Car Owners Have Found Ways To Make Money From Their Unused Vehicles During Quarantine
Four women share their how they put them to good use.
With the quarantine still in effect and most of us working from our living rooms, we find few reasons to use our cars – yes, this valuable investment we are still paying thousands of pesos for every month is just sitting on the driveway gathering dust. Unless you start up the motor every once in a while, your car may be prone to engine damage.
According to Consumer Reports, “A car parked for extended periods risks the battery losing charge, tires gaining flat spots, rubber components such as belts and wipers drying out, and critters taking residence in your engine compartment.”
So, what can you do to prevent these from happening? Even better, how can you maximize your car as a resource while making sure it does not waste away? Here’s what some car owners did during the lockdown.
Use it for your business.
Mabel, 42, runs a self-service laundromat business near a university in Metro Manila. Before the pandemic, her customers, comprised of students and families living within the vicinity, would do their laundry at the shop. However, this is not possible at the moment because of the lockdown.
“Marami sa customers ko hindi na lumalabas, hindi na nakakapunta sa shop mismo,” she says. “Kaya nag-innovate na lang kami at gumawa ng paraan.”
In November 2020, Mabel offered a pick-up and delivery service to her loyal customers so they could have their laundry washed and folded without leaving their home. “Yung van namin ay hindi na nagagamit, kaya ginawa namin siyang service para sa pag-pick up at deliver ng laundry.”
Mabel says that this boosted their sales by around 70% compared to the early months of the lockdown, as this provided their customers with a hassle-free service. With it, Mabel also found good use for the van. “Win-win situation siya para sa amin, dahil nababawi namin ‘yung gas money dahil sa benta.”
Sell your car.
Jane, 35, sold her 4-year-old car to a private buyer in January 2021. “Selling your car is one of the easiest ways to make money off of it, especially if it’s not being used anyway,” she says. Since she has been working from home for more than a year now, she only uses the car once every two weeks to get groceries. “Having two cars doesn’t make sense anymore eh. Sayang lang kung hahayaan ko na naka-park lang siya.”
While selling a car to a private buyer was possible for Jane, it might not be as easy for others.
Thirty-year-old Chay opted to sell her car to a car dealership as she felt more at ease transacting with an official company. “Car dealerships accept used cars that are still of good quality. Since I only used my car for four or five years, it was still in good shape,” she shares.
Transacting with car dealerships may also be a lot faster than looking for a private buyer, as it only took Chay about two weeks to sell her car. “It was a good decision, honestly. It was unnecessary to keep a car that is seldom used. Maybe another person or family will need it more.”
Offer transportation services.
We know -- offering or availing car rentals is not advisable at the moment as it poses a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but Ellen, a 38-year-old businesswoman, found a way to make it work.
“Before the quarantine, we offered car rentals to those planning to go on vacation or host events. ‘Yung iba ginagamit for roadtrips, others naman nagre-rent para sa mga birthday parties nila.” Ellen says that these activities were not practical anymore at this time, so they made some adjustments.
“A friend of my husband [launched] a start-up company around three or four years ago. Just last October [the employees] needed to go back to the office, but [the owner] didn’t want his employees to commute, so we offered our two vans as shuttle service for their company,” she shares.
However, having their vans rented is not as simple as it sounds. They need to thoroughly clean them every week and get their drivers swabbed and tested every two weeks.
“We had an agreement with the company, so we can make sure that only their employees and our drivers will be riding the vans. This makes it easier [to do] contract tracing if the need arises,” says Ellen.
She also took it upon herself to provide hazard pay and daily check-ups for their drivers to ensure that they are properly taken care of and that their family members’ health is not put at risk. Says Ellen, “It’s a price you have to [pay], but it’s worth it, because this is our drivers’ only means of income. Hindi naman pwede na sila pa ang gagastos sa swab tests nila. If you’re running a business, this is something you should consider also.”