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Ways To Make Money From: Driving And Transport

Driving And Transport

WHY NOT TURN your driving license into a cash card and set up your own driving business? All you need is a license and you’re away. If you own a vehicle it can be put to profitable use, but it’s not vital – you could hire one or use a friend’s, perhaps paying them to put you on their insurance.

Of course, it you intend using a vehicle for business it must be roadworthy and properly insured. You may need to take out extra insurance to cover you in case of breakages in transit and injuries  to passengers, while if you’re carrying passengers you must carry a first aid kit and ensure that everyone wears a seat belt at all times.

Health, safety and insurance considerations notwithstanding, driving can be extremely lucrative. Kick-start your earning capabilities with these 20 excellent opportunities:

  1. ‘Man with van’ service

If you have a van, plus and extra pair of hands for lifting and carrying, you can provide a handy service doing anything from removal work and house clearances to fetching the shopping.

By putting up cards in local shop windows and distributing flyers door to door you can make some useful part-time cash at evenings and weekends, or could concentrate on none or more of the businesses below and go full-time.

Your advertising might read something like: ‘A friendly man with a handy van: Van and driver available for house clearances, removals, shopping trips and more’.

  1. Minicabbing

Anyone who owns a car that’s saloon-sized or larger and in good nick will be in a position to get work as a minicab driver.

Minicab firms are always looking for owners drivers –keep an eye out for ‘drivers wanted’ ads in the local press, or contact firms listed in the Yellow Pages to see if they need anyone. You can choose your working hours to suit, but this downside is that the busiest hours are generally the last convenient ones: evenings, plus the morning and late afternoon rush hours.

Although your takings will have to cover petrol and other vehicle costs, plus a payment to the firm for radio hire, you can still earn decent money. To operate as a taxi driver you’ll need to obtain the appropriate license from your local authority. The taxi firm may help you with this.

  1. Airport cabs

Although it’s not cheap, many tourists prefer to take a taxi to the airport rather than worry about parking, or the delights of public transport. So a service ferrying passengers to and from airports can be lucrative, especially in the summer.

A minibus – with your telephone number and something like ‘John Airport Cab Service’ painted on the side – is the best vehicle for the job. Aim to get advance bookings with customers if possible, and try to carry as many people per journey as you can.

Getting business cards printed that you can give to customers will help generate repeat trade.

  1. Pet transporting

By making a few minor adjustments to your vehicle you could run a pet taxi, ferrying dogs, cats and other animals to kennels/ catteries, to the vet, to pet shows, or even to the airport for export.

You ll need a small van, a few small cages, plus some lashes and collars. Having a love of animals goes without saying, and a knowledge of animal first aid procedures is useful.

For short trips you can charge by the mile, plus waiting time, at slightly higher than the standard taxi rate. Allow customers a discount for longer journeys and regular bookings.

If you own a horse box there is money to be made charging owners to transport their animals to shows and equestrian events.

Get customers by: leaving business cards at the vets and other places you regularly visit, placing small classified ads in the local press; advertising in animal-related publications; getting a listing in the Yellow Pages / Thomson Local.

  1. Driving elderly people

In some places – rural areas and well-off city suburbs especially – there is demand for a service transporting elderly passengers.

Collect them from their homes in your car or minibus and take them into town, to the market, the bingo hall or any popular events and attractions, and drop them off at their front doors afterwards. By developing a number of regular runs, perhaps making many trips during the day or evening, you can build up a good ongoing income.

Get work by posting up details in shop windows, on notice boards, around community centers, and anywhere frequented by elderly people. Even better, make contact with OAP social groups. You can secure bookings by talking in person with a group organizer / decision maker and convincing them about the usefulness and good value of your service.

  1. ‘We drive your car’ service

There are plenty of occasions when car owners might need someone else to drive for them, perhaps dropping their cars back at home and picking them up later.

For example: pub / restaurant trips requiring a sober driver; when families need a lift to the airport or station to go on holiday, but don’t want the risk or expense of leaving their car there; occasions where a chauffeur is required, perhaps to impress a date or the boss; when a businessman needs a lift to a city appointment but can’t afford expensive parking fees; when firms require temporary cover for sick drivers and son on. The potential is enormous.

