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A Simple Explanation Of Turo Fees For Customers In 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Mandatory Fees: Include rental cost, Turo’s service fee, optional protection plans, Young Driver Fee, and pickup/delivery fees.
  • Additional Fees: May involve security deposits, state taxes, cleaning fees for violations, reimbursement fees for extra costs, and repair fees for damages.
  • Cancellation Policy: Full refund for cancellations 24 hours before trip; partial refunds for later cancellations.
  • Savings Tips: Use Turo promo codes, negotiate prices with hosts, skip rental insurance if covered, and use cashback credit cards.

Turo earns a commission from every rental, but its pricing structure can be a bit confusing.

Still, once you get it, you’ll see that this service offers rates that are more favorable than those of traditional car rental companies.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a complete breakdown of Turo fees so you can focus on budgeting accordingly and enjoying your next trip to the fullest.

Turo Fees Breakdown: Mandatory Costs and Extra Fees to Watch Out

Here are all the mandatory costs and extra fees you should be aware of:

a vector graphic showing the different Turo fees that customers must pay

Mandatory Turo Fees Customers Can Expect to Pay

These are costs you pay at checkout, and Turo requires paying them upfront for the renters’ and hosts’ sake.

1. Trip Price

The first fee is the rental price that you pay to a host for a chosen vehicle per day. It’ll depend on the length of your trip, car type, and travel day, as some vehicle owners can set varying prices for different days.

You can calculate a trip price by multiplying the rental rate by the number of travel days. Some hosts are willing to negotiate lower rates for longer trips, while others have discounts for early reservations.

2. Turo Trip Fees

This is a fee you pay for Turo’s service. A platform’s cut can be anywhere between 2.5% and 100% of the trip cost plus extras; it’s outlined during checkout.

Many factors affect it, like booking time, trip length, the car’s value, and insurance options. It’ll be higher for shorter trips, expensive cars, and late rental car reservations. But you can rent some of the most popular car brands at fairly low prices.

3. Protection Plan

Turo’s services require separate protection plans. This platform offers them, but they’re optional; they cover damage-related costs in the event of an accident, so you don’t have to. If you’re already insured, they’re a safe way to add extra coverage to your policy.

For renters going with commercial hosts, insurance coverage and costs will depend on their insurance policies. These requirements are usually clearly stated on Turo’s rental listings.

4. Turo Young Driver Fee

The age limit for booking a car on Turo is 18 for the United States and France, 21 for Australia and the UK, and 23 for Canada.

The platform has an extra charge for people under 25, known as the Young Driver Fee, as they pose a higher risk in traffic.

It isn’t a fixed cost but varies from one country to another and depends on the vehicle type. It’ll be higher for larger and more expensive cars. In the United States, young drivers must buy a protection plan, which can make Turo rentals costly.

Pro Tip: Save on expensive young driver fees by checking out rental vehicles that cater to younger drivers. These include car rentals for 18-year-olds and car rentals for 19-year-olds.

5. Pickup and Delivery Fees

Unlike many rental car companies, Turo rentals provide drop-offs and pickups at any time, so you can get your vehicle whenever you need it.

The most common option is to agree on pickup and delivery spots with a host. Some prefer to pick you up from an airport or bus station, drive you to your accommodation, and then hand you the keys.

Turo Go is a handy option if hosts can’t be at your service 24/7. It’s an app that allows you to access the car with your phone, provided you have Bluetooth and an internet connection.

Hosts leave their vehicles in places where you have to pick them up, unlock them with the Turo app, and pay an extra cost to drive them out of there.

6. Add-On Fees

Just like traditional rental cars, car owners provide a variety of add-ons and perks for an additional fee. These can be an unlimited mileage fee, an extra cost for a car seat, or a prepayment for fueling up the gas tank.

Look for pet-friendly options and read through the transportation guidelines in case you plan to bring along a pet or a service animal. Otherwise, you might face an additional charge for cleaning pet hair or stains.

7. Security Deposit

You’ll face this fee when renting a Super Deluxe car, if you’re under 30 and book a Deluxe car, or if you travel to a foreign country. Turo may also check your insurance rate and ask for a deposit if your score is low.

It’s a flat fee you pay upfront, but you get a refund in a day or two after your journey ends. You’re eligible for a refund if you return the vehicle undamaged and clean and pay all reimbursement bills.

8. Taxes

Turo has to collect taxes depending on the state it operates in. Also, some hosts have to pay taxes in their states because it’s a source of passive income.

They must explicitly state such tax obligations in their listings and ensure that you acknowledge and consent to the extra costs they bring before finalizing your reservation.

An Example of How Turo Fees Add Up

Once you start adding up the various fees that Turo charges, you can begin to see how they gradually increase the price of the rental.

