Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Autos arouses concern is shady, like the well-dressed guy on the street who jitters up to you asking for a dollar to buy a beer, but it’s fairly obvious he’s trying to work up a wad to score some crack. At the website a “one-time” fee of $10 allows subscribers access to a data base of advertisers willing to pay eligible drivers to have their cars outfitted with car wrap advertisements, or even put them behind the wheel of a new car-wrapped car, free of charge. It sounds like a half-way legitimate offering until you read the opening cattle call on the website:

“People everywhere are taking interest in how to get a free car with the information located on Companies are actually out there giving away cars like free candy to people in your area. They also provide you with a way to actually get paid to drive your car. It’s basically like a easy, ‘pain-free’ way to get free gas money!”

I like free money AND candy! Yikes, that’s some low-grade rube trolling barely fit for a carney’s loudspeaker. Only as points out, companies such as Monster energy drinks, Pepsi Co., Coca Cola, Budweiser, Nokia, Yahoo! and many more have all utilized car wrap advertisements. Still, there was no mention of whether or not these big names are actually included in’s magical database or even if website subscribers are guaranteed any sort of business with an advertiser for their, “measly” $10 pass. 

Sadly this is only the beginning of the discrepancies. Take a gander at these questionable statements regarding the, “new car,” supplied to customers, located in close proximity to each other on the CarsWrap website:

-“The car belongs to the Sponsoring Company. At the end of your contractual agreement (usually 3 to 5 years), you may have the option of purchasing the car you have driven at a discounted price.”
-“Unfortunately, you will not be able to keep the new car forever. The company will provide you with the vehicle only for the duration of the advertisement program, which usually runs from 6 – 24 months in duration. After that point, the vehicle will have to be returned to the provider.”

-“The car fee's like repairs, insurance, ect. will be paid for by the advertising company that provides the car.”
-“The only costs you will incur will be fuel and insurance. It is important to note that if you receive a new vehicle, you will most likely have to sign up for insurance through the vehicle provider.”

If that weren’t enough to set off a few warning signals, it also turns out that many of the wrapped cars, new or supplied by the drivers are equipped with a GPS tracking unit to make sure the distance traveled is living up to the ever vague contractual agreement, and also that the car is parked in a designated public parking spot to ensure the ads remain visible during off hours. How far drivers have to travel day to day or where they are required to leave their car would also be left up to the contract, in all likelihood. 

Realistically, car wraps do seem to be a viable source of advertising not much different than those seen on public transit, but reeks of an infomercial more than a staffing agency for advertisers. This shouldn’t be very hard-hitting news to anyone here but it is interesting to see what people will spend their money on. See for yourself at Just don’t be surprised if they ask you for beer money.


The latest news, reviews and commentary about cars, trucks, and more, automotive technology and car culture