Walking around my neighborhood the other day I came across this Volkswagen adorned with the logo and artwork of "Solar Antique Tiles," a New York City-based small business. The driver came by just as I was snapping the photo, and it turns out he is the owner of the company. Not a bad way to get the word out about his brand, we agreed.
For everyone else, car-wrapping is also still another way to boost your income.
A growing number of third-party companies will are helping drivers connect with various businesses that will pay to advertise their goods and services on personal vehicles using semi-permanent decals (sort of like post-it notes). They pay-off for wrapping your vehicle with a logo is anywhere from $400 to $800 a month. Often the businesses will pay for your gas, too.
To qualify you need to be at least 18 years old and, of course, have a driver's license. If you live, work or drive regularly through high traffic areas, that often boosts your chances of getting a gig. And some companies like to see that drivers drive close to 1,000 miles per month.
Unfortunately there are more than a few fraudulent sites claiming they'll assist you in finding a car-wrapping gig. Before you sign up with any agency check with the Web Trade Bureau to make sure the firm has its seal of approval. Currently only five companies have passed their test: Totally Free Cars, DreamJobsAtHome, TheFreeCar, Click2Work - Paid To Drive, and Free Car Index, mentioned above. These companies charge a one-time fee of up to $30 to help you find a good fit.
More on Moneywatch
Make More Money: 4 Easy Side Gigs
Budget Worksheet: How to Spend Your Money
Young Adults; 5 Ways to Stay Upbeat and Grounded
Interview Tips for College Grads
Paying Your Way Out of Student Loan Hell