How to Make Money with a Cargo Van

Cargo vans are versatile. They can fit a lot of passengers, carry cargo, and even tow other vehicles in some instances.

So, if you’re looking to make money with your cargo van, you’ve got a lot of options.

Whether you need to make a couple of hundred dollars per week or find a way to turn your van into a profitable business, you can. 

Here’s how to make money with a cargo van – the top 12 ways.

12 Ways to Make Money with a Cargo Van

1. Rent it Out
2. Haul Away Junk
3. Turn Your Cargo Van Into a Mobile Billboard
4. Do Food/Grocery Delivery
5. Deliver Packages for Local Business
6. Provide Moving Services
7. Become an Amazon Flex Driver
8. Offer Towing Services
9. Turn Your Van into a Mobile Pet Grooming Business
10. Start a Landscaping Business
11. Pick Up Metal Scrap and Cash it In
12. Full-Service Cleaning Business

1. Rent it Out

Rent it Out

If you don’t use your van as a daily driver and are okay with other people driving it, you can rent it out. Cargo vans are a great vehicle to rent out since they’re multi-use. Depending on your van set up, you can rent it out to move furniture or as a family vehicle for road trips. 

And the great thing about renting your van is that there are companies dedicated to this line of business.

Two options are Getaround and Turo.

These car-sharing marketplaces allow you to list your van for rent and will do some screening of potential renters for you. They also both provide insurance so that users renting your vehicle have coverage in case of an accident.

There are a couple of requirements, though. First, depending on where you list, your car will need to be a 2007 or newer and have fewer than 120,000 miles.

If you’re looking for a relatively passive way to earn money with your Cargo van, this is one of your best bets. 

You can get an idea of potential monthly earnings by entering your vehicle and location info in Turo’s calculator.

2. Haul Away Junk

If you have a partner (or potential employee) and you can both lift heavy or awkward furniture, you can use your cargo van to start a junk business.

This is a great service for people cleaning out their homes, remodeling, or cleaning out their basements. You’ll probably be able to find your first few clients by simply asking friends and family or posting on social media.

Once you land your first client, you’ll need to load up their junk and take it to its proper dump or recycling location.

With hard work and innovative marketing, you can turn a junk haul-away business into a six-figure per year career.

3. Turn Your Cargo Van Into a Mobile Billboard

Turn Your Cargo Van Into a Mobile Billboard

Have you ever seen a car that has an advertisement on it?

If so, you’ve witnessed a mobile billboard, and that car owner is getting paid for the space on their vehicle.

This is an easy and passive way to earn extra money.

If you want to turn your cargo van into a mobile billboard, there are a couple of ways to go about it. First, you can find local businesses who’d like to advertise with you. Secondly, you can contact a company that specializes in car wrap advertisements.

One such company is Wrapify.

Wrapify connects daily drivers with advertisers. 

To get started, you simply download the app and drive 50 miles of your regular driving route. Afterward, they’ll present you with advertisement offers.

If you agree, you’ll then be required to pass a background check and submit pictures of the car. Once approved, Wrapify will send you appointment info to get your vehicle wrapped.

The amount you earn will depend upon the wrap (full or partial) and how much you drive.

The average driver earns $264 – $452 per month for a full wrap.

4. Do Food/Grocery Delivery

Food delivery is a huge business. 

To be 100% honest, this will not be the most profitable gig for cargo van owners, but it’s still an option if you’re looking for a flexible side hustle.

The two biggest companies that hire freelancers for fast food and restaurant delivery are UberEats and DoorDash.

If you’d rather shop for and deliver groceries, you can check out InstaCart and Shipt.

You can also check out these 15 other ways to get paid to shop.

5. Deliver Packages for Local Business

Deliver Packages for Local Business

One of the best ways to make money with a cargo van? Deliver packages for local businesses.

Local businesses that don’t have a fleet of their own often hire out for local shipping jobs. If you have contacts with local business owners, your best bet for securing work is to spread the word about the delivery services you’ll be offering.

Alternatively, if you haven’t built up that network, you can look for delivery jobs on one of the apps listed below.

GoShare

GoShare is a company that connects drivers of vans, trucks, and oversized vehicles to people and businesses needing deliveries made. 

Here’s how it works:

  • First, you apply to be a driver.
  • If approved, you’ll have access to jobs on the GoShare app.
  • Next, claim and complete the assignments you wish you to do.
  • Finally, get paid weekly via direct deposit.

Of course, there are requirements you’ll need to meet. For example, to become a GoShare driver, you’ll need to be an owner of a large vehicle (your cargo van), and it will need to be less than 15 years old. 

You, as the driver, will need to be at least 18 years old, have a driver’s license, pass a background check, and have at least the state minimum insurance coverage.

As a driver, there is no minimum amount of hours you’re required to work – simply accept the jobs you want to do. 

Cargo van drivers make an average of $63-$71 per hour. You can check here to see if GoShare is available in your area.

Uship

Uship is a platform that connects businesses with delivery drivers. As a driver on Uship, you can create a profile, bid on jobs, and accept offers.

Pay will vary depending on the jobs you take. 

The good thing about signing up with this app is that it’s free to create a profile and search through the postings. You don’t have to pay unless you book a job through their platform. And even then, they provide a calculator so that you charge enough to recoup their fee.

