Saving tips that will make you feel better about the morning commute.

By Rosie Earl

Want to earn real cash from your car or save money on the move? Sure you do! Let's see what options are available to you

Unless you live in a palace, chances are you'd love to have a bit of extra cash in your pocket. A new trend promotes making one of your most valuable assets (i.e your motor) work for you. It may sound to good to be true, but making money from your ride home without getting murdered by a drifter could be well within your reach!

Car Sharing

Car sharing is one of the easiest ways to help the environment and save money. Maybe your office runs a car share programme you can sign up to, meaning you can find a geographically convenient co-worker who will be grateful for the company/transport. If they don't, you could use a website like Carshare to find a car compadre. If both of you drive, you'll have the added bonus of being able to have a snooze in the passenger seat 50% of the time.

However you find your buddy, meet them first to make sure you feel comfortable being in an enclosed space with them every day. It is super important that you feel 100% safe. If not, don't do it: no harm, no foul. The cons come really from personality rather than anything else - being tucked up in a Toyota with someone with BO or who wants me to sing-a-long-a-Frozen at 8am is not worth the £40 per month I'm saving!

Peer to Peer Rental

When is your car not a car? If you use public transport for your commute, your vehicle could be nothing more than a fancy drive ornament from Monday to Friday. If this is the case, you could look into renting out your vehicle using a website like easyCar Club. It's free for you to sign your car up to it, and you get to set your own rental price. There are a few restrictions: your car must be less than 15 years old and have less than 120,000 miles on the clock, for example. The car must have valid tax, MOT and be insured, however the site also covers you for up to £40,000 insurance with Admiral.

You don't have to accept everyone who asks for your car, so you're totally in the driving seat for this one (don't  you judge me..) You do, however, need to trust that the person you rent your car to won't do a runner in it (forgoing the £700+ deposit), smash it into the window of local Cash Converters or leave a pile of dirty needles in the boot.

Become an Uber Driver/Courier

Maybe you're not a commuter at all, because you have no place to commute to. Worry not, car owning chum, you could make your vehicle your office as a self employed Uber driver or courier. Let's start with Uber . An Uber is essentially a taxi driven by the dude next door. Anyone who can drive, has a decent enough car, and the money for a private vehicle licence  can provide transportation for the masses. Of course, it's pot luck who your fare is, so you're as likely to get a respectable business person as you are to end up cleaning a stag party's vomit out of your footwell.

You do have the right to refuse any customers, and Uber have a safety commitment to drivers and passengers - they encourage you to report any unsafe behaviour. Alternatively you could work as a courier - companies like Yodel or MyHermes hire couriers on a self employed basis - so you'll need to register with HMRC. The working time is quite flexible, however because you're self employed, the company has no obligation to pay you minimum wage. So while you could potentially make a killing, there's no safety net.

Getaway Driver

Looks kind of cool when Ryan Gosling does it in the film Drive, however not a recommended use for your car. Stop relying on Ryan Gosling for career advice - he's not the boss of you.

Top takeaway

There are some great money making opportunities with your car, but weigh up the pros and cons first. Stay in control and make sure you feel comfortable if you decide to use your car to make money. Don't feel pressured into transporting someone if you don't feel safe - if you're working for Uber, you'll be protected by the company, and if it's a car share, politely make your excuses and walk away. Also, always check whether you'll need to register as self employed - the last thing you want is to get stuck with a massive tax bill at the end!


By Rosie Earl

Author bio: Rosie is a massive geek who loves anything Hello Kitty or penguin related. She writes every day and wants to be Caitlin Moran when she grows up. If she was an animal, she would be a baby dragon (with a solid background in finance). The Sorting Hat would have put her in Hufflepuff, and she is cool with that.

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