Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing app that has gained popularity among both drivers and car hosts. Turo offers passengers greater flexibility and lower prices to rent vehicles by the day, whether for in-town driving or on a vacation getaway.
And for car hosts, Turo offers a lucrative way to earn money — as a part-time side hustle or even a high-paying full-time gig.
What Is Turo?
Founded in 2009, Turo is a car-sharing app that seeks to compete directly with car rental companies like Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis.
Car owners, called hosts, can list their cars for rent. Renters can comb through the listings by price, date, and metro area. Vehicles are booked directly through the platform, with Turo as the facilitator. Turo collects and processes credit card payments, keeping a small share for commission.
Simply put, Turo is Airbnb but for cars, SUVs, and passenger trucks instead of houses, yurts, and tiny homes.
How Turo Works
Here’s how it works if you want to be a car host on Turo.
1. Sign Up for Turo
You will first need to create an account on the Turo platform. Turo is open to users in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France.
Hosts must be at least 21 years of age (except for the U.K. or France where the minimum age is 18).
Then go to the Accounts page and get approved to host. Among the host requirements, you’ll need to have:
- Valid car insurance coverage that meets the legal and minimum standards for your jurisdiction
- Agree to Turo’s exclusivity policy (USA and Australia only)
- Follow specific guidelines applicable to U.K. and Australian hosts for lessor permissions and Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance
- Check vehicle eligibility requirements
Vehicle Eligibility Requirements
Here’s an outline of the vehicle eligibility requirements for US hosts. Different criteria apply for Canada, Australia, and the U.K.
- Passenger vehicles located in the United States (Vehicles that seat 10 or more people, box trucks, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles are specifically prohibited)
- Registered to you as an owner authorized to list the vehicle on rental sites
- Clean ownership title (“Branded” or “Salvage titles not permitted)
- Permanent, temporary, or similar plates (dealer or trader plates not permitted)
- 12 years older or newer (exceptions for specialty or classic vehicles)
- Fewer than 130,000 miles (currently listed vehicles that reach 130,000 miles may remain listed in some circumstances)
- Fair market value of up to $200,000
- Never been declared a “total loss” vehicle
There are additional requirements for New York drivers, including completion of an orientation and monthly inspection validation stickers.
2. Create Your Turo Listing
The next step is to create your listing in the Turo marketplace. Here’s the information you’ll need:
- Vehicle make, model, and year
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) — except for in the UK or Australia
- High-resolution, well-lit photos of your car that show the interior and exterior
- Description of your vehicle
You’ll also need to price your vehicle for daily rental. Turo provides suggested guidelines based on your vehicle, experience level, and market area.
3. Make Your Listing Stand Out
Having an eye-catching listing that stands out in the crowd is critical — especially when you are just starting out and don’t have reviews yet.
Use a fun and engaging description about why your car is amazing (Chat AI can help if you’re not much of a writer) and use lots of photos. Turo states that hosts with the most success have at least 10 well-lit, high-resolution pictures with each listing.
Additionally, offering “extras” with your company can help you appeal to more customers. Based on what other successful Turo hosts have tried, here are some suggestions:
- Offer car seats and booster seats for infants and children
- Ability to return the car with less than a full tank of gas
- Automatic booking confirmations
- No additional fees for delivery
- Flexible delivery locations
- 24 -hour pickup and drop-off service
- Use your referral link in the listing to give renters $25 off their first rental. You’ll earn $25 and the first-time renter will save $25.
For some of these features, such as amenities for no extra fees or flexible drop-off locations, it’s just a matter of ticking those extra boxes for the booking process.
4. Vehicle Drop-offs
After a customer books your Turo car rental, you need to arrange for a vehicle drop-off. You and the driver need to agree on when and where you will drop off the vehicle — which may often be at an airport location.
- Prep the car for rental by washing it and cleaning the interior and exterior.
- Top off the gas.
- Take pictures and record the odometer reading.
- Hand off the car to the renter.
For drop-offs, two people are usually required. After you leave the car, you’ll need a way to get back home. Using Uber is easy logistically, or you can take the bus or use public transportation to cut down on those costs.
