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How to use the sharing economy to recession proof your finances

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The UK is in recession for the first time in 11 years and for many of us our finances are not as secure as we’d like them to be.

Many jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, working hours or wages reduced and some business owners have had to stop trading altogether.

It’s been a turbulent time for both the employed and self-employed, with an end not yet in sight.

Money is often a worry for most people without a pandemic.

Now, with local lockdowns, another national lockdown likely, jobs less secure and money uncertainties at an all-time high, many will be looking for additional income streams either to tide them over for now, or to prepare for better financial security in the long term.

One way to start making extra cash is to take advantage of the sharing economy and earn income from the things we already own.

By leasing your existing assets there are zero, or minimal, upfront costs and you can begin to earn money from idle vehicles, empty rooms and possessions such as tools that you don’t personally need to use every day.

Let’s take a closer look at three popular sharing economy methods.  Get ready to earn extra cash and recession-proof your finances!

How to use the sharing economy to recession proof your finances

1. Rent your car

According to industry data, cars are used for only about 4% of their entire lifespan. The rest of the time, they're just sitting idle, which is a missed opportunity to earn some extra money and make your income more resilient.

For those who work from home, your car might spend most of its time parked in your driveway. Similarly, if you have a two-car household and only need one on weekends or have irregular car usage due to shift work, there are opportunities to rent out your vehicle to those who need it, allowing you to generate extra income.

In the UK, there are several peer-to-peer car rental services available. These platforms offer opportunities to share your car and earn some additional income. Some of these services include:

  • Turo: Turo is a popular peer-to-peer car sharing platform available in the UK. It allows car owners to rent out their vehicles to travelers and locals. They offer a range of insurance options and provide a user-friendly app for both owners and renters.
  • Hiyacar: Hiyacar is another UK-based car-sharing service that connects car owners with people in need of a vehicle. They offer comprehensive insurance coverage and a variety of cars to choose from.
  • Zipcar: Zipcar is a car-sharing service that operates in several cities across the UK. While it's not a peer-to-peer platform, it provides a convenient way to access a car when needed without the commitment of ownership.
  • Getaround: Getaround is an international car-sharing platform that has expanded to the UK. It allows car owners to list their vehicles for rent and provides insurance coverage during rentals.

Please note that the availability of these services may vary depending on your location within the UK, so it's a good idea to check their websites or apps for the most up-to-date information and availability in your area.

Participating in car sharing not only helps you earn extra money but also contributes to a more sustainable future by reducing the need for new car production and optimizing the use of existing vehicles.

Car-sharing platforms typically offer hassle-free and worry-free processes. Your car would be fully insured by their policy during the rental period, ensuring your personal car insurance remains unaffected. They often provide roadside assistance and convenient keyless collection and drop-off services, making it a straightforward way to earn passive income with minimal effort.

Keep an eye out for the launch of similar platforms in other UK cities, as these opportunities continue to grow and provide households with additional income streams.

2. Hire out your possessions

If you’re a keen DIYer then you’ll know that sometimes you need an expensive tool only for a day or two.  Sometimes only for one or two cuts!

Rather than buying a brand new pricey tool, it can be much more economical to hire a tool.  This is where a website like Fat Llama comes in allowing you to hire all sorts of everyday items from people in your community.

From electric scooters to cameras and music equipment, there are all sorts of things that people are looking to rent, rather than buy.

Perhaps you already have tools and equipment in your household that you can hire out to someone else?

This is something my husband has dabbled in as he has a large range of tools from his DIY passion and woodwork business that he doesn’t need to use on a daily basis.

By using sites such as Fat Llama he has been able to hire out equipment such as a cement mixer on a cost per day basis.

3. Let your spare room

If you have a spare room in your home then there’s more money to be made!

You can rent a furnished room out in your main home to a lodger, or for certain trading activities, and benefit from the first £7500 tax free under the government’s Rent a Room Scheme.

You can use the scheme if:

  • you let a furnished room to a lodger
  • your letting activity amounts to a trade, for example, if you:
    • run a guest house
    • run a bed and breakfast business
    • provide services, such as meals and cleaning

My husband and I have been keen on letting a room on Airbnb for a few years and we’re finally going ahead!

We’re soon converting our second reception room into an ensuite bedroom which is suitable for a lodger or even shorter term Airbnb lets.  It will be great to have a readily available room to rent out as income backup.

We are both self-employed, with neither of us having a set and secure income, so having a backup plan for financial security is really important to us.

If you’d rather your weekends to yourself at home then check out for weekday lodgers only. They connect professionals with landlords who rent properties Monday to Friday only.

4. Rent out your empty garage space with Stashbee

It’s one thing to recession-proof your finances in a way that takes up a lot of time and energy. It’s another thing entirely to do it without having to do all that much.

The UK has a lot of people moving around, renovating their homes or simply acquiring stuff, stuff and more stuff - usually to the point where they can’t store it all in one place. 

You can make a lot of extra money from home by offering up your empty garage for rent for storage through an online platform like Stashbee. 

They pair you up with potential tenants through a free online listing, and all you have to do is accept or reject offers as they come in. 

If you’re looking for a longer term tenant, a small e-commerce based start-up might be a viable option.

They usually operate remotely or from a co-working space, often without a formal warehouse to store their merchandise. 

That’s where your extra space can swoop right in and save the day. 

Once you’ve given garage rental a try, you should explore increasing your earnings with other storage rental options, like your loft space or even a parking space on your property. 

An empty space has never before looked so (lucra/attrac)tive!

Get sharing and start earning!

Once you start exploring the sharing economy you’ll quickly realise there’s an opportunity to make money with whatever you already have.

If you live in London you can even rent out your entire home on Hermit Offices as a day office for a small business.  There are websites to rent out bikes, parking spaces and even fields or large gardens!

If you need another income stream then look around and see what assets you have that could be potential earners. 

By renting your car, spare room and other possessions you could easily make £1000 or more each month.

Dabbling in the sharing economy is a great way to set up an additional income stream around your existing commitments to recession-proof your finances.


For lots more ways to make money at home, read my blog post 60 ways to make money online at home and how to get free money!