Build up your clientele by contacting office-based items (cards left on notice boards are and effective promotional tool), travel agents, hotels, car showrooms. Also use flyers, postcards and classified ads to attract non-business and casual clients. Give out business cards to customers and try to get regular bookings if possible.

If clients aren’t insured for another driver it’s useful to have your own vehicle as back-up.

  1. Folding scooter taxis

And ingenious variation on the previous service is to by a fold up scooter. You travel with customer in their own car, with your scooter packed away in the boot, to (or from) the pub, office, theater or wherever. You can drive the car there and leave it for when customer needs it later on, drop their car back at home, or pick them up in it later.

After each job you simply scoot off to the next customer.

  1. Work shuttle service

Anyone who works in the center of a town or city will know about the stress, expense and sheer frustration of commuting: roads that become severely congested during rush hour, fuel costs and road tax spiraling ever upwards, parking costs in excess tax spiraling ever upwards, parking costs in excess of $20 a week…

Public transport and park-and-ride schemes are and alternative, but bus journeys can be longer and slow and many not drop the passenger anywhere near their workplace. So it’s no wonder that shuttle services are becoming popular with commuters looking for an easier, cheaper and less stressful way of getting to work, and customers are prepared to pay well for the convenience of being dropped right at their offices.

Develop a customized route to suit your regular clientele. Companies may decide to use your service too, for transporting personnel.

Effective promotional methods include hand delivering mailshots to selected large and / or white collar firms’ waiting rooms and on notice boards.

  1. Specialist minibus trips

A day out at the seaside, a shopping trip, a sightseeing trip to London, a pub crawl, a stag party… there are all sorts of occasions where a group of people  might require a  car or minibus with driver.

Charge a rate that’s competitive compared to hire firms and taxi cabs, and don’t forget to account for waiting time.

  1. Chauffeuring and wedding hire

Being a chauffeur can be rewarding not to mention profitable, pastime. While it’s possible to get full- time chauffeuring work, such as posts are rarely advertised. It’s easier, and far more lucrative, to work as a self-employed owner driver.

As well as a smart uniform, good driving skills and a discrete manner, you’ll need your own luxury vehicle (think Mercs, BMWs, Jags, Bentleys and upwards). Although it won’t be cheap, you get to use it in your spare time and it’s the ideal advertisement for your business. You could buy a quality secondhand vehicle on finance and pay for it out of your chauffeuring profits.

Much of your trade will be from one-off customers, for weddings, birthday / anniversary presents and so on, but some well-off clients may keep you on permanent contact. Place ads in your local newspaper, local ‘society’ magazines and business publications to promote your service, and don’t forget to obtain a Yellow Pages / Thomson Local listing.

Remember a chauffeur is more than a driver – they can also act as a PA, butler and a friend to clients, and in general the older they are the better. It’s well worth taking a course to learn more – the British Chauffeurs Guild provides a training programme and acts as an employment agency for members. Contact 0181 544 9777 for details.

  1. Casual chauffeur service

If you can’t be bothered to buy a car could provide a casual service driving clients in their own cars. Your business card might read something like: ‘your vehicle, our chauffeur’.

Your ideal customers are business executives who need to be driven to various meetings and appointments during the day, thus allowing them to work or make telephone calls while travelling. A fee of $10 an hour is no unreasonable.

This is a useful part-time opportunity that might be a way into full-time chauffeuring or tax-ing.

  1. Day trips to sports events

People all over the country will want to visit big sports events such as the Test Match (es), Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and the FA Cup Final, so there’s money to be made by running trips there. There also rugby, golf, athletics, snooker, motor racing, boxing… Add a further profit mark-up by buying tickets and selling them as part of the package.

You could cater purely for one sport if you wanted. For example, you could take horse racing fanatics to a different meeting every week. Arrange a particular time and place to pick up passengers – a central / city centre location is best.

