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We all know how expensive renting a car can be. If you live in any major city, it’s not uncommon to find rentals for as much as $50 a day, and that’s on the low end. Fortunately there’s Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental service. Don’t need to borrow a car? Rent it out to others and make some extra cash on the side.
What Is Turo?
As mentioned above, Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental service. You can choose to rent from others or list your car up for rental on their online marketplace. The service works quite differently depending on which option you choose.
If you want to rent a car from someone else, Turo can be a great way to save some extra cash. Not only do you get $25 in credit for registering as a new user, but it’s not uncommon to find rental prices for much cheaper than you would somewhere else.
The price that you pay depends on the city that you’re located in as well as the quality of the car. The more luxurious the car, the more likely you are to pay a higher price. However, this isn’t always the case. The price is ultimately set by the owner. If you see a nice car for a low price, snag it quickly before someone else gets it.
For example, renting a car in Portland, Oregon can cost as little as $20 per day. These type of cars are usually considered to be economy cars. This means that they get great gas mileage, are reliable, but don’t come with the typical extra features you might find on higher-end cars.
If you’re looking to rent a luxury car such as a Jaguar or a Mercedes, expect to pay around $50 or more per day. Many people consider this to be a great deal considering that other car rental services charge a lot more.
In any case, we’ve typically found that renting a car through Turo is going to be a lot cheaper than renting through your typical car rental company. This is why Turo was created.
Weekly And Monthly Discounts
Owners also have the option of giving you a discount for deciding to rent long-term. The typical discount is 15% off when renting for 7 days or more, and as much as 25% off when renting for a week or more. To verify this information, select the exact dates you wish to rent the car and see what kind of discount you’ll receive. Discounts are also listed on user profiles.
Car Prices Change By The Day
If you’re looking to rent a car on a weekend, that $20 car you saw might only be the weekday price. Again, be sure to select exact dates and times to determine the final cost of your car. For those looking to book on a Friday or Saturday, expect the price to go up $5 – $10 per day.
The one downside about renting a car through Turo is that most of the users have a limit to the amount of miles you can drive the car in a single day. This is completely understandable. Owners don’t want their renters to wear down the car so much that it destroys the value of the car.
Before renting, make sure to consider how many miles you need for your trip. On average I’ve found that lower-priced cars typically allow you to drive anywhere from 100 – 200 miles per day. For most this is plenty. However, for those long vacations you might have to find an owner who’s a bit more lenient.
If you need unlimited miles, expect to pay a minimum of $50 per day in a fairly large city. It really depends on what you want and what you need when determining the price of a car. When choosing a car, you can easily use the Turo filter system to select exactly what cars you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that the mile limit may change depending on how long you’re willing to rent the car for. Maybe you only get 100 miles per day, but rent it for a week and this number could bump up to 1,000 miles. If at any point you go over the stated mile limit, you’ll be charge $0.75 for each mile over.
Although you’re using a peer-to-peer rental service doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for any damage incurred while driving the vehicle. This is why Turo offers an insurance policy to renters. The one downside to this is the extra cost.
Basic Insurance Policy
Turo currently offers two different types of insurance policies. The cheapest and most basic one is Basic Protection. This gives you state minimum liability coverage with a $3,000 damage deductible. This means that if you have to repair the car, you’ll need to pay $3,000 out-of-pocket before the insurance policy kicks in.
This is a a great option on less expensive cars. If get into an accident or damage a lower quality car, you’re going to end up paying less for repairs. Check with state to find out how much exactly the minimum liability covers.
The cost? The amount will increase the higher you go up in rental price. On average we’ve found that basic protection costs around $14.95 per day.
Premium Insurance Policy
It might be wise to go with a better insurance policy if you’re renting a more expensive car. The premium insurance policy gives you $1 million in liability insurance with a $500 damage deductible.
The only downside is the incredibly high cost of around $39.50 per day. At this price, it may only worth it if you’re renting a luxury car.
Our Thoughts On The Insurance Policy
Many people ask whether they should go with the insurance policy with Turo. This can be a tricky decision, especially if you don’t want to end up paying for any damages that incur during your journey.
