I meet with business owners both locally and internationally and share what I learn to help readers generate more income.
Earn Extra Income by Using Your Car for a Side Hustle
Is the cost of owning a car driving you crazy? Does it seem like you're always paying for gas, insurance, repairs or registration? Wouldn't it be great if your car could pay for itself? There are many things you can do daily while using your car to earn extra money. It's time to turn your car into an asset—not a liability.
In this article, we explore 18 specific money-making ideas, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. After reading through these ideas, you will likely come up with even more ways to transform your car from a money-draining burden into a money-making machine.
Some vehicles are better suited for certain ideas than others. For example, if you plan to carry large things such as sofas, you'll probably need either a station wagon (estate car), van or MPV with removable seats.
Because this site is read by a global audience, it's worth mentioning here that some of these ideas may necessitate a change in your car insurance policy. It's important to speak with your insurance company before beginning any of these activities to determine exactly what your policy covers and how costly it would be to change your plan if you need to.
"The average person spends $8,849 per year for the privilege of driving."
1. Take Kids to School
When you take your kids to school, how many other parents are doing the same thing? Probably many, and all are taking time out of their day adding to the congestion on the roadways.
Why not offer to take other parents' children to and from school? This service will come as a welcome relief for many of them. Choose people who live near you. Most parents will gladly pay you so they don't have to do this chore twice a day.
Whether you charge your clients weekly or monthly is up to you. depending on the size of your car, you should be able to take your child and three or more others. Aim to earn $5 or more per child per day. Your fee should be dependent on the distance traveled and the area in which you live.
Most parents will be pleased to have a responsible person taking their child to and from school to free up a portion of their morning and a portion of their afternoon. This arrangement also gives parents peace of mind knowing that their children don't have to ride on either a public bus or the school bus. As a courtesy, wait until the children get inside their homes before driving away.
2. Take Dogs to the Groomers
How many people do you know who have dogs and dread taking them to the groomers? Maybe they feel their car is too clean to take the dog, or perhaps they don't have a car. If you have either a kennel or a rear gate, taking dogs to and from the groomers should be easy. With a liner in the back of your car, you can easily keep it clean.
The owner of the dog may or may not come with you depending on their circumstances. Show common sense by not leaving the dog unattended in the car at any time. Have business cards made, as many dog owners attend group trainings and socialization sessions and can recommend you to others.
This barrier was just what I needed to keep my Doberman in the back. She gets so excited when she knows she is going out somewhere. I needed something to keep her out of the back seat, as I was concerned that if I left a window partially open for her she might try and get out.
Who needs those headaches when you're driving? At first, she didn't like having this barrier up and wanted to paw at it, but with a few commands, she got the message. Now she is calmer, and I can keep the windows down or the air conditioning on so we both arrive less stressed.
Read More From Toughnickel
3. Make Car Videos
Do you understand your way around a car? If so, you could make a short video about a specific car repair or simple maintenance. If classic cars are your passion, why not make a buyer's guide to classic cars in which you highlight potential problem areas for specific models. Record yourself showing potential pitfalls, and explain how to avoid them.
Make a video and put it on YouTube. Once you get enough views and subscribers, YouTube will place ads on your video, and you can earn money. Please take a look at the video above and note of the number of views. Many believe that online video is going to bypass the earning potential of article writing. Good editing is crucial to keep your car tutorial interesting.
Before starting, take a look at several videos on the subject and take note of both good and bad points. Camera angles, lighting and explanations need to be thought about beforehand to achieve the best results.
4. Deliver Newspapers
Are you a morning person? If you live in an area where a paper is circulated, consider using your car to deliver the morning news. It's an easy way to earn cash. If possible, try to get the Sunday delivery round, as that usually pays best.
If there isn't a paper being delivered in your area, you could develop the round yourself. This is how one of Britain's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Duncan Bannantyne, started his career. He got the subscribers and then delivered their papers. Don't think that this is only for kids on bikes; using your car is much faster and easier.
