- $5 gas is eating into rideshare and delivery drivers earnings, and fuel surcharges aren't keeping up.
- Drivers are reportedly turning to an ad service that will wrap their cars with promotional decals.
- One firm, Carvertise, told Reuters it is seeing new sign-ups grow between 8% and 13% per month.
As gas prices top $5 in many parts of the country, the increased fuel costs are severely eating into the earnings of rideshare and delivery drivers.
Writing for Insider, New York driver Naomi Ogutu says a fill-up for her Chevy Suburban has more than doubled from about $65 to nearly $150.
"With these gas prices, many of us can't even pay some of our essential bills," she wrote.
While companies like Instacart, Uber, and Lyft have introduced fuel surcharges in March to try to offset the rising expense in some markets, it's simply not enough for some drivers.
For Florida driver Duana Malcolm, the answer was to have Hyundai Sonata "wrapped" with ads from the marketing service Carvertise, Malcolm told Reuters.
The company offers up to $600 per month and drivers can earn a bonus of up to $200 for joining in "swarms" or winning contests.
"It's not life changing money, but I know I'm getting money every month for the next five months that's going to ease my concerns," Malcolm told the wire service.
The company told Reuters it has seen sign-ups grow by 8% to 13% per month as gas prices surged earlier this year.
How it works for rideshare drivers and commuters alike
While the service is a natural complement to ferrying passengers or delivering meals, it's not just rideshare drivers that can participate. Both companies say they welcome regular commuters as well.
Carvertise says it has over half a million drivers registered in its network, and it uses geo-tracking data to ensure that the ad is getting in front of eyeballs.
A competing company, Wrapify, offers a similar service and pay, but offers different vehicle coverage options.
Kathy Kristof, the editor of SideHusl.com, warns that several scams have popped up that imitate these services, including a fake check scheme and companies that require a deposit or fee from the driver.
Both Carvertise and Wrapify use direct deposit, and neither requires the driver to pay to participate.