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Turo Host Review – Pros & Cons of Renting Out a Car You Own

At a Glance
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4.0 / 5
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Turo

  • Pay: Depends on vehicle class and your city; popular Turo vehicles range from $450 to $850 per month
  • Requirements: Personal car insurance; your vehicle must be 12 years old or newer unless it’s a classic car; vehicle must meet safety and maintenance requirements
  • Advantages: Mostly passive income; can include perks to increase average rental value; can list multiple cars with Turo; earn up to 90% of each booking fee
  • Considerations: Protection plans vary for coverage; Turo requires listing exclusivity; factor in depreciation for monthly earnings

Thanks to the rise of the gig economy, there’s more opportunity to make money on your own schedule than ever before. In fact, nearly 60 million Americans participate in the gig economy in some form to increase their monthly income.

Some of the most popular side gigs involve making money with your car. Food delivery jobs and being a rideshare driver are the most obvious examples. However, like most gig jobs, you inevitably trade your time and energy if you want to make money in this line of work.

Thankfully, the gig economy has also created new passive income opportunities. For example, companies like Turo let you rent your car directly to consumers and monetize an otherwise depreciating asset that’s sitting in your driveway.

If you want to increase your income without sacrificing precious time, listing your car on Turo as a host is an option worth considering.

What Is Turo?

Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace that began in 2010. Turo’s business model is remarkably similar to that of Airbnb, only for cars. Currently, Turo operates in more than 5,500 cities across Canada, the UK, the U.S., and dozens of other countries.

With Turo, it’s easy to rent a car from other people for days or weeks at a time without having to use a car rental service, which is often more expensive. As a Turo host, you list your vehicle on Turo just as you would list your property on Airbnb.

Ultimately, this is an effective way to monetize an underused vehicle. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding earnings because they largely depend on your market and your specific vehicle.


How Much Does Turo Pay?

The Turo marketplace is home to a range of vehicle classes, including cars, vans, SUVs, trucks, and luxury cars. Because Turo is a local marketplace, supply and demand in your city for different cars have an impact on how much money you make with the platform.

The Turo Carculator provides an estimate of how much your vehicle will earn per month. The estimate considers your vehicle’s year, make, model, and your city. Turo has a list of their top-earning vehicles, which provides a glimpse into your earning potential.

Some of the best vehicles to list on Turo include:

  • Fiat 500: $38 per day; $474 per month on average
  • Ford Fiesta: $33 per day; $497 per month on average
  • Chevy Camaro: $73 per day; $755 per month on average
  • Audi A3: $62 per day; $738 per month on average
  • Jeep Wrangler: $91 per day; $851 per month on average
  • Dodge Grand Caravan: $57 per day; $537 per month on average

You set your vehicle’s listing price, but to remain competitive, these averages are good to keep in mind. You can add extras to your listing, such as vehicle delivery to the renter or allowing renters to return the vehicle at any fuel level. However, most of your Turo income comes from the daily rental price.


Vehicle Requirements & Maintenance

Turo is fairly lenient in terms of vehicle requirements. Currently, Turo accepts:

  • Gas, diesel, hybrid, and electric vehicles seating eight or fewer people
  • Cars, light trucks, cargo vans, and specialty or classic cars

Turo doesn’t accept motorcycles, RVs, limos, box trucks, and vehicles primarily designed for offroading. Turo also requires exclusivity, meaning you can’t list the same vehicle on other car rental marketplaces like Getaround and HyreCar.

Specific vehicle requirements vary by country. In the United States, your vehicle must:

  • Be 12 years old or newer (specialty vehicles can be 1990 or older and have a market value of up to $85,000; other vehicles can have a market value of up to $150,000)
  • Have fewer than 130,000 miles
  • Meet Turo safety and maintenance requirements

Turo has an extensive list of maintenance requirements to ensure your vehicle is safe for guests. Regularly servicing your vehicle should prevent it from violating Turo’s requirements. If Turo suspects there’s an issue, they may suspend your listing and require a mechanic’s report from an ASE-certified mechanic before you relist.


