I Tried a Turo Car Rental So You Don’t Have To

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I’m one of those people that always thinks the grass is greener on the other side.  That’s why, even after FINALLY figuring out a rental car strategy for my travels, I had to check out the new player in town.  Turo car rental is a peer-to-peer car rental service — essentially Airbnb for cars. 

I took the plunge on my recent trip to Orange Beach to try it out, primarily out of curiosity. Most of the Turo car rental reviews I’ve seen were overviews of the service, not real-life experiences. It didn’t hurt that I was able to stack a $25 Turo promo code for new users with a $45 Amex offer, bringing my price down considerably!

What is Turo Car Rental?

Turo is basically a marketplace in the sharing economy, a website and app where individuals can list their cars when they don’t need them to make some extra cash.  Other people — like me — can hire these private cars if they’d like to avoid traditional rental companies.

As I see it, there are two main reasons to look into a peer-to-peer marketplace instead of booking through traditional methods:

  1. If you’re looking for something cheaper (either through base rate savings or the fact you won’t be paying huge airport facility fees)
  2. If you’re looking for a solution that traditional companies don’t offer (offsite locations, specialty vehicles, or maybe an owner who allows you to go off-road)

Like Airbnb, every owner sets their own prices and terms, which means you’ll need to do a little digging and sorting to see if there’s something that matches what you’re looking for.

Turo Car Rental Search
Turo is a peer to peer car sharing network with an easy booking interface.

How does Turo work?

Turo works exactly the way you’d think it would: you search for cars at your destination and dates until you find something you like.  Some cars are “instant book”; some require you to send a request to the owner who will manually confirm or deny your request. 

In order to rent through Turo, you’ll need to submit a copy of your driver’s license to have on file and you’ll need proof of auto insurance. Like every other rental company, Turo will try to upsell you additional Liberty Mutual insurance coverage which you can accept or decline. Although I normally decline rental car insurance (and use either my everyday personal policy or free rental car coverage on my credit card), you may want to consider Turo’s options carefully: many personal policies exclude peer-to-peer car sharing which means you’re otherwise uninsured.

The rental itself is handled person to person, without a middleman.  You and the owner will need to arrange in advance when and where to do the exchange. I pre-requested and prepaid a reasonable extra fee to pick-up and drop-off at the airfare instead of taxiing out to their private home.

For the rental itself, you’ll need to download the Turo app, which had a lot of similarities to using Uber or Lyft.  You can communicate with the owner via call or messaging with any concerns or updates.  If you want, you can also (temporarily) enable location-sharing so you can find each other more easily for the hand-off.

Turo Car Rental Location Sharing
Location sharing on the Turo app

All payment is handled through Turo. You have the convenience of paying with your credit card online and the owner doesn’t have to worry about getting paid.

My Personal Experience and Turo Review

Since it was my first time using Turo, I made a special effort to only book with someone who had a large number of positive reviews.  I didn’t want to experiment with someone else who was also a first-time user!

Booking was seamless — I sent in a request and several hours later, it was confirmed for exactly what I had asked for.

Turo Car Rental Confirmation

The day of my rental, the owner messaged me prior to my pick-up, arrived promptly on time with my rental car, and the car was in the same condition it was listed at with a full tank of gas.

What I didn’t realize in advance was that an airport exchange is really not a best case scenario.  Think about it: the owner came curbside at arrivals, but as you probably know, airport staff doesn’t really allow you to linger in the pick-up lanes.  So we were chased off by airport security (and angry drivers who wanted to pick-up their family/friends) as I was trying to get the keys, look over the car for any damage, photograph the car (more on that below), and set up the seat and mirrors for safe driving.

I ended up doing a quick once-over at the curb before stopping at the airport cell phone lot to do a more through look-over.  The owner skedaddled quickly, meaning if there WAS an issue, I would have to contact him through the app rather than discussing things in person.

Thankfully, I had zero issues with the car during my road trip.

Documentation through the Turo App

Most frequent travelers know the rule of thumb with rental cars is to photograph the car’s starting condition (or do a video walk-around) so you’re not charged later for any pre-existing damage.

Turo Car Rental App

Turo is no exception and actually builds in a spot to upload starting and ending photographs within the app so there are no disputes later.  In addition to taking photos of the car itself — exterior and interior — you’ll want photos of the starting/ending fuel, and the starting/ending mileage.  Most cars have a mileage cap associated with them, although for my 4-day rental, a 750-mile allowance was more than adequate for me.

Unlike traditional rental cars, which are usually pretty new and in very good condition, my private rental was a 2014 model year.  This was fine by me but it meant the car had normal wear and tear from several years of use.  Since I wasn’t sure how picky the owner would be, I took pictures of every little scratch or dent to make sure I wouldn’t be liable — things I wouldn’t give a second thought to if I was booking with my regular preferred companies.

