The Ride Guide to Turo

  • Brian Leon is a freelance automotive journalist and former Associate Editor of the New York Daily News Autos. He is currently a master student at Uppsala University in Sweden studying marketing and completing a thesis in the area of trust in autonomous vehicles.

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In the realm of car sharing, there are more options than ever for finding a ride when you need one, or even just want to try driving something new. While platforms like ZipCar, ReachNow, and Car2Go maintain a fleet of vehicles that are available to users and subscribers, many peer-to-peer car-sharing services have sprouted up and grown massively in popularity.

One such app is Turo, an immensely popular platform that lets you list your own vehicle or rent other users’ vehicles for varying rates and periods of time. From a base model Toyota Corolla for simple errand-running to Ferraris and Lamborghinis for a big night out, there are thousands of vehicles available on Turo across the country and even the world, so we’ve developed a guide to help you make sense of it all, whether you’re renting a vehicle for the first time or listing your own.

How to Rent a Vehicle With Turo

Jaguar F-Type at sunset white rear view
Whether you need an affordable ride in a pinch or want something more exotic for a night out, Turo offers vehicles up to 12 years old and worth up to $150,000, with a few classic vehicles thrown into the mix as well.

Most Turo users do not list their own vehicles, using the service to rent others when needed or wanted instead. It’s free to sign up through Facebook, Google, or your personal email address, and you’ll only need a few additional details to create an account.

For U.S. drivers, you’ll need to be 21 or older, and have an email address, mobile phone number, and social security number. You’ll need to provide a valid driver’s license number and expiration date, enter your home address, designate a payment method, and include a photo of yourself for your profile. Users cannot share an account, so make sure all the information is yours and yours alone. If you’re under 25, you need to prove that you’ve been driving for at least two years.

If you have a friend or family member who already uses Turo, ask them for a referral code and you’ll both get a $25 credit towards your next rental. Once Turo verifies your information and makes sure you meet an auto insurance score benchmark, you’ll be ready to rent your first ride.

Just head to Turo’s website or mobile app, enter the city or airport you wish to search around, choose dates and times for the rental period, and start looking for the right vehicle. You can narrow your choices down with several filters ranging from make, model, and model year (all the way back to 1950) to whether or not the vehicle has ski racks. Some more expensive vehicles are designated “Deluxe” or “Super Deluxe” and are only available to drivers 25 or 30 and up, respectively. Prices run as low as $10 or $15 per day to as high as several hundred for exotic vehicles, so take a good look at your options to find the right vehicle for your needs or wants.

Once you decide on a vehicle and hit “Book,” the owner has up to 8 hours to confirm or deny the reservation. Some owners offer vehicle delivery and pick up, which can help if you’re flying to a different city, and some vehicles can be booked instantly without waiting for approval.

When it’s time for the rental, simply meet the owner, take a walk around the vehicle to look for any pre-existing scuffs, dents, or other damage, show them your license and head off on the open road. Some vehicles have daily mileage limits and other restrictions, so make sure you read the description of the vehicle thoroughly before you book, or you’ll get charged extra for going over the limit.

When you’re done with the rental, simply return the vehicle with a full tank of gas, take a walk around the car again, and you’re done.

How to List Your Vehicle on Turo

2018 Honda Civic Touring Sedan in Gray
Listing your own vehicle on Turo is simple. It must be less than 12 years old (unless it’s a pre-1990 classic), must be insured, and must be up to proper maintenance.

If you’ve got a summer car that’s been sitting more than it should, a desirable classic that you want others to enjoy, or even just want some extra cash to help pay for your new car payment, you can list your vehicle on Turo with relative ease.

All you need to get started is a Turo profile with the same information required to make a user account, and a vehicle to list. There are some restrictions, though. The vehicle must:

  • Be legally registered in any state but New York
  • Be no more than 12 years old
  • Have a market value of up to $150,000
  • Have fewer than 130,000 miles
  • Have a clean, rather than a salvage, title
  • Meet insurance and maintenance requirements

Vehicles that were manufactured in 1990 or before must have seat belts and a market value of $85,000 or less to be eligible for “specialty” or “classic” designation. Such models can fetch higher prices depending on the vehicle.

To meet insurance requirements, you can use your own insurance for the vehicle or opt for one of Turo’s plans. If you choose to use your own insurance, check your coverage to make sure there are no restrictions on using your vehicle as a rental. Turo only takes 10% of the revenue from each trip you book if you use your own insurance.

Turo’s insurance plans offer a bit more coverage in exchange for a higher percentage of the revenue. They come in Basic, Standard, and Premium and offer different levels of coverage up to $1 million in damages. Basic plans cost 15% of each trip’s revenue but come with a $3,000 maximum deductible, while Standard and Premium cost 25% and 35%, respectively.

As for maintenance, just make sure your vehicle passes your state’s inspection requirements and you should mostly be covered. Since it is your vehicle, though, you want to make sure the car is in top condition at all times.

After that, you’ll need the license plate number, make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your car, truck, or SUV. One photo of your vehicle is required, but Turo encourages uploading as many as possible, and even offers professional photographers for free to help you increase your car’s image.

Next, enter a description of the vehicle and other important details such as transmission (automatic or manual), features, and other extras, and make sure to promptly respond to rental requests. If you’re curious to see how much your vehicle could make, check out Turo’s “Carculator” and enter your vehicle’s details and location.

When a rental is confirmed, just arrange to meet the renter at a location or drop off the vehicle if you’ve offered to do so. Perform a walkaround with the renter to cover any important information, and remind them to drive safely! Turo offers 24-hour roadside assistance, so if there’s a problem with your vehicle while it’s in someone else’s hands, they or you should contact the company immediately.

When the renter drops your car off, do a thorough walkaround, make sure the tank is full, and head on home.

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About the Author

  • Brian Leon is a freelance automotive journalist and former Associate Editor of the New York Daily News Autos. He is currently a master student at Uppsala University in Sweden studying marketing and completing a thesis in the area of trust in autonomous vehicles.

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