11 Ways to Get Paid to Drive
At this very moment, as you look for ways to make money online, your car is sitting idle and collecting dust.
But the fact of the matter is that, if you own your own car and live in the United States, you have a money-making machine at your disposal. There are countless ways to get paid to drive, including working for services like Instacart and Amazon Flex among many others, which we’ll explore in this post. It’s just a matter of finding the opportunity that’s right for you.
This article explains how to make it happen. Fasten your seatbelt: It’s time to start making money driving.
How to Make Money Driving
I’ve compiled a list of the top 11 ways to make money driving. Check out each of them below to see which one might be right for you.
- Drive for a ridesharing service
- Work as an independent driver
- Work a delivery service
- Rent your car
- Help people move
- Drive a bus
- Drive for the elderly or disabled
- Plow snow
- Drive a big rig
1. Drive for a ridesharing service
One of the most flexible ways to make money driving is to work for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.
Driving for a rideshare lets you create your own schedule and work at your own pace. You can work early mornings, late afternoons, or even late at night. You can also choose to work only on holidays and around big events to take advantage of surge pricing. It all depends on your availability and desire to make money.
Work with Uber or Lyft and you’ll never have to worry about a boss chastising you to work more or threatening to reduce your hours. You’ll be in control of your income and your schedule.
The best part is that rideshare services make the process pretty easy by automatically connecting you with drivers, processing payments, and making direct deposits in your account. Just keep in mind that rates can change depending on where you drive, when you pick up passengers, and how often you drive.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to pick one service or the other. Drivers often download both apps and move back and forth between them. Why not give it a whirl?
2. Work as an independent driver
One of the downsides to working for a rideshare service is that they charge commissions and fees in exchange for connecting you with drivers. And that’s before taxes and wear and tear on your vehicle. Rideshare companies typically classify drivers as independent contractors. As such, you’ll most likely owe money to the government when tax season rolls around.
If you don’t want to fork over money to providers like Uber every time you drive someone, consider launching your own official business and becoming an independent driver. You can either hook on with someone as their full-time on-call driver or work for multiple clients throughout the day and build a fleet of partnering drivers to help with the workload.
This is a great option for people who own nice cars, have the time to commit to growing a business, and live in densely populated areas like New York or Chicago.
Keep a clean car, charge reasonable and competitive rates, and show up on time and you’re bound to make money as an independent driver.
When it comes to collecting payment, your customers can pay you via payment app (like PayPal), cash, check, or right on your website if you set one up (highly recommend).
3. Work a delivery service
Carting passengers around isn’t for everyone. If you’re not a people person or uncomfortable letting strangers into your vehicle, consider delivering items to customers on demand.
Here are some options to consider.
Deliver food or household supplies
One of the most popular options today is to drive for a delivery app like Postmates, DoorDash, Instacart, GrubHub, or Shipt. This is similar to working for Uber or Lyft, as the apps connect you with multiple restaurants in your area, giving you more ways to make money.
Many of these companies are giving out gift cards to new customers to try and generate more business, so it could be a great time to get involved.
Another option is to go to restaurants directly and offer to deliver food. This can result in steady pay and no commissions. However, you will most likely have to commit to a schedule.
Start a food truck
If you are an ambitious entrepreneur, consider starting a food truck. You can sell hot dogs, tacos, sandwiches, ice cream, or even coffee.
This option can be costly and you’ll have to work with your local government to obtain permission. But it can be very lucrative — especially if you create a niche food that earns rave reviews among local foodies.
4. Rent your car
Turo and GetAround are online services where you can list your car for short-term rentals.
Here’s how it works: You list your car and arrange for someone to come by and pick up the keys. Then the person uses the car for a specific period of time and returns it to you.
For example, someone may need a car for a job interview. Or they may need a pickup truck for a few hours to transport a large item.
Turo and GetAround are both quick and convenient ways to make a few bucks. The services also provide car insurance that protects your vehicle.
Another way to make money from your car is to carvertise.
As the name suggests, carvertising involves partnering with advertising companies and local businesses and allowing them to put their logo on your vehicle. With carvertising, you essentially turn your car into a moving billboard.
Use a service like Wrapify
You can use a third-party service like Wrapify to connect with local campaigns in your area and place advertisements on your car. Just make sure to research and see if Wrapify if it’s right for you.
Work with local businesses
An easier and more direct approach to carvertising is to go to local businesses — like car dealers, restaurants, and retailers — and ask to put their logo on your car. This gives you total control over the process without having to go through any third-party services.
