Have you ever received an email offering to pay you big money to put ads on your car? Sounds great, right?
Of course, these are almost always scams. And I like to mess with scammers, so I responded to one of the emails.
The company’s reply explained I would be sent a cashier’s check to cover my first month’s payment and the cost of applying the “wrap.” I was to deposit the check, keep $300 for my fee for the first week and use the rest to pay the guy who wrapped my car.
I wrote back telling them I was excited to get started, but it seemed simpler for them to just pay me and then pay the ad installer directly. I would even take $200 per week instead of $300. I never heard from them again.
This is a typical cashier’s check scam. The check bounces, which you discover only after you wire your own money to the ad installer or pay him in cash.
These scams are extremely common. But you may be wondering, aren’t there legitimate companies that pay you to put advertising on your car? Let’s take a closer look.
How Not to Sell Ads on Your Car
Much of the information online about companies that pay you for car ads is worthless. Some of the companies these sites link to charge businesses to wrap their vehicles in advertising, but make no mention of paying you for wrapping your car with ads.
Others have no contact information online, which is never a good sign. Some don’t even ask you about your car and/or driving habits. Do you really think businesses are willing to pay for an ad on your car if they know nothing about whether it will ever leave your garage? Not likely.
Look at this driver application for Ads2go:
Submitting an Application with Ads2go has always been and continues to be FREE. However, with about 100,000 drivers in our database, we are pleased to now offer you two ways to be a VIP applicant.
The “VIP Pick Me First Application” costs $5.95. Of course, “Payment of these fees is NOT a guarantee that you will be asked to drive since such depends on the preferences of our advertisers.” Oh, and the fees are non-refundable.
How many people has this company paid for an ad placement? How many people have paid the company to submit a “VIP” application? When I contacted AdsToGo to ask these questions, I did not get a response.
In general, you should not pay anything upfront, and stay away from companies without contact information on their websites.
How to Actually Get Paid for Ads on Your Car
Fortunately, there are a few legitimate companies that pay you to put advertising on your car. For example, Carvertise is currently looking for drivers in the Mid-Atlantic region. They said:
Our drivers earn $100/month. We’ve had drivers make over $2,000 (over the past two years) in residual income for just driving their normal everyday route. We just ask for patience, as there is sometimes a three-month lag until a qualified driver is selected.
Carvertise also made it clear “there is no upfront cost to the driver,” which should be the case with just about any legit company.
Here are some other examples of companies that pay you for putting ads on your car:
These companies meet the following guidelines:
- They don’t ask you for money
- They ask about your car and driving habits
- They require you to have car insurance
- They have contact information (not just a form) on their websites
I should mention I’ve applied several times on different websites and have never been contacted.
Of course, I don’t live in a large city where the real opportunities are more likely to exist. I also may not drive enough miles for advertisers to be interested. And there are probably more applicants than needed.
The bottom line: Getting paid to put ads on your car can be a great gig if you get it, but don’t hold your breath. You may not qualify or be selected anytime soon.
Other Car Advertising Opportunities
You may have a better chance to get paid for ads on your car if you drive for Uber or another rideshare company.
First, you’re likely to put many miles on your vehicle in busy areas — something advertisers want to see. Second, it’s possible taxi advertising companies, like Blue Line Media (ads on taxis in 100 cities), will start signing up rideshare drivers.
Finally, Viewswagon has a new advertising service for rideshare drivers. They pay you to show ads inside your car.
Your Turn: Have you ever applied for a car advertising opportunity? If so, how did it turn out?
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).