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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23 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: 23
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 23
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  • Scam

    This company is a scam. I used to rent 4 cars thru them and everything was smooth until an accident happened - a few of them. For all of them, they turned the things around that they will not cover it, and on top of that would take them 2-3 weeks to determine this, while I am loosing revenue. I have over $4000 in damages that I had to pay out of my packet, TURO collected $500 deductible from each customer even though they did not pay the claim and I was still paying them insurance. This company is a scam with horrible customer service

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

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  • Scammed me out of my holiday trip

    • Miami, FL,
    • Dec 4, 2016

    Be very careful. I only wish I read these reviews before trying out this app for the first time. They took my money via instant booking. I was boarding my American Airlines flight from California expecting to have car ready to go upon arrival. All seemed well at first, the owner of the vehicle responded right away saying he would be on time to drop off the rental, etc.

    NOT what happened. AS soon as the flight lands I get an email saying Turo cancelled my trip and my money will be refunded in 5 business days, basically leaving me stranded and out several hundred dollars throughout my holiday trip. So much for surprising my family.

    But wait there's more, I get 2 emails from a guy named Joshua who seemed keen on helping resolve the matter, but after two return emails providing the verification he requested the conversation goes silent. I then try customer service phone number. The first girl I speak with asks me what the problem is, yet before I could even explain, puts me on a 25+ minute hold only to hang up mid hold.

    The next person I speak with, "John," informed me there were no managers around to assist with my issue and that his supervisor is too busy to speak with me. After pushing for someone to fix this headache and demanding some type of confirmation that I'm not being scammed, he transfers me to billing and I'm now greeted by a lady named Edie who basically says the same thing. "Sorry we took your money, no one can help, breaks my heart, best of luck." I inform her too that this can not be legal to have someone sign for your program, take their money, then tell them you are still verifying them so wait a couple days before we activate your "instant booking."

    After threatening to contact authorities I finally get to speak with a supervisor named "Brianna" who seemed like she wanted to help but basically reiterated the sentiment "Yea your screwed, happy holidays." I'm still at the airport as we speak typing this so please save yourselves the trouble and RUN.

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

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  • Is Turo a scam?

    For 6 days I've been emailing information trying to register and open an Account with Turo. Each day I'd get another email requesting yet more information. I responded to each email providing the information required. Today I received an email telling me my unopened Account was closed!

    Is this a scam gathering personal information or a legit car rental service?

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

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  • Scam

    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Nov 24, 2016

    I was scammed by a member of Turo. The member took my money, but never showed up. I contacted Turo and apparently the member contacted them before I did saying I was verbally abusive. It hard to be abusive if we don't talk. Turo wouldn't do anything for me but give me $80 of the $161 I paid. This service is a huge scam and there's no protection for the customer.

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

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Don't take the risk of renting your car out.

    • Arizona,
    • Nov 6, 2016

    Renter passed on my BMW to an unauthorized driver.

    My BMW was finally returned with thousands worth of suspension damage, body panel damage, wheel damage, & cigarette smoke damage. Turo hasn't reimbursed me yet for all the damage done. I have my own garage and they won't cover any of the damage unless I fork out my own money to have my BMW towed to BMW for a diagnostic report.

    Meanwhile I have all the before and after pictures and videos & 100% proof of the damage caused by the previous renter.

    Furthermore, my coverage stated I would be reimbursed with a rental while my car is being repaired. Well my BMW was out of service for three weeks until I received all the parts to get it back at least be driving again.

    Nothing from Turo. In the past, I have had renters cause tens of thousands in damage without proper reimbursement. It is a horrible company to rent from it is a horrible company to rent your car to. I hope they go out of business.

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

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Absolutely Terrible

    • St. Louis, MO,
    • Oct 30, 2016

    This company is an absolute joke. It would take me an hour to type it all out. They ask you for ridiculous verification processes, customer support claims to be 24/7 but is e-mail only. Anytime you call their office, they tell you to send an e-mail. When you e-mail them, you get half a dozen people trying to help your claim so you don't work with someone start to finish and often go in circles trying to resolve a problem. They ding your credit and do a credit check on you, just to rent a car! Save yourself the time, money and headache and just go through a reliable rental company. Turo is absolutely awful.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Horrible

    Do not use this service. They charged me $500 for a scratch on a bumper I did not cause and they did not investigate. Just deducted money right out of my account. I argued for over a week trying to get the money refunded. I have since filed a complaint with the Attorney General and had my bank in investigating the unauthorized charge. The service is DREADFUL and clearly there is some sort of scam. I urge those that have been similarly scammed to write their Attorney General.

