7 ways to make money from your car

red car over a lot of stacked coins

Your car can make money for you. It may not be the way it works at the moment, In fact, it's fairly likely that your car is a money-sponge, soaking up thousands of pounds in repairs, services, and unexpected surprises. However, there are seven ways your motor can earn some cash for you.

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See also: Are bad driving habits costing you £750 a year?

1. Rent your car out
Registering your motor with a service like easyCar Club means other people can pay to use it when you don't need it. Chief executive of easyCar Club, Richard Laughton, told us that more than 5,000 people lend their cars out, and can make up to £3,000 a year. One user told us that she only occasionally lends her car, and makes no effort at all to promote it, yet she makes £1,000 a year.

2. Share your commute
Douglas Rotberg, founder of garage price comparison site BookMyGarage.com, points out that you can use Liftshare to arrange to pick people up on your commute. If you live somewhere populous and are going to a major city, you can technically pick up enough people to pay for the cost of your commute - although if you make a profit you'll need to tell the taxman. He adds: "The upside is you'll have people to complain about the traffic with."

3. Take items with you
Anyvan.com brings together drivers and people who need to shift items, and allows you to bid on jobs. If you are travelling a reasonably long distance, it's worth checking if anyone is looking for help carrying something that distance, and place a bid to take it with you. You don't need a huge car either, because people can need help with something as small as a rug, a bike, or a TV.

4. Turn your car into a TV star
Rotberg suggests signing up to an agency that tracks down cars for TV shows. He says: "Of course if you run something popular like a 2013 Nissan Qashqai, you're unlikely to get many takers. But if you've got a classic or unusual car, you never know how much it could make. According to agencies we spoke to, you should be able to earn somewhere between £150 and £600 a day, depending on the car. A couple of things to be aware of: make sure the agency insures your car and pick a reputable agency. That means one that doesn't charge to have you on its books."

5. Turn your car into a billboard
Alternatively, why not let other companies advertise on your vehicle? Rotberg says: "Thanks to the magic of vinyl wrapping, its straightforward for companies to plaster their logos over cars without it being a permanent thing. To make it worthwhile for companies, you need to cover at least 1500 miles a month. Company Comm-motion.com claims you can earn £220 a month, simply by doing your everyday driving. The downside of course is that by its very nature, any advertising is going to make your muted motor appear as conspicuous as Coco the clown's comedy car."

6. Skill share
Technically no money changes hands, but you can turn a couple of hours of driving into a couple of hours of work from an expert through a skill sharing network. There are some national ones like skillshare.com, or you can track down a local scheme. Within each network you can swap an hour of your time and expertise for an hour of someone else's. If you're happy to give someone a lift to the airport, for example, you may be able to swap it for someone assembling flatpack furniture, fixing a leaky pipe, or doing your tax return.

7. Cut your costs too
While you're squeezing every penny possible out of the car, it pays to ensure you're spending as little as necessary on it too. Rotberg points out: "Using a comparison site such as www.BookMyGarge.com can save you a bundle, as independent garage labour rates are on average 45% cheaper than main dealers and the top 5 most common car parts are on average 65% cheaper from an independent garage."

The cheapest cars to insure
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The cheapest cars to insure

Price new: £5,995

Dacia has made a big impact in the UK with its line of affordable motors.
The Sandero is the foundation of the brand's offering and is famed for being the UK's cheapest car.

With a group two insurance classification it's also one of the cheapest cars to insure right now.
The entry level Access model is sparsely equipped, but it has a practical interior, big boot and low running costs.

Price new: £8,060

The Seat Mii is a small city car which Auto Express praises for its spacious interior, good build quality and supple ride.

All models are in insurance group one, bar the group two Sport version.
The Mii is available in three-door or five-door styles, but both measure just 3.5 metres, making it perfect for getting around town.

Price new: £8,090

The Skoda Citigo was crowned Auto Express Best City Car 2013.

The magazine praised its low running costs and practicality as well as its grown up driving experience.
Like its Mii stable mate the Citigo has group one insurance in all apart from its top specification model, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure.

Price new: £8,265

The third of the Volkswagen's group of three city cars to make the list is the Up!

Auto Express says the Up! was 'born to rule' city streets with its small dimensions and lightweight body.
There's three versions of this fun city car; Take Up! has a group one rating as does Move Up! while the higher spec High Up! gets a group two classification.

Price new: £8,345

The Hyundai i10 is another car which can get you a cheap insurance quote thanks to a group one insurance rating across all the 1.0-litre petrol models.

Auto Express says the new 2014 i10 offers big car features in a small package. And for £8,345 you also get Hyundai's five-year warranty and roadside assistance package.

Price new: £8,995

Vauxhall has managed to squeeze one of its full sized Corsas into insurance group two.
Auto Express says the 1.0-litre ecoFlex model has the lowest insurance costs of any mainstream supermini.

The eye-catching design, solid interior and big-car features make it an appealing buy for drivers.

Price new: £9,575

The Smart car caused a bit of a stir when it first appeared thanks to its dinky dimensions and bold two-seat layout, making it very useful for driving about town and absurdly easy to park.

The Smart ForTwo is the latest incarnation, which keeps to the same formula; it still has only two seats and is one of the smallest cars on the road measuring just 2.5 metres long,
The entry level 0.8- and 1.0-litre models qualify for group two insurance.

Price new: £11,810

The Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.6 VTi is the passenger version of the Partner van and according to Auto Express easily the most spacious new car that currently qualifies for a group two insurance rating.

It's got a boxy shape that provides plenty of room and has sliding doors which make it a very practical and flexible family car.

If you're after something smaller the Peugeot Bipper Tepee, which is the smallest of Peugeot's family of Tepee MPVs, also gets a group two insurance rating.

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