Car rental agencies are raising prices and running low on available vehicles.
As such, it might be time to consider using a different car rental company.
Turo can make car rental more convenient than traditional car rental companies.
But is Turo safe to rent from?
Here’s the answer to that question, broken down in detail.
Table Of Contents
What Is Turo?
Turo car rental is a peer-to-peer car rental sharing network that lets hosts rent a personal car to customers.
Founded in 2009, San Francisco-based Turo is the biggest car-sharing network of its kind.
It has nearly half a million vehicles listed for rent in the United States and over 56 countries.
Over 14 million members use the app to rent vehicles.
Turo doesn’t have a traditional rental car company fleet.
Instead, Turo facilitates car rental from owners to customers without the overhead costs.
The Turo platform turns car owners into entrepreneurs who set their own terms and prices.
How Does Turo Work?
The peer-to-peer Turo app lets customers find cars in their area.
They choose the one they want based on location, price, and availability.
Local hosts set their own prices and provide their perks and specials.
Hosts control their own business and earnings, while customers have more diverse choices.
Turo car rental in metropolitan areas like San Diego and New York can have hundreds of options.
Can You Get Scammed on Turo?
Yes, it’s possible to get scammed on Turo.
But if you’re diligent and aware of the common Turo scams, you’re not likely to fall for them.
Potential Turo Scams
Turo scams are rare, but they can happen.
Occasionally, you can find a Turo review that mentions a renter falling victim to a car rental scam.
Is Turo safe if you can be scammed?
Turo is a safe way to rent cars, but you have to be on guard like you would with anything else.
Turo scams fall into a few categories.
- Fake phishing emails, texts, or phone calls
- Suspicious account updates, trip notifications, or charges
- Hosts falsely claiming you damaged their vehicle who demand money
Phishing scams might ask questions about your account or direct you to a fake Turo website.
Common questions involve whether you’re still using your Turo car rental account.
They want your two-factor authorization code and may ask for more personal information.
Turo will never ask for your bank account or credit card numbers.
They also won’t ask for your Social Security number or password information.
A Turo representative will never ask for this information.
Is Driving a Turo Car Safe?
Driving a Turo car is safe.
You should still be sure that your car insurance will cover you in case of an accident.
Safety Inspection Policy
Turo requires an annual safety inspection from a qualified mechanic.
They keep each car owner aware of the yearly due date a month in advance.
Unless they’re a new model year, all new listings must pass an inspection within three months.
Even brand new cars must pass an inspection within 12 months of the listing date.
Vehicle Maintenance Requirements
All vehicles for rent through Turo must meet several maintenance requirements, which include:
- Passing an annual safety inspection
- Complying with the owner’s local regulations for operation, safety, and condition
- Ensuring the vehicle meets all conditions on the required maintenance inspection checklist. The list has 19 points covering everything from the brakes to the battery.
Turo car rental charges owners that don’t maintain their vehicles violation fees.
They also unlist vehicles that don’t comply.
Turo Insurance Policy
Turo insurance protects car rental customers.
The liability insurance covers damages and bodily injury to third parties.
It also protects the renter and protects against damages caused by uninsured motorists.
The Turo insurance policy is secondary to the guest’s personal car insurance policy.
But each Turo policy has a different level of extra protection for damage to the vehicle.
This insurance can limit the financial liability a renter has for vehicle damage.
You can even choose the plan that declines damage protection.
There’s no limit on how much Turo can charge you for damage to the car if you do.
You can choose the insurance policy with the most protection for extra security.
The Premier plan protects you from paying anything for exterior physical damage.
Mechanical or interior damage could be your responsibility.
The owner will need to prove it happened while you had the car.
Is Rent Out a Turo Car Safe?
Making extra money with car rental as a Turo host is safe.
But you have to realize that renting out your car risks someone else damaging it.
Wear and tear on your vehicle can also lower its value and shorten its useful life.
You have options to get reimbursed for the damage by filing a claim through Turo.
If you pass the inspections and maintain the car, you’re not at risk if a guest gets hurt in the car.
The worst-case scenario of a guest not returning a car is possible.
Your Turo car insurance will replace the vehicle.
Turo will also work on your behalf to find the guest and cooperate with authorities.
How Turo Handles Car Damage
If a renter reports the damage to your car, Turo will notify you.
They’ll ensure that the damage doesn’t affect the car’s ability to run safely.
If it does, they’ll unlist it until you get it repaired.
If you discover damage the guest didn’t report, you must inform Turo.
Take photos and report to Turo within 24 hours of the trip ending.
You’ll also have to provide pictures of the car before the trip to show it wasn’t damaged.
You’ll provide Turo with an estimate for repairs, either based on the damage or from a body shop.
Turo will provide the cost and reimbursement estimates if you go through them.
They’ll also estimate the cost of resolving the issue privately with the renter.
You can choose the option that works best.
Turo Protection Plans
Turo offers hosts five protection plans, all with $750,000 in liability coverage.
The 60 protection plan pays 60% of the trip price with no deductible.
Turo covers 100% of eligible damages to your vehicle.
On the other end, the 90 plan pays 90% of the trip price with a $2,500 deductible.
Turo will cover 100% of eligible damage expenses after the deductible.
It covers up to lesser of the cash value of the car of $125,000.
All the plans help protect Turo hosts who get cars returned with damage from accidents or misuse.
What to Do About a Stolen Vehicle
Hosts must report stolen vehicles to Turo as soon as possible.
They also need to file a stolen vehicle report with their local police department.
Turo offers coverage for this loss and reimburses hosts for the value of the vehicles.
Using a tracker can help you recover your vehicle if it’s stolen.
A kill switch can also make the vehicle useless to a thief.
Tips for Safety With Turo
Should you avoid renting a car through the service?
While nothing is without risk, you can follow a few simple tips to keep yourself safe while using Turo.
1. Don’t Give Out Personal Information
Turo employees won’t ask for your Social Security number, bank information, or passwords.
Don’t give anyone this personal information or type it into a website linked from an email.
2. Choose a Safe Meeting Place
Always meet during the daytime if possible, or in a well-lit place if in the evening.
Make sure other people are around so that you’re not alone.
You can also use Turo Go in the Turo app to book, find, and unlock a car.
You can rent one without interacting with the car owner.
3. Have Proper Insurance Coverage
You can buy insurance through Turo to protect you during your car rental.
But make sure your personal insurance company policy covers all injuries and damages.
4. Report Any Trouble Immediately
When you schedule a Turo rental, take photographs from every angle, inside and out.
These photos serve as a record of any existing damage when you pick up the car.
Then, take photographs when you return the car.
If the host claims you damaged the vehicle and demands money, this protects you.
If you have issues with a vehicle or a host, contact Turo immediately.
If you rented your car and it’s damaged or missing, report it to Turo within 24 hours.
Also, if your account shows activity that isn’t yours, contact Turo immediately.
Final Thoughts on “Is Turo Safe?”
Turo is a safe, convenient rental car company.
The company offers rental more affordably than many fleet-rental agencies.
You’ll also get more choices that change day to day as cars become available.
Take simple precautions like recording the car’s condition when you get it and return it.
Make sure you have plenty of insurance.
Don’t give out personal information, and report any strange notifications immediately.
Then you can rent through Turo with confidence.