Last Updated on 2024-03-19

13 Surprisingly Good Ways to Make Money Without a Car

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Faith McLaughlin

8 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates, Uber, and Lyft

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Scott Jones

7 years of experience working across DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart

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Catherine Meyers

5 years of experience working across Shipt and Instacart

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Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

In today's gig economy, you don't need a car to make decent money. Whether you're looking for a quick side hustle or aiming for a full-time gig, there are plenty of car-free ways to pad your wallet. 

This article explores 12 solid options that range from simple tasks you can start today to more substantial roles that could turn into your next career move. Forget the hassle of traffic and parking; here’s how you can earn from wherever you are, no vehicle required.

Gigs that can earn you some side cash

The following are gigs that can fit into your schedule without the need for a long-term commitment. 

These options are perfect for anyone looking to make some extra money on the side without investing a lot of time or tying themselves down to a fixed schedule. From completing online surveys to performing short tasks, hopping onto quick jobs to contributing to AI projects, there are various ways to boost your income. 

These gigs are a flexible and hassle-free way to earn without driving and are ideal if you need to fit your work around your existing responsibilities.

Ipsos iSay

In a nutshell: Earn a bit of extra income by filling out surveys and giving your opinions. 

Ipsos iSay is a platform that pays you to take surveys and provide your opinions. It’s backed by Ipsos, a global leader in market research since 1975, which ensures your effort contributes to real-world data analytics. With a presence in over 80 countries and a workforce of more than 15,000, Ipsos puts reputable and impactful surveys in front of you.

iSay is specifically designed to allow anyone over 18 to participate in surveys tailored to their demographic. It's completely free to join and has a straightforward sign-up process so that you can start taking surveys in minutes. iSay gathers basic information through email or a Facebook account link to best match you with surveys.

Key takeaways:

  • Diverse earning opportunities: iSay is a global platform, which means you’ll take surveys from all over the world.
  • Easy sign-up: Registration includes a "Getting to Know You Survey" for a tailored survey experience.
  • Point rewards: Every survey attempt gives you points, and you can use them on Amazon, Starbucks, and PayPal. Surveys are delivered via email or accessed by logging in, making point accumulation easy.
  • Frequency of surveys can vary: How many surveys you get depends on the match between your profile and research needs.
  • 500-point minimum for redemption: A minimum of 500 points is needed for reward redemption, which incentivizes consistent participation.
  • Stay active: Maintaining activity is essential to avoid account closure and loss of points.
  • No huge payouts: iSay provides an accessible platform with various rewards, though it's not a pathway to wealth by itself.

Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk)

In a nutshell: A way to make some pocket change, but not for serious earnings. 

Think of Amazon mTurk as a marketplace for tasks that need a human touch, known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks). Basically, they’re tasks that AI and bots can’t yet do on their own. Requesters, often businesses or researchers, post these tasks for workers like you to complete.

Be aware that many tasks pay only pennies — however, you’ll gain qualifications as you go along and can land higher-paying tasks. Amazon mTurk offers the flexibility to work on tasks anytime, fitting conveniently around other commitments. 

This gig is especially appealing for those looking to use small earnings to cover specific expenses or save for future financial goals.

Key takeaways:

  • Wide range of tasks: From surveys on various topics to data entry and content validation, there's a diverse selection of jobs to choose from.
  • Flexible earning potential: It’s possible to work efficiently and make several hundred dollars per week.
  • Qualification levels matter: Higher-paying tasks may require completing a certain number of HITs, making an early grind necessary.
  • No minimum for payout: You can transfer earnings directly to a bank account or use them on Amazon, with no minimum threshold to meet first.


In a nutshell: A great choice if you’re handy around the house. 

TaskRabbit is a marketplace that connects people who need tasks and odd jobs done with handymen, or "Taskers," ready to handle them. This platform is not just another job board; it's a dynamic marketplace for all sorts of skills that promises same-day work.

Becoming a Tasker is relatively straightforward but does require passing a background check. Some cities also require a one-time registration fee

The platform offers a wide range of services, enabling Taskers to utilize multiple skills. Payment is hassle-free via direct deposits, usually within 24 hours of job completion. TaskRabbit presents a valuable opportunity to capitalize on your abilities, set your own rates, and work on your schedule.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to get to your gigs, so you’ll need to make sure you only accept tasks that are within walking distance or that you can reach via public transportation.

