When you’re in college, a car payment can be the last financial straw that breaks your budget’s back. Now there’s a peer to peer network you can use to get your car to pay for its own monthly payment.
Cars and College: Financial Strain To Go
Cars aren’t cheap. The average car payment in the U.S. is $450. Pile on repairs, gas, oil changes, tires and other wear and tear and you’re looking at a hefty chunk of change. When you’re already contending with a growing heap of student debt, the last thing you need to worry about is dumping tons of money into something as basic as transportation.
To make it even worse, how often do you actually use that car? You don’t use it while you’re sleeping. Nor do you use it during meals, while you’re at class, while exercising, studying or doing almost all the things you do each day. In fact, if you’re like most college students, you may only use that car an hour a day, if that, plus an extra three or four hours on each weekend day. The rest of the time, that four-wheeled money pit isn’t much more than a gas guzzling statue, sitting empty in a parking lot.
Put Your Car to Work
According to a company called RelayRides, the average car in the U.S. sits unused fully 92% of the time. But you’re not paying for 8% of a car that you do use. You’re paying 100% of it. Now, RelayRides has come up with a way to help car owners flip the car ownership equation on its head.
RelayRides is a peer to peer network, kind of like Uber or Airbnb, except for renting cars. The way RelayRides works is, people with cars who aren’t using them 100% of the time can connect with people who need a car infrequently but don’t want to have to own one.
For example, let’s say you only use your car two days a week. You can list it with RelayRides the rest of the time. Then someone who needs a car when you’re not using it can rent it out, and you get money.
How Much Money Can You Get by Renting Out Your Car?
According to RelayRides, their average car owner pulls in about $470 a month. Of course this varies greatly depending on what kind of car you have and how often you can rent it out. The average car payment is $450 a month. We’re not saying anyone in any location with any kind of car at all can earn back their car payment with RelayRides. Cars have to be 2005 or newer. People in more populated areas might have an easier time renting out their cars. Car owners who need their car on weekends might have slightly less luck renting out their cars, but that’s not to say midweek rentals don’t happen.
Here’s the basic deal with RelayRides:
- The average RelayRides owner rents their car out anywhere from a couple of weekends to two weeks per month.
- When you rent your car, it’s covered by RelayRides’ $1 million dollar liability insurance policy.
- All drivers are screened before being allowed to rent.
- All cars must be a 2005 model or newer.
Increase Your Chances of Your Car Earning Its Own Keep
The money you can make with your car through RelayRides goes beyond just renting out your car. The company also offers car owners the option of charging a little extra to offer to deliver a car to a renter. Plus, car owners can get up to $50 a month when they spend $100 on marketing efforts toward renting out their car with RelayRides. Some car owners have created Facebook pages for their cars and used the ad money to buy Facebook ads. Others have bought Google keywords or else printed out flyers. These would be easy enough to pass around campus for other students who may not have transportation.
Other Ways to Get Your Car to Pay Its Monthly Payment
In addition to renting out your car, you can also stick ads to your car to get it to earn an extra $100 a month with Advercar. You can also turn your car into a taxi with Uber or Lyft, and don’t forget to write off some of your car’s expenses on your taxes if you use it as a way to rake in cash. For more info, see our article, “5 Ways to Make Money With Your Car.” Or click here to see our article, “How to Make Money With Your Car Using RelayRides.”