What to Know About Renting Your Car Through Turo

Make some cash on the side by offering your personal vehicle to strangers.

Man using phone app GPS car sharingGetty Images

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The sharing economy for cars is growing in popularity. But don’t worry, it’s optional. Maybe you’ve shifted to the work-from-home lifestyle, or you travel for long stretches, or you’re just driving a lot less since the onset of the pandemic. Whatever your reason, if your car tends to sit idle, there are several peer-to-peer car-share services that can help you turn that underused commodity into spare cash. Turo is one well-known option among them, but there’s also Getaround, plus Hagerty DriveShare for those who want to experience collectible cars.

Renting Your Car Through Turo: What Are the Requirements?

Contrary to what its name might sound out, Turo will let you list most four-wheel, non-commercial passenger vehicles. The service’s main acceptance criteria for the vehicle are as follows (consult Turo's site for a list of all requirements):

  • Registered in your name or that of someone who has authorized you to use it
  • 12 years old or younger
  • Have fewer than 130,000 miles on the odometer
  • Have a value of less than $200,000
  • Pass a somewhat cursory maintenance inspection

Leased and financed vehicles are allowed.

Turo also permits hosts to post classic vehicles — those with a market value under $85,000 and a minimum age of 25 years — and it will consider collector cars between 12 and 25 years old on a case-by-case basis.

Getaround has slightly more lenient age and mileage restrictions. The main difference between it and Turo is that Getaround requires installation of an electronic device that enables remote locking and unlocking of the vehicle and lets hosts track their car via GPS.

DriveShare accepts antique and collector cars with a maximum value of $150,000, but currently excludes vehicles registered in New York.

What Are the Host’s Responsibilities?

With all of these services, the host maintains a calendar of availability, sets their own prices, is responsible for cleaning and general upkeep, and must answer inquiries from guests. The host also determines the pickup location and may upcharge for delivery. If the vehicle allows for remote unlocking/access — as is the case for all Getaround vehicles — the host doesn’t have to be present for the hand-off.

Is This a Side Hustle or a Full-Time Job?

The amount of money you make depends on your vehicle and its availability, your market, your chosen protection plan, and how much you charge. (Turo has a handy “Carculator” to help prospective hosts determine earning potential.) So you can offer your daily driver for occasional rentals when you’re not using it or have a vehicle dedicated solely for rentals — whatever works for you. Reddit includes advice from hosts who have parlayed Turo income into purchasing more cars, creating their own mini rental empires. Sharing can also subsidize the cost of a car you may not otherwise be able to comfortably afford. As Turo describes, if you have an auto loan, you should check the terms of any lease or financing agreements to ensure they don’t prohibit your participation in car sharing. Hosts who share a vehicle with a lien against it should check the terms of their contract with the lien holder to ensure listing on Turo doesn’t violate the contract terms.

Who Pays for Damage?

Settling up after an incident can get tricky because it’s mostly the guest’s word against yours regarding the vehicle condition before and after the rental.

Turo offers hosts and guests a choice of insurance coverage, and the personal car insurance of either party can come into play as well. (That said, many insurance companies void coverage in instances of car sharing, so read the fine print before you list.) The good news for hosts is that Turo tends to side with them in disputes, but the time and effort of dealing with such situations — not to mention lost revenue while your car is in the shop — may not be worth it, especially for occasional hosts.

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David Gluckman
David Gluckman has over a decade of experience as a writer and editor for print and digital automotive publications. He can parallel park a school bus, has a spreadsheet listing every vehicle he’s ever tested, and once drove a Lincoln Town Car 63 mph in reverse. When David’s not searching for the perfect used car, you can find him sampling the latest gimmicky foodstuffs that America has to offer.