Insurance Requirements

You don’t need commercial insurance to host your vehicle on Turo. You can operate as a commercial host if you’re a licensed commercial car rental company or act on behalf of one, but for most hosts, this isn’t an option.

However, you must carry personal insurance on your vehicle to list on Turo. You must also keep an insurance card and proof of registration in your rental vehicle. Finally, you have to purchase a Turo protection plan unless you can offer commercial insurance.


Turo Protection Plans

Outside of your daily rental price and number of monthly bookings, your Turo protection plan has the greatest impact on your earnings. This is because protection plans offer varying levels of coverage in exchange for a percentage of your earnings.

The main differences among the plans are the deductible and the impact on the percentage of your booking price that you keep. If you can afford a higher deductible, the boost in earnings could be worth it, especially if you own a vehicle with a high daily rental price.

All plans include liability coverage by Liberty Mutual of up to $750,000 during booking and delivery. However, deductibles and physical coverage vary.

1. 85 Plan

This is the most lucrative host protection plan, but the deductible is steep and there’s little additional protection. If you can afford this deductible and want to maximize your earnings, this plan is worth considering.

  • Deductible: $2,500
  • Damage & Income Loss: You’re responsible for any exterior wear and tear, replacement vehicle reimbursement costs, and loss of hosting income.
  • Rental Income: You keep 85% of bookings.

2. 80 Plan

A significantly lower deductible and only 5% less income per trip makes this slightly less risky than the 85 Plan.

  • Deductible: $1,625
  • Damage & Income Loss: You’re responsible for any exterior wear and tear, replacement vehicle reimbursement costs, and loss of hosting income.
  • Rental Income: You keep 80% of bookings.

3. 75 Plan

This plan is an ideal middle ground with a more affordable deductible.

  • Deductible: $750
  • Damage & Income Loss: You’re responsible for any exterior wear and tear, replacement vehicle reimbursement costs, and loss of hosting income.
  • Rental Income: You keep 75% of bookings.

4. 70 Plan

A lower deductible and up to $300 of replacement vehicle reimbursement makes this plan ideal if your personal car insurance doesn’t provide vehicle reimbursement coverage and if you want a low deductible.

  • Deductible: $250
  • Damage & Income Loss: You’re responsible for any exterior wear and tear and loss of hosting income. Turo provides $30 per day for up to 10 days as replacement vehicle reimbursement. $300 is paid out in the event of a full vehicle loss.
  • Rental Income: You keep 70% of bookings.

5. 60 Plan

This is the most risk-averse plan available. If you want to avoid paying out of pocket for any Turo rental damage and can accept 60% of bookings, this is the best plan. However, loss of income protection isn’t useful if you barely rent your car on Turo or are a brand new host.

  • Deductible: None.
  • Damage & Income Loss: Turo is responsible for exterior wear and tear. Additionally, you receive $50 per day for up to 10 days as replacement vehicle reimbursement. $500 is paid out in the event of a full vehicle loss. Alternatively, hosts can choose loss of hosting income protection. Under this protection, Turo is responsible for paying your vehicle’s potential earnings based on the last 60 days of average daily earnings, up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • Rental Income: You keep 60% of bookings.

Loss of income protection in the 60 Plan only covers your vehicle while it’s being repaired, and excludes trips canceled due to damage claims, so this isn’t as comprehensive as you might think.

Additionally, wear and tear coverage only extends to your vehicle’s exterior. Interior damage or scuffs aren’t covered under any of these plans, which is worth noting. Ultimately, you have to balance the risk and rewards between the different levels of coverage.

There are also differences between Canadian and UK host protection plans. If you’re unsure which plan is right for your vehicle, contact Turo support for assistance.


