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Get Paid Just for Driving Your Car

Wednesday August 12, 2009 10:40 AM - 23 Comments

carsYou probably have heard stories about businesses that will pay you just to drive around with an advertisement on your car, but do these opportunities really exist? And, if so, how do you find them? They’re called “free car” programs or “get paid to drive” promotions. These programs do exist, although they aren’t as plentiful as they once were. The key is knowing where to look and having what it takes to make you an ideal advertising driver.

Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: A company seeks people — regular citizens, not professional drivers — to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big ad plastered on their car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,” that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which often cover a large portion of the car’s exterior surface.

The car owner is then compensated, usually a few hundred dollars per month, which is essentially a “rental” payment for letting the company use that space. In the past, there’s also been a “free car” version of this concept. The company provided the driver with a new, prewrapped car. In this situation, the drivers usually didn’t get any cash; their payment amounted to the free use of a new car. However, companies quickly discovered that giving away a bunch of free cars didn’t make economic sense, so few still take this approach, says Drew Livingston, president of Free Car Media in Los Angeles.

What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure. The auto wraps tend to be colorful and eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience, meaning people who are stuck in traffic and can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them, Livingston says.

The companies usually select drivers who live in desirable locations such as high-traffic, urban areas. A company’s ideal driver can vary depending upon the target demographic they want to reach, according to Brandon Clarke of DrivenMedia, a Phoenix-based advertising company that specializes in creating branded vehicle campaigns for clients. For example, a tech or electronics company may seek drivers who live on or near college campuses, so as to gain exposure with the college crowd.

The vehicles in these programs are often equipped with GPS tracking devices, so the companies can make sure the drivers spend sufficient time in the desired areas.

‘Paid to drive’ primetime
Paid-to-drive programs were very popular five to 10 years ago. Gas was cheaper, and people were spending more time on the road. There were plenty of Web sites devoted to these programs, including many fee-charging sites that acted as a middleman and promised to connect willing drivers with companies seeking vehicles for their ads.

Then, fuel prices spiked and people weren’t spending as much time in their cars, Clarke says. At the same time, online advertising became the rage.

Current opportunities

Still, there are opportunities out there, if you know where to look.

Livingston says his company’s client companies still have plenty of campaigns running nationwide. Business slowed slightly right before the recession but returned when the economy started going south.

“Consumers are seeking ways to make money, while companies are cutting back on spending for television campaigns and looking for more affordable advertising strategies,” Livingston says.

On average, Livingston’s clients put about 800 to 1,000 wrapped cars on the road.

Like other similar companies, Free Car Media serves as a matchmaker. Interested consumers register at MyFreeCar.com and then are notified when they meet the criteria a client seeks in potential drivers.

Drivers are paid an average of $700 to $900 per month, with campaigns usually running a few months long. Drivers use their own cars which are fitted with the wrap. “They don’t actually get a free car,” Livingston says. “But the monthly payment is generally enough to cover their auto expenses like car payment, gas, etc., for the month, so that’s where the name comes from.”

It doesn’t cost anything for drivers to sign up, and Livingston warns people to avoid any sites that do charge a fee.

“There are a lot of unscrupulous companies that want to charge you $20, $30 or more when you can get this information yourself for free. I get calls on a weekly basis from people who are upset because they were scammed,” he says. Livingston says that anyone who is directed to his site after paying a fee to another service should demand a refund.

Adding to the confusion, many of the sites — legitimate and questionable — have very similar names, often some variation of the words “free” and “car.” So it’s important to check out the Web site carefully, watching for any mention of fees or membership costs.

Finding drivers

Clarke says his company puts a lot of effort into recruiting brand influencers, or drivers who are a perfect fit for the client’s target audience.

“Recent engagements have focused on family-oriented and consumer driven advertisers who are generally trying to create awareness within a specific region among active moms with active families,” Clarke says, adding that busy soccer moms would make perfect driver candidates for these campaigns. “With active families being such a coveted demographic, incorporating their vehicles is ideal since they’re getting tremendous exposure parked in the pick-up line at school, at the Saturday morning soccer games, etc.”

There are important criteria for driving candidates. “Background, driving record, employment verification, personal interview, as well as having mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage are part of the vetting process,” Clarke says. “We’re also looking to incorporate an online personality assessment tool and a short online defensive driving course.”

Interested drivers can sign up for opportunities at Drivenmediaonline.com. “We compensate drivers within a range of $300 to $500 per month, with incentives and other engagements that allow them to earn more,” Clarke says. “Our typical campaign lasts three to six months, with the time frame and vehicle type being the primary factors for determining their monthly compensation.”

