Note: this is NOT a sponsored post by Turo, but does have a signup referral code that if you try this service you get $25 off your first ride and so do I.
Ever wanted to rent a Mustang Convertible but don’t want to spend over $200 per day? What if I can tell you that you can get one for $50 instead without any reward programs or being a member of any auto-club. Here is how:
I was heading out to LA for an event and having never been to LA before, I wanted to spend the weekend doing all the tourist things. Rodeo drive, Walk of Fame, Hollywood Sign, Malibu. But I wanted to do it in LA style in a convertible. Being on a budget, the $200 per day that it would have cost with a traditional car rental agency, this was not an option. So I decided to try Turo – the car-sharing app. Think Airbnb, but for cars.
Turo allows individuals to list their cars and put them to work so that people can hire them at really great prices. And yes, there is insurance too – that was my first question.
How does Turo work?
Let’s start with the person renting out their car: If you have a car that is laying around collecting dust you can register it on Turo and set it to work.
You will need to upload pics, a description of the vehicle, select the make/ model/ year and add a daily rate and how many miles are included in that price.
You set the pickup and drop off location so that your potential customer is aware if there are any limitations or restrictions.
That is it – now you wait for the leads come in which you can accept and start earning.
You want to rent a car? here is how it works from the customer’s point of view:
Firstly, you will need to create a Turo account. This process can be done via the Turo website or via the Turo app.
Part of the process requires verification of details such as your phone number, your credit card number, email address, and your driver’s license. Very much like a traditional car rental process. After all, they are not going to give keys to just anyone who wants one without any verification.
Once your account is set up and your details are verified you are ready to use Turo but do note that it can take up to an hour for your info to pass the verification process. Ie. Don’t do this like I did and leave it for the last moment!
Now that your account is active, all you need to do is select the location of where you would like to rent the car and the dates and times for the pickup and return of the vehicle. Very much like any other booking sites for hotels or flights.
As there are hundreds of vehicles, you can add filters and be as specific as you wish such as only 2016 Ford Mustang 4 door convertible. You can even get a Porche Boxter for $139 per day!!
Now select the car at your price point and pay special attention to any restrictions such as only airport pickups or limited milages or mandatory cleaning charges or refueling requirements.
Your chosen vehicle will be confirmed at a fraction of the price that you would usually pay at a traditional car rental establishment.
The car collection and return process
I did all the above and after I booked my car, I received a message of a number that I was to text after I landed in LAX, which I did.
I then received instructions that I needed to use Uber to get to a specific location where the car was waiting. The renter of the car said that the Uber ride would be refunded to me. This was NOT explained in the booking process and I assume that each situation will be different but worth checking especially with airport pickups.
When I arrived at the location the car was indeed waiting.
To unlock the car, you simply launch the Turo app, enable Bluetooth which pairs with the car and unlocks the car. This was kinda cool!
The next step was to take photos of the car from all angles so you could see any pre-existing damage. You also snap pics of the odometer and the fuel gauge and any inside pics that need to be recorded. Once the process is done, you are ready to head out. Takes about 15 minutes to complete this if you are thorough.
When you return the car the process is reversed. This allows the renter to ensure that the car returns undamaged and with the same fuel level. Again, around 15 minutes to complete so allow for time especially if you are in a hurry to catch a flight.
So in summary:
It all boils down to balancing convenience with the price.
If you want a seamless convenient process, then Turo is not going replace an airport car rental service where everything is ready, mechanically inspected, fueled, cleaned right at the airport.
If you want to pay less for your vehicle, then Turo works like a charm. However, be aware that there is a bit of a process involved. Since it’s up to the individual to maintain the vehicle, this could be an issue when renting older vehicles that have not been maintained. This is especially worrying in States that don’t have a yearly vehicle state inspection requirement.
Another item to note is that you need to have an active data plan on your cell phone so you can activate the pickup and drop off procedure. If you are traveling from overseas this could be an issue so be aware of it.
Now that I know how the service works and what to expect, I would use it again but I would allow more time to complete the various tasks and I would definitely confirm the pickup process.
Click here to check out Turo and let me know what you think. Would you use such a service?