5. Complete Paid Surveys While Waiting
If you do work with your car, consider completing surveys on your smartphone in your downtime while waiting for your customers. The key to consistent earning is to have fingers in several pies, or eggs in many baskets, so to speak. There are many companies that will pay for your opinions on a variety of products and topics.
6. Deliver Organic Vegetables To Restaurants or Homes
Here in Brazil, many entrepreneurs use their cars for food delivery. Some deliver to local stores, and others deliver to restaurants. Often, restaurateurs are too busy running their restaurants to source specialist fruits and vegetables. Likewise, many small, specialist gardeners need outlets for their crops. This is where you come in. You can be the go-between, collecting and delivering these fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you know organic growers in your area, approach them and find out what they have currently and what they plan to be harvesting each week. Take this list to the restaurants you have built relationships with and see if they are interested. Start slowly, and you can build up a steady trade. This can also be useful for home delivery, as many people prefer farm-fresh, local, organic fruit and vegetables.
7. Deliver Groceries
Have you ever bought your groceries online? How was the service? When I tried it, I noticed it was hit and miss. Sometimes the people choosing the food didn't have a clue. In fact, that was the reason I stopped using a grocery delivery service. One week, they would choose high-quality items, and the next week, they would pick out cuts of meat I wouldn't even give to a dog!
If you are known as a fastidious person by your friends, offer to do their shopping for them. They can send you with a list and pay you upfront or when you return. Charge them a fee for doing this. This can tie in nicely with your own shopping schedule if you plan ahead.
8. Run a Taxi Service
In some areas, using your car as a taxi or rideshare may require a change in your license type. Check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to be sure before considering this option.
Consider becoming an Uber driver or signing up to drive with a similar rideshare company that is popular in your area. These are, in essence, minicab services. You sign up with the company and log on via your smartphone when you want to drive, and when someone requests a ride, the service locates the driver nearest to the client and assigns them the job.
The client is typically shown the total cost of their journey before they book. They usually pay using their phone, which is safe and secure for both driver and customer. This is a low-cost option for the client, and as such, it is taking off in many areas.
Drivers are paid periodically by their rideshare service and are typically considered private contractors—not employees. Most services require drivers to use cars that are fewer than five or so years old. Many partner with leasing services that allow drivers to lease newer cars if their own vehicles are too old.
My son used to do this in the San Francisco area. He really enjoyed it, and he also made a tidy sum of money.
9. Take People to the Airport
If you live within a few hours of an airport, offer to take people to and from their flights. You will need ample space for passengers and their luggage. If they are bringing sports equipment such as surfboards, skis, or golf clubs you will need to make arrangements to carry those as well. If your vehicle is too small to accommodate these items, consider purchasing a rooftop storage container. If there are young children in the group, you may need to provide a car seat or booster seat.
Services like this save clients the stress of having to take their own car and pay expensive airport parking fees. Once you establish a reliable service, your customers will use you repeatedly and recommend you to their friends.
Contact local hotels in your area and see if you can leave your business cards with them so that they can refer travellers who need airport rides to you.
10. Train Newer Drivers
Do you have nerves of steel? If so, you could offer to take newer drivers out for supervised practice sessions. In most places, new drivers are given permits to drive with a supervising adult in the car for a certain amount of time before they become eligible to apply for a full-fledged driver's license. Some parents are too busy to take their children out to practice, and driving schools are expensive, so providing a slightly cheaper alternative may help you pick up clients quickly.
11. Take People to Appointments
For some people, especially elderly people, going to medical appointments can be an ordeal. If they have to wait for a taxi, their problems are compounded. Going with someone they know is less stressful for them. Most folks prefer to have someone waiting to take them back home as soon as their appointment is finished. After some visits for certain types of treatment, it isn't advisable for patients to drive themselves home.
