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Turo Car Rental Business: Information, Pros & Cons!

Updated: May 21

Imagine a world where renting a car is as easy as borrowing one from a friend. Enter Turo, a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that connects car owners with people who need a ride. Think of it as the Airbnb of the car rental world! Whether you're a frequent traveler, a budget-conscious consumer, or a car enthusiast looking for a unique ride, Turo offers an innovative, personalized approach to car rental.

driving a car

Have you seen the commercials and advertisements for Turo on social media? This form of rental has been operating for a while in the United States. Turo is a car sharing app that originally was known as Relay Rides. In 2010 it was founded in San Francisco and later it became known as Turo. With popularity growing on the west coast of the United States it is now popular in all larger cities nationwide, and even some smaller ones too. It lets the vehicle owner rent out their vehicle to costumers via the app or website. This option is available in the US, Australia, the UK and most of Canada. It boasts thousands of cars ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury vehicles. The largest car-sharing marketplace in the world. Some people have referred to this as the Airbnb of cars, so if you need a family car for a beach trip or a convertible for a special date, the choice is yours.

I will be going over everything you need to know, my experience with a rental, plus the pros and cons. Common rental companies you have used in the past, tend to be more expensive than Turo, and may give limited types of cars to rent. In fact, usually when you book a vehicle with other rental companies, they tell you a type of car and then in small print say “or similar type” so you never know exactly what vehicle you are getting. The Turo rental platform gives you the option of getting the exact car you see on their website.

Turo Car Rental Business, Basic Info

How Does Turo Work?

  1. Sign Up: Create a Turo account on Turo’s website or mobile app. Tip of the Day-sign up several days in advance, so the background check can happen before you actually need the vehicle. If you have a criminal background or bad driving record you could be disqualified from using Turo

  2. Browse: Search for cars using filters like location, price range, and vehicle type.

  3. Book: Once you find the perfect ride, book it for your desired dates.

  4. Pick Up: Coordinate with the car owner for a pickup time and location. If meeting your host in person, they may ask you to show your driver's license. 

  5. Drive: Enjoy your rental, adhering to Turo's terms and conditions. Did you know that your location data is turned off while on the trip, to protect the privacy of your rental time. Apps to find the location of your rental can only be used after the time of return. If the host uses Air tags, you will let known and have to agree before you rent the car.

  6. Return: Return the car at the agreed-upon time and place, leaving feedback for the owner.

Turo prides itself on its user-friendly platform. The process is streamlined and intuitive, designed to make renting a car as simple as possible. The Turo app is a great and easy resource to you too.

Driving a rental car

Key Features:

  • Wide Selection: Choose from a variety of vehicles, from compact cars to high-end sports cars.

  • Flexible Options: Book cars by the hour, day, or even week.

  • Insurance: Turo offers liability insurance coverage options for both hosts and renters.

  • The most popular city for rental is Los Angeles, and that city has been the busiest for 4 years for Turo.

  • 3 standard protection plans: Premium, Standard, or Minimum

Minimum is a $3,000 deductible, and costs 15-25% of rental car price

Standard is a $500 deductible, and costs 40% of rental car price

Premium offers 1 million dollars in liability coverage and costs 60% of rental.

  • You do not have to buy the insurance but if you do it is 750,000 in coverage.

  • You can cancel for free up to 24 hours before the trip.

  • If you have a second driver, have them register online also. 

  • 24-hour roadside assistance.

  • US residents must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license.

  • Each car is different with different owners so some owners may offer discounts depending on early booking or length of trip.

  • Excellent customer service.

  • You can even buy Turo gift cards for gifts.

  • If you are a younger driver, you will be charged an extra fee to rent

A Turo car rental business, the Turo host is a car owner. They outright own the car or are making payments on the car. Some vehicle owners use this as a way to help make their monthly payments for the car. Some use this as passive side income. Extra money is never a bad thing, so you could start your own business, if you would like. The average annual income of 1 car on Turo is $10,868. The size of your fleet increases how much money you bring in annually. Click on their website to learn more information on starting your own profitable business with Turo.

Search results will give you the ability to set up filters for price, vehicle type (make and year), Eco friendly, fuel-efficient models and features. Plus, pickup location or miles included. There are many different selections you can pick in the filters.

Discounts can be given when booking. The owner might offer an early bird special, or discounts for booking for more than a 7-day rental. Discounts also occur after your booking, to use on future booking with a possible 5%-15% percent off. You can use promo codes also when you find them.

Since this is based on the actual owner of the car, they make some of the rules. For example, some may say unlimited miles, while others might rent the car with a mileage limit. You will have to look and see what fits you best.

Driving a car

Also, renting is based on the area. So, it will offer a delivery option, where the car is brought to you, but usually you will have to go to a certain location to pick up the car. Rental car prices vary depending on what type of vehicle you are looking for, the area you are renting from and the delivery option.

Peak times or seasons might have an effect on the prices. For example, if you live or are visiting a beach city, then spring break or summer will typically be busier, due to the number of tourists visiting during that time. This might increase prices some, but not a lot,

One of the best things that I used the most in my rental purchase was reading positive reviews. Looking at those, the reviews of the car owner, helped me pick the right car for me. Five-star guest experiences always win in my book.

Using Turo to book your trips, vacation or day rentals are great. But there is another reason to book. If you are curious about a certain type of car, test it out without the stress of going on a test drive at a car dealership. Turo is a great way to check a certain type of car out. In larger cities they are plenty of Tesla’s or other vehicles out that would be great to rent to see how well you liked that type before you commit to buying that type of car.

