In today’s post, I’m talking about our experience with renting out one of our cars through Turo this past year.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how to use Turo to rent a car while you’re traveling.
Turo is a car sharing company that allows travelers/customers to rent cars from local owners. Turo happens to be one of my favorite travel hacks, as it is a more convenient and affordable alternative to a traditional rental car agency. You can read about all of my tips for renting a car through Turo on your next trip here.
Tyler and I have been renting out one of our cars through Turo since last spring. It’s been a fun little side hustle for the family, so I thought I’d take some time today to walk through our experience.
A bit of background: About six months into the pandemic, we realized that–for the most part–we really only needed one car. We sold our Tesla that we had purchased specifically as a commuter car for Tyler. We shared the Jeep for almost a year until we got our Rivian. As soon as we got the Rivian, we both started using that car pretty much exclusively. It was just easier to not be switching the car seats back and forth, and, also, the Rivian is so fun to drive. It became clear pretty quickly that the Jeep was dead weight, lol. But rather than selling it, we decided to list it on Turo. The idea was that we would be able to make some money off the Jeep but still have it in case we actually did need two cars for whatever reason.
I’m going to share my thoughts on if renting out a vehicle through Turo is worth it, what the pros and cons are, and then walk through how to list a car on Turo.
We have, overall, had an amazing experience renting out our Jeep with Turo.
The main reason we are able to make it work from a logistical perspective is because Tyler works mostly from home. And on the days he does need to be in the office, I can usually survive without a car (we live really close to our preschool and the park, etc).
We earn *around* $1,000 a month with Turo. When we first listed the Jeep on Turo, our goal was to make enough to cover the cost of preschool, and that’s just about what it comes out to. There have been a few slower months that fall a bit under that, but in the spring and summer we’ve seen it go much higher actually.
$1,000 a month isn’t a crazy amount, but it does basically cover the preschool payment. And it’s significant in that our little Jeep is out there earning extra money for us rather than sitting (mostly unused) out in front of the house.
We spend a few hours on this per week and find that the income it brings in is definitely worth it.
Our payment on the Jeep is pretty low, so that helps. Also, we try to work together for drop-offs and pick-ups. Often, I’ll drive the Rivian and follow Tyler down to the airport in the Jeep for drop-offs, or we’ll drive down together and one of us will get out and grab the Jeep for pick-ups, etc. Ubering back and forth can get expensive, so dropping each other off is a great way to save money. Also, we usually clean the car ourselves between bookings.
The girls don’t really mind driving around either. It usually ends up being one or two family drives per week–most of the time down to the airport which is about 20 minutes from our house. I actually kind of like that they are involved; I call it “the family side hustle,” lol. It’s good for kids to see their parents hustling and being creative, etc.
There are, obviously, risks involved with renting your car out to a total stranger, but Turo does a pretty good job of taking care of car owners. When you list your car, you get to decide how much insurance risk you are willing to take on, and this correlates to what percentage of each booking you make. (We do the 80 plan – we take 80% of the earnings and have a $750 deductible in the event there was car damage)
Turo has this great “Carculator” tool that provides income estimates based on the make/model/year of your car as well as the region in which you plan to list your car.
You might also peruse this page which contains car sharing regulations based on your state.
Follow this link to sign up and get your account started.
Car owners must have valid auto insurance and meet legal and insurance coverage requirements for your region. You’ll also need to look at the vehicle eligibility requirements to make sure you can rent out your car with Turo. This article from Turo’s website lays everything out quite clearly.
If you live in Australia or the UK, you’ll need to look into getting permissions to list your vehicle.
Each year, you’ll need to complete an inspection for your vehicle. This was a pretty easy process, as Turo recommends a few virtual mechanic options. We were able to get it taken care of in a day.
In this step, you’ll need your car’s license plate number, VIN (although not in Australia or the UK), vehicle make, model, and year.
Next, you’ll need several high-quality, well-lit photos of the vehicle. Turo recommends at least 10 photos of the exterior and interior from multiple angles.
You’ll need to provide a detailed description of your car to showcase why guests will love it and why it’s perfect for their trip.
The price will vary based on demand and the time of the year. You can either set your own pricing based on their suggestions or choose dynamic pricing which will change automatically based on the day and demand.
At this stage, you can also pick and choose your car’s availability. For example, you might decide that you want a 5 day trip minimum which would cut down on shorter bookings and make your life a little easier.
You can also decide what kind of drop-off range you are comfortable with. Most of our bookings are airport drop-offs, but we have had a few separate drop-offs within our designated 20 mile radius.
OR, you can keep things very simple and only have your car available for pick-up at your house, meaning that you don’t have to deal with dropping off the car at all. You’ll get less bookings this way, but this might make sense if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of dropping the car off for customers elsewhere.
In terms of dropoff logistics, we usually leave the key for our customers in this lock box on the window. This makes things quite seamless for everyone.
As your car gets booked, your listing will begin to accrue (hopefully all 5 star!) reviews, and you’ll be well on your way to earning a consistent side income.
We have been very happy with our experience with renting our car out through Turo.
I know this side hustle might not make sense for everybody, but it’s been a great way for us to earn extra “passive income.” Ultimately, I recommend Turo as a side hustle to anyone whose lifestyle might allow for the logistics required.
And as always, I’m here to answer questions if you have any.
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