If you consider yourself an incredibly safe driver and don’t need to use the car for very long, you will probably be fine not getting any insurance policy whatsoever. Just be aware that you are responsible for any damages. Before getting in the car, you and the owner will both look around the car for any damages that are already on the car.
If the owner notices a dent or a scratch that wasn’t found upon original inspection, you may have to end up paying for repairs.
Even though the cost is incredibly high, you might be able to get your money’s worth with the free $25 sign-up credit. Just be sure to take in the cost of insurance when renting your car.
Credit Cards Don’t Work
Most people don’t know this, but when you use a credit card at a car rental company, they provide you with an insurance policy provided that you decline the rental service’s insurance policy.
You know how the sales agents are always so eager to sell you insurance when renting a car? Use a credit card and decline them all and you’re good to go. Select one of these options and your credit card won’t cover you. For more information, we suggest checking out this article.
Credit cards offer insurance policies for car rental agencies, but they don’t consider Turo to be one of them. This means that even if you use a credit card on checkout, they won’t help you out in the least if you happen to damage the vehicle. This is another downside in going with Turo.
You can choose to have a car delivered directly to you. For more expensive rentals, this is usually covered for free at no extra cost. If you’re looking to rent a vehicle for a cheaper price, you’re most likely going to have to pay extra for car delivery.
The one exception I have found to this is for airports. For those of you looking to save a bit of money and live close to the airport, try having the owner handing you over the car there. Delivery fees are always stated on user profiles.
Renting Out A Car
Turo isn’t just about renting a car from someone else. It can also be used to make some extra cash on the side. Turo sets the price of your car depending on its market value and some additional factors. However, for those looking to set their own price, you can either decrease or increase the price that Turo sets.
How Much Can I Make?
Turo has a calculator for estimating how much you can make annually per year. Let’s say you have a car that has a market value of $10,000. If you’re living in a large city, you’re probably going to have a lot of inquiries about renting your car. For that matter, we’re going to say that you could easily rent it out for 5 days per month.
Using the Turo calculator, this car would make you an extra $152 per month or $1,834 per year. This amount is after any fees that Turo takes for themselves.
Turo dynamically decides the rental price depending on your car’s market value, location, year, the time of year and other dates. Yet the final decision on the daily rental price is up to you. Owners make 65% to 85% of the trip price. The exact amount depends on the protection package you choose when listing your car.
How Do I Get Started With Turo?
Getting setup with Turo is an incredibly simple process. In order to make sure you don’t get lost along the way, we’re going to break it down for you in 5 easy steps.
You can register for Turo at no cost by clicking this link here with a free $25 sign-up credit. For new users, all you need is your name and email or you can sign-up using a Facebook or Gmail account.
2. Setup Your Profile.
It’s important to setup your profile with a description and a picture. When you choose to rent a car, owners have the option of either approving the booking instantly or first confirming the booking. If you have a good profile, owners will be more likely to accept your requested dates and times.
3. Rent A Car.
If you’re looking to rent a car, log-in and type in the city you’re looking to rent in on the homepage. From there, click search and a list of results in your area will appear. You can also use the search filter tool to help you navigate through your findings.
4. List Your Car.
When you sign-up for a new account, you can also choose to rent out your car. While Turo helps you dynamically set a price based on time of year, location, market value and other factors, the final decision is up to you. Set a price that will allow you to get some extra income but that isn’t too high to deter people from renting it.
5. Refer Your Friends.
If you want to earn some free credit with Turo, refer all of your friends. Each time you refer a friend that uses your sign-up link to rent a car, you both get $25 in your account. As of right now there’s no limit to the amount of referrals you can make. If you’d like to support FFL, you can use our referral link – thank you!
Given the fact that Turo has an extremely costly insurance policy, we understand if you want to feel protected without having to break your bank by choosing a typical car rental service. However, for those of you who find a great deal or who have earned enough referral credit, Turo can be a great option.
From what I’ve heard from others, most experiences have been positive. Owners also receive reviews based on their previous rentals. If you see an owner with a lot of five-star reviews, they most likely won’t be picky about a tiny little scratch they see when you return the car. Just be cautious when choosing which car to rent.
If you have any tips for renting a car or have used Turo in the past, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to do so in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!
My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.