For documenting before drop-off, I knew it would be easier to take my final photos before I arrived at the airport curb.  I ended up taking a bunch of pictures at a gas station a mile or two from the airport when I stopped to fill up before turning the car in.  I uploaded a copy of my final gas receipt too, just in case.

Turo App Documentation

Overall, My Turo Experience Was Flawless But I (Probably) Won’t Use Them Again

I have zero complaints with how this transaction worked out. I had a smooth pick-up and drop-off, the owner I worked with was friendly and easy to reach, and the vehicle condition was as expected and well-maintained.

So here’s why I probably won’t use Turo again: I imagine if there were any issues, this would quickly turn into an inconvenient mess.  A simple flight delay — something I’m intimately familiar with — means you’d have to arrange a new pick-up at the last minute, which the owner may or may not have the flexibility to handle.  Or a less punctual owner might not be there at your drop-off time, causing you to figure out where to leave the car so you don’t miss your flight home.

Obviously you could avoid some of these issues by picking up/dropping off at the car owner’s home instead of an airport, although I’m a big believer that your time is valuable (especially while traveling).

Car maintenance issues, which thankfully I didn’t have to deal with, are a whole separate ballgame.  Turo provides a 24-hour roadside assistance hotline, but they don’t share details about how this works.  A car maintenance issue mid-trip might mean you’re left without a vehicle while Turo or the owner handles it — and it was impossible for me to tell how responsibilities (both logistical and financial) are split between the owner, the renter, and Turo itself.

Most Turo reviews leave out these possibilities, instead focusing on only what the ideal scenario looks like.

I would be more willing to work within these trade-offs if the price differential was huge…but for everyday, regular cars, it seemed like you were only saving about $10/day.  There are better deals are when you’re looking to upgrade your vehicle.

So, Who Should Use Turo Instead of a Traditional Car Rental Company?

Anyone who wants to drive a “fun” car. 

Turo Specialty Car Rental
A few listings from Turo Atlanta to help you find the perfect vehicle.

Want to try out a Tesla?  They’ve got those.  Drive with the top down in a Porsche Boxster (really hoping my husband isn’t reading this right now…)?  You might find that, too — along with many other choices, depending on the market you’re in.   Just want something a step up from a Kia?  It might not cost as much as you think.  Since everything is privately listed, you never know what you might find.

Turo might also be a good solution during special events — anytime when regular rental cars are sold out or prices are sky-high.  Some private owners might be smart enough to raise their Turo rates as well, but I’m guessing a lot will totally forget, leaving you an opportunity to pay normal rates during periods of extra demand.

Turo Promo Code and Discounts

Turo no longer hands out discounts like candy. As you may be aware, there’s a severe shortage of rental cars through traditional avenues (like Hertz or Alamo) and Turo knows that means their own service is also in high demand even at full price.

Right now, new users can earn 2,000 Delta SkyMiles with their first Turo rental or 500 miles with each subsequent rental when you add your member number to your car reservation. Obviously bonus miles aren’t as flexible as cash but it still swewetens the deal.

Unfortunately, Turo has discontinued their new user discounts, referral discounts and other promo codes for 202.. I hope that changes again in the future…in the meantime, I wasted a lot of time trying old, invalid codes in hopes that one would work 🙁

Bottom Line

Turo is best for travelers who are able to “go with the flow” a little — you’ll need some schedule wiggle room in case things don’t go to plan and you should be a confident enough traveler that you can handle a hiccup if one comes up (something that most Turo car rental reviews overlook).

I’d also look for a compelling reason to make it worth your while: either a vehicle you’ve been dying to drive or a substantial cost savings.  The bottom-line price can be fantastic — as long as you know what you’re getting into.

More Money-Saving Travel Tips

55 thoughts on “I Tried a Turo Car Rental So You Don’t Have To”

  1. We’ve used TURO and had a fantastic experience. Our contact went out of her way to meet up at our hotel and dropped us off at the airport for our return – above and beyond expectations! Renting a vehicle for six people is at least $100/day – coupons don’t apply. TURO saved us literally $$$. Another comment – some CC will cover TURO as if it were a car rental. Check/call to make sure you have the same coverage and protection for the CC you use. Some CC offer roadside assist, so that is a good backup plan. Great review!

    1. This Business Model Has Serious Issues!!!

      The problem with Turo is horrible customer service and they have no (QC) Quality Control over their Hosts.

