If you think about it, there’s now a sharing economy solution for most things in our lives. Instead of hotels, many of us stay at an Airbnb. Rather than taxis, we all take Ubers/Lyfts. And you can even hire people through apps like TaskRabbit to do anything from help you move to design your website.
Something like Turo, which aims to be the Airbnb for cars, just makes sense. Why not earn money from your car when it’s just sitting around in the garage or driveway?
And according to Turo, the average user makes $706/month on the world’s largest car-sharing marketplace.
What’s up with Turo? Is it worth it to let a stranger get behind the wheel of your ride? Find out what you need to know in this ultimate Turo review.
What Is Turo?
While Turo aims to be the Airbnb for car sharing, it hasn’t caught on quite yet to the same level. However, it’s quite likely the most popular app you’re not using already. Turo has now expanded to 4,700 cities across the US, Canada, and the UK. They have 200,000+ car listings ranging in price from $10-250+ per day.
While Turo may not have fully caught on just yet, that doesn’t mean it’s without its supporters. The company has managed to raise $90 million in venture funding, mostly from Daimler AG (think Mercedes-Benz).
They’ve managed to do this, despite a rather modest adoption by users around the country. That’s because the idea behind Turo is so powerful that it’s not only convenient for people going on a quick vacation, but it threatens the very notion of what car ownership looks like. Why would you even need a car when you can just share with other people for a marginal fee instead?
It’s definitely a win-win for both drivers and car owners. For drivers, they get more flexibility, value, and selection out of their rentals And car owners get to make some extra cash for relatively little effort.
Turo has a few guidelines that all host vehicles must adhere to. These are the direct specification pulled from Turo’s website:
- Be registered in any state except New York
- Be no more than 12 years old (see below for exceptions for “specialty” vehicles)
- Meet our insurance requirements
- Have a fair market value of up to $150,000*
- Have fewer than 130,000 miles** (cars in exceptional condition can have more)
- Have a clean (e.g., not a “branded” or “salvage”) title*** (a bit of an honor system)
- Have never been declared a total loss
- Meet Turo safety and maintenance requirements
- Abide by Turo’s Exclusivity policy
You can create your listing for free and set your own rates. Turo makes their money by taking a percentage of the rental fee. This is between 10-35% depending on the price, fees, location, and protection plan of your set. Turo doesn’t take any percentage though for reimbursements like fuel replacement.
Likewise, you don’t need to worry about insurance. Turo provides up to $1,000,000 in insurance coverage via their partner Liberty Mutual. They also prescreen all renters to help improve the renting experience for everyone.
How To Use Turo
If you’ve used Airbnb before, then using Turo will feel pretty familiar. Sign up with your Gmail, Apple, Facebook, or email account.
Next, you’ll be able to start creating your listing. This is the fun part. Be detailed, have good photos, and make sure you set the calendar for something that works for you. Don’t just assume you won’t need your car a certain day, know for sure because you don’t want to lose a potential rental.
From here, you’ll need to set your rental rate. This can be a little tricky, so many people opt for “Automatic Pricing” that is set based on demand for your vehicle type and area.
You should also check out the “Catculator” which can give you a good estimation of what your car can earn you in your market.
Don’t forget to note the particulars like gas mileage, key features, and other details renters might care about.
How To Make Your Turo Listings Stand Out
A little extra effort can pay off in helping you get more rentals. Similar to traditional car rental companies, you add a few extra perks, such as not having to return the car full of gas (can do a surcharge), providing children’s seats, or other features.
The biggest feature that you’ll have to put some time into deciding whether it’s worth it or not for you is car delivery. This is definitely an advantage of Turo over the traditional rental agencies. But having to drive across town might take away some of the passive earning ways of Turo, so balance it out and find the right solution for you.
How Much Can You Earn With Turo?
Turo says you can make up to $1000/month with their service. This is another area where Turo parallels well with Airbnb. It’s really up to you how much you make. If you put in the effort, you can keep your car rented out a large chunk of the time.
But you can’t expect people to just automatically want your car. You have to build up a solid reputation, earn some reviews, manage your pricing dynamically, and be an all-around excellent host.
The more you do this, the more you can earn. But Turo is a little different from Airbnb because it doesn’t quite have the same level of widespread adoption. So much is based on where you’re located.
If you’re in LA, you can really do well, but if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, your renters will likely be few and far between. Think supplemental and not primary income.
Understanding Turo Fees
Turo provides up to $1,000,000 in insurance liability and $125,000 in physical property damage across three plans:
Basic: You only pay 15% of the trip to Turo. But if there is an accident or claim, you have to pay 80% of the $3,000 deductible. You also don’t get a replacement vehicle during repairs and no wear and tear coverage.
Standard: You pay 25% of the trip to Turo. But Turo covers the full cost of the claim, and you get a replacement vehicle.
Platinum: 35% of the trip, but you also get wear and tear coverage along with loss of income while your vehicle is repaired.
It’s up to you which you go far. Standard is obviously the best value for most people, but if you have a specialty vehicle or luxury car, you may want to upgrade to platinum.
Who Should Use Turo?
If you work from home and your car mostly gathers dust, then Turo is definitely right for you. This is doubly true if your spouse has a car, so you’re isn’t always necessary.
Likewise, people who have a lot of flexibility in their schedules are also well-suited for Turo. As with traditional car rentals, most people are interested in using Turo during the weekend and holidays. If you’re not going anywhere, then you can make some decent cash.
Once again, similar to Airbnb, Turo has also created a class of professional Turo Car Hosts. These people tend to have fleets of vehicles and have become full-time hosts ready to rent out any time. Success stories include people who own used car lots who make money like this on the side.
Turo is definitely an idea that’s ready to break out on a wide scale so keep an eye out for opportunities like this, but don’t get too invested just yet.
Is Renting Out Your Car With Turo Worth It?
We keep going back to Airbnb since there are so many parallels. But this is one area where Turo is its own animal. Wear and tear on vehicles isn’t the same as an apartment. While you can always slap on a fresh coat of paint, in many ways, every mile driven on a vehicle puts it closer to the end of its life.
So, you’ll need to do some calculations about whether Turo is really worth it for you or not. For example, if you’re on a yearly lease that includes 8,000 miles, it might not be a good idea to rack up a thousand extra miles in the course of a couple of weeks.
But if you own your vehicle, it’s pretty reliable and easy to maintain (like a Toyota or Honda), and you don’t mind spending a little energy, then you can definitely get some good value from using Turo.
- Easy to list cars
- Free listings
- Flexible fees
- Large insurance coverage
- Helpful tools to help you rent out your car more
- Has been expanding to many cities
- Unique cars have high potential income
- Market really determines how well you can do
- Does require work to coordinate vehicle pickup and drop-off
- Puts wear and tear on your car
The few alternatives out there. The biggest right now is Getaround. Getaround is extremely similar to Turo. However, it also includes the Connect, which is a device that monitors that car’s location and allows for keyless entry. You pay for this, though. Getaround charges 40% on all transactions, and the Connect is a flat fee of $20/month.
Getaround is also currently only available in 300 cites, though in more worldwide destinations like Barcelona, Berlin, and Paris. Overall, it’s something to watch out for in the future, but you’re better off going with Turo for now.
Turo: Should You Do It?
While Turo wants to be the Airbnb for cars, things get more complicated when there’s a vehicle involved. With that said, if you don’t mind putting out a little effort and are willing to take the time to grow your reputation on the platform, Turo can be a great way to supplement your income. Create a listing now and see how well it works for you.