Considerations Before Becoming a Turo Host

Whenever you rent out an asset you own, you assume risk. Having both comprehensive personal car insurance and a Turo protection plan helps mitigate much of this risk. However, there are still several factors to consider before listing on Turo.

1. Interior Wear & Tear Isn’t Covered

Many Turo hosts own and list several vehicles, largely treating Turo hosting as a business. In contrast, if you list your only vehicle on Turo or rent out a vehicle you’re attached to, you’ll have to accept the inevitable ding or scratch that comes with use.

2. You Must Protect Yourself

Turo mostly protects hosts against minor and major accidents. However, you must be prudent as a host and always take photos before and after a guest returns your vehicle. You only have 24 hours to report damages, so it’s important to factor this time frame into your booking schedule to ensure you have time to inspect your vehicle.

Negative Turo reviews from hosts generally result from claim denials. Read through Turo’s protection plan and claims policies thoroughly before deciding to list.

3. Calculate Depreciation

Renting your car on Turo is an effective way to make money from home while an asset you own does all the work. However, you should factor vehicle depreciation into your profits.

This is true for gig jobs like Shipt and Uber, and even though you’re not the one driving with Turo, there are still extra miles put on your vehicle when you rent it out. Calculating depreciation is the only way to know if Turo is worth it.

4. Listing Quality & Reviews Matter

Like Airbnb, the Turo marketplace is competitive. Hosts with positive reviews, quality photos, and in-depth descriptions generally get more guests than low-effort listings. Adding extras is another easy way to entice guests and earn more per day.

Timeliness in responding to questions is also important because this leads to a better renting experience and potentially a higher review. Turo is largely passive income, but to excel as a host, you still need to manage your listing.


How to List Your Vehicle on Turo

If you want to become a Turo host, listing your vehicle takes four steps:

1. Create Your Listing

Creating a Turo listing is free and takes 10 to 15 minutes. Information that’s required for your listing includes:

  • Your address and phone number
  • VIN, mileage, and whether your car has a branded or salvage title (Turo prohibits vehicles with these titles)
  • Your driver’s license, income goals, and car availability
  • Car details, including number of seats, mileage per gallon, transmission type, and number of doors
  • Photos of your vehicle
  • Your listing price

The more information you add about your vehicle, the better. Additionally, it’s important to have high-quality photos of your vehicle’s interior and exterior to help renters make a decision. Listing features like onboard GPS, sound system upgrades, and interior upgrades is also an easy way to entice renters to book.

If you’re unsure how to set your listing price, Turo can automatically set a price that’s competitive with similar listings in your area. You also set a mileage allowance in your rental, the price per mile for additional miles, and where renters should return the vehicle.

Adding extras helps increase your value per renter and be a better host. Common extras include:

  • Unlimited mileage
  • Prepaid refuel to let renters return your vehicle at any fuel level
  • Post-trip cleaning
  • Vehicle delivery to renter (you can also set an airport drop-off option if you live near a major airport)
  • Accessories like child safety seats and strollers

You can also add discounts that reduce your listing price for rental periods of more than three, seven, and 30 days. Finally, complete your listing by mentioning any rules for your vehicle. For example, you can make your vehicle nonsmoking and pet-free.

2. Arrange Pickup

Once you set your vehicle’s availability, you can let renters book instantly or require manual approval for rental requests. Providing instant booking is a simple perk to add to your listing, but whatever you choose, having a clear pickup process and rules for your vehicle is important to ensure renters are happy and don’t mistreat your vehicle.

If you offer vehicle delivery, you can set up to 10 locations to leave your vehicle for renters. Otherwise, choose a specific address for pickup.

For guest check-in methods, you have four options:

  • Meet your guest.
  • Allow self-check-in through remote unlock if your vehicle has this feature.
  • Allow self-check-in by leaving keys in a lockbox.
  • Use Turo Go, which lets Turo guests unlock your vehicle through the Turo app. This requires a smart-connected car or for a technician to install a key fob into a module that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port. Turo Go is only available in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Always take photos of your vehicle prior to guest rental within 24 hours of the rental start time. If you don’t, you won’t be able to file damage claims if your guest damages your vehicle.