      I recently had two Hosts cancel in back to back bookings within 24 hours, one 5 minutes before my 12:30AM Airport Pickup and the other 10 minutes after my scheduled pick up when I was standing at the car and the host informed me the car needed maintenance.
      I expressed my feelings with the first host via a response to his 12:25AM last minute text message, after arriving at the airport traveling on vacation with my daughter and then directly to customer service after each cancellation.Over the next month I was left on hold over 8 hours during 6 attempts to resolve the situation.They had offered a $100 credit after the first host canceled and then less after the second host canceled, my contention being they should have increased the credit offer and concern for my poor experience.

      After much back and forth they said my angry text with the first host violated their “standards”, then revoked any credits and canceled my membership!!!
      Again, The Business Model Has Serious Issues!!

      1. That actually sounds like your problem. If the car had maintenance issues, you wouldn’t want to drive it. And this is the issue with peer to peer. Yes, it stinks but you can’t yell at someone and expect them to just take it. Sounds like you need anger management. Yes, it was unfortunate that it didn’t work for you, but you throwing a tantrum doesn’t fix the problem.

    2. I’ve rented from Turo a few times. The last time was a disaster. The car broke down, and I was almost 800 miles from home. They told the owner to open up a claim…..why, I have no idea. I had to get myself and 2 others home. Turo could care less. Ended up spending an additional $600+ because of them, on top of the $350 rental fee, that i only got to use 1 day out of 4. 3 weeks later, and im still fighting with them. They are unorganized, and have a different lie ready each time I talk to them. I will not be using them again.

      1. I ALSO had a NIGHTMARE experience with 1st time use of TURO!! Even left me and my daughter alone on the side of the highway for hours due to a flat that there was NO useable spare for AND A BOLT WAS MISSING on the wheel!!
        All after charging me $200 more dollars for bogus fees then finally gave back an insulting $75 ” for my inconvenience” the email said.
        Do not insult AirBnB by comparison!!!

  2. As hosts, Turo takes complete advantage of the car owners. They will never side with the car owner. Requesting reimbursement is a miserable process. If the customer disputes reimbursement, you are screwed. They allow them to get away with unpaid tolls by making the process unbearable to complete. If you request reimbursement for cleaning, Turo will pretend to not see any dirt in the pictures and rule it as “light dirt” that can easily be cleaned. The car can be covered in mud and bugs and they pretend that it’s not dirty. Sadly this is not an exaggeration. Hoping to bring awareness to all social networks so that people interested in hosting their vehicles don’t get exploited. Customer service for hosts is non-existent. Not kidding, go ahead and call the only number they have and request host services and they refer you to online chat that reply’s with generic short sentences every 5-8 minutes (about 45 minutes for a simple question)
    It should be illegal for companies to operate like this. No way to escalate matters or speak to a manager. The names of the representatives are fake and no way to verify.

  3. Chose one of those top star rated Turo renters in Tampa, FL. Booked the car a month in advance, told him we were regular travelers to the area. About 6 hours before pick up he informed me had rented the car to a long term client. What? Then I quickly realized you can’t even post a review unless your rental was complete. That’s why they have such great ratings. All potential renters that got canceled trips cannot be seen or heard. The BBB rates them an “F”

    1. Paul,
      You are absolutely correct that once there is an issue, it turns bad quickly. We rented a car for a family trip and everything went great… except the host said we smoked in the car and we absolutely did not. We were charged an extra $270 dollars, no evidence, no appeal and your account is immediately deactivated, so no opportunity to give a negative review. Sketchy and not worth the risk. Cannot imagine how much worse it would be if there was an accident or real issue. RUN, DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM TURO.

