Oftentimes, the type of gig economy you take on depends on your mode of transportation.
For example, if you have a small or midsize car, you might try grocery delivery jobs like Instacart.
Similarly, if you want to make money as a bike food delivery courier, working for DoorDash or Uber Eats is a viable option.
Now, we’ve covered ways to make money with a pickup truck before on This Online World.
But today, we’re breaking down how to make money with a cargo van.
So, if you have an old cargo van sitting in your driveway and you’re wondering: how can I make money with my cargo van, this is absolutely the post for you.
Let’s get to it!
How To Make Money With A Cargo Van
Cargo vans are obviously larger than your average sedan, so this has some inherent benefits and drawbacks from a side hustle perspective.
Since cargo vans are larger, they’re excellent vehicles for gigs like helping people move or making large deliveries.
But, since they aren’t so great on gas, working for food delivery companies like DoorDash probably isn’t too viable because your gas costs will eat into your earnings.
So, with this in mind, let’s look at some of the best ways to make money with a cargo van you can use to increase your monthly income.
Out of all the ways to make money with a cargo van, working with GoShare has one of the higher hourly earning potential.
GoShare is an on-demand delivery platform that lets you make money with several types of services, including:
- Last Mile Delivery
- LTL Shipments (Less Than Load)
- B2B Logistics
- Home & Office Moves
- Junk Hauling
- Courier Service
So, in short, you can make money as a GoShare driver by delivering packages for local businesses, helping people move, or just being someone’s courier for a specific task.
What I like about GoShare is that it states hourly earning averages for different types of vehicle classes. According to GoShare, cargo vans earn approximately $63 to $71 per hour on average.
GoShare says top drivers earn $1,200 per week, but remember, like other gig apps, how much you earn depends on the size of your market and how many delivery requests you get.
Even so, GoShare lets you set your own hours and only accept deliveries you’re interested in. And, with the high pay, it’s a great way to get paid to drive if you have a cargo van.
You have to be 18 or older and have a vehicle that’s no older than 15 years. You also pass a vehicle inspection to become a GoShare driver.
- Availability. United States.
- Earning Potential. GoShare states it’s $63 to $71 per hour for cargo vans, but
- Sign Up. Sign up for GoShare!
- Learn More. Check out our GoShare driver review for more information.
2. Sell Vanlife-Ready Vehicles
Alright, this is a bit of a weird way to make money with cargo vans, but I think it’s a pretty cool niche idea for a small business.
Vanlife has been all the rage over the past few years, and a lot of vanlifers buy their own vans and then convert them themselves.
But, there’s also a market for selling ready-to-go vanlifer vans to people who just want to live that lifestyle but don’t have the time or skills to transform a van themselves.
VanlifeTrader is one example of a website where people sell vanlife vans and camper vans, and some of the vans are going for $75,000 or more.
Now, I personally don’t know much about how to transform a cargo van into a vanlifer’s dream, but if you’re handy and like working on these sorts of projects, you could try flipping a basic cargo van into a vanlifer van!
Like GoShare, Roadie is another on-demand delivery platform that lets you make extra cash for delivering packages to people.
However, unlike GoShare, Roadie focuses on both local and long-distance deliveries, so the platform is quite flexible.
Additionally, examples of common things Roadie drivers deliver include:
- Home moves
- Small packages
You get to accept the gigs you take just like GoShare, and gigs show the total mileage, pay, size of items you’re delivering, number of items you’re delivering, and weight, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
But, for cargo vans, Roadie has a lot of opportunity; especially for long-haul deliveries or local moves.
This is because, according to Roadie, your earnings vary quite a bit depending on the type of gig. Here are some rough earning estimates from Roadie for the different gig types:
- Local Deliveries: Earn between $8 to $60 per delivery
- Long-Haul Deliveries: Earn up to $650 for long-distance deliveries
The fact you can earn $650 for long-distance drives makes Roadie quite exciting for drivers, and even $60 for a local delivery is a nice amount of extra cash.
- Availability. United States.
- Earning Potential. Roadie states it’s between $8 and $60 per local delivery and up to $650 for long-haul deliveries.
- Sign Up. Sign up for Roadie!
- Learn More. Check out our Roadie driver review for more information.
4. Help People Move
Platforms like GoShare and Roadie sometimes have moving gigs, but helping people move is certainly one of the best ways to make money with your cargo van.
This is because moving is expensive and cargo vans have enough storage capacity to help people out, so they’re generally willing to pay a premium for your vehicle and some heavy lifting.
