Turo- the Airbnb of Car Rentals
There may be affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy to learn more.
Turo is the Airbnb of car rentals and is taking the internet by storm. This means you can rent a car from a person instead of a company, and you can rent your own car out when you don’t need it.
I have used it both as a renter and as a host and have found it to be a super easy process. That’s great news for travelers like us because it means saving money on car rentals when we are on vacation. Plus, it means making money by renting out our car when I am on vacation.
Renting from Turo
- In order to rent a vehicle from Turo, you must download the app first. You will then want to sign up by using Facebook, Google, or your email.
- After that, you can enter the location and dates of your desired rental and start perusing the vehicles! You will find a variety of vehicle types and ages–something to fit every budget or desire.
- You can enter a specific location like an airport or train station and find the hosts that will have the vehicle there waiting for you when you arrive.
- There are a variety of filter options that will allow you to narrow your search, like vehicle type, age, mileage, or even one with a bicycle rack!
- Just like Airbnb, the hosts get rated, so you can even look for an “All-star Host” to increase your comfort level.
The great news is that the prices are much lower than most rental car companies, the fees are much less, and you can generally get a discount for renting it for a week or more. Cars renting from $28-$45 per day is quite typical. You also have the ability to choose your level of insurance coverage (premium, basic, or none), with each option coming standard with liability coverage, roadside assistance, and 24/7 customer support.
The Benefits of Turo over a Car Rental Company
- There is no hard sell for extras.
- No line to wait in at the airport.
- The car you book is the car you get.
- A variety of vehicle types and ages.
- The ability to save your information for a quick and easy checkout the next time.
Here is $25 off the first trip you book with Turo. Click here for the coupon.
Hosting your car with Turo
Another option that you have when you open the app is to become a host and list your vehicle (or two or three…). When we bought a new minivan last year, we decided to list our older car on Turo as a way to finance our big trips! While there was a bit of a learning curve (which I’ll talk about later), it has been a great experience on the whole.
Steps to List Your Car on Turo
- When you decide to list your vehicle with Turo, the app will walk you through the quick and easy process of gathering information about the vehicle (and a bit about the host, like a driver’s license) that takes less than 30 minutes.
- Then you are all set to rent out your vehicle! We began by pricing our car quite low in order to get some renters. After several “trips” (the periods of time that the vehicle is rented out to an individual), we acquired some great reviews and were able to raise the rate and still have it booked most of the time.
- As a host, we also have the choice of what level of insurance coverage we want through Turo so that we don’t have to go through our own auto insurance. I am not even sure personal insurance would cover a claim that occurred when a renter is driving it. Please check with your own insurance company about specifics.
Step-by-Step Rental Process for Turo
Our older car (2014) is rented out about 2/3 of the time and brings in about $700-800 per month after Turo takes their fees.
- Renters contact us through the app, and we agree on a pickup time.
- Upon their arrival, we verify their driver’s license, load pictures and mileage of the car into the Turo app, disclose any idiosyncrasies of the car, and turn over the keys.
- That’s it! The whole process takes about 5 minutes (unless you have a wonderful Italian man picking up the car who wants to discuss our latest trip to Italy!). The renters are asked to return the car in the same condition they found it and with the same level of fuel in the tank.
There are certain restrictions with the vehicle that you want to list with Turo, like max mileage, so check out the fine print before you start. Also, Turo expects your vehicle to be in tip-top shape, mechanically and functionally, and to be reliable.
Turo strongly recommends that your vehicle get a comprehensive inspection by a certified mechanic prior to listing it and at least every six months thereafter. There’s a form on their website for this.
They will require a signed inspection form before you can rent another trip anytime there’s a mechanical/functional complaint by a renter showing that the problem has been resolved.
Problems we have encountered hosting with Turo
Most of the problems we have experienced by using Turo as a host have been very minor. However, knowing the possibilities upfront can save frustration, time, and hassle.
- Complaints from renters about non-existing vehicle problems. We still had to get the vehicle inspected and the form signed by our mechanic stating that there was not a problem. Our mechanic charges for the inspection, but it’s a cost of doing business to factor in.
- Renters who smoked in the car ended up having to pay the cleaning fee.
- Renters show up hours late for a pick-up or drop-off (at our discretion, we can charge a no-show fee or late drop-off fee).
- A renter returned the car in immaculate condition but neglected to tell us that he had been in a fender-bender and had damaged the front bumper. Our insurance coverage through Turo took care of the repair.
- A renter left her backpack in the trunk that we had to mail to her. She gladly reimbursed us for mailing it.
Is Renting Your Car with Turo Worth It?
As you can see, all of the problems we have had from listing our car with Turo are from the renters themselves and not Turo. We learned about some of the policies that Turo has in place to protect the renters the hard way (like getting the vehicle inspected after a complaint from a renter), and we don’t begrudge Turo for those policies.
All in all, the problems have been few and far between, and the vast majority of our renters have been delightful. We have found a great way to make some extra money with very little extra time and highly recommend using Turo.
Whether you want to rent a car for your trip or rent out your car while you are gone, Turo is a great way to make travel easier and cheaper!
Here is $25 off your first trip.
I endorse products I’ve personally used or come highly recommended by my trusted peers. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Leave a Reply