Go with Turo

Turo offers a new way to make some money while providing services to others. (Photo from Turo’s Website)

Arriving from a long flight, only to wait in line to get into a rental car can be a hassle. Now there is a new way to skip the line and straight in to a vehicle with Turo Car Rental.

This new business has been compared to an Airbnb but for cars. Vehicle owners called “hosts” can rent their own personal cars to people called “guests” who need them for a certain price. This means the variety of vehicles is larger than the typical rental car companies, finding a stick shift two-door convertible to cruise around the city or a four-wheel drive Jeep to take camping for the weekend is now easier.

The company began in 2009 as RelayRides in San Francisco by Shelby Clark. The name  changed to Turo in 2015 and now has pick up locations in over 300 airports and most major cities, along with 800 different types of vehicles. The rates for the vehicles are cheaper than rental car companies by 35 percent on average.WHATS SOURCE OF THIS 

Senior Communications Manager Christin Di Scipio talked about Turo’s biggest challenge, expanding into other countries. Aside from the United States only Canada, Germany and recently Great Britain have signed up for it, but they are working on getting more European countries on board. Their biggest goal is to make the world aware that there is another way of renting cars besides large rental companies.

“Rental car companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car have been trying to slow down the growth of Turo by using government regulations to apply extra taxes for the host vehicles,” Di Scipio said.  “They haven’t been successful but if it happens the host would have to pay for car registrations and other taxes two times.”

To rent a vehicle or be a guest, a profile must be created with a valid driver’s license and method of payment. The company will examine your driving record  and approve of it first. It also verifies the phone number, email and profile picture so the guest can be identified. Then reservations can be made and options like delivery or child seats and the types of protection plans.

Liberty Mutual insurance provides two different insurance plans: a premium plan with a $1million liability insurance to cover damages with a $500 deductible to cover the rented vehicle from damage or theft, this costs around $15 per day. The other basic plan, costs $7 per day and has a state minimum liability insurance but the renter may need to pay up to $3,000 for theft or damage of the vehicle depending on how much is needed. The last option is to decline all protections of the vehicle and run the risk of paying extra if any damage occurs.

To rent out your vehicles or be a host, a profile must be created with information of the vehicle. The vehicle cannot have an active recall, salvaged title and has to run smoothly. Plus, it cannot be older than 12 years old, under 130,000 miles and a market value up to $130,000. You can also rent out your specialty vehicle like a classic muscle car or Volkswagen bug. However, it does have to be in excellent running condition to avoid a breakdown.

Turo also provides three types of insurance for the host of up to $1 million in liability damages and physical damages to your vehicle. Meaning that your car is completely covered, and they will pay for your car if it has to be repaired and they will also provide a different vehicle for you and pay for the time that you could’ve been renting it out.

After that you can set up the mileage restriction and minimum daily price for your vehicle but Turo will set the prices based on location, time of year, market value to make you the most money possible. Set the extras like unlimited mileage, post-trip cleaning, refueling charge that will make you extra money.

It’s important for both the hosts and the guests to take pictures of the vehicle before and after the trip so that they won’t try to cheat each other out of money. If there happens to be any damages during the trip, it’s important for the guest to take notes of any issues and submit those to the company, so they can enforce repairs.

Those people that do this on a regular basis can earn up to $600 a month with minimum effort and an average car while those with more luxurious cars can make even more than that.

Robert Bulechek was one of the first people in Tucson to loan out his vehicle in 2015. He tried to rent out his Jeep Grand Cherokee but Turo didn’t qualify his car until they changed the qualifications for vehicles in 2015. Now he rents out his electric Nissan Leaf to people that want to try out an electric car.

“Letting the car earn money while you sit back is a good way to offset the cost of the vehicle,” Bulechek said. “The car is essentially paying for itself….”

Octavio Lopez is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact him at olopez24@email.arizona.edu.


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