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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103 Customer Reviews for Turo

Average Customer Rating: 3.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 50 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 1 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 52
Bottom Line: 50% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 103
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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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  • Easy and practical

    Turo gives you a really good experience renting a car from the moment you start looking for a car and all the way thIt'sgh. Its the only company where you can really rent more for less. I will recommend Turo to as many people as I can. I support businesses who gives value to the client.

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

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  • Great experience!

    I had a great experience using Turo. I was met at O'Hare Airport right on time by Alex, it took about 30 seconds to pass off the keys, and we were off! The car ran great and was perfect; basic transportation for my trip to Chicago. Returning the car was as easy as getting it. Alex met me in the same spot, and I turned over the keys. This was much cheaper and far easier than renting a car from a large rental company, and I'll definitely use Turo again!

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

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  • Awesome experience

    I had an amazing time. Andres communicated well with me. When I arrived the car was ready for pickup, and I was able to leave it at the hotel for pickup. Just a smooth transition.

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

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Great

    • Kailua-Kona, HI,
    • Apr 19, 2017

    It was great to rent this car. Convenient, clean, and I recommend this car to everybody when you travel to the Big Island.

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

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  • So easy to use!

    • Columbia, SC,
    • Apr 19, 2017

    It was my first visit to the West Coast. I had checked prices at LAX for typical rentals, and they were sky high. I ended up using the Turo app during a layover in DFW to book rental with curbside pickup service for much cheaper than standard rental companies. We dropped the driver off, she took pics of my driver's license and all sides of the car, uploaded them to the app, and that was it!

    A week later, we picked her up, and she drove us to LAX and dropped us off at our terminal. I took pics of the car and uploaded to the app, and we were done. I was a first time user of Turo, but certainly not the last!

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

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Seamless car rental

    • Lexington, KY,
    • Apr 19, 2017

    Turo is a great alternative to a traditional car rental. A friend and I went on vacation in LA and Turo has a rental location at the airport. They have a good amount of cars to choose from. The communication was easy, and there was no wait to pick up the car. It was a simple pick up and delivery. Turo has a great online platform so you can chart your trip, communicate with the car owner, and complete the checkout process.

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

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  • Great platform

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Apr 19, 2017

    Turo has taken the sharing economy concept and applied it to individuals and their personal vehicles. It's a great and way more flexible alternative to traditional rental car companies, and there are much more exciting options available.

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

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  • First experience on Turo

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Apr 17, 2017

    Great first experience on Turo! It was easy to communicate through the app with the renter. I really like the choice of cars and the flexibility of pick-up/drop-off time. It is definitely easier than going through waiting lines and administrative documentation at traditional rental companies. Where you're not even sure about the car make you'll end up with.

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

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  • Excellent experience

    The whole rental experience from start to finish was superb. Dave was easy to communicate with, met us at the airport, the car was in great shape (really super clean), drove beautifully, and the return was smooth and effortless. I highly recommend it.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Turo is HORRIBLE

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Apr 13, 2017

    We booked 12 days with a Turo vehicle.

    Our credit card was charged in a 22-second information input. We had to send pictures of everything but the first born - credit cards, passports, our faces beside the passports and credit cards. It was terrible.

    We arrived at 10 pm and the vehicle was terrible. It shimmied on the highway, stunk like old smoke, the FOB didn't work, rear lights weren't working, seats were terribly stained, and the charge was $39 per day. It was obviously a Snowbird's vehicle that they were hoping to get free vehicle storage in Phoenix and all while ripping off good people who trust the world and trust that car rental places have a certain standard. We returned the car early the next morning and rented a new vehicle from a lovely lady at Dollar Rent-a-Car in Scottsdale for $37 per day.

    Since then, Turo has given us nothing as far as credit for the vehicle. They stole the $470 they charged and sent us first from the Phoenix contact to "Head Office," then to the "Vehicle Owner," then back to "Customer Service," which I am certain is a drone.

    This company is terrible and stole $500.00 from us. Buyer, please beware!

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

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