Turo, the Airbnb for car rentals, is everything rental agencies aren’t

Turo, the Airbnb for car rentals, is everything rental agencies aren’t

Mere days before a trip to Yosemite with my family, I started thinking that perhaps a minivan might be better suited for a 600 mile round trip than my rather small Honda Civic.

Leg room could be the key to who lives and dies when battling for backseat supremacy. After subsisting on a diet of Big Gulp’s and Slim Jim’s from the local Quick-E-Mart, the additional space could be the difference between a happy hours-long drive with family, and complete carnage.

After a quick search online, I ran into the usual aggregators — Expedia, Kayak, and Orbitz — before ultimately deciding that nearly $100 a day for a minivan was more than I could stomach: the Civic would have to do.

And then I remembered back to a company I’d heard about months earlier, Turo.

Turo billed itself as an Airbnb, of sorts, but for cars. Rather than dealing with Budget, Enterprise, or a handful of other major players in the car rental industry, you could book a car from a private party and then drive off in minutes. And the cars weren’t your typical Nisan Versa, either: we’re talking Tesla’s, high-end BMW’s and just about anything else you’ve longed to get behind the wheel of.

Still, I settled on a humble minivan.

Credit: Turo
Ladies, try to contain yourselves.

This was a family trip, after all, and as much as I wanted the Porsche, it might have been a tight fit for four people, two dogs, and a cooler stocked with gas station goodies.

The process was seamless. I downloaded the app, input some basic information like my driver’s license number, age, and credit card information, and within minutes I had booked the car I’d found hours earlier, only for half the price.

Turo even handles insurance. There’s a basic $5-ish a day policy, or the comprehensive $22 a day plan. Since my credit card handles car rental insurance, and I wasn’t planning on drag racing anyone in a Honda Odyssey, I elected to go with the cheaper option.

All told, Turo took a modest fee for the service, and I got the car that could keep my family sane through several days of driving (both to, and through the park).

I realize that most of this recommendation goes out the window because I’m the guy that chose a minivan over a Porsche when given the opportunity, but don’t let my lame decisions reflect poorly on an otherwise excellent service. Give Turo a try.

Read next: How virtual reality and artificial intelligence are changing life experiences