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If you meet their driving requirements, Companies like Carvertise and Nickelytics will pay you to put an advertisement on your car, banking on the fact that the ad will be seen by thousands of people.
Getting involved with car advertising can take commitment, though. The best-paying opportunities require you to wrap your whole car in an ad, so you’re guaranteed to stand out wherever you go. Plus, some campaigns can last as long as two years.
How it works is that brands hire car advertising companies, which act as brokers between the brand and the driver. The brand pays the car advertising company to run an ad campaign, and the car advertising company pays you to drive like normal — just with a decal or wrap on your vehicle.
Note that this industry is rife with scammers, so you need to be careful about what opportunities you entertain. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
To make money driving for a car advertising company, you need to rack up a lot of miles. If you’re a rideshare driver or make deliveries, you’ll be especially attractive to many companies because of how much you drive and the area you cover.
One reason brands choose to run car advertising campaigns is that they’re hyperlocal, meaning they can get their message to a very specific audience. That’s why some companies limit where your miles will count toward your pay.
Every company has a different set of rules, a different pay structure and different service areas, but they’ll generally care most about how much and where you drive.
What you can get out of driving for them depends on the size of the driver pool and advertisers’ interest in your area. There may be long stretches of time between campaigns, and even then, they may not last more than a few months.
Despite that inconsistency, car advertising can be a great way to make extra money for little work, especially if you live in a major metro area.
How Much You Can Make
How much you can make with car advertising depends on the company you work with, its pay structure, how many miles you drive, where you’re located, what type of ad is fitted to your car and other factors.
Accounting for all that, you can expect to make somewhere between $100 and $500 per month while participating in an active ad campaign. Nickelytics, for example, reports that its drivers earn an average of $175 to $200 per month.
Payments may come as a flat monthly amount, like Carvertise’s average base pay of $100, or be variable and dependent on specific criteria.
No matter what, the car advertising company will pay you more for larger ads, so the most earning potential is with a full wrap as opposed to a decal.
Getting your vehicle wrapped could have insurance implications. For example, your insurer could consider you a higher-risk driver due to the miles you need to drive. Moreover, your local government may require you to buy additional commercial vehicle insurance.
It’s also important to remember that you only get paid when you’re part of an active ad campaign. In general, whether you have access to one depends on the advertiser’s interest in your location and potentially other factors, such as your vehicle type and driving habits. That means it could take a while to get your first campaign or your next one, or it could take a day. If you’re in a major city, your chances of getting a campaign will be significantly better.
Car and Driving Requirements
Car advertising companies all have their own requirements, but there are some basic criteria that apply to virtually all of them. Here are some minimum requirements you can expect.
Be at least 18 years old.
Have a valid driver’s license.
Have car insurance.
Have a clean driving record.
Be able to pass a background check.
Drive a relatively new car.
Drive a coupe, sedan, SUV, pickup truck or minivan.
Drive a vehicle with little to no damage.
Something to note here is that companies may define “clean driving record” differently, so it’s important to look into what they mean if you think you might be on the bubble.
You may see some differences in expectations for your age and the age of your car, too. In at least one case, you have to be a minimum of 21 years old.
You’ll also likely see requirements for how many miles you drive. For example, Nickelytics expects you to drive at least 30 miles a day, 150 a week and 450 a month.
Knowing these basic requirements is one way to protect yourself against scams. All reputable car advertising companies will have some form of them.
Types of On-Car Advertisements
There are four primary types of car advertisements.
From smallest to largest, they are:
Decals are the smallest ads you can place on your car. They’re stickers that you can apply to your rear windshield. Some companies will give you options for the sticker’s size, color and orientation.
Car toppers are placed on top of your car like a taxi ad.
Partial wraps cover part of your car. Which part can vary from a relatively small portion of your car, like the doors, to just short of a full wrap.
Full wraps envelop the entire car except for the windshield.
How to Avoid Scams
There are plenty of legitimate opportunities to get paid to advertise on your car, but there are also plenty of scams. Here are some red flags when considering contracting with a company.
You were contacted out of the blue by a company.
You’re asked to pay a fee upfront for installation.
The company has a questionable websitewith no contact information.
