Let’s face it: owning a car can sometimes feel like maintaining a pet dinosaur – it’s big, it’s hungry, and it constantly demands attention (and money). But what if we told you that your four-wheeled friend could actually start pulling its weight and earn its keep?
Making money with your car can be as easy and flexible as you make it – most of these you can even do as a second job or a side gig in the evening after your main job, some of them would require more flexibility and sticking to rules such as insurance, signing up with service providers, etc. Some might not be for you, some might sound ridiculous, but take is as a way to get your creative juices flowing. There might be numerous options within your town/city, it might be just a matter of tapping into these as see if they would work.
Here are 20 ways to turn your car from a money pit into a gold mine:
Table of Contents
Ridesharing Services (aka Taxi)
The modern age has brought about the convenience of summoning a ride with a few taps on a smartphone. Platforms like Uber and Lyft have paved the way for everyday car owners to monetize their vehicles. To start, ensure your car meets the platform’s requirements, which typically revolve around age, size, and safety features. Once registered, maintain a clean and comfortable environment for passengers. This not only enhances their experience but can also lead to better ratings and increased ride requests. Engage in friendly conversation if the passenger seems open to it, and always prioritize their preferences, such as route choice or music volume. Remember, the key to success in ridesharing is providing a service that’s both professional and personable.
The rise of e-commerce and food delivery apps has created a bustling market for delivery drivers. Platforms like DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEats offer opportunities for drivers to deliver everything from gourmet meals to groceries. To excel in this domain, punctuality is paramount. Equip your car with insulated bags to ensure food remains hot, and always double-check items before leaving the restaurant or store. A friendly demeanor upon delivery can also lead to better tips. Additionally, familiarize yourself with local routes and shortcuts to optimize delivery times and increase your earning potential.
Rent Your Car
Think of platforms like Turo and Getaround as Airbnb for cars. They allow you to rent out your vehicle when it’s not in use. To begin, take high-quality photos of your car, inside and out, and list them with a detailed description. Set competitive rates based on your car’s make, model, and market demand. Regular maintenance checks ensure your car remains in top condition, reducing the likelihood of issues during rentals. Always communicate promptly and professionally with potential renters, and consider offering extras, such as a guide to local attractions or a phone charger, to enhance their experience.
Advertise on Your Car
Transform your daily commute into a revenue stream by turning your car into a moving billboard. Companies like Carvertise and Wrapify will pay you to wrap your car in advertisements. After signing up, these companies match drivers with advertisers based on driving patterns, ensuring maximum exposure for the ads. While the wrap might alter your car’s appearance temporarily, and you might get some raised eyebrows from your neighbors, it’s a non-invasive way to earn passive income. Plus, there’s a certain thrill in knowing you’re part of a larger advertising campaign, making even mundane trips to the grocery store feel a bit more glamorous.
Offer a Mobile Service
The convenience of home services is undeniable. Whether it’s pet grooming, car washing, or even a mobile salon, bringing services directly to a client’s doorstep offers unparalleled convenience. Start by identifying a niche that aligns with your skills and passions. Invest in quality equipment and ensure your car has ample space to store it. Marketing is crucial in this domain. Utilize social media, local community boards, and word of mouth to spread the word. Offering introductory discounts or loyalty programs can also help in building a steady clientele.
Become a Driving Instructor
Remember the exhilaration of your first driving lesson? You can now be on the other side of that experience by becoming a driving instructor. Begin by obtaining the necessary certifications and licenses required in your region. Patience is a virtue in this profession, as you’ll often be guiding nervous beginners. Equip your car with dual controls for safety and consider branding it with your business name for advertising. Offering flexible timings and personalized lesson plans can set you apart in this competitive market.
Airport Shuttle Service
Airports are hubs of activity, with travelers constantly in need of reliable transportation. Starting an airport shuttle service can be a lucrative venture, especially if you live near a major airport. Ensure your vehicle is spacious enough to accommodate passengers and their luggage comfortably. Offering fixed rates can simplify the payment process, and providing amenities like bottled water or magazines can enhance the passenger experience. Punctuality is crucial, so always monitor flight schedules and traffic conditions. The tricky thing with airports can be that they only work with certain companies, charge fees, work only with official taxis, etc. Check the conditions and look where others don’t – small local airports, for example, might not be as strict.
If you reside in a city rich in history or natural beauty and flocks of tourists pour over the streets to explore and wander, becoming a tour guide can be both fulfilling and profitable. Familiarize yourself with local attractions, historical facts, and hidden gems. Create diverse tour packages catering to different interests, such as historical tours, nature trails, or culinary expeditions. Personal anecdotes or lesser-known facts can make your tours more engaging. Ensure your vehicle is comfortable for passengers, and consider providing refreshments or souvenirs as added perks.
