Tips / Turo

5 Lessons Learned Renting Out My Car on Turo

After a year of renting my Tesla Model Y on Turo, I have learned a thing or two. Some of these takeaways would have been good to know when I started. With that in mind, I thought I would pay it forward with these five lessons learned after a year of renting out my car on Turo.

Keep Your Calendar Up to Date

First up on this list of lessons learned renting out my car is to ensure you keep on top of availability.

My car was out of commission for the first few months last year. Although I initially blocked off the car, I forgot to extend it when parts and repairs were delayed. This resulted in several cancelled bookings, something Turo frowns upon and punishes hosts through the rating system. On the positive, I was able to use these cancellations as proof that I lost income. From that, I was able to use that in my accelerated depreciation claim.

Renting Out My Car on Turo Takeaway

I also failed to block off the car for appointments and weekends when I had plans. My takeaway is to keep the Turo calendar as up-to-date as possible.

Pick Up and Drop Off

Next up on this list of lessons learned from a year of Truro rentals is that, pick up and drop off service, although extra cash in your pocket, can be inconvenient.

I made the mistake of turning on this feature without thoroughly thinking it through. I think by default it only charges renters $25. This is for both pickup and drop-off. With airport parking in Vancouver costing $5 to $15 and an Uber ride costing $30 each way, there is no gain here and a lot of time wasted.

I upped this to $50 then eventually $75 to make up the cost. Still, I’m not convinced it is for me as rental times were often in the middle of workdays.

Renting Out My Car on Turo Takeaway

My takeaway here is to know what your time is worth before offering this service and adjust accordingly if you go ahead with it.

Thoroughly Check Your Car on Return

Probably my biggest takeaway is to thoroughly check the car over on returns. This may seem like a no-brainer, however, in the moment and especially at airport returns where guests are running late, issues can be missed.

This happened to me with a renter who showed up late for a flight and was rushing me through the checkout. I failed to notice that there was damage to the rear hatch. It didn’t help that the renter backed into a stall (despite having a ton of luggage and a baby) which made my photo-taking difficult at the moment.

Renting Out My Car on Turo Takeaway

I have a few takeaways on this one;

  • Park in a well lit area,
  • Take several photos,
  • Don’t rely on your renter to be truthful 🙁

Report Damage Immediately!

Continuing with this story, I finally noticed the damage it was after the next renters return. With the matte PPF on my Model Y, it was difficult to tell if the damage was present for the second renter – again, see taking photos in a well-lit area.

I had to go back and forth with both renters to see if they are aware of the damage. Both denied. Thankfully I have Sentry Mode and was able to dig through the footage. I didn’t find the actual damage to the car but did find the first renter clearly inspecting the damage with several people.

This took a while to find and by the time I took it to Turo, they denied the claim. Their policy is all damage needs to be reported within 20 days. The story does have a happy ending so stay tuned for that!

Renting Out My Car on Turo Takeaway

Till then, my takeaway is to claim damages as soon as you see it, The details can be sorted out later. This will avoid denial of coverage over a technicality.

Being a Turo Host is (Relatively) Passive Income

I want to end this list on a positive note. Renting out my car on Turo has been, for the most part, very passive.

Aside from time and expenses to drop off the car for renters, operating costs are low. Even more so given I pay a flat fee for EV charging at my condo complex and have plenty of Supercharger credits.

If you’re interested in just how much you can make renting your car on Turo, stay tuned for my 2021 earnings report!


From thinking twice about pick up and drop off and ensuring you take well-lit photos, these are my biggest takeaways after a year of renting out my car on Turo. Any tips I missed here? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking to rent my car on Turo? Click here!

renting my car on turo tips

If you are thinking about placing a Model Y order, be sure to use my referral code and get 1,500 Supercharger kilometres!*

*As of Sept 2021, Tesla has put a pause on referrals 😞 I will update if/when they reinstate it.

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