About Turo

You’ve always dreamed of cruising Route 66 — just not in a standard sedan. Enter Turo: This peer-to-peer carsharing service is kind of like AirBnb, except instead of allowing hosts to offer spare rooms, you can transform your idling assets into an earning machine.

For folks who are in need of wheels, Turo works to differentiate itself from the standard car rental service by promising you your pick of the lot. Whether it's an F-150 truck to help out on moving day, a Tesla for a luxurious weekend away, or a classic VW bus for a picture-perfect road trip, Turo claims to help travelers rent the car and own the adventure.

However, anyone who’s ever rented a car the knows the process comes with its fair share of hoops. Who hasn’t fretted over whether or not to buy full coverage or wondered if they missed a scratch during the initial walk around?

Let’s take a closer look to see if Turo really offers enough support to hand over keys or get you into the driver’s seat.

How To Rent a Car With Turo

With a presence in over 2,500 cities and 300 airports, the chances are that there’s an opportunity to rent with Turo wherever you’re traveling stateside.

Why would you choose Turo? They claim to offer:

  • Choice: Hundreds of unique cars for every occasion and every budget.
  • Value: The car you want, when and where you want it, at up to 30% less than traditional agencies.
  • Accessibility: The chance to book cars from home or on the go.

Feeling revved up? Here’s how Turo works.

First, you’ll need to sign up for Turo with Facebook, Google, or your email. They need to confirm your identity and eligibility so you can become an approved driver, so you might want to take this step before arriving.

Using either Turo’s app or their website, you enter your travel dates and location for locally owned cars. Once you find a set of wheels you like, you’ll have to request to rent it. The owner can either confirm or decline your request within eight hours. However, some vehicles are available immediately, thanks to a “Book Instantly” badge.

Turo claims that picking up your rental is easy, promising that many owners will deliver their vehicle to you. More so, Turo claims all you have to do is “walk around the car, show them your license, grab the keys, and drive off into the sunset.”

When you’re done? Replace the gas you’ve used, do-si-do one more walk around, and hand over the keys before planning your next adventure.

Your Responsibilities As a Turo Renter

Turo doesn’t require you to have your own insurance. Instead, they offer renters three choices to cover their physical damage obligations:

  • “Premium” Package: The renter’s out-of-pocket exposure is limited to payment of a deductible of $500. When damage is reported, the renter will be charged $500. If the total costs are less than $500, the renter will be refunded the difference.
  • Basic” Package: The renter’s out-of-pocket exposure is limited to a payment of a deductible of $3000 under the same structure described in the Premium package.
  • “Decline Coverage” Package: The renter’s financial responsibility is essentially unlimited, and is bounded only by the actual cash value of the car, plus all related costs. This means that if the car is lost, stolen, or damaged so extensively that the expected cost of repairs exceeds 75% of the actual cash value, the renter is responsible to pay the entire actual cash value of the car.

Those considering renting with Turo are encouraged to view their entire explanation of insurance and protection provisions here. Additionally, if you already have auto insurance, you’re generally covered for any physical damage or liability claims that you’re responsible for — even if you don’t own the vehicle. Of course, you should always check with your carrier before renting a car.

Note that because Turo isn’t considered a valid car rental service by many credit card companies, the coverage you might normally expect from your Visa or Mastercard may not apply.

Fine print aside, what responsibilities does a Turo renter really take on?

Much like AirBnb or Uber, Turo is based on the trust implicit in today’s growing sharing economy. Basically: You break it, you pay for it.

That means that if your Turo rental gets a flat tire, you’re responsible for fixing it — unless you can prove that the flat is the result of a defect or preexisting excessive wear.

It also means that renters are encouraged to get photo-happy with tons of “before” pics when getting the keys, since you can be held responsible for any pre-existing damage that wasn’t documented at the start of your trip.

Again, we’re assuming you’re not here to read through a thorough rundown of Turo’s fine print. So, if you’re considering car sharing through their service, we recommend studying their coverage FAQs before deciding if the service is right for you.

