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Lots of people have heard stories about places that will pay you just to drive around with an ad on your car, but do these opportunities really exist? And, if so, how do you find them?
If you’ve spent much time online, you may have heard about “free car” programs or “get paid to drive” promotions. Are these programs really an easy way to make money – or too good to be true? The answer is, a little bit of both. These programs do exist, although they aren’t as plentiful as they once were. The key is knowing where to look and having qualities that make you an ideal advertising driver.
How It Works
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: a company seeks people – meaning, just regular citizens, not professional drivers – who are willing to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big ad plastered on their car. The ads are typically vinyl decals (also known as “auto wraps”) which almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which often cover a large portion of the car’s exterior surface. The car owner is then compensated – usually a few hundred dollars per month – which is essentially a “rental” payment for letting the company use that space. There was also a “free car” version of this concept, in which the company provided the driver with a new pre-wrapped car. In this situation, the drivers usually didn’t get any cash, as their payment was in the form of the free use of this new car. However, companies quickly discovered that giving away a bunch of free cars didn’t make economic sense, so few (if any) companies still take that approach.
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure. The auto wraps tend to be colorful and eye-catching, and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience, meaning people who are stuck in traffic and can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. The companies usually select drivers who live in desirable locations such as high-traffic urban areas. A company’s ideal driver can vary depending upon the target demographic they want to reach. For example, a tech or electronics company may seek drivers who live on or near college campuses, so as to get lots of exposure among the college crowd.
(The vehicles in these programs are often equipped with GPS/tracking devices, so the companies can make sure the drivers spend sufficient time in the desired areas.)