Key takeaways:

  • Varied gigs: From everyday on-foot errands to specialized tasks, you can find or post almost any job.
  • Flexible pricing: Taskers set their rates, making it possible to earn more based on skill and demand.
  • Rapid payments: Earnings are transferred directly to your bank account, usually within 24 hours of job completion.
  • No middleman fees: TaskRabbit charges clients, not Taskers, so what you earn is yours to keep.
  • Elite status opportunities: High ratings can earn you a spot in TaskRabbit Elite, opening more jobs and perks.
  • Limited protection: TaskRabbit’s insurance coverage is limited — the company leans more heavily on its Happiness Pledge than on normal insurance.
  • Where you are matters: If you aren’t located in a large market, you may find it more difficult to get regular gigs.


In a nutshell: Get paid to help train AI.

Appen is a company that hires humans to help train AI. You’ll be asked to complete various tasks, like recording a sentence in your local language, taking videos of specific actions, or engaging in casual conversations. 

Starting involves creating a profile and passing a verification process. Certain roles will require a background check. 

Key takeaways:

  • Diverse projects: Engage in a variety of tasks to help train AI.
  • Flexible work environment: You can work from anywhere as long as you have high-speed internet (and sometimes a smartphone).
  • Earn on your schedule: Appen allows you to choose when and where you work, providing a flexible option for those looking to supplement their income or dive into the gig economy.
  • Work can be sporadic: There aren’t always tasks available. 

Food delivery with a bike or scooter

Food delivery is one of the most popular gigs, and for good reason: there are lots of apps you can use, it’s easy to find work, it’s flexible, and the pay is good once you learn the ropes. 

Luckily, you can use delivery apps without a car. Some apps let you take on delivery gigs with a bike or scooter, particularly in large cities like NYC. 

If you have a car, delivery platforms can earn you some substantial cash (some people even do it full-time). But without a car, these apps are best used to earn some extra money, not to replace your full-time income. 

Delivery platforms that allow bikes include:


In a nutshell: Earn money for renting out unused space with the “Airbnb of storage.”

Neighbor taps into the vast market potential of self-storage. If you’ve got a spare garage, attic, closet, or even an extra driveway, Neighbor allows you to list these spaces for rent at whatever price you set.

This is a relatively hands-off side hustle that can yield a steady stream of income, with the platform handling most of the logistical heavy lifting. Whether you're looking to cover some bills, save for a vacation, or simply declutter, Neighbor provides a viable and innovative solution to put your extra space to work.

Key takeaways:

  • Diverse listings: Almost any unused space can be listed, from garages and driveways to spare bedrooms.
  • Control and flexibility: Hosts have the autonomy to set prices, define space specifications, and manage bookings according to their convenience.
  • It’s a secure platform: Neighbor prioritizes safety with identity verifications, liability protection, and direct monthly payments.
  • Earning potential is attractive: While income varies based on location, space size, and features (like climate control and security), top hosts can significantly supplement their income.
  • Setup is straightforward but rewards effort: Hosts describe their space, upload photos, and choose their pricing, opting for either fixed rates or Neighbor's Smart Pricing recommendations.
  • The platform’s cut: Neighbor takes a nominal fee from hosts (4.9% + $0.30 per booking) and a service fee from renters. Despite this, the earning potential for hosts remains attractive, especially in light of the passive nature of the income.

Side gigs that can become more (if you work at it)

If you want to move deeper into the gig economy, here are some jobs that can help you transition into a full-time freelancer. These gigs let you set your own rates, so if you’re a savvy marketer, you can build up a client base and earn some serious cash with these. 

Pet care: Rover

In a nutshell: For animal lovers of all kinds — get paid to take care of pets. 

Rover stands out in the gig economy as a leading platform for those looking to merge their love for pets with the opportunity to earn extra income. Whether you're interested in dog walking, pet sitting, or providing a daycare service, Rover connects you with pet owners in your area who need your services.

With its comprehensive support system, community trust-building mechanisms, and direct payment processing, Rover simplifies the pet-sitting and walking process.

Key takeaways:

  • Earning potential: Depending on the services you offer — be it walking, sitting, or boarding — earnings can be around $1,000/month, with the possibility of making more through boarding and daycare services. Note that Rover takes 20% of your earnings.
  • Flexibility: Rover allows you to set your rates, services, and schedule.
  • Ease of use: The platform simplifies the process of finding clients, managing bookings, and receiving payments. Everything happens within the app.
  • Community trust: Rover helps you establish credibility with potential clients through reviews and improved search rankings over time.
  • There’s a setup fee: You must create a profile, complete and pay for a $25 background check, and set up your service offerings. 
  • High responsibility: It’s crucial to enter into pet care with realistic expectations about the responsibilities involved and the occasional challenges pets may present. This isn’t an easy job.
  • Insurance may be an option: Insurance coverage is provided for booked services.