How To Share Your Car With Turo

Is your car collecting dust? Turo claims that a car with a market value of $18,000 could earn an owner $5,781 over 15 days of sharing per month. Sure, that estimate is averaged over a year, but Turo says they have the data to back it up.

If that potential extra income caught your attention, here’s the three ways Turo lets you earn:

  • Local pickup: You can enjoy the convenience of renting your car right out of your own driveway.
  • Deliver your car: Or earn even more by meeting guests at nearby airports and other local locations.
  • Park and earn: Drivers willing to leave their car at San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX) airports for two weeks at a time can earn at least a guaranteed extra $425 a month.

How it works is fairly straightforward: You create a listing for your spare car, respond to requests, meet at your chosen location, then “kick back and earn.”

Of course, Turo’s claims of easy pocket cash sounds hunky dory. But, what happens if someone takes a wrong turn into Risky Business territory with your immaculately maintained pride and joy?

Turo offers car owners coverage with a $1 million insurance policy. This includes protection against physical damage up to your car’s actual cash value for collision and most “comprehensive” causes, including theft.

This is good, because most personal lines auto insurance companies specifically exclude livery and rentals from coverage. And, if they find out you’re regularly renting your car, it can be grounds for terminating your policy—a decision that could come back to haunt you when you’re shopping around for replacement coverage (most applications ask, “Has your coverage ever been canceled or declined for underwriting reasons?”).

Heck, Turo even offers you up to $30 a day should your car get into an accident while being rented out — plus the promise that they’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.

But, what about the legality of renting out your car? Some might find Turo’s answer less reassuring. Essentially, there’s no law against doing so, but this probably wouldn’t be a risk that most standard personal lines auto carriers would knowingly insure. Turo leaves the final liability resting on your shoulders.

What Are People Saying About Turo?

Turo has a little under 700 Yelp reviews from users in their two main hubs, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In both locations, Turo averages four out of five stars.

However, that isn’t to say that those who’ve used Turo don’t have their fair share of negative feedback. In fact, if you look at Turo’s Los Angeles reviews, it’s a wonder that they scraped above a single star, given that the first page is almost exclusively complaints.

Bad reviews almost exclusively revolve around poor experiences with Turo’s customer service. Here are some highlights:

  • Johnny R. (12/22/15): Owner states that his car was returned with damage and that Turo refused to cover repairs.
  • Paul K. (1/26/16) Renter states that he was charged for cleaning when it wasn’t needed and he was left with an overall impression that Turo squeezes pennies out at every opportunity.
  • Michael C. (11/18/2015) Renter states that he used Turo without a problem, but found his account put on hold afterward and couldn’t reach customer service for an answer — up to seven days later.

Those reviews aren’t cherry picked, either — they’re one after another on page one of Turo’s Los Angeles Yelp page.

Should You Use Turo For Car Sharing?

On one hand, Wired points out that the horror stories we used to associate with peer-to-peer sharing are becoming much less prevalent. “We now worry about Airbnb’s effect on real-estate markets, or whether Uber has undue influence over local governments.”

However, sharing a car comes with far more liabilities than renting out a spare apartment!

While Turo’s concept sounds great, reviews give a solid impression that they have a few more kinks to iron out before providing a desirable service.

For owners considering sharing, realize that it’s not just the market value of your vehicle that you’re putting on the line. Despite their catchy messaging and fun-for-all attitude, it appears that they skirt over some of the more serious legal ramifications of sharing your car.

What if the driver seriously injures or, heaven forbid, kills someone in an accident? What if they drive drunk? A 1 million policy doesn’t begin to cover some of those worst-case scenarios, and Turo’s it’s-up-to-you attitude regarding legalities isn’t very reassuring.

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40 Customer Reviews for Turo

Average Customer Rating: 1.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 0 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 40
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 40
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  • This is not the disruptive car rental service you have been looking for.

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Feb 24, 2017

    This is not the disruptive car rental service you have been looking for.

    You have no idea what condition the car is in, and customer service will not help you if there are any issues. I wish we had paid the extra $200 to go with a real rental car service. Avoid it if you can, but if you do go with them assume you are on your own if there are any problems.