Hauling and Moving Services
With a sturdy vehicle, you can assist individuals in moving houses or transporting bulky items. Platforms like TaskRabbit or Craigslist often have listings for such jobs. Ensure your car is equipped with straps, blankets, and other essentials to secure items during transit to ensure the items nor your car get damaged during the transit. Offering packaging or assembly services can provide added value to your clients that they might appreciate. Some jobs are too small for moving companies, why not try to get your foot in the door this way?
With rising fuel costs and environmental concerns, carpooling has gained popularity. Platforms like Waze Carpool or BlaBlaCar connect drivers with individuals traveling in the same direction. Yes, I hear you – carpooling is not really a way to make money, rather save, but done right, you still end up paying a lot less for going places that you would go anyway. Set clear ground rules, such as smoking policies or music preferences, to ensure a pleasant journey for all.
Mystery shopping is a unique blend of undercover work and quality assessment. Companies hire individuals to evaluate services from a customer’s perspective. For car owners, this could involve assessing gas stations, car washes, or auto services. To get started, sign up with mystery shopping agencies and wait for assignments. Once on the job, be observant – the task is usually to note staff behavior, cleanliness, service quality, and any other specified metrics. After the visit, you’ll typically fill out a detailed report. While it might feel like you’re a secret agent on a mission, always remember to stay objective and provide honest feedback.
Events, be it weddings, concerts, or parties, often require transportation for guests or equipment. Offering specialized event transportation can be a niche yet profitable venture. Ensure your vehicle is clean and in top condition. Collaborate with event planners, offering them packages or commission-based incentives for referrals. Personal touches, like custom playlists for wedding couples or complimentary refreshments, can set you apart from competitors.
In the age of Instagram and digital portfolios, a mobile photography studio can be a game-changer. Equip your car with essential photography equipment, including lights, backdrops, and props. Scout picturesque locations in advance, offering clients a diverse portfolio of settings. Collaborate with influencers or bloggers, offering them discounted rates in exchange for promotion. Remember, in photography, it’s all about capturing the perfect moment, so always be patient and adaptable.
The allure of the open road and starry nights has made van life increasingly popular. If you own a spacious van, consider converting it into a mini camper. Equip it with basic amenities like a bed, storage, and cooking facilities. List it on platforms like Outdoorsy or Campanda. Offer renters a guide to local camping spots or travel itineraries to enhance their experience. And always ensure your vehicle is equipped with safety equipment like fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
For many, pets are family. However, transporting them to vet appointments or grooming sessions can be challenging. Enter the pet taxi service. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with secure carriers or harnesses. Familiarize yourself with basic pet handling techniques and always keep treats and toys on hand to soothe nervous animals. Collaborating with vet clinics or pet grooming services can provide a steady stream of clients.
Space, especially in urban areas, is a premium commodity. If you have extra space in your car, consider renting it out as storage. This could be especially lucrative for larger vehicles like vans or SUVs. Platforms like Neighbor or Spacer can connect you with individuals seeking storage solutions. Ensure your vehicle is parked in a secure location and consider installing security cameras for added assurance.
Music on Wheels
Music is a universal language. If you’re musically inclined, transform your car into a mobile music academy. Equip it with instruments and teaching aids. Offer lessons in local communities or even at clients’ homes. Flexible scheduling, personalized lesson plans, and performance opportunities can make your mobile music academy a hit.
In an age of digital screens, the charm of physical books remains unparalleled. Convert your car into a traveling library, bringing literature to neighborhoods, schools, or events. Stock up on popular titles, classics, and children’s books. Collaborate with local authors for book readings or signings. A membership model or rental fees can ensure profitability.
The retail landscape is evolving, with pop-up shops offering unique shopping experiences. Convert your car into a mobile boutique, art gallery, or snack bar. Attend local events, markets, or festivals, ensuring you have the necessary permits. Engage with customers, offering them unique products, discounts, or loyalty programs.
Emergency Roadside Assistance
Every driver fears a breakdown. Offering emergency roadside assistance can be both a noble and profitable venture. Equip your car with essentials like jump starters, fuel, spare tires, and tools. Advertise locally and offer memberships or subscription models for regular clients. Prompt service, transparent pricing, and professionalism can make you the go-to choice in emergencies.
Your car, often seen as just a mode of transportation, holds immense and in 99% cases, untapped potential. With creativity, dedication, and a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, it can be transformed into a lucrative business venture that makes some money. Keep your eyes open, there might be opportunities that just wait to be explored and your car might earn its keep, and some.