If you don’t want to have to get out of bed at 4 a.m. to deliver a renter’s car at the airport, you can use Turo Go.
This app feature enables drivers to check in remotely and unlock your car directly from the Turo app. This feature is available in the United States, United Kingdom, and select areas of Canada.
If you can’t or don’t want to use Turo Go, there are other ways you can automate the process to make it more remote.
- Get a magnetic hide-a-key box on Amazon and a car tracking device for vehicle security and surveillance.
- Park the car in the agreed-upon pick-up To save on costs, you can tell airport-arrival renters that the car is parked in a secured lot that they can walk to or use the shuttle to access. Take pictures and be as specific as possible about the car’s location.
- Leave the key FOB inside the locked car and hide the manual car key inside the magnetic combination box.
- When the renter arrives, have them take a selfie and scan a picture of their driver’s license, and send it to you by text. Then you can provide the passcode to unlock the combination box.
For some airports, Turo provides tips and guidelines for pick-ups and drop-offs to comply with airport rules and make the process go more smoothly.
5. Vehicle Pick-ups
At the end of the car rental, you will need to pick up your vehicle. While you could manage the process remotely, ideally you want to meet the renter at the end of the Turo trip. Then you can inspect your car for any damages and take pictures of the inside and outside of the car.
To get a good review, you can offer to drop the renter off at their terminal for no additional cost. If it was a good experience, tell them and let them
6. Get the Review
If it was a good rental experience and the driver returns your car intact, you can tell the driver that and let them know you gave them a 5-star review and that you would appreciate a great review from them as well if possible. Drivers are generally quite happy to reciprocate.
How Much Can You Make with Turo?
Here are some earning figures for what the average Turo host can earn.
CARS RENTED | AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME
- 1 car: $10,516
- 3 cars: $31,547
- 5 cars: $52,579
- 7 cars: $73,611
- 9 cars: $94,642
These figures represent average earnings for US-based hosts with two (2) or more active vehicles valued at $25,000 to $34,999 with at least seven (7) day trips for months.
As you can see, many Turo rentals own and rent multiple cars to maximize their earnings. Top hosts regularly research and buy the most profitable cars and earn six figures per year through the car-sharing platform.
These earning figures do not reflect additional costs, such as car insurance, vehicle maintenance, cleaning, deductibles, and other related fees. Additionally, California, Oregon, and Washington may impose limits on the income hosts can earn in certain car rental scenarios.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of being a Turo car rental host.
- Keep most of your earnings thanks to low commissions: Receive 90% of the charges for Delivery and Extras; for trip price that’s calculated by market.
- Relaxed standards for vehicle presentation: The car cannot be dirty but it doesn’t need to be professionally detailed in-between trips. Many drivers have a $10 monthly car wash membership and then spend 10-15 minutes cleaning the vehicle interior themselves.
- Available in most large metro areas: Turo is available in all 50 states and is especially prominent in high-tourist cities.
- Agreeable renters overall: Most Turo hosts have good experiences with good renters overall who prefer the P2P model to traditional rental car services
- No driving around passengers: Unlike Uber or Lyft, you don’t have to chauffeur around riders. They pay you to use your car, but you don’t have to drive them anywhere.
- No coverage for interior damage: Internal cleaning at your own expense, except for smoking or significant issues (i.e., ripped upholstery) where a cleaning fee may be assessed to the renter.
- Scheduling pick-ups and drop-offs: This can be a hassle. Even if you’re not getting out of bed or you’re arranging things remotely, you still need a ride back after dropping off the vehicle.
- Additional start-up costs: There are additional start-up costs for using Turo, like car washes, increased auto insurance costs, car key boxes, and increased maintenance. If you maintain a fleet of vehicles, factor in new car purchases.
Turo Customer Reviews
Reviews from Turo hosts are overwhelmingly positive. Here’s what Turo Car hosts say about why they use Turo and what the experience is like.
We started just to rent out the wife’s Volvo while she is out of town for work and use it largely as a tax deduction...While we are profitable, our main goal was to offset payments for both vehicles and insurance.
