You may have seen it in the movies: A big ad on the side of a bus touting the next big thing. Or maybe you’ve seen an ad like that for a movie.
Advertising on vehicles has become increasingly popular over the last several years. They’re like moving billboards, but they can grab your attention more easily than a billboard because they’re in your line of sight while driving.
Similarly, you can see cars bearing ads all over the road. They’re especially effective if you’re stuck in traffic or waiting at a stoplight. Plus, they’re visible to cyclists, pedestrians, and people waiting at bus stops.
This moving-ad concept is known as “wrapping” because a vehicle can literally be wrapped in one big ad. You’ve seen them, to be sure. But you may not have thought of them from the other side: using your own vehicle as a billboard.
Yes, you can get paid to advertise on your car!
Paying Individuals to Advertise Products on Property Isn’t New
Paying property owners to advertise a product isn’t a new concept. Back when cars were first becoming popular, Mail Pouch Tobacco and a purveyor of tonics and “miracle cures” named Dr. Pierce paid hundreds of farmers across the country to have huge ads for their products painted on the sides of their barns. Rail cars that transported animals for the circus used to do the same thing.
You can still see some of those today, but the practice isn’t nearly as popular (or as effective) as it once was. What’s more in fashion now is to use moving vehicles as billboards and to pay the owners of those vehicles to carry those ads.
Today, many people use the idea to promote their own products or services. You can purchase custom magnets in varying sizes, like 10 by 20 inches or 2 by 4 feet, which you can affix to your car door to promote your product or business.
Additionally, some companies will pay you to advertise their products or services on your car. It can earn you extra cash, but you need to investigate first to ensure you’re getting a good deal and not getting scammed.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to get paid to advertise on your car, read on for how it works and how to get started.
How to Get Paid to Advertise on Your Car
How it Works
Getting paid to advertise on your car is relatively straightforward if it’s a legitimate deal.
A company will pay you a certain amount of money a month to carry its advertising on your car. Campaigns can run for two to six months, or even as long as a year or two.
Advertising may involve getting your car “wrapped” completely, or a portion of it (maybe both sides and the bumpers), or the rear window. But as you might expect, you’ll be paid less money for a rear-window ad than if you get your car fully wrapped.
You may also be asked to install a GPS so the companies can monitor your activity and make sure you’re driving as many miles as you agreed to.
You’ll also want to ask what kind of ad you’ll be displaying. For example, if you don’t want to be associated with birth-control products or hard liquor (to use a couple of random examples), you might want to take a pass.
You’re in the Driver’s Seat
Ad companies are recruiting drivers because it works. They can make money from it. But they need drivers, which is where you come in.
According to Nielsen research from 2019:
- 64% of residents 16 and older said they’d noticed a wrapped vehicle in the past month.
- Additionally, 44% said they’d seen one in the past week.
- Viewership over the past 30 days was consistent across age groups
- 65% for ages 16 to 24
- 62% for ages 18 to 34
- 62% for ages 18 to 49
- 62% for ages 25 to 54
- 66% for ages 55 and older
- The ads were particularly effective for those with money to spend: 71% of those with an income of $100,000 or more said they’d seen one.
The point is, you have a commodity (the side of your car) that’s valuable to these companies, which puts you in a good position. So if you want to get paid to advertise on your car, it’s important to have the mindset that they need you and you don’t need them — because that’s true.
That said, these companies are not necessarily desperate. A company that gets in touch with you unexpectedly, without any prior contact, may be a scam.
(Learn more about red flags to look out for below).
While advertising on your car can be a good source of relatively passive income, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the process and what you can expect to make.
How much can you expect to make by wrapping your car? One major company, Carvertise, pays drivers an average of $200 to $300 a month, in addition to a signing bonus of $100 to $300. Other companies may pay $100 or $400, depending on mileage, car size, and other factors.
Bottom line: You’re not going to get rich doing this, and you won’t be able to make a living at it, but if you want a little extra money in your pocket or need a little more to make ends meet, it’s worth checking out.
Naturally, you’ll get a better contract if you’re driving more miles. So, if you’re also making money working as a rideshare driver for Lyft or Uber or delivering products for DoorDash or a prominent retailer, you might get a little more money out of a wrap than if you’re merely commuting. Combining advertising on your car and other driving jobs is also a good way to stack your side hustles.
