How can I make money renting my bike? A quick and easy way to make money from home with no initial investment is by renting a personal bike. This type of service has been around for as long as bikes have existed, and is extremely easy to implement thanks to peer-to-peer platforms like Spinlister.com.
You can make passive income by renting your bike because it requires so little of your time. If you have a bike lying around in your garage, simply make it available to tourists, students or commuters who need a quick and temporary mode of transportation. This article covers exactly how you can make passive income by renting your personal bike. We also talk about what you would need to make this into a passive income business, so read on!
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Make Passive Income by Renting Your Bike
This article covers both renting your personal bike, and what it takes to start a bike rental business. You could also rent your Scooter, Surfboard, SUP, Snowboard or Skis.
Biking is not just for sports, it is also a convenient and fun way to get around. Renting a bike is a great way to visit a new city or commute to work. There are people looking to rent bikes, and if you have one in your garage, here is how you can make money from it.
1. Rent Your Bike on Spinlister
A great way to rent your bike is through a peer-to-peer sharing website such as Spinlister. Payments are handled by Spinlister. Each bicycle is insured against theft, so you are fully protected. Moreover, you don’t need to worry if someone gets hurt riding your bike, because you’ll sign a release of liability form.
Listing a bike is super easy on this platform. After setting up your profile, you can instantly list your bike by adding photos, descriptions and price.
According to Spinlister.com, you can “make up to $500/month by sharing your bike, surfboard, SUP, snowboard or skis with travelers, racers, and enthusiasts.”
The departure and arrival process of each prospect only takes about five minutes if you would like to give them the bike and take it back in person. You could also have a pickup/dropoff location where you keep the bike locked up without you ever needing to be physically present!
Not being present during the pickup/dropoff process makes the rental entirely passive. However, you should check on your gear to make sure that it is returned in the same state it was rented.
2. Alternatives to SpinLister
You can also try other popular alternatives to Spinlister. Founded in 2016, oBike offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure that makes it super easy for you to share your bike with others. You could also try CycleHop, Yellow or JUMP Bikes. Each service has its own perks, so it is wise to compare them and see which one suits you best.
3. Start your own Bike Rental Business
If you rented your personal bike on a peer-to-peer service like Spinlister and enjoyed it, you may be interested in starting your own bike rental business. The problem is that you can’t just start posting announcements on Craigslist to let people know you are renting bikes. You will need an infrastructure behind you to ensure your business is declared and legal, and your bikes won’t get stolen or damaged. Plus, you need a system in place to ensure that each bike is insured.
The start-up cost of a bike rental businesses is around $10k However, this bike renter stated it cost him $175k to get started. You could earn $50k to $80k a year, after a couple of years. This means that if you keep your startup costs low, you can make up to 5x ROI after 2 years in business. There is also an opportunity to completely automate your business and make 100% passive income by hiring employees.
Best of all, you can start this business in any country. In developed countries such as Sweden, Denmark, France, Canada, the UK or US, going to work by bike or renting a bike for quick usage is trending. Renting a bike is a great alternative to walking, especially in rural areas.
You can diversify your fleet of bikes depending on your target clientele. If you want to target tourists or commuters, electric bikes are an excellent means of transportation. If you want to target sportsmen, high end road bikes for triathlons or events like Ironman would be best.
The only drawback to renting a bike is that this passive income source is highly seasonal. It will be much harder to rent bikes during colder seasons. For Northern Europeans and Canadians, this may be from November to May. That’s 6 months out of 12, or half the year. However, you could make your business work for around 9 months of the year if you are based in a country with a warm climate, or Southern US State such as Florida or California.
Steps to Starting a Bike Rental Business
Note: This is a general guide to starting a bike rental business. Make sure to consult a lawyer and qualified business consultant before starting a bike rental business. Make sure to create a clear business plan research your area and competition. This is simply a general idea of tasks you may need to accomplish in order to get started.
- Create a clear business plan: Research your competition. Compare prices and decide how much you could rent your bikes for. Figure out who your target market is. If you are in a tourist area, you could easily make more money than if you live in a rural area. You could rent a bike for $15 an hour, which could make you $600 per hour if you rent 40 bikes at a time. Work with local business incubators for business advice and consultations.