One way to get paid to help people move with your cargo van is to sign up for Lugg, an on-demand moving platform that connects movers and customers.
Lugg works if you have a truck or cargo van, and the company states you can earn up to $2,500 per week!
Again, I wouldn’t expect this amount, but there’s no denying that Lugg drivers earn well above minimum wage.
In fact, according to Indeed, Lugg drivers earn around $35 per hour on average, so this is a great way to make a few hundred bucks in a single shift when you have the time.
And, if Lugg isn’t popular in your area, you can still make money with your cargo van by offering moving help.
For starters, you can post your services on websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Nextdoor.
It might take more time to find your own business versus using a platform like Lugg, but then you have the freedom to charge what you want, get paid in cash, and probably earn more in the long run.
5. Rent Out Your Cargo Van
If you don’t have a lot of extra time to take on a new side hustle, you can always try renting out your cargo van to earn passive income.
Vehicles are a popular thing you can rent for profit, especially with how the sharing economy has grown in popularity.
And with platforms like Fetch, you can easily list your truck or cargo van for rent and then find renters in your city to create a new income stream. Plus, Fetch streamlines everything, right from managing your listing to getting paid.
According to Fetch, you can earn up to $27,000 annually by renting out your cargo van on the platform depending on the model and your market. That’s some serious passive income!
Fetch also provides insurance, and you can use its contactless rental system and install a Fetch device in your cargo van to let renters unlock it with their smartphone if you prefer.
And, the great news is that cargo vans can fetch a premium since people often rent them for moves or transporting large packages.
Of course, you need to factor in platform fees, depreciation, and taxes into your total profits.
But, if your cargo van is currently collecting dust in your garage or a storage lot, renting it out could be the most effective way to boost your monthly income.
6. Deliver For Amazon Flex
If you’re still wondering how to make money with a cargo van, turning to Amazon is another straightforward money-making idea to try.
That’s because, as an Amazon Flex driver, you can earn $18 to $25 per hour delivering packages for Amazon!
As an Amazon Flex driver, you get to deliver Amazon.com packages and grocery orders to people in your city.
And, a cargo van is an excellent delivery vehicle for this type of work since you have room to store all of the Amazon packages you’ll be delivering during one of your shifts.
Life on the job as an Amazon Flex driver is also pretty straightforward. In a nutshell, you:
- Sign up for Amazon Flex
- Schedule yourself for “blocks,” Amazon’s name for delivery shifts (blocks are normally 4 to 6 hours)
- Pick up packages from an Amazon fulfillment center
- Deliver packages to people in your city
- Get paid
There are plenty of ways to make money with Amazon, but in terms of using a cargo van, being an Amazon Flex driver is your best bet.
Extra Reading – Is Amazon Flex Worth It?
7. Try P2P Delivery Gigs
Peer-to-peer delivery jobs pay you for delivering packages to other people.
GoShare and Roadie are basically P2P delivery platforms, but they both focus on gigs like moving or transporting furniture.
In contrast, a lot of P2P delivery companies focus on more specialized types of deliveries, like pets or fragile goods.
CitizenShipper is a perfect example of this, and the company mostly focuses on long-distance pet delivery.
CitizenShipper uses a bidding system, so when someone posts a request, you submit a quote and compete with other delivery drivers for the business.
Pet delivery also pays very well. Here are some examples of current gigs on CitizenShipper:
- Earn $900 for driving a 40lb dog from Oregon to Illinois
- Earn $800 for driving a 75lb dog from Michigan to Arizona
- Earn $500 for driving a 15lb dog from Washington to Florida
Obviously, these are some long-distance deliveries, but if you already drive for work frequently or have a road trip coming up, you can make some extra cash on the side by also bringing a furry friend along.
8. Become An Airbnb Cargo Van Host
While it might surprise you, another way you can make money with your cargo van is to list it on Airbnb.
That’s right: some people are getting creative and listing their vanlife-ready cargo vans on Airbnb!
Here’s an example of one I found in South Africa. The host is renting out their Sprinter Campervan for about $110 USD per night.
The host also has plenty of rules for the van, including a 200km per day limit and $0.50 overage cost per extra kilometer. So, you can protect yourself against risks like renters driving thousands of kilometers on your cargo van.
If you live in an area where hiking and vanlifing is popular, this could be an awesome cargo van business idea to test out.
