Five Ways to Make Money with Your Passion for Cars
If you’re an automobile fanatic, you’re already a part of something huge. All over the world, car lovers trade tips to maximize performance, customize parts to prep for the next race, and debate the merits of driving stick versus automatic. (It’s stick. You know it’s stick.) It’s a community that knows how to argue while maintaining friendships, knows how to have a good time, and fully understands and appreciates your need for speed.
For all of the benefits of community and excitement that the automobile industry offers, it can also leave you pressed for cash. Parts and labour are expensive, with the best parts running thousands of dollars. Very few of us make the six figure salaries to be able to afford the best easily, but at the same time, we love cars and we fully intend to dump every spare dime we get into creating the ultimate machine. How then can we make use of the knowledge and skills we already have to make money for ourselves, and improve our own cars?
1. Become an Automotive Technician
You love tricking out cars anyway, and you have a ton of knowledge covering everything from a simple oil change to maximizing the performance of an engine. Armed with that knowledge, you stand to make a good bit of cash from using your skills to work on other people’s cars.
Depending on where you work, you could stand to make a good bit of money. While Glassdoor reports that the average income for an automotive technician ran about $37, 261 annually, top performing, ASE-certified technicians ran around $80,000 annually. You can potentially make even more if you specialize in customizing high performance vehicles. If you’ve got the time to spare, or are willing to potentially invest in more education, being an auto tech can net you some real cash.
2. Start a Blog
If you love cars, and want to turn your passion into an outlet to net you some money, blogging probably isn’t your first idea, but consider this: while it’s true the average blog makes around $3.50 a day, high end blogs can make upwards of $150K a month. Keep in mind - the $3.50 folks blogged less than three hours a week, and their blogs were less than two years old.
Like anything else, if you want to make money with your blog, you’ve got to be competent in your craft, produce quality content, and put in the time necessary. Even if you can’t devote enough time to turn your blog into a full-time business, even investing a few hours a week can net you more money than you’re investing.
Starting a blog is also incredibly simple - you just register your domain, setup your website, and get to writing. You should choose a particular niche to focus on at first, such as car care tips, product reviews, industry news and their effects on the community, etc. You can expand your topic selection as you go along.
3. Design Better Car Parts and Accessories
Before the Pontiac GTO became the staple of the American muscle car, it was a great idea in someone’s head. If John DeLorean, Bill Collins, and Russ Gee hadn’t sat down and designed it, putting their ideas on paper and tweaking measurements, The Great One would never have been born. The automotive industry needs people who can not only repair and adjust the cars already on the market; they need innovative thinkers who can make the next great machine a reality.
Being an automotive designer requires a solid education and experience to make the big bucks, but the earnings are well worth the investment in education and training up front. Payscale.com reported that the average salary for an automotive designer in 2018 is $94,000.
Besides making good money for yourself, being an automotive designer will allow you to enhance the car community as a whole. The industry is always looking for ways to make parts that are more effective, less costly, and safer for drivers. Whether your focus is designing tires that maintain better traction in austere conditions, an engine that can handle taking your car from zero to 60 in less than three seconds, or a car seat that increases survivability in an accident, being an automotive designer will allow you the chance to have a profound impact on the industry while making good money.
4. Compete in Races
This is what you really want to do anyway, isn’t it? What’s the point in building the ultimate speed demon if you can’t put it on the track and leave other drivers choking on your dust? Aside from the thrill of going 200+ MPH, racing is a guaranteed way to make serious money, if you’ve got the chops to handle it.
Chron.com reported that the average entry-level pay rate for an established, professional racer was between $5,000 and $7,000 per race, and can rise up to as high as $100K to $125K per race. The high end, international pros can receive as much as $10 million annually.
Being a professional racer is a hard knock life, and you’ve got to perform if you want to stay on top. But if you make it, you’ll have the ultimate combination of high-speed driving that you crave, with a great career that ensures you can live the lifestyle you want.
5. Train Aspiring Racers
Even if you’re not ready for the big leagues yourself, that doesn’t mean you can’t make good money on the racing circuit, while you prepare yourself and your machine to move up the ladder. Taking a job as an auto racing trainer is a good move to capitalize on your skills and passions while you’re waiting for your shot at the big time.
Though not as lucrative as racing yourself, for obvious reasons, serving as a racing coach can still make you some good money. Chron.com reported that the average income for a driving coach was between $225 to $500 per day, with some earning as much as $700 to $1,000 per day.
In addition, serving as a racing coach will give you the benefit of sharpening your own skills, while you develop the next generation of racers. It’s common knowledge in teaching circles that teaching others is essential if you want to truly master any craft; because you’re invested in seeing others succeed, you’ll work even hard to ensure that your instruction gives them the best shot at success, which will, in turn, improve your own training. And there are few feelings in life like experiencing our pupils achieve success, in part because of what you taught them.