Our lessons from pre-school have never seemed so pertinent in today’s ‘sharing’-based economy. We share our homes, our skills, and even our cars with complete strangers. Internet-based services like Airbnb (homes), TaskRabbit (skills), and Uber/Lyft (rides), facilitate these services and remove an aspect of the ‘sketchiness’ from the equation as money generally does not physically exchange hands. But what if you need an actual car to use, rather than merely a ride? Turo is a relatively new service which seeks to provide just such a service.
The easiest way to describe Turo is like Airbnb but with cars. Owners can put their car on the service for customers to then be able to rent for a selectable amount of time and miles. Cars range from base Chevy Sonic’s, all the way up to Lamborghini’s and classic American Muscle. As you can imagine, the price ranges as well.
Many people at this point are sharing the gut reaction of, “People let random strangers drive their cars?” or something along those lines. There are a few reasons why owners are prompted to list their cars on Turo. Chief among them is it can serve as a payment-sharing scheme on an owner’s part. For instance, I cannot afford a BMW M4. However, if I rented it on Turo for $250 a day (100% guesstimate price), for 10 days, I would probably be able to have a BMW M4 for free for 20 days out of the month.
As owners receive 75% of the transaction price, even owners of cheaper cars can pad their income nicely by losing their ride for a few days of the month. As I have gone through the account creation, this process can give owners confidence in the service as well, because while it is mostly automated—and very easy—a human is involved on Turo’s end. After I made my account, and before I could rent a car, I was contacted by Turo, who told me that a current picture was required so the owner could see who I was. As a customer, the process was smooth, and assured me of the legitimacy of the service.
Further legitimizing the service is the insurance provided by Turo. There is insurance for both the owner end of the equation, as well as the renter. I do not have experience with the owner’s side, however the graphic below explains it nicely:
Renters are also given three choices: Premium, Basic, and None. Premium essentially covers everything up to a million dollars, with a deductible of $500. Basic is the same thing with a deductible of up to $3000. Declining coverage is only advised if you have checked about prior coverage with your personal insurance and/or credit card company. If you select one of the packages provided by Turo, you can either print out, or access through the app, a Turo-provided insurance card.
On the note of the app, in terms of the iOS app, it is easier to navigate, and more convenient than the website. As you are likely traveling when using Turo, having an extremely functional app at your hands makes the renting experience less stressful. Picking up from the owner is an option, but as I flew in to LAX I had a slightly more official experience.
Turo had their own lot a quick shuttle or taxi from the airport, where a Turo employee had my car waiting for me. He had logged over 140 time stamped photos to the Turo transaction page, where the owner could see the ‘before’ condition. After loading my luggage, I drove away, and enjoyed my tuned BMW M5 for the next 3 days, just as if it were my own car.
Returning the car was as simple as picking it up. I drove to the same lot, unloaded my luggage, and handed the keys to the Turo employee. By the time I was calmly going through security, he had already begun the process of taking the same photos, time stamped, so the owner can see the ‘After’ condition. These pictures are also used for any insurance claims or anything of the sort.
Overall, I would say that not only was the car better than the normal Hertz or similar rental car, the experience was easier as well. The car was waiting for me, and dropping it off was just as quick. As I didn’t damage the car in any way, and returned it with similar levels of gas, I had no concerns as I simply drove away towards the airport.
The next time you’re travelling, or even simply want to try a car, I highly recommend giving Turo a look. The website can be found by clicking THIS link, right back there. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can also download the very smooth-operating app. If you want to earn a quick buck, and don’t mind people driving your car, it could also be worth looking into. Like and share the article with your friends, and if you have any questions, ask below!
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.