Turo, formerly Relay Rides, is a peer-to-peer car sharing company that started in San Francisco, CA in 2009. Similar to the Airbnb model, local car owners advertise and rent out their vehicles to drivers who would prefer to avoid the standard rental car experience.
The company launched nationally in March of 2012 and is currently available in over 4,500 cities and over 300 airports throughout the United States. Turo is supported by top-tier investors, including August Capital, Google Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Canaan Partners, and Trinity Ventures.
Keep reading for pros and cons, plus Turo reviews from real customers.
To cater to individual preferences, the company offers over 800 different car models to choose from. Renters can choose from cars, SUVs, minivans, trucks, convertibles, hybrids and vans. One can also filter by rental period for long-term rentals, the vehicle make, features like all-wheel drives, and more.
Turo has an easy, user-friendly, and customizable rental sign up. In order to sign up for car sharing, create a Turo account by simply signing into your Facebook or email account.
The first time you sign up for a car, all you have to do is enter some general information, choose a car, rental date, and time. You can either decline additional insurance or purchase the Basic or Premium option, each with varying physical damage and liability protection.
In order to get the car and the keys, all the renter needs to do is meet the owner and show them their driver's license. Some owners will even deliver the car right to the renter. Returning the car is simple, as the renter just needs to return the car with a tank full of gas to where it was initially picked up.
Turo rents vehicles priced approximately 35% lower than other car rental options. The price ranges depending on what car one gets. There is no membership fee and cars generally go for a flat rate of $40 a day.
In addition to rental fees, buyers may be charged fees for additional miles, parking tickets and cleaning fees. To get the car's trip price, one must multiply the relevant trip rate advertised on the vehicle by the duration. There are also the following fees:
It should also be noted that payment information, including debit card and credit card payments, are made through the Turo app or website, not the rental host.
With Turo, there are private and commercial hosts. When it comes to Turo’s insurance, owners can either use Turo’s policies or decline coverage to be eligible for a commercial, third-party insurance policy.
Declining coverage: Owners can decline Turo’s insurance coverage. This makes them considered a Commercial Host. As such, they must have their policy verified by Turo prior to renting out any of their vehicles.
Turo’s insurance offers three different tiers of protection for owners to choose from. All three plans come with $1 million in liability coverage and physical damage protection that covers the value of the car, up to $125,000. From there, the plans differ in host deductible, cost, and other amenities.
Just as you would when you rent a car with other rental car companies, before you complete your booking, you have to choose which protection plan you want for your trip.
If you choose a commercial host, then the host will provide you with options. None of the guest plans cover mechanical or interior damage.
If you already have personal insurance, Turo’s coverage will supplement your existing coverage. Policies differ in the amount of liability insurance, deductible payment required, and damage protection.
Basic Package: $3,000 deductible
Roadside assistance is available 24/7 for guests driving a vehicle covered by a Turo protection plan; however, depending on your plan, you may be charged.
Turo will pay for the dispatch fee and there is no charge for tows shorter than 15 miles in the US.
Beyond that, the party that caused the need for a tow will have to pay. Basically, if the car you are renting has a mechanical problem or an issue due to improper maintenance, the owner will have to pay, while locking the keys out or killing the battery by leaving the lights on will leave you, the renter, at fault.
Since Turo does not operate with clients out of a specific agency, it utilizes car owners that do not use their cars on an everyday basis. Renters must meet the car owner personally in order to pick up the car. Renters may have to go out of their way to retrieve the car if there is not a Turo already at the airport.
Additionally, each renter must show the car owner his or her driver's license, which does have personal information that people may not feel comfortable sharing with a random person.
Since Turo does not own the cars, rules and regulations are inconsistent. Some owners allow renters to drive 200 miles a day, while others allow only 100.
Each owner has his or her own set of restrictions, so Turo does not have an overall list of rules for the available cars.
Turo does not offer cars in New York. People under 21 years of age cannot rent a car, and people under age 25 have to pay additional fees.
In fact, people under 25 may need to demonstrate at least two years of current US licensed driving history, and potentially can only rent out certain cars because they are considered "high-risk."