There’s no application process.
Unless you’re applying to drive for a car advertising company on its website, you should be skeptical of any attempt to get your personal information or money. If you’re unsure, investigate it using sources like Reddit, online forums and reputable news sites.
Four Companies That Pay to Advertise on Your Car
There are legitimate companies that pay you to make money while you drive. If you’re a rideshare or on-demand delivery driver, you’ll be in an especially good position to take advantage of them because of your high visibility.
That said, driving for a car advertising company isn’t limited to rideshare and delivery drivers. Each company has different requirements, so make sure to look for one that fits your situation.
Wrapify is one of the most popular car advertising companies for drivers, with more than 250,000 people registered to carry campaigns for the service. It’s one of the highest-paying companies you can work with in this space, but it also has some of the strictest rules.
Any 2010 or newer model with no significant damage.
Light wrap, partial wrap, full wrap.
Be at least 21 years old, pass a background check and have a clean driving record.
Up to $452 per month.
When you work with Wrapify, you get a choice of three wraps, and your pay is partly dependent on the size of the wrap. Wrapify estimates monthly payments as high as $280 for its light wrap, as high as $280 for its partial wrap, and as high as $452 for its full wrap.
You get paid for the first 25 to 35 miles you drive per day. These miles have to be within a 50-mile area in the advertiser’s target city or town. To qualify to participate in a campaign, you must spend at least 25% of your drive time in that area.
Nickelytics is a relatively new company that offers advertising campaigns for high-mileage drivers as long as they meet the daily, weekly and monthly driving minimums.
Any model vehicle 10 years old or newer.
Decal, partial wrap and full wrap.
Be 18 years old or older, pass a background check and have a clean driving record. Drive at least 30 miles daily, 150 miles weekly and 450 miles monthly.
Most drivers make $175 to $200 per month, but can make as much as $500.
Nickelytics has a strong preference for drivers who work for rideshare or delivery services, but it will accept daily drivers if they meet its stiff mileage requirements. The company operates nationwide, so opportunities may become available wherever you are.
Carvertise claims to be the largest company operating in the car advertising space, although it does not provide statistics on the number of active campaigns or drivers. It’s available in the top 200 markets in the country.
Any 2008 or newer model with a factory paint job.
Partial wrap, full wrap.
Be 18 years old or older. Be able to pass a background check, and have a clean driving record. Drive a minimum of 30 miles per day.
Up to $500 per month.
Like Nickelytics, Carvertise is primarily interested in drivers who work with rideshare and on-demand delivery companies. That said, anyone who meets the minimum requirement of 30 miles a day can apply to drive for them.
Base pay for campaigns is generally $100 per month, with opportunities to earn as much as $500 per month. Additionally, Carvertise drivers get discounts at some auto stores.
#4. Free Car Media
Free Car Media is an old-school company that requires you to track your miles manually. It offers campaigns that can be much longer than is typical of the industry, though, and provides a steady source of income.
Sedans, SUVs, trucks and vans with a factory paint job.
Decal, full wrap.
Be 18 years or older and have a clean driving record.
Up to $400 per month.
Free Car Media mostly deals in rear window decals. If you get one, you’ll get paid $50 or more per month. For a full wrap, you can make up to $400 per month. The company’s campaigns typically last between six months and two years, so you can expect payments for a significant period of time if you’re selected to drive for one.
Driving for Free Car Media is a long-term commitment. If you get the full wrap, you may need to get your car re-wrapped at some point. The company will cover that for you, but it’s an extra hassle to be aware of when you agree to a campaign.
2 Gig Economy Companies That Pay to Advertise on Your Car
Uber and Lyft offer opportunities to advertise on your car if you’re in one of the few markets their programs serve.
#1. Uber (Cartop Ads)
Uber offers two side hustle opportunities: you can work for its namesake ride-hailing service or its food delivery service Uber Eats (or both). Uber OOH (the name of its mobile advertising branch) is a bonus program available to active Uber and Uber Eats drivers in a handful of cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City and Phoenix.
Any 2007 or newer 4-door vehicle in good condition with no exterior branding.
Be at least 18 years old and have one year of driving experience (or three years if you’re under 25).
