Rideshare, food delivery, and grocery delivery apps are the most common ways to make money with your car. However, you can also get into advertising or turn your car into a rental.
Times are hard, and that means people are starting to become more interested in earning money than ever before. Or, rather, they’re interested in turning a profit any way they can. If you have your own car, you have a shot at a wide range of money-making activities. Take a look at these popular options next time you need cash.
Here’s our list of awesome ways to make extra cash using your car.
A quick word of advice before you begin
All of these jobs are part of the gig economy, and in that world, you do not get the luxury of having an employer who takes taxes out for you. You will need to read up on personal finance and, possibly, talk to a tax advisor to ensure that you write off all the things you can.
Also, if you are in the market for a new car, check what rates you qualify for with leading auto and personal lenders before you make a decision.
1. Ridesharing services
Whether it’s Uber, Lyft, or any other ridesharing app doesn’t matter. The numbers alone show that driving your car to help others get around town is one of the most common ways to make money using your car.
Currently, according to one estimate, there are about 2 million ridesharing drivers in the U.S.A. — at least when you take a look at the numbers of Uber and Lyft drivers nationwide. Here’s what you need to know:
Key facts for rideshare drivers
- A typical Uber/Lyft driver can earn anywhere from $23,000 to $67,000 a year in a densely-populated city. This means that it can be more than just extra income. Depending on the app’s surge pricing payouts (when riders who don’t want to wait agree to pay more), you also may be able to condense your work time by ensuring you’re always available when demand is highest.
- You need a four-door car that meets basic year requirements. You also will have to pass a background check and alert your insurance providers. A newer car is best.
- Driving experience matters. Yes, it’s important to keep your car clean and neat. But you also have to keep your driving record clean if you want to stay active with a ridesharing service.
- You can do this on your free time or just make money full-time. There are plenty of full-time Uber and Lyft drivers out there.
2. Restaurant delivery
Don’t like the idea of having random strangers in your car? A similar gig for people who like the idea of making extra money while they drive is restaurant food delivery. This option allows you to do multiple drives, get extra money, and also enjoy tips.
Here’s what you should know about this option:
Key facts for restaurant delivery drivers
- According to Indeed, the average delivery driver gets about $25 per hour. Much of that money is through tips, however, though both apps and restaurants do give you a base pay. The actual earnings you get can vary greatly depending on the time and area you service.
- Driving experience matters, but car type and age are more variable. You may need to pass a background check, but most apps will allow you to start delivering food as long as you have a clean driving record and a reliable car.
- You can team up with various restaurants in your area, or do your work through food delivery apps. If you want to have a full-time or part-time job, then you can also apply as a delivery driver for a particularly busy restaurant. Most people, though, prefer working through the app route.
- This is often ideal for people who want a side gig. Most people do not make enough money for this to be a full-time income because restaurant delivery demand is so spotty at times. With effort, however, it’s still possible to make a full-time income.
3. Grocery delivery services
Do you like the idea of food delivery, but don’t want to deal with running around delivering stuff from various restaurants? You can get similar wages by helping grocery stores with their grocery delivery service.
This involves picking up (and sometimes shopping for) the groceries, then delivering them to the people who ordered it. The demand for this is sky high. Here’s the basic scoop:
Key facts for grocery delivery drivers
- Most people will make between $10 to $25 per hour, depending on how busy it is during their work hours. Since wages can be extremely varied, this is best as a side hustle. The gig-driving site Ridester estimated the average pay at around $13.50 per hour in April 2022. This is roughly the same as minimum wage in many states.
- Most grocery shoppers and delivery drivers just need a reliable car, insurance coverage, and a clean record. It’s rare to hear about people who get barred from delivering food through an app.
- Apps occasionally now offer two different types of grocery delivery options. If you want to use your car, you get to be a “full service” shopper. If you want to make money by simply picking and packing groceries, you are an “in-store shopper.”
- You can use apps to get these gigs, or you can pair up with a local grocery store to deliver groceries as an hourly worker. Which option is better depends on your own schedule as well as the feasibility of each.
4. Car wrap promotions
This is a gig that allows you to make money driving around town, no deliveries required. With this gig, companies pay you to get your car a decorative wrap featuring a logo or special promotion. The only issue is you typically have to invest a lot of time shopping around for a company or agency that requires this service to make serious bank.
