A minivan, van, or box truck is excellent for traveling, as you can carry many things with you. You can even use your van as your living space (around 150k people sleep in their cars at night in the USA alone). But do you know you can now even make money with a van?
From making a food truck to delivering heavy items, from using it as an ad-display unit to making it a mobile auto repair shop, you can do many things to create a sustainable income from your van. In most businesses, you don’t even need additional accessories for your van.
But not every business model is suitable for every van owner. So, we dug deep into the industry and successfully filtered out some of the best (and highest-paying) ways to make money. Without further ado, let’s start!
Need Easy & Extra $300/Mo For Free?
8 Best Ways To Make Money With A Van
There are plenty of ways, although not every way is suitable for everyone to make money with a van.
So, here are our top eight selections if you want to make money with a van.
1. Provide Moving Services
Hauling companies are on the rise all over the globe, as they help people to relocate with their goods quite easily. However, you need an office and some support staff to establish a full-fledged hauling company. You can now also do it without an office as long as you have your van with you.
You can start working as an individual moving service provider to make extra money each month.
All you need is to put some free ads on your social media handles and distribute some flyers locally. You can even ask your customers to give you ratings on different platforms.
As you’ll do all the work by yourself, you need to be physically capable enough to carry heavy loads. And be prepared to drive to distant places!
2. Deliver for Amazon Flex
If you don’t know how to make money with a cargo van, you should start your quest with Amazon Flex. Although there are now many ways available to make money on Amazon, Flex is probably the best if you have a van or a truck.
As a Flex driver, you need to carry and deliver packages to customers of Amazon. With your van, you can easily carry more items in each of your shifts. The registration process is also straightforward:
- Step 1: Sign up for Amazon Flex (You can also download the Amazon Flex app).
- Step 2: After verification, choose your “Block,” which is a 4-to-6-hour delivery shift.
- Step 3: Once you get an order, pick it up from the Amazon Fulfillment Center.
- Step 4: Deliver that package to the customer and get paid.
Earning Potential: Although it depends on various factors, such as total distance traveled and total carrying load, you can easily make around $18 to $25/hour as a Flex driver.
3. Try P2P Delivery
There are plenty of peer-to-peer companies available that work pretty similarly to Amazon Flex. While Amazon Flex is for Amazon products, P2P companies focus on more specialized items, such as furniture, pets, machinery, and fragile items.
If you are comfortable delivering pets, CitizenShipper will be the best choice. It works on a bidding mechanism where you can quote your asking price.
And the payment is quite good, as driving a 40lbs canine from Michigan to Arizona can make you as much as $900.
But most of these deliveries will be long-distance. So, be prepared to drive some extra miles while working with CitizenShipper.
4. Deliver Stuff With GoShare
It is an on-demand delivery company that focuses primarily on home and office moving, courier service, and junk hauling. However, they also offer the following:
- LTL (Less than load) deliveries
- B2B and B2C logistical support
- Last mile delivery
You need to be at least 18 years old with a valid (US) driving license and a van that is less than 15 years old.
This company offers an easy-approval procedure after a vehicle inspection test. You can also set your work hours and choose your packages.
Earning Potential: If you deliver with your cargo van, you can easily make between $65 and $75 an hour. GoShare also suggests that its top drivers are now making more than $1,200 a week.
5. Advertise on Your Van
Putting some display ads is among the best van business ideas, as you can now get paid to advertise your car. Vans offers a large outer body, which is suitable for promotional ads and brand endorsements.
Wrapping companies will wrap your van with custom ads, which must remain till the end of the campaign.
According to a recent stat, van owners can make around $1,000/per two-month ad campaign. The payments are even higher if you work with Wrapify. It will pay you a $450 + incentive each month just to put some display ads on your van.
Wrapify also makes sure that the wraps do not harm the original paint of your van. So, you don’t need to worry about your car paint.
You can also completely remove your wrapping easily after the end of any ad campaign.
Roadie works similarly to GoShare, as it is also an on-demand delivery company. But while GoShare mostly offers long-distance delivery assignments, Roadie offers both local and distant delivery assignments.
From appliances to furniture, from groceries to even cars, you need to be prepared to deliver anything (legal).
Signing up for this platform is also quite easy, as it comes with a simple registration process followed by a paper and car inspection.
Once you get the approval, you can then directly choose your delivery shipment from your account. You will get a few pieces of info about the delivery gigs, which are:
- The total number of items in a shipment.
