Owning a vehicle can make life so much easier. You can go where you want, when you want. But when the car payment, insurance or registration is due, you may be gritting your teeth in frustration. Even used car costs can add up with maintenance and repairs. Here are five ways to offset the cost required to keep your car on the road.
Earn Money Using Your Car
Deliver a Local Paper
Believe it or not, newspapers are still around. Some of your neighbors are still looking for their daily news in print. If you don’t mind getting up a little earlier in the morning, you can deliver the local paper. When you contact the newspaper company, ask about available routes and the specific timelines for picking up the papers and delivering them. Then, find out what payment looks like. Figure in the cost of gas as well as the wear and tear on your car as you make these drop offs.
Today, everything needs to be done quickly. Documents are needed right away, packages need to make it across town immediately and signed contracts must be filed before 5 pm. By using your car as a courier service, you can make these deliveries for individuals or businesses that need help. You can work with an already established courier service or attempt to set up your own. Either way, you are paid per delivery and can usually work more or less, depending on your schedule.
Have you even been to the grocery store and noticed that they are out of soda or bread? You can be a part of the solution. In this case it helps to have a larger vehicle. A truck would be even better. Look for local companies that need help getting out their bread out to the grocery stores. Talk to someone at the bottling company in your area to find out how they are getting their products out. This can be a great way to “work” part time and use your vehicle to make a little extra cash.
Your car can be a walking billboard. From bumper cars to a complete covering, your vehicle can be an advertisement for someone else’s business. When you park in the grocery store parking lot, you are advertising. When you drive down the road, you are advertising. Even when your car sits out in front of your house, people are noticing the coverings or stickers and you are advertising. Payments are usually based on the amount of coverage on your car.
While this is a bit of an extreme, you can always turn your vehicle into a taxi service. You don’t have to paint it yellow and put black and white checkers on it to make it legitimate. You can place a sign on the top when you are working and take it down when you are off. If you aren’t interested in carrying around strangers, consider building a relationship with a local assisted living facility. You can take residents out to run their errands and the company can pay you directly.
No matter which option you choose, making a little money with something you already own is a smart financial decision. Aside from the income that you can earn, there are income tax benefits for you to take advantage of. Your vehicle becomes part of a business expense that can be deducted for your taxes depending on how much you use it and what you use it for. At the end of the year you can total up costs like service and maintenance as well as car insurance to lower your tax liability. In some cases the mileage that you drive can be used to your advantage as well. To get the biggest tax benefit be sure to keep extensive records of your driving, the distance you go and how much it costs you to get from point A to point B.
written by: Helen Pritchard