Turo – AirBnB for Cars – Rental Experience
I knew about Turo for years, yet never had a good reason to use them instead of the Rental Cars company. However, on my recent trip to Portland OR Area, I discovered my provider of choice does not have any car available and the only option aggregators offer is cars from Dollar for $600 for 2 days which is insane. I went out of the city so Uber/Lyft was not feasible and so I ended up checking out Turo.
Similar to AirBnB Turo offers an “Instant Booking” option, which avoids the hassle of waiting for approval, though at the cost of fewer options and potentially lower prices:
Unlike Rental Car companies you know exactly what you’re going to get, if this is important for you. I just needed to get somewhere so I chose the cheapest reasonable option available.
I was wondering how Airport pickup and drop-off would be handled. It turns out I pick up the car at the Short Term Car parking garage with the owner sending me the car location a couple of hours before my pickup time. Key and Parking ticket in the central console.
The car I got was in great condition and super clean in and out. I think rental cars tend to be in worse shape when they get to 20k miles my ride had on it:
I had to pay for the exit ($30), though the owner said he would refund everything past $20 or I could return the car with ¼ less gas than it had when I picked up the car, which is the option I chose.
Return was the same – park the car in the Short Stay garage and send the owner’s location, which went quite uneventfully. It is surely more smooth than returning the car to the rental car location and taking the shuttle, which was very much appreciated as I had an early flight.
The things to be aware of with Turo, as I find from my limited experience are as follows:
- – Insurance. You can get it from Turo but it is quite expensive and Credit Card based Insurance I tend to rely on does not seem to cover Turo rentals.
- – Mileage Limits. While most Car Rental companies in the US seem to have “Unlimited Mileage” Turo rental comes with a Limit. Mine was 400 miles for 2 days and some $0.50 for an extra mile. My drive was well within the limit but if I would be going for a long drive it could become an issue.
Would I consider Turo again? Yes, though more likely in similar unusual circumstances when Rental Car companies can’t offer the vehicle I’m looking for at a reasonable price.