  4. I would like to expose the fraudulent treatment I received by TURO the car sharing company.
    They have defrauded me out of nearly $600 after the vehicle I rented became disabled through no fault of my own on the 3rd day of my 9 day rental which is aproximately $400. I incurred an additional $180 in emergency transportation costs. I lost an entire day of my vacation to get replacement vehicle from a different company which cost about $100 more that my original booking with TURO for a much lesser vehicle. I rented a cool convertible to have my Florida vacation in with my children. Instead we spent a day walking and catching ubers to find ANY available vehicle in the small town we were in.
    I have not been refunded the remainder of my trip or reimbursed for any of my additional costs. There is no price they can pay for the lost day or degraded experience of our trip that I as a single mom saved for an entire year to take.
    The company claims they are entitled to keep the money as I failed to return the vehicle at my expense to the designated drop off location and that I abandoned the vehicle. The vehicle was disabled in a legal parking spot at my vacation rental and I was physically present when the tow truck that TURO called picked the vehicle up. The vehicle was disabled because the key fob had corroded and burnt out internally and there was no other way to gain entry or start the car. Turo claims that because I turned down the offer of a replacement key I am at fault. They offered me a key the morning this happened but were unable to get it to me in time to attend the VERY expensive, non-refundable, scheduled event that we were on our way to. I told them we were going to Uber to our event and that I expected reimbursement and that I would deal with the car when we returned that evening. That evening I was never offered a replacement key I was just told by the TURO representative that they were sending a tow truck.
    The next day I was accused of being at fault for the damaged key, I was charged a cleaning fee for a car I couldn’t even unlock, I was accused of bending a seat by putting my suitcase in the back seat, AND I was accused of smoking in the car. I don’t smoke.
    TURO voided the insurance I paid extra for because they say I violated the terms by abandoning the vehicle. They seem to have decided in my favor about the key and the seat but they charged my credit card $50 for a cleaning fee that was unfair. We did not even drive the vehicle 150 miles total. They gave me the car with 1/8 of a tank of gas and got it back with 3/4 tank.
    I have requested copies of all photos and transcripts of calls and have been completely ignored.
    TURO’s final answer is that I have to pay $200 to go to arbitration!!!
    I have disputed the charges with my credit card company but that will take some time to resolve and does nothing to reimburse my uber costs.
    TURO and this particular host are very dishonest, disorganized and painful to work with. My vacation was basically ruined and $600 is a BIG DEAL to me. My poor kids got drug all around Brevard County FL with their mom in tears trying to get us a car. I will speak out about TURO at every opportunity. Please help me!!



  5. I had a terrible experience.
    I booked a car through Turo with -Ocean O-
    At pre-rental inspection the tires were worn, the shift knob was broken and the car was dirty and smelly. I cancelled the trip because the car had obvious safety issues.
    I had to call customer support several times to get some help and finally, after ten days, I was told that I would get only a partial refund because they were not able to contact the host.

  6. Another terrible experience, this time with Turo customer service…

    My friend was trying to unlock his account on Turo, everything was okay until they asked me to send my Driver License, selfie with Myself holding my driver license, my credit card statement, selfie with Myself holding that freaking statement in my hands. It is crazy with this requirements, and the most important is why the hell I had to provide any of my personal information over to Turo, if my friend had issues, not me?? And we never lived together.
    I feel bad for my friend because he spent two weeks trying to unlock his account and at the end it still wasn’t done.
    Since I refused to send my personal information, Turo never unlocked my friends account.
    I’ve never seen this kind of poor and uneducated customer service, even from DMV!

    I am writing this review just so people can understand how ridiculous and poor Turo’s customer service is. With all this nonsense questions and not been able to properly explain why they need all this information.

    Be careful and stay safe!

  7. Turo Car Rental – Never USE! They can & will bill you for random charges even months after you rent from them. Their customer support even replied back to me stating “Further replies will be read, but may not be responded to” AND “good luck to you getting your money back”. I’ll be sticking with the normal car rental agencies from now on.

  8. I would never recommend this ride share company. I use them as a client and my car was returned damaged. When I tried to get my car repaired they did not want to repair it and they minimized the repair to my luxury vehicle. I took them to court and they sent a lawyer in small claims and he lied and said he wasn’t a lawyer. This is a very shady company. If you have a luxury vehicle do not loan your car with them.

  9. Recently joined Turo as a host to rent out my 2014 Lexux RX 450h. I got a lot of interest immediately when offering at major airport. I hoping to make the renters experience great and better than just a car rental. We can offer things like ice chest for tailgating or bike and bike rack or how about surf board or kayak rental or fishing equipment? I’d really love to hear some feedback about how to make this a real sightDOING opportunity and change Becky’s mind about renting again! Come to Baton Rouge/NOLA and experience a piece of southern hospitality 🙂

    1. @Adam, You sound like a tremendous host and if everyone was like you, Turo would be fantastic! I wish you the best of luck and I’ll look you up next time I’m in Louisiana 🙂

  10. The worst service ever. Canceled my reservation without notification. Still have not refunded all my money. You can’t talk to anyone but through messenger and customer service sucks! Biggest rip off ever! Need to be shut down.

  11. Im looking at Turo as renting small car in HI was $35/day last year and due to COVID now it’s $100-$150/day.

      1. UMMM, those are NOT cost savings. We’re all getting charged exorbitant rates this year to rent cars – whether it is Hertz or Turo. I’m looking to rent a car in Anchorage, AK in August and they’re quoting me $395 A DAY with Hertz (for a “manager’s special” – I can’t even get them to guarantee that the car will be big enough for my family (!). Hertz is the ONLY company that will even give me a quote. All the others state that they are sold out. Turo is $200-400 a day. I’m hesitant to rent with Turo though, as they want the full money up front, and I’m concerned after reading all of the negative comments above.