9. Start Your Own Cargo Van Business
Another way to make money with your cargo van is to use it to start a small business that typically requires a cargo van for transportation.
Again, a moving business is a prime example of this, but you can also get creative.
For example, mobile pet grooming businesses or cleaning businesses are examples of mobile businesses you could run out of a cargo van.
You could also start a delivery side hustle and network with other small businesses directly and offer to handle their logistics; think local furniture or appliance companies.
Starting something like a mobile pressure washing business is also an example, so again, lots of ways to make money with your cargo van.
I think there’s room to get creative here, so don’t be afraid to start your own business or reach out to other business owners in your area!
10. Haul Stuff For People
If you’re still wondering how to make money with your cargo van, one idea is to haul junk for people.
This type of odd job is very popular in big cities. After all, many people would rather pay someone to haul their junk rather than take it to the dump themselves.
So, you can charge people a flat rate for taking junk to the dump for them.
Alternatively, you can try picking up things like appliances or furniture, repairing them a bit, and then flipping them for a profit.
This is more of a DIY side hustle idea, but you can always try selling goods you find on the Facebook Marketplace or with selling apps like eBay or Mercari.
You can post your junk hauling services on Craigslist or other online odd job marketplaces to find your first clients!
Tips For Making Money With A Cargo Van
Now that you know how to make money with a cargo van, let’s cover a few tips you can use to increase your overall profitability!
1. Track Your Mileage
Business miles are often tax-deductible, and the 2021 IRS business mileage rate is $0.56 per mile.
So, if you start driving your cargo van to make money, you need to track all of your mileage so you can claim as many of them as possible.
You can do this manually, but you can also use mileage tracking apps like Hurdlr to do it automatically.
You should also track your vehicle expenses like oil changes, repairs, and factor in overall depreciation into your earnings.
Ultimately, this is the only way to get a true understanding of your profit margin, so don’t neglect this basic bookkeeping!
2. Use Gas Reward Apps
If you put a lot of miles on your cargo van, you should leverage things like fuel reward programs and a cash-back credit card to earn rewards whenever you’re at the pump.
Some popular apps that let you earn rewards for gas spending include:
GetUpside is the best app in this space and lets you save up to $0.25 per gallon at thousands of gas stations across the United States.
But you can still use receipt-scanning apps like Checkout 51 and Receipt Hog to earn rewards for your everyday purchases, including gas purchases.
Extra Reading – The Best Apps Like Fetch Rewards.
3. Outsource Where Possible
If you decide to start a small business with your cargo van, one thing to consider is how you can scale your business through outsourcing.
For example, if you start helping small businesses in your area with their deliveries, you can try hiring a part-time delivery driver or someone you know to make the deliveries for you.
Then, you can spend more time focusing on getting more recurring business and new clients, or even expanding your operation with another vehicle!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Much Can You Make With A Cargo Van?
How much money you can make with your cargo van depends on the type of service you offer and how much business you can get.
For example, if you earn $50 per hour with GoShare but only get a gig or two per week, you’re probably looking at a few hundred dollars per month.
But, if you take on more serious work like driving for a P2P delivery app or starting your own business with a cargo van, you can potentially earn thousands of dollars per month.
So, in short, the earning potential for a cargo van is quite high, but you need to have enough business to work a full work week.
2. Is A Cargo Van A Good Investment?
Cargo vans can easily cost $25,000 to $40,000, so buying a new cargo van to start a business or side hustle is a serious investment.
Additionally, if you buy new, your cargo van loses so much value the second you drive it off the lot.
In my opinion, I’d try making money with a cargo van if I already owned one, but I wouldn’t buy one outright to start a new side hustle since it’s a serious amount of cash to spend.
Extra Reading – How To Make $50 Per Day.
3. What Kind Of Businesses Can I Start With A Cargo Van?
There are numerous cargo van business ideas you can start, including:
- Cargo van renovations and sale
- Courier services for local businesses
- Junk removal
- Moving help
- P2P delivery
- Mobile car washing
- Mobile pet grooming business
But again, you can get creative with your business ideas if you find a niche in your area that you can service.
I hope our post on how to make money with your cargo van helps you find the right money-making idea for you.
As mentioned, as long as you track your income and expenses accurately, you can see if your cargo van side hustle is profitable and worth your time.
Cargo van businesses have a high earning potential because of the specialized tasks they can help with, so don’t be afraid to charge a premium for whatever service you end up offering!
Best of luck, and happy driving! I’ll catch you guys in the next one.
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Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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