Getting a rental car is awful sometimes. You have to wait in long lines, deal with employees who don’t care about you or the cars they’re renting, and at the end of it, you still have to pay exorbitant rates and all kinds of hidden fees (just to get an ugly subcompact car). There has to be a better way, right?
Up until recently, the only alternative was to take taxis everywhere (which gets expensive), ride a bike, or walk. The introduction of Uber and Lyft made things much easier for when you need to get around in a new city on a trip, but these platforms still lack the freedom of having a car you can drive. Furthermore, they still aren’t practical for transportation on a longer trip across state lines or even into a different country.
Luckily, technology and the sharing economy have converged to produce an innovative solution to this problem. It’s called peer-to-peer car sharing. Instead of renting a car from a giant company, you can now rent a car directly from a private owner. There are several companies that have emerged to facilitate these transactions and provide insurance. One such company is Turo. Using it makes traditional car rental feel like renting a car via telegraph.
But maybe you’re not convinced. Maybe you think that peer-to-peer car sharing is just a fad or that it’s too good to be true. To help change your mind, we’ve created this post. In it, we’ll explore four reasons you should use Turo the next time you need to rent a car.
What Is Turo?
Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing service that functions as the Airbnb of cars. Headquartered in San Francisco, it has a presence in 4,500 cities across the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Turo has done everything they can to make car sharing easy and pleasant for both renters and car owners. They provide car owners with up to $1 million in liability insurance and coverage of damage up to the car’s actual cash value. This makes sure that both drivers and owners are safe during all parts of the car rental process.
The company has also designed an app and website that make listing and renting cars as easy as possible. Renters can browse by location, vehicle type, price, and dozens of other criteria. Owners, meanwhile, can list their vehicles with just a few steps.
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?
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.
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?).
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 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.
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.
Get the Car You Need Without the Hassle
We hope you now see how powerful of a tool Turo is, as well as why it’s superior to other car rental options. If you’re curious about how to make money renting your car out on Turo, then we recommend checking out our guide to making money with Turo.
Mind you, Turo is not the only car sharing marketplace out there. We also recommend checking out Getaround, which provides a similar service (albeit in a smaller number of cities). Hyrecar is also an app worth looking into if you need to rent a car to drive for Uber or Lyft.