How to Make Money Renting Your Car on Turo
Did you know you could earn money for simply renting out your privately owned vehicle to travelers and other people in your area? With free sign-up and no monthly fees, Turo has quickly become the largest and most popular car-sharing marketplace in the world.
Renting out your vehicle (with all the protections and legalities of a large corporation behind you) is a much easier gig to earn some side income with your ride than shuttling around drunk passengers or doing airport runs with Lyft or Uber.
Founded as RelayRides in 2010, Turo is now headquartered in San Francisco and services the U.S., Germany, the U.K., and Canada. Modeling itself in a similar way to Airbnb for places to stay, Turo refers to its vehicle owners as “hosts” and its renters as “guests”. Turo’s guests prefer it over rental car agencies for the cost, flexibility, ease of use, and ability to select the exact vehicle they would like.
- As of early 2020, more than 450,000 cars were available through Turo’s system [Crunchbase]
- More than 10 million active users are signed up with Turo [Turo]
- Turo offers an impressive 850 unique makes and models [Turo]
- Turo offers vehicles in more than 5,500 cities across 56 nations. [Turo]
Requirements to list your car on Turo
While signing up to list your ride with Turo is pretty straightforward and most vehicles will qualify, there are some requirements to keep in mind before beginning your application process.
Turo Car Requirements:
Vehicle requirements for Turo rentals are fairly straightforward. While requirements can vary by country, in general, hosts in the U.S. can expect their car to be accepted on the platform if it meets the following guidelines:
- Model year within the last 12 years* (older vehicles are grandfathered in once on the platform)
- Clean title (not salvage)
- Not registered in the state of New York (due to restrictions in that state)
- Has less than 130,000 miles
- Have a fair market value of no more than $150,000
- Owned by you and in compliance with all local, state and national regulations
- Not listed on any other car-sharing platform
- Seats 8 or fewer passengers
*There are exceptions to the vehicle age requirement for “classic” and “specialty” cars.
Turo provides insurance coverage for all its vehicle hosts. It is also required for you to have your own insurance policy on the listed vehicle(s) and comply with the following guidelines:
- You must have a valid insurance policy that meets minimum state coverage requirements
- Insurance card and proof of registration must be kept in the vehicle at all times
- You must ensure that your insurance provider does not prohibit your vehicle from being listed on a peer-to-peer carsharing platform
- Provide your guests with an incident information card detailing your Turo protection plan
- Insurance should be effective immediately and not expired or lapsed
How to get started on Turo
Listing your vehicle on Turo is a simple process that is surprisingly easy.
- Start an application here or on the “Host” tab of the Turo app
- Review the guidelines & complete all required fields
- Set your own pricing, availability, rental terms and rules
- Create a Host profile and upload your profile picture
- Create your vehicle listings and upload clear photos
- You may be asked to submit proof of a passed inspection by an ASE-certified mechanic
Once your application has been approved, the process of actually renting out your vehicle is also simple:
- Respond to guest requests and arrange pickup or delivery of the vehicle
- Manage any issues during the “trip” and coordinate rental return
- Finish your vehicle’s trip and the platform will process your payment within hours
There are some additional things to keep in mind as a Turo host. Insurance is the biggest factor you will want to get right in order to avoid any hassles or problems in the future. Turo’s insurance is offered through Liberty Mutual and offers various levels of protection which we will cover in a later portion of this article.
Also, remember to check with your own insurance provider before renting out your vehicle. Most policies will require you to disclose that you participating in a carsharing service, otherwise you may be left out in the cold if something goes wrong.
And if you’re looking for better coverage so that you can meet the above requirements, you can compare rates from dozens of companies in just a few minutes. Just enter your ZIP below to get started!
You will also want to take your own vehicle photos before and after each rental and encourage your trip guests to do the same. After the trip is completed, leave a review for your guest and they will be more likely to review you in return.
What to expect on Turo
So, what can you expect after you sign up to list a vehicle (or 2) on Turo? How can you receive your payments and what are some of the pros and cons of becoming a Turo host?
How to get paid with Turo
Direct Deposit (U.S. Only): American Turo hosts can expect to receive their earnings via direct deposit. For your first rental, Turo will begin your payment 72 hours after the trip ends. After the first rental, payment will be initiated just 3 hours after a trip ends. Trips that extend past 1 week will result in weekly partial payments. After the payment is initiated, most banks will grant you access to your funds within 1-3 business days after payment processing.