    We rented a car in Las Vegas and were excited to try a new service that's disrupting the traditional rental car market. However, once we arrived, the situation just kept getting worse. The car had major safety issues; the driver's side seat belt didn't retract properly, the passenger side door was jammed and needed a hard shoulder check to open, and the windshield wiper barely worked. On top of that, it was dirty, smelly, and the engine was extremely unresponsive. None of this was described in the Turo listing.

    In hindsight, we should have just canceled the reservation then and there, but we needed a car and had to depart that night, so we just went with it.

    When we got back at the end of the trip, we called the owner to drop off the car, but she was not available and asked us to leave the keys in the car and the car unlocked, which immediately raised red flags. We called Turo, and they told us they require the owner to tell us this in writing, in the app, and to leave the keys in the car and the door unlocked. However, the owner refused to say "unlocked" in writing, which means we would have been liable if anything happened to it. So Turo tells us we have to keep the keys and mail them back to the owner, at our own expense.

    They refuse to ask the owner to pay for the shipping and refused to mediate the dispute. Now the owner, who has a copy of my driver's license (and thus home address) and my cell phone number is totally pissed at us because she doesn't have a backup key for her car and has to wait for it to be mailed to her.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Kicking myself still

    I don't know what the heck I was thinking. I rented out my Tesla Model S to some couple who ended up taking it off-road, through a desert wash. They said they lived up there. Great. It's a $100,000 car, and they damaged the underside. It was totally irresponsible, but my fault entirely because I should have known better. Never again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Scam company, do not respond to damage claim, no phone number

    Do not rent your car with Turo. I opened a damage claim on January 1, 2017, and uploaded a picture within 24 hours. Turo's claim representative Dianna asked me to upload a picture with measurements. I did that. There are two scratches: one with the paint off completely and another one that is a long scratch. She looked at the paint off scratch and told me that it's not long enough to open a damage claim! I told her that another scratch is longer than Turo's requirement, but I have not heard back from her.

    I called Turo's billing department and was not able to reach their claims department. No one will answer!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Car damaged, Turo does not want to take responsibility

    • Burbank, CA,
    • Feb 6, 2017

    I have rented my car out four times, and only one of those was a pleasant experience.

    You can never get a hold of anyone. You can try sending countless emails, and you might receive a response maybe a week later. Almost every one of the renters passed the limited driving miles by a ridiculous amount. On top of that, one passenger decided to smoke in it and burned my carpet. Oh yeah, that isn't covered if it's reported after 24 hours. What unintelligent and unrealistic time frame is that? I didn't receive the car until six hours late and in the middle of the night.

    The company does not want to pay for anything. The miles were ignored, the extra time that was spent not in my possession was ignored, and the burnt carpet was ignored. No matter how much I explained my case, it just didn't matter. They already pocketed three straight weeks of 25% profit and didn't care about my car's damages.

    The best news ever was that I received not one, but two citations with my car in the mail during the time it was rented. Could this situation be any more disastrous? I've wasted hours on hold with these people, and they get back to you weeks later, apologizing that they are late, but you must report every single detail within the 24 hour period. Are you kidding me?

    I've already contacted a lawyer. I rather spent my "profits" and get it taken care of the way I was supposed to, doing business the right way, but instead, I have been left feeling used and abused in every way. This company is absolutely disgusting, and I'm WARNING you to really think about the people who rent these cars. This isn't an insurance company covering you, it's a piece-of-crap app that found a way to screw people.

    My care smells horrible. No one has smoked in my car before, and I am not a smoker, and now I have to deal with this because Turo is not giving me any choice. Instead of taking care of the people supplying the car it is backing the renters who trash them.

    Turo was asking for proof of how the car was smoked in, so maybe I should somehow capture the scent into an empty bag and send it to them? The burnt mark wasn't enough.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Scam

    We got charged for smoking in the car when we don't even smoke. They took the word of a scam artist named Michelle who rented us this piece-of-crap dirty car. When I called Turo to complain and dispute, they immediately charged my card.

