Turo allows car owners to rent out their own vehicles.
By Megan Reed
Andrea and April McFadzean were at a recent Airbnb meeting when they heard about a car rental service called Turo, which is pretty much Airbnb for cars.
The McFadzeans have been supplementing their income with Airbnb for three years, and when they heard about Turo, they saw another financial opportunity. After researching the peer-to-peer car-sharing company, they decided to purchase a car and list it for rent.
Their new car was booked as soon as they listed it, and the car is producing more money than the cost of the monthly car note and insurance.
Turo works just like Airbnb. Type in a city or zip code into the search box on Turo’s website and a list of cars that are for rent will be displayed. People renting cars can have a much wider selection and can find less expensive prices than they would find at a typical car rental lot.
“There are more options,” Andrea said. “You can rent Teslas, Maseratis, Mercedes, all from one app, instead of going to Enterprise. You can rent all of the expensive cars, and you can rent cheaper cars just to get you around town. They have everything on Turo.”
“When you go to the big companies like Budget or Enterprise, you might want a full-sized car, but you don’t know what you’re getting until they hand you the keys,” April said. “You don’t have the option to say that this is the car that I want. That might not be the car that you’re going to get. With Turo, you know what you’re going to get.”
Andrea said that some people use Turo to help pay off the car note on the vehicle that they typically drive.
“I know one guy who has a Cadillac SUV, and he rents it out about 10 days a month to help him pay his car note off,” she said.
The McFadzeans’ typical customers are travelers who are visiting Los Angeles. The customer either picks up the vehicle at the McFadezeans’ residence, or for an extra charge, the car can be dropped off to the customer. The minimum for a rental is one day, and they have had customers who rented their vehicle for multiple weeks.
Some of their customers are local. Those customers usually need a rental vehicle because their car is being fixed.
Turo was so profitable for the McFadzeans that they purchased a second vehicle to rent. Many times their customers are people who are renting a room from them through Airbnb.
“Our guest would ask us where they should rent a car, and we’d tell them that we have one,” April said.
Airbnb and Turo have not replaced the McFadzeans’ main incomes yet, but they are working toward that. Their rooms are consistently booked through Airbnb, and so are their cars through Turo.