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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.
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Mark did a wonderful job. I was late to pick the car up but he was able to accommodate me. The car was in great shape and good running order. U had an excellent trip. The return was simple. Thanks
My first time. Pleasant experience overall. No hiccups. Quick and easy pickup & return.
Ver bad for hosts. All the best in claims process of your car meets with an accident.
Turo is not customer centric. They charged me with $300 for wear and tear on the tire rim that was not caused during my trip and refused to hear me out. The car owner also did not talk to me about it. Will avoid at all costs till they figure out a way to keep the customer front and center.
While most of the features are great, it wasn't user friendly. The app shut down on me every time I wanted to check in both of the vehicles I've rented. I was unable to upload the necessary photos. I had to email them to myself and upload from my laptop. Every time I tried to sign out of the app, to try to fix my problem, it required to send me a new code and to reset my password. On the desktop, there is not an easy place to LOG IN. I had to use a link through my email. It was very inconvenient for me. The actual pick up and drop off was easy and convenient, prices are fair, but that was the ONLY positive part of my 2 Turo experiences.
Car was as expected, employees were very friendly, pick up spot was farther than expected. I had a good experience and have no gripes with it other than the pickup spot for the car being farther than I had hoped. I live in Redondo beach and I was under the impression that I would be able to pick up my car in this area but the app wasn’t specific with my location and so I ended up driving all the way to Venice to pick up my car was was a hassle. Also, I feel like for what I ended up paying overall I probably could have rented from a typical rental company and perhaps gotten a newer car than what I drove with Turo. I had an overall satisfactory experience I just don’t know that I saved money compared to going with a rental car company.
1sr time user of Turo & with my Host Raja it was definitely a world class experience. Car was nice & new (500 miles) it was cleaned when I picked it up... Communication with him & Turo was own point.... I will definitely use this service again when I rent in September 👍👍
This is a good car rental service! No monthly fees, rent anytime anywhere through private owner. Insurance options included. Highly recommend!
Renting a car was painless. We got a great rate, had good options to choose from, and the car owner was helpful and accommodating. Especially welcome, was the airport pick up and drop off-no shuttles or waiting for buses and paperwork. Overall, a refreshing and better way for people to make mutually beneficial connections.
Super easy to use, great prices with many more cars to choose from than your standard car rental lot. The Turo parking lot staff took care of all all the inspections and paperwork. Will use again!
My experience was very good had an issue with first car owner not being reachable not having my car in time but turo team help me all along finding me better car and doing it at same price I already paid ,very satisfied with customers service experience second car owner I dealt with was the easiest transaction possible excellent communication excellent service and it was both our first time renting experience with Turo overall extremely satisfied was way cheaper than renting at airport.
I can't add my email address. Turo is one mess of a website! There is no option to enter a code, etc. I keep clicking on the confirmation link they send to my email, and it opens up a new browser window, but the reservation that I am attempting to complete doesn't ever recognize that my email address was confirmed. Total absurdity, and yet this company is a stone's throw from Silicon Valley? They should hire some competent website developer(s).
Watch out for host that try to take advantage or scam you. For my most recent rental the host asked that bring the car back early, even though I paid for 24 hours. He promised he would over look overage charges for the mileage. When the car was returned 8 hours early the host turns around and charged me for the full amount of the extra mileage despite his promise. Turo’s Response? Nothing, would not even respond when I filed a dispute. Never using this car service again.
The app was easy to use. Communication with the owner of the car was easy as well. Drop off and pick up instructions were stated clearly.
The car was in good condition it was clean, it drove well and it was easy to get to. Donny was quick to reply I had to meet the car the union station and that gave me a chance to see Denver in a different way
My experience with Yiran's vehicle thru Turo was very seemless and problem free. I would recommend Turo and Yiran for a Portland visit anytime.
Very bad customer service. If you use your spouse’s credit card they put you in a 24 hour purgatory of verification even if it’s the same number as yours. Then I tried to pick up the car as a named second driver and would not give me the car even with owner approval. Cost me 125 for an Uber and now have to find a way to get a car tomorrow. Awful customer service
Best business model ever! The all app based process makes it way easier; not to mention cheaper in renting a high end car/suv. Their business model let’s you cancel 1 day with no fee. You deal directly with the car owner and pay for everything thru the app.
I enjoy having the easy way to get something done and to book a vehicle for your pleasure Is the icing on a Turo Cake
Easy to navigate, easy communication between consumers.
Turo is great and very user friendly. I would most def use again.
