You, Your Car, and a Second Income


Not long ago, Forbes magazine pointed out that there were many ways to make money with your car beyond the basic Lyft and Uber routes. Yes, these are simple methods for monetizing ownership of a reliable, relatively new car, but you and your car can earn a second income in many other ways.

Online reports indicate that the average Uber driver income is less than $450 per week. That is often a second income earned during the driver’s spare time. Yet, just think about it for a moment. It’s a serious hustle for that cash. You are going to have to take as many rides as you can, do the research to find the most competitive hours, and generally work that into your “day job” situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it isn’t a valid way to earn income. In fact, I’ve written articles explaining precisely how and why you should do it. What I am saying is that it may not be for everyone; particularly those who are not into the idea of hustling and bustling during what is meant to be off hours or down time.

Outside of the Box Thinking

So, how can you and your car bring a second income if you are not going to setup a driver’s account with Uber or Lyft? Really, there are dozens of options…yes…dozens.

However, as this is an article meant to help you both earn and save money, we need to put a few points out there before we delve into the best ways to monetize ownership of a car. After all, if you are putting in the hours only to see most of the earnings evaporate at the gas pumps, it is a time to reassess. Rather than finding yourself there, though, just use these points to steer you towards the most lucrative options for you:

  • Auto expenses – No matter what you are doing with your car to bring in a second income, there will be expenses associated with it. They include the gas, wear and tear, and repairs or maintenance as well as the appropriate insurances, tolls and other similar fees. Don’t begin to consider how to monetize ownership of a car without also deducting these expenses from your anticipated earnings.
  • Insurances – In addition to being a regular expense for most drivers, when you are going to monetize ownership of a car using one of the methods suggested here, it could mean your liabilities increase. Will you have passengers? Will you be using the car more than you explained for your initial quote? Is it now a business vehicle? What sort of risks are involved? It is a good idea to talk to your insurance provider and find out what is needed, as well as what that will entail financially.
  • Condition of the car – Here’s a biggie and one that you must consider as you look for a way to monetize ownership of a car and bring in a second income. What is the year of the car? Is it in good enough condition to keep up with the demands you’ll place on it? Services like Uber and Lyft have some basic specifications, and you may want to use them as a guide no matter what you are going to do with the car. Remember too that if you are shuttling passengers or cargo, you need the car to be both reliable and safe (not to mention comfortable and appealing).
  • Your location – If you are living in a very rural area, you are going to be a bit limited in your options. Though almost everyone is glad to have an Uber or Lyft functioning in their town, it might not be a viable solution for you. Consider the distance you drive (i.e. gas, wear and tear and time costs) before committing to one approach to monetizing ownership of your car, as well. After all, it makes no sense to drive 40 minutes, work four hours, and drive back 40 minutes in order to barely break minimum wage after time and expenses are figured in.
  • Extras – If you are going to need to transport luggage, be sure you have a workable roof rack or space for bags. If you are carrying, or offering to carry kids, be sure you have legal car seats or boosters. If you are transporting skiers or surfers, be sure you can safely transport their gear, and the same goes with bikes.

So, with that in mind, and if you are ready to discover how you and your car can get a second income, let’s consider some effective and workable options:

Airport Run 

This is easily one of the most overlooked opportunities for monetizing ownership of a car. It involves nothing more than using basic “word of mouth” to let friends, colleagues, neighbors and others that you are more than happy to drive them to the local airports. If you are within two hours or less of major airports, it can become an amazingly easy and lucrative way to spend your downtime. It saves people the stress and hassle of driving into an urban area just before a flight, spares them the trouble of dealing with their vehicle or a rental, allows them not to stress about loading the luggage (and unloading it), and lets them know they have transportation awaiting upon their return.

You can also boost your business if you let local hotels, B&Bs and AirBnB owners that you offer this service. Have cards made to give yourself a very serious advantage over anyone else providing a similar service.

School Run

If you are a parent who already drives their kids to and from school, sporting activities or other extracurricular stuff, why not also offer to transport other children. Most parents are more than happy to pay a reliable parent to tackle this twice-daily (or more) routine, and you can earn a steady stream of income, keep up to date on all of the latest school happenings and gossip, know everyone is safe, and bulk up the bank account along the way. Even if it becomes only a small sum, it is still helping you monetize ownership of your car. Yet, most parents doing this are earning around $5 per day, per child. That can add up fast if you have a minivan and can transport two or more kids apart from your own.