Tutoring: BookNook, Varsity Tutors, and Wyzant

In a nutshell: If you’ve got a knack for teaching and some subject matter expertise, you can teach through various tutoring platforms. 

Tutoring is a rewarding, potentially lucrative gig that can turn into a career if you choose. There are multiple online tutoring platforms available, some of which allow you to earn more than others. 

Below is a quick comparison of three popular tutoring services: BookNook, Varsity Tutors, and Wyzant:


  • What it offers: BookNook specializes in high-impact K-8 education with a curriculum-focused approach, focusing on reading and comprehension skills.
  • Earning potential: Tutors earn around $18/hour with the possibility of additional bonuses, making it a viable side hustle that can become a full-time gig.
  • Flexibility: You set your own availability and preferred grade levels.
  • Requirements: Tutors must have at least 3 years of teaching or tutoring experience or a Bachelor’s degree for those with less experience. 

Varsity Tutors

  • What it offers: Varsity Tutors lets you teach a wide variety of subjects.
  • Earning potential: Tutors earn around $22/hour, placing it slightly above BookNook.
  • Flexibility: You get to set your own hours, letting you work around your own schedule.
  • Requirements: Tutors are required to have at least a high school diploma, with many holding college degrees. Background checks are mandatory.


  • What it offers: Wyzant is a reputable platform that can be more tutor-friendly than other options. 
  • Earning potential: Tutors set their own rates on Wyzant, ranging from $10 to $600/hour (average $35 to $65/hour). Tutors keep 75% of their hourly rate.
  • Flexibility: Tutors get to set their own schedule but must be reliable.
  • Requirements: Tutors must be at least 18 years old, live in the US, and have a social security number.

Caregiving and tutoring:

In a nutshell: An all-in-one online marketplace for babysitting, nanny services, senior care, pet care, and tutoring. is an online marketplace where you can offer a variety of caregiving services. You’ll make a public profile where care seekers can reach out to you, and which you’ll use to apply to jobs that care seekers post.

Caregivers on set their own rates and can take on as much or as little work as they want. 

There’s a free and paid version of (read about the differences): both let you set up a profile, accept jobs, and apply to jobs, but the paid version will rank you higher in the site’s search results. does not take a cut of your earnings

Some of the job postings may require a car, but not all: if you’re in a city, you can likely find caregiving gigs that you can get to using public transportation, ridesharing apps, or even just by walking. 

Key takeaways:

  • Great if you’ve got multiple skills: If you want to try out babysitting, pet care, senior care, and tutoring all at once, you can easily do so on
  • A direct path to full-time employment: connects families with nannies, which are full-time, live-in babysitters. If you want to be a nanny, you can land a full-time gig on

Teaching languages online: Preply and iTalki

In a nutshell: Get paid to teach languages online. 

Preply and iTalki provide a rewarding opportunity to earn income by tutoring languages online. Success on both platforms depends on an engaging profile, strategic pricing, and maintaining high availability and teaching quality.

Both platforms offer some great opportunities, but iTalki pays better: Preply takes a 33% cut, which eventually lowers to 18% after 400 teaching hours, whereas iTalki only takes a 15% commission. Preply takes a 100% commission for trial lessons, but iTalki takes a 0% commission on trial lessons. 

Key takeaways:

  • You’ll need language and teaching skills: These platforms are great if you can speak an in-demand language and know how to teach it well. 
  • You need to get good reviews: Both platforms prioritize tutors with positive reviews and good availability.

Freelance work: Fiverr vs. Upwork

In a nutshell: A stepping stone to a freelance career. 

Both Fiverr and Upwork offer opportunities for gig workers wondering how to make money without leaving home. Both of these platforms can serve as a great starting point for new freelancers who eventually want to turn their skills into a full-time career.

Below is a shootout between these two platforms, as they cater to different expectations and project types.

Key takeaways:

  • Fiverr is better for small, one-off projects: Fiverr is geared towards affordability, so it’s probably a better choice for one-time projects. Upwork, on the other hand, is generally better for larger projects.
  • Upwork is more client-focused: Upwork works with job listings published by clients, and freelancers bid for them using the platform’s virtual currency. On Fiverr, it’s the reverse: freelancers create packaged services (“gigs”) and potential clients reach out to freelancers.
  • Fiverr has an easier setup: Fiverr’s account setup is fast and simple, whereas Upwork requires a resumé and detailed professional information. Not all applications are accepted. 
  • Upwork can offer better payment: Upwork’s commission ranges between 5% and 20%, whereas Fiverr charges a flat 20%. 
  • Both platforms are diverse: From digital marketing to programming, graphic design to web design, both platforms offer lots of types of work.
  • Fiverr is easier to get jobs — at first: Sellers are waiting for buyers on Fiverr, whereas the Upwork bid system can be discouraging at first due to more acute competition.