However, it’s probably not worth it to drive extra miles to make more money. If you’re going to be driving anyway, that’s one thing. But especially now that gasoline and oil prices are rising again, paying for extra gas, doing more maintenance, and eating into your car’s depreciation may cost you more than you’re getting paid.
Of course, you can save some money DIYing your car maintenance by doing things like changing your own oil and keeping an emergency car repair kit on board in case your car breaks down on the road. But those things apply whether you’re driving with an ad or not.
It’s also important to read the fine print and consider factors such as whether the wrap might damage your car’s paint or cause uneven fading, whether you’ll have to pay to have it removed, or how prompt the company is in responding to your questions.
Like any other side hustle, you need to weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself whether it’s worth it to you. If a car wrap doesn’t provide you what you’re looking for, don’t do it. There are plenty of other ways to make money that might fit your specific needs or interests (quirky or otherwise).
If you do choose to advertise on your car, look for ways to maximize your earnings. Know where to buy the least expensive gas or sign up for a gas card that can save you a few cents per gallon. Over time, the small savings will add up!
You can also put all your gas and vehicle expenses on a credit card that gives you cashback or rewards points. (If you don’t have stellar credit, a secured credit card can be a great way to build your credit, which may be even more valuable down the road than cashback or points.) Just be sure to pay your balance each month, or you’ll lose money paying interest!
Look Out for Scams
It’s important to keep a couple of things in mind when looking to get paid to advertise on your car.
First, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers may offer you large sums of money to put an ad on your car. Since it already seems like you’re getting paid without doing any real work, it can be easy to feel like you could earn big bucks doing so. However, if the money offered falls far outside the ranges listed above in this article, beware.
Second, if it looks too easy to be legit, it probably is. A company may even send you a check upfront to cover the cost of wrapping your car and throw in a little extra “good faith” money to reassure you that there’s more where that came from. Except even that money probably isn’t there. If the check bounces and you’ve already shelled out your own money for the wrap, you’ll be out of luck.
Even worse, if a company asks you for money upfront as an expression of your goodwill, that’s a definite red flag. Legitimate companies won’t ask you to put down money in advance. That’s a sign you need to walk away immediately.
Do Your Research
Legitimate companies will send you a detailed application with legitimate contact information (more than just a P.O. box). They’ll also send a list of qualifications you’ll need, such as a good driving record and the number of miles you drive in a day to ensure exposure to their product.
And they won’t pressure you to act immediately: That’s something a salesperson does, not someone offering a contract.
It doesn’t hurt to check with the Better Business Bureau, either. Legitimate firms aren’t fly-by-night operations: They’ll have a history you can verify. Carvertise, for example, has a BBB rating of A-minus and has been in business for eight years.
If you get an email purporting to be from a well-known retailer or service provider such as Amazon or Coca-Cola offering you money to wrap your car, ignore it. It’s a scam! Companies with budgets that big don’t need your help to advertise.
Also worth noting is that different companies have different requirements and different offerings. The following companies will pay you to advertise on your car and these are some of their basic offerings and requirements:
- Carvertise wants drivers with a car model from 2008 or newer who have a clean driving record and commute 30 miles a day.
- Free Car Media asks that you be at least 18 with a clean driving record and be willing to sign up for six months to a year.
- Nickelytics will take a car from 2010 or newer and prefers drivers already working for rideshare companies.
- ReferralCars offers small decals, commission-based campaigns, and an earnings guarantee
- StickerRide requires you to download its mobile app.
- Wrapify wants cars from 2010 or later and drivers who: are 21 or older, drive a minimum of 50 miles a day, and pass a background check.
The above-named companies are some of the more well-known companies that will pay you to advertise on your car that you can check into. However, new companies are popping up all the time, and it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re okay with the terms of any particular company before signing up.
Also, be on the lookout for the warning signs of a scam listed above.
If you’re looking for a way to make some extra cash, it may be possible for you to get paid to advertise on your car. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into and who you’re dealing with before you greenlight any deal.
The companies listed above may be good options to check into, especially if you’re already doing gig economy jobs or other side hustles that require a lot of driving. In these cases, you may be able to get paid through two sources for the same driving.
As with anything, you need to thoroughly vet any potential opportunity to make sure it works for you and your situation.
Now that you know how to get paid to advertise on your car, is it something you’ll be looking into?