Appointment Run

If you have any senior living communities, over 55 developments or senior centers in your area, you have an opportunity to earn a nice amount by offering to drive people to appointments. The elderly are particularly in need of on-demand drivers and few are happy about taxi services or weekly shuttles. If you can book one or two people at once, most are happy to share the ride. It may not pay top dollar, but it can be a great way to give back AND monetize ownership of the car in the nicest way possible.

Dog Run

Do you have groomers in your area? Are there any mobile groomers? If not, you have yourself a golden opportunity to help the groomer’s business grow by offering “delivery” services. You setup your vehicle to be a safe transport for dogs (i.e. installing barriers between the passenger and cargo areas, non-slip mats to help the dogs keep their footing, and so on), and just pick them up at home, deliver them to the groomers and then bring them home when their grooming is done. Again, you can earn $5 or more per dog and can often work with the groomer to do a run in the morning and then again in the afternoon, possibly netting you anywhere from $30 to $50 a day.

Newspaper Run

Why not go the traditional route followed by millions of kids in the past? You won’t often find children on bikes making morning paper routes these days, but you will find dozens of people driving around in the pre-dawn hours delivering them. If you are an early bird and like the peace of the pre-dawn and sunrise hours, this is for you. Even more so if you don’t mind getting up early on a Sunday morning. Why? This is the most lucrative round for deliveries and during the holiday season most of your patrons will typically provide a gift or cash bonus! If you can also get kickbacks for getting subscribers via referrals, then you have only added to the potential earnings.

Farmer’s Market Runs

In different areas of the world, more and more farmers are coming together to create co-ops and CSAs. For example, in the New York and Connecticut area there is an organization known as Field Goods that operates as a sort of co-op in which subscribers get weekly deliveries of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy, pasta, breads and more. They head to specific drop off points to pick up their purchases, but many farm groups are now making delivery an option, too.

Take time to discover if you also have organic growers and farmer’s co-ops offering weekly deliveries. If so, and if you have a vehicle properly sized for it (think minivan, truck or SUV) you can suggest they pay you to do at home, restaurant and other deliveries.

Even just arranging to do restaurant deliveries for local farmers may net you a few vegetable and fruit runs each week. As one expert suggested, “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 a relationship 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 …”

Grocery Run

While you might not have the option for working with local farmers to do vegetable and fruit runs, everyone has the need for groceries, and you can build a nice little business or second job for yourself around this. Websites like Instacart already exist and allow you to register (if they operate in your area) as a driver. You pick your hours and they let you know which stores have deliveries. You handle the rest and get paid for doing it.

But, don’t think you are limited to this option alone. After all, most of us have friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues who might be more than happy to toss their grocery lists at you and pay you to do this unwelcome task for them. Yes, it is now more than just the driving and delivery part, but that can also mean a higher fee for the work. If you are super organized, you might even roll a few shopping trips into one and make a very tidy amount for an hour or two of shopping and delivery.

Food Delivery

Do you live in an area where GrubHub or another service is active? If so, you can register as a delivery driver, pick your hours and monetize ownership of your car easier than ever. Also consider UberEats, Eat24, Seamless and Doordash among others. Some even have options for delivering on foot or bike, but as this is all about making money with the car, stick to those that focus auto delivery.

Forget the Run and Break Out the Camera

Now, you have quite a few ways that you and your car can earn a second income, and all of them have involved driving. However, if you are good with auto repair, auto detailing or anything else to do with cars, why not start a YouTube channel offering hints and tips. You could show people how to do everything from oil changes to more complex repairs in the DIY mode. Do tutorials about changing a flat on a specific make and model. Show classic car owners a few tips. The options are endless, but the real money making comes from building an audience and monetizing your channel.

You can do this by selling ad space or you can create a blog or website and use that as your funnel. It is not as easy as hopping behind the wheel and driving, but if you take time to find out how to monetize a car blog and video channel with steps like affiliate marketing, social media and PPC ads, you may be surprised.


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