Is Turo Legit?
Turo makes many claims such as being more convenient, less expensive, more reliable, a more unique vehicle selection, and an overall better user experience than traditional car rental agencies such as Enterprise or Hertz. But is Turo a legitimate service, and are these claims true? Let’s talk about it.
Depending on what’s available in your area, Turo is often much more convenient than a traditional rental agency. Once you’re signed up for the app (click here for $25 off your first rental when you sign up), which requires some pictures of your driver’s license and some other personal details, you can choose from dozens if not hundreds of cars in your local area or at your destination’s airport.
Many cars on Turo offer free delivery curbside at the airport, which is about as convenient as it gets. That means no paperwork, no whipping out the credit card, no waiting to be attended or walking to the parking garage. When your trip concludes, you’ll return the car at the same place that it was handed off.
Turo claims that renting their cars is about 30% cheaper than a traditional agency. If we bring up Enterprise’s website and Turo’s website and enter the same search parameters, we’ll notice several things about who gives the most bang for your buck:
- Enterprise will only rent out newer cars. If you’re okay renting cars older than 3 years, Turo is far cheaper than enterprise
- If your trip is only a few days long, comparing exact vehicles is a toss-up: sometimes enterprise is cheaper, but often you can find one on Turo that’s cheaper
- Turo hosts offer discounts for week-long trips. If your trip will be at least 7 days, Turo is pretty much always cheaper
- You can get more convenient and better cars off of Turo on the cheap
In general, Turo is going to be cheaper than a service such as Enterprise.
Is Turo reliable? The major rental agencies have been around for years and they know their customers. Using Turo is like using Airbnb in that you are doing business with average Joe’s who can vary in their professionalism. For this reason Turo has a familiar review system to weed out unreliable hosts from your final selection. Sticking to high-ranking profiles with a solid history will indicate a punctual and responsive host. For better or for worse, Turo has more of the human element integrated into the experience than a traditional rental agency.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never once selected a car from a rental agency’s website and actually gotten that car for my trip. To be fair, they’ll often upgrade your selection for free. Turo, on the other hand, has you choose the exact car. The question is, which of all the unique vehicles should be chosen? Scrolling through Turo’s list of local vehicles gives the impression that every car you could ever want is available at your fingertips. And this is pretty much the case: Toyota’s, Maserati’s, BMW’s, Jeeps, Corvette’s, Tesla’s, trucks, and more are readily available for rent.
Your experience with Turo will largely depend on how much you like to use apps on a smartphone. You might be required to take pictures of the car after your trip ends if you’re doing a remote hand-off. Communication with the host also occurs inside the app. It’s all made fairly simple, and Turo gives clear guidance on how to retrieve and return the vehicle.
Some people don’t like that, which is fine! I’ve spoken with potential renters who heard that I had cars for rent and wanted me to book the car for them over the phone. Trying to explain that I used a phone app to manage liability and payment that they would have to download and sign up for was a nightmare. I think I was cussed out in Hindi on one occasion. A rental agency is best for such folk.
What happens if you get into a car accident in a host’s vehicle? Much like a rental agency, you can get insurance for your trip through Turo, provided by Liberty Mutual. If the host follows the terms and conditions, they’re covered by Turo’s insurance policy as well. Whether or not your personal insurance needs to get involved in an accident during a Turo trip is up to the insurance company.
Hopefully this was helpful! Subscribe to my newsletter (form at the bottom) to get more updates and guides for Turo.