Part-time and full-time jobs

Even without a car, there are lots of opportunities on the job market for part-time and full-time work.

In-person jobs

In a nutshell: Even though the United States isn’t very pedestrian-friendly, there are still lots of jobs that you can get to without a car. 

Not having a car can make it much more difficult to find work, but it’s not impossible, especially if you can find a job that offers flexible hours. Amazon warehouse jobs, for example, offer flexible shifts, which makes it easy to hop on a bus or get an Uber to and from work. 

If you live in a large city, you may even be able to find a job within walking distance of your house or apartment. 

Remote jobs

In a nutshell: Remote work is more accessible than ever. 

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of work forever. Even though many companies are requiring their employees to come back to the office, lots of workers got used to remote work, and there are still tons of companies that are offering it as an option.

Unfortunately, getting one of these remote jobs is pretty difficult, and there’s a lot of competition, but you can make it happen if you play your cards right. Tech companies are often the most amenable to remote work, so if you’re not already in that industry, you might want to consider enrolling in a coding boot camp, which can help you develop the skills you need to be competitive in this market. 

Advice from experienced gig workers

We asked three of our Gig Pros what advice they have for people looking to make money without a car. Here’s what they had to say. 

Scott’s advice

Scott Jones has 6 years of experience with DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart. He says: 

If I was suggesting how to make money without a car, I would have a few things to say on the topic, as it has been my lifestyle and obsession for almost a decade. I have tried all the survey apps, and they all have the same common flaw; they have very few surveys, and they are looking for a minority of people to answer each one. Like, women under 30, or Latinos 18-45. If you don't fit the criteria, you will waste a lot of time doing surveys and make nothing. 

Next, I do Rover/Wag. This could technically could be done without a car, though, it would be much more difficult. If you are willing to board dogs at your home, then there is money to be made. 

There are apps like Mturk, which denied me every time I tried to sign up. You would be best off to go to Youtube and watch videos on how to get approved for mTurk first. 

Next, you could get the Craigslist app and go look for "gig work". It has its own section. Mostly, it is people needing help moving, but it is also good for caretaker, babysitter, or dog-sitter gigs. However, some of it isn't really gig work, but rather part-time (long-term) jobs with 1099 pay (cash). Some good options, though. 

I have done Appen, and it has 2 types of jobs: 

  1. Tasks that pay about 4 cents each (like checking Google results for them). It will take 30-60 seconds per task. That's only a few dollars an hour.
  2. 25-90 cents per task that takes 5-15 minutes each. Still, only a few dollars an hour.

You could try to sell extra stuff you have on eBay, not very hard and fast cash.

Faith’s advice

Faith McLaughlin has 8 years of gig work experience. She’s worked with Postmates, Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash. Here’s what she has to say about making money without a car:

Anyone looking to make money without a car in California will have to be very creative and industrious (and open to many types of gigs) to survive in the automobile-centric cities of the West Coast. Unlike the dense and public transportation-friendly east coast cities like Manhattan and Boston, San Diego and Los Angeles definitely lean more towards using motorized transportation in all things due to the distance and layouts of their respective cities. But, there are definitely ways to make money without wheels, especially in this technology-driven era. 

The US Census often has “seasonal” jobs that are easy to get to through public transportation in your city, but it’s not a consistent job offering since the census is only done every few years. There are also ways to make money from apps like OfferUp! and Facebook Marketplace if you have extra stuff or collectibles that you want to get rid of. You can list items that you might have otherwise donated (if they are in decent condition) and specify that they are pick-up only. Depending on the quality and value of the items you want to sell, there is the opportunity to make some good money selling on those platforms.

Catherine’s advice

Catherine Meyers has 5 years of experience shopping for Instacart and 2 years of experience with Shipt. She’s also worked with DoorDash, Amazon Flex, and more. Here’s her advice:

I work in a very suburban area of California, so it is very difficult to get by without a car! The lack of a car narrows down the gig work options available to you. I have seen cyclists and people on e-bikes delivering for DoorDash or UberEats in the more metropolitan parts of my county's downtown area, but a car is nearly essential to find lucrative gig work in suburban areas. 

In general, gig work may not be the best option for these individuals. Finding jobs that are a walkable distance or along public transportation routes may be their best option. Additionally, if the person is licensed, it might be a viable option to rent a car and use it for gig work, whether it's Instacart, Shipt, UberEats, or multi-apping. I've met multiple shoppers who do not own cars or use a motorcycle for their primary transportation, but they rent a car on weekends and make a profit working long multi-apping shifts.

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