Do you ever stand in line at the airports or car rental offices, looking at the sky-rocketing prices for a surprisingly shitty, stained vehicle and wondering why someone hasn’t created a more updated, Airbnb style rental service for cars? That’s just because you haven’t perused the car rental black hole of the internet – and it’s not your fault. It’s a frustrating black hole to navigate, with tons of hidden fees that often leave your wallet feeling gouged.
Alternatively, Turo.com lets you browse with a multitude of filters, just as Airbnb does – you can search by vehicle, manual or automatic transmission, price, insurance, distance, and pick up/return location.
My personal experience with Turo was seamless. Doing a short nature trip out to Colorado with a friend, we used the service to rent a Jeep Wrangler which was under 60 bucks a day, for some top-down State Park adventures. Everything went smoothly and we returned the car at a location that was convenient for both of us. On that note, an upside of this service is also the flexibility – you don’t need to drive to an airport in the middle of nowhere ( I use this example because the Denver International Airport is pretty remote), and instead, can communicate via text or DM the entire time.
In terms of efficiency, with Turo, you won’t waste half a day filling out paperwork, waiting for shuttle buses, or waiting in lines. Just create a profile, have your Drivers license ready, and pay online, with all fees broken down. Whether you’re renting to make a good impression on a first date or for a longer adventure, your time is valuable, regardless of the adventure.
Overall, the Turo experience is much more transparent than other in-person and online car rental services which seem to be stuck in the cave age (remind me, how are Budget and Hertz still the leaders in this industry, but robbing us blind?). If you do get charged for something, it will rarely be sneaky, and you can access it on their traveler help pages.
On the negative side, you do have to watch out for schemers and paranoid folks – there’s the potential to lie about pre-existing dents, stains, and fuel levels, so as Turo suggests, make sure to take pictures that monitor everything in order to avoid these miscommunications and getting ripped off. Remember to stay safe and invest in at least basic insurance – with great reward, comes great risk (we think it’s the other way around, but it’s applicable in this case). Either way, it’s a lot less shady than using Craiglist’s rideshare section in whatever city you’re in, so why not give it a shot?