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Driving New Cars For Free: Is There A Catch?

Advertisers have seized upon a new way to get the word out about their products: slap their ads on your vehicle.

Actually, this isn’t an entirely new way to promote products as it has been in the experimental stages for years in limited markets. Now, however, the practice has become so widespread that companies around the globe are doing it. Soon, many cars in Mexico and France along with vehicles on the streets of California, Florida, and elsewhere will be sporting ads pitching a variety of products. In some cases the advertisers will pay you a monthly rental fee to place ads on the car you already own, while in other cases you could find yourself behind the wheel of a brand new car.

When I first heard about this concept, I thought: what’s the catch? While every program is different and there are probably scammers mixed in with the legit companies, for the most part these ads on wheels or rolling billboard programs are on the up and up. You’ll have to check with the individual program for contractual details, but this is what I have found out about what some of them are offering:

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Drivers must be of legal age, generally age 18 or above.

Drivers must reside in targeted countries with the U.S., Canada, France, the Philippines, Mexico, Japan, and Britain as being popular locations.

Drivers must do what they do best: drive, a lot! Yes, no letting your wheels stay put; you’ll be expected to put some serious miles on your car, especially around town where everyone can see and look at your ride.

In some cases, you can use your own car and get a monthly check. In other cases, you will be given a car for a certain period of time. In the latter situation, you may be responsible for gas, maintenance, and insurance, so make certain that what you get from the rolling ads is worth it to you.

So, who are some of the advertisers? Without specifying names, I have seen vehicles for a certain gecko insurance company, another for a big box retailer of consumer electronics equipment, while still another one for a local restaurant with it’s can’t miss repainted PT Cruiser. In addition, there are many other advertisers who see the value and uniqueness of the program and are joining in.

Yes, there are exaggerated claims of how much you could make each month or what type of car you might be getting. Sure, a Viper with ads would be cool, but can you afford the gas and the $3000 car insurance bill? Probably not. Therefore, do some due diligence to find out the plan that is right for you.

Rolling billboards are a novelty, one that many drivers will want in order to gain access to a new set of wheels or a repaint of their current ride. Still, for a lucky few, these types of programs will certainly help their cars get noticed. When the bill is being picked up by someone else, it could be a fun if not lucrative way to get around town.

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