The price was right ,but not worth the aggravation Took over 30 minutes to get picked up from airport. Took over 30 minutes to get back to airport after dropping off car. Finding the car was an adventure.The inside of the car was a joke. Torn seat covers etc. The instructions for all things related to the rental were sketchy. Having to take 8-10 pix of the inside and outside of the car in the rain was a royal PIA. Hidden charges applied at conclusion of rental. Customer service was zero when I complained and in fact when the Turo representative(Michael) in Phila. became aware of my negative review, he told me he wrote a negative review about me. Another joke. NEVER AGAIN. PAY THE EXTRA MONEY.
DO. NOT. USE. TURO. Warning, from a victim of Turo. After not being able to get in contact with the host for 15 minutes after the set drop off time (causing me to be late for a flight) the owner finally reached out and said that they were out of state and a friend would pick up the car. Huge red flag! Later that evening the third party driver, whom I’m guessing was not an approved operator by Turo, uploaded pictures and the trip was completed. Over 24 hours later, new pics were uploaded with a damage claim for damage I did not cause with the car in a separate location. Despite completely contradictory evidence from the photos initially uploaded, the photos and the car being driven by a third party, Turo still charged for the damage without even reaching out directly. Posting this horror story to hopefully save just one person from making the same mistake. Go with a rental company and save yourself the headache!!!
The host had a friend pick up the car, take after photos, and drive it away from where I left it. There was no damage when I dropped the car off. The host left me a 5 star review. The next day (after the car was driven by said friend), the host opens a claim for damage against me. Uploads pictures that were taken in a different location than where I dropped it off. And Turo is charging me for the damage. I will never use Turo again since they will let someone else drive the car after you, yet charge you for damage someone else did. It’s not right and it’s fraud.
Service was what everyone would hope for. Vehicle owner was personable, informative of the area, vehicle was clean, everything on time. Don't think I could have asked for more. Would definitely use again.
It's a great offer and deal you cany gonwrong with this app
Turo treated me very good and very respectful when I picked up the vehicle at the turo lot. I recommend turo because you can always drive different cars or trucks or even your dream vehicle. I will keep using turo in the future.
It was my first time using Turo. We was on a trip to Vegas, looking for vehicles to rent. Amazing first experience cheap and very convenient. Would recommend using this anytime you need a ride for the night out.
I use Turo from time to time. I have had excellent experiences dealing with the owners of the cars I've rented. The cars have been clean and reliable. Pick up and drop off locations have been convenient. All in all I recommend Turo to anyone.
The first time using Turo and I am pretty happy with it. Due to some regulations, I had to pick up the car outside of the airport which is a bit inconvenient. But the owner is very nice and the car is fun to drive. The warning lights went on twice, and the owner responded to my message immediately and solved the problems. They are not critical mechanical issues, just some maintenance problems, but I still hope this could be improved and leave it really hassle-free for the renters. Overall, pleasant jouney and good experience.
Was very easy and convenient. Can definitely rent up into a better car than if renting a car in the traditional method. The only negative for me, my insurance covers rental cars and I didn’t notice an op out of buying insurance on the app. Miranda was great, met us at the car with the key and the whole process took minutes.
I had a decent first experience with Turo. The process of booking a car was straightforward. One thing I really liked that Turo offered was the ability for me to quickly modify the end time of the rental when I found out I needed the car for later in the day. Unfortunately, the car I rented turned out to have a strong burnt cigarette odor. I was running late so I didn't have time to speak with anyone. At the end of the day when I dropped off the car, I followed the instructions for ending the rental, which prompted me to leave feedback for both Turo and the owner of the car. I decided to leave private feedback for them since I had an excellent time independent of the unpleasant burnt cigarette odor. Within hours of leaving the feedback, I got a reply from the owner first and then Turo. The owner was apologetic and offered me to contact him personally before renting another car so he can ensure it is odor free. Turo was also apologetic and gave me credit for another rental. With that done, my only complaint is why was I given a car that had a bad cigarette odor in the first place? The owner shouldn't have had the car I rented available for rental if he knew, but I'm guessing he didn't have time to check the car before giving it to me? But it's water over the dam, I forgive him and plan to rent a car from him when I need a car rental. I'd like to thank both Turo and the owner of the car for providing friendly customer service.
Terrible insurance. If anything happens to the car they will pay. Take pics an pray. They don't call, they send you straight to collections. They will take the persons that gives you the car side before yours. they're after your $$. If anything happens to the car you will pay. Im sure they will be out of business soon.
