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How to make money with a car

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. 

Hands holding a car and coins

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. You may also have to make your insurer aware if you use your car for some of the activities listed too.

Nine ways to make money with a car

  1. Rent out your parking space
  2. Rent out your parking permit
  3. Rent out your car
  4. Become a removal firm
  5. Advertise on your car
  6. Car share
  7. Become a taxi for hire
  8. Consider becoming a courier
  9. Meals on wheels

 

1. 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, 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.

There are specialist sites that could link you up with customers, such as Your Parking Space, JustPark and Parkonmydrive, as well as more general sites such as Gumtree.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Sites such as Getaround and Turo hook up owners with people who need a vehicle.

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 need to check your car insurance policy to ensure this is allowed.

Compare car insurance quotes

4. 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 for other commercial use.

5. 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 could take under an hour for a small door or bonnet transfer to all day for a wraparound.

Clearly a full body wrap could earn you more than something that's little more than a bumper sticker.

Sites such as Car Quids and Adverttu are there for anyone interested in tattooing their car for cash. The range of products that you could select to advertise should cater for most tastes.

This is another one that you might have to clear with your insurer. Some might consider the adverts to be modification which could affect your car insurance premium.

6. Car share

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.

Providing you charge a rate that just covers your running costs, you might not 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.

Firms such as Liftshare and BlaBlaCar are a good place to start if you're interested. Also, some local authorities promote car sharing schemes.

If you want to share your car with your colleague or a friend, it could be worth looking into temporary car insurance. You can get cover from one day to a month.

Compare temporary car insurance quotes

7. 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 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

Make sure you update your insurer if you decide to go down this route. You might need a specific policy if you become a taxi for hire, for example a commercial travelling policy. 

8. 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.

There’s great demand for drivers to pick up packages from depots and drop them off at different properties.

Firms such as Hermes and Amazon use self-employed drivers, and pay from around £10 per hour.

You 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.

Again, you need to make sure that your car insurance policy covers this. You might have to change the class of use on your car insurance policy so it covers you for business use.

Changing how you use your car might also bump up your premiums, so factor this in when you're working out your earnings.

9. 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 than a traditional courier service, as you might have to accept payment on delivery.

You could expect to earn anything from the minimum wage upwards.

Check that your car insurance policy covers you for this, as this could class using your car for business purposes. 

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 might be earning an income. It's worth contacting HMRC to see if you have to pay tax on this.