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Entrepreneurship Making Money

Turo Host Review: Pros and Cons – Is Turo Worth It?

Here is the full list of pros and cons of what hosts experienced using Turo.

pros and cons of Turo
Here’s what you should know:

Is Turo really as good as it seems? Are they the Airbnb of car rentals? Is renting your car out on Turo worth it as a host? Yes and no.

Below, we take a look at the pros and cons that are unique to the Turo platform specifically. This is not general information on renting out your car. We do however also include a list of benefits to renting out your car at the bottom of this article.

Pros and Cons of Turo:

Pros of Renting Out Your Car On Turo

1. Lots of Bookings

Turo is very popular and if you live in or near a major city or airport – you’re in luck.

If your car is well priced and has open availability, you can expect your vehicle to get booked up often.

Tip: You can estimate how much your car will earn through Turo’s Carculator based on the year, make, model of your car and city you’re renting from.

2. Easy-To-Use App And Website

Turo has a very user-friendly interface, both that makes it very easy to navigate the site for bookings, messages, editing listings, getting paid, etc.

3. Good 24/7 Phone Support (For Little Things)

Turo has reliable 24/7 phone support for common things, such as billing questions or late returns.

But if it’s anything more serious such as a damage claim, there is no phone support for this, and talk about it more in the cons section.


Cons of Renting Out Your Car On Turo

1. Lack of Transparency

This is where Turo gets sketchy….

When it comes to the pros and cons of Turo – this is right at the top of the list.

Something many of the hosts, including myself, have learned first-hand is, Turo is not your partner – no matter how much they say you are.

When it comes down to sticking by their policies, they will always find a way to escape a bill.

And this is where it gets really risky because you will not see this side of them until it’s time for them to step up – and by that time it’s already too late.

2. Turo Takes A Large Commission Fee

Turo takes 15%-40% of each booking depending on the protection plan you choose. And if you decide to pass on their protection plans altogether and provide your own, it’s 8.5%.

In comparison, Airbnb takes a 3% commission fee from hosts.

Over the years, Turos’ fee structure has progressively increased into larger and larger splits favoring Turo. Meaning the host is getting less and less.

In 2016, Turo Premium plan they took 35%, now they take 40% for the same plan.

Reminder: Turo takes 15%-40% of each booking depending on the protection plan you choose.

3. Bad Customer Service (For Serious Things)

As mentioned above, if you’re trying to get Turo on the phone for minuscule things, like a late return or pick up, they have reliable 24/7 phone support.

But if it’s anything more serious, like a damage claim or legal questions, don’t hold you’re breath. You’ll need to open a claims “ticket” and then need to wait for their response through email only – with long turnaround times.

Side note: They also outsource all of there phone support, which isn’t a bad thing – but when you have to explain whats going on, over and over again, it can get frustrating.


Perks of Renting Your Car Out

Now that we went over the pros and cons of renting your car out on the Turo platform – let’s look at the benefits of renting your car out in general.

1. Tax Free Money

One word: depreciation

As of January 1, 2020, the IRS’ standard mileage rate is 57.5¢ per mile driven for business use. That means you can write-off 57.5¢ for every business mile driven on your car, including when it’s being rented out on Turo.

Breakdown to how this works:

  1. Rental cars typically earn roughly 0.40-0.45¢ per mile (depending on how many allowable miles you give the renter + rental cost per day).
  2. You can use the the IRS’ standard mileage rate to write-off 57.5¢ per business mile.
  3. Since the depreciation write-off is more than actual earnings, in theory, it’s tax-free money.

Note: you could only do this for the first 4 vehicles, the 5th must be the Actual Expense Method.

Consult with your tax accountant or whomever prepares your taxes before doing anything. This is just to give you ideas.

2. The Car Pays For Itself

According to Turos’ website, the typical host makes roughly $706/month listing their car on Turo. Of course this will vary depending on how often it’s available, rental price, etc.

Tip: You can estimate how much your car will earn through Turo’s Carculator based on the year, make, model of your car and city you’re renting from.

3. Turning Your Liability Into An Asset

Just like airbnbing your home, renting out your car is a great way of turning your personal car into income.

[ Related Article: How To Make Money With Your Car ]

Reminder: Assets put money in your pocket, liabilities take money out.


Turo Alternatives?

There are only a few other peer-to-peer car rental companies and not all of them check off the boxes to making it safe or worth it.

There are lots of grey areas when renting out your personal car commercially because it’s still a fairly new industry.

As with anything, you’ll want to do your due diligence on all the companies and weigh the risks and rewards of each.

Other peer-to-peer car rental companies you can check out:

  • Getaround
  • HyreCar
  • Avail

What You Should Pay Attention To When Doing Your Due Diligence?

Here is a list of things you should look into before renting your car out:

  • What liability plans do they offer?
  • How good is there customer service?
  • Can you get them on the phone?
  • How thorough are their background checks and what are their driver acceptance criteria?
  • What are other hosts’ reviews of Turo saying on Reddit and Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
  • Look into getting gap insurance and confirm it covers you with renting it out commercially.
  • Is your personal insurance still valid if you’re renting it out commercially?
  • Analyze worst-case scenarios and make sure you have it covered if they ever happen.

[ Related Article: What you need to know before renting out your car ]

So, Is Turo Worth It?

All in all, after looking at both the pros and cons of Turo, it’s clear the risks outweigh the rewards. And with that said, I would say pass on Turo.

It’s just too risky. Compare Airbnb, which is the same peer-to-peer rental concept as Turo.

Airbnb takes a 3% commission fee from hosts. Turo takes anywhere from 15%-40% depending on the protection plan you choose.

And it’s much riskier to rent your car than your home because you can lose that asset if someone, for example, totals your car in an accident.

Turo is the leader in this space – not because they are so exceptional – but because there is just no other peer-to-peer rental car company that has survived as long as them and really don’t have much competition right now.

Note: Turo is the leader in this space – not because they are so exceptional – but because there is simply not enough competitors in this space.

Unless…

Unless you’re providing your own commercial insurance and have a fleet of vehicles you already rent out off of Turo. Then Turo can be a pretty valuable marketing tool to grow your car rental business as you wouldn’t need to rely on them for anything other than bookings. You wouldn’t need to rely on Turo stiffing you on a bill or using their damage claim appraisers, etc. In this case, you would not be solely relying on them and their business, they would just be driving more customers to your pre-existing business and building on what you already have going on outside of Turo.

Or, if you have a spare car that you don’t use and it’s paid off. So worst-case scenario, you can just cut your losses at not be left with paying for a car you don’t have anymore.

  1. The IRS standard mileage rates for 2020.
  2. See how much your car could make with Turo’s carculator.
  3. How Turo’s protection plan works