12. Deliver Pizza or Other Meals
Many well-known pizza places are desperate for reliable drivers. Most of this work takes place in the evening. Not only will you be paid a base wage, but you may receive a gasoline reimbursement per mile. If you are presentable, polite, and provide good service, it's likely that you'll also receive tips. Combining an evening job such as this with a morning paper route and taking kids to school in your car could earn you a consistent income.
13. Chauffeur at Weddings
If your car looks nice and is in good condition, you may consider hiring yourself out as a wedding chauffeur. The wedding party may add adornments like bows or cans to the car. This sort of work typically involves bringing the bride to the church, taking the married couple to the reception and, occasionally, bringing the newlyweds to their hotel after the celebration. You'll likely be expected to dress smartly for this sort of work.
14. Advertise for Companies
Local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, even dentists may be willing to pay you to have your car wrapped with an advertisement for their services. Get creative and brainstorm about what businesses might be willing to advertise using your vehicle.
For example, if you do the school run (item one in this list), which businesses do you think would like their adverts in front of those parents? Approach companies you think may be interested. They will create and buy the decals and pay to have them applied to your car.
This option may only be applicable if you drive frequently and in many areas, as no company wants to pay for an advertisement on a car that sits in a garage all day. All you need to do is what you already do—drive.
Depending on your client's needs, they may offer you a one-off payment for an agreed-upon span of time (e.g., a month, six months, etc.) or a monthly payment. Where I live, when it is election time, many people are paid to display political advertisements on their cars.
15. Move Furniture and Other Items
In Britain, it is common to see a sign on a van that says, "Man with a van." This just means that the van's owner is available to use their van to help move objects. Jobs can range from helping someone move all of their belongings to a new house to simply moving one or two large objects from one place to another. Sometimes, clients need someone to take items to the dump for them.
Often, when people buy something used, they don't have a car large enough to carry it home. That is where your services will be needed. Make sure that you have either someone to help you or a hand truck to assist you in loading and unloading.
16. Bring People to Swap Meets and Car Boot Sales
If your friend or neighbor wants to take their items to a swap meet or a car boot sale (the UK equivalent), their car may be too small, or they may not wish to use theirs. If they have large items, and your car has more space, they will see the sense in hiring you and your car to take their items to the swap meet.
17. Take People on Sightseeing Tours
Do you live in an area where you could take tourists sightseeing? If you know your local area and have some interesting facts about it, set yourself up as a tour guide. Speak with your local tourist information center to put your name forward. You may wish to design a brochure highlighting the places your tour visits and your prices. If your local history could do with some improvement, the town library is a great place to begin your research.
18. Write in Your Spare Time
If you are looking for a way to earn extra money, I would suggest you start writing on HubPages. It is free to join, and you can earn money by writing articles about a wide variety of topics. You could even write while waiting for people you have taken to appointments or during lulls in other taxi-related services.
There is often a lot of downtime in motoring. Some of the time, you are just waiting in the car, so why not take advantage of that time and use it to write articles?
Everyone who writes on HubPages' network sites, including myself, started with their first page. Then we wrote another and kept at it. Now, we are making money not just from our current articles but also from the ones we wrote when we first started. How great is that?
It isn't a get-rich-quick scheme, but with continued effort, you will see your earnings increase, and you may wish you had started sooner. You can sign up and start writing today in your spare time. My articles have been viewed over 3,000,000 times by people around the world.
HubPages takes care of the technical side. When someone clicks on an ad on one of your articles, you receive a share of the ad revenue. When your balance reaches the payout level, currently $50, you are paid by HubPages. It's easy to use, and there are people from all walks of life and all ages who use the platform.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: How do I sign up for Hubpages?
Answer: Go to the site called Hubpages. At the top you'll see a button that says 'Join'.
© 2012 Mary Wickison
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 15, 2018:
This article lists ideas that you can do as a self employed person. There is no office or anything you have to join.
My advice to you would be to look at areas that a car would make someone's life easier. Find the gap in the market and offer your services. Ensure you get any official paperwork in place before beginning a new venture. Your local small business advice center or the equivalent of a chamber of commerce should be able to guide you.