A good way to market this service is to get local shopkeepers to advertise and sell tickets on your behalf, giving them a small commission on each sale.

Try travel agents and bookmakers too.

You could easily expand into the lucrative area of corporate entertainment by targeting companies via direct mail and arranging extras such as champagne, posh lunches and meetings with celebrities.

  1. Theater trip service

The well-known London musicals are another big attraction. Cash could be earned by arranging monthly trips to a different musical, or you could visit prestigious plays and shows all over the country.

Rather than buying tickets and selling them on, the best way to operate is to approach theaters and venues offering to sell their tickets on a commission basis (usually 5-20 per cent). This cuts down risk on your part. You make extra profit by arranging the transport side of the package, Get block bookings by targeting clubs, pubs, factories and businesses with a mailshot, allowing them a discount if they buy a certain number of tickets.

  1. Tourist site tours

Certain towns and areas are highly popular with tourists, so why not make money by offering sightseeing tours to tourist sites and areas of natural beauty?

An open-topped bus (bought or hired) is perfect, although a minibus or coach will suffice. Add interests by getting a friend to give a running commentary.

To advertise the service, stick up posters in shops, libraries, museums and other public places, leave leaflets in tourist information centers, shop, and bars, hand out flyers to passers-by, and place information boards in the street.

  1. Furniture removals

Furniture clearance services thrive in most towns and cities. It’s the ideal opportunity for someone with a van and some time on their hands, and you can augment your earnings by re-selling anything you pick up.

Place cards in shop windows and classified ads in local newspapers reading: ‘Houses cleared…’, or ‘Anything bought, cash paid…’

  1. Booze trips to the continent

Continental beer, wine and spirits prices are up to two-thirds less than those charges in a Britain, so a ‘booze run’ to stock up on bottles and cans at the  French port hypermarkets is a worthwhile acticity.

Note that it’s currently illegal to purchase large amounts of alcoholic beverages from abroad for resale in the UK without paying the mandatory taxes, and Customs authorities have powers to confiscate your purchases. Stay the right side of the law by only buying enough for your ‘own personal consumption’ (for a party, say), by re-selling only to friends and work colleagues, and by making only occasional journeys abroad.

  1. Become a driving instructor

With top and gross earnings of around $600 a week, becoming a self-employed driving instructor is an attractive proposition.

You must be over 20, with good vision and no previous convictions, and have held a clean license for at least four years. To qualify for a Department of Transport-approved license for qualified instructors you need to take a three-part exam, for which you’ll need suitable training. For further information on training and running the business contact the Driving Instructors Association on 0181 665 5151.

If you don’t want to become a fully-fledged instructor you could always offer classes teaching the Highway Code, and / or teaching qualified drivers how to drive better.

  1. Haulage

These days businesses to subcontract delivery work to haulage firms rather than incur the expense of vehicles and permanent staff, so there’s always a gap in the market for the small operator.

You’ll need a lorry or trailer equipped with ropes and tarpaulins, which you can either drive yourself or hire out. Market your service by writing to firms direct. Potential clients include garages, builders, warehouse firms, retailers and manufacturing companies.

  1. Driver’s agency

Agencies are always on the lookout for delivery drivers. By signing up a few agencies and making yourself available on a regular basis you can earn a consistent wage.

Far more lucrative is to set up your own agency. Recruit drivers (including HGV drivers and chauffeurs) and then search for business clients to place them with. Companies are increasingly cutting staff and looking to hire temporary workers for busy periods, so you’ll find that clients are plentiful.

Earning arise through charging firms a competitive rate for supplying the driver. You pay the driver his wage and the rest is profit. By expanding your client / driver base this specialized employment agency can soon generate annual sales in excess of $100,000.

  1. Auction driver

How does a used car salesman who’s just bought five vehicles at auction get them back to his showroom?

The answer is that they hire someone to do the work.

Telephone dealers and auction houses to ask them if they require such a service, or better still, approach them in person.

This is a useful part-time earner. Once you’ve convinced employers you’re reliable and trustworthy you’ll get more and more business.

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