Will never be able to use this again! I set up an account on turo to check out cars, I didn’t intend to actually rent a car so I used my nickname as my name as I usually do, but then I saw a sports car I really wanted! So I submitted my license and prepaid and everything, kinda rushed through, eager to pick up the car two hours away at the airport to drive for a few days for my birthday, and pay to leave my car at the airport. Like a birthday treat! So the weekend comes I drive 2 hours to the airport, park my car and make my way to pick up the sports car! Very excited as I see the car is being cleaned up. The owner or company that owns the car asked my name, I told him the name on my license. Well, I guess they registered the car with my nickname on turo, not with the name on my drivers license. So he couldn’t let me driver the car unless my license matched my nickname on turo. He then said that it’s in the rules that the names must match, but I mean, my nickname listed on turo was ‘sexypants’, so clearly that wasn’t my name and when I filled out the form to apply for the car I used my real name,m. I personally just don’t like using my real name online. So I said ok, and if I could have a refund. He said no. No refund. I prepaid for several days with this car amounting to $500! I even tried to talk to someone at turo, couldn’t reach anyone. So I lost money and didn’t even get to drive the car. Not only that, on my way back home, a headlight fell off my car and crashed on the highway and I had to find money for a new headlight. So I guess I learned you must make sure to read all the rules before signing up for something. Turo has some nice cars but I’ve heard other bad reviews too about people getting charged unfairly and such, and then my experience, I’m kinda hesitant to use it again. I of course deleted my account that day.
This service was terrible - the system is definitely not "ready for prime time" :-( Absolutely NO help or assistance for this first time user, and the vehicle's owner is completely refusing to assist as well - STAY AWAY FROM TURO - it is NOT like an Uber or Lyft for rental vehicles (as we had heard).
We loved how easy pick up and drop off was at the airport. We would highly recommend using this form of vehicle rental.
We have used Turo several times. This was the first for using the Turo lot. It was easy to pickup and return the car.
Beware.... You are not covered under the insurance coverage they provide you with Liberty Mutual. Even if you don't have a car, buy insurance to cover you. Last October I had an accident in Turo vehicle and accident was other drivers fault. He ran red light and I reported everything to Turo right away, including the police report. Insurance wouldn't cover me since Turo is considered "Rideshare" and not a rental car. Now Turo wants $3000 from me. There needs to be better protection for people using these services. I would never recommend renting from them and I highly suggest to go to Enterprise, etc or protect yourself at all costs if you do because they don't care , they are only in it to fill their pockets. If that wasn't the case , they would resolve my issue differently.
Turo was very easy to book a car to rent! Had a very good variety of cars and the car and details were exactly as stated in the ad when we picked up the car! Turo is more easy and better than going to rental office!
customer service was good after booking incident with car rental
I have rented two vehicles and it was horrible! The vehicles were in poor condition. The second rental ended in 2 hours. Poor customer service and refused to refund
The app is great but It could use a data saver function so that the pictures you take will upload when you get on WiFi.
From the very beginning to the end it was great NACHI was the bomb very friendly and answered every question I had reguarding the Jeep o rented and other cars will be back soon
It was great the host as really nice her car drove smooth and safe she even communicate with me when renting the car and returning it back.
Fees nearly doubled the rental fee, but outside of that my experience was great.
Easy and fast showed up got the car and drove it to cedar point
I think this is a great, easy way to rent any car whether it's higher or lower end. I'm not very "techy" but found this to be really easy. I'll be a regular moving fwd.
This was my first time using Turo and they do not deserve a start for lack of customer service, extortion and fraud. I needed a luxury vehicle for the day of my wedding. When we picked up our rental the day before, we took tons of pictures. When we returned the rental again we took tons of pictures. The day we returned the vehicle and the guy on the lot also walked around the vehicle with us for inspection. Two days later I got an email that the owner claimed damage to the vehicle. Turo sent me pictures of the alledged damage which did not show damage but yet there is a claim. I stated my dispute, sent pre trip and post trip pictures. Apparently this was a waste of my time because Turo is still moving forward with this claim. I'm still trying to figure out how to fight this because I have proof and their pictures are inconclusive. I read reviews that Turo didn't even pay some owners for damages to their vehicles. How do I know that this is a true claim? And if it is, I know the damage didn't happen while the vehicle was in my possession. I can't just hand over money for damage that I didn't do. Never have I Ever thought this would happen to me. Never Again!
I loved the selection of cars, but finding the right one was harder than it should have been, and the in-app messaging was too slow so we relied on texting or calling instead. Would've been helpful to have prompts on check in process pictures.
My experience with Turo was great ! Very easy to use , A variety of cars to chose from with great prices, & Great communication, I will be using Turo from now on.