Ababio Dacosta on November 15, 2018:
I would love to join but I’m in Ghana, so how am I going to go about it in this country or you got an office here please?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 11, 2018:
Yes, there are writers from all over the world. If you love to write, Hubpages is a great platform.
caroline Golding on October 11, 2018:
is the hubpages also applicable for people in South Africa?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 31, 2018:
Tough Nickel and many other sites, all fall under the Hubpages umbrella. Some time ago Hubpages separated into niche sections, such as this site about business. That move proved a popular one and people who create content are now seeing an increase in views.
You can use this link. https://hubpages.com/ It's free to join and there is never any cost to you. It's a very supportive community of writers.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 02, 2018:
At the top of the page, there is a 'Join' button. Once you join, you should read the section called the learning center. There you will find excellent tips on what is expected of you so you can be successful here on Hubpages.
William on July 25, 2018:
I would like to write for HubPages. How do I get started?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 05, 2018:
You can write about whatever you're passionate about. Have a look around the Hubpages site, the topics are vast. Everything from witches, to car repairs to the best way to grow tomatoes!
I personally write about business, fashion for over 50's, and farming.
It's really whatever you have some knowledge in or can research.
Susan on June 04, 2018:
What kind of articles would i write
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 11, 2017:
The fact that you have a utility vehicle already puts you ahead. Often people just don't have space in their car. They may just need to move things and will do the lifting.
If you are near an airport, you could do trips to the airport.
Where I live in Brazil, there are people who do trips up the coast in their vehicles for tourists. They drive a good portion of it off-road and their clients love it and pay well. The driver has deals with local restaurants and hoteliers in route and so he can provide the whole package for his customers.
I hope some of these ideas are helpful to you, thanks for the question.
Matt Elder on November 05, 2017:
I am a disabled guy whoes left arm n left leg work but only to 90 percent. Right side is fine, I just cant run, I have got a ute. What do you suggest?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 28, 2015:
You are correct, it is something which one needs to consider before venturing into many of the options here. The US is famous world wide for their desire to sue people. As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Sofia on July 28, 2015:
Insurance, insurance, insurance. That's the main problem with earning extra money transporting people or animals around. The spike in the insurance will eat up most of your xtra earnings, no longer making it qorth thentime and effort. That's how it is in the USA anyways.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 16, 2015:
Thank you. I believe often we can use what we already have to make additional cash.
Thank you for your visit and comment, I hope you are having a great week.
Kimberly Vaughn from Midwest on March 16, 2015:
You shared lots of ideas that I never thought of before. Interesting hub!
Jacobb9205 on February 15, 2015:
Blond Logic, aha No problem
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 15, 2015:
Yes that is always a good place to start. Thanks for your visit and have a great day.
Jacobb9205 on February 15, 2015:
Great ways to make money with a car! Now I just need to finish learning to drive and buy a car :)
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 04, 2014:
I lived in the UK for many years and you are right, they are an integral part of the UK delivery and moving scene. As always in the UK, similar words have different meanings. 'Man with a van' is someone who helps you out when you need his services. On the other hand,
'White Van Man' is the guy who double parks, cuts you off in traffic , and is responsible for traffic jams in every major city. lol.
Great to hear from you, thanks for the comment.
Craig Bruun on November 03, 2014:
I made money as s man with a van. It can be very rewarding. Since retirement I write about the subject extensively. In Britain the term "man and van" is very common and in fact most small moves and eBay deliveries are done by small one-man businesses.
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on May 09, 2012:
Wonderful hub. I am thinking this hub might be very useful to college students needing to make some extra money.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 09, 2012:
A call to the insurance company always helps and puts your mind at ease. Once you know what your insurance allows, the ideas should flood in.
Thanks for stopping by.
Dianna Mendez on May 08, 2012:
Great ideas and some are exciting. I would have to make sure insurance covers riders and loss/damage of packages. Voted up!