If you’ve got a car, you might be sitting on an untapped source of extra income that you didn’t even know you had. Cars are useful in more ways than one, and there are plenty of ideas to turn that value into cash. Whether it’s through sticking ad banners on your car, renting it out or giving rides, you could make money with your car using any of the ways below.
1. Put Ads on Your Car With AdverCar
By far the easiest way to make money with your car is by plastering it with ads. Have you ever seen those cars zipping down the highway with ads for McDonald’s or SalesForce on the side? Ever wonder why those ads are there? Chances are the ad was placed by AdverCar, a company that realized there was a ton of ad space out there going unused, on the sides of everyday cars that millions of people see for hours every day.
The ads are removable, the application process simple and the money real. Nobody is going to get rich with AdverCar. The company pays only $100 a month, but that’s still not a bad bonus for an asset that normally consists of four wheels and a big hole for pouring money into.
Drivers must live in “relevant” areas and drive at least 30 minutes daily. Vehicles must be 2007 models or newer, in excellent condition and have factory finished paint.
Other companies that offer to pay drivers to stick ads on their cars include CarVertise and BrandYourCar. Beware though: The Better Business Bureau warns of scams where fake car advertising companies send you a check for extra money, then ask you to wire the excess money to another “employee” of the company. When you do, you realize the check they sent has bounced. Any time anyone asks you to wire money to someone else, they’re not legit.
2. Rent Your Car Out With RelayRides
The next easiest way to make money with your car is by renting it out with RelayRides. According to Steven Webb, Director of Communications at RelayRides, the average American car owner’s vehicle sits unused for 92% of the time. RelayRides lets car owners “turn the car ownership equation upside down” by making money off their car when they’re not using it.
How much money? RelayRides’ average active car owner makes about $470 a month. With the average monthly car payment sitting at about $450 a month, plus maintenance costs, nobody is going to get a free car with RelayRides, but the service is a great way to offset the costs of car ownership. The average RelayRides car owner rents out their car anywhere from a couple of weekends to a couple of weeks per month. Owners can make extra money by offering to deliver their car to renters. The cars are covered by RelayRides’ million dollar liability insurance policy. Drivers are screened before renting, and cars must be 2005 or newer.
Some caveats are that most renters will want your car during times when you also might want to drive it. But for people who don’t need their cars much or people with two cars who leave one sitting unused most of the time, RelayRides is a solid way to make your little roadster earn its keep.
Other options for renting out your car to paying drivers include FlightCar, which rents only from airports, and GetAround.
3. Turn Your Car Into a Taxi With Uber
Driving for Uber is the most labor intensive of our first three ways to make money with your car. Driving for Uber requires you to give rides to people to make money. To make real money with Uber, most drivers find that it’s a full time job.
How much money do Uber drivers make? That depends how hard they work. Uber has claimed in the past that its full time drivers in New York City rake in $90,000 a year. Critics have complained that this amount doesn’t subtract for costs like gas and tolls and regular vehicle maintenance. Some Uber drivers have reported that they’ve made only $10,000 to $40,000 per year.
A quick survey of forum posts on UberPeople.net suggests earnings of between $12 and $17 an hour in Los Angeles. One Uber driver in LA reports making $175 per day five days a week, but adds that it is “not easy at all.” Other Uber drivers echo that driving full time for Uber is hard work. One Southern California driver says he uses Uber as a part time gig and works four or five hours a day max, earning $300 to $400 per week. Any more than that, he says, and the driver risks burnout. Another forum on Indeed.com shows similar results.
On the plus side, Uber paid for a study of Uber driver pay in 2015, conducted by Princeton economist Alan Krueger. The study found that Uber drivers like the flexibility of work that Uber offers, and earn more than taxi drivers in each and every city analyzed.
Uber Pay vs Taxi Pay in Several Cities
Earnings Per Hour or Hourly Wages
Uber Driver-Partners (Earnings Per Hour)
OES Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs (Hourly Wages)
Avg. BSG Survey Uber Markets
Another paid-to-drive option is Lyft. Lyft actually guarantees its drivers in select cities will make between $20 and $25 per hour, with certain stipulations. For example, the guarantee doesn’t take tolls or gas into account and drivers need to spend 50 minutes each hour actually driving.
Also see: Make Money Now: Rent Out Your Garage
4. Be Creative
If none of the above ways to make money with your car make sense for you, consider taking the road less traveled. Here are some ideas to make money with your car that are somewhat off the beaten path:
- In rural areas, make a Facebook page and offer to deliver local kids to school. You’ll want to make sure you had a hefty liability insurance policy on passengers first in case of accidents.
- Deliver newspapers or pizzas.
- Deliver groceries to homes. This is another idea where a Facebook page could drum up local business.
- If you own a van or pickup truck, do you ever notice how friends are always chummier with you when they’re about to move? Why not turn that into extra cash? A magnetic sign with your sales pitch and phone number, a website or a Facebook page are all ways to turn the allure of your useful larger vehicle to ready cash.
5. Don’t Forget the Tax Savings
One way to make money with your car that works on top of all the other ways is by the tax savings it creates. Though critics of Uber are quick to point out that Uber drivers have to pay their own gas, tolls and maintenance, they seldom complain about the tax savings with Uber. Uber drivers can write off a sizable chunk of their car expenses on their taxes. The biggest savings would be their mileage, since the IRS allows working drivers to write off 56 cents per mile driven in 2014.
Jeff Prior, CPA and commercial lender at First Community Bank in Beckley, West Virginia, clarifies that those who use their car for personal use as well as business have to separate their expenses.
“If you use your car for both business and personal use, you must divide your expenses based on actual mileage,” says Prior. “Two methods are used to calculate the expense. The standard mileage deduction of .56 per mile for 2014 or the actual expense method. This would work for Uber drivers and RelayRides. However, for the advertisement on the side of a car the only tax qualified expense is the cost to make the sign. People tried to put signs on the side of their cars and write off 100% of the expenses and the IRS put a stop to that a few years ago.”
Average Monthly Car Payments – Edmunds.com