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

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  • 4 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Terrible service - don't do it man.

    Worst company I've ever dealt with, you can't talk to a person it's only via email, the associates don't even read what you wrote and don't respond like humans. Instead, they copy paste and send pre-written crap that doesn't even address your concerns. The app is crappy and crashes and deletes all your info, then when you have to go through the inconvenience of uploading all your info again they tell you they cannot approve you. I hate this app, it wastes so much of my time I wouldn't recommend it to anyone ever.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Only giving one star because I have to.

    This is the worst company ever. We rented a car and within 3 minutes of driving the master cylinder for the breaks went out making it impossible to stop, causing an accident. We had the responding police officer test the breaks confirming that the break depressed all the way to the floor with the car on and off. As any mechanic knows this part is simple to replace and can be done in around 1 to 2 hours at most. Claims department came back saying there were no issues with the breaks and 6 months later is now saying that we owe almost 2,200 dollars. We purchased extra insurance and nothing is covered. This company is a scam, they help in no way and only contact you through email. DO NOT RENT FROM TURO.

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

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Beware!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Oct 8, 2016

    I decided to save some money with TURO because prices looked pretty attractive. But it appeared there is a DARK side with that portion. I can't talk about all rental cars on TURO's website, but this Dodge was in pretty bad shape. I was pretty much risking not only my own life, but my kids' and my parents' lives as well since we decided to take a Western US tour with this rental.

    Brakes were bad. Very bad. In this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlXTylZj1-E), if you make your speakers louder you can see not only my hand shaking when I'm trying to slower this car but there is a loud noise and vibrations inside the car. You simply can not stop this car quickly if you want to. Period.

    Oil change was past due, wipers were worn out. Out of 4 tires on this car 3 were completely different brand and tread. Is this legal in CA? At least I know it is not SAFE for sure. The sides on the front tires were completely worn, close to bold. Headlight's were working, but pretty much worthless, since you can not even see if they are ON or OFF unless there is white or yellow line marks on the road.

    There is not a lot of rain in the Western US, but unfortunately we had to drive this car in the rain and in the dark since that was our long time planned trip with my parents who flew all over from Europe to explore LA, Vegas, and Arizona's parks. Would you drive this car with your family and kids?

    The conversations with this owner were not pleasant at all as well. This guy needs to take some classes to learn how to speak with your customers. When I complained about the problems, he acted like he did not care at all. He even threatened me few times with me being arrested, so that was really unprofessional.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Verification Process is Ridiculous

    • Baltimore, MD,
    • Oct 7, 2016

    I started renting on Sept 1. I rented to 3 people. The last 2 people both damaged my car in some way or another. A car is just a material thing to me and I can always buy more, so I'm okay about the damages. Plus, Turo pays for most of the damage. (I say most, because they did not cover wear and tear from a guest tearing the middle console because the mark is less than 3 inches by 2 inches.)

    Unfortunately, ever since I filed claims, I have been unable to list any other cars. I wanted to list 2 more cars, so I could continue to make money while my car is being fixed. I have not been able to because my account is under a "brief review". This review has lasted over a week now. Furthermore, my car was very popular at the beginning of the month when I listed it at between $32 and $40. Now I have added the feature for guests to book instantly and have lowered the price of the car to $31 per day and I haven't had any bites in 3 days (since they relisted it after a claim was processed). All of this could be a coincidence, but I doubt it.

    And because after emailing for over a week about this, reaching out to CEO on Twitter, and reaching out through Twitter and Facebook I have not been able to find out WHY this is occurring or how long it would last. I have no faith in this company and will be moving along to their competition (i.e. GetAround -- available in the DC area, very close to Baltimore). Turo needs better communication and they need to not be so elusive with their verification processes. Also, others on Twitter and even on this site have mentioned racial profiling. I don't know if that plays a factor, but it seems like a large number of people are bringing this up. Needs to be addressed by the company.

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

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