My experience with renting a car from Turo.

Sacramento CA

Sacramento CA has over 200 vehicles available. With the rental fee ranging from $27 to $1,615 per day (Maybach luxury car being most expensive).  I have never even heard of that expensive car.

In a rental car

I picked the option for airport delivery, since I was arriving by plane, late in the day and did not want to deal with a rental car counter that late. Just get the car and go to the hotel as quickly as possible.

Last year was my first time using this app and it was great. You communicate with the owner, and they give you details on where to meet or pick up the car.  They tell you everything you need to know. I picked unlimited miles and ended up with $52 a day for a 2022 Volkswagen Jetta. Mainly because the owner had so many trips taken, and good reviews.  The app has filters to show AllStar hosts, or if they have taken the training course for cleaning the vehicle. I was grateful there was not a delay in flight since I was meeting the person. This was a breeze.

I chose this option because I was new to Turo, and new to visiting Sacramento. I did not want to rent an Uber to take me to my Turo rental car that was 10 minutes away.  To do this always communicate with the vehicle owner, some might do it for free especially if they are close by. Or some may do it for a small fee.  You will just have to shop around on the site, sort by the filters to help you out.

I deferred getting any insurance coverage, I know that is scary to think about, but I did it 

driving a rental car

anyway.  It worked out for me, but I usually don't recommend this.  I learned afterwards that because this is car sharing, typical coverage for rental cars from your credit card or personal car insurance you have on your own vehicle most likely will not cover it. If I had looked into this before my trip I would have gotten the insurance.  I just read that AMEX offers deals on Turo so they will offer coverage. If you have AMEX, something to look into if you don't have this card.

When my trip was done, I just dropped it off in the lot for the owner, where he suggested.  It was such an easy process.  

As for price I found the rental price cheaper with Turo. Hertz rental company was going to charge $377.20. The total cost was only $216 from Turo.

More booking info

Charlotte NC

Charlotte NC over 200 vehicles are available on 5/16/2-5/19/2.  With prices ranging from $37 to $1,424 per day (LMFAO, Lamborghini Urus is the most expensive here in Charlotte NC).

Bluefield WV

Bluefield only had 4 cars available for 5/16/24-5/19/24 with prices ranging from $53 to $85 a day. This just proves using Turo is best in larger cities, more population brings more cars to choose from.

The Pros

using side mirror of a car
  • I love the thought that the owner sets up their own deals.  Maybe it is a multi-day discount, or early booking discount, the car owner sets the rate. This will help you price shop between vehicles.

  • One of the standout features of Turo is its impressive array of vehicles. Whether you're eyeing a Tesla for a weekend getaway or need a reliable sedan for a business trip, Turo has got you covered. Car enthusiasts can also find rare and classic cars that traditional rental companies don't offer.

  • The simplicity of the booking process, along with flexible pickup and drop-off times, adds a layer of convenience that's hard to beat. Some car owners even offer delivery, bringing the car right to your doorstep.

  • No hidden fees.

  • Turo often provides more competitive pricing compared to traditional car rental agencies. By cutting out the middleman and dealing directly with car owners, Turo can offer lower rates, making it an attractive option for budget-minded consumers.

  • You see exactly what vehicle you are getting, where if you used a rental car company it will just say large sedan or SUV you don't know which one you will get.

  • Renting from an individual rather than a corporation often results in a more personalized and friendly experience. Many Turo hosts go above and beyond to ensure their renters have a positive experience, offering tips for local attractions or even small amenities like phone chargers and snacks.

The Cons

Eco friendly car
  • Where they consider this a ride sharing it isn't like a car rental, so your personal car insurance or insurance for rentals on your credit card are typically not covered.

  • If you are being too specific for your needs, it can limit you. Like my Sacramento rental I was lucky.  But if you narrow down like I did by having delivery to the airport with the owner there, it will usually cost you a lot more or limit the amount of cars to choose from.

  • Because Turo rentals are sourced from individual car owners, the quality and condition of vehicles can be inconsistent. While many hosts maintain their cars meticulously, others might not. Always check reviews and ratings before booking.

  • In some regions, Turo's service may be limited or non-existent. This can pose a challenge for travelers in less populated areas or those looking for last-minute rentals.

  • While Turo does offer insurance options, the coverage can be more complex than what you might find with traditional rental companies. It's crucial to understand the insurance terms thoroughly to avoid surprises.

  • Also, with my original booking I had to cancel twice, because on the app I thought I picked airport drop off, but it turned out I didn't, or there was a glitch in the app at that moment.  It still was not an issue, I canceled no problem and found one that worked.  But it did take some searching.

  • As with any peer-to-peer service, there is always a potential for miscommunication between the renter and the host. Clear communication and confirming details well in advance can help mitigate this risk.

I hope you have found this information useful. Go on and check it out the next time you need a rental. You might be surprised. Personally, I think it is a great way to get a cheap rental, for exactly what I needed to use it for. I will definitely be using it again for a rental experience.

Turo represents a revolution in the car rental industry, providing a unique blend of variety, cost-effectiveness, and personal touch that traditional car rental services often lack. While there are some drawbacks, the benefits of convenience, choice, and affordability make it a compelling option for travelers, budget-conscious consumers, and car enthusiasts alike.

Ready to take your next trip with Turo? Dive into the world of peer-to-peer car sharing and experience the future of car rentals today!

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1 Comment

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Debbie Amos
Debbie Amos
May 29, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is so neat I had no idea such a thing as car existed.

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