    We do not smoke and feel scammed about the whole process. Don't get a car from these people because they will hold your credit card like it's their own.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Took my money and locked me out of my account

    I followed every rule, respected every policy, went through the approval process and was approved. All just in time to reserve a car to pick up my sister at the airport for her wedding celebration. I paid for the car, chatted with the owner, and went on doing my business, happy with knowing that Turo had my back this weekend. A couple days later, however, I got an email. It said:

    The Turo Reservations department would like to help you book a new vehicle, we're sorry your trip was canceled.

    Please email us at reservations@turo.com, Reservations Specialists are available to assist you Mon - Fri from 9 am - 5 pm PT.

    Oh, okay. So I'm still thinking Turo has my back. So I go to log in and pick out another car, and I get an error message, "You are ineligible for membership." Now hold on, what about the fees and insurance and rental cost? I can see I have another email from Turo tucked away in my updates inbox, unlike the trying-to-be-helpful one before. But this time, I'm being notified that my account has been reviewed and was found to be unsafe (paraphrasing) and that my money would be returned to me in 1-5 business days.

    Note, I'm not a professional safety driver, but I've been driving for ten years and have only once caused an accident. It was not even that bad, just a bump on my fender. I might not be a long time member of Turo, but this is far from my first rental. What could possibly cause them to cancel my trip after I've broken bread with the car owner, passed all inspection and paid for premium insurance, the rental in full and all associated fees?

    To maintain a safe and strong marketplace, Turo does not release the details of our review process as doing so would compromise its effectiveness.

    I recommend: buyer beware. You might get through all the hoops like I did, and you might even get to drive the car. But someday you might get your account "reviewed" and your entire account deleted, with no warning and no provocation. At your expense (possibly hundreds of dollars) and an entire trip getting tired up in the process. I will have to scramble to get new reservations in time for my sister's arrival, and I doubt I'll find a custom Mustang convertible sitting at a typical rental agency.

    I really wanted to believe in Turo, and I'm sad to see them fail. I would have been a happy, paying customer that recommended their service.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Unnecessary charges

    I was informed that I would be charged a "late" fee, even though I was in contact with the owner that I would be running a few minutes late. Also, was going to be charged a "cleaning" fee, when the car was dirty to begin with. The owner of the car wanted to scam me our of my money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Unreliable, unfair, uneven, more expensive and more frustrating

    I just got my trip canceled by the car owner, TBL Tech Nerds. Now I can only find way more expensive cars available on their website. I tried calling their support, but they didn't give a damn about me. They offered a $20 discount on a $600 rental, where the rental previously selected by me (for the same kind of car) was $320.

    Now they send a very cute email about how worried they are about me, and how they will do everything to ensure a reservation. Well, Turo, if you want to ensure my reservation, try giving me the same price that I had before!

    I don't recommend Turo for anyone. It's unreliable, unfair, uneven, more expensive and more frustrating. I will never fall for that kind of trouble again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Horrible customer service

    • California,
    • Jan 21, 2017

    Automated responses. I was told I was denied even though I met all requirements. When I asked why, I received extremely rude and unprofessional responses. After reading the reviews, though, I guess my account denial was in my best interests. This place sounds terrible, stick to traditional rental companies like they tell you to do!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Bad customer service and policy

    I have a couple of cars for rent on Turo. I tried to get more cars and recently bought the 2004 Toyota Sienna. But somehow they listed it as 2014. I still got two people to rent it and got five stars, but I asked customer service to change it 2014 to 2004.

    Then they told me that my car did not qualify to be listed and removed the car from the listing. I asked what going on, but their customer service goes around with many reasons. They even won't lets me talk with the manager.

    So now, what am I going to do with my car? They better contract me, or I will post the way they do business everywhere. My email is mr_bin_can@yahoo.com.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Turo.com, don't even try it. Worst service.

    Worst service ever. I rented a car and when I picked it up and was driving back home, the computer of the car starts showing more than six errors. Obviously, the car was unsafe to rent. I contacted their support telling them this and saying that I'm not going to use the car, and they still charged me. The bad quality of this company is impressive. Do not try it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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