      2. @Alan, Yes, unfortunately the cost of rental cars this year is sky-high (this article does a good job of explaining why). As everyday owners list their cars on Turo, they’ve wisened up to the high rates that agencies are charging and have increased their rates as well.

        I don’t know of a good workaround other than traveling to less-popular destinations. Alaska, Hawaii, and most US National Parks are going to be slammed this year.

  12. Buyer Beware: Turo will not cover the full cost for last minute cancelations. You will be stuck with the difference. It has cost our family an extra $2,000 for our trip because of not one but 2 host that would be considered reputable cancelled on us last minute.

    We booked our cars 6 months in advance. The prices were reasonable and inline with rental car companies but we got to pick our exact color and have a bikini top on the jeep so we could pull it down with the kids and we were supporting local! When choosing a host we made sure to choose people that had multiple trips so they had good reviews and a history of renting.

    As our trip approached we saw horror stories of host canceling and later seeing the cars advertised on social media doe more money. I didn’t worry too much because our first host had been in contact with us regularly with updated covid information. The second host was an LLC and seemed to be a reputable company with multiple cars that all had multiple trips.

    Well the nightmare began 10 days before we left for Oahu. Our host cancelled! We contacted Turo for help securing a car. They were willing to help us find a car but they were not willing to help cover the more than double to price because all the reasonable cars had been rented. They only offered a $200 credit. That still left us coving an additional $800 out of pocket for a car above what we had already paid Turo. I immediately reached out to our second host to confirm that our second car would be available when we arrived in Maui. The response we got was “Yes… all is still good.”

    I was feeling better. If we could just make it to the island all would be ok. All other reservations were confirmed. Well, day 2 of our vacation and 3 days before we left for Maui the nightmare reared it’s ugly head again. Our host on Maui, who confirmed the car was available, cancelled the reservation without any explanation.

    Again we were left scrambling for a car with even less time to figure things out and not to mention we were in the middle of what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing vacation. Again, cars were 2-3x the price we paid compared to when we booked 6 months before our vacation. Again Turo refused to cover the entire cost. They offered again a small credit again leaving my family paying another $800 out of pocket above what we had already paid Turo.

    Are there good renters our there. I am sure there are but do you really want to roll the dice and possibly end up in the same situation? I highly recommend you STAY AWAY FROM TURO!

  13. Buyer beware: My first experience had not been great, talking to anyone at Turo is a challenge and I question their ability to resolve problems. The Covid-19 policy is a lot of talk, the hosts (owners of the car) only have to check a box before the start of the rental and there is no way for them to verify anything.

    My first rental did not go well, we were picking up at the airport, when we got to the car, it was really dirty and smelled of pot. Prior to picking up the car, we got confirmation that the car had been cleaned in line with the covid protocol, the truth was the previous renter had only returned the car hours before and the reality is that had the car not been a complete mess, we would not have been the wiser. Turo policy is that if it is dirty, to contact them right away, they will cancel the rental and help you find an alternative. The challenge with this is twofold, 1) we had just walked to the economy car park, went up to the 6th floor, had two small children, two car seats and luggage. What option did we really have but to take the rental in its state? Unlike a rental company, there is no other car standing by and as I learned after, Turo will only talk with you via chat. What would that experience have been like? 2) It’s not easy (or at least for me) to know the policy and the whole app is set up to prioritize communication with the host and not Turo.

    While the host was very quick to respond and quickly paid for the cleaning of the car. Once we got the car cleaned, it has gone well. However, he also promised a refund for the inconvenience, but would not give it until we closed out the booking by putting in a review. After the review was submitted, he stopped replying and never gave the agreed discount.

    Turo had offered us a $50 credit towards the next rental and got into a negotiation with the host on a discount, which I eventually accepted. Not a great experience. In this case, it was not really any cheaper than a rental company once you factor in the additional insurance (credit cards won’t cover Turo as it is not a rental company) as you cannot really on your credit card and need to make sure you normal car insurance covers you.

    1. @James, That’s a great point that almost everything is handled between the renter and the owner. Turo isn’t much more than a marketplace.

  14. $$ I paid an arm and a leg for my 7 day use. Wasn’t given the ‘mileage’ use, Paying that much, and being unemployed wasn’t worth it, could’ve been way cheaper flying. That’s not even including gas, food & hotels for my travels.

  15. Please don’t use this company. It is a scam.
    I was traveling to Hawaii and rented a truck and paid for my reservation in advance. One hour before I landed the host texted me ” the car is broke”.
    I called host and he said needed new tires and I need to cancel reservation and find new truck.
    I tried to find another truck but none was available.
    Turo offered to rent me the same truck but for $ 4,500. this was $ 3,100 more than I agreed and paid for. They offered to take 20% off the new amount but still $2,200.00 more than agreed upon amount.
    The company knew there were no more trucks andt ripped me off, ruined my vacation.

