Gig driving is a great way to make some extra cash or even make a living, honestly. How many of you seriously thought about becoming or actually became a delivery driver during 2020? I know. I considered it. However, If you’re driving an unreliable car with a terrible fuel economy, you might as well hand out money to strangers.
That’s where we come in. We’re here to help you earn the most money possible as a gig driver with this list of 8 cars.
Toyota Prius – Cool Prius
The first car on our list is going to get some groans. But, let’s be honest, it’s basically designed specifically for this kind of work. It’s roomy, gets famously high miles per gallon, and there’s basically a billion of them on the road, which keeps them cheap as hell. It’s the damn Prius because, well, of course it is.
The Toyota Prius. Many of us love to hate on it, but we can’t discredit its capabilities. It’s one of the most, if not the most, economical cars ever developed. Also, it’s a Toyota, and have you ever really seen a Toyota at a mechanic’s shop? If that wasn’t enough, the Prius is very cheap and pretty comfortable. They’re the perfect car for a gig driver.
The only downside of a Prius is that it’s a Prius. You know what no one has ever said? “That Prius makes you look awesome!” But, you know what? They will say, “Yeah, man, I get it, you want to save money. That’s cool.” Plus, saving money on your daily driver will free up a lot of cash for your weekend car. Couple that with some tips from our Ideal Money channel and you can drive a Prius during the week, then hit the local meets in your GT-R on the weekend. Just a thought.
Older models go for as little as $3,000. And, if you think about it, nobody buys a Toyota Prius to abuse it, so most of them should be in pretty good condition. Still, try to find one that doesn’t have high mileage, keep a tight maintenance schedule, and you’ll have yourself a car that will outlast your love of being a delivery driver. If you buy one for $4,000, and you average $20 per delivery, you’ll have it paid off in a couple of months, and then it’s pure profit. Nice.
It’s hard to get away from the Prius because it really is the perfect gig car. But what if you need something a little more specialized? Like, maybe you need to regularly hit the dirt roads or carry IKEA garbage? Well, check out the CR-V.
Honda CR-V – When The Roads are Rough
The Honda CR-V won’t win you any drag races and it’s not going to help you conquer Moab, but the CR-V will definitely save you money. They’re basically the most economical SUVs on the market. See, it’s basically a Honda Accord that’s been lifted and turned into a crossover, which means two things. One, it’s a Honda and it can’t die, so you won’t have to miss workdays because your car broke. Two, it’s surprisingly comfortable, so whether you’re delivering passengers to the creepy farmhouse on the edge of town or just delivering McDonald’s to the boondocks, it’s well suited for the task.
There’s not much else to say, really. The Honda CR-V is the best option for gig driving where the roads get rough, and purchasing one won’t break your bank either. We found one for $5,000 even. And, sure, it doesn’t look amazing, but you’re going to abuse the crap out of it as a delivery vehicle anyway.
Speaking of the Honda Accord, you can’t go wrong with a Honda Accord as a gig driver.
Honda Accord – Luxurious and Practical
What’s the best way to grow your gig-driving business quickly? Return customers! The Accord is big enough to comfortably accommodate people and Honda prides itself on making the Accord quiet, comfortable, and pretty luxurious. For a Honda, that is, we’re not talking Mercedes levels here. But it’s about as close as you can get to a luxury taxi without getting wildly impractical or expensive.
Now, if you’re delivering goods, the Honda Accord isn’t that great of an option. But, think about it, would you rather be driven in comfort or in a rusty bucket with half of the interior missing? Also, unlike other full-size cars, the Accord still gets decent gas mileage.
Now, I know you, and I know you want the 6+6 Accord. You know, the Accord that blurs the line between a practical sedan and a sports car. But what you want is the boring old automatic with the K-series motor because nothing is more embarrassing than missing a shift while driving someone around. They will judge you.
Uber’s requirements are that a vehicle has to be 15 years old or newer, which is honestly fine. There are millions of Accords for under $5,000 that fit that criteria, especially if you use the Ideal Car Strategies. We found a four-door for just under $5,000. You could do a lot worse, let me tell you.
Okay, but an Accord can fit three, maybe four people. If you want to carry even more people around or even dip into doing things like Amazon deliveries, you need a van. And, well, we might as well stick with Honda.
Honda Odyssey – Ground Control to Major Mom
The Honda Odyssey is without question one of the best minivans on the market. It might not be good for your everyday average Lyft or Uber driver, but if you’re driving for Uber XL or Lyft XL, then you need the extra space. More passengers mean more money.
Plus, the Odyssey has great mileage for a minivan, making it a way better delivery vehicle than those Ford Transits you see clogging the streets. Honda produced these things forever, so there’s plenty of examples on the road. If you’re just hauling boxes, grab an older one with a ruined interior. Just be aware that they can be hard to find. Construction workers and agriculture workers love old vans to use and abuse.
