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Are you taking a vacation and need a rental car? Do you hate how much corporate rental car companies charge you? If so, you’re probably in search of a cheaper alternative. That’s where Turo comes in.
Turo is a car-sharing marketplace that allows you to save money when renting a vehicle. Whether you’re a driver trying to save money on a vehicle rental, or a vehicle owner looking for an easy way to make some extra cash on a car you’re not using, this platform makes it possible.
In this article, we’ll detail everything you need to know about the app, both from the perspective of a new customer looking to rent and someone who owns a car and is looking to make some extra cash. Lastly, you’ll find out how to secure Turo promo codes that you can apply to your next trip.
What Is Turo?
Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental platform that allows you to book other people’s personal vehicles as rental cars. Instead of going through a corporate rental agency like Hertz or Enterprise, limiting yourself to the selection of cars that they have available, you can instead select the perfect car for your trip.
The marketplace offers a wide variety of makes and models, spanning everywhere from standard everyday cars to unique vehicles that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to rent.
Turo says that its community consists of more than 10 million people and 350,000 vehicle rentals in its fleet. Of these, there are more than 850 unique makes and models. The company has local hosts in the following countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
With at least 850 different makes and models of cars available through the platform, so it’s a matter of taste, budget, and availability as to what you rent and pay for.
If there is a decent airport nearby, Turo probably has the best options for rental, but you can find cars through Turo even in smaller communities with populations of 10,000 or so too.
Turo works as a win-win for both the car owner and the renter. Owners can make money off their vehicle when it’s not in use. This money can help offset some of the costs associated with leasing or owning the car, such as maintenance and monthly payments.
Renters benefit because they gain access to a wider array of vehicles. There is more flexibility associated with the rental. Plus, renting from Turo tends to be more affordable than going through a corporate agency.
How Does Turo Work?
We’ll break this down for both new users looking to book their first car rental and those interested in making their car available.
Turo for Renters
If you’re a new Turo user, you’ll need to create an account. During this process, you’ll need to provide your driver’s license, which Turo will use to ensure you have a good driving record. If you don’t, you may not receive approval to use the app.
Once registered, locating and booking a rental car on Turo is a very streamlined and efficient process.
- Type in your location and the dates during which you’d like to rent a vehicle.
- Set the Turo rental car criteria to fit your preferences.
- Pick a car and submit the request to rent.
You’ll see the listings for available cars in your area. You can browse photos and owner’s reviews before making your selection.
Turo allows you to choose from one of three protection plans for physical damage. They vary in cost and the level of protection that they offer. These plans also provide varying levels of liability insurance. Once you’ve selected your vehicle, elect which protection plan you’d like, and then you’re all set.
If the car requested is listed as “instant book,” your request will automatically be accepted. If not, then you’ll need to wait for the owner to accept and approve your request for the vehicle.
Once your request is accepted, you’ll be put in touch with the car owner, and you can make arrangements for them to meet you or find out where you’ll go to pick up the car for when your trip starts.
You can cancel the entire booking for free up to 24 hours before pickup. When you arrive, you can choose to coordinate a pickup or have the car delivered to you.
Tips for a Smooth Turo Rental
Once you show your driver’s license to the owner, you can take possession of the keys so you can be on your way.
When you get there, take many photos of the exterior and interior of the vehicle, making sure to document any existing “injuries” to the car. Photo and video evidence can save you from liability if the car’s owner decides to try to pull a fast one on you after returning it.
In addition, note the vehicle’s gas level and mileage from the odometer. Make sure you return the car with the same level of gas as when you received it, otherwise you could be charged a refueling fee.
Listing a Car
No matter if you have a sports car or a truck, you can list your vehicle on Turo. Listing the vehicle is free. You’ll want to head to the Turo website and register, which takes about 10 minutes.
During the registration process, you’ll set parameters, such as when the car is available. You can also elect varying types of insurance coverage and protection plans, although the option you choose will directly impact your take-home pay. Liberty Mutual provides a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance with each booking. The protection plans guard against physical damage to the vehicle.
Your car is then ready to begin booking. When a guest books your vehicle, you’ll coordinate with them to figure out where to drop off the keys.
Once the renter’s trip is complete, you’ll receive payment via direct deposit. You’ll receive anywhere from 65-85% of the trip price depending on which insurance plan you selected initially.