- Approx size and weight of your shipment.
- The total distance you need to travel.
- The exact payment you’ll receive after the delivery.
Right now, it is exclusively available in the USA, and you need a valid driving license with all your vehicle documents to get started.
Earning Potential: Local deliveries can fetch you around $8 to $60/delivery, depending on the size of the shipment. And long-haul deliveries can earn you up to $650/assignment. You can also keep the entire tip you receive from your customers.
7. Commute Passengers
Commuting passengers from one place to another with your van can be a good income source, as driving trucks and vans is among the money-making hobbies that pay.
Start by posting some free ads on different platforms. You also need to post your service on your social media handle to let everyone know in your friends list that you are offering this service.
You can even put up some ads or distribute some flyers in your locality.
8. Make Money Freelancing While Living in Your Van
You can now start freelancing while living in your van and can make it your workstation while you travel and explore new places.
Freelance writing is the best thing you can do while traveling with your van. Creativity and hard work are the only things you need to write like a pro (even from your van). And there are plenty of legit writing websites that pay up to $100/article.
However, writing is something that needs proper guidance. But don’t worry, as my friend Holly Johnson recently launched a free writing workshop where she has revealed six key strategies to become a successful writer. You’ll get the best guidance as she is now making more than $250k+ a year just by offering her writing services.
Photography is the next best thing you can do, as there are many platforms to sell photos online, especially if those are travel or landscape photos. There are other freelancing opportunities you can try as well.
- Online Proofreading: You can easily make around $20 to $25/hour. (Claim your free training pass)
- Transcription Service: Depending upon the niche, transcription service can fetch you around $15 to $20/hour. (+ free minicourse of general transcription)
- Virtual Assistance: You can make between $20 and $100/hour while working as a VA. (Complete guide on launching a VA business + free online training ticket)
- Online Bookkeeping: This can fetch you $20 to $80/hour, depending on the accounting skillset you have. (Join a free online bookkeeping webinar to get a hands-on guide.)
7 Ways To Make Money With A Cargo Van
Things that can be done with a cargo van may not be done with a minivan.
So, here are some of the best ways to make money with a van, especially if it is designed to carry cargo or heavy shipments and has a lot of space inside.
9. Rent out your Cargo Van
Not many people know how to make money with a sprinter van. If you have it, just rent it out to other people, as vans and trucks are the best things to rent out for money.
You can start your journey with Fetch, which is a truck rental marketplace. With Fetch, you can make around $17k/year with a 6-feet cargo van and up to $27k/year with a 9-feet one.
This company also offers comprehensive insurance for your van. Fetch will install a small device in your van for which renters can only unlock the car through their smartphone app, as it promotes contactless renting. The payment is also pretty good!
You can also try similar platforms, such as Turo, Getaround, and Fluid Truck, which also offer similar opportunities and almost equal payment. So, compare and select the company which will pay you the best.
10. Convert Into RV and List on Airbnb
Surprising? Yes, not just your car or apartment; you can even host on your van, all thanks to Airbnb. And if you don’t know how to make $500 fast, go and sign up for Airbnb and start hosting foreign and local travelers in your van.
If you live in an area where there are plenty of spots for hiking and outdoor activities, you’ll make the most amount of money with Airbnb. You can easily charge between $70 and $100 per night.
Airbnb also lets you incorporate some rules for your van, such as total travel limit and additional charges for extra miles.
Other than an attractive rate and worldwide exposure, Airbnb now also offers comprehensive insurance for your car to make your vehicle safe against theft, burglary, and road accidents. Yes, they will get you covered!
11. Start your own cargo van business
Do you know how much a cargo van owner-operator makes? The digits are quite astounding! So, why work for others if you can start your own cargo business?
It is very easy to set up a small cargo business, as you need just your van and some ads to start rolling.
Many people prefer to stick to just packing and moving, whereas you can focus on other creative ideas to make a profit from a less crowded market.
You can start a mobile pet grooming business or a mowing business with your van. Besides, you can also directly offer logistical support to local businesses and shops in your area. Keep your rates on the lower side to get some initial exposure.
Use websites like Craigslist to put some free ads for your service. You can also post it on your social media handles and ask your friends to share it. And don’t forget to distribute some flyers in your area.
