The purchase of a vehicle is often viewed as a necessary investment for many Jamaicans who are forced to struggle with an unpredictable public transportation system. However, after the initial euphoria of gaining their own set of wheels wears off, new drivers quickly realise that owning a vehicle can sometimes be a very expensive affair.
Most people opt to take out a loan in order to obtain the funds for their vehicle of choice, but the required monthly payments can put severe pressure on their budgets. Add the costs of petrol, insurance, licensing fees, servicing and major repairs, and it becomes clear that vehicle ownership is definitely more of an expense than an investment.
The good news is that your vehicle can actually provide several opportunities to generate income that might not only cover the upkeep charges, but leave you with a tidy surplus to boot. If you’re looking for ways to earn more money, you may find a suitable option in one of the following ideas:
The key to making money is to look out for people’s unmet needs or pressing problems and then to figure out ways to solve these issues profitably. One major challenge for many parents is the process of dropping off and collecting their children from school and after-school activities. Whether you’re only able to transport a couple of kids in your car or you can move them by the bus-load, this could be a financially worthwhile venture.
Providing transportation services for small business operators can be a potentially lucrative means of extra income. Network in your local business community to find persons who need packages delivered quickly and cost-efficiently. If you have to travel out of town frequently, look out for opportunities to convey items along your route. If you already have a full-time job, be careful not to get too carried away with your part-time distribution business and jeopardize your regular income source!
Another problem for many business owners, especially those in the rural areas, is that they are inconvenienced by having to travel into the main towns to pay their utility bills and taxes. Sometimes they would be forced to close their shops and lose potential income. If your community has these challenges, you could offer a service to collect the payments from the business persons and make daily or weekly trips into town, thereby saving them both time and money.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a van or small truck, your options for earning can include furniture removal and transportation of other large items that can’t be moved in a smaller vehicle. You can advertise your services with security guards located at apartment buildings and on notice boards at work, church or the supermarket. Parking outside home improvement stores on the weekend might be rewarding too. You may need to hire persons to lift heavy objects as necessary.
Have you ever longed for a special meal for lunch, but couldn’t get it because the restaurant was too far away from your workplace? Many employees are restricted in their lunch choices based on the proximity of the food locations. If you are time-conscious and efficient, you could offer a lunch delivery business that covers major restaurants and fast food outlets.
Target your service to offices with many workers; your delivery charge will be more affordable if more customers can split it, and you can get many orders from a few locations.
Tours and Excursions
If you have an adventurous personality, you can actually make money and have an enjoyable time by providing unique tours around the island. Don’t assume that you would have to market to only foreign tourists - there are many Jamaicans who would love to explore our countryside, but don’t have the transportation, or can’t be bothered to drive. Look around for unusual locations and learn interesting facts abut them, so that you can offer a professional guided tour.
Even if you’re stuck behind a desk throughout the day or driving isn’t your best strength, you can still make use of your vehicle to earn. If all you do is drive your car to work and back home, why not make use of the downtime by renting your vehicle to persons who need to get around? Chartering taxis can be costly and buses can be time-consuming, so offering a rental service would add tremendous value to properly qualified persons.
When considering ways to earn money with your vehicle, it’s very important for you to abide by all the relevant laws and regulations. Check with your insurance company to ensure that you are covered for any activity that you may choose to carry out. Next week we will continue looking at more ways to generate extra income.
Copyright © 2010 Cherryl Hanson Simpson