Cars are expensive.
Research from AAA shows that the average cost of owning and operating a sedan can reach a whopping $8,500 per year when factoring in tires, finance charges, maintenance, insurance, fuel, depreciation, licenses, taxes, and insurance.
This figure can be even higher for those with older, gas-guzzling cars.
One way to offset the cost of owning a car is by making it available as a rental vehicle through a service like Turo.
What is Turo?
Turo is a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing marketplace that owners can use to book vehicles for short durations.
According to Turo, the company has a network of over 14 million users. At the time of writing, the site has more than 450,000 vehicles listed, with over 850 unique makes and models to choose from.
Signing Up and Getting Started
Here’s a breakdown of how to get started with your rental car on Turo.
1. Sign up for Turo
The first step is to create a free account on Turo.
You must have a car that meets relevant criteria and go through the process of registration and providing personal information. You can also sign up through Facebook, Google, or with Apple ID.
2. Go through the approval process
Before users are allowed to list a vehicle on Turo, they have to be approved. The company needs to see a driver’s license, home address, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and a recent photo.
In addition, the car needs to meet Turo’s eligibility requirements. The vehicle must meet all legal requirements for your region and you can only list eligible vehicles registered to you or to an authorized owner.
3. List your car and earn
After gaining approval to list a rental car on Turo, the next step is listing the vehicle.
Enter the vehicle’s registration number, make, model, year, and the vehicle identification number (VIN), if applicable. Duplicate VINs aren’t allowed on the Turo app.
Users also need to upload at least one photo of the car, although two photos are recommended (both interior and exterior). For the best results, the site recommends using multiple pictures so that a potential renter knows what they’re getting into.
The final step is writing a detailed description of the car. The more persuasive the description, the easier it’ll be to attract renters.
A great Turo description should clearly state any rules (like no smoking or pets), top features, perks like roadside assistance or spare charging cables for electric vehicles, and a paragraph that persuades potential renters that your car is their best bet.
Great, reasonably priced cars typically sell themselves. For older models, you may have to get a bit creative with descriptions.
Here are some of Turo’s top features.
While Turo restricts listing cars with the same VIN, it doesn’t stop users from entering more than one car.
Users can choose how many cars to share on the platform, providing a scalable rental service for folks who own multiple cars and can list a whole fleet on Turo.
Users can also choose when to make their car available on Turo.
Some users may choose to make their car available while at work or on weekends when they don’t need to get around. It’s a flexible way to earn money, with an on-demand model similar to driving for Uber or Lyft.
There’s just one difference: You don’t have to drive.
Large global network
Turo is active in more than 5,500 cities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, making it a great option for people with cars in more than one location or when traveling to different locations.
You could potentially drive across the United States on a road trip from New York to San Francisco and rent your car as you stop in various locations. This is a great way to pay for gas and amenities while traveling.
Unlimited earning potential
According to Turo, the average U.S. host earns $706 per month.
How much you make on Turo largely depends on the quality of your car, the amount you charge, and how often you make it available.
Of course, the nicer your car, the more you’ll make on Turo. The user experience can vary greatly from person to person.
One question that new Turo users often ask is whether Turo is safe to use.
As it turns out, Turo offers up to $750,000 in liability insurance from Liberty Mutual. In addition, users can choose between various protection plans.
Turo Pricing and Fees
Turo claims hosts can earn around 60% to 85% of the trip price in addition to fees.
One thing to be aware of when using Turo is the site has a long list of host fees, which are the most important thing to consider before signing up for the service.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect.
Turo requires hosts to provide a clean car at the time of pickup. If the car isn’t clean and a guest provides photo evidence, the site charges a cancellation fee.
Should the guest fail to provide photo evidence, the site will pay one day’s average trip cost for trips of more than two days or 50% of one day’s average trip cost for trips shorter than two days.
Failing to show up for a booked trip costs $150.
Host trip cancellations
Canceling a trip more than 24 hours before the start of a trip results in a $25 cancellation fee. Canceling less than 24 hours before results in a charge of $50.
