- Change oil.
You would be surprised how many of your friends and family would rather pay you than an oil service place to change their oil for them. This way, not only is someone they trust doing the job, but they also won’t have to wait their turn at the local Jiffy Lube. Plus, depending on how much they are normally charged, might be saving a bit of money as well. Obviously, do your homework and make sure you do it properly for their specific vehicle. Sure it won’t be a lot of money most likely, but most oil changes can be done in half an hour or less, and you might get an easy ten or twenty bucks out of it. Plus if you’re changing their oil every few months, you’ll be the first person they think to offer to pay to fix their vehicle (an upcoming item on the list).
- Fix your friend’s vehicles.
If you have a fair bit of knowledge about common vehicle repairs, you can make a good bit of money on the side doing those jobs for your friends. You buddy needs new spark plugs? Have him pay you for the parts and then extra for your time. Your sister could use new brake pads? That can be done in less than a couple hours, and it’s pretty easy to charge less than your local mechanic for that job. This has all the same benefits for your friends as the last entry, they have someone they trust working on their vehicle, they know when it will be done, and it will be done for less money. I’d call that a win-win. Obviously, this method is more or less viable depending on your existing car knowledge, you don’t want to take on a job you aren’t quite sure how to do, and end up braking your friend’s car!
One of the most common ways of making money with a vehicle is driving for Uber, Lyft, or any other ride-sharing app. For those of you who don’t know, these apps operate a lot like a kind of taxi service, you request a ride with the app, and a driver comes to pick you up to take you to your destination, for a fee. There are a handful of people who’ve made this their full-time job as opposed to just a side-hustle, and have proven it to be very lucrative if done properly. The amount you make will vary from person to person, as a lot of factors come into play, most people claim to make somewhere in between $8 to $15 an hour toting people around. Eligibility is another thing that will vary from person to person, as there is an age requirement of 21 years, your driving record must be relatively clean, and your vehicle must be eligible as well. If your vehicle is too old, doesn’t have a clean title, or has less than 4 doors, your much less likely to be able to be a driver for one of these apps. This is considered by many to be one of the most ideal side-hustles out there, especially if you enjoy driving, as you get to set your own hours, working only when you want to.
- Flipping cars on Craigslist.
This is one method that does require a little more “skin in the game”, as there is the potential to lose money, and requires a bit of starting cash as well. The general idea if fairly simple, you buy a car at a good price, that may need one or two small things fixed, take care of those and sell it for a profit. Generally, you probably don’t want to spend more than a couple thousand dollars per car, not only does that minimize the amount you can lose, you have a lot more shoppers on Craigslist looking for a car under $2,000 than a car over $10,000. At that point, they are more likely to be going to a dealership and/or acquiring a loan. Be sure to be looking out for common makes and models of car, sure, you could find a great price on a 1980 El Camino, but that’s going to take a lot longer to sell than a 2002 Civic. As a rule of thumb, I would shoot for about $500 profit per car, of course the actual profit will vary every time. As always do your homework, as previously stated there is a good chance of actually losing money with this method.
Do you have an acute attention to detail? Like keeping your car clean at all times? A good side hustle is detailing cars. Detailing usually means a deep-clean of the interior and exterior of the vehicle, along with a nice wax and polish. Pricing varies from person to person as well as vehicle to vehicle, but detailing services often charge well upwards of $100 for a single vehicle, not bad at all for a side-hustle! Just be sure to create a system that makes sure you complete the job right every time, no one wants to pay $100 just to tell whoever detailed their car “you missed a spot”.
- Helping friends move.
Have a large van or a pickup truck? Offer up your vehicle to your friends about to move for a fee. If you’re a college student looking to make a little extra on the side, chances are you know a lot of people moving back and forth between campus and home several times a year. Sure, they’re probably broke too, but they might fill up your tank for you and spot you a six-pack or a pizza. That’s just as good, right? Okay, maybe you’d prefer the cash, and most people are willing to pay for both your vehicle and your willingness to help move. So, if you’re alright with moving a few boxes as well, you can get even more side-dough. Just keep in mind if you lend your vehicle to someone else, that it’s properly insured and you trust who you lend it to.
This method is similar to the last one mixed with Uber or Lyft. Turo is an app service that lets you rent out your own vehicle to others. While the app is for the most part still in its infancy, being relatively new, it has gained traction in some larger US cities. It’s also gained a decent following with people looking to rent out higher end sports cars and luxury cars they otherwise would never be able to drive. Turo presents an opportunity for people to drive their dream car for a weekend without going broke to do it. It also creates a way for people to purchase higher-end cars as a money-making asset, or at least a way to counter act the depreciation of those vehicles. While this is currently only an option for those in larger cities; or own an expensive vehicle, it’s worth mentioning as a method to keep in mind for the future as it gains popularity.
- Fixing broken cars.
This method is very similar to flipping cars Craigslist, but requires a bit more know-how for potentially greater profit. The basic concept is the same, but instead of buying a vehicle with one or two minor flaws, you’re looking for a vehicle with at least one big-ticket item to repair. Some common ones are timing belts and chains, suspension issues, sever leaks, or damaged exteriors. If you have the know-how to repair these issues yourself and inexpensively, you stand to make a decent amount of profit buying, repairing, and selling broken vehicles. If you have some auto repair experience, or are willing to learn, and have a few hundred bucks to invest in a project, this might be the best side-hustle for you. Just be certain you know you can fix what you buy, no one wants to be stuck with a broken car!
Before you get too excited and think you can go out tonight and make thousands of dollars going all fast and furious in your local city, I’m talking about legal racing. There are plenty of local raceways that hold various tournaments (with an entry fee) where you can win money. The amount of money depends on your own willingness to invest in the sport. By that, I mean invest time, effort, and money. You aren’t going to be winning many drag races in that 2000 Altima your dad gave you back in highschool. But most racing clubs have certain tiers or separate brackets that suit most people’s vehicles and skill levels. Keep in mind that until you’re in the more serious categories, the money you win will be minimal. That being said, this is easily the most fun option on this list.
There you have it, 9 ways to make money with cars. Hopefully I helped you find a good side-hustle that you will enjoy and profit from for years to come. As always, best of luck and thanks for reading!