back to articles | February 02, 2024 | Taylor McKnight

Categories: Lifestyle

How to Make Extra Money Using a Vehicle

Could the car you drive every day become a vehicle for earning extra cash? There are actually many different ways to generate income using just your car.


Could the car you drive every day become a vehicle for earning extra cash? There are actually many different ways to generate income using just your car. In fact, you can choose to either stay in town or cover miles of road in your pursuit of extra income. Car-based gigs also offer much more flexibility than traditional jobs. That means you can use a car-based job to either replace your current income or supplement your usual paychecks. How can you start making money using an extra vehicle right away? Take a look!

How Can You Make Extra Money Using a Vehicle?

There's unprecedented demand for third-party transportation and courier services in the United States. Companies are increasingly relying on independent contractors to complete jobs. That means that anyone with a valid license and operational motor vehicle is capable of earning money. Here's a look at the top ways to earn money using your car.

Drive Using Rideshare Apps

If you like the idea of choosing your own hours, signing up to be a driver through a rideshare app can be a flexible way to earn money. Uber and Lyft accept drivers around the country. Demand for rideshare drivers is highest in urban areas. Drivers who live in areas near airports or popular venues often park near high-traffic attractions during their chosen "work hours" in order to swoop in when customers need rides. However, even residents in smaller communities are using these apps to get to medical appointments, grocery stores, local mechanics, or transportation hubs.

According to Glassdoor, the average rideshare driver makes between $41,000 and $67,000 annually. Glassdoor also reports that the average hourly rate for rideshare drivers on popular apps is around $34. With so much flexibility, this is a job where the hours and miles you put in ultimately determine your pay.

Rent Out Your Car

There's a passive way to make money from your car if you don't want to get behind the wheel as a temporary chauffeur. While not as popular as rideshare apps, peer-to-peer car rental apps are out there. This setup allows renters to skip the long lines at the rental office in favor of booking directly online with car owners. Think of it as the "Airbnb of car rentals." Popular apps for peer-to-peer car rentals include Turo, Getaround, and Avail.

Deliver Food

One of the easiest ways to make money with your car locally is to sign up to deliver food using one of the popular food-delivery apps out there today. With these apps, drivers accept orders to pick up takeout orders at restaurants on behalf of their clients. While it's similar to being a delivery driver for a pizza joint or takeout restaurant, drivers aren't tied to a specific restaurant. They can also pick and choose their hours instead of being locked into shifts. DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates, and GrubHub are the biggest names in this niche.

Deliver Groceries

While delivering groceries works similarly to delivering takeout orders, workers spend more time on each order because they are shopping on behalf of their clients. Instacart and Shipt are the two big names in this niche. Additionally, DoorDash actually offers an option for grocery deliveries. If you prefer to take on smaller errands, an app called Taskrabbit focuses more on "small" tasks instead of big shopping hauls.

Deliver Packages

While Amazon and other major retailers are known for their delivery trucks, the truth is that these companies also rely on local delivery partners to make deliveries on time. The Amazon Flex program lets delivery partners use their own vehicles to deliver packages on behalf of Amazon. Drivers who sign up can choose their own schedules by either booking blocks in advance of picking up daily jobs.

What's Required When You Use a Vehicle at a Job?

Each platform has its own requirements for drivers. Generally, you must be at least 21 years old, possess a valid driver's license, and have a clear driving record. Some companies require their drivers to have at least three years of driving experience before they can sign up. While no special license is required to drive your own vehicle for commercial purposes, positions that require you to drive a company truck may require a (CDL) commercial driver's license.

Drivers who use their vehicles to make money need to have personal auto insurance that covers the commercial use of a personal vehicle. People who choose to use their own cars to drive for rideshare or delivery apps also generally need special liability insurance that goes above and beyond what personal policies provide. Most major companies that employ drivers will provide this insurance for you for a fee.

What Are Some Jobs Related to Vehicles and Transportation?

If the thought of driving as an independent contractor for an app or major retailer isn't appealing to you, there are many salaried or full-time jobs in the transportation sector to consider. You could consider starting your own trailer-rental business. There's also potential to "flip" cars by buying, fixing up, and selling cars at a profit. Of course, simply working for a car dealership can be a way to enjoy consistency in this field. Finally, some people who are passionate about transportation choose to get on the insurance side of things by becoming licensed auto insurance agents. With the rise of ridesharing apps, there's a big potential to carve out a niche with commercial rideshare insurance that's needed by people who use their personal vehicles for commercial purposes part of the time!