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 these emails.
In its reply, the company 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.
In general, you should not pay anything upfront, and stay away from companies without contact information on their websites.
How to Find Legitimate Car-Wrap Advertising Opportunities
Fortunately, there are a few legitimate companies that pay you to put advertising on your car.
For example, consider Carvertise. Its website says drivers earn $100 per month. Carvertise also makes it clear that it will “never ask for money” and “will never ask you to write a check to anyone.” That should be the case with just about any legitimate company.
Pay Me for Driving is another company that will not ask you for money and also asks you about your car and driving habits. It requires you to have car insurance and has contact information (not just a form) on its website.
Wrapify is another popular site, but it differs from the other companies in that it only has a contact form on its site, not a listed email or phone number.
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.
You may have a better chance to get paid for ads on your car if you drive for a ride-hailing service company like Uber or Lyft. That way, you’ll be likely to put many miles on your vehicle in busy areas — something advertisers want to see.
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).