3. Arrange Vehicle Return

As a host, you can offer vehicle drop-off at popular locations in your city. Alternatively, you can list a parking space or general street parking. If you offer street parking, remind your guest to park in an area that’s safe from tickets and towing for at least 24 hours.

Guests may request to shorten or extend a trip via the Turo app. You have up to eight hours to respond to requests, and altering a trip is ultimately your choice. Shortening a trip results in a refund, and extending your rental automatically charges your guest for the additional time. If you price your vehicle differently on certain days, this dynamic pricing applies.

If your guest is late, contact them via the Turo app or attempt to call them. If they don’t respond within 30 minutes, contact Turo support to seek compensation for the late return.

Finally, once your guest has returned your vehicle, inspect your vehicle for damage and rule violations. If you need to report damage, you can file a claim through Turo’s claim center to begin the process.

You must report damage within 24 hours of vehicle drop-off and provide pre- and post-trip photos. Take photos no more than 24 hours before and after the rental time starts and ends. If you don’t provide photos, Turo denies your claim.

Of course, late returns and vehicle damage are worst-case scenarios. Ideally, pickup and drop-off go smoothly and allow you to make money with your vehicle while providing a pleasant guest experience.

4. Get Paid

As a Turo host, you earn between 60% and 85% of each rental trip based on your Turo host protection plan (more on these plans shortly). You also earn 90% of the cost of extras you offer and 100% of reimbursement costs from your guests, such as fuel refills, tickets, toll costs, and cleaning or smoking fees.

Because Turo is international, different countries have their own payment rules:

  • U.S. Hosts: Turo provides ACH payments directly to your bank account. Your first Turo payment processes 72 hours after the rental period. Subsequent rentals process within three hours after trips end, and banks take one to three days to process payments.
  • International Hosts: PayPal is the only processing option. Your first payment processes within 72 hours and subsequent rentals take 24 hours. Payment arrives in one to three business days.

Canadian hosts earn CAD, German hosts earn euros, and UK hosts earn GBP. Hosts in other countries get paid in USD.

Hosts must submit tax information to Turo. Most hosts submit a W-8 or W-9 tax form. If you earn at least $20,000 and have 200 transactions or more within a year, Turo issues a 1099-K tax form.


Final Word

It’s sometimes difficult to know whether you should start a side hustle. Everything has an opportunity cost, and spending time on a side gig inevitably reduces your free time. Furthermore, a side hustle can even impact your taxes and requires diligent income reporting.

Thankfully, becoming a Turo host is a fairly passive way to increase your income. If you’re looking for a post-retirement job or simple side gig and don’t mind letting strangers use your vehicle, monetizing your car is a reliable option.

Just remember to review Turo’s policies and select a protection plan that makes sense for your vehicle. As long as you take precautions to protect yourself and understand your coverage, there’s no reason to let an underused car collect dust in your garage.

Verdict
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4.0 / 5
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Turo

Turo is available in more than 5,500 cities, and creating a listing is free and fast. As long as your vehicle qualifies and you’re comfortable with renting it, this is an effective way to increase your monthly income.

Turo makes it easy to manage your listing, set rules for guests, and even grow a modest fleet of cars if you want to take your car rental side hustle to the next level. As long as you take the necessary steps to protect yourself as a host, Turo is an excellent way to take advantage of the gig economy.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Tom Blake
Tom is a freelance writer originally from Toronto, Canada. Tom's passion for finance and discovering methods to make money originally sparked in college when he was trying to make ends meet on a tight budget. Outside of freelance writing, Tom also manages the blog This Online World - a personal finance website dedicated to helping young adults make and save more money.

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