Mark Dougherty makes a few thousand extra bucks a year as a hired driver for people who need to get their cars and moving trucks across the country.
The retired 70-year-old charges $10 per hour driving time and uses Google maps to estimate his fee, plus expenses like one-way plane tickets, gas, lodging and meals.
He charges an additional $60 to cover having his wife transport him to and from the airport. Dougherty advertises mostly on Craigslist and MyFamilyTravels.com, and he is occasionally tipped (such as on a recent 17-hour drive from Houston to Phoenix, when he received an extra $270).
If you search for "hire someone to drive your car cross country," you'll get lots of companies and individuals vying to help you: WaynesDrivingServices.com, DriverLES.com, ProfessionalDrivers.com, IDriveYourCar.com, to name a few.
These "driveaways," or hired cross-country drivers, are the ultimate side gig for many – retirees in particular — who want to get out of the house, make a few dollars and travel, said Frank Futie, who contracts about 30 drivers for his companies, Rented Truck Driver and Uride Idrive, which move cars, RVs and trucks.
Car owners love when a person is driving, rather than shipping, their vehicles, too: It can be cheaper with less chance of damage.
And while it's possible for aspiring drivers to work with established companies, there are also plenty of opportunities for those just wanting to take a cross-country adventure to pair with a car owner through travel forums and social media. The driver usually gets reimbursement for some or all trip expenses and the car owner gets their car somewhere cheaply.
Sound like a good deal? Consider the following before hitting the gas.