One thing that is different about the Turo experience is that guests are expected to care for the car as if it were their own. So, if the exterior of the car is significantly dirtier or if it has junk food crumbles inside from a road trip, you have to take it through a car wash and vacuum it out before returning it. If not, you may be charged a cleaning fee between $30 and $250. This is a big differentiator between standard car rental companies and renting a car with Turo.
Tameka K Swaby
My experience was good with Turo. Platform is simple to use is set up with various levels of protection for traveling. Good customer service when getting in touch with hosts and solving issues or making accomodations.
Everything went smoothly, and it was particularly nice not having to wait for and take a shuttle to an off-site rental agency.
First trip was AWESOME. I think most cars on this site are charging way too much per day. But Paul had a great price and the process was smooth and fantastic.
Super easy and convenient way to rent a car!!
Y’all had me messed up. It took forever to get a call back from the escalation team. The experience show definitely be more flexible when it comes to pick up time. I shouldn’t be waiting around all day for a call back . We should definitely be beyond that.
Easy and seamless rental. So much easier then a typical rental car company.
My family’s experience using Turo on our last vacation in Canada was fantastic. Absolutely no complaints at all. Communication was easy, car was ready when we got off the plane, returning the car was super simple! I highly recommend using Turo!
Turo is an amazing app! I have used it for many things like prom, travel, or rentals! The people on this app are reliable and trustworthy!
It's such a great app. It's always the perfect thing when you need it. Makes it easy and you get to choose what u want when you need it. I'll keep using it. gonna order a ride today actually
This was my first time using Turo. I was pleasantly surprised; everything went smoothly and I saved money to boot! I will use it again and I've already recommended it to others.
it was probably the easiest thing I have ever done in getting a car.
Ever since I discovered Turo I exclusively rent vehicles from there! Trips are expensive enough without all the added fees of commercial car rental companies! It's easy, convenient, and safe!
Excellent customer swevice with our host!!
This company was so easy to use, approval was fast and Communication was flawless. I will probably never use another rental company again. I love Turo!
this was a great experience! They made me feel comfortable from beginning to end- the car was perfect and drove well in snow- they made pick up and drop off super easy. Im a customer for life now.
It was quick and painless...uploaded id...done
One thing I didn't like was being blindsided by additional charges. I told him it was muddy where I was going. I laid down towels but it wasn't enough. After I left him a stellar review, he hits me up for more money. They should post cleaning fees upfront and not surprise you. Also the insurance is misleading stating that my current insurance was not sufficient and that I had to buy insurance, which I did. Only afte you've finalized the bill. Then it tells you/me that my insurance is primary and liberty is secondary. That part off the website is misleading.
It is pretty convenient. Thank you so much.
We love using Turo when traveling. Convenient and less expensive than rental car companies.
This was my first time using turo, I was kind of nervous, this was a very important family Xmas vacation, I am very satisfied, everything was on point and the car owner was very helpful with all my questions , I will definitely recommend:)
The trip went well except for the fact that I had to spend a crazy amount of money to fix a rental car. I filed a claim and still haven’t gotten anything back. This put me in a bad spot and I am very displeased with this app so far.
Excellent service! Easy to use, no complicated forms, big holds on credit cards, no long airport lines to wait in. A quick, cost effective & efficient, personalized alternative for car rental needs.
The first car that I rented had engine failure less than 4 hours after picking up. The second car I booked was a host no show. When I tried to get another booking for my 11 day trip it took two days to get the car cancelled so that I could book another one for the last few remaining days of my trip. I was told that because I was cancelled on last minute that I would receive some compensation to help book a new car. When I tried to book a new car another representative told me I would only get a $20 credit on my next trip booking and not the one I was currently trying to salvage after the no show. I messaged back the rep who stated that I would get some monetary help with my current booking to see if there was anyone else I could speak with to help get some sort of credit to be used on the booking I was trying to make. It has been 3 days and I have not received an email back. I decided it would be more cost effective and less trouble to use ride share company and I ended up booking a car with Budget for the last 3 remaining days of my trip. Because of this experience I will most likely not use Turo again in the future.
Easy to use and book a vehicle. Messaging works well. Great follow up and reminders.
