Turo, the “Airbnb” of cars…
Turo has taken the concept of Airbnb – the rental of apartments between individuals – and adapted it to the world of car rental.
This service started in the United States a few years ago, and has been present in Canada for the past two years, but has been growing in recent months.
The TURO booking platform
TURO’s booking platform is simple and user-friendly. You can search by city and then filter the results according to a multitude of criteria:
- Type of vehicles (van, minivan, convertible, two-wheeler…)
- Make of vehicle (Audi, BMW, Porsche…)
- Motorization (petrol, hybrid, all electric…)
- Number of seats
- Child seats/bike carriers
If you want a minivan with child seats… it’s possible!
Vehicles are also categorized according to the age of the driver: it will mainly be up to the owner of the vehicle to indicate which type of driver he wants to rent to!
For example, one owner may decide to leave his Porsche in the hands of an 18-year-old, while another will only accept drivers over the age of 30.
Finally, there is a classification according to your type of trip: leisure, business… If you select Business trip, it will remove from the search all vehicles like this one:
Once you have chosen the vehicle of your dreams, you will then be able to find out if the owner can bring it to you directly where you are (Airport, Train Station, Hotel…) with or without additional costs.
In the following case, it is brought to the airport free of charge:
Our booking experience with TURO
A few days before our trip to Las Vegas, a friend introduced me to this platform that he uses very regularly when he travels to the United States in particular.
I told that I wanted to rent something “fun” for a one-day road trip with Audrey – without the kids, for once! – and that, unfortunately, I found exorbitant prices from traditional rental agencies for cars that are not “fun”.
Or else, for exceptional cars, it was only possible to rent them for a few laps on a circuit… 300 US$ for about 20 minutes on the circuit… no thanks!
Looking for an exceptional car on TURO
When I arrived in Las Vegas, I decided to check out the TURO app to see what was available.
Just like with Airbnb, I’d rather choose an ad with the maximum number of positive reviews.
And I came across this….
140 US$ for 24 hours with a Jaguar F-Type S? Knowing that I had 25 US$ of welcome credit, since my friend sponsored me, the rental of this exceptional vehicle would onyl cost 115 US$!
The vehicle was immediately available. So I made the booking.
Book an exceptional car on TURO
The process is very simple. After entering your driver’s license, address and credit card information, you can book the vehicle.
TURO’s platform takes a 10% fee on the rental rate; in addition, if you wish, you can take out insurance coverage through the platform.
Car insurance on TURO
As always, the most important thing when you rent a car is insurance!
TURO partners with major insurers to offer different types of insurance on its platform. In the United States, insurance is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance.
In Canada, for example, these are Intact Insurance and Bel Air Direct.
There are 3 choices:
- Superior Insurance – C$2 million Third Party Liability, C$500 maximum deductible
- Basic Insurance – Liability of C$2 million, C$3,000 Maximum Deductible
- No insurance
When the vehicle is “normal”, you can often avoid buying additional insurance through TURO by having a good credit card.
Most Visa Infinite / World Elite level credit cards cover vehicles up to a value of CA$65,000.
American Express goes one step further with its Platinum card , for example by covering up to CA$85,000.
On the other hand, when you rent a vehicle that is out of the ordinary – high-end / luxury – I recommend that you deal with one of the insurance options from TURO… for peace of mind! Especially since most credit cards insurances have a clause excluding certain makes of vehicles.
In this case, the rental of this Jaguar was doubly excluded by my American Express Platinum card insurance:
- with a value of more than CA$100,000
- Jaguar brand
So I chose to pay the premium insurance for an additional $60.00.. and I charged the full cost of the rental to my Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card which does not charge any conversion fees for foreign currency purchases!
Our experience of renting a Jaguar Type F on Turo
Let’s move on to the “fun” part of the article: our experience in Las Vegas for the rental of a Jaguar Type F on Turo.
I chose to pick up the vehicle by myself, being only a few minutes away by Uber. The owner is in fact a garage owner with several exceptional vehicles: he greatly facilitates the process of picking up the vehicles 24 hours a day through secure key boxes.
This time the owner was present and we went around the vehicle together.
Through the TURO application, when starting the pick-up process, you will be prompted to upload several photos of the vehicle, especially if the vehicle is already damaged.
Also, we advise you to take a picture of the speedometer: this will allow you to justify the starting mileage and the fuel level.
After discussing his business model with Turo, the owner explained that he applies rather low rates in order to promote his exceptional car rental business on Turo (the more comments a rental company has, the better its sales will be in the future!).
It’s the same principle as on Airbnb: to take advantage of this type of bargain, don’t hesitate to be among the first to rent: the more comments the renters have, the more they will increase their rates. In this case, this vehicle already had 35 positive comments… so I wasn’t the first!
So here I am at the wheel of a nearly 400-horsepower vehicle with every possible option… worth $130,000.
Might as well tell you that “the gentleman is happy”!
We kept the vehicle for 24 hours, which allowed us to wander around the strip, re-discover Downtown Vegas / Fremont Street, and go for a loop in the Red Rock Canyon National Park, 30 minutes from Las Vegas.
Being a lover of beautiful car bodies, I was over the moon… just like the missus!
Especially since it’s been several years since I’ve had the chance to drive a sports car, being rather used, like any good family man, to an SUV with 2 car seats in the back!
In short, a pretty good moment, made possible thanks to TURO!
Now that I have discovered this car rental service between consumers, I would definitely use the platform again for my next trips to the United States or Canada. Or at least I would add TURO when comparing prices with traditional rental agencies!