I bought my car specifically to do turo... I did end up paying my first registration fee before my first rental, but that has been my only out-of-pocket payment in 2 years... At the end of 3 years, this vehicle will be paid in full and I have a free car... I have it listed as a 3 day minimum so I don’t have to constantly meet people with keys and wash the car… it’s a good side gig. I barely think about it.
I easily make money. We have nice vehicles that are constantly rented out. Average per day $85-$95, plus extras from vehicle drop offs at homes/airports we charge from $60-$120, extras such as fuel, baby seats, and extra mileage. We use a $10 monthly car wash membership... We moved to nicer vehicles from cheaper economy cars. We charge more for less work and have better clientele. On pace to make $3800 before costs this month off 3 vehicles.
In reading numerous reviews on Quora, Reddit, and other forums — and talking to drivers at Rideshare Guy who also gig on Turo — common themes or motivations emerge.
Car hosts sign up for Turo to:
- Earn enough money to pay for one or more vehicles, covering monthly car payments and insurance so they can then have vehicle(s) they own outright, can sell at a profit, or continue renting on Turo for increased profit.
- Earn extra money from a driver’s own personal vehicle(s) when not in use — for extra cash, tax purposes, or both.
- Manage a fleet of 10 or more cars. Some car owners sign up for Turo with the intention of doing so, others have a more wait-and-see approach where they want to first try renting one car and see how it goes.
Most drivers find Turo an overall easy way to earn money, however hitting lofty income goals can be a challenge based on time commitment, market demand, and ongoing costs.
Tips to Earn More with Turo
Here are some tips for Turo car hosts to increase their earnings and minimize their expenses and hassle.
- Set a 2-3 day minimum for car rentals — 4 or more days may be appropriate in some areas. You won’t have to waste time and money on gas, car drop-offs and pick-ups, more customer back-and-forth exchanges, more car washes, and more interior cleanings.
- Offer discounts for longer rentals. You could waive the trip fee or offer some extra perks to those who rent for 4 days or longer.
- Offer a great car. It doesn’t have to be a Tesla Model X Plaid, but hosts say high-end vehicles are the way to go. You can charge more for daily rentals and they note you can encounter better customers — less picky, fewer questions, and more reasonable expectations.
- Charge for extra paid perks. While offering some free accommodations is a great way to make your listing competitive, there are some extras you can and should charge for — like toll fees, accepting pets, or late-night emergencies (i.e., renter locking the keys in the car).
- Offer unique tourist perks. This includes leaving thoughtful extras in the trunk or vehicle like beach chairs, beach toys, a cooler, or a small portable grill.
- Limit the mileage. Set a daily limit for your Turo rental to keep the mileage down.
- Turo protection plan. Consider extra coverage through a Turo insurance policy which offers secondary coverage of up to $750,000.
Alternatives to Turo
In addition to Turo, there are other similar car rental services to consider:
- Getaround: Another U.S. alternative to traditional car rental agencies, it offers peer-to-peer rentals by the hour. The app serves many local market drivers who need a vehicle or truck to run errands or transport oversized goods.
- Sixt: Car share service that also offers peer-to-peer rentals for scooters, electric bikes, and electric mopeds. It’s primarily available in Europe, but Sixt is expanding into U.S. markets.
- Hiyacar: UK peer-to-peer car sharing
Based on feedback, Turo hosts use the platform as a source of (mostly) passive income and to have minimal interaction with customers. Generally, they have other full-time employment and Turo is a means to make money off of under-used vehicles or to finance newly-purchased cars.
There are many ways to connect with Turo Support, including 24/7 phone service in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K. France offers support seven (7) days a week during extended hours.
- Phone: Call 1 (415) 965-4525 for U.S. support or 1 (888) 391-0460 for Canada. Other countries can find the number on the support page.
- Email: Send a message to claims@com or visit the support.turo.com page.
- Chat: Connect via Chatbot.
For liability, insurance, or claims issues within the United States, call 1 (415) 508-0283 or email email@example.com.