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Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you work and how much effort you give in your day job, it never seems to be enough. In an era of wage repression where many Australian workers’ wages are actually getting lower in real terms it can seem like all your hard work, effort and endeavour are never quite reflected in your pay packet. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of us are turning to the gig economy in our free time to make up the shortfall?

Those who love driving and love meeting new people may see their cars as a great way to make good money in their free time whether by becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft or delivering packages for e commerce titans like Amazon. Nonetheless, before you take this step towards financial independence it pays to ensure that your car is up to the job…

Does it have a diesel engine?

Diesel engines are not suited to the kinds of short, low speed journeys that most taxi and delivery drivers undertake. Doing these journeys day in day out can cause an excessive buildup of soot in your Diesel Particulate Filter. Over time this will result in a warning light on your dash. If you see this light you need to drive at high speeds for around 15 minutes to purge the DPF. If you’re unable to do this, your DPF can become clogged resulting in a breakdown and a potentially expensive repair.

Is it prepared for hazards and impediments?

The last thing you need is to get involved in an incident on the road, embarrass yourself by bumping someone else’s car when reversing or get caught in a tailback which makes your passenger late for an important meeting. Thus, your car should be outfitted with the gear you need for hazard and impediment perception like an efficient car fleet monitoring system, parking sensors, speed camera sensors and lane assist sensors. The more equipped you are to avoid hazards and potential obstacles the better.

Is it clean, tidy and fragrant?

You wouldn’t turn up for a first date looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed. Why? Because first impressions count! And if you plan on carrying passengers in your car as a side hustle, your car will be making that first impression as much as you are. That’s why the interior of your vehicle should look and smell good. That stain your daughter made when she dropped her chocolate ice cream on the back seat should be covered up and your radio should be working. Otherwise you’ll be far less likely to earn a tip, and tips are the difference between making money from this hustle and making good money from this hustle.

Does it bear the scars of past mistakes?

Finally, as well as keeping the interior of your car immaculate, you should also take steps to ensure that your bodywork doesn’t undermine your passengers’ confidence in you. Scratches and scrapes from previous whoopsies and dents from low impact collisions can subconsciously paint a poor picture of your driving capabilities for a passenger before they’ve even gotten into the car.

Buff out your bodywork before attempting to use your car for a side business!

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