Fabio was prompt and helpful. His car was clean and gassed up.
I love Turo! It is such a convenient and affordable way to have car access at my fingertips without the hassle of owning. Have even used it while traveling instead of using a rental car company.
The service was unbelievable thanks to Joel! Made it very easy for me
It was a good car I don’t have any problems Dennis was great
First time using Turo was a four day rental from MSP. The service saved me time and money, though the app can be slow and wonky. Pavel L gave us excellent service. His 2017 Passat was clean and delivered curbside and on time. Drop off was just as flawless.
So convenient and easy to use ! No credit card needed too , which is a plus for me !
I can't speak well about my 1st experience where my host cancelled me trip once I had arrived. This time around was definitely a game changer 8 had a great host and the car was awesome. The turo app really makes it all come together and will be recommending and using this app for years to come.
Our host, Daniel, was fantastic. Very accommodating and explained how Turo worked , since I was a newbie. Would certainly utilize Turo again . For anyone looking to try out a Tesla model 3 , I would strongly recommend Daniel as a host.
I used Turo for the first time and it was a great experience, no long waits, no extensive paperwork, good pricing and the host was straightforward within reach if I had any questions
This is just one of many other “bad customer service” reviews that Turo already has ( I was not aware they had so many prior to writing this). They seem to be unwilling to help you out in certain scenarios and they can be outright disrespectful in others. I’m not gonna go into details as to what happened to me, but I gave every chance for Turo to make up for a sneaky host that I unfortunately chose a car from, and they were just as bad as the host, so I urge you to stay clear of Turo for your own sake.
I rented many times with Turo but there was one time that was totally unsatifisfying. They did not honor the insurance I paid for, with some technicality. I still rent from Turo but vaery cautious of their business practices.
Turo is way easier and way more convenient than major rental companies!!!
When to pick up a car and it shows that I cancel the booking ,How do I’m going to cancel and show up for pick up, at the end it came out that they have the car booked for someone else Turo sucks
Very first time using Turo and it was a great experience and my host Eric helped make that possible! Will definitely be using Turo again!
Turo is great! I get to test drive other people's cars. There are so many options of vehicles to choose from. Whether I want to Ball-out for a couple of days or take a drive up to Mulholland Highway, I can find a vehicle that suits my needs. I don't own a car personally, at this moment, so Turo offers what I can afford.
This was my first trip with Turo and was great! The gentlemen that we rented from was very helpful. The app itself was easy to navigate, I will certainly use again in the future
I loved it.....was so easy to navigate and get in touch with the host.....
Turo is great, easy to use and affordable. I prefer it over the major car rental companies.
Turo is super easy to use, it's much simpler and cost-effective than renting a car through traditional car rental channels.
Loved it and will use Turo again. The Testa was soon fun to drive. The worst park was draining to Tampa to pick and drop off the car.
My first time using TURO. Definitely an interesting concept, and great experience. My host was helpful and the whole process was simple and much cheaper than a traditional car rental company.
Very useful app, easy to use, have only had good experiences so far.
Such a great service... I love it. Simple to use, plenty of options and always reasonably priced!
Catherine A Ring
I was in a pinch because the car rental I ordered at the airport didn't materialize because of a miscommunication. No other cars were available. And then an Uber driver told me about Turo and I signed up. Turo saved me when I was stranded and was more affordable than the car rental agencies. Thank you.
Rented a car, and tried renting another and got “flagged”. Sent EVERYTHING that the verification team asked for even though I was on vacation, and they still wouldn’t unlock my account. To be honest the customer service rep seemed like she was on a mission to have me fail by asking me for things she did not think I was able to get on the spot, and after I sent all those things, she started making up other things she wanted me to send in, and after I did that as well, she said that even though I got her everything she asked for, she has to forward it for further verification. Why even ask for these things if the verification department can’t verify them? They said they would expedite my “verification” since I wanted to rent another car for the remaining 3 days of my vacation. It has now been a month since we talked and my account is till “under review”. What a joke.
Javier Quintana Jr
It was really easy and simple. No hassle and the person I rented from was very professional and informative!