    1. @Jennifer, Yes, this is a risk of working with an individual owner. If the car isn’t in working order, there’s no backup vehicle available.

  16. The worst customer service experience I’ve ever had, and I thought dealing with the cable company was bad. The hours and hours I spent messaging and calling Turo over the most minor issue (an issue for which they froze my account) to finally realize after a few months of trying that they were not going to resolve the issue and instead were wanting me to cancel my account.

  17. Thanks so much for this review. I agree with your assessment, although I’ve never used the services of this company. The main red flag for me was (as you put it) ‘issues’ .. what if there are ‘issues’?
    If I can’t reach a company or vendor by phone in order to resolve a problem, we can’t do business. It’s as simple as that. (I did actually try, and could not reach anyone by phone.)
    This was a fantastic, well written, unbiased, fact-filled review, and I appreciate your taking the time and energy to do it.
    All the best!

  18. I have a terrible experience with Turo just to sign up. They rejected me after charging the whole rental fee to my credit card, after a few hours and only notified by email. They would not provide a reason, and I feel I am forever blacklisted as a criminal. They want to be an airbnb of used cars? What a joke.

  19. As a host, renting out on Turo is profitable ONLY if you know the ropes – only rent out an old low value car. There are many hidden costs to renting out, especially the fact that Turo insurance comes with fine print – all plans except the ’60’ plan are only good as catastrophic insurance. They don’t reimburse you if the guest dents your car or causes scratches smaller than 3 inches. A renter returned my car with 10-20 scratches (each about 0.5 inches), and Turo refused to compensate me for the significant cost to repair ($3000?) because each gash was less than 3 inches! Not worth the $100 I earned for the trip, not to mention the time spent cleaning the car, and inspecting it etc.
    So it’s only worth listing an old $4,000 value car.

  20. I had a terrible experience with Turo, was left stranded at the airport. Car never showed up. Texted when plane took off and then when landed, then texted exact location where I was waiting. Called and called, texted again and again. Worst Turo charged a cancelation fee, even though i had record of text with his response when I took off. DO NOT USE


    Thankfully I have found this spot to post a review of my recent Turo experience as I have seen and heard if the host cancels then you are not able to leave a review. We traveled to Arkansas – red eye over Thanksgiving holiday and had set up a car rental with Turo in September. Had to make a slight adjustment to our departure and it was approved. WHen we arrived I texted the owner, no response after 10-15 min, called and had to leave a message. Call customer support. They contacted the host who told them he had cancelled. No reason given. Customer support beyond that was not helpful. Offered several car choices to rebook however at a substantially higher cost. Turo “fines” the drivers that dont show up after 30 min but dont know if that policy applies to driver cancellations. So when using Turo beware even if the driver rating is high.


  22. Electric car with no charge and no key? No thanks!
    I rented this Tesla Model Y from Turo at the Phoenix airport last week. It took 15 minutes to find the car as they had terrible instructions for where to find the car amongst a see of options. Unlocking it via the app worked, but there was no key inside. Anywhere. Phone calls to Turo were useless. Phone calls to the “superhost” were long, but also useless. 90 minutes into the process we realized that the owner had taken the key and forgot to leave it in the car. It took 90+ minutes to get a spare key. The car was also dirty when we picked it up. Worse yet, it only had only a 20% charge when we finally could leave. We wasted much of the trip looking for a charger for the car and roughly half of our mileage was used going from charger to charger. In total we only drove 120 miles (of the 600 included), but customer service would not resolve this in a reasonable way. And they acted like allowing us to use the super charger at no cost so we could charge it for them was a big favor to us. Seriously!? They also offered to reimburse us if we had the car detailed before returning it. It was almost as if they thought we worked for them. I’m still fuming while writing this.

  23. Personally I don’t think I would use Turo for an airport rental: between the additional (mandated) fees and potential logistical challenges, it might be more hassle than it’s worth. However; I’ve used this service for more than 6 years, around 40 rentals, and I can honestly say I can’t remember but one or two negative experiences. And really, those were kind of on me, because I selected brand-new members, and I know better. That being said, I don’t know what it’s like from an owner’s perspective, but I can tell you, I was the catalyst in helping more than one owner decide to pursue this fulltime, and they’ve all done amazingly well. One has actually been featured on Turo’s website and such. The opportunity is there, the flexibility is there, and if I can avoid renting with one of the big corporate companies who CLAIM customer service is key, Imma do that. I know Turo started as a place for people to rent ‘fun’ or ‘exclusive’ cars, but for me, I’m looking to book a vehicle at a decent price and maybe help out a potential entrepreneur interested in expanding their business. This article mentions taking pictures of every little scratch or dent to make sure they wouldn’t be liable, things they wouldn’t give a second thought to if booking with their regular preferred companies… but in MY experience, it’s those large companies that try to ding you (no pun intended!) for any little mark. My Turo hosts have been nothing but kind, professional, prompt and very eager to assist their guests.

