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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113 Customer Reviews for Turo

Average Customer Rating: 2.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 54 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 1 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 58
Bottom Line: 49% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 113
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  • Hidden terms - horrible customer service

    Turo is a great idea. I've rented with them several times and have loved the opportunity to drive different types of cars. However, I just had the worst customer experience with them. I rented a car under the terms "Delivery and Pick up Los Angeles International Airport." When came the time to get my car, I was told that I need to send a text message to a service that would send a shuttle to LAX and take me to a nearby parking lot. I told them this was not acceptable to me today as I have a tight time commitment. I asked for a refund since this is an essential change of terms and it should have been disclosed in the offer. Their response was to tell me I had not a choice and to hang up on me.

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

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  • Avoid Turo at all costs, AVOID.

    I rented a car that was hit in a parking lot. That's when the drama began. We paid out of pocket $500 to appease them as we waited for insurance to subrogate (look it up). Bottom line, Turo employees lack professionalism, tact and anything resembling manners. They "lost our insurance company's phone umber" more than once and beware, neither GEICO or USAA (and likely many others) will honor Turo's contract in the case of an accident. And we were bounced around to several employees, which shows a high employee turnover at Turo. Go with a real rental company, even if it's a few bucks more. You'll thank me.

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

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  • Turo support is a mess

    Turo support is a mess.

    The damage was visible in the before photos already, I still got charged USD 500. I'm waiting to get refunded for two months. Terrible and disrespectful service.

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

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  • Rental

    • Hayward, CA,
    • May 12, 2017

    From signing onto the site, to actually meeting and picking up the van, to drop off, it was a very positive experience. The feedback from my owner too was right on. We both worked in good faith. I don't think I would go with a major rental company if I am going on a small out of town trip again, I'll be using Turo!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Turo takes NO responsibility. Use at your own risk.

    Beware of Turo!

    I listed a car that I do not normally use and had a few smooth trips and Turo handsomely got their 25% cut. However, when issues happen, Turo stopped being handsome or helpful.

    The traveler who rented my car was stuck in traffic in the city and could not return the car on time. I, in a hurry to catch a plane, chose to be nice and told the traveler just to park the car back to where he picked up. Unfortunately, the traveler parked the car on other people’s driveway, due to negligence I presume. The owner of that house was nice and waited two days before seeing nothing was happening and called the police and to have it be towed. I, being out of the country, was unaware of the situation until I got back. I went through quite a bit of trouble getting the car back and reported the incident to Turo.

    However, it is just the start. Instead of trying to resolve the issue, the escalation lead I am dealing with, Luke, was trying everything to deny any responsibility and refuse to reimburse me. I provided all kinds of documents: tickets, receipts, registrations. What I got back after days of back and forth is they cannot help. The main reason being it is not within the 24-hour time frame, which is the company policy.

    I am deeply disappointed. Within 24 hours or not, it is not my responsibility that caused the vehicle being towed. When we rent the car out on Turo, we form a contract with Turo. Instead of holding their end of the contract, Turo is just denying any responsibility. We trusted Turo and share our cars on Turo when we do not need them. When things are well, it works well. However, if something like this happens, as an individual, we cannot mitigate the loss and are just screwed.

    I am here recommending that all my friends and other people beware. It is a big risk to list your car on Turo. The platform, contrary to what you might think, takes no responsibility.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    The company is a joke

    This company has some serious work they need to do, especially on the customer service end of things. Renting a car is like pulling teeth, and they make you jump through hoops to do it. Also, their customer service is a complete JOKE. They are rude, don't help you at all and can't even explain policies they have. I would NOT recommend it.

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

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Two great experiences from Turo

    Turo is an excellent service that connects travelers with great opportunities to experience a new place.

    I have used the service twice now; once in California and once in Florida, and I'll definitely use it again. Communication is key, and they provide plenty of ways to do so.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great place to find an electric car for rent!

    The big car rental places didn't have a single electric car or hybrid available for rent in a big city! Are we kidding? The planet is on fire here, and I'm supposed to go driving around in gasoline powered cars that are just making things worse?? No thank you.

