Nearly half of all Americans would not be able to come up with $400 if there was an emergency. That means that a single unexpected expense, such as a car repair or a root canal, could wipe out their savings. To pay for those emergencies, they may resort to high-interest payday loans or go without necessary care.
If your savings account is low and you need cash quickly, side hustles can be a smart way to make extra money. And, if you own a car, your earning potential can dramatically increase. Having access to a vehicle can help you earn more money in your spare time, so you can pay for unexpected expenses as they come up without using loans or credit cards.
Here are five ways your car can start making your money:
1. Drive for a Rideshare Service
If you like to drive and know your way around town, you can make significant money driving for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. These platforms serve as on-demand taxis, but with independent contractors providing the ride.
Through the services’ apps, riders can request a ride to a location. Once you accept the gig, you show up at the rider’s location and drive them to their destination. Riders pay for the ride through the apps, and can also leave a tip.
According to one study, the average hourly rate for a Lyft driver was $17.50. Even better, some rideshare services allow you to cash out your earnings several times each day. When you need cash right away for an emergency, driving for Uber and using the Instant Cash feature can be a much wiser decision than taking out a payday loan.
2. Deliver Products
If you don’t like the idea of carting around strangers in your car, another way to make money is by delivering online orders. Services like Amazon Flex use independent drivers to make time-sensitive deliveries, such as Prime Now or Amazon Fresh orders.
The pay for delivery drivers can be excellent. According to Amazon, drivers in the Amazon Flex program can make up to $25 an hour. And, you can work on your own schedule.
If Amazon Flex is not in your area, check out other delivery services like PostMates and DoorDash.
3. Rent Out Your Car
While delivering packages and giving rides can pay well, it’s not for everyone. If you’d rather not drive around town in your free time, your car can still make you money.
You can rent out your car to tourists or locals in need of a vehicle through Turo, a service that connects car owners with renters. According to the company, the car owners earn $720 per month, on average. And, you can get insurance through the company to protect your car.
If you don’t mind having strangers driving your car on weekends or days you don’t use it, you can make a lot of money while sitting on the couch.
4. Advertise on Your Vehicle
If you have a long commute, you can sell your car exterior for advertisements. Through services like Carvertise, car owners are connected to local businesses who want to promote their businesses. Once matched, the company will design the advertisement and put a wrap — a specialized car decal — on your car.
Depending on where you live and how much you drive, you can make up to $400 a month. If you’re going to be driving to work anyway, turning the daily commute into a source of passive income is a smart idea.
5. Move Large Items
For truck or van owners, your cargo space and towing ability can help you earn cash through a service called Dolly.
Dolly connects truck and van owners with people in the community who needs help transporting furniture, boxes, or other large items. If you’re willing to use your truck and help move those heavy things, you can make up to $30 per hour. According to the company, top Dolly workers make as much as $1,000 per month.
To become a Dolly Helper, you must be able to lift at least 75 lbs. and have a valid driver’s license.
Turning Your Car Into Cash
If you’re looking to increase your income and build up your emergency fund, your car can be a valuable asset. From delivering packages to renting out your vehicle, you car can help increase your earnings every month.
For more ideas on how to get your financial life in order, check out how to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
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