Turo Insurance Policy
Turo has an insurance policy that covers damages and roadside assistance 24/7, but unlike regular rideshare insurance policies, this coverage is more for the benefit of the owner, who can be out a tidy sum of money if anything happens to their vehicle. They also include liability insurance to protect the car owner in case injuries were to result from a crash or other incident.
Choose wisely when you are presented with the option of what level of coverage you want to pay for, and fully understand what your personal auto policy does and does not cover.
According to their website, Turo offers three levels of insurance for renters:
- Premium — 40% of the trip price
- Basic — 15%-25% of the trip price (15% for trip prices exceeding $250)
- Decline — 0% of the trip price
Sometimes owners provide their own auto insurance policies for drivers, which fall under the label of “commercial rental coverage.” The cost for these varies by owner and vehicle, and it is paid for outside of the Turo marketplace.
But what happens if you get into an accident during a Turo ride? Let a vehicle owner who had to find out the hard way tell you.
Overall, be aware of what you’ll be responsible for. Mainly, if it is an extra cost to the owner, you’ll be charged for it in the form of a reimbursement request from the owner (toll charges, tickets, damage to the car, etc.).
Just like any other auto rental, do your research with Turo, the car owner, and your personal insurance agent to ensure the best protection.
How Much Does Turo Cost?
Because the car owners set the price, the cost of a Turo rental depends a lot on where you’re going, what type of car you’re renting, and how long you’re going to be keeping it.
In general, you’ll probably pay half of what you would to rent a car through one of the traditional car rental businesses. You won’t have to fill out lots of paperwork, stand in line, or ride a shuttle to and from somewhere before all that paperwork and line standing either.
There are a couple of criteria that go into determining the price of your car rental, including the:
- Daily price
- Trip fee, which is a total percentage of the daily rate that goes to Turo
- Insurance protection, of which there are different levels for you to choose from
- Optional delivery, which allows you to choose to be picked up or dropped off
- Other optional costs, including unlimited mileage and prepaid fuel
- Young driver fee for those between the ages of 21 and 24
- Refueling, tolls, and tickets
When listing their vehicles, owners have the option to use fixed and dynamic pricing. Fixed pricing is a rate that the owner sets. That price remains the same unless they choose to change it. Dynamic pricing, on the other hand, causes the price of the rental to fluctuate depending on the current rental market.
For a truly premium ride like a Lamborghini, it may be a few hundred dollars per day to rent, but for more economical drives, you might find something nice for $25 a day or less.
The Turo website says that the average owner earns $500 per month in average earnings. The site also says that booking with Turo can cost up to 35% less than when using a traditional car rental agency.
Are Turo Promo Codes Available?
Although you’ll already be saving money when booking through Turo, you’ll be happy to learn that there are discount codes available to help save you even more on your next rental.
You’ll want to head over to turo.com and enroll in the company’s email correspondence. From there, you’ll receive Turo coupon codes in your inbox from time to time. The company clearly states that third-party codes do not work and that you’ll need to use the codes Turo provides directly.
Each Turo discount code is unique and comes with its own savings amount and expiration date. Be sure to pay careful attention to these when applying them to your next trip.
There are typically two different types of Turo offers. One offer is a promo code at checkout. You enter this code when booking your request. The codes tend to only be for a specific type of rental.
The other type is a Turo promotion that you can add to your account. These promotions come in the form of a travel credit and are site-wide, meaning that you can use them on any trip.
Turo’s website maintains a list of ongoing coupon codes you can use.
4 Reasons to Use Turo Instead of a Traditional Car Rental Company
Overall, it’s an excellent service, and we hope it grows in popularity. But enough about Turo in general. What makes it better than the likes of Hertz, Avis, or Enterprise Rent-A-Car?
1. Turo Can Deliver Your Car
One of the worst parts of car rental is having to pick the car up. You have to have someone drive you there (or drive yourself and pay to park your car). If you’re traveling, you have to ride the obnoxious airport shuttle and tote your luggage with you. This isn’t just annoying; it can also waste valuable time, especially if you’re on a business trip and need to meet clients or head to a conference as soon as you arrive in town.
Turo solves this problem. Many car owners will deliver your car to your airport, hotel, or other location of your choosing. This isn’t available with every rental, but you can easily sort rentals by this feature within the Turo app. There is usually a fee to deliver the car, but it’s minimal in comparison to the time and frustration it will save you.
