If you're willing to have ads stuck to the side of your car, you could earn some much-needed extra income. Sue Hayward explains how.
Would you be happy to drive around in a branded vehicle to earn some extra cash?
If so, you're in luck: a number of companies now offer motorists more than £2,000 a year for having their vehicles covered in adverts known as car wraps.
A car wrap is a colour advert printed on a special vinyl covering so it can be temporarily stuck to your car.
A wrap is usually the full version which covers pretty much your entire car but you can opt for smaller adverts on the panels or bonnet.
Get paid for parking & driving
You could ask local businesses if they pay for this but the simplest option is to register your details with services such as Comm-motion, Money4space or Street Car Ads.
When it comes to brands, it's your car, so you can turn down any adverts you're offered, but the fussier you are, the fewer ads you're likely to get.
Some companies such as Money4space insist you drive a minimum 500 miles a month to ensure adverts are seen, but at streetcarads.co.uk you can get paid for parking.
"For us the value is where the car's parked so there's no extra driving, it's environmentally friendly and easy money," says Street Car Ads founder Charlie Warburg.
His company looks for vehicles parked in busy residential areas. For example, commuter parking near stations or people who work from home with their car parked outside.
Previously focused on students, the firm has now opened up nationwide to the general public with clients including Ikea, Wilkinson, Greggs and Domino's Pizza.
How much can I earn?
Rates and the coverage needed will vary.
At the top end of the scale you could earn up to £220 a month or £2,640 a year with Comm-motion by opting for its "max wrap".
This means your entire car, with the exception of your windscreen, is covered.
Special transparent vinyl is used on the rear and side windows so visibility won't be affected.
How will I get paid?
With Money4space you can earn up to £1,500 covering your entire car for a year or get £60 for an advert on your rear windscreen for three months.
And parking rather than driving your car can earn you between £30 and £50 a month with Street Car Ads.
It's not instant cash as payment is usually made in arrears by cheque or direct debit. And most companies do expect an initial commitment of between one and three months.
The extra cash may sound great but depending on your annual income you may be liable for tax on this and it's down to you to tell the tax office about any extra earnings.
You need to be 18 or older and hold a full valid UK driver's licence plus current MOT and road tax for your car.
You'll then need to complete an online registration form with details of your car, along with driving or parking habits before your car can be matched with a potential advertiser.
What about the hassle factor?
You'll need to go to a designated garage or service centre to have the advert put on.
With Street Car Ads this can be a 10-minute job as adverts are on the bonnet and sides. But with a full wrap covering the entire car this can take up to eight hours.
Removal is much quicker, however.
Keeping your car clean is also part of the deal. Companies won't want their brand spotted on filthy old bangers so you'll usually need a newer car, typically less than 10 years old.
Washing it every fortnight, for example, may be part of the contract.
"We carry out spot checks to make sure cars are cleaned and parked in the right place," says Warburg.
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