I've been wondering the same thing myself. Coming from the mindset of a WAHM who's been home without a car for 5 years, the thought of a vehicle with ads for Chili's or really doesn't bother me... not at all. I'd drive around with nearly any amount of advertising on a car, so long as it didn't compromise my morals or warp my children. So, then I have to ask... is this for real and if so, what's the catch?
So, without actually having any experience with this sort of thing at all, this is what I've managed to pull together... yes, there are legitimate opportunities to either earn money driving your current vehicle in return for a car wrap (advertisements) . Apparently there are also opportunities to gain full access to a vehicle (you aren't the owner) for as long as you're willing to drive it with whatever the advertising company decides to slap along the side. Some ads may cover the entire vehicle.
Having read about the fully covered cars made me wonder about a Jeep I saw on the interstate last week with the Outback Steakhouse written all over it. The Jeep was decorated in an Australian Outback kind of theme... it was really done well and obviously that sort of advertising works, because I still remember it! I have to wonder, would I want to be the center of attention when driving down the interstate? I suppose that would be better than not being able to drive down the interstate at all.
The thing is you apparently have no say about what gets placed on the car your driving, whether it's your own car or theirs and you've no say on how long it stays. You might end up driving around a vehicle advertising something you don't really like and you can't remove the wrap! It stays put 24/7 until the advertising company is ready to replace it with something else.
You may be required to drive a certain route at a certain time of the day, since the whole idea is to advertise to a large audience. That said, you probably won't qualify if you don't get out on a frequent basis and if you live in a rural area, may not qualify at all.
What I personally have an issue with:
This is where I get a bit skeptical and wonder how to distinguish a valid site from scam, which I normally can spot a mile away. According to a few sources I would normally trust, the claims are that your best bet in locating an advertising agency offering paid to drive programs is by purchasing a directory. This is usually one of the first signs of a scam. Don't we all know that? You shouldn't have to pay for a directory. Doesn't it seem that the advertising agencies would have information free for those interested somewhere in cyberspace? I'm of the opinion that someone must. So, I'm on a quest to find it.
An example of a site that offers a directory is Free Car Index. If you scroll down the page, you'll see it plain as day. They're asking for money for a directory. We've seen this on so many paid survey sites, that it doesn't really even phase us anymore. With paid survey lists, directories for places that hire telecommuters, and just about any other type of directory the information is either free elsewhere on the web, or it's meaningless. This has the same feel to it.
I did finally find one site that doesn't ask for a penny! Yes, it's true and yes it confirms in my mind that purchasing a directory would be a mistake and likely lead you nowhere fast. So, what's that site I stumbled across? It's called Free Car and so far I've not been asked for anything other than a bit of information about my driving habits and some basic information about the area in which I live. Seems about right to me. Yes, I did register with this site and yes I'll definitely keep my readers posted about anything that comes of it.
Why not give it a try yourself? When you register you're kindly informed that it may take a long while for anything to open up in your area and also of the possibility you may fail to qualify at all. That said, we are talking about getting paid to drive... even if you're in line for a year, it would be well worth the wait!