For instance, I recently rented a vehicle from Turo while my wife and I were on vacation. Initially, the price was cheaper than most other rental car platforms. However, after fees, it came out to be roughly the same.

a screenshot of turo fees on a recent order

As you can see, the price was relatively affordable – $75 per day. I was also eligible for some discounts, such as renting for 3 days and picking the vehicle up early.

However, once you add in the insurance (I opted for the cheapest one), and a trip fee, the price increased to quite a bit more than $75/day.

I also did not know that with the minimum protection, I was opening the door to a huge amount of liability, given that my personal auto insurance policy does not include peer-to-peer car rentals. Had I opted for the proper insurance, this price would have shot through the roof.

Hidden Turo Fees

Most guests skip reading the fine print in their contracts, so they can be surprised by some of these fees:

1. Cleaning Fees

You don’t have to clean a vehicle before returning it, but if the car’s owner reports any cleaning violation (large mess and stains that can’t be vacuumed or car-washed) and supports it with evidence, you’ll have to pay cleaning fees.

Most car owners are pretty laid back about this, but some will actually charge you if you don’t wash the car before returning this. I suggest closely reading the listing’s fine print – usually sent in the host’s rental instructions – to avoid getting charged this fee.

2. Reimbursement Fees

When you rent a car, you’re in charge of paying all costs during your travel. If you get a parking ticket, spend toll credit, or pass the mileage limits, a host can send you a reimbursement invoice.

I am usually not aware of common toll booth or speed trap locations when I travel. So I try to be extra aware while driving so that I don’t get loaded with fees after the trip.

3. Repair Fees

If you’ve had an accident while driving a rental car, you have to report the damage as soon as possible. The host will get back to you with a cost estimate for fixing the damage you caused.

If you’re fine with it, you have to file a claim with your personal auto insurance policy or use Turo’s protection plan to pay for the damage.

Why Use Turo’s Service, Even Though It is Packed With Fees?

Turo is an excellent rental car alternative to traditional service providers, especially when they have limited rental car availability and skyrocketing rental car prices.

Rental fees on this platform are affordable, and there’s a range of vehicle models for all needs and types of drivers, guided by the platform’s requirements.

This peer-to-peer rental doesn’t have a limited operating area, allowing you to rent a vehicle in more than 50 countries worldwide, so you don’t have to worry about canceling your trip when your traditional rental car company closes.

Better yet, with this platform, you can find a vehicle even in remote locations, unlike most car rentals, which usually have their offices in large cities and popular tourist destinations.

Many times, you can find a host closer to your desired location than the nearest traditional rental car provider.

  • Checks
  • Cash
  • Temporary bank cards
  • Preloaded and reloadable debit cards
  • Prepaid cards (Revolut is accepted)
  • Payment not made in your name (must match the primary driver’s name)
  • A card not linked to your bank account

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I use Turo a lot, so in that time I’ve found several effective ways to save money when using the platform.

Firstly, look out for Turo promo codes. These are particularly beneficial for frequent users or those planning longer rentals, as they can significantly cut costs.

Second, Negotiating the price with commercial hosts is another savvy strategy. While not every host might be open to negotiation, many are willing to discuss prices, which can lead to more favorable deals.

Another tip is to carefully consider your insurance options. If your personal auto insurance policy covers rental cars, you might be able to skip Turo’s insurance, thus avoiding extra fees. However, it’s crucial to fully understand your policy’s coverage limits and the associated risks.

Lastly, leveraging cash-back credit cards or programs like Ibotta when booking can lead to rewards or cash back on your rental expenses, effectively reducing the overall cost of your Turo experience.

What Payment Methods Does Turo Accept?

Turo accepts the following payment methods for car rentals:

  1. Most major credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover.
  2. Visa Debit or Mastercard logo bank cards linked to a checking account, such as Ally and Chime cards.
  3. Apple Pay globally and Google Pay in the United States and Canada.
  4. Revolut card.

However, Turo does not accept checks, cash, temporary bank cards, preloaded and reloadable debit cards, prepaid cards (except Revolut), payments not made in the name of the primary driver, or cards not linked to a bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Fuel Costs Included in Turo Rental Fees?

Turo prices don’t include gas costs, so you have to fuel up a vehicle as needed. You must return the car with the same fuel amount as when you took it or pay the reimbursement fee unless you got prepaid refueling.

What Happens If I Cancel My Car Reservation?

You won’t have to pay anything if you cancel your reservation up to 24 hours before the scheduled trip. If you do that a couple of hours before the start time, you get a partial refund.

To Sum Up

Turo has a wide catalog of vehicles at rates that are more affordable than those of traditional rental car companies. However, its fees might not always be clear. You should pay attention to them and always read the fine print to avoid unpleasant surprises, unexpected costs, and needless frustrations.

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