Maintenance policy violation
Turo has strict maintenance requirements for vehicles. Disregarding Turo’s maintenance policy can result in a $100 fee plus a $200 roadside fee if roadside assistance is required for the driver.
Turo offers a variety of discounts and deals for hosts.
Here’s an overview of some of the top deals the company is offering at the time of writing.
- $20 off YourMechanic
- 15% off Jiffy Lube
- Lube, oil, and filter service plus tire rotation for $25, up to 12% off all services and products from Meineke
- Up to 75% off retail prices at Spiffy
- Exclusive pricing on cleaning services at Goodyear
- Pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile
- Discounts on small fleet auto insurance from Liberty Mutual
Tools and technology
- Health insurance, tax withholding, and retirement benefits from Catch
Turo offers around-the-clock roadside assistance in case an emergency arises.
In addition, the company offers a generous insurance policy in the event a customer has any issues while driving your vehicle.
Turo Customer Service and Support
Turo offers 24/7 customer support and an experienced safety team to answer any questions for hosts or guests when they arise. Turo is known for providing fast and accessible support for users.
What’s more, the company offers one-on-one business coaching and even market intelligence to help build a profitable enterprise.
Pros and Cons of Turo
- Unlimited earning potential
- Flexible and easy-to-use platform
- Set your own price
- Write your own listings
- Offer multiple vehicles
- Insurance is provided
- Many host fees to be aware of, including a commission fee
- Strangers driving your car can be unpredictable
- Giving your car up while it’s being rented
- Binding host agreements
Alternatives to Turo
Not sure whether Turo’s the right fit? Here are some similar services.
Getaround is a top Turo alternative and a leading marketplace that users can use to list their cars.
HyreCar offers a short-term car rental service that lets users host their vehicles. The company provides insurance just like Turo.
Airbnb is the leading P2P house-sharing site. This is a great option for people who want to rent rooms on a short-term basis.
If you’re willing to rent out your car, why not rent out your space?
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Turo.
Is Turo worth it?
It depends on your goals as a car owner and how much you’re looking to make.
For people who have the means to buy and list new cars, it can potentially lead to a profitable business. However, it takes savviness due to the high commissions Turo levies.
It can potentially make more sense to get a vehicle that costs less but is more functional, like a pickup truck or van for hauling loads. If you’re considering signing up for Turo, it pays to think about your local market and overall demand.
Is Turo reliable?
Turo is a reliable site with excellent reviews and a global network of users.
The site competes with car rental companies, allowing users to rent cars in advance or at the last minute while participating in the sharing economy. Turo car rental is a great option for car owners too, enabling them to start a traditional car rental service over a modern app.
Turo is popular in heavily populated cities like Los Angeles and San Diego, California, Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Tampa, Florida, and New York City. It’s also catching on in rural areas.
What percentage does Turo take?
The percentage that Turo takes depends on the insurance coverage plan selected.
Commercial hosts can provide their own commercial or rental liability policy and earn either 92.5% in the United States or 80% outside the country. Most users earn between 60% and 85% of the trip price, along with fees.
As the company explains, taking a lower Turo insurance plan can lead to higher earnings. But you’ll have to pay a higher deductible in the event you have to manage a damage claim and request reimbursement.
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter if you own a Tesla, Ford, BMW, Pontiac, or the classic Toyota Camry: You can make a lot of money on Turo. It takes some time, but the more you use the platform, the more Turo experience you gain… and the more money you can make.
In fact, it’s possible to manage a whole fleet and treat Turo like your own rental agency. Or, you could use it to make extra cash when you’re not using your vehicle during the day.
Add it up, and the service is very flexible for those who want to make extra money.
First-time users are strongly encouraged to read Turo’s service and fee policies and have solid car insurance as a backup just in case.
For many car owners, Turo works wonders, providing a way to generate an income stream to pay off credit card debt or car repairs.
Next time you’re staying in for the weekend, why not give it a try?