Founded in 2010, this rental hosting app is used in more than 5,500 cities in North America and the United Kingdom and boasts rentals as low as $25 per day, much cheaper than a traditional car rental company.
Here’s your in-depth guide to the ins and outs of the Turo platform on both sides of the rental agreement.
Overview: How Does Turo Work?
The Turo car rental system focuses on matching available cars to those who need them.
Hosts list their cars as available in a particular area and at certain times.
Renters select from the listings in the desired area and put in a request with hosts, who then approve it.
The host then drops off the car in a specified location for pickup.
Renters use it for a set amount of time then return it for the host to pick up.
How Does Turo Work When Booking a Car?
To rent a car on Turo, you need to be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and have proof of a good auto insurance score (a score assigned by a major credit bureau that assesses your risk as a driver).
1. Finding a car
Renters can go to the website or app and select “Book a car.”
They’ll be taken to a search menu that asks where they will use the car.
You enter a city, airport, hotel, or specific address and the timeframe of your rental in terms of date and time of pick up and drop off.
Each matching listing shows:
- The make, model, and year of the car
- A picture of the vehicle
- The vehicle’s rating out of five stars from previous renters
- The trip price (cost per day of renting)
Keep in Mind:
If you are under 25 years old, you will be charged a Turo Young Driver fee.
This is a standard fee that most rental car companies charge, as insuring young drivers is much more expensive than drivers over 25.
Keep this in mind if you book and you’re under that age – it’s not a cheap fee.
2. Booking a car
Renters select the listing that matches their preferences, enter the dates and times of the rental request, preferred pick up and drop off location, protection plan, and a message for the host.
They then wait for a response from the host, who has between 30 minutes and eight hours to respond to requests depending on how soon the rental start date is.
There are also some “Book Instantly” vehicles that are automatically approved.
3. Picking up the car
On the first day of the rental, renters will go to the location at the agreed time.
The transfer can happen in person, meaning the host hands over the keys directly or remotely, using the Turo app to unlock the car.
Some cars have the option for direct delivery to specific locations, including door-to-door delivery.
Others will be available from public, high-traffic areas for the safety of both the host and the renter.
If renting from an airport, the renter may be liable for parking fees.
There are also some airports which are restricted, and so can’t be delivered to or from.
4. Driving the car
After pick up, the car is yours to use.
Turo offers a few reminders:
- If you acquire any tickets for fees while driving the rental, you must report them to Turo and your host immediately.
- If the vehicle is damaged, this also needs to be reported instantly.
- Turo offers 24/7 roadside assistance.
Other than that, you use the car exactly as you would if it were your own.
5. Dropping off the car
On the last day of the rental, renters return the car to the specified drop-off location.
This transaction happens the same way that the pick-up did, just in reverse.
If, for some reason, the drop-off date changes, renters can submit trip modification requests.
The host has eight hours to respond, except in the case of last-minute requests, in which case they’ll have up to the end of the scheduled trip.
Payment is taken between 1-3 business days after the trip ends.
How does Turo Work When Listing a Car?
Turo hosts must be at least 21 and have a valid driver’s license.
1. Listing your car
Listing a car on Turo requires hosts to provide the vehicle’s:
- License plate number
- Make, model, and year
- Vehicle Identification Number (or VIN), if applicable
- Appearance in the form of at least one high-quality photo
- Written description
Turo has several guides for creating appealing listings for new cars.
2. Pricing your car
Hosts can find out what a fair rental price is for their car by using the official Turo calculator, which they refer to as a “carculator.”
The online tool asks for your car’s make, model, and year, as well as your rental location.
It uses these factors to compare other vehicles with similar listings and gives you a competitive listing price.
Currently, the “carculator” is only available in some US and Canadian cities.
3. Responding to vehicle requests
Hosts have between 30 minutes and eight hours to respond to rental requests.
They can either approve or deny it based on the information provided by the potential renter.
If approved, it goes into their schedule, and the car becomes unavailable for the rental period.
4. Dropping off the car to guests
Hosts can set up specific preferred pick-up and drop-off locations in their car’s listing, including offering it for delivery directly to the renter or for pick-up from an airport.
On the first day of the rental, the host drops the car off at the agreed location and either leaves it there to be picked up remotely or meets with the renter to deliver the keys.
5. Picking up the car from guests
At the end of the rental, the host returns to the pick-up location and gets the car back from the renter.
This is the same transaction as the drop-off, just in reverse, and can again be either in-person or remote.
Hosts receive payment after the rental period is over.
How Turo Payments Work
You can pay for your Turo ride in a variety of ways.
They accept most major credit cards like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover.
You can also use your debit card, Google Wallet, or Apple Pay.
Hosts are paid for rentals through either Stripe or PayPal, depending on their location and preference.
These payments will go through after the rental period and are tracked in the Turo app or on the “Earnings” tab on the website.
Trips lasting longer than a week are paid in weekly installments, and damage claims are paid out 1-7 days after they’re approved.
Turo takes a percent cut of rental payments, depending on which Turo Protection Plan you choose.
There are three options, all of which include liability coverage:
- Basic: 15% of your rental fee
- Standard: 25% of your rental fee (adds a replacement vehicle guarantee in the form of Turo credit if something happens to yours)
- Premium: 35% of your rental fee (replacement vehicle, exterior wear-and-tear coverage, Turo is responsible for the vehicle’s potential earnings)
How Turo Insurance Works
Liberty Mutual provides Turo’s vehicle insurance.
Their insurance coverage has up to $750,000 in liability insurance as a standard for every hosting plan.
The exact levels of protection vary depending on the car and the plan chosen by the renter.
This insurance also covers 24/7 roadside assistance for renters, sparing the car’s owner that expense if the car breaks down while in use.
Keep in mind that Turo’s insurance is not a replacement for your own.
You still need personal car insurance while working with Turo.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I contact Turo if I need help?
Turo has an online help center with hundreds of dedicated entries for the most common problems for both renters and hosts.
They also have direct forms for roadside assistance and damage reports.
Are there any apps similar to Turo?
There are many peer-to-peer car rental markets, including Avail, Ridester, and Getaround.
How can I save money on Turo car rentals?
Turo offers bonuses for frequent users of the service.
They also allow individual hosts to offer discounts on longer trips and frequent renters.
Turo doesn’t have a referral program and offers no first-time renter bonuses or discounts.
Turo is an easy-to-use car rental service.
Listing and booking are both simple, and pick-up and drop-off are safe and secure.
They offer plenty of coverage for physical damage and car malfunctions and have fair pricing across the board.
If you’re planning a trip in the US, UK, or Canada and need transportation, it’s a great, low-cost, low-risk option.