  24. I have to agree with many comments here on issues with Turo’s service and the individual renters. I rented a car in West Palm Beach months prior to my trip. Upon arrival I could not unlock the car. The “renter” couldn’t either and would not respond to the sight. A three way call with Turo was the same. They couldn’t unlock it. They said I should call roadside assistance. Um, no. Not my car dude. I got lucky, I went back to the airport after over an hour and found a real rental car. I’m mostly ticked that the “renter” cancelled my rental giving me no ability to review the service. Turo as well will not respond to my requests to review. my advice to others is to somehow ensure you have a backup plan for all contingencies. Since usually there are none that tells you where to go.

  25. Horrible !……..tried to rent twice, in both cases after charging my credit card, the driver or host cancelled the rent minutes before the rental agreement started.
    The first driver cancelled because he can not deliver more than 20 miles from his home, the second host, cancelled because her car has some mechanical issues, minutes before the rental. I do not recommend this company. I am glad I dont have an emergency, I could take an Uber instead.

  26. i will never use turo again!! i got the premium coverage. i thought i am confident to drive. unluckily i got into small accident, had scratched on the bumper . but they want to use my personal insurance!! it’s terrible.

  27. Catrina Crawford

    Thanks to all who have left their reviews…disaster averted! I’ll take the devil I know (car rental company) over a potential vacation nightmare. Why invite trouble?

  28. I used Turo for the first time Saturday May 14, 2022. I rented a black 2021 Dodge Charger HellCat through Turo which came with 150 miles & the host allowed you to drive the 797hp baby the way you wanted except no burnouts allowed. The host answered my questions promptly & had the car full of gas, clean as a showroom car, had the new car smell even, the car was as the host described to a tee. I opted for the Red Key of course. I bought the insurance to cover the $90k car in case of an accident. I did go over in mileage & the host could not add it to my bill, however I messaged him I would gladly Cash App him the money. The experience of driving a car 130mph was amazing (though she goes to 190mph I believe). I wouldn’t trade that exhilaration for anything in the world. Yes Turo does charge a pretty high fee for being the middle man but again I would gladly pay the $550.00 including the full coverage insurance afain and again. The host was amazing and went over all features of the HellCat (he even setup my cell to bluetooth for me). He took pictures but I forgot too! Thank goodness he was honest. I would definitely recommend using Turo if there’s a car or truck or special event that you want to go above and beyond. They are not for a simple rental however because most vehicles only allow 100 daily miles. You know exactly what you’re getting through Turo unlike the main rental car agency’s like Enterprise, Hertz, Budget, Alamo, etc. With the regular rental agency’s you won’t know what you get till you’re actually picking it up and alot of times they haveto switch classes on you because they dont have the vehicle you reserved. Rental Agency’s also make you wait so they can get one from another location, wait for one to be cleaned halfway cleaned anyway, or wait hoping a customer will return one. Plus you have to pay those huge airport fees. I don’t know. It’s a coin toss I’d say but be ready to pay for the car you pick out and will get at Turo. I do think that Turo is not good to their hosts although I do not have proof. I also did not encounter a problem or my review would probably be different based on the other reviews. Enjoy!

  29. We had to rent two vehicles for a family reunion. We couldn’t find a way to rent two cars on one account so we had to set up two accounts. They were two completely different experiences. The first one, the host met us at the airport and drove us a very short distance to his car where we made the switch. He was very professional and courteous. The other car, however, was a different story altogether. The car experienced transmission problems and when we contacted the host he said it was fine and to just downshift. He said the previous customer had just had the same trouble and that worked for her. So the next day we tried that and after our hike came back to find the vehicle would only go in reverse even when we had it in Drive! The host was offended that we said his vehicle was unsafe, but we refused to drive the van 40 miles back to Portland. He also said it was our problem because he was on vacation. Dealing with Turo was another nightmare. You sat on hold for about 20 minutes and then only were given a few minutes to talk to a representative and then you were cut off. Tried to do this three times and realized it was hopeless. We actually wasted a whole day trying to get another vehicle. The host eventually decided to send AAA to pick up the car, but never bothered to send the AAA driver the directions I sent saying where we hid the key. The AAA driver showed us where transmission fluid was leaking underneath the vehicle. I suppose we were lucky on many accounts. No one said we abandoned the vehicle. We didn’t get in an accident on the winding mountain roads. We were able to get another car. The third Turo vehicle we rented was fine. I thought it smelled like cat (but my adult children said it wasn’t cat!), but at least the car worked. So I’m not really sure if we would used Turo again. Probably not if we had to drive a distance away, but it might not be bad if you were in a big city and had options to trade. Customer service was really terrible though. That might be the key factor for us. But if every host was like Bingh, it would be great!

