Feeling the pinch? Filling stations bleeding you dry? Jack Carfrae explains how to turn the tables and make your car generate some extra cash for you.
It’s stating the obvious, but few of us are rolling in cash right now. Regardless of what’s going on inside Westminster and the rest of the world, it seems that the poor motorist is the one who picks up a lot of the financial slack yet again.
We need not mention the record prices at the fuel pumps, but the burdens of road tax, insurance, MoTs and maintenance are as present as ever. Then there’s the cost of buying the car, which is the second biggest financial outlay that most of us will ever make.
You probably don’t want to add all that up – ignorance is usually bliss in cases like this – but the good news is that there are ways of balancing the books, and clawing some of that cash back.
Diesel Car has scoured the furthest reaches of the internet to help you combat the taxman and claw some of that hard-earned back. All of the websites listed below are dedicated, professional outlets that anyone can visit to start making money from their car. We recommend that you check the small print before you take the plunge, though.
You might not make money per se, but the potential for saving a bundle is huge. Have a look at www.carshare.com to find a friendly face with a similar daily journey to you.
Those that run the site reckon that most members save well over £1,000 a year. It’s free to join and is for over 18s only. The process is simple – just register and let other budding car sharers know what route you take, how regularly and how many spare seats you have.
Share often enough, and you could even split the cost of road tax, insurance and maintenance bills with your new pals. It’s worth mentioning that the website recommends that you don’t let too many contact details (like your address etc) slip until you’ve met up with fellow car sharers in the flesh – just for safety purposes.
Why not rent your car out to other drivers while you’re not using it? This is particularly handy if you plan on not being around for a while, or if you have more than one set of wheels – and it’s easier than you think. Check out www.whipcar.com for details on how to lease your car to other drivers for an agreed period of time. All you need is a car that’s less than eight years old with a valid MoT, road tax and insurance. How much you earn depends on the type of car, the price you set and how often you rent the car out – but it’s best to be realistic. Worried about who might get behind the wheel? Fret not, as the website checks out all prospective drivers with the DVLA and a number of other third parties – and only those with a sound driving record are approved. You must be at least 21 years old to take part and the company provides its own insurance to cover drivers for the duration of the loan.
It’s one for the dedicated, but if you can cope with commercial stickers all over your car, then there are serious profits to be made – in excess of £200 a month, in fact. Visit www.comm-motion.com or www.autocarwraps.com for all the finer detail, but you can expect to make up to £220 a month with the former and up to £200 a month with the latter. Tread carefully, though, as you may need to keep the ads on the car for a certain amount of time to meet the terms and conditions of the deal. Also, find out whether your insurance premiums will be affected by adding advertising – from both the supplier and from your insurer. Make sure you know exactly which parts of the car’s exterior need to be covered, too.
Cover big mileage? Why not drop off packages on the way to earn back your fuel cost? Have a look at www.stuff2send.com. It’s a safe and legal website that allows you to register as a courier and bid for deliveries eBay-style. Win the bid and you get to deliver the package and reap the rewards. Lose, and you’re either unlucky or you’re pricing your services too high, so stick in a lower bid next time. Membership is free and open to anyone who has a licence and access to a vehicle or those who just need a package delivering on the cheap – you can even pick and choose the items you want to deliver.