You ever seen this tacky car in the parking lot? You know, the one with an ad for some casino joint on the side of it? And you think, “Damn, that’s a brand new Suburban, I bet they got it for free just for driving it around.”
Well, Free Car Media is just such a company that offers those mythical “paid to drive” programs (You can visit them at their site www.myfreecar.com). But before you do, there are a few things you should know:
1) There’s a reason you probably haven’t done this by now: there just aren’t that many opportunities out there. In a country of 300 million people, Free Car Media only has 800 to 1,000 cars out at any given time.
2) Yeah, it’s no longer true that you get a “free” car for simply bearing the shame of wearing some cheesy decal. The business model for that simply isn’t feasible anymore. Instead, you buy a new car, and apply for the privilege of advertising Preparation H on your Chevy HHR.
Four more things you should know after the jump.
3) “Paid to drive” doesn’t mean “paid to run errands and take trips to Maui.” The advertiser will want you to spend a certain number of hours in certain places, and have no problem calling Big Brother on you with GPS monitoring to make sure you’re making your appointed rounds.
4) As we said, Free Car Media and other companies will not provide you the car for free, but will instead compensate you $400 to $800 per month for the duration of the paid to drive program, which is enough to cover most car payments and maintenance costs.
5) It’s not that easy to get into one of these programs. Not only are they scarce, but advertisers are looking for specific demographics in specific areas, and they don’t want their products attacting negative connotations on your 18 year old Blazer. New vehicles are your best bet, in which case, you’re not so much earning money as delaying new car payments for a few months.
And finally, for the sweet and gullible ones out there–
6. You should NEVER have to pay money to get information on one of these programs. Legitimate companies make money off the advertisers, not prospective drivers applying for a position.
You’ve been warned. Now go out and make Pizza Hut proud!