Got a Car? Turn It Into a Moneymaker With These Flexible Side Gigs

cars driving through chicago
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

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

Alexa Vincent navigates her mobile apps
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

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

Lisa Gilmore exemplifies uber driving near downtown st Petersburg, Petersburg Fla, on November 10th, 2017.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

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

Aerials of traffic in Tampa
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

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

Friends on the move looking for car pooling in New York City
LeoPatrizi/Getty Images

Did you know some cities will pay you to carpool to work? These four cities will pay you to help reduce traffic and congestion:

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

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

man's hands grabbing a tool from his toolbox
PeopleImages/Getty Images

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

General View of the city of Chicago
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

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

woman looking through rearview mirror in car
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

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

RV on the Norwegian coast, mountains in the background
tataks/Getty Images

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.

See Also >> Make Money With Your Car

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.

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