How to make your car earn money for you

What you need to know:

Although it is hard to let someone else drive your car, there are a variety of ways you can use it as an income source, with or without you behind the wheel.

While buying and owning a car is amazing, running it is sometimes an expensive affair. Even if you manage to get the car at a bargain, your annual car tax, insurance, MOT, servicing and fuel costs all add up.

But what if the thing costing you money could actually start paying for itself? Here are some ideas of how you could make money using your car:

Rent it

Celebrations such as weddings take place often and one way to make a living using your car is to rent it out to service providers. Loyce Kaggwa, an events manager, says in most cases, clients need many cars that service providers do not have and cannot buy on short notice. In this case, they turn to people who are willing to outsource their cars.

“The car must be in good mechanical condition so that the client is not inconvenienced. It also helps if it is clean and has an operational air conditioner,” she says.

While one can entrust their car to the service providers, the owner may sometimes choose to be the designated driver.

“Depending on the company one is dealing with, an understanding can be reached that favours both the owner and the company,” she adds.

One of the driving factors for pricing is the type of car. For example, a C200 Mercedes, Jaguar, and Mark X will earn you between Shs200,000 to Shs300,000, while the new Premio will fetch between Shs150,000 and Shs200,000. On the other hand, the E class Mercedes will earn you between Shs300,000 and Shs400,000 while the Range Rover, land Cruiser, Limousine, and G Wagon will earn you Shs500,000 and above depending on the model.

A Range Rover will fetch you Shs1m.

Special hire

While many people use ride hailing services, not all are comfortable dealing with online companies and prefer the traditional special hire person instead. For this venture, you may also not have to grapple with commission remittance to App owners.

“It also helps that you work on your own terms; without being monitored by an App in regards to how many passengers you carried, where you went or how much you charge. The downside is that you must build a client base that will reach out to you when they need such services,” Winston Lukyamuzi, a special hire driver, says.

Self-drive hire

There is also a rise in the number of people looking for self-drive cars. While, just like special hire services, it takes some time before one builds clientele, it is worth trying out. Musa Kafeero, a car owner, says he started by putting out the word that he was hiring his car for self-drive hire among friends.

“These started reaching out in cases of a car breakdown or when going for a journey longer than their car can handle. I have, however, learnt that security comes before money. Therefore, I only hire out my car based on referrals which act as my security,” he says.

To deal with those who lie about the distance they are to cover, Kafeero installed a tracker.

“The further the distance, the higher the price since maintenance must be factored in,” he says. Otherwise, the lowest charge per day is Shs100,000 while monthly is Shs1.5m although this is negotiable, depending on how long one needs it.

Shuttle service for children

While parents wish to have someone trustworthy transport their children to and from school, they are fearful of using boda-boda services owing to the high number of accidents associated with them. In such instances, a neighbour willing to use their car as a shuttle is a welcome option.

Hellen Luyimbazi has been doing this for some time and started with one child for whom she charged Shs400,000 per term. While the fee has since increased to Shs600,000 per term, Luyimbazi’s clients have also increased to six. She adds that there is an added advantage since she also uses this chance to pick and drop her own children.

Ride-hailing services

This is worth trying as there are several platforms one can join including Uber, Bolt and Diva, among others.

“For women, Diva provides an opportunity to be part of an all-women crew. It is the first of its kind and addresses several issues faced by women. For example, for their safety, they are taught self-defence. One can try out the different platforms until they find what suits them best. That is also because there are variations in employee terms and commission,” Peter Kanyike, a financial advisor, shares.

The bottom line:

There are a wide range of options available for car owners looking to help cover their car payment and spend less out of pocket at the pump. Take advantage of the world of gig economy and make money behind the wheel of your own car. Consider trying out multiple options until you find those that are most worthwhile.