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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133 Customer Reviews for Turo

Average Customer Rating: 2.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 57 4 star: 0 3 star: 2 2 star: 2 1 star:  72
Bottom Line: 44% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 133
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  • Terrible

    • California,
    • Aug 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They sent me to a collections agency after three days (I missed a message about an unpaid toll which was $7). HUGE PAIN, not worth the trouble. I am only sticking with legitimate companies with customer service in the future. Three days and sent to a collections agency? Are you kidding me?

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

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  • Do not rent your vehicle on Turo!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Aug 11, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been on Turo for the past year and rent eight vehicles on Turo, and can tell you that Turo has become more and more shady in their business practices. It started off well, and now I have had incredibly big issues with Turo. I had a customer cause significant damage to my vehicle, and in return, Turo did everything they could to try and deny my claim when the customer had even admitted to the damage, and I had to get close to suing them. I can't even get a simple fuel reimbursement approved from when a renter didn't fill up! The company is a complete scam!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Renter left high and dry

    • Salt Lake City, UT,
    • Aug 8, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have rented from Turo twice before without incident. However, I recently booked a trip for five days a week in advance. Eight hours before pickup, I received a cancellation message from the owner. I immediately contacted Turo. There were no other vehicles of similar capacity in my area that were even close the price range I had paid.

    Turo offered $75 credit as their max. If Turo is trying to build a reputable company, they need to institute a policy that if owners do not abide by the 72-hour cancellation rule, then Turo engages a stricter policy with the car owners and Turo pays the difference in the rental fee for the customer. At this point, car rentals were 3-4 times the amount we had originally booked. Very, very frustrating.

    I will NOT be using Turo again after this experience. I'd much rather pay a little more to a reputable car rental company and have the knowledge that I will not be left high and dry simply because an owner changes his/her mind.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Wants to pay charge, employee won't let me and sends me to collections.

    • California,
    • Jul 30, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was a big advocate for the Turo service and even got you a few friends to enroll and sign-up with them, but I just had a really bad customer experience with an employee, Michael, on ticket #1532997. The app has bugs in the payment portal, and instead of providing solutions to a fee (I was willing to make since the very beginning), Michael was distracted and made arbitrary decisions for me, refusing to accept payment and sending me to a collection's agency joking about messing up my credit.

    I'm not asking for a refund but for accountability. He is representing Turo's help-desk and is not even providing a bad customer service, but outright manipulating information to his own comfort.

    I'd like this to be fixed. I don't want to post this publicly in other social medias, but sadly no other customer support is helping with this at the moment. I might change rating when this is fixed.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Horrible experience

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 28, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The online rental process was seamless. Everything else went down hill from there. The owner was 40 minutes late picking us up from the airport terminal. He didn't properly communicate how the return process went. I assumed it went the same way that the pickup went because the owner didn't say otherwise and I didn't see anything on the website explaining.

    I texted the owner Sunday, 7/23/17, letting him know I'd meet him at the terminal at 8:00 PM and letting him know I'd be returning the vehicle to the terminal at 9:30 PM. He texts me at 9:00 PM giving me an address for a drop off (luckily I didn't wait until the last minute, or I may have missed my flight). He also tells me to get there by 9:30 PM, they are very busy at the end of the day (they close at 10 PM). Not great communication considering LA traffic.

    I return the car, everything is fine, myself and the return agent take pictures and both deem the car to be just as it was when I rented the vehicle. I receive an email at 2:18 AM Tuesday morning stating that the owner reported damage. I texted the owner, no response. I responded to the communication on Turo's site, no response. I called and left multiple messages, no response. I wake up this morning to a $500 draft from my bank account from Turo. So they don't respond to me, but they are doing their due diligence to charge me for something that never happened? I feel like this is a bad dream.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Expensive risk

    • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
    • Jul 28, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Although I understand that some circumstances may occur so a rental cannot be delivered as paid and agreed upon, the customer service that followed the last minute cancellation from Turo is totally unacceptable.

    My girlfriend and I arrived at the airport at 4 pm, and since we had not heard from the car owner, we tried to contact him one more time without success. We then call Turo so they could also try to contact the owner but they were also unsuccessful.

    All they offered us is a refund, a $50 credit (originally $30) and three alternative rental options (received by email later when we had no access to internet) that were not only much more expensive or completely unacceptable but required us to wait at least three more hours (past 8 pm) when we already only had four days vacation and none were available for the full period required.

    The customer representative showed no understanding or will in solving our situation. All he said is that the best he could do was to give us the credit and he forced the conversation to end.

    We then had to fall back on the car rental from the airport and most companies were sold out. Only two companies had some car left, the first one quoted us for $700 USD plus taxes and fees (as opposed to the original $120 booked) for a Chevrolet Aveo, that is how compromising and costly it is to rely on a rental from Turo and having to revert to last minute option. After waiting many more hours, we were able to secure a car for over $500 CAD for a four-day rental.

    At the very least, Turo should offer fair and safe options for customers especially when they are traveling in another country. This seems like the only reasonable business model to succeed in such a market.

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

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  • Stay away!

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Stay away from Turo! They will swindle you out of money very quickly. They have shady renters who will charge you the full amount for the rental even if you slightly late for pick up and they will cancel the trip without returning the money. And Turo stands behind them. Simple thieves. The examples are countless. Read the reviews on the BBB website.

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

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  • First time renter

    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Jul 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I rented a car with the company a month ago, and the driver decided to cancel with 48 hours prior to my trip to Pennsylvania. I booked another car the same day and was later canceled by Turo. My credit card got charged two times.

    I contacted Turo which mentioned to me to send additional info (license, credit card and a picture of myself with ID), which was submitted the same day. I contacted customer service and told them about the situation and the situation I was in. Customer service did not care about the matter and informed me that someone would be contacting me about renting with the company.

    It has been 48 hours and no response. Several emails were sent throughout the day in which "will contact you in a day" as a response was given. Not a good experience at all. I spent the extra money and decided that it was best to rent from a rental company to avoid dealing in the future with this company. Don't waste your time.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Poor service

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jul 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is the first and last time I'll use Turo. Horrible customer service. I was told to "just drive slowly" when they didn't renew my reservation and insurance on time as requested. I was on hold for over an hour trying to get help.

    Avoid Turo at all costs, especially owners living in Redondo Beach! You've been warned!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Tried to rent three times, didn't work

    • California,
    • Jul 12, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Turo is not a good car sharing service whatsoever. I booked a car for a trip (which is a week away) two months ago. They canceled on me. Then I tried again, another cancellation. And I tried a third time, so this person leads me on for a full month and just canceled on me this morning. I called Turo customer support to see if they could help me out, and all they could say was "try to book again." Now tell me, Turo, why would I simply book again if I have been canceled on three separate times? I mean, would you?

    I will never be using Turo again, and neither should you if this is the way they treat their customers.

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

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  • Turo is great! Best test drive.

    • New York, NY,
    • Jul 11, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used Turo to test drive a car before I bought it. Great platform! Love it. You can't normally get an overnight test drive of a Tesla but with Turo, you can. Thank you Turo!

    It is expensive though, but you probably knew that.

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

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