Check Job Boards

As I was writing this article, I came across several legit job postings for van owner-operators.

Most of these were 1099 independent contractor jobs. 

In general, the requirements included passing a criminal background check, passing a driver’s background check, having a driver’s license, auto insurance, and passing a drug screen.

ZipRecruiter reports that these jobs pay an average of $31 per hour.

Check Job Boards

You can search the following job boards for cargo van owner-operator jobs:

  • ZipRecruiter
  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor

6. Provide Moving Services

Cargo vans are so spacious that they make excellent moving vehicles. So naturally, one cargo van business idea is providing moving services.

If you want to offer moving services, you can provide them for residents moving nearby or expand your limits and go a couple of hours out.

You can start by listing your services on Facebook or by creating flyers. Alternatively, you can reach out to family and friends to spread the word.

Professional moving services are often costly. So, you could potentially break into the market by offering a more affordable service than what’s currently in your area.

To get this started, you will need another person to help you lift and load heavy items.

7. Become an Amazon Flex Driver

Make money with a cargo van - Become an Amazon Flex Driver

Amazon Flex is a program that allows drivers with their own vehicles to deliver packages.

The deliveries include Amazon.com packages, store orders, and grocery deliveries. 

To become a Flex driver, you’ll need a four-door sedan or large. You’ll also need to carry state-required insurance coverage.

The good news, though, is that as long as you carry personal insurance on your car, Amazon will provide auto liability, uninsured and underinsured coverage, as well as comprehensive and collision while you’re driving with them.

In addition to the vehicle requirements, you will need a smartphone and the Amazon Flex app to do this job.

Once you sign up and are approved, you can select when you’d like to work. Then, when it’s time for your block of work to start, Amazon will provide jobs on the app for you to do.

The average Amazon Flex driver earns $18-$25 per hour.

8. Offer Towing Services

Most cargo vans can tow up to 10,000 lbs. So, if you like the idea and have a towing hitch, you can tow items as a side business.

You can offer services to family and friends to get started. Then, if you like the work, you can branch out and provide services to local businesses.

Depending on where you live, there may be special licensing you need to offer towing services legally.

9. Turn Your Van into a Mobile Pet Grooming Business

Make money with a cargo van - Turn Your Van into a Mobile Pet Grooming Business

The beauty of cargo vans is that they’re so spacious you can turn them into almost anything – including a mobile pet grooming business.

In fact, I’ve seen a couple of different mobile pet grooming businesses in my area run out of cargo vans.

According to OpenRoadUpfitters, a cargo van turned into a mobile grooming van will need to be equipped with the following:

  • Dog crate
  • Bathtub
  • 50-gallon water capacity
  • Generator and ample power supply
  • Easy to clean water-resistant surfaces

Depending on the features you go with, turning your van into a pet grooming station can cost anywhere from $10,000 – $100,000.

That’s a significant investment, but it can quickly pay off if you obtain enough clients for your service.

10. Start a Landscaping Business

Cargo vans are great vehicles to start a landscaping business out of. They have enough room to store and haul landscaping equipment, flowers, trees, and mulch, plus the capability to tow a trailer with a mower.

Not only that, but landscaping businesses can be pretty profitable. According to Turf magazine, landscaping business owners earn an average of $53,000 per year.

However, the average salary is very dependent on the services offered, the location of the business, and the owner’s business savvy. Therefore, you could potentially earn far more.

11. Pick Up Metal Scrap and Cash it In

Make money with a cargo van - Pick Up Metal Scrap and Cash it In

If you’re looking for an idea that doesn’t require dealing with a lot of people or providing customer service, offer to pick up scrap metal for free and then cash it in.

You could schedule your pickups all for one day per week and make a good bit of extra money.

Many people simply want their metal scraps gone and will give them to you just to get them off their property.

Here are just a few everyday items you can pick up and get paid for:

  • Old Appliances (washers/dryers/stoves)
  • Copper (pipes/wires)
  • Structural Steel
  • Stainless Steel

Prices will vary depending on the metal type. Contact your local metal scrap yard to get quotes and learn which metal types are currently the most valuable.

12. Full-Service Cleaning Business

With the space in a cargo van, you could start a full-service cleaning business that tackles both the inside and outside of homes.

Your van leaves plenty of space to haul cleaning supplies, a pressure washer, a vacuum, and your employees who will help you get the job done.

The great thing about a cleaning business is that it’s pretty inexpensive to start. If you already have the van, you’ll only need to purchase cleaning equipment. After that, you can market your services, lock down your first few clients, and expand from there.

Conclusion

If you have a cargo van, there are several ways you can use it to make money. If you’re looking for a flexible side gig, consider towing, doing deliveries, or offering moving services. Of course, you can turn any of these into a full-time gig if you’d like.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to turn your cargo van into a business right from the start, you can form a landscaping company, convert your van into a mobile-grooming station, or rent out your vehicle. 

The options are endless – pick an idea and tweak it to best suit your needs.

Here are a few more side hustles you can check out:

 

Affiliate Disclaimer: I may (and probably do) receive affiliate commissions from any products I recommend or links I put on this page. My opinions are my own but they are truthful and I do my best to recommend products that I have vetted and/or purchased myself.

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