Love driving your car and wish you could make some money doing it? You’re in luck. There are dozens of side hustles for drivers and some of them pay generously.

Side hustles for drivers range from package and food delivery, to driving kids, adults and animals. Moreover, you can make money for doing your usual driving, while displaying a few advertisements on your car.

Side hustles for drivers

The best-known side hustles for drivers involve signing up with Uber and Lyft. These two ride share companies enlist freelancers to drive their own cars, taking people to bars and restaurants, airports and a variety of other destinations.

Driver pay is based on time, distance, market area, demand, and, sometimes, bonuses. Average pay for Uber and Lyft drivers ranges from $15 to $30 per hour in the U.S. However, drivers pay their own expenses, such as gas, maintenance, upkeep and depreciation.

The upside of driving for Uber and Lyft is that you can set your own schedule — and schedule on the fly. There’s no need to commit to a particular time. You can simply flip on your app whenever you have time.

The downside is you are not paid for waiting for passengers or for driving to pick them up. These apps only pay for the time that a rider is in your car. When there’s no passenger, there’s no pay.

Scheduled rides for kids

However, if you’re able to pass a background check and are available to drive during mornings and afternoons, a better option may be to drive for one of several services that specialize in transporting kids.

Kango, HopSkipDrive, RubiRides and KidCar generally pay drivers $35 or more per hour for safe, local transportation. With the first three — Kango, HopSkipDrive and RubiRides — the bulk of rides are taking kids to and from school and after school activities.

As a result, drivers need to be available in the early morning — around 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. — and in the early afternoon, starting about 2:30 p.m. until about 6 p.m. Notably, these tend to be slow hours for both ride share and delivery drivers, so adding a kid-driving platform can be a nice complement to other driving side hustles.

Thanks to rapid growth, HopSkipDrive is actively seeking new drivers in all states where it operates. These states include California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin,  Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

KidCar, meanwhile, operates only in New York. And, there, it primarily transports parents home from the hospital and to airports. Focusing on being a premium option for parents, who want to make sure their ride share driver has the right carseat, this site pays drivers between $27 and $67 per ride — one of the best rates in ride share. But you need a TLC license and to pass the site’s screening.

Driving animals

People who engage in cross-country moves — or who buy a pet from a far-away breeder — sometimes need a freelancer to take their animal from Point A to Point B. If you love animals and want to help transport them, you can advertise this service on two sites — Citizen Shipper and uShip.

The sites are similar in that both allow freelance drivers/movers sign up and post profiles for free. You can then access a list of jobs posted by customers who need help with some type of moving. If you see a job that you’d like, you bid on it — stating your price and when you could do the work.

The sites only differ in how they handle payments and fees. Citizen Shipper asks freelancers to pay a modest monthly membership fee and has the freelancer collect payment directly from customers. UShip collects payment for you and charges a commission on each job.

Separately, if you want to drive animals to and from doggie daycare, the best place to sign up is Rover. With Rover, you can offer almost any animal-related service, from grooming to walks, boarding to check-ins. Freelancers sign up and create a profile for free. You pay a commission if you get a gig.

On-the-way deliveries

Drive regularly to far-away destinations? Two sites — Roadie and Hitch — will pay you for on-the-way deliveries. Roadie largely deals with packages and lost luggage, while Hitch focuses on taking people long distances, primarily between a handful of cities in Texas and Florida.

When used as originally intended — by people already driving in that direction — both sites offer good opportunities. However, Roadie has morphed to include pick-up and deliveries that are decidedly not on the way. Those are not as attractive, rarely paying enough to make a round-trip worthwhile.

Meanwhile, Hitch has become a highly attractive option for long-distance commuters. If you’re driving from Dallas to Austin, for instance, another rider might share the drive with you and pay $100. They get a bargain because that three-hour drive would likely cost two-or-three times as much with Uber (or to fly). And drivers are able to defray all of the costs of commutes, which they were doing anyway.

Food delivery

Another driving/delivery option is picking up food and groceries for one of several delivery applications, including Uber Eats, GrubHub and DoorDash. All three of these sites pay a modest delivery fee, plus the customer’s tip. However, particularly in the evenings when people are ordering dinner, tips can make these deliveries worthwhile.

However, the way these apps work best is when they’re used in conjunction with another driving option, such as Uber, Lyft, Kango, HopSkipDrive or RubiRides. Naturally, you can’t pick up food for delivery while you have a paying passenger in the car. But, using delivery apps to fill down-time between other pick-ups is ideal.

Car Advertising

Finally, if you’re doing other driving and delivery work, it’s smart to sign up with one of three reputable car advertising firms. Carvertise, Wrapify and Nickelytics all pay drivers to wrap their cars in advertising and just drive as normal. For that, you can earn anywhere between $100 and $450 per month, depending on the advertiser, campaign, the amount of driving you do and how much of your car is covered in ads.

Generally speaking, all of these companies have more potential drivers than advertisers. So, you won’t get an immediate campaign — even if you sign up with all three, which is what we recommend. But, when you do get a campaign, it’s extra money for almost no extra work.

1/29/2024

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