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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73 Customer Reviews for Turo

Average Customer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 28 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 45
Bottom Line: 37% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 73
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  • I was nervous at first, but it was totally worth trying out!

    Last week my family and I rented a car for our eight-day vacation in Florida. It was awesome! I'll be honest, though, I was pretty nervous about not going the conventional route. But being a huge fan of innovation, I did some research, read reviews, and asked a few users, and we decided to rent a car through Turo.

    It's basically the Airbnb of rental cars. The rate was 50% less than every other rental car company (approximately $450). There were no lines to wait in, no being annoyed by complaining customers, no papers to sign, no pressure to buy extra insurance. Five minutes after we grabbed our luggage, we met the owner in the airport parking lot, took one minute to get acquainted, and off we went.

    It was kinda surreal. I felt like it should've taken longer, but because everything is managed and taken care through the app, virtually no time or patience was wasted. I don't see myself renting a car the old fashioned (more expensive) way ever again.

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

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  • Great experience

    I just wanted to congratulate Turo for providing a great service. We will be adding more vehicles to Turo, and we look forward to mutually beneficial relationships for both Turo and myself. Regards.

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

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  • I love Turo

    I tried out Turo and everything went flawlessly. I cannot say enough about the host. The car was fantastic. I will be using Turo again for sure.

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

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  • Love it!

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Mar 22, 2017

    I love Turo. It helped me rent a great Jeep for my vacation.

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

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  • First trip!

    I had a such a pleasure on my first Turo trip. Everything was smooth and would definitely do it again!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great first experience

    All was nice and stress-free from start to finish. Very easy platform to book through, the car worked out very well and was quick to pick up and drop off. I'll definitely look here first when traveling and I need a rental again.

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

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  • Turo was great!

    I was told about Turo by my brother when visiting him in Portland, and it turned out to be a great tip. It was easy to sign up, coordinate with the owner of the car to meet and transfer keys, and was overall a painless and convenient experience. I would definitely do again, and recommend it to others.

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

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  • Amazing cars and a cool community

    I've rented over ten times now and have always had a great experience. Even when one host was unresponsive, I was able to connect to their customer service quickly and was quickly helped. Within a day after "submitting private feedback to the Turo team" someone was following up with me to ensure my next trip was even better. Can't say enough good things about Turo!

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

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  • Turo is the way to go!

    This is the next best thing since sliced bread. For our trip to Denver, Colorado I had called at least five rental car companies and was left with nothing but frustration and disappointment at extra fees, charges, and restrictions. Turo made our trip to the Rocky Mountains possible.

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

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  • Great experience

    • New York,
    • Mar 21, 2017

    I had a streamlined process with the platform. My first reservation canceled on me, but then the company reached out directly to assist in rebooking another automobile for myself. The car I rented was perfect, the service wonderful, and all-in-all, a really great experience. Will use again.

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

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  • Great experience!

    I found the process of locating a vehicle and making arrangements to reserve and rent as extremely easy. The owner was very communicative and our pick up and drop off were on time, smooth, and simple! I will definitely consider using this service again.

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

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