Between the cost of the car (or the loan payments), gas and maintenance and insurance premiums, car ownership can feel like a money pit—unless you’re also using your wheels to earn a little extra cash on the side. Turns out, there are a lot of ways to put your car to work. Here are eight ideas to get started.
1. Rent out your car.
Don’t drive every day? If you live in a city with a car-sharing program, consider letting others use your car when you’re not. On car-sharing marketplace Turo, average users earn up to $625 per month by renting out their cars. (Don’t worry—you can decline reservations and meet renters before they drive off with your property.) Check out Turo’s “carculator” for an estimate of how much you can earn, based on your vehicle type, area and days per month you plan to rent it out.
2. Drive for a ridesharing app.
According to Earnest, Lyft drivers make an average of $377 a month, and Uber drivers make $364. Uber and Lyft require drivers to be over 21 with a valid license, and they run background and driving record checks. Any vehicle used for Uber or Lyft needs to have four doors, and some cities or states have other specific vehicle requirements—so do your research before signing up.
3. Specialize in transporting kids.
Rideshare services for kids generally pay more, but require stringent safety checks. For example, you can earn up to $32 per hour driving for HopSkipDrive, a service for kids ages 6 and older in California and Colorado. Drivers must meet age, vehicle and caregiving requirements and undergo a detailed background review. To drive for Kid Car in New York, you’ll also have to complete a mandatory class. According to the company, drivers can make 25 to 50 percent more than Uber or Lyft for the same trip.
4. Become a delivery driver.
If you don’t love the idea of transporting passengers, or if your car doesn’t meet a rideshare app’s requirements, consider delivery-driving through companies like UberEATS, Postmates and DoorDash. Postmates and DoorDash allow you to deliver food in any working vehicle, and you can drive for UberEATS in a two- or four-door car made in 1998 or later. According to Earnest, DoorDash drivers make an average of $229 a month, and Postmates drivers earn an average of $174 a month.
5. Display advertisements on your car.
Yep, some companies will pay you to “wrap” your car with an ad. Carvertise says their users make around $100 per month, and campaigns last three to six months. Just make sure you find a reputable company to work with (meaning one that won’t ask you for money upfront) and read the contract carefully before you sign on.
6. Rent out your parking spot or garage space.
CurbFlip allows you to list your parking spot for daily, weekly or monthly rentals. (Listing your spot is free, but you’ll owe a 16 percent cut of earnings plus a PayPal fee.) What you can earn depends on your location—currently, a garage space in Newport Beach is listed for $25 per day and a garage spot in Boston goes for for $425 per month. ParkEasier, Rover and MyFlexiPark offer similar services.
7. Help people move or transport equipment.
8. Just drive safe.
Some car insurance plans offer a “safe driving” bonus that can save you money on premiums. For example, Allstate customers in some states can earn two “Safe Driving Bonus Checks” for each year they don’t get in an accident. Payouts are up to 5 percent of the policy insurance premium.