many car companies will reward you with cash and gift cards for testing their cars.
The way it works is that when there’s an opportunity, you go to your local car dealer, test drive the specific car requested by the manufacturer, and get a certificate from the dealer verifying that you did test drive the car.
Reading: How to review cars for a living
but finding car test drives is a bit difficult since they are always changing and manufacturers offer them at different times of the year.
The best way to not miss out is to sign up for automaker mailing lists. whenever there is an opportunity, you will be notified by email.
The biggest car manufacturers I know of that pay to test drive new cars are:
- Trade Appraisal Services appraisals cover a wide range, including Chevrolet dealers. compensation for each evaluation is $50.
- intellishop similar to above, reviews cover a few brands, including bmw and mazda. they pay you $50 per evaluation.
- sinclair service reviews the mystery shops commissioned by this company tend to focus only on toyota dealers. they pay $60 per assessed car dealer.
That said, it wouldn’t hurt to check with the major brands.
2. mystery car shopping
We’ve talked before about getting paid for mystery shopping. Mystery shopping also extends to the automobile industry.
Nearly every car dealership operating in the country works with mystery shopping market research companies to evaluate the performance of their employees and the dealership as a whole.
Mystery car shopping works like this: You would walk into the dealership posing as a real customer and evaluate the store and the performance of the employees.
Aspects to be evaluated are usually the level of customer service and the quality of the sales presentation. As part of the evaluation, this mystery shopper is also supposed to test drive a new car.
After the visit, which can last from one to two hours, the mystery shopper is required to submit a brief report regarding their observation of that particular dealer.
The scope of work is fairly straightforward and for your effort and time, you will be compensated $50 or more on the condition that the appraisal report is properly completed.
There is a fairly defined group of mystery shoppers and they are constantly hired by professional mystery shopping companies.
I’ve done my fair share of mystery shopping, though not a test drive (yet). After some research, I discovered that the following secret shopping companies offer such assignments:
3. incentives for local distributors
Car dealers treat walk-ins generously, especially those who seem serious about wanting a car.
Additional incentives can be cash or a gift card if the potential customer agrees to test drive a new car.
I know a nissan dealer in my local area that pays $25 to any prospective driver who wants to give the new car a good rev.
Speaking of easy money!
In fact, it’s not uncommon to see incentives totaling $100. the money is obligation-free, so it doesn’t force you to buy that car.
And how long would it take you to test drive a new car?…
an hour at the most, maybe? or maybe less than that.
An excellent source for finding opportunities to make money so easily is the classifieds section of your local newspaper.
Sometimes, they also do active promotions on television, especially if this is part of a nationwide advertising campaign by major auto companies.
4. auto incentive company
If you live in San Francisco, there’s another way to get paid to test drive new cars.
There is a company called carincentives.
You get paid between $25 and $100 for each completed test drive (the amount is based on the brand and competition among dealers in the area).
but you can only test drive up to 4 cars with a potential win of around $400.
As I mentioned, they currently only operate in San Francisco, but you can get on their mailing list to be notified when they open a store in your city.
5. become an official car tester
Now if you want to make a career out of this, you can become the official test driver for a car company.
Most automakers today have test drivers driving new cars to check for safety and performance issues.
As a test driver, you will drive the car in many different places and under different circumstances, pushing it to the limit.
but this job is generally not given to just anyone who enters.
your best bet is to get a bachelor’s degree and maybe a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
trying to drive cars for money is a fun way to earn some money, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so one day.
and you? Have you ever been paid to test drive a new car?…