If you are hauling people, though, we suggest you spend a little bit more and get a newer van. The comfort is a lot higher and you’ll be getting those five-star ratings in no time. We found one for under $10,000. And if you want a life tip, become great friends with the local bars so that they call you when they need parties removed.
The Minivan is an acquired taste, though; maybe even more than the infamous Prius. So, this next entry is for those of you that just want a traditional, basic car.
Mazda3 – Just a Car
Mazda3 is one of the most overlooked compact cars, and I’m not so sure why. It’s basically the whole package. It’s sort of stylish, pretty comfortable, and decent on gas. Plus, they regularly sell for less than their Toyota or Honda counterparts. People will say it’s because they aren’t as reliable, and that’s true for the bigger Mazdas that have a lot of complications. But for the ultra-simple little Mazda3? Nope. Keep oil in it and it’ll never die.
What really makes the Mazda3 a great purchase is its value. It’s not necessarily the cheapest or the best on gas, but for your shoestring budget, it’s one of the newest cars you can afford. And that comes with all sorts of modern amenities like a touchscreen so that you don’t get lost on your delivery route.
We found one with under 70,000 miles, which is the lowest on our list, that’s only 7 years old, and it’s still only $8,000. If you would be embarrassed to be in a Prius, the Mazda3 is a great alternative. Just stay away from the ones that are just a rebadged Focus. Do your research, get a PPI, check out the Ideal Car Strategies, and you should be fine.
If the Mazda3 is too flashy, there’s nothing wrong with the most regular car in the world.
Toyota Corolla – Mr. Regular Special
The Toyota Corolla isn’t fancy, it isn’t innovative, and it doesn’t stand out in any way. But the Corolla is small, easy to drive, and incredibly reliable. Yeah, Scotty is right sometimes, a Corolla is the essence of a car as an appliance, and they’re a good thing to buy if you have to rely on your vehicle for making money.
What else do you want? Look, there’s a reason that the advice from every financial planning group online is “buy a Corolla.” It’s basically a meme at this point. If you want a cheap, reliable car that won’t cost you a ton of money, buy a Corolla. All the things that make the Corolla a great buy for your finances also make them perfect for the gig economy.
We recommend a 2010 or after model year with the 1.8-liter engine, like the one we found for around $6,000. They’re bigger and roomier than earlier models, but the earlier models are way cheaper and will still last forever. So, do what feels right to you.
Alright, these have all been super boring cars, I know. That’s sort of the point. It’s a tool to make money, not some flashy sports car, right? About that. There is one car we can safely recommend that is both fun to drive and wildly practical. It’s from Honda, who I swear we aren’t sponsored by. It’s called the Civic Si.
Honda Civic Si – Just Like Hector’s
Honda Civics are some of the best-selling compact cars ever, and there’s a good reason for it. First of all, they’re quite fun to drive, which gives them a unique edge over some of the other cars on this list. The Si, in particular, is just a lot of fun. And if you’re going to spend a lot of time driving around and are willing to sacrifice a bit of gas mileage, it’s a great option.
Just be careful with buying a used Civic. We all know how used-and-abused some of them are. Try to find one that isn’t modified with relatively low mileage so that you can be the one to use and abuse it. The biggest downside to the Civic Si is that they hold their value really well, so you aren’t going to get an amazing deal.
We found one for $10,000, which is about right. Here’s the thing, though: when you are done using it as a delivery vehicle and ready to upgrade your ride, you’ll probably get $10,000 for it, which means you’re basically driving it for free while you own it.
Alright, one final entry, and we saved the wildcard for last. Instead of paying very little for gas with a car that has great mileage, why not pay nothing for gas using GM’s fully-electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt?
Chevrolet Bolt EV – Free Fuel
There’s a lot to like about this car, especially if you’re only going to do a few deliveries per day and most of your stops are near charging stations. Look, I’d be lying if I said this was the best car for everyone. You could say that it’s somewhat niche. But the Chevy Bolt EV can make you a bunch of money if you’re willing to put in the extra work.
You can only go for 200 to 250 miles before you need to recharge your Chevy Bolt, so you’ll have to plan your routes, but with some social hacking, you can charge for free at most delivery stops. The range isn’t the only downside, unfortunately, the Bolt is still pretty expensive. I mean, it’s cheap for an EV, and it’s better quality than a comparable-but-cheaper Nissan LEAF, and the range is great for the price.
But $16,000 is a lot for just a business purchase. Still, you’ll be riding the wave of the future. And the extra money saved by not having to buy gas and being able to carry your passengers around in quiet comfort will go a long way towards your own future.