- Register your business: You will have to pay taxes, especially as this is a real-life business that can be controlled at all times by financial inspectors. Consult a qualified accountant for this.
- Form a legal entity: It is imperative to establish a legal business, for peace of mind and to stay protected against lawsuits of any kind. Consult a lawyer for this.
- Get liability insurance: It is imperative to make your customers sign waivers, which releases you from any responsibility in case of accidents. Make sure to write these with the help of a qualified attorney.
- Obtain all other required licenses: Make sure you have the licenses required to carry out this business in your area and country. Without a proper permit, you might be liable to hefty fines. Make sure to consult a lawyer for this.
- Find a storefront to rent from: You will need to find a place to rent and store your bikes.
- Get the tools necessary for repairs: You may need to work with a professional service that can repair your bikes at any moment, especially during pique season.
- Invest in a fleet of bicycles: You will need to purchase specific bikes depending on your clientele (high end road bikes, hybrids, electric bikes etc). If you purchase new bikes your initial maintenance costs will be lower than if you purchased used bikes.
- Get related gear: You could also start offering related gear, such as helmets, baby seats, baskets or locks. You could charge more for certain items.
- Set up accounting: This is another major component of your bike business. You have to record all your expenses and various sources of income in order to simplify tax filing and be protected from law claims. A POS system can do the trick. Also consult a qualified accountant for more information.
- Start marketing your business online: Your main focus should be mobile (meaning cell phone) users who are locally searching for a means of transportation. You will need a SEO-optimized website (ex. For the search term “Bike rental near me”). You can carry out pay per click advertising in order to become visible to your clients. Make sure to establish a strong social media presence, Instagram and Facebook are great places to promote your business.
You can make your business 100% passive by hiring an employee to rent the bikes, carry out maintenance and maintain the store. Learn more about starting a bike rental business in this article.
Renting your personal bike is as passive as it gets. Just list it to make it available to those who would like to borrow it for short rides. Have a pickup/dropoff location if you would like to make the process entirely passive. However, you should check on the state of the bike to make sure it is returned in good shape.
You may want to make renting your bike even more passive by hiring someone to manage the entire process for you (listing, renting, maintenance). There is also an opportunity to grow this into a larger business by renting a few bikes out on a daily basis. You can scale up this business and make it 100% passive in just one or two years.
While in the beginning you might need to spend several weeks finding a place to rent, buying bikes, setting up your company, creating a website and thinking of a strategy, once all is set up, you will spend most of your time looking after your bikes and promoting your business.
The more bikes you have, the higher your income. That’s where the scalability is highly limited. Once you max out the number of bike you can rent, you will no longer be able to scale. You could franchise your business and open another location to get around the problem.
Renting your personal bike is cheap, especially if it’s currently lying around in your garage, not serving a purpose. However, if you want to make a business out of renting bikes, the upfront investment can easily pass $100k. Startup costs will however vary per location, region and country.
This type of business requires good resilience to stress. You will encounter various issues along the way, so you need will need to be tough and resilient. You will also need to have good sources who can help you with last minute bike repairs in case of breakdowns during pique seasons.
Renting your personal bike does not take much time at all. However, starting and maintaining a bike rental business will take much more time, especially to get things rolling. Expect the business to be very dependant on you the first few years. After that, you can automate it completely.
As stated above, this project is highly seasonal, so you need to pay extra attention when setting it up. You may be able to start during the early Spring, but may have to close the doors by the beginning of winter. One way to compensate could be to rent skis and snowboards in the winter. You would have to duplicate the bike business model and be sure to be located near ski and snowboard-friendly areas.
In terms of risk, this business is somewhat risky. You need to make sure you set it up in an area with tourists, commuters, or a lot of potential. You also need to keep in mind that this is a highly seasonal source of income. Renting a bike may only be profitable for two or three months out of the year.
Return on Investment
The ROI of renting your bike is awesome. If it’s sitting around in your garage right now, then you can easily make it a source of instant income. A bike rental business is also an amazing project. In just 2 years, you can make up to 5x more money than your initial investment. Even though the risk factor is high, and seasonality may be a turnoff, this eco-friendly passive business opportunity is more and more sought after by tourists, commuters and passionate bikers alike.