  30. My experience with Turo has been positive. I don’t consider myself “lucky.” I think anytime there’s a service, especially one that a company can only rely on the honor system, there will be issues but we typically only hear the bad because people go out of their way to make sure they are heard when the experience is terrible but aren’t so willing to spend time spreading the word about something when it goes as it should.

    I don’t have the need to rent cars often, usually about once every 2 years but over the past year I have traveled more than normal… seems everyone who was single coupled up during the pandemic and then all got married as soon as COVID cases fell.
    Most of the time when I’ve gone through traditional rental companies I’ve had a headache just driving away from the airport. From not thinking to inform my CC company that I was traveling and them rejecting the transaction because it was an amount uncommon for my spending habits in a city where I’ve never made a purchase or I show up with my litter of children and the 3 row vehicle I had reserved is not available and they try to talk me into squeezing 2 car seats and a teenager in the backseat along with a suitcase that we couldn’t fit in the boot with the others.
    I can really only think of 1 time in the past 20 years that I’ve been able to go to the pickup area and drive out without stressing out, nearly in tears worrying about being stuck without a car so far away from home. But because these companies are established and considered reliable, those experiences, as horrible as they are, are somewhat more acceptable. We aren’t as willing to tolerate disturbances from something that’s new or uncommon; we are less likely to accept as much from Turo as we would be from a traditional, established company because we walk into the situation without familiarity therefore we are already skeptics.

    Some positive things to consider when renting through Turo: you don’t need a credit card so besides not having to deal with the possibility of being held up due to flagged “suspicious activity” from the CC company, it can be helpful for those that don’t have a credit card or need a rental that goes beyond their credit limit.
    You also know exactly what you’re getting so instead of picking a generic 7 passenger when I book and showing up to find it’s not available, I know when I rent a 2020 Odyssey, I will get a 2020 Odyssey or if I chose the Lexus LC that’s what I’m getting.

    When it comes to the hassle of airport delivery and flight variances, what has worked for me is having the host park it in short term parking near the terminal and we do the same when we drop it off. We have to pay, maybe $5-10 to get out of the garage but if delivery is free to the airport, I’m fine with that.
    Along those lines, there are some Turo hosts who actually have a fleet of vehicles and already have a system set up at the airport to make this process seamless.
    One downside I’ve run into was areas where there is current litigation and Turo hosts are barred from doing business within a certain area of the airport. We ran into this when we flew into Boston. Hosts know how to work with this by delivering to an area near a public transit station on the airport line or working with hotels that have airport shuttles but this extra step can be a turn-off for some customers. We actually rented from a traditional rental when in Boston because this just seemed like it was too far out of our way and the MBTA ride was 20-30 minutes. Little did we know that the shuttle from the terminal to the car rentals was at least as long, and of course, there was stressed out crying when we got there. I would have used Turo in Boston if I could go back and do it again.

    I know that negative experiences (especially for first time renters) can make a customer blacklist Turo altogether, but people should look at each individual host as a separate “company” and not judge Turo as a whole for the experience you had with 1 host. Kind of like if you go to McDonald’s and the fries are cold, the chicken tastes like it was deep fried in 2 year old oil, the person making your flurry was picking their nose, they gave you 9 nuggets instead of 20, and you were missing 2 of your sandwiches. You may never visit that specific McDonald’s again but it won’t stop you from going to the one down the street.
    My very first experience with home sharing was terrible. It made my husband never want to do it again but I decided to give it another go. We’ve have 5+ excellent experiences since then and absolutely no horror stories to share other than that first one.
    I think that as Turo ages and grows, they will create more incentive for hosts to do well and greater disadvantages for hosts that don’t take their role seriously in an attempt to drive out the bad experiences and improve their reputation. As far as I know, they dominate the market for peer-to-peer car sharing and I can only assume they will use that advantage to strengthen their position and strive for the reputation that AbNb has to make their brand a more comfortable option for the first-timer. The only way to do this will be to find effective ways to weed out the unreliable and irresponsible hosts and I think as time goes on they will find their way and Turo will become a realistic option for every traveler, as airBnB is.

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