Got a Car? Turn It Into a Moneymaker With These Flexible Side Gigs
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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.
1. Drive With Lyft or Uber
Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?
Try driving with Lyft.
Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.
We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.
Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!
Because it’s simple to switch between apps, many Lyft drivers also sign up as a driver partner with Uber.
If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you're under 23 years old), have a valid U.S. driver's license and pass a background check.
Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.
Here's a link to apply with Uber.
2. Deliver Food, If You’re Not So Into People
Ahhh, the sweet smell of takeout stinking up your car.
OK, it might not be the most appealing thing in the world — you might want to crack a few windows, depending on the type of cuisine you’re delivering — but Uber Eats offers flexible food-delivery opportunities.
Here are more details:
- Locations: Uber Eats is all over the U.S. — and the world, really. For a full list, go to its location page.
- Pay: Drivers are paid a pick-up fee, for the distance traveled and a drop-off fee. Uber takes a service fee. Delivery partners can cash out up to five times a day with instant pay.
- Schedule: Flexible.
- Requirements include (may vary by location): You must…
- Be at least 19 years old if delivering by car.
- Delivery options via car (must be a 1997 or newer with at least two doors), bike, scooter or foot depending on your area.
- Pass a background check.
- Have a valid driver’s license and insurance (if you deliver by car or scooter).
How to apply: For all the information you need, head over to the Uber Eats sign-up page.
3. Get Paid to Test Drive Cars
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.
4. Carpool to Work
Did you know some cities will pay you to carpool to work? These four cities 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 up to $75 in Amazon gift cards for carpooling or vanpooling.
5. Set Your Own Schedule as a Mobile Mechanic
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.
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 to $50 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.
6. Put Ads on Your Car
You’ve seen these drivers around town. Letting companies display their ads on your car can be a great source of passive income — you just drive your normal routes each day.
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, both rated an A+ from BBB:
7. Rent out Your Car
If you have a car you don’t use during the week — or maybe you don’t need it on the weekends because, well, you’re a homebody — consider renting it out.
Peer-to-peer car rental sites are growing, one being Getaround. According to Getaround’s website, most cars in the U.S. sit idle for 22 hours a day. Think: You get to work, and it sits in the parking garage. Or you walk to work, then take your car out for errands after.
Why not put it to use? Getaround claims users can make up to $10,000 per year sharing their car — or about $800 a month. Plus, the platform insures all cars (up to $1 million each).
Getaround is available in these markets: Portland, Oregon; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, California; Boston; and northern New Jersey.
A big bonus: Listing your car on Getaround is free.
8. Rent out the RV You Thought You’d Use More
How many people do you know who bought an RV for one awesome camping trip or music festival… only to look back a few years later and realize they don’t use it as much as they thought they would?
If you’re in that boat (er, camper), you can turn your unused RV into cash.
You can rent your RV to other travelers through RVshare, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace.
How much you’ll earn per day will vary based on your location and the type of vehicle you have. We ran a quick hypothetical and found that Class A models made in the past 15 years range from $185 to $375 a night here in St. Petersburg, Florida!
That’s a smart way to make your pricy RV pay for itself — or to bank some cash for your next big road trip.
To see how much you could earn renting out your RV, enter the specs here.
9. Stop Doing Favors, and Rent Your Truck out Instead
Remember how proud you felt when you bought that truck? You were on top of the world — until your family and friends started asking for favors: Can you help me move this weekend? Make a Home Depot haul for me? Tow that trailer full of trash to the dump?
That big, empowering truck you bought has backfired. (Not literally, we hope.)
Instead of feeling committed to all these favors for family, friends and friends of friends of friends, why not let someone rent your truck — and pay you per hour?
Through the online peer-to-peer truck share marketplace Fluid Market, you can lend your truck to community members. Fluid Market reports earnings on longbed pickup trucks and cargo vans up to $12,000 a year.
Here’s how Fluid works:
- List your truck. Be sure to have the VIN and some quality photos available. If you do, the process takes about 10 minutes tops.
- Promote your listing. Use anything and everything — from Facebook community groups to Nextdoor. Fluid says earnings are “notably higher” when someone self-promotes.
- Manage your listing. Opt into the “instabook” setting, where users can automatically book your truck without pending your approval. Set up a lockbox for the keys, and bam. Passive income.
Let’s address some concerns real quick. When you list on Fluid Market, it covers all vehicles with $300,000 in car rental liability insurance as well as coverage against theft and physical damage. You can also feel at ease because each renter’s identity is verified with a DMV background check. Payments come weekly, via direct deposit.
And, hey, no heavy lifting required. Now when everyone flocks to you — err, your truck — nudge them over to your listing on Fluid Market.
Dana Sitar is a writer and editor at The Penny Hoarder. Say hello and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.
Carson Kohler is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.