11 Side hustles to make money using your car in Canada
You can deliver people or their dinners, wrap your car with branded images, or rent it out when you’re not using it
Does your idea of the perfect evening involve a hot tea in the cupholder, classic rock on the radio, and a long cruise around the city in your car? If so, we’ve got good news for you: the market is full of apps and businesses that will pay real money for Canadians with reliable vehicles to do basically that.
There are ridesharing apps that allow you to play taxi cab in your off hours; food delivery programs that turn you into drivers for your local restaurants; rental apps that allow you to hire your vehicles out to strangers for cash; and even companies that will pay you to use the side of your car as advertising space.
For the purposes of this article, we’ve leaned on Canadian income details gathered by employment websites Indeed and Glassdoor. But before you quit your day job to sign on full-time as an Uber driver or TaskRabbit, be sure to factor in all the expenses you’ll be expected to cover, like maintenance and insurance for your vehicle, and gas.
Uber is easily the most popular passenger-faring app on the market right now and the bane of taxi cab companies around the world. The California-born brand has seen expanding use in Canada, and is now available in more than 30 cities, giving millions of Canadians the opportunity to earn an average of around $20.50/hr (according to Indeed.com at the time of writing) to drive strangers from A to B.
Uride bills itself as “Canada’s fastest growing rideshare company,” but that may be more tagline than fact. Either way, it currently operates in locations across Ontario, and will soon be available in New Brunswick, B.C., and P.E.I. Indeed lists Uride driver salaries at an average 41K yearly.
Similar in function to Uber and easily its main competition, Lyft also offers bonuses and daily payouts that, according to one recent calculation, add up to what is $2 more per hour for the Lyft driver than the Uber driver. Canadian Lyft(ers) make on average $24.5/hr, a full 17 per cent above the national average per-hour rate.
Skip the Dishes
One of the most notable food delivery apps, Skip the Dishes uses “couriers” to drive and sometimes bike orders from restaurants to hungry customers. With an average hourly rate of $15.88 and competition high in the city where cost of living is higher, this is probably more of a side hustle than a full-time thing. Also, if you’re averse to getting out of your car and walking into restaurants and up to apartment buildings, then skip Skip the Dishes, because couriers are expected to pick up in restaurant and drop off at the customer’s door.
Becoming a “Dasher” is another way to enjoy some casual paid work from the comfort of your car. Available in over 7,000 cities worldwide, DoorDash even allows drivers to work temporarily in cities they’re visiting. The app also allows drivers – who make around $22/hr on average in Canada – to see how much they’ll make per order before they accept a delivery.
Rideshare giant Uber has been delivering meals to Canadians since 2015, and using anyone with a bike, scooter, or vehicle to provide the actual service. Hours are flex, pay is OK (Indeed doesn’t list Uber Eats, but Glassdoor pegs it around $22/hr), and drivers see order details including tips before they accept orders.
Shopaholics can get their fix on somebody else’s dime with Instacart, a grocery shopping service that hires anyone with a reliable vehicle to shop and deliver groceries for the app’s users. You might consider picking your groceries at the same time, though, because timing is often flexible and alleged pay is 6 per cent lower than the national average at $15.75.
TaskRabbit essentially pairs those people who hate assembling Ikea furniture with those people who love doing it, but it also offers delivery services that can be mostly accomplished from the comfort of your vehicle’s front seat. Wage details aren’t available, but its Indeed rating of 3.5 stars indicates people aren’t getting rich hopping about for the app.
You don’t even have to drive your car to make money off of it with Turo, but somebody else does. Turo acts as the go-between for those looking to rent a vehicle and those willing to allow theirs to be rented, providing the platform for booking and $2 million in liability insurance. You can’t list just any old junker, but you can adjust price to maximize profits when demand is high.
Jeff Bezos needs you to deliver Tide Pods to the other side of town! Amazon pays part-time drivers from $22 to $27/hr (according to the brand itself) to choose blocks of time and use their own vehicles to deliver goods to their thousands of daily customers.
There are many companies that will pay to use your vehicle’s exterior as a rolling billboard, but Drivertise Canada will also throw in some free car washes to keep it looking nice and clean. Rates are between $200 and $500 per month depending on the wrap size.