent your car to a community of approved drivers.

You’ll create a calendar to let travelers know when your car is available, and you’ll be notified when someone requests your car. You’ll coordinate a meeting place, or deliver the car right to the traveler at the airport or other location.

Turo will dynamically set your car’s rental price based on market value, location, time of year and other data. For a car with a market value of $10,000, Turo suggests you could earn about $1,800 a year renting it just five days a month.

You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection package you choose. If you provide your own commercial rental insurance, you’ll earn 90%.

Put Ads on Your Car

Get paid to drive
Photo from Vugo / Facebook

You’ve seen these drivers around town. By letting companies display ads on their car, they get paid to drive their normal routes!

To qualify for these opportunities, you’ll have to drive regularly in high-traffic areas — no one wants to pay you to park their ad in the garage. When vetting advertising companies, keep these tips in mind to spot a scam.

Check out vehicle advertising opportunities with these legitimate companies:

If you’re already driving with Uber, you could earn even more money placing ads inside your vehicle with Vugo.

Your Turn: Do you want to get paid to drive around?

Disclosure: A toast to savings! Thanks for allowing us to place affiliate links in this post.

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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