12. Grocery Delivery Services
Most people want to stay indoors, as they don’t even want to go to supermarkets to get their groceries. And delivery services play a leading role here as they get the groceries delivered to their doorsteps.
If you have a small (6 feet) cargo van, you can easily join grocery delivery companies.
There are plenty of platforms available, such as Instacart and Shipt, which also offer flexible work hours and incentives. If you are in doubt, check out our detailed comparison of Shipt vs. Instacart.
Earning Potential: You can make around $18 to $20/hour on average while working for Instacart, although it depends on various factors. Shipt and other similar grocery delivery platforms also offer $20/hour on average.
13. Food Delivery
If you don’t want to lift heavy loads while delivering groceries, you can even start food delivery with your van. Even having a minivan will do your job! And there are plenty of platforms available where you can get high-paying food delivery jobs in your locality.
The best thing about food delivery is that you don’t even need to travel to distant places, as you’ll be delivering in your locality. And you can get plenty of tips from happy foodies on top of your delivery charges.
Earning Potential: Similar to grocery delivery, you can make around $20/hour on average while delivering food. And on holidays and during surge hours, this rate can climb up to $30 an hour.
14. Digital Nomad
Being a digital nomad can help you to make money with a van. Many people are now quitting their traditional day jobs to become nomads.
And as long as you have your van and an active internet connection, the whole world is your workplace.
There are many advantages of being a digital nomad. First, you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket each month just to give your house rent. And second, you can travel to different places and learn about different cultures even while doing your job.
But yes, you need to transform your van a bit to make it suitable for your traveling lifestyle. And it needs a bit of investment. However, there are many high-paying travel jobs also available that don’t need any investment.
15. Mobile Auto Repair
You either need to tow your vehicle or call a mobile auto repair shop if your car is broken on a lonely road, isn’t it? And they also charge hefty fees for that! So, you can also start a mobile auto repair service in your van to make some money.
You need to travel to different places and give repair assistance on the spot where the car is actually broken. But you do need skills to troubleshoot and repair various issues of a vehicle.
Getting on with this business is also quite easy, as you need just a few tools to get started.
As your customer base grows, you can start offering various other related services, such as repainting, oil changes, and even music system installation.
7 Best Van Business Ideas
Not everyone is comfortable working under someone! And more people now prefer to have their own business rather than having a day job.
So, here are the best ways to make money with a van and become a successful businessman.
16. Junk Removal Business
If you want to make tons of money with a van, start a junk removal business. You can offer different types of junk removal services, depending on your area of expertise. However, you need to have the right tools and accessories to do the job.
You can also make a personal brand if you can sustain yourself in this junk removal industry. And if you are aiming high, offer hazardous materials removal, as it will pay you the most.
But you need to have proper licenses and permissions. So, focus on your paperwork first!
It is not even hard to get some customers as citizens do need junk removal services regularly. But you need to have the right equipment, a polite attitude towards your clients, and the proper tools.
17. Van Building Service
Most van owners have vast knowledge about repairing and maintaining their vans, as they travel to distant places all alone where it is possible that they won’t find any repair shops.
So, they become masters of their own. If you are one of those kinds, you can start your van-building business.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this profession. It will make you more money than any other business, as a custom-made van costs much more than regular vans.
But you need to keep your tools with you all the time, as you don’t have an actual shop where you can work.
Start offering lower rates than the industry standard to get some customers first.
Don’t forget to ask them about giving you a review on different platforms, such as Facebook and Google, to get some fee promotions.
18. Mobile Coffee Shop
Who doesn’t like a cup of latte or espresso? As there are more than a billion coffee lovers worldwide, more and more mobile coffee shops are hitting the road each day. Besides owning a mobile coffee shop, there are now even ways available to get paid to drink coffee.
You need to modify your van a bit to accommodate espresso machines, drip machines, milk frothers, grinders, and other coffee-making equipment.
You also need to have a pour-over station and some seating arrangements to serve your customers.
This business also needs some paperwork, as you need to obtain permission from the city council to get to your mobile coffee shop on the road.
19. Towing Services
Do you live in a city full of vehicles? Do you live in isolated places where there is no auto repair shop nearby? If yes, starting a towing service with your van should be your first choice.
All you need is a tow hitch and some heavy-duty ropes to start offering towing services.
But yes, you need the right vehicle, such as a 9-foot van or a box truck to tow other cars. This business requires you to have a commercial license.