Even if you don’t want to have Turo deliver your car, the pick up process is still much easier than going to a car rental office. You can meet the owner at their home (or a public location of their choosing) and get the car directly. No lines or paperwork are necessary.
2. The Turo App Makes Everything Easy
We mentioned how you don’t have to fill out any paperwork, but it gets so much better than that. The Turo app makes the whole process of renting a car much easier. Instead of having to skip through dozens of menus and deal with pop-ups the entire time, you can quickly filter down to the car you want based on whatever matters most to you.
Once you’ve found the car you want, payment is a snap. All you have to do is enter your payment details and driver’s license information. From there, you can request to rent the car. You’ll hear back from the owner shortly with information on how to get the vehicle.
You can also communicate with the vehicle owner within the app if you have any questions, and you can use the app to contact Turo support if you run into problems during your rental (did we mention that Turo provides free roadside assistance to all renters?).
3. You Can Get Much Cooler Cars
Many car renters are just looking for the best price, and Turo certainly provides competitive prices. However, some people are looking to rent a car precisely because car rental provides them access to vehicles they could never afford to own. Turo can fulfill this wish.
They allow owners to rent out luxury, classic, and exotic cars. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drive a Tesla, then you can find out with Turo. Want to impress a client by picking them up in a Tesla or Mercedes-Benz? No problem.
This access to unique makes isn’t something that only Turo provides, but Turo does make it a lot easier than the other specialty companies you’d have to go through to get these cars. Of course, you should know that higher-end cars come not just with higher rental prices but often with high security deposits or minimum renter age requirements. These are no different than other car rental companies, however, so don’t let them deter you.
4. You Can Easily Rent Trucks or Other Speciality Vehicles
Some people want to rent luxury or sports cars, but other people just need a truck they can use for a day to move some furniture. Turo can fill this need as well. It’s not just trucks, either. You can rent vans, SUVs, AWD vehicles, or whatever you need to do something that your regular car can’t. There are other ways to rent these types of vehicles, but the process is more time-consuming (not to mention the cost is likely higher).
Of course, it is a good idea to be transparent with the vehicle owner about what you plan to use the vehicle to do. If you’re going to be driving off-road, let them know. Some owners may have no problem with this if that’s what their vehicle is designed to do, but others may have reservations. It’s better to ask before you rent than to have to pay lots of damage fees after the fact.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still unsure about whether Turo is right for you? Getting answers to some of the most frequently asked questions could help.
Does Turo allow anyone to book?
No, Turo screens its renters before allowing them access to vehicles. Vehicle owners can rest assured that all guests have been screened. Not only do all applicants need to be at least 18, but they must provide a valid driver's license and consent to a screening of their driving record before booking a Turo car.
Are there other ways to save money with Turo?
In addition to Turo promo codes, there are a few other ways for you to save money. There are frequent promotions for first-time users. There is also a referral program. When someone you know books their first Turo trip through your link, you'll both receive $25 off.
Is there anyone to help if I have issues with my Turo booking?
One of the areas where Turo stands out is its customer service. Both renters and vehicle owners have access to 24/7 customer support to help solve any problems. Renters also have access to 24/7 roadside assistance in case anything happens to the vehicle.
Can a Turo host cancel a trip?
Hosts also have the right to cancel trips. Although Turo says this is rare, if it does happen, the company will work with the renter to help them find another car. Renters will receive a full refund, either in the form of funds back in their bank account or as a travel credit.
Do I need my own insurance to rent my car on Turo?
Because Turo offers insurance through Liberty Mutual, you do not need to have your own personal insurance policy to book through Turo. If you do already have a personal policy, Liberty Mutual will supplement your existing coverage.
Is Turo Right for You?
No matter if you’re someone who rents cars frequently for work or you’re looking to book your first rental, Turo is worth considering as an alternative to traditional rental car companies. We like the fact that the service is widely available across multiple countries, offering you access to unique vehicles that you couldn’t secure through a traditional car rental agency, all for a fraction of the cost.
If you own a car and are looking to make some money on the side, Turo could be worthwhile. If you plan on having your car sitting around over a weekend, why not make some extra cash? The company has excellent insurance coverage and customer support, helping to protect you when renting out your vehicle.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.