If you work as a rideshare driver, you’ve probably learned a trick or two to help make extra income while you’re out on the road. One of the easiest ways to earn more money, however, is one that’s often overlooked. Getting paid to advertise while driving is not only a great way to put extra dollars into your wallet, it takes very little work.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Are Rideshare Drivers Allowed to Put Advertising on Their Cars?
The short answer is yes. However, the longer answer is a little more complicated than that.
Over the past couple of years, there have been laws passed in certain states that would make rideshare drivers employees rather than independent contractors. As employees, rideshare drivers would receive benefits such as sick leave and guaranteed minimum wage. It would also mean that the rideshare company would have a right to tell you whether you can advertise on your car.
As of June 1, 2022, it appears some of these laws have been overturned by voters or are not in effect yet because of lawsuits. What this means is that for now, at least, rideshare drivers are still considered independent contractors, and as such, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have little direct control over how a driver decorates or customizes their vehicle.
That doesn’t mean they won’t try to keep you from having a sign on the top of your vehicle or your car wrapped, though. Uber even specifically says “no commercial branding” on the outside of a vehicle. Still, some drivers choose to go by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy, so you can always choose to disregard their policies and just hope you don’t get caught.
If you do choose to ignore the policies of the rideshare companies, keep in mind that you do need to still check and see what your local authorities say. There are some laws and regulations, particularly around airports that prohibit this kind of advertising, so do your due diligence before you display ads on the exterior of your car.
What Types of Rideshare Advertising Can Drivers Use?
There are several different types of rideshare advertising that drivers can use to make money with their cars. Let’s look at some of the more popular ones.
Interactive tablets are probably one of the most popular methods of advertising. These tablets provide entertainment, such as games, news, and movie trailers. They also show ads based on the geo-location of the vehicle. As an example, if you pick someone up from the airport, it may show ads for hotels in the area or favorite local restaurants.
As the name suggests, car wraps are advertisements that are wrapped around a vehicle. Since the advertising is visible to people in nearby vehicles, it makes for an effective mobile billboard. It does, however, alter the appearance of your car, so you will need to update your profile to let customers know how to find you.
Billboards are another type of advertising, aimed more at the people you pass on the road than the passengers inside your vehicle. This type of advertising goes right on top of your car and is literally a small billboard with a message on it.
Rideshare Advertising Companies to Check Out
As the name suggests, Wrapify makes your car into a mobile billboard by wrapping your car with advertisements. To take part in advertising campaigns, drivers download the company’s app, complete their profile, then watch the app for campaigns available in the area.
Take a look at how Wrapify works for rideshare drivers here: Make Money Just By Driving Around With Wrapify For Lyft And Uber Drivers
Unlike some of the other rideshare advertising companies, Wrapify pays on a tier level by how much of your car is covered.
Per month estimate:
Full coverage – $264 to $452
Partial coverage – $196 to $280
Lite coverage – $181 to $280
Firefly provides lighted billboards to taxi and rideshare drivers. At the moment, the company says they are only concentrating on the nation’s busiest cities, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
The amount of pay Firefly offers drivers is not available on their website, but if you’re looking for a way to make money with your car and you drive in one of the areas mentioned above, the company reports you can typically make around $300 a month.
Vugo is a rideshare advertising company that uses geo-targeted video ads, both on the top of and inside Uber and Lyft passenger cars. They first appeared on our radar when we wrote about them back in March 2015. Today, the company remains one of the leaders in the in-car entertainment category, perhaps because they were the original creators of in-car entertainment.
Rideshare drivers can expect to make around $300 a month when they are actively participating in a campaign and can apply for Vugo on their website.
Play Octopus is a tablet-based advertising platform that lets passengers play trivia games while they ride with you. The games are free to play, but there is an advertisement to watch every two or three steps as they progress in the game.
The tablet is free. Full-time drivers can expect to make around $100 per month. The company also pays $25 for each referral.
Carvertise is another car-wrapping service where you sign up to have your car wrapped (no charge to drivers!) and control which companies advertise on your vehicle. Carvertise is available in many states, and Carvertise will reach out to you when they have a campaign you’d be a good fit for.
In our review of Carvertise, we found drivers can earn around $100-300/month, although you can earn more for longer campaigns. You are paid monthly via direct deposit.
Mobilads is another car wrapping company that’s been on our radar for several years. Mobilads isn’t available everywhere, but if they are available in your state, you can sign up (check out our Mobilads review) and then wait for them to contact you about an advertising campaign.
Getting started with your first Mobilads campaign is easy – it only takes about 30 minutes for your wrap, and you get paid half up front and the other half at the end of the campaign.
There are two different car wrap options, and depending on which one you are offered, this is what you can earn:
- Car Doors – The first option is to have the advertisement put on your car doors. If you go with this option, you will earn $200 to $250 per month.
- Full Car Wrap – The second option is to get a full wrap, meaning your entire car will be a mobile advertisement. This option pays significantly more at $500 per month.
How to Tell If A Company Is Legit
There are unfortunately a lot of scam companies on sites like Craigslist that offer to pay several hundred (or even a thousand) dollars per week to advertise on your car. Generally, you can avoid these scam companies because real advertising companies:
- Will not ask you to pay any money upfront
- Will ask you about your driving habits (and may be a little selective)
- Require you have car insurance
- Have contact information on their website (not just a form)
- Won’t make an offer that sounds too good to be true
- Won’t have any strange requests involving cashiers checks, cryptocurrency, etc.
Most of the companies listed here will offer anywhere between an extra $100 to $250 per month in payment. So if you someone *magically* offering $400 a week to advertise on ANY car, then you can bet your barnacle the offer is fake.
Readers, have you tried any of these advertising options in your car? How have they worked out?
-Paula @ RSG with additional reporting by Kate Hornsby