PayPal: Hosts in all other countries are paid via PayPal. First rentals will pay out 72 hours after the end of the trip, and all subsequent rentals will pay out after 24 hours have passed. Like with U.S. payments, weekly partial payments are provided for trips lasting more than 1 week. Hosts in Canada, Germany or the U.K. are paid in that nation’s currency, but all other countries will be paid with U.S. dollars. Processing time will vary, but will typically run about 1-3 business days.
Pros & cons of hosting with Turo
As you can imagine, there are some serious pros and cons to lending your private owned vehicle to others with Turo.
Pro: The Tax Write-Off
When you are using your own assets to earn income, you typically become eligible for a plethora of tax write-offs. Renting your car with Turo could allow you to write-off all vehicle maintenance costs, mileage, repairs, car insurance, car washes, vehicle registration, and more.
Pro: (Mostly) Passive Income
Compared to many other peer-to-peer platforms out there, Turo takes the cake for allowing you to earn (semi) passive income on a vehicle that would have just been sitting in your garage anyway. Best of all, Turo places no cap on how many vehicles you can rent out, meaning that many Turo hosts make this into a full-time business. Whether you’re renting out your extra vehicle or managing a fleet of 30, Turo is much less labor-intensive than driving for Uber or delivering groceries with Instacart.
From setting your days and hours of availability to determining where and how your guests can pick up the keys, Turo offers hosts maximum flexibility and control over their vehicle offerings. You can even set daily or trip mileage limits to ensure no one takes advantage of your ride at the detriment to your pocketbook.
Con: The Risks
Every Turo rental carries a bit of inherent risk, although the company, to their credit, does their best to mitigate these potential pitfalls. Car wrecks, speeding tickets, theft and other damages can occur while your car is in the possession of a third party. And even if you don’t end up paying anything out of pocket for say, an accident, you still will likely need to invest a considerable amount of time navigating the red tape and repairs.
Con: Excessive Wear & Tear
If your car is your baby, you probably won’t want to rent it out to strangers with Turo. Even with all the protections in place and assuming you luck out with only the best and most responsible drivers, renting out your vehicle will still lead to additional wear and tear.
Con: Toll Hassles
The process to deal with and manage toll road reimbursements can be a bit cumbersome. In fact, some hosts have said that they spend more hours tracking down and recouping their toll costs than any other aspect of the Turo management process!
The costs of hosting with Turo
When calculating how much you can expect to earn from listing a car (or 2) with Turo, there are a few additional details you will need to keep in mind that can affect your monthly totals. In addition to figuring out your taxes, you will have insurance, vehicle maintenance, and wear and tear to consider.
While listing your car with Turo can be a lucrative gig, these “hidden costs” can eat up your profits pretty quickly. However, some of these expenses may be tax deductible, and it always pays to speak with a tax professional in order to maximize your savings.
- Turo Fees: Like most peer-to-peer platforms, Turo takes a portion of each host’s profits. The percentage you get to keep depends on the level of vehicle insurance coverage you select. You will get to keep the majority of the rental income on a scale ranging from 60 to 85%. All levels offer up to $750,000 in third-party liability insurance with varying levels of deductibles, replacement vehicle reimbursement and other coverage.
- Income Taxes: In most cases, income earned on Turo rentals is taxable. You will receive a Form 1099-K to report your earnings once you meet the required thresholds. It is generally recommended to set aside some of your earnings (usually 25%) to help pay your tax bill each filing period.
- Gas: On the occasion that the car is returned without a full tank of gas, Turo will also reimburse you for the costs incurred to fill up the tank.
- Parking Fees & Toll Road Fees: Any toll expenses incurred by drivers using your vehicle will be billed to you or your toll pass account. They can also be reimbursed by Turo later.
- Regular Vehicle Maintenance & Car Washes: Oil changes and car washes are a basic part of owning any car, but even more so when you are renting it out to strangers multiple times per month. Keeping your listed vehicle(s) clean and in perfect working condition is critical to protect both your earnings and your assets. Luckily, some cleaning costs are also reimbursable.
- Miscellaneous Accessories: Some owners prefer to purchase additional accessories to improve the rental experience for both the driver and the owner. Some of these items include air fresheners and ozone generators to eliminate smells, GPS trackers or cameras to always keep an eye on the location and condition of their vehicle, and cell phone mounts or chargers for added convenience.
How much can you make renting your vehicle on Turo?
Turo offers a convenient “carculator” to help determine how much you can expect to earn for your particular vehicle. For example, a 2015 Toyota Camry in Denver could bring in an estimated $424 per month if booked for approximately half of the month. In contrast, a 2018 Tesla Model X could earn you as much as $2,387 if booked for the same number of days.
