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Traveling and need a way to get around town to explore on your own? Or carless and looking for a way to run errands? Car rentals are the more traditional route to go, but car sharing services like Zipcar and Car2Go are racing to give consumers more options and flexibility to rent short-term vehicles. But what if those services don’t exist in your city, or you need a car for a more extended period? Thanks to Turo (formerly RelayRides) you can rent vehicles from others who aren’t using them (like the Airbnb for cars) and often they’ll be more convenient and affordable than other car rental services. Learn more about how Turo car rental works, how much it costs and more (including our personal experience using the service) in our Turo Reviews.
How Does Turo Work?
Turo peer-to-peer car sharing service is much like renting a house or an apartment on Airbnb. Upon visiting their website (or using their app) you enter the destination of where you need a car, the dates and times you are interested in, and a list of cars will show up in search results. You can further narrow down your options by make, model, distance and even color! At Earth’s Friends, we highly recommend that you rent a car that gets good gas mileage like a hybrid or electric car (if possible). And if you’re feeling extra adventurous on your next vacation, you can even rent a Tesla.
Video: How to Rent a Car Via Turo
Watch this quick 90-second video to see Turo in action.
Turo Rental Requirements
While it’s free to join, you must become a member before you can book a car for liability and legal purposes. To be accepted as a Turo driver you must meet the following requirements:
- Proof of a current, valid (non-temporary) driver’s license
- Be at least 21 years of age (for the United States and Canada)
- If under 25, you may be required to provide at least two years of driving history and may be subject to higher rental rates
- Non-U.S. and Canadian drivers need to present a passport and a photograph of driver’s license
- A cell phone that belongs to you (verified through text message from Turo)
- If under 30, may not rent “high value” vehicles (fair market value price exceeding $55,000) or “specialty” cars
If you meet these criteria, congrats! You qualify to rent from Turo. Keep in mind there is an approval process, but if you have everything you need it can be verified in a matter of seconds.
Does My Insurance Cover Turo?
Turo insurance is a must and required to become a member and rent out your vehicle. This is for the safety and security of the owners and your protection should anything happen. Similar to renting from a rental car company, Turo offers insurance; however, you can choose to decline it if you have your own insurance policy. Insurance varies from state to state, so if you have questions, make sure you talk to a local insurance professional before renting a car on Turo.
- No sign-up or member fees
- Available in many more cities and airports than competitors
- Daily and weekly rates are typically lower than competitors
- Basic bodily injury liability insurance included at the minimum level required by the state in which you rent the car
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Owners are covered for the damage to the vehicle and $1m liability policy
- No hourly fee --- daily rental is the minimum
- Must pay for your own gas (vs. Zipcar, Car2Go)
- Mileage is set by the owner (on average vehicles include 200 miles per day), and overage fee is a steep $0.75 per mile
- Cancellation isn't nearly as flexible as competitors
- ome complaints about poor customer service and flaky owners
- Available in 4,500 U.S. cities and at more than 300 airports
- Doorstep pick up and drop off available (sometimes an additional cost)
- Much wider variety of vehicles to choose from (including luxury cars and specialty or classic cars) than traditional car rentals or car sharing services
- Photos, descriptions and reviews of cars to book in confidence
- Cars must be 2005 or newer and under 130,000 miles (unless classic car, which is 1990 or older)
- Easy to book from anywhere via mobile app and affordable pricing (especially for last minute bookings)
- Skip the car rental lines and paperwork, just grab keys and go!
Cost varies widely by location, make and model (and owner’s discretion).
- Daily rates: Starting at $18-$30 + 10% rental fee (for 26-hour period; rentals start at 5pm)
- No sign-up fee or member fee
- Some drivers charge optional pickup fee to meet you at desired location
- $50 per hour late return fee (up to $200)
- $0.75 per mile overage fee (owners set their mileage limits)
damage fee (insurance deductible, depending on plan chosen)
Note: When you make a trip request, your payment card is authorized only and your card is not charged until you officially book your trip (unless you’re using Apple Pay or Google Wallet via smartphone). Any additional mileage, parking tickets, cleaning fees, etc. will be charged after the trip ends. If you need to cancel, your payment will be available for 24 hours to use towards another trip.
Turo Promo Code
Get $25 off your first trip with Turo by using coupon code <strong>michelles428</strong> at checkout via this link.
Turo Car Rental Reviews
Positive Turo Reviews
Prices are all over the place for the cars on Turo, but for me it totalled about $60 a day which included the premium insurance and optional delivery, extra charges fine by me, not just bc it was a Benz, but as comfortable classy safer family highway ride, point a to point b. – Dee, Yelp 4/11/2017
I handed him the key and that was that. No forms to sign, no shuttle bus to take. I wasn’t a big fan of Dmitry the man, but Dmitry’s van? That I liked. And I liked Turo for hooking us up. I would definitely use the service again. – Rick, CNET 2/22/2016
Negative Turo Reviews
Turo is a horrible company. They charged me for a car I never received, the verification department has no direct contact. I’ve only rented 1 time from them and everything was ok besides the person bringing the car a day late, I tried to rent a car again but they denied due to unexplained reasons. I’m still waiting on my refund for both trips. – Lewis, Consumer Affairs 9/23/2017
I had arranged a rental for my wedding and it was cancelled 4 days before because the renter decided he no longer wanted to rent his car with TURO. So he DELETED his account with no say so from TURO or myself on what would become of my rental. And because of the short notice there was no other offers for me to choose from within the price range I was looking for. – Jordan, Trustpilot 10/30/2017
Our Personal Experience With Turo
Our Earth’s Friends’ team has used Turo several times during our work trips and wanted to share our firsthand experience. When looking for last-minute car rentals from the major car rental companies in the Charlotte, NC, airport (CLT), most rates we found were pretty pricey. So we turned to Turo and found a great deal on a Jetta that was in perfect condition. The owner even met us at the terminal both for drop off and pick up, which saved us time from having to hassle with the car rental shuttle and center.
Another time at the same airport we got scooped up at the curbside pickup by the owner who unexpectedly took us to her house to drop herself off. Luckily, it wasn’t that far out of the way, and she gave us some shortcuts to our destination and tips about the souped up Ford Fusion during our ten-minute detour. Before this Ford Fusion booking, we had reserved a BMW with another owner. Less than four weeks before the trip, the owner contacted us and said his car had been in a wreck and was no longer available on Turo. We received a refund immediately and, fortunately, there were still other options available to book.
Finally, we used it at the Tampa, FL, airport (TPA) and had a similar situation to our first time in Charlotte. The owner met us at the curb with the keys (got a ride with a friend), and we were on our way in minutes in a pimped out Jeep (pictured here) which made for a fun way to get around the bay.
All three times we’ve used Turo has been at an airport, so we can’t speak to other pick-up and drop-off locations, but it’s likely similar. Note that some owners charge an additional fee for airports or meeting you at your designated location, but, for us, it was worth it to save time and effort.
Vrrooooom…. Ready to Jump on Board?
Let Turo help you capture those Instagram-able photos in a convertible on your next vacation, surprise your honey with a luxury car for your next date night or special occasion or help you save money on your next business trip. Whatever the case may be, car sharing is the newest trend in transportation, and now you have more options than ever to ditch your car knowing that you have reliable options, in case you ever need one.
Would you or have you ever tried Turo or any other care sharing service?