This article was written for Autoblog by our friends at Ridester, a terrific resource dedicated to helping rideshare drivers maximize their potential, as well as providing news, information and money-saving promotions for drivers, riders and other participants in the bourgeoning gig economy.
A few years ago, if you were looking for alternatives to driving for Uber but didn't want to lose the independence and flexibility the company offered, your only alternative was essentially Lyft.
Of course there were a few other ride-hailing companies, but most were relegated to single cities or not widely-enough known to be viable Uber alternatives. But today, the game has changed.
Did you know that today there are more gig industries than there were entire gig companies just a few years ago?
Today there are gigs for...
- Charging scooter batteries (Lime)
- Running errands (Postmates)
- Package Deliveries (Amazon Flex)
- Grocery Shopping (Instacart)
- Sharing your car (Hyrecar)
- Tasks (TaskRabbit)
- On-demand retail merchandising (Jyve)
- Sharing your home (Airbnb)
- Gigs where workers can find assignments with traditional employers like restaurants (Hyr.work)
- Even medical gigs for doctors
... and everything in between.
It's safe to say the gig economy is exploding, and growing at a very rapid rate. In fact, there are even some websites dedicated entirely to the space. One of which, Gigworker.com, currently tracks more than 60 companies in 13 different categories, and they're adding new ones all the time.
However, some things haven't changed — much. As in the early days of gig work, the vast majority of gigs still require the use of a car. In fact, in the list above, all but the last four require the use of a car. So, if you've grown tired of ferrying passengers around with Uber and Lyft or you don't have a vehicle that meets their requirements there are still a lot of other ways you can maximize the value of your car and earn income with it.
Here are a few options that we thought you might find interesting to get your started.
Uber Eats is probably the most well-known meal delivery company, although they're not the biggest. Not yet anyway. There were several companies that started in this space long before Uber and they still have the preponderance of marketshare. But Uber is catching up fast.
Some of the other companies are DoorDash, GrubHub and Caviar. Workers say that Uber Eats and Caviar are two of the increasingly few companies that still give them 100 percent of their tips.
Some of the other companies use customer tips to fund the company's portion of the payment and you only get whatever part of the tip that goes above and beyond what the company guaranteed to pay for each job.
Instacart, Postmates, TaskRabbit can all do grocery deliveries. Instacart works only with grocery stores it has partnerships with. Postmates offers customers grocery deliveries from stores they have partnered with as well as from any store or restaurant of the customer's choosing. TaskRabbit workers can do pretty much anything a customer wants so while they don't specialize in grocery delivery, you can certainly offer that as a "tasker."
TaskRabbit is also the only company out of the three that allows workers to set their own rates. The other two have fixed rates and the drivers have no say over how much they'll get paid on each job.
Share Your Car
Maybe you're just tired of all these jobs. Or maybe you have another job and don't have the time to devote to the gig economy anymore, but you'd still like to get that extra income. Well, now you can and all from the comfort of your own home (or your own new place of work).
You can rent your car out to ride-hail and delivery drivers. Let them put in the truly hard work while you sit back and collect income from the rentals every week.
Two companies that specialize in this are Hyrecar and Turo.
Before you get started, however, there are several risks you need to be aware of when renting your car out, including insurance, financing and even tolls. This is a topic worth its own larger discussion, so look for more to come on this later.
Yes, you can now earn money with your car by charging scooter batteries. Although it helps to have a larger vehicle like a van or SUV or pickup truck.
There are many new start-up scooter companies that are placing thousands of scooters in cities all over the country. People can rent these scooters and when they've reached their destination they can park them literally wherever they like. (And yes, it's the mess you'd imagine.)
But you can get gig work with these companies by signing up, downloading their app and each night you login and they'll show you on a map where scooters are that need charging. You load them up into your vehicle, take them home and plug them in. You wait a few hours for them to charge and then you have to take them back out and leave them on the streets wherever they say.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to driving passenger around and more opportunities than ever to make money off your car. And remember, these opportunities aren't mutually exclusive. You can mix and match and work a variety of them at the same time. A good money-making strategy is to work one during times when the others aren't busy.
Sign up today and get started!