The makers of Turo must’ve thought, “what if we made AirBnb, but for cars?”
That’s pretty much what this platform is: car sharing software that allows you to rent your ride to others seeking an easier and more affordable way to travel. Whether for people going to and fro in their hometown or business folks navigating the city, the platform flouts its capacity to keep people away from the inconvenience of the rental counter while saving them money.
But is Turo all that it’s cracked up to be? For the most part, yes.
How it works
If you’re looking to rent a car on Turo, you can browse by car category or destination. The options are wild, and I really mean that. Just look at the Mortymobile, a Turo X Adult Swim collaboration!
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Introducing the Mortymobile! This is your chance to experience your favorite multidimensional grandson like never before — the Mortymobile is touring select cities this winter, where he’ll be available to book and drive on Turo! Tap the link in bio to book the Mortymobile, and watch NEW episodes of #RickandMorty Sundays at 11:30pm on @adultswim.
If you’re listing your car on Turo (which is free, unless you choose to invest in physical damage protection), you set your own price and list the ground rules for your vehicle’s use. For example, you may not want people to smoke inside your ride. Hosts are able to customize when the car is available, too.
The company boasts 24/7 customer support. I’ve heard reviews on both sides of the spectrum in regards to the quality, so you may want to get in touch with the support team and see how the interaction goes to determine whether you like their style. That’s good practice with any brand you choose to do business with, to be honest.
Passive income has its perks
Every little bit of money counts, especially now. Technically, you’re really not working while earning money. Of course, you need to invest in your vehicle to keep it clean and maintain its quality. But overall, you’re reaping a pretty high reward.
Just know that the reviews are a two-way street, so you really need to deliver what you say you’ll deliver if you’re hoping to keep it up for the long term.
As much as I respect the hustle, I know that passive income is a smart way to supplement your existing income. You’re ultimately monetizing your time at a higher rate, and these things add up. You could reinvest some money into upgrading your vehicle, too — even when your stimulus check is long gone.
Turo’s insurance practices
Turo Insurance Agency works with Liberty Mutual Insurance to cover hosted vehicles. For hosts, they claim to offer $1 million in liability, but their physical damage protection is a separate thing. That’s where you choose your level of protection and cough up a fee with the promise of “contractual reimbursement” if your car is affected during the trip.
It’s up to you which level of insurance you get — you’ll want to balance it with your vehicle’s projected value — but I recommend taking the high road whenever possible.
Health & safety in the car sharing world
With viruses and bacteria a major concern these days, it’s only right to check up on Turo’s updated policies in the contemporary era. On April 30, they posted an update encouraging people to prioritize local trips and disinfect their vehicles. The company offered contactless check-in options as well. You can view their COVID-19 FAQ page for more details.
The one thing about Turo’s response is they put most of the responsibility on the hosts; if you’re going to list, I urge you to take it seriously so you’re not putting others at risk.
Pro tip: stay honest
When reviewing customer sentiment on Turo’s Instagram, there was one thing I noticed people were upset over. They rented vehicles that just didn’t reach the quality they expected, based on the listings they saw.
If you enter the world of Turo as a renter, you inherently run this risk. But if you’re choosing to list your vehicle on the car sharing platform, you have the capacity to list your vehicle at a fair price and be honest about the current state of the car. If you fail to do this for long enough, you won’t have many good reviews, anyway.
The consensus: Turo’s a good option, all things considered
There’s an inherent risk in any venture like this. AirBnb hosts put some level of trust in their guests when they let them enter their home. Even Lyft drivers put themselves out there just as much as their passengers do.
By sharing your car through Turo, you put a certain level of trust into the world. But it seems to me like the benefits outweigh the risks, so long as you invest in premium insurance protections.
When you need cash but are strapped on time, I think listing your vehicle through Turo’s car sharing software isn’t a half-bad idea..