If you have all these, you can easily charge around $100 to $150/towing stint.
Reselling is a business that can also help you to make money with a van. Getting into this business is also super easy.
All you need is to buy salable products at discounted prices from online shops, department stores, garage sales, and auction centers. And then you can resell those to customers for a higher price to make a profit.
Having a van while doing this reselling business can create a win-win situation, as you can store more items on your van and can also use it as a display unit.
21. Food Truck
Put your hands up if you love having delicious dishes from your favorite food truck! If you have culinary skills (and a bit of marketing), you can even start your own food truck business.
From continental to just burgers, you can serve almost anything, as there is a market for every food item.
Your primary customers will be your local people. However, you can travel to farmers’ markets, music festivals, concerts, fairs, and other events to get more customers. But, building a food truck out of a van can be a costly affair.
You also need several cooking appliances that also need some hefty investment. And you need to get proper permission and licenses from your local and state authorities to hit the road with your food truck.
22. Travelling Nurse
If you have nursing training and a practicing license, you can start working as a traveling nurse. Most traveling nurses have permanent contracts with hospitals and health centers.
So, it will be easy to get clients each day, as these hospitals offer various medical services to different communities.
If you offer any special services, such as orthopedic care or postoperative rehabilitation, you can surely charge some hefty fees. But you may need to travel to different places in the country to give your medical assistance.
Tips For Making Money With A Van
It is not very difficult to make money with a van, especially if you are good at your skills. But you can boost your income by following four basic rules, which are as follows.
1. Get Cashbacks on Gas Expenses
As a van owner, you need to travel a lot. And a lot of travel needs a lot of gas refueling. So, you must take advantage of fuel reward programs and cashback offers.
There are plenty of the highest-paying apps available where you can claim up to 10% cashback on your refueling.
Some of the similar platforms that can also give you cashback for gas refueling are:
These reward apps can give you up to $0.25 cashback per gallon. And with your accumulated reward points, you can buy various gift cards and earn free PayPal money.
2. Track Your Mileage
Not many people know that business miles are tax-deductible according to IRS rules. And in 2023, the business mileage rate has gone to $0.66/mile. So, if you track all the mileage while doing some business with your van, you will have tax benefits.
You can either keep a note and track your mileage manually or use mileage-tracking apps like Hurdlr.
Oil changing costs, repairing costs, and maintenance fees are three other things that you must keep track of to get a real understanding of your actual profit.
3. Get all the required documents
To start any job or business with your van, you need to be at least 18 years old. Other than that, you also need some documents, such as:
- Permanent citizenship in the USA or a legal work permit
- Valid driving license (some works also need you to have a commercial license)
- Registration paperwork and tax payment slips
- Updated and valid insurance
You must also abide by local and national laws if you want to start any business with your van. Always keep your paper updated to avoid any trouble. Remember, if you get caught without valid documents, you may lose a steady source of income.
4. Follow traffic rules
Not just while driving vans, you need to follow traffic rules while driving any vehicle. You need to pay a hefty price (financially) if you break some traffic rules.
There is always a possibility of getting your license revoked by the road authorities and law enforcement departments.
You might already have a clear idea about your local traffic rules. But as you travel to distant places with your van, you need to know about the traffic rules of that place to avoid any circumstances.
FAQs on Making Money With a Van
How much does a cargo van owner-operator make?
It entirely depends on the type of service you are offering with your van and the amount of time you invest each day. But on average, you can expect to earn between $15 and $22/hour on average.
If you start your own business, you can make around $3k to $5k (initially) with your van or box truck.
Is a cargo van a good investment?
A good cargo van these days can cost up to $45,000, which is a significant investment. If you are serious enough and want to make your van your primary source of income, this investment is totally worth it.
However, it is not a wise idea to invest that much in a van if you want to use it for a side hustle.
How to make money with a Sprinter van?
Sprinter vans are costly, as these are from Mercedes-Benz. But these sprinter vans are completely customizable.
You can modify it to list it on Airbnb and start hosting foreign travelers. You can even just rent it out to make up to $70/hour.
Looking for Other Ways to Make Money Online?
- 25 Sites Like InboxDollars For Extra Cash [+ Signup Bonuses]
- How To Make 20 Dollars Fast – 51 Legit Ways [Get $20 Now!]
- 40 Apps To Sign Up And Get Money [Up To $500 Instant Bonuses]
Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.