As a result, you can control pricing and determine whether you want your car to be exclusive or if you want to host multiple companies on your car.
Just know if you go to a business offering to advertise, you’ll probably need to show some kind of ROI. Walk in with an estimate of how many miles you drive on a daily basis and where you go. Some businesses may also request proof that you are driving around frequently.
This makes sense: Companies will want to make sure that you’re not just tacking their logo onto your car and sitting home all day.
6. Help people move
There’s nothing worse than needing to move a large object like a dresser or a lawnmower and rifling through your phone book to find a friend with a truck.
If you have a pickup truck or a van, consider making your vehicle available by offering to help people move. You can advertise on Craigslist if you’re willing to take the risk or simply put up signs around town on local message boards.
People are constantly moving around, and you can make decent money helping people move. This is especially true at the end of the month or semester when apartment leases are expiring.
7. Drive a bus
If you’re comfortable with the idea of moving a large number of people around at a time, you should consider driving a bus.
There are several ways to make money driving buses. You can work for a school system, where reliable drivers are often in demand, or for a city. Or you could work for a private organization — like a hotel or a transportation company.
Driving a bus can result in steady work, and you can make decent money part-time or full-time. It’s also a fun way to meet interesting people. If you work for a company that offers long-distance touring, you can get paid to travel. Suffice it to say that there are a variety of benefits that comes with driving a bus.
Just make sure that you are comfortable sitting for long stretches at a time and that you have the patience to deal with rowdy passengers — especially if you decide to work for a school system.
8. Drive for the elderly or disabled
Yet another way to make money driving is to offer your services for the elderly in your community or those who have difficulty driving due to disabilities.
This is a great way to help others and make money at the same time. Consider partnering with local community centers, Veterans associations, or nursing homes and offering to shuttle members to and from doctor’s offices, grocery stores, work, or school.
9. Plow snow
Living in an area with a significant amount of snowfall has its benefits. You can bring in a lot of money if you have a truck and a plow — or if you learn how to operate the equipment, you can plow for another business.
Plowing often requires working in the early morning or in the middle of the night. However, it’s a great way to make extra money. Homeowners are always looking for people to plow who are reliable and do a good job.
10. Drive a Big Rig
If you have a love of the open road and a sense of adventure, you may want to look into driving a semi-truck. Long-haul trucking can be highly lucrative — especially if you buy your own rig and work as an independent contractor.
Buying a tractor-trailer can be a tremendous investment if you have the means to purchase one. You can also drive other companies’ big rigs and not have to worry about owning and maintaining one yourself.
You can live out of your truck, saving money on rent and going wherever business takes you. Plus, you can travel all over the country, delivering items and making extra money as you go.
Media and communications companies sometimes pay drivers to go around to various points and audit infrastructure — like newspaper boxes and telephone poles. You can make easy money driving to various destinations, taking pictures, and reporting the condition of predetermined objects through a spreadsheet or mobile app. It’s easy work and perfectly legit.
As an added bonus, you rarely have to interact with anyone when doing this type of work. If you can move around and complete work efficiently, this is a job to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is driving a good side hustle?
The short answer is yes. Driving can be an excellent side hustle — if you find something that pays well and you enjoy doing. Explore the above-mentioned opportunities and look for creative ways to make money on the open road. There are countless opportunities worth exploring.
Do you need a background check to drive for Uber?
Uber performs background checks on drivers on an annual basis. If you want to drive for Uber, you need to have a clean driving record. If you drive for Uber without a clean driving record, you’ll risk having your account deactivated.
Do you need a nice car to drive for Uber?
You don’t need to drive a luxury automobile to drive for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. As long as your car is clean, safe, and not more than 15 years old, you should be able to use it to make money. Most people care more about getting to and from their destinations on time than the type of vehicle that’s picking them up. Plus, Uber offers luxury car services for people who want to pay for a high-end experience.
The Bottom Line
When you boil it all down, driving can be an awesome side hustle. For many driving jobs, you don’t even need driving experience or a degree to get started. All you need is the right type of driver’s license and a clean driving record.
Driving can be a great way to bring in extra cash and it’s something that you can do on your own time in many cases. You can use the money to pay for car payments and save or invest whatever’s left over at the end of the month.
Just remember to always be professional and practice safe driving habits. The last thing you want is to waste your time or get into an uncomfortable situation.
Now that you know your options, it’s time to get behind the wheel, buckle up, and start securing your financial future.