In today’s modern world, cars have become more than just a mode of transportation. Did you know that your vehicle can also become a source of income if you have the right mindset and creativity?
From ridesharing to local delivery services, this handy blog post will share plenty of ideas to create a fun and profitable side gig using your car – and they don’t involve flipping (buying and selling) vehicles!
The following 15 unusual yet clever ways to make money with your car are ideal for people that want an extra source of income or a new way to earn a living:
Car owners can make money with their cars by doing nothing apart from selling some advertising space on them! According to a Wrapify survey, it’s possible to make up to $450 a month by installing vinyl advertising on a vehicle.
An alternative idea to complete vehicle wrapping is to have a sign fitted on top of your car – but the downside is that the money you make is less. Typically, you’d earn up to $200 a month instead.
Companies pay for vehicle advertising because it enables brands to get promoted wherever the car owner drives.
You could offer ridesharing services as a part-time or full-time service. How you do that will ultimately depend on whom you want as customers.
For example, if you have a large enough vehicle, you could offer parents a service to take their children with your kids to school and back each day.
You could even provide a similar service for work colleagues – especially if your workplace is in an area that has limited or no public transport options.
3. Scrap Metal Collection
You can collect scrap metal if you have a large vehicle, such as an SUV or a van. Believe it or not, scrap metal is a valuable commodity you can sell to recycling companies.
According to a report by IBISWorld, the scrap metal recycling industry is worth around $39.9 billion in the United States. You can obtain scrap metal for free by driving around your neighborhood and seeing what people leave outside their homes.
Alternatively, advertise your scrap metal collection services on Facebook, Craigslist, and other online platforms.
If you collect items thrown away, like jewelry or even coins, you could sell them to places that buy gold. For things like PCBs from electronics, consider using a service that extracts the gold from them for even higher profit potential!
4. Car Rental
Do you own a car that you seldom use? If so, you could earn money by letting people rent it from you! Online platforms like Turo claim that car owners can make at least $10,000+ annually by renting out their cars.
It’s worth remembering that some risks are involved in renting out personal vehicles, so you should ensure you’ve got appropriate insurance coverage in case things go wrong!
Still, if the benefits outweigh your risks, renting out your car is an excellent way to make a passive income.
5. Mobile Car Washing
Do you enjoy detailing your car in your spare time? If so, why not use your hobby to make money by offering people a mobile car washing service?
Many people would prefer someone come to their home or workplace and wash and detail their vehicles – especially if they have busy daily schedules.
The average mobile car wash business makes around $24,000 per year, so you could offer people a convenient and affordable alternative.
You’d need to invest in the equipment and supplies for such an idea, but you’d quickly break even as such a service is always in demand.
6. Pet Transport
Are you an animal lover? Have you considered turning that passion into a side business idea by offering a pet transport service? Many U.S. households have at least one pet, and some pet owners will need help transporting their pets to different locations nationwide.
You could offer your service online through your website and social media or sign up for platforms like PetBacker and FetchPetCare. It’s possible to make around $100 per trip on average, and it’s a flexible and fun side gig you can do whenever you have some free time.
7. Taxi Services
Some people don’t like the thought of transporting animals in their cars, although they wouldn’t mind ferrying human passengers. If that sounds like you, now’s the time to consider turning your car into a part-time (or even full-time) taxi!
Uber and Lyft are two of the most significant ride-hailing services to date, so you could sign up with one (or both) of them and make some money taking people from A to B.
As you will be working for yourself, you’ll need to factor in insurance, gas, and vehicle maintenance costs. Generally speaking, the profit you’d make from offering even a part-time service will still make the idea viable.
8. Food Delivery Services
Pets and humans aren’t the only things you can transport in your car! Another popular way to make part-time or full-time money is with fast food delivery.
Uber, for example, offers UberEats, which works in much the same way as the main Uber app, except it’s all about ordering food for delivery. Of course, other platforms also offer the same services for consumers and service providers.
DoorDash is an alternative to UberEats, and they claim their drivers can earn around $2-$10 per delivery on average.
9. Courier Delivery Services
Owners of large cars and vans should consider offering their services as a courier. They can use their vehicles to transport packages to various destinations and get paid per delivery or a flat daily rate for recurring trips.
Thanks to online platforms like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Uber Eats (yes, the latter offers same-day package delivery services), anyone can become a courier and use their vehicle for the purpose.
You’ll typically work for yourself rather than a single company, so you must pay for fuel, maintenance, repairs, and specific courier insurance coverage.
10. Mobile Vehicle Repairs
Car owners that do all their vehicle maintenance at home, including complex mechanical repairs, can offer their services as mobile mechanics.
As you might expect, you’ll need a range of tools and equipment to tackle typical repair jobs and a car big enough to transport those items.
However, you can take comfort in the fact that the mobile vehicle repair market is vast and growing yearly. Many car owners prefer the convenience of mechanical work carried out at their homes or workplaces.
11. Mobile EV Charging Station
There’s no denying that the EV (electric vehicle) market is growing each year significantly. Did you know that a survey by AAA concluded that one-fifth of Americans plan to buy an EV as their next car?
While the EV charging infrastructure in the United States rapidly expands yearly, range anxiety is still a concern for many EV owners. Sadly, some of them run out of electricity before completing long journeys.
You could help such individuals escape their roadside predicaments by offering a mobile EV charging station service. You’ll provide the means to recharge their vehicles on the road (with a portable battery recharging solution) so they can continue their journeys.
Aside from typical Internet advertising mediums like a personal website and social media, you could advertise your mobile EV charging station service on sites like PlugShare or attend public gatherings like events and concerts.
12. Towing Services
Another way you can help drivers out of a pickle is by offering a towing service. You’d need a capable vehicle, such as a powerful pickup truck or 4×4 vehicle with a winch, and the right skills and training to tow vehicles of all sizes and in all weathers.
The towing service market is lucrative, and you’d offer a lifesaving service to many people – especially those trapped in adverse weather conditions and with no-one else to help them.
13. Grocery Shopping Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how everyone runs their daily lives, and one trend that has become obvious is how more people are ordering their groceries for delivery to their homes.
Some of the larger supermarkets offer home delivery services, but there’s a gap in the market for a service where people can do someone’s grocery shopping across multiple retailers. You could help fill that gap in the market and have a lucrative side gig.
14. Student Driver Tuition
Are you a helpful person with a patient disposition? If so, and you enjoy driving, you could offer driving tuition services to student drivers.
You’ll need to comply with all driving tuition rules and regulations in your state, but that aside, you could earn up to $100 per hour for your troubles.
15. Movie Prop
Finally, if you own a rare or exotic car, have you considered renting it to production companies as movie props? Each year, there’s a growing demand for cars to feature in movies, TV shows, and commercials.
You could use platforms like Octane Film Cars to offer your vehicle for hire. It can be a profitable idea, and your car would also be famous in the process!