About Turo

By HighYa Staff

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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Read 525 Turo Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 3.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 348 4 star: 29 3 star: 6 2 star: 13 1 star:  129
Bottom Line: 72% would recommend it to a friend
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Good experience

    • Iowa,
    • Apr 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We had a very good experience with Turo. We were able to rent a very nice car at a very affordable price. Everything with our rental went very smoothly. The app was very user-friendly.

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

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  • Love Turo

    • Louisiana,
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Other than the customer service never being able to help, I would recommend it to everyone. It’s great for people that don’t have extra money for a deposit. As long as you don’t run into problems where you need help immediately.

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

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  • Great ride, easy app

    • Washington, DC,
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Thanks for supplying this app. I’ve been using Turo for 5 years and it’s gotten better each time I’ve rented. There’s always a ride for whatever you may need to get a job done, or enjoy a coastal drive. Great stuff, keep it up.

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

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  • First time user

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Apr 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Decided to give Turo a try on a recent vacation to Phoenix. I am kind of a car guy and wanted something different versus the standard rental car experience. I didn't want to wait in line, fill out the forms, get the car, go back to the desk since the car was smoked in, etc. For me, the car is part of the trip. I am not happy driving ordinary stuff.

    So, I reserved a Charger on Turo at a very fair price. The communication back and forth was easy and positive. The pickup and return was simple and convenient. The car was very clean, certainly no offensive smells, and ready to go. The inside windshield could have been cleaner, by hey, I am somewhat picky.

    I didn't realize there was a checkout process on Turo until after I left with the car. However, the host did a great job posting pictures of the car taken at the very spot I picked up the car. So, just be aware to log in and officially take possession of the car. You can add pictures of existing damage, etc. at this time. Returning the car was easy and I remembered to officially end my trip by logging into the app.

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

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  • Great experience

    • Newport News, VA,
    • Apr 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The experience from start to finish was outstanding, except for one major issue. The online process was easy but it did not highlight the information about a $100 deposit or the required basic insurance coverage and daily usage fee. I had deposited money into an account to pay for the rental but did not have funds to cover the added costs. I tried to cancel the booking so I could make sure there were sufficient funds to cover it but instead of a needed step that would give me a chance to view and then approve and continue to check out, your system went ahead and processed it all. Plus by making the deposit fee separate from the car rental fee it meant it was seen as two withdrawals and that meant two penalty fees of $35 per billing. I know you can do better. It cost me an additional $70 to rent the car, not because I didn't have the money but because of the way your company processes the booking.

    At first, I was so pleased with the experience so I started telling everyone who would listen but this what happened to me was terrible and I don't want anyone else to go through this. I am telling everyone to be cautious.

    Plus today I was denied credit because of the bank overdraft and the bank won't forbid the fee because it is considered my fault and I don't feel it was. I feel you need to change the check out system so that people who are new to your business can end the process if after they find out all the costs that they can cancel and not end up with bank fees.

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

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  • Brief

    • Washington DC,
    • Apr 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Rentals are reasonable and efficient. Recommend better information on locations for picking up cars, especially for arrivals at airports. Recommend configuring cars for Bluetooth applications.

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

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  • Miami breeze!

    • West Virginia,
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Turo is quite literally the EASIEST rental app I have ever used. I will NEVER go to another car rental facility now that I have found Turo. You literally choose the car you want, pay, and pick it up! It is HONESTLY that easy. There is no "proof" aside from a driver's license. No pay stubs, credit card approvals or any of the extra stuff needed from other places. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

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

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  • First time with Turo

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Apr 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Turo was there when I had no other options after my car broke down.

    The rental was easy, the communication great, and I'll never go anywhere else after this.

    I may just have to start working for them after this experience. It's not often I have a great review. This is one of those necessary times to leave nothing but positive remarks!

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

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  • Exciting service but with slight flaws

    • St. Louis, MO,
    • Apr 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Aside from all the positive things I could say, of which there are many, I believe it's best to just comment on some slight criticisms I came across.

    1) No way to contact the individual listing their car prior to booking. This would have come in handy to ask questions about a vehicle's condition for a snowstorm, etc.

    2) App usability. I looked into dozens of vehicles on different dates and different towns to find the best fit. It took entirely too long to accomplish this, especially if you are looking to get an exact price quote including insurance. It was frustrating having to constantly update the time and dates as it changed every time you hit the back button.

    3) Require a minimum amount of pictures that must include interior shots. For the enthusiast who knows exactly what they're looking for, these details matter. Some listings range from dubious to downright misleading.

    4) Incentivize the car owners more to provide additional add-ons. It's beneficial to the renter to have available options. It's beneficial to the owner as a potential revenue increase. Seems like a win-win to me.

    Again, there are so many positives to my experience. I first heard about Turo through The Smoking Tire podcast a couple of years ago and have been itching to try it out since. It lived up to my admittedly high expectations, but I believe the service has room for some simple solutions. If I didn't believe in Turo, I wouldn't have spent the time typing all of this on my phone. Keep up the great work, Turo Team!

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

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  • Met my high expectations

    • Virginia,
    • Apr 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was delighted with my first Turo experience. The car was just as advertised, and my interaction with its owner was seamless. I had hoped it would be a great experience - and it was.

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

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  • Bummer rental

    • Fort Myers, FL,
    • Apr 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Unfortunately, I had a really bad first rental experience with Turo. I rented a 2008 Chrysler 300 and initially the check tire pressure light was on. The next day the check engine light and throttle light came on. The owner did not seem to care and was delayed in responding to any of my inquiries.

    As a result, I was totally stressed out and did not use the vehicle at all during my rental except to drive it to the airport. Upon return, the owner made me pay for the parking and then he tried to charge me $30 for gas, albeit I had filled it up prior to my return to the airport.

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

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