Unless you use your car all the time, it could earn you some extra cash – and even pay for itself. We hear from three drivers who find different ways to maximise money from their motors
As any driver will testify, owning and running a car does not come cheap. Recent data from comparison site ComparetheMarket revealed the annual cost of running a car for a 17- to 24-year-old driver was £2,442. This included £1,324 for insurance, £891 for fuel, £115 for road tax, £54 for an MOT and £56 for breakdown cover.
While running costs are slightly less for older drivers due to insurance cover being cheaper, the overall cost is still high. The annual running cost across all age groups is £1,849.
To make matters worse, cars depreciate quickly, losing up to 60% of their value in three years.
But the good news is there are a number of ways you can make money from your motor.
Rent out your car
Hiring out your car can make sense if, for example, you use public transport to commute during the week, so your car is sitting idle most of the time.
You can do this via peer-to-peer vehicle-sharing services, where you can list your car for free.
All cars must be insured, taxed and have a valid MOT, and there are age restrictions for both hirer and the car itself. For example, with hiyacar, which has around 2,000 cars available at any time, the hire car must be less than eight years old and the owner must be over 25.
Car owners are offered comprehensive cover via reputable insurers, such as Axa and Allianz, and this will replace your own car insurance policy during the length of a rental trip.
Once you’ve created a profile and listed your car, you’ll pay commission to the website for arranging the deal, but you can still earn a tidy sum.
With hiyacar, owners pay 30% of this fee in commission – based on the age of your car and where you live – but you can set your own rates.
Car owners and renters can contact one another via instant messaging, and can then meet up to exchange keys. Those who have keyless QuickStart technology can hire out their car via the app and provide a copy of digital keys.
“By encouraging people to share cars, this, in turn, helps towards sustainability and connecting communities,” says Graeme Risby, co-founder of hiyacar.
Other peer-to-peer car-sharing websites include Drivy (Drivy.co.uk), which says you can earn up to £800 a month hiring out your car, and Turo (Turo.com), where you can earn 75% of the trip price but your car must be no more than 10 years old.
“I have rented out my car for £1,300 in just over a year”
Francene Clarke from Hackney, north-east London, has made more than £1,300 by sharing her car via hiyacar since signing up in September 2017.
The 25-year-old, who works as a social media marketing manager, only uses her car – an Audi A1 Sport TFSI – once or twice a week to run errands and visit friends. She hires out her car via hiyacar for £59 a day – the rate initially suggested by the company.
Francene says: “I work from 9am to 5pm, so for most of the week my car is just on my driveway. At the weekends, I share the car with my friends using hiyacar’s ‘mates’ rates,” which works out much more cost-effective.”
The mate s’ rates feature allows car owners to lend their cars to family and friends at a discounted price – even if only for a few hours – while making sure all parties are properly insured.
“Initially, I signed up to generate a bit of extra income to cover my bills and to boost my savings. But having earned more than £1,300 in just over a year, I’m also treating myself to the odd shopping trip,” she adds.
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Get paid for adverts on your car
If you’re not fazed by the idea of turning your car into a mobile billboard, you can get paid for agreeing to have a wrap or sticker on your car and then just drive your car as you normally would.
Register for free, and firms such as Car Quids (Carquids.com) and rollin’ads (Rollinads.co.uk) will get in touch as soon as there is a match between your profile (based on details such as your car, your parking location, and how many miles you drive) – and an advertiser.
Once a match has been found, you will be given information about how long the branding will stay on your car and the payment you will receive.
Get paid to turn your car into a mobile billboard
Car Quids, for example, has run campaigns for brands including Pizza Hut, GoCompare, Bloom & Wild and PensionBee.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, it will check your licence and accident history and then arrange for you to take your car into one of its local fitting centres – and the advertisement and GPS is fitted in around 20 minutes.
Following this, you need to send photos of your car each month showing the stickers are still on. According to Car Quids, members typically earn between £200 and £300 over a campaign lasting two to three months.
Car Quids favours vehicles that are less than five years old – though older models may be considered. It advises members to check with their insurer before going ahead with an advertisement.
“Lots of people stop to take a look at the advert on my car”
Kate Maltby from Guildford, Surrey, has earned around £250 since signing up to Car Quids in March 2018.
The 46-year-old radiographer, who owns a Nissan Qashqai, first found out about the site when looking for ways to boost her income.
“I drive my car mainly in Surrey and Hampshire,” says Kate, who works at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. “Around four days a week, I drive from Selborne, near the town of Alton in Hampshire to Guildford. At the weekends and on my days off, I usually drive around Alton and Farnham.”
In May 2018, Kate’s car was fully wrapped with branding for the NSPCC. The wrap was an advert for a ‘messathon’ at Fernley Lodge Park in Surrey, a family obstacle course fundraising event for the charity.
Kate says: “My friends and family thought the NSPCC branding was a brilliant idea. With that wrap, I had lots of people stopping to take a look and ask about the event.
She adds: “I’m in the middle of renovating my house, so the money I’ve earned has come in very handy.”
Earn extra as a courier
If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, you could earn extra cash by becoming a courier.
Nimber.com matches up motorists who are making a journey with people who need things delivered.
Deliver items and earn cash while you’re driving
Nimber says that so far more than 150,000 items have been delivered by its users, which number more than 130,000 individuals or businesses.
Ari Kestin, Nimber’s chief executive, says: “If you are making a journey, why not take something with you, reduce your travel expenses and help someone out along the way?”
“It’s great to deliver items. It’s a win-win”
Christian Helling, from Norway, has been a Nimber ‘bringer’ since March 2018 and has completed 112 deliveries, earning around £3,600.
The 26-year-old, who works as a warehouse manager and IT administrator for a welding company, likes the idea of helping out other people while he is travelling around in his Tesla.
“As a bringer, Nimber makes it amazingly easy to find tasks – it’s great to be able to deliver items when I’m going that way anyway,” says Christian. “Nimber also makes it easy for people to request delivery or both small items – and bulky items. It’s a real win-win.”
Rent out your driveway
If you have a garage, driveway or parking spot going spare, you can earn extra cash by listing your space on free apps and websites that match you up with motorists looking for somewhere to park.
“Renting out my driveway is a no-brainer”
Rachel MacSween, from Glasgow, makes around £120 a month by renting out her parking space.
The 42-year-old, who works as a recruitment manager, lists her space on the Kerb app.
“I don’t use my parking space all the time – and especially not when I’m at work – so renting it out to make a bit of extra cash is a complete no-brainer,” she says.
“With Kerb, I can make money with pretty much zero effort. The app is really easy to use. My elderly mum and her friends are using it to make more than £100 a month by putting their driveways to work.”
ESTHER SHAW is a personal finance and property journalist who writes for the Mail on Sunday, Mirror Online and Sun Online