Let's not sugarcoat it - buying, owning and running a car is sometimes an expensive affair. Even if you manage to grab your motor at a bargain, your annual car tax, car insurance, MOT, servicing and fuel costs all add up.
But what if the thing costing you money could actually start paying for itself? Here are some ideas of how you could make money with a car. If you're interested in getting some extra cash from your motor, read on.
Bear in mind that if you're earning additional income through any of these activities, you might have to declare them to HMRC and pay tax on it. If in doubt, speak to an independent financial advisor.
Nine ways to make money with a car
- Rent out your parking space
- Rent out your parking permit
- Rent out your car
- Become a removal firm
- Advertise on your car
- Car share
- Become a taxi for hire
- Consider becoming a courier
- Meals on wheels
Rent out your parking space
Forget your car for a moment and think about the land it occupies. If you have a spare parking space on your property you could rent it out to commuters.
This is more likely to be achievable if you live within walking distance of a train station, or if your home is near a busy town or city centre, or entertainment or sports venue.
As for prices, ask around, and check on local forums. Some claim you could earn as much as £200 a month.
But that’s more likely if you live slap bang in the middle of a major city. Or in Wimbledon, for example, which could be handy during the tennis championship, rather than in deepest Norfolk.
Renting out your parking permit
On-street parking permits are commonplace. But don’t just assume you could rent one out that’s been allocated to you, though.
Make sure you check the terms and conditions of your agreement with the local council before you rent out your permit.
You could find selling your visitor parking space is not allowed.
If the parking attendants are alert, they might report the same car occupying a visitor space, leaving both you and your customer in hot water. For more information, check out our guide to commonly asked parking questions.
Rent out your car
Perhaps you just don’t like driving and only use your car for the weekly grocery shop. Or you work away from home for long periods.
You might even cover shifts that mean you never set foot in your car during the week. If so, it could be worth renting out your car.
Perhaps for a one-off trip to see their children at university, to cart large items to a tip or just to go about their daily business.
You could earn from around £30 a day renting out your car, but you’ll need to check your insurance policy to ensure this is allowed.
Become a removal firm
You may like the concept of renting your car to others, but balk at the idea of someone else driving your prize possession.
If you have a van, one way you could have a say in how your vehicle is used is to offer a removal service.
Students and many people who live in flats don’t have masses of belongings to move, but may not have a large enough vehicle to transport their bed or a wardrobe.
It could well be uneconomical for them to hire a removal firm just to shift a few large items when they could employ a private driver to do the same - even if it takes more than one journey.
Companies such as Taskrabbit and Gumtree are good starting points. But with this kind of job, you should factor in a couple of things:
The vehicle’s wear and tear
Your fuel consumption
Whether your van insurance policy prohibits the use of your van, typically, for other commercial use.
Advertise on your car
You could make up to £150 a month by having advertising added to your car. For the higher-end earnings, you’d need to tick a number of boxes.
For example, living and driving in the right locations, having the right car and being behind the wheel enough hours a day.
The adverts are applied in approved garages. Depending on the scale of the application, it should take from less than an hour for a small door or bonnet transfer to pretty much all day for a wraparound.
Clearly a full body wrap could earn you more than something that's little more than a bumper sticker.
Car sharing or carpooling is big business, and of the many tips in this article, this one is the most eco-friendly.
In a nutshell it involves subscribing to a website that connects drivers with people who are willing to pay for a lift to a set location.
This could be a commuter needing to be in a city centre miles away, who happens to live on your route.
Or someone who just needs a ride to their local hospital, which is on your way to work.
Clearly, with Covid-19 there have been restrictions on this type of activity.
But, face masks and wet wipes aside, it’s a good way to cut traffic on the roads. And you might earn some cash for nothing more than having a stranger keep you company on the road.
Providing you charge a rate that just covers your running costs, you don’t have to declare any money you take. You can work this out using the Confused.com app.
Check with your car insurance company in case there are any exclusions on your policy about this.
Compare car insurance quotes
Become a taxi for hire
It’s not unheard of for people to run a taxi service as a side line to their main occupation.
To become a taxi driver, you need to get a licence from your local council, or Transport for London if you live in the capital. To get one of these you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
Be over 18 and have a full driving licence
Be eligible to live and work within the UK
Have undertaken a disclosure barring services (DBS) check to establish that you're not a threat to the public
Be medically fit
Have completed a topographical skills assessment
Understand that as you’re a private taxi you can only pick up customers who pre-book, rather than those seeking to hail a cab on the street.
What you earn depends on numerous factors, including:
Where you’re based
How many hours you are able to commit to
Who you work for
The type, age and capacity of the vehicle you drive.
Consider becoming a courier
If the thought of dealing with the public in your car is just not your thing, you might be more comfortable transporting goods as a courier.
The internet sales world has grown exponentially since the dawn of the coronavirus.
And even when – or if – things return to normal, the convenience of online shopping is unlikely to dim.
This means there’s great demand for drivers to pick up packages from depots and drop them off at different properties.
You’ll want to ensure most of this isn’t eaten up in traffic or disappears in fuel bills. So, it’s a game for people who can ensure work in a local vicinity.
It could bring in a pretty penny though, and the process is relatively straightforward.
Meals on wheels
This is an off-shoot of the courier service, but with a twist. You need to be fast, while travelling within the speed limits, to ensure your delivery arrives on-time and is not cold.
So, local road knowledge is a must and stopping off for a cuppa on the way is a no-no.
Likewise, this job might involve more contact with the customer that a traditional courier service, as you might have to accept payment on delivery.
You could expect to earn anything from the minimum wage – £6.56 an hour for over 18s – upwards.
Earning money from your car and tax
If you’re planning to take almost all of the jobs mentioned in this article – car share is the exception – you’ll be earning an income.
If you’re already self-employed this might be added to your other work total and might need to be declared.
However, if you’re an employee or your car-related income comprises your only income, you might not need to pay any tax.
This is because you’ll be entitled to a tax-free personal allowance of £12,570 for the financial year ending April 2022.
In other words, you won’t pay any tax on earnings that don’t exceed this amount.
If ever there was an incentive to earn money from your car, the fact that you likely won’t be taxed on it might be a great motivation to get behind the wheel.