9 easy ways to make money using your car

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  • Owning a car can be costly. Monthly payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance can really add up.
  • There are ways to use your vehicle to defray those costs, including driving for a rideshare service such as Uber and Lyft, delivering groceries, or even loaning out your car to Hollywood.
  • Here are a few of the simplest methods to make money using your existing car.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Unless you live in a major metropolitan city with a comprehensive (and reliable) public transportation system, having a car is considered a basic necessity in the US. But for a basic necessity, it can be pretty pricey to maintain.

Monthly car payments (whether leasing or owning), required auto insurance, varying gas prices, and any potential maintenance problems that come up can all cost quite a lot out of pocket. AAA’s 2018 Your Driving Costs study found that the average price of owning and operating a new car (including the cost of fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and more) was $8,849 per year.

Read more: 7 ways to make your car last longer and save you money.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to offset these costs and put your car to use by driving to make money. From supplementing your income to true independent contractor work, here are all of the easiest ways to make money with your car.


1. Become a driver for Uber or Lyft.

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Joining the fleet of drivers linked up to app-based taxi services is one of the most obvious and popular ways to boost your income. Two of the biggest companies are, of course, Uber and Lyft, which are each available in select cities around the world.

Depending on where you’re located and which app you choose to go with, the requirements are slightly different. Some states require that cars be less than a certain number of years old (typically 10 years old or newer, per Ride Sharing Driver).

You’ll have to connect with your ride-for-hire app of choice in order to get the specifics. But Uber and Lyft each make their general requirements readily available via their respective websites.


2. Work for food delivery and pick-up services.

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An Uber driver takes delivery of bags of donuts destined for a customer via Uber Eats in Sydney, Australia.
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REUTERS/Jason Reed

Delivering food via a dedicated app such as UberEATS, DoorDash, and PostMates is another popular option for drivers looking to pick up some extra cash.

While you don’t necessarily need a vehicle to become an affiliate of one of these apps, having a car certainly makes things easier – and expands the delivery range you’re able to serve.


3. Work for a service that shuttles kids around.

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Another option similar to Uber and Lyft is HopSkipDrive, a service founded by three working parents that is specifically for transporting children. “CareDrivers” need to be over the age of 23 and have 5 or more years of childcare experience, among other criteria listed on their website.

If you don’t live in an area currently serviced by HopSkipDrive, you can also look for postings seeking child-transporting services on a reputable child care provider sites like Care.com.


4. Help people move furniture or haul large items.

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Depending on the size of your car, you can make an income as a casual mover. Pick-up trucks and cargo vans are obviously the best options for these purposes.

By advertising on a local job posting site (such as Craigslist) or another city-specific forum, you can set your own rates – but of course, you’ll be solely liable if anything goes wrong. Another option is to partner with an app, like TaskRabbit, which ensures your courier jobs. While not every potential job requires a vehicle, Taskers are typically able to charge more for the use of their own vehicle.

And though it may be obvious, it bears stating: Be sure you’re okay with (and physically capable of) lifting heavy objects if you go this route.

You can also use your car to haul away junk for people, though you’ll need to look into proper disposal methods and costs in your location. Landfill rates to dispose of items at a dump vary.


5. Sign up to be a grocery shopper.

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There are a variety of on-demand grocery delivery services that provide part-time job opportunities for licensed drivers.

Shipt, for example, delivers nationwide and promises same-day delivery (and often as soon as 1 hour) in a certain location. By becoming a Shipt shopper, you’ll be paid an hourly rate to shop for Shipt members.

Similarly, you can become an Instacart personal shopper, which operates on the same basic principle. With Instacart, you can become a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper. Only the former requires access to a car.

Both apps boast the ability for drivers to work in their “spare time,” on flexible schedules, with the ability to choose hours that work for you.


6. Become an Amazon Flex delivery driver.

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Amazon is undoubtedly the world’s largest online marketplace. As it continues to grow, so does its demand – and the demands of Amazon customers, who want to receive their packages faster and faster as time goes on.

While drone delivery is certainly a thing in certain areas, Amazon still employs good old fashioned human beings as “delivery partners” via its Amazon Flex program. By signing up and using the Amazon Flex app, you can set your available hours. Then, you simply arrive at the warehouse to pick up packages requiring delivery, scan them using the app, and load them into your vehicle. The app even boasts GPS to direct you to the delivery location.


7. Rent your car to others when you aren’t using it.

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Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

This option clearly comes with a certain amount of risk, but there are a growing number of services dedicated to allowing you to essentially lease out your car while you aren’t using it yourself. The concept is that rather than renting a car from a traditional car rental agency, you can rent from a fleet of personal vehicles.

Turo, for example, allows you to list your car as a “local host” at rates they purport to be 35% less than traditional agencies. When you list your car to be rented via Turo, the company sets the car’s rental price based on market value, your location, the time of year, and “other data sets,” or you can manually set your own per-day price. By that token, “nicer” and newer vehicles would command higher rates.

And while there is some risk, Turo is insured, covering local car hosts with up to $1 million in liability insurance – and it’s completely free to list your car on Turo, with no monthly fees or buy-in.


8. Turn your car into a mobile billboard.

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This money-making method might seem a little quirky – and it may not be for those who prefer not to draw the eye of strangers – but you can make several hundred dollars a month by effectively acting as a moving billboard.

Companies like the app-based service Wrapify allow vehicle owners to register, then they partner you with a company who is looking to advertise on your usual driving route (for example, your daily commute to the office).

You don’t necessarily need to plaster your entire car with a company’s logo either. While a “full car wrap” is obviously the most lucrative option, there’s also the possibility of advertising with a rear window decal only. Wrapify has “Lite,” “Partial,” and “Full” wrap coverage levels, which make you a varying amount of money per month, depending on the client and distance you drive.


9. Loan your car to Hollywood.

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You can rent your car to Hollywood, in exchange for (potentially) a pretty penny.

By registering your car with a site like MovieTimeCars or CinemaVehicles, you can loan out your vehicle for use in the film, TV, and commercial industries. This can be especially lucrative if you own a classic or period-specific car. Set designers often need to track down historically accurate cars to simply be parked in the background shots of period films.