This article was published on August 8, 2017

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

Turo, the Airbnb for car rentals, is everything rental agencies aren’t
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

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.

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