Key facts for wrapped-car drivers
- Car advertising is a good way to double up money-making while you do local delivery services. However, it’s not a full-time job. People are just paying car owners for space on their cars.
- Car advertisement pays between $100 to $400 per month, depending on the contract. You cannot make more than that unless you own multiple personal vehicles.
- They may require you to have a factory paint job and a scratch-free exterior. This is what makes it a hard choice.
- Where you live will make a huge difference in how likely you are to find a company interested in working with you. Car wrap promotions are all about getting eyes on companies. If you live in an area where only 400 people live in a 10-square-mile radius, this gig is not for you.
5. Junk lugging and moving services
At one time or another, just about everyone needs a guy (or girl) with a large flatbed truck. If you have a large van or a full-size pickup truck, then you can simply get paid to haul stuff around town.
Key facts for junk luggers and movers
- Junk lugging and moving can earn you money as a full-time business of your own. You get to choose how much you charge because there really isn’t an app that sets your fees. This allows you to make money that’s proportional to the incomes around you.
- You may need a box truck for bigger jobs, but a truck of any type should work. You have to make sure you have enough space for all the stuff that you take.
- This is generally a good choice for people who want their own business. It may require special licensing and insurance, but it’s a highly lucrative field. The major caveat is that you will have to be your own boss while also doing a ton of physical labor.
- Full-time movers can make anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000 depending on their fees. More workers and larger trucks mean more money for you.
6. Car rentals
Are you a homebody who has a car or two that you never use? If so, you can make money by offering them as rental cars for people who travel in your area. There’s an app for it now. However, this tends to be less popular due to the risk of accidents.
Key facts for renting out your cars
- You do not need a background check for this, but your car will have to be reliable, clean, and well maintained. If you have a newer vehicle, then you may be able to make money this way. Otherwise, it probably won’t be an option.
- You may be held legally liable for accidents or problems caused by a lack of vehicle maintenance. This is a risk that you have to take, but thankfully, you can mitigate that risk with insurance.
- The average yearly income from renting your car as a side hustle is approximately $10,500. This depends on how much you want to charge for rental fees and where you live. Some areas are more popular than others.
- Whether or not this is a feasible option depends on where you live. You may not make a cent if you live in the middle of nowhere, but if you live in a major tourist town, this may be a great option.
How can I really make money with my car?
There are plenty of ways to make money using just your car. Most people tend to lean into the gig economy, choosing to use rideshare apps to make money driving. Of course, you can also deliver packages or use food-delivery apps to make that cash.
What car app pays the most?
According to the LA Times, the car app that pays the most is Uber Eats. However, the best apps for car-related gigs can vary greatly depending on where you live.
What companies pay you to advertise on your car?
Carvertise, Carbucks, and Wrapify are three of the most popular companies to use if you want to advertise on your car. With that said, you may need to sign up for several different services before you find a bidder.
- The most common ways to make money driving a car include grocery shopping, restaurant deliveries, and rideshare services.
- Other options include using your car as a moving billboard or renting your car out to tourists.
- Most side hustle opportunities featuring a car will require you to pass a background check.
- You can often use specialized apps to start earning money quickly.
- Vet your options before you choose one.
More ways to learn about ways to make extra money
There are tons of ways to make money using a car-based side hustle, and SuperMoney is all about bringing those opportunities to the table. If you are hard up for cash and want to learn about how you can score a second job in the gig economy, we’re here with the scoop for you.
To learn about more opportunities, check out our articles on ten side jobs you can start today and the top eleven side jobs.
View Article Sources
- Background articles from gig economy, personal finance, and ridesharing sites — Various
- Delivery Driver hourly salaries in the United States at Food Delivery — Indeed
- Gig Economy Tax Center — IRS
- How surge pricing works — Uber
- Shopper pay and earnings — Instacart
- Uber Driver Salary in Jersey City, New Jersey — Salary.com
- Which driving and delivery apps pay best? — Los Angeles Times
- Working in a gig economy — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- 10 Side Jobs You Can Start Today: Money Making Gigs — SuperMoney
- Average Income of Side Jobs – 5 Steps to Finding The Right One For You — SuperMoney
- Gig Economy Jobs: 9 Companies That Pay You To Drive — SuperMoney
- Instacart Shopper Review — SuperMoney
- Lyft Driver Review — SuperMoney
- Top 11 Side Jobs to Make Some Extra Money — SuperMoney
- Uber Driver Review — SuperMoney