Thanks to a COVID-inspired car shortage, it has become a massive hassle for travelers to get the car they want at a reasonable price from rental agencies. But what’s bad for the car rental industry could be great for you!
Difficulties with traditional rentals have put the spotlight on a new car rental system — ride-sharing apps. These services allow people needing a car to rent from private owners, filling a huge void left by rental companies.
The most intriguing car-sharing option is Turo, a San Francisco-based company that has emerged as a leader in the game.
So, how does Turo work?
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the money-making power of Turo, we’ll explain how the platform operates and how you can start putting your vehicles to work.
How Does Turo Work?
Since it began in 2010, Turo has turned into the premier ride-sharing app across the United States, the U.K., and Canada. Car owners (or “hosts”) list their vehicles, and riders get to book a period to rent them. The experience is like the Airbnb of car rentals, for both the rider and the owner.
It’s wonderful for the rider, who gets an incredible deal and a unique selection of rides. But it’s even better for car owners, who can now access an easy and incredibly lucrative side hustle.
1. Booking Cars on Turo
To sign up and start renting through Turo, you’ll need to fill out a basic questionnaire and upload a driver’s license photo. Your application is usually approved or declined within several minutes.
To rent a car, you start by entering the city, address, or airport you’re traveling to and selecting the dates that you need the car. A list of available cars pops up for you to browse, or you can filter the search by several variables, including:
- Daily price
- Allotted mileage
- Host rating
- Vehicle features
- Vehicle type and category
- Electric and hybrid options
- Vehicle model, year, and color
- Transmission type
Some owners also offer to drop off and pick up the car at a preferred site. When you find the car you like, you can book it and get confirmation from the owner within eight hours.
During the drop-off, you need to inspect the car and take pictures. You must report any damage, odd odors, or car sounds immediately so you can get a refund or replacement. At the end of the trip, all you need to do is gas the car up and make sure the car is clean to avoid any unexpected fees.
2. Renting Out Your Car
If you’re over 21 with a valid license, getting started as a host is a simple, straightforward process. To list your car, you have to enter your vehicle’s information, including:
- License plate number
- Vehicle make, model, and year
- High-res photos
- Vehicle availability
Standard cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that are under 12 years old and have fewer than 130,000 miles are acceptable rental vehicles. The exception is a classic car. If you have an immaculate, pre-1990 ride, you may be able to start earning off of that as well.
You get to customize your goals in the app, helping you get the most out of your experience and protect your vehicle. The system helps you price your car and you let them know how you want to drop the vehicle off when it’s booked.
Pay attention to the Turo app for bookings and respond when a request pops up. You need to keep your cars in excellent condition, from a spotless exterior and safe tires to a cleaned and disinfected interior. Keeping a well-maintained car and meeting expectations is crucial if you want to earn 5-star reviews.
3. How Does Payment Work?
Riders input their credit card (recommended) or debit card information when they create their account. You can also pay with Google Pay or Apple Pay in the U.S. and Canada.
Payments are taken from your preferred payment method after the owner confirms the appointment. You’re allowed to cancel your trip for a full refund up to 24 hours before the trip begins.
On the owner’s side, you get paid through either Stripe or PayPal via direct deposit. After your first trip, the payment is submitted after three business days. It can then take another 3-5 business days for it to show up in your account.
Payments initiate faster on subsequent trips, taking only three hours rather than three days to start processing. If your rider is on a multi-week trip, you’ll get paid weekly in partial payments.
You can request additional payments to reimburse you for gas, mile overages, and any damage. Claims are resolved depending on the protection plan you choose.
4. How Turo Insurance Works
Turo provides $750,000 of third-party liability insurance through Liberty Mutual and 24/7 roadside assistance with every car rental.
As a host, you have additional protection available in five different tiers. This is where Turo makes their money. Depending on which insurance package you choose, you’ll pay between 15-40% of the rental cost to the company.
Benefits of Turo
Turo is convenient, unique, and a huge financial benefit for both sides of the car rental system. For the rider, the cost of Turo is nominal, and you can often find rides for under $25 a day. Plus, you get a whole new route to pursue a great rental deal and find new driving experiences.
For hosts, being able to take a seldom-used second vehicle and turn it into a money-making machine is an easy way to make several thousand dollars a year. Some owners have even seen the full earning potential of the system and started their own fleets.
Car-sharing is different than renting from a traditional company, and you can tap into more motivations to drive a particular vehicle. Some riders are in town for business and need a car, but others may be interested in test-driving a vehicle they want to buy or experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime ride. With Turo, if you’ve got a car, you can start a high-yield side hustle — or even start a new career — from just about anywhere.
Get the Most Out of Turo
How does Turo work if your car isn’t in excellent condition? A car can be older, but to make the most money, it needs to be in pristine condition. When everything is clean and reliable, you can rent more often, charge more, and set yourself up for exceptional reviews.
From the pictures to the quality of the drive, you’ll depend on quality tires to get the most out of Turo. Check out our monthly subscriptions, and earn low-cost peace of mind that your tires are always ready for riders.