Ever think of owning your own fleet of rental cars? You can with Turo

Have you ever wanted to drive a Nissan GT-R, a BMW M6, or a Ferrari 348TS? Good luck finding one to rent at a big name national rental agency. Maybe you would like to rent a 2004 Honda Element for a camping vacation. Whatever your car preference, the Turo peer-to-peer car rental marketplace was created to help people either rent their dream car or help pay for their own car by renting it to others when it would otherwise sit idly.

Turo’s business model connects people as well as cars, working on the assumption that people who want to rent Mustangs, for example, would enjoy meeting and renting a car from a Mustang owner. Turo does not rent only performance cars. Rental selection categories also include everyday drivers, fuel sippers, family-friendly cars, and backroads-ready vehicles as well as upscale and elite cars. For cities with a wide selection of available cars, such as Los Angeles which had 2,980 cars when we checked recently, you can narrow your search by category, make and model, pickup and delivery options, colors, vehicle features, and daily rental fees and mileage allowance.

All Turo renters are screened prior to their first rental, including auto insurance score, criminal background check, and driving history. To start the process, a renter enters a location in the U.S. or Canada and scrolls through the available cars. Rental rates are set by owners with guidance from Turo based on market value, location, time of year, and experience datasets.

When people pick up a car rented through Turo or are picked up at an airport, the renter and owner check the car’s condition. The owner also shows them how to use any special controls and features, checks their license, notes the mileage and fuel level, and hands over the keys. At the end of the rental period, the renter gives the keys back after another walk around the car and a fuel and mileage check. Turo handles the financial transaction. Car owners are reviewed and rated for their timeliness, the condition of the cars, and the overall rental experience.

People rent their cars either to help with payments, cover all ownership costs, or even start a business with one or multiple cars. Prospective car listers can use Turo calculators that estimate annual earnings based on the car’s market value and the number of days rented per month. There are four levels of insurance and vehicle protection available to owners during rental periods. Depending on the protection level, Turo pays owners from 65 to 85 percent of the trip price charged. Owners who already have commercial rental insurance can waive the Turo protection plans and earn 90 percent of trip prices.

Turo told Digital Trends the company currently operates in 4,700 cities in the U.S. and Canada. There are more than 2 million registered members, including about 110,000 cars in the system representing approximately 800 makes and models. A Turo representative said the majority of car owners can offset their monthly car payments renting their cars for nine or 10 days a month. People who want to rent cars as a business can consult with Turo for the best returns based on rental locations.