Money Matters

How your car can make you money

Written by

Jenn Jones


October 1, 2019

Your car might be the most expensive thing you own, so it makes sense to put it to work. While there are many ways to make money with your car, some methods are more passive, meaning they don’t require any extra work from you, but others are more active, such as using your car to make deliveries. In general, the more active the task, the more dough you’re likely to pocket.

How to make passive income with your car

Rent your car as advertising space

$50+ a month

You might get businesses to pay you for advertising on your car. The amount you could make depends on where, when and how long you drive and how big of an advertisement space the company could use.

Potential companies: FreeCarMedia, Wrapify, Carvertise, Sticker Ride, CarWraps.

Rent your car to other people

$300+ a month

For most of its life, your car sits in a driveway or parking lot. Instead, you could rent it out to other people. For example, if you live near a major airport, large city or national park, you could let tourists use your car to get around and see the sights while you’re at work or home. You could also rent your car to Uber or Lyft drivers without having to do the actual driving yourself.

Potential companies: Turo, GetAround, Hyre Car, RelayRides.

Make your car a movie star

Unknown earning potential

If you have a classic or specialty car, you could list your car on a vehicle casting site. Movie makers often need extra cars to fill a set and provide the right type of background.

Potential companies: Movie Time Cars, Movie Vehicles, Specialty Car Locators

Earn safe driver discounts

$100 a year

If you don’t get in an accident that is deemed your fault, some insurance companies will reward you with safe driver bonus checks or safe driver discounts. Note that the availability of the safe driver discount can vary by state and auto insurance company.

Potential companies: Allstate, State Farm, Progressive

How to make active income with your car

If you want to put your car and yourself to work, be prepared: it will take up your time and take a toll on your car.

You’ll need to buy more gas, do more car maintenance and perhaps cover repairs sooner than you otherwise would. You’ll need a good GPS or good amount of knowledge about your community. Like some of the passive income strategies above, you and your car will most likely need to be approved but some, such as the U.S. Postal Service, may have more stringent requirements.

Deliver food

$10+ an hour

Delivery isn’t just for pizza anymore. You could deliver anything from a full set of groceries that you ran around the store for and collected yourself, to chef-made, gourmet meals.

Potential companies: local restaurants, Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Shipt, Burpy, Caviar, Tapingo, EatStreet, Instacart.

Deliver drinks

$10+ an hour

If you get tired of delivering food, consider delivering drinks of the alcoholic variety.

Potential companies: Saucey, Minibar Delivery, Drizly.

Deliver stuff

$15+ an hour

If you don’t want your car to smell like spaghetti, you could deliver stuff rather than food. There is currently a huge demand for local delivery drivers due in part to the popularity of Amazon.

You could potentially deliver:

  • Packages from businesses to consumers for: AmazonFlex, Roadie, Deliv, Favor, Burro, GoShare, Doorman
  • Packages from consumer to consumer for: CitizenShipper
  • Official mail for: U.S. Post Office (rural carriers)
  • Furniture for people on: TaskRabbit, GoShare and Buddytruk

Deliver people

$15+ an hour

Not in a religious sense, but in the vein of a taxi service, you might be able to make some cash delivering people to their destinations. Yes, we’re thinking of Uber and Lyft, but another way to make some extra money doing this might be to allow a company to advertise in your car to your passengers. It was reported in 2015 that rideshare drivers can make $3 an hour more by allowing companies like Vugo to advertise to their passengers. The company has more recently predicted that rideshare will eventually be free, the cost offset by advertising to passengers.

Besides acting as a taxi, you might also be able to get paid by select city governments for being a commuting carpool driver. The metropolitan areas around Washington D.C., Birmingham, Ala., San Mateo, Calif., Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo. all offer some compensation. You could also set up your own carpool and split gas.

Depending on who you want to drive, potential companies you could drive for are below:

  • Anyone: Uber, Lyft, Wingz
  • Kids: HopSkipDrive,
  • Aging:
  • Women drivers and passengers only: Safr
  • Carpools: Waze Carpool, select city governments

Start your own company

Unknown earning potential

Rather than sign up to work for someone else, you could start your own company and make money with your car. Here are a few ideas. This may be as simple as advertising your services to your neighbors or more complicated such as applying for a taxicab or chauffeur’s license.

Of course, starting your own business has a completely different set of pros and cons that you should consider carefully. But the rewards might make it worth the risk.

How to use someone else’s car to make money

Instead of using your car, you might be able to use someone else’s vehicle make money.

Be a dealership mystery shopper

$50+ per dealership

Rather than drive your own car around, you might be able to take a dealership’s brand-new cars on test drives as a mystery shopper.

Potential companies: BestMark, Pied Piper

Be a mobile mechanic

$40+ an hour

If you not only possess your own car but are handy with them too, you could hire out your services as a traveling mechanic.

Potential companies: YourMechanic, a local business, your own business.

There are a ton of ways to earn income with your vehicle (or someone else’s vehicle). Depending on where you live, what you drive and the hours you want to work, you could make money driving for someone else’s business or your own. However, you decide to earn cash, drive safely.