While the amount you can earn by listing your vehicle on Turo will vary depending on your local area, what make and model you are offering, how old your car is, and how many days per month you car is selected for booking, an active and well-rated car owner on Turo can expect to make on average $706 per month.
Not bad for a side gig!
How to make the most money with Turo
Wondering how you can maximize your earnings on Turo? If an average of $700 per month for a vehicle that would just be sitting in your garage doesn’t sound like enough, there are some things you can do to get even more cash in your pocket.
Tip #1 – Offer vehicle delivery
According to Turo, listings that offer customers delivery are booked more often than those that require vehicle pickup. While it may be a slight inconvenience for you, if you’re looking to score more bookings then going the extra mile (literally) is the way to go!
Tip #2 – List multiple cars
One of the great things about Turo is that you are not limited to offering just 1 car for rental. The platform seems to allow hosts to list unlimited cars per profile. And it can turn into quite the lucrative business – according to Turo, those who list 3 or more cars on the platform earn on average $3,000 per month! For example, one Host who has a fleet of 22 vehicles says he earns upwards of $80,000 / year!
Tip #3 – Focus on high-end vehicles
Many Turo hosts choose to offer only the best cars which can earn them a higher rental amount. Get more bang for your buck by offering top-notch models from brands such as BMW, Tesla or Audi. Especially if you plan to purchase a fleet of vehicles specifically for Turo, this is often the best way to go.
Tip #4 – Take advantage of Turo Go
Turo’s new technology delivers contactless check-in for guests. Available in select U.S. markets, as well as a handful of locations in the U.K. and Canada, Turo Go is a way to let guests and hosts manage their car rental entirely through the Turo app without the need to physically exchange car keys in person. Instead, vehicles are parked at a selected location and the car can be locked and unlocked through the app. This service is not only more convenient for hosts, but can also increase your earnings due to easier and more in-demand bookings.
Tip #5 – Score repeat rentals by providing top-notch service
Not all vehicle rentals are one-time events. Think of frequent business travelers, medical students, flight attendants and others who may repeatedly need access to a vehicle for sporadic time periods or for a prolonged amount of time. If you keep your vehicle in excellent condition, stock it with extras like phone chargers or toll passes, and deliver friendly service – your guests are more likely to remember you and choose you again in the future. Also, your reviews are visible on your profile and help make a good first impression on new potential renters. Which leads us to our next point…
Tip #6 – Maximize your profile
Since Turo’s main appeal is the ability for renters to choose any vehicle they want, your listing matters. Treat your profile and your vehicle listings as one big sales pitch. Fill out a complete profile with many vehicle photos of both the exterior and interior, any relevant features, an eye-catching description, and a friendly photo of yourself. Keep your response rate and response time high because those are both visible on your profile. Offer premium insurance and make that clear in your profile. In time, you could even earn the “All-Star Host” distinction, which is given for being top-rated and most experienced.
Tip #7 – Offer Extras
Trip hosts can offer various extras through their vehicle’s listings such as unlimited mileage or post-trip cleaning perks and physical items such as camping gear or car seats. Guests are more likely to select your vehicle if it comes fully loaded and with plenty of options. Best of all, hosts get to keep 90% of these additional revenue streams.
How long does it take to sign up for Turo?
The Turo sign-up process is easy and straightforward, is free, and takes less than 10 minutes for most applicants. You will need to enter your driver’s license information, home address, last 4 digits of your social security number and a photo of yourself to go on your profile. To list a vehicle, you must provide the license plate number, vehicle information and VIN number, photos, and a detailed description. You may need to take your car for an inspection depending on your vehicle and location. Once you have been approved for the platform, you can begin renting your car to guests whenever you are ready.
Is Turo available in my area?
Turo is currently available in more than 5,500 cities worldwide. To check if Turo is accepting active users in your area, visit their locations page to see their areas of service.
Is my car nice enough to list on Turo?
As long as your car meets safety and maintenance requirements, and is not too old to be listed on the platform, Turo accepts almost any vehicle. If your car is in good condition with valid plates, insurance and registration you should have no issues renting it out on Turo.
How do I reach Turo customer service?
Turo has easily accessible customer service available 24 hours a day. You can get immediate online helping using the “Chat” feature, create a ticket via email, or use the appropriate phone number for phone support in your country. (1-415-965-4525 in the U.S. 1-888-391-0460 in Canada and 44-808-164-1454 in the U.K. and all other nations.