For most people, owning a car is a cost, not a source of income. Just thinking about the expenses of insurance, registration, servicing, repairs, depreciation and roadside assistance, let alone the price of fuel, is enough to send your credit card into a spin.
If you’d prefer to see your vehicle earning you some dollars, here are 8 ways you could earn from owning a car.
Earn from car #1: Car sharing
How often is your car actually on the road? Even if you use your car every day, there are still likely long stretches of time when your vehicle is sitting idle. And, with the increased popularity of working from home, it may be that there are large parts of the week when your car is just waiting for someone to drive it.
That unused car time could transform into money. Car sharing is proving that our notion of “one person equals one car” is outdated and wasteful. To borrow a saying that usually relates to cake (mmm, cake!): Car sharing means you can have your car and drive it too.
Car sharing is easy and profitable. Find out what’s involved in getting set up with Uber Carshare (formerly Car Next Door) with our blog that’s appropriately titled: Your car could be making you money.
Earn from car #2: Rideshare driving
Rideshare driving is different to carsharing in that you’re not just renting out your car but remaining firmly in the driver’s seat.
Using your own vehicle for rideshare driving allows you to set your own hours and even weeks (some people drive on a seasonal basis between other jobs).
There are many different companies where you can sign up to drive for rideshare. Uber is one of them. Uber drivers must be aged over 20 (or 21 in NSW and Victoria), have held a full licence for at least 12 months and your car needs to meet Uber’s standards. There’s also some background checks (not surprising given that being a rideshare driver is a responsible role).
It’s not just big cities that need drivers. If you live outside a capital, Uber has a comprehensive list of regions keen for new rideshare drivers.
Earn from car #3: Food delivery driving
Mmm, food! Food delivery driving can be a perfect compliment to daytime work or study. And, it’s not just for car owners - you can deliver food using your bike or scooter too. Imagine the job satisfaction involved in getting food to hungry humans!
Like rideshare driving, you and your vehicle need to meet requirements. Because you’re transporting food rather than people, you’re able to start food delivery driving earlier - for example, Uber Eats is open to 18 year olds. Some regions allow people with an overseas drivers licence or a temporary visa to deliver.
If you’re more experienced with ordering Uber Eats than the idea of being a delivery driver, you might like to check out a day-in-the-life experiences of a new driver.
Earn from car #4: Deliver other things!
If you’d prefer to deliver items that don’t need to stay warm, consider becoming a package delivery driver.
You could be a courier driver or, on a more casual basis, check out sharing economy options, like Uber, that offer drivers the opportunity to participate both in rideshare and item delivery.
Earn from car #5: Wrap it
If you’re driving your car enough that car sharing or ride sharing driving doesn't work for you, consider using your car as advertising. Turn your car into a rolling billboard through a business like Wrappli or Ads on Wheels. Your car will be decorated with anything from simple stickers to a full car wrap.
This is ideal for those who have a newer car in good condition. You’ll need to be a safe driver (no-one wants their advertising to be on a car that’s driving dangerously) and different businesses have minimum-kilometerage requirements (as there’s no point in having advertising on a car that’s not being seen).
Earn from car #6: Local errands and tip runs
Get known in your local community as someone who's willing and reliable for doing deliveries or trips like tip runs. This might be best for someone with a ute or van but there’s also the option of a trailer. The earnings may not be huge but it’s a side-hustle that’ll help towards covering the running costs of your vehicle.
Local Facebook groups are a great place to get word out and find people who need the services of you and your car. You can both advertise your offering directly or be responsive to people posting their needs.
Earn from car #7: Become a driving instructor
This option is more of a career-move than a side-hustle but, if you are friendly and patient as well as a safe driver, you might like to take advantage of the current demand for instructors. According to SEEK.com, the average income earned is $55,000 - $70,000.
Registering as a driving instructor is slightly different in each Australian state and territory but, in general, you need to be 21 years or older and have a clean driving record. You then need to study for and pass both theory and practical exams as well as complete police and medical checks.
Earn from car #8: Employment that needs a car
Start to look through job ads and you’ll regularly see the requirement to have your own car.
You see, instead of providing a car, many jobs that require travel will pay you an allowance or a reimbursement for using your own car for work purposes.
So, rather than just driving to and from work, you’ll also use your car during your workday. The allowance or reimbursements will help you cover your expenses and, ultimately, you’ll save on out-of-pocket car running costs as well as earning a salary.
Not all of these eight ways to try making money using your car will work for everyone. Which of the eight fits best for you?
Information included in this article is accurate as of 13/03/23. The information published on this blog is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. The information published on this site/page should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal financial or professional advice.