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23 Responses to “Get Paid Just for Driving Your Car”

1. Comment from rebecca delk
Time August 12, 2009 at 11:27 PM

iam interested in a possition like that wher and when can i sign up? contact me at becky89103@yahoo.com for the details i would like do a nicejob like that for some good income .

2. Comment from John
Time August 13, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Interesting use of gps tracking. Great idea!

3. Comment from Pattie Keith
Time August 13, 2009 at 3:49 PM

I am interested in getting paid to drive my car. I would love the details a.s.a.p. Contact me at pkdanza@yahoo.com

4. Comment from Rajan
Time August 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I am interested in getting paid to drive my car. I would like to get more details. Plss Contact me at 647 202 7663 or rajanpb@gmail.com

5. Comment from Morgan
Time September 16, 2009 at 9:13 AM

I am very interested in getting paid to drive my car for any company.
I am a single mother looking for any kind of extra cash. Please contact me teencutie0022@yahoo.com

6. Comment from Anonymous
Time September 18, 2009 at 9:08 PM

I am interested in getting paid to drive my car. I would like to get more details.mr_metal_tiger@yahoo.com

7. Comment from dnita000@aol.com
Time November 10, 2009 at 1:19 PM

DO YOU PRESENTLY HAVE ANY OPENINGS FOR HOUSTON, TX DRIVERS? ONE OF MY CARS IS A KIA SEPHIA AND THE OTHER IS A BENZ. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THE USE OF THE BENZ. (LOL)

8. Comment from Anonymous
Time November 23, 2009 at 2:04 PM

I am interested in getting paid to drive my car. Please let me know what I need to do. Email me at ligg3@aol.com
Thanks,
DL

9. Comment from Tony
Time December 26, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I am ready now..wow! .email me,I need a car,would love to do this.
Tony=> kmampar@yahoo.co

10. Comment from lovejoy53@hbotmail.com
Time June 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

I am very interested for information on how to get paid for driving my car. Please email asap at: lovejoy53@hotmail.com

Thank you!

11. Comment from lovejoy53@hbotmail.com
Time June 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I am very interested in a “free car” version of auto wrapping and such.

Please email me at: lovejoy53@hotmail.com

Todah!

Debra Einhorn

12. Comment from Anonymous
Time August 3, 2010 at 10:31 AM

What do I have to do to sign up? Is it free? My e-mail is elizabethkocovic@gmail.com.

Thanks

13. Comment from May
Time October 24, 2010 at 12:13 AM

I am searching for company to hire me to paid to drive my car. Is there currently opening i can check up? Email address: maychui2004@hotmail.com. Thanks.

14. Comment from Davin
Time January 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM

I have a very nice car and im interested in getting paid to advertise a company on my car. I live in a big city and i do alot of driving everyday. If you have a opening please email me at capokid6288@yahoo.com thank you very much…..

15. Comment from Dave
Time June 23, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Im interested in this as well please email me at drcustoms_dave@yahoo.com

16. Comment from V.Pillay
Time January 3, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I am interested in getting paid to drive my car. I would like to get more details. Plss Contact me at 082 345 7104 or mays4@mweb.co.za

17. Comment from Debbie Casalina
Time March 28, 2012 at 11:21 PM

I am interested in finding out if I could help you out by driving my car around town. I would love to get some info on this, thanks Debbie
My email address is dclovesbc@yahoo.com

18. Comment from Anonymous
Time April 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I would enjoy driving to get paid. I drive a lot and have a nice car. Slowgirl50@AOL.com thanks a bunch..

19. Comment from Jennifer
Time June 13, 2013 at 5:23 AM

I am very interested in getting paid to drive my car. I drive daily in and out of two very populated cities and I have a nice compact SUV. jennifermh679@gmail.com Thanks!

20. Comment from Comment from Anonymous
Time October 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I would love to make money doing this !! I am a personal assistant & I ride around a lot plus I enjoy driving !!!! Please sign me up !!!! I drive a nice SUV !!
Please contact me at 2dream96@gmail.com

21. Comment from annette
Time October 27, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I drive 1,400 miles a month just back and forth to work. Please contact me with more info. WOW. I would love to do this. annettejones2013@centurylink.net

22. Comment from DC
Time October 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I would like to know how to fined out how to and wear to appy to use and get paid to use my truck as a bill board please send me th info so I can do this I am a V.A. Vent deanconness@yahoo.com

23. Comment from cool
Time November 14, 2014 at 6:58 PM

I’d love to get some info on how to turn my car into an advertisement tiffanyaholgreen@gmail.com Please forward me some info.

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