If you’ve been brainstorming side hustle ideas, you may have considered driving for Uber or Lyft. Although both apps are popular ways to make extra money, both require extra time on the road before or after your day job. And during the pandemic, you may be wary of driving with strangers.
Ultimately, the best side hustles are low-stress and help you earn passive income. Listing your car for rent on Turo is a side hustle that could check both of those boxes. How does Turo work? In this guide, we break down what you need to know.
What is Turo?
Dubbed the Airbnb for cars, Turo is a car-sharing company where people rent cars from hosts in the community. Perhaps you have a car you don’t use during the weekends or a luxury car collecting dust in the garage — you can rent the car through Turo to make some extra cash.
Based in San Francisco, Turo was founded by Shelby Clark in 2010. Turo has more than 350,000 cars listed on the site with over 850 different vehicle makes and models, such as Jeep, Lamborghini, Porsche, Subaru, and Tesla.
Currently, person-to-person car-sharing through Turo is available in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. However, commercial hosts may be able to set up shop in other international locations.
How does Turo work?
To use Turo, you list your car, choose your pricing, confirm your guests, and get paid for the rental time. Here’s how each step works:
- Sign up for Turo and list the car. Listing your car on Turo is free and should take about 10 minutes to do, according to the Turo website.
- Set your pricing, availability, and rules: Turo can set an automatic price based on demand, or you can choose your own price. You’re also able to set up your car’s availability and rules for the rental, such as limiting how far the renter can drive.
- Accept bookings and schedule the pick-up. After finding a renter, confirm where you’ll drop off the car and the keys. Then you’ll arrange where to pick up the car when the trip is over. You can opt for in-person or contactless check-ins and checkouts.
- Collect the earnings: Turo car owners get paid 60% to 85% of the trip price depending on the insurance coverage chosen (more on that in a second). You get the earnings through direct deposit within three days of a first time ride. For subsequent rides, Turo will process payments three hours after the ride ends.
Turo insurance protection
Turo offers five auto insurance plans to choose from, and each comes with up to $750,000 in liability insurance through Liberty Mutual. A liability insurance policy covers you if the renter causes property damage or bodily harm to someone else while driving.
Under each plan, Turo will also reimburse you for 100% of repair costs that exceed the car insurance deductible if your car incurs physical damage during a trip. Some of the higher coverage plans also include reimbursement for wear and tear and lost wages.
You earn 60% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the insurance plan you choose. If you choose an insurance plan with a high deductible, you get to pocket a higher percentage of the car rental earnings. But if your car gets damaged during a Turo trip, that also means you have to pay more for car repair before Turo reimburses you.
If you’re a traditional car rental service with commercial rental insurance, you can opt out of Turo’s insurance plans. According to Turo, opting out of insurance altogether means you can earn 92.5% of the trip price.
Keep in mind that the Turo protection is in addition to your own personal insurance coverage. Turo requires that hosts keep the insurance card and registration inside the car. Turo states it’s not aware of any state laws that make it illegal to share your car. However, the company recommends reviewing state laws and your insurance plan to double-check that renting out your car isn’t prohibited.
Who can use Turo?
The Turo app is available for iOS and Android. Turo is relatively strict about the types of cars you can rent out. The car can’t be older than 12 years and must have fewer than 130,000 miles on it (with some considerations). You may be able to rent out a classic car that’s more than 30 years old, as long as it’s in excellent condition with working seat belts.
All rental vehicles must also meet maintenance and safety standards, such as having snow tires in regions that require them and having no windshield chips in the driver’s line of sight. Cars can be registered anywhere in the U.S., except for New York state. You cannot list some vehicles, including box trucks, limousines, and recreational vehicles.
You must also agree to an exclusivity agreement — cars listed on Turo for rent cannot be listed anywhere else. If you don’t comply with the exclusivity agreement, Turo may charge you a fine, deny a damage claim, or close your account entirely.
How much can you earn with Turo?
On to the most pressing question: How much money can you make?
Turo says that the average car owner in the U.S. earns $500-plus per month on Turo. The average owner in the U.S. who lists more than three cars earns over $3,000+ per month. That’s a lot of passive income.
Of course, your earnings can vary depending on the type of car you list and the demand for car rentals in your area. But if you’re wondering how to make money from home, signing up for Turo could be worth a shot.
Maximizing your earnings with Turo
Finding a sweet spot for pricing is key. Price too high, and you could have trouble finding renters. Price too low, and you could leave money on the table.
Turo can automatically set a price for you after considering your location and the type of car you have. The automatic pricing constantly adjusts to help you maximize earnings, but you can turn the feature off to set your own rate.
You can also set up discounts and charge a delivery fee or excess distance fee if you choose. If you’re curious how much you could earn on Turo, there’s a Turo Calculator that can estimate earnings based on your location and the year, make, and model of your car.
Common questions about Turo
Is Turo legit?
Yes. Turo is a legitimate marketplace in which millions of hosts and guests sign on to list cars and rent cars from people in the community. Turo has car maintenance rules, and it regulates the types of cars that can be listed for quality control.
Plus, there’s liability insurance coverage and repair reimbursement coverage to protect owners. But it is your responsibility to check with your state and your personal insurance provider to ensure you’re able to rent out your car.
Where is Turo available?
Altogether, Turo is available in 5,500 cities and 56 countries. Person-to-person renting is primarily available in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. You can rent in major tourist cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
If you rent in the U.S. or Canada, you can drive across the border to each country, but you can’t drive to Mexico. Commercial hosts may be able to list cars in other countries across the world.
How do you get approved for Turo?
To get approved for Turo, you need to share your driver’s license number and expiration date, home address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once approved, you can then list cars that meet the car eligibility and maintenance requirements.
How long does it take to get approved by Turo?
A Turo representative says hosts who meet eligibility requirements should be approved to list right away. If the system finds a problem, you may have to reach out to customer care directly.
How to get started with Turo
- Create a Turo account. To create a Turo account, you need your cell phone number and a Facebook account, Google account, Apple ID, or personal email to set up a profile.
- Get approved. Turo will ask for your driver’s license number and expiration date, home address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You’ll also submit a photo for your profile picture.
- List your car. To list a Turo car rental, you will need proof of car insurance and your license plate number. Then you’ll need to provide your car’s make, model, and vehicle identification number. Lastly, Turo suggests adding multiple pictures of your car and a detailed description.
- Update your payment information. Add your bank account and routing number for the direct deposit so you can get paid.
Other side hustles to consider
If you’re not sold on renting out your car (or you don’t have a car that qualifies), here are other ways to make extra money:
- Tap into your day-job skills. Why reinvent the wheel? Take what you do at your full-time job and offer it on the side. If you’re a teacher, you could tutor. If you’re an accountant, you could offer bookkeeping to small businesses. Think about how you can package what you do at work or what you went to school for into a service offering.
- Deliver with Postmates or DoorDash. With people looking for contactless ways to go about their daily lives, many have turned to delivery services. Postmates is a service where you sign up to pick up and deliver items to customers. You get paid an amount for your wait time, for the pickup, and for the delivery. Plus, you get to keep the tips. DoorDash is another service you can sign up for to do delivery gigs; you earn a base pay for each ride plus tips.
- Flip items. If you have a good eye for seeing the potential in used items, you might be good at thrift flipping. You take free items or thrift items, pretty them up, and resell them for a profit. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are two places besides thrift stores where you can find items to flip.
- Sell stuff for extra money. If you haven’t cleaned out your garage or attic in a while, you may be able to turn your old stuff into cash. Electronics, vintage items, and clothes can sell for a good price. You could even host a yard sale while following social distancing rules.