    Turo got me in touch with a great guy with a great electric car. Cheap rates too. Get OFF gasoline people, and get ON electric!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Dangerous car renter and poor Turo customer service

    During the last day of our trip, we received a phone call from our Turo car owner, Reza, with the lime green Ford Focus, asking where we were with the car and that he had emailed us the previous day with the drop-off time and location. We explained to him that we thought we had scheduled our drop off time for a little bit later (considering our flight wasn't until seven hours later, so it doesn't make sense why we would have scheduled to drop off our car at the airport and sit there that long), and that we had been in a location with no internet service and absolutely no access to email.

    We told him we were driving currently and the earliest we could be to him was 4 pm. He was very rude and hyped-up on the phone, repeating he had to take another vehicle to another customer and he couldn't wait for us. Again, we continued to explain to him that we were driving in traffic and the earliest we could be there and that we could even try and figure out a halfway meeting point. After much anger and disappointment, he stated he would meet us two and a half hours later and send us the location.

    As we were arriving near the location (outside of the typical airport area) we kept calling him because we could not find him. He was extremely rude and yelling at us and screaming. We tried to explain to him that we could not find him even with the location he provided us, and we asked if he could give any description of his surroundings. He just continued to be very rude and screaming at us until we eventually found him on our own. It was a location outside of the airport, on a no outlet street.

    As we arrived he was screaming at me and popped the trunk so that we could get some of our luggage out, but as I was doing so, he got in the car and sped off with my hand still on the handle, and he yanked me when he drove off. My hand was still on the handle of the vehicle, and my arm was pulled a bit and my fingernail a bit ripped off. My shoulder is now sore from the incident. I yelled after the driver, Reza, and started to go run after the car. After just a couple of minutes, he pulled back around, because he couldn't get out the way he went. He came speeding towards me! He ran our luggage bag over and almost ran his vehicle straight towards me! I was flailing my arms because I honestly thought he was going to run me over, he barely missed me, and I had to jump out of the way.

    As this happened, my wife was driving by to pick me up, because she was dropping off our family at the airport for their flight. I was standing there on the side of the road. After a few minutes, he came speeding back and basically threw the luggage out of the car. I was surprised he even came back, I thought he took off with our luggage.

    I have never ever in my life experienced such a hostile and dangerous situation with a company, and who should?! There was no trying to have any rational, meaningful conversation with this man, he was hostile from the very beginning and spun out of control towards the end.

    Immediately after this had happened my wife called Turo to tell them about the situation while I called the police. By the time the police had arrived and took the report we got to the airport and completely missed our flight.

    It took over two days to hear anything from Turo, and it was a simple auto-reply email. We had to call them twice. In neither the phone call nor the e-mail did they seem that concerned with how this man acted and handled a customer. The last email that has been had, not even a response to our last phone call, was that there wasn't much they could do because it was our word vs. the driver. In what world would a customer make up such a scenario? Turo has hardly responded to our phone calls or emails.

    This driver should be removed from the business and not even have a license; he is a danger to customers. And we are very disappointed in Turo's customer service, both my wife and I will be canceling our accounts.

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

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  • Great experience!

    Nathan was a true professional, excellent communicator, and did everything he said he would. We loved our car. Although older, it was immaculate inside and out.

    We would definitely recommend him.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Fantastic experience!

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Apr 26, 2017

    After reading scathing reviews of the car rental agency I had originally booked with, a friend recommended Turo. Not wanting to start (or end) our upcoming vacation on the wrong foot, I promptly canceled our existing rental and headed over to Turo to make a booking.

    Having used other peer-to-peer companies, such as Airbnb, I was eager to try it out! I was so impressed with the ease of the booking procedure, the affordability, and the car selection, as well as the pick-up/drop-off flexibility with our host.

    My previous car rental agency would have had us waiting for a shuttle service, transferred us to a kiosk and that would have only been the start. Instead, our Turo host met us at the airport terminal at both the beginning and end of our trip. The whole experience could not have been more convenient!

    The car rental experience is notoriously dismal, but renting through Turo was a delightful experience, and I can't wait for the chance to use it again!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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