In this article:
Anyone who drives a non-electric car knows that it guzzles gas—and cash. AAA estimates the annual cost of owning and operating a new car hit $10,798 in 2022. The total includes items like gas, maintenance and repairs, car insurance, and loan or lease financing.
Fortunately, you can turn your car into a cash generator to help offset vehicle costs, as well as to help pay bills, provide financial security and achieve financial goals.
You might, for instance, drive for a delivery or ride-hailing service, move items from one location to another or travel around town to tackle various household tasks. Just remember that you must balance your newfound income with the extra money you'll likely spend on gas, maintenance, extra insurance coverage and repairs, as well as other transportation needs such as parking or tolls.
Here are six ways to fuel your household budget by transforming your car into a money-making machine.
1. Drive for a Delivery or Ride-Hailing Service
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, as well as delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub, enable a car owner to earn money behind the wheel.
With Uber, for instance, a typical U.S. driver pulls in $37,702 a year, according to Salary.com. Uber notes that the amount you make as a driver depends on when, where and how often you work for the service.
Meanwhile, a typical driver for DoorDash earns $39,969 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
2. Move Stuff From One Place to Another
Another way to steer your vehicle into the money-making lane is to transport items or haul junk. This can be an especially good side hustle for the owner of a pickup truck.
Websites such as Moving Helper, Dolly, GoShare and Lugg can help you score moving gigs. Dolly, for instance, says its truck- or van-owning drivers earn an average of $50 an hour (not counting gas and other costs).
As for junk-hauling jobs, marketplaces like WastePlace, LoadUp, Curb-It and Haul Buddy can help you land work. LoadUp, for example, says one of its haulers can make an average of $55 to $200 per job.
3. Perform Household Tasks
If you have wheels and are handy with tools or don't mind physical labor, you may want to explore doing household tasks for cash. Tasks you can take on include assembling furniture, painting walls or hanging artwork.
Apps such as TaskRabbit, Thumbtack and Amazon Mechanical Turk can pair you with folks seeking somebody to undertake at-home tasks. TaskRabbit, for example, reported in 2022 that a U.S. "Tasker" made an average of $48 an hour.
4. Rent Out Your Car
Known as the "Airbnb of car rentals," Turo lets you rent out your personal car to others, much like a car rental agency does.
Turo says that, in the U.S., the average annual income for someone who rents out one car is $10,516.
5. Place Ads on Your Car
With very little effort, you can convert your car into a mobile billboard.
Companies like Carvertise, Wrapify and Nickelytics can match you with brands wanting to slap their ads on your vehicle, providing on-the-street brand exposure to pedestrians and other motorists.
Carvertise says you can reel in $400 to $1,500 per advertising campaign. At Wrapify, a driver can make an estimated $264 to $452 per month if they wrap their entire car in advertising. And Nickeltyics says that, depending on the type of ad and the length of the ad campaign, most drivers earn $175 to $250 per campaign.
6. Make Deliveries for Amazon
Not all delivery drivers for Amazon are full-timers. Through its Amazon Flex program, the e-commerce giant hires part-time drivers to shuttle packages.
Most Amazon Flex deliveries require someone to be driving a four-door midsize sedan or a larger vehicle such as an SUV, van or truck.
Amazon says most of its Flex drivers earn $18 to $25 an hour. Pay depends on factors such as location, tips and delivery times.
The Bottom Line
Your car can serve as a money-making engine in any number of ways. However, don't overlook the fact that gas, maintenance and other costs likely will chip away at what you earn, whether you're paid hourly or per project. In other words, don't shift your gig into high gear until you've weighed the benefits and costs and have checked to be sure your budget can handle these potentially higher expenses.