$300 for installation, then up to $300 per month.
When you join the program, you’ll get paid to let Uber install a car topper on the roof of your vehicle. From there, your pay will depend on how many hours you drive per week. You’ll earn $75 at 20 hours, $100 at 35 hours, and up to $125 beyond that. You don’t have to be picking up passengers or dropping off meals for these hours to count — you just have to be driving, period.
There are a couple of downsides. You can’t uninstall the rooftop sign yourself (an Uber technician has to do it), and you can’t take your car through automatic car washes.
#2. Lyft Halo (Cartop Ads)
Lyft is Uber’s biggest competitor in the ride-hailing service industry. Its acquisition of Halo Cars in 2020 signaled its entry into the rooftop car advertising market.
Taxi cabs only.
Must be able to drive a taxi in your city.
$150 for installation, then $125 per month.
Available in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C., with plans for expansion, Lyft Halo is an opportunity for taxi cab drivers to make extra money. As Uber does with Uber OOH, Lyft installs a geo-targeted rooftop digital billboard on top of your vehicle. It then pays a flat rate per month for you to keep it.
All rooftop installations come with the caveat that you can’t take them through an automatic car wash, so you’ll have to hand-wash your cab as long as the topper is on it.
Car Advertising Companies We Don’t Recommend
Sometimes, even passive income like car advertising isn’t worth the trouble. You might get paid too little or have to deal with a complicated payment structure. The three companies below, while perhaps legitimate, possess those qualities.
Stickr says you can make $1,200 or $2,300 annually in gift cards and cash, depending on where you find this information. However, the majority of payments are in restaurants.com “gift cards,” which are essentially coupons, not actual gift cards. The cash payout offered is a revenue share between verified drivers with very low earning potential, as most of Stickr’s clients are brands it owns or has incubated. You also have to pay a membership fee of $9.99 per month to participate, which you get back each month as long as you send in a photo of your decal on the first. If you don’t, though, you’re out the money.
StickerRide’s complicated pay structure and low number of drivers who’ve actually participated in a campaign make this company a non-starter. Additionally, its app has a 1.8 out of 5 on the Google Play Store, with users complaining they couldn’t register, that customer service is slow to respond, and that the app is buggy. It doesn’t appear to have an app in the iOS App Store in the U.S.
Ads2Go.net pays $50 per month for 1,000 square inches of advertising. The company says that’s equivalent to two signs each measuring 12 x 24 inches, 12 x 12 inches and 6 x 12 inches. Additionally, you’ll have to put two to four Ads2Go signs on your car. That’s a lot of real estate for not much money. The competition is fierce, too. There are over 100,000 registered drivers, and you can pay Ads2Go.net to be at the front of the line (or near it) when an ad campaign targets your area. We strongly advise against ever paying for the opportunity to earn money.
Car Advertising FAQs
Can you combine car advertising with a driving side hustle?
Yes. In fact, many car advertising companies specifically seek out gig economy delivery drivers, because their driving habits make them so visible. However, you should be aware of the terms of service for driving for these companies. Some, like Uber, have prohibitions on third-party advertisements. Violating these rules could get you suspended from the platform.
Are there any laws or regulations to be aware of?
It depends on where you live. While car wraps are legal at the federal level, your state or city might have something on the books that makes them illegal. For example, a municipality might have a law against mobile advertisements that includes wrapped vehicles. Additionally, if you live within the jurisdiction of a homeowners’ association, there may be regulations regarding ads on cars.
Summary and Final Thoughts
Driving for a car advertising company is a legitimate way to make passive income. You could earn anywhere from $50 to $500 per month, depending on the company, campaign and other factors.
But it’s inconsistent, primarily because you only get paid when you’re selected for an advertising campaign. Generally, you’ll have to be in the right place at the right time with the right vehicle and the right driving habits for that to happen. In other words, campaigns could be few and far between for you.
Still, car advertising can be a great way to boost your income when the opportunity arises. It’s just not something you should depend on month to month.
Cleveland Dietz is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. He learned the power of good money management while digging himself out of credit card and student loan debt. Since then, he has experimented with side hustles and investing strategies. Follow him on Twitter @dietziic.