What you should do if car rental prices are too high: Try Turo.

The answer to your car rental problems right now could be a four letter word.

If you’ve recently been excited about one of those ultra-cheap pandemic airfare deals that only take your breath away when you’ve checked out the car rental “deals” at your destination, welcome to a new club.

It’s called People are appalled by car rental prices right now. And our ranks are growing.

I recently searched Orbitz for car rentals in Honolulu for four days in May to find rates starting at, get ready, $ 711 per day for a standard SUV (there were no economy cars available). Grand total: $ 3,354 for four nights to rent the same car I shop in Florida with.

On Expedia, a four-day “Special Economy” rental in Anchorage, Alaska, for the first week of June, cost $ 271 per day, or $ 1,435 for four days (much more than the price of the flight offer). that I almost pulled out).

I used to book a flight and then take care of the rental car part of my trip later when I got down to the rest of my vacation planning.

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But with car rental prices as they have been in recent times – an increase in interest in travel and a low inventory of car rental companies is getting horrible – travelers might want to rethink this. order now.

The good news is that there is an alternative to standard car rental companies and aggregator websites if you are looking to rent a car now and get the price.

It’s called Turo. And if you haven’t heard of it yet, you probably will soon.

With stocks in all US markets as well as Canada and the UK, Turo is a car sharing website and app that has been around for several years and is being compared to the Airbnb of cars. And you will often find much better car rental prices using it than on aggregators right now.

On Turo, for that same week in June that I was looking for in Anchorage, for example, someone named Emmanuel was renting his very grizzly-resistant looking van, which seats six, for $ 119 a day.

In Honolulu, an SUV for the same dates in May that I had searched on Orbitz was offered by Robert for $ 200 per day.

And while car rental rates that exceed $ 100 a day aren’t something I would normally celebrate as a deal, the choices are decidedly slim right now.

And Turo really comes to the rescue of travelers shocked by stickers.

“Turo offers travelers an alternative to traditional rental cars and offers its customers a unique selection of vehicles at all price ranges. “

Travel blogger Alicia richards turned to Turo on a nine-day trip in mid-April with her family to Los Angeles when the cheapest rental car she could find was $ 650 for nine days. She checked out Turo and found an even bigger car, a Toyota Camry, for $ 320 for the same period, she said.

“We love Turo and would happily use it again,” said Richards, who also rented his own car through the app. “This has always saved us money on car rental and we can often get better looking cars than a traditional rental,” she said.

Another recent Turo convert is Sarah Sheehan, who lives near Hampton Roads, Virginia. When her car was recently out of service and she had an important meeting in a town two hours away, she should have sent Uber to a car rental company to pick up a rental for the day, he said. she declared.

“After hearing someone talk about how they were using Turo as an income supplement on Instagram, I was like, ‘Hey wait a minute, that might be the answer to my prayers,’” Sheehan said. “I was able to rent a car through the app and arrange contactless delivery / pickup right to my door.”

Final sum? $ 60 for the day. Not to mention the lack of waiting in the car rental queues.

How Turo works

If you’ve already booked a spot on Airbnb, you’ll recognize how the Turo website and app work.

Familiar features include ratings and reviews, descriptions of the product (a vehicle in this case, instead of a house) written by the owner, as well as information such as mileage limits and delivery locations, that owners can control. Some vehicle owners on Turo add “extras” that you can also rent, which can range from snorkeling gear and coolers to car seats.

You must have a Turo account to reserve a car. And to register, you will need to provide your driver’s license number, payment method, email address, and phone number.

There are also age requirements for booking cars through Turo. For cars valued at $ 20,000 and over, renters must be 21 years of age or older. For renters between the ages of 18-25, a “Young Driver Fee” of $ 30- $ 50 per day applies.

Turo also accesses your auto insurance score to determine your car reservation eligibility.

Once you’ve booked your car, you communicate with the host to pick it up or, in many cases, have it delivered to you, whether it’s at the airport, hotel, or home. Then check in with the app, grab the keys, and get started.

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Reservations can be canceled for a full refund up to 24 hours before the start of your trip, which is not as forgiving as aggregation sites like Orbitz, where you don’t agree to pay the rental until you did not take the car.

When it comes to insurance, Turo offers various protection plans for customers that provide a certain amount of liability insurance and a deductible for physical damage to the vehicle (the cost of insurance you choose is displayed when you switch to checkout) .

However, credit card insurance generally does not work with Turo as you may be used to using with traditional car rental companies, and most personal auto insurance plans that do. cover rental cars does not cover peer sharing.

You’ll definitely want to check what your personal auto insurance and credit cards cover before you book to make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident or car damage.

A great secondary activity too

For many people who have decided to rent their private car on Turo, this has turned into a nice side business, or “small car-sharing business” as Turo calls it on one. page that helps hosts “build a business plan”.

“Our hosts tell us that their businesses are booming due to very high rental car prices and soaring travel,” said Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo.

“We are proud that Turo offers travelers an alternative to traditional rental cars and offers customers a unique selection of vehicles at all price ranges,” he said.

Maria Davydova and Vadim Davydov of Tampa, Florida are two new Turo hosts who have had no issues renting their cars since joining the website in March.

They were about to sell one of their cars when a friend told them they should try renting it instead, Maria said. So they signed for Turo.

“It was just during spring break, and as soon as I posted it I got five bookings in a row,” she said.

In April, when the couple rented their three cars, a 2013 and 2014 Chrysler Town and Country and their 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid– They have made about $ 4,000 in additional income from Turo, which they plan to spend on a family summer vacation in New York City.

“Airbnb costs a lot more to get in. You need some kind of housing to rent, ”Vadim said.

“With Turo, you can buy a car for $ 10 to $ 15,000 and rent it for $ 100 a day,” he said. “In terms of return on investment, this is a good deal.”

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