After three years of being a host on the Turo car rental app, I now have a better understanding of what works well and what doesn’t. With that in mind, I thought I would share some lessons learned for those looking to list their own vehicles.
Turo Car Rental Tips From My First 2 Years
Before getting into these Truro car rental tips I suggest going back and checking out the lessons learned after my first two years of being a host. This covers some of the more obvious points such as keeping your calendar up to date, thoroughly checking your car upon return and reporting any damage within 24 hours.
Now that I have been on the app for three years, the lessons learned listed in this post are a little more particular.
Avoid One-Day Rentals
Speaking of being particular, in my third year on Turo I have made two-day rentals a minimum. I had several one-day rentals that were not worth the effort and cost. I clean my cars before and after the rental which takes time and money and the payoff just isn’t there for me. As such, I have made a choice to avoid one-day rentals in the future. This is a good thing to consider if you are looking to maximize value.
If You Care About Your Car, Limit Your Miles
Another particular detail I am changing is limiting mileage. Again, this is very much a personal preference and comes down to what you are using Turo for. As previously mentioned, I am content with a couple of rentals a month and my preference is to keep those renters close. This keeps wear and tear down and makes things easier should your renter require assistance.
That said, if you want to get as many rentals as possible, don’t care about the condition of your vehicle, and want to stay competitive, then unlimited miles are for you.
Use a Template When Communicating With Renters
I really wish I used a simple template when I started receiving bookings on the Turo car rental app. Not only does it save time on the back and forth, it makes things very clear for your guests and keeps communication within the app.
I set up an FAQ for my renters as well as detailed instructions for delivery on this site but going forward I will be using a template to paste into the chat channel with guests. This will ensure things are clear and, more importantly, that Turo knows you have communicated clear instructions to the guest.
There is a rather detailed example here however I suggest warming it up a bit to be more human. The key thing is to make the following very clear;
- Pickup and dropoff times and expectations;
- The primary driver needs to be present at pickup;
- Details on insurance and what to do if they have an accident;
- Cleaning expectations and any fees that you may charge;
- Details on chargebacks (tickets, tolls, fuel/charging);
- Details on pets, smoking, and garbage;
- Contact information.
Turo Support Isn’t Always Supportive
Next on this list of Turo tips for hosts is more of a warning. It’s also a reason to have a thorough template to communicate with your guest.
In my experience, Turo has the guest’s best interest in mind. This makes sense as they want to ensure the experience is good so they get more bookings.
This has, unfortunately, meant that I have had issues getting claims resolved. One example is when, despite a renter admitting to damage, I was told the before photos were not clear enough for the adjusters and they denied the claim. The issue came down to a glare in the pre-rental photo so I had to send a video of me covering the area with my hand to remove the reflection to get it sorted. This took time and energy that wasn’t worth it for me. See one-day rentals above.
There were, unfortunately, a few examples like this.
Update: since writing this I have had a couple of positive experiences with claims that I wasn’t expecting so this could be on the mend.
Damage Cars Are Harder To Sell
The last lesson learned was a tough one. It’s also a reason why I am still on the app.
As mentioned, my very first renter got in an accident. Everyone was OK and the damage was cosmetic only. That said, the cost to fix it was a whopping $24K.
This meant that I had a huge claim tied to the car. When it came time to sell my Model Y to make way for a new one, I got a ton of interest but the damage was a factor. Even though I was able to get some compensation through accelerated depreciation, I have likely lost out on thousands of dollars, especially during the peak demand Tesla saw over the last year.
To recoup some of that, I am continuing to rent it out. It’s a weird situation to feel tied to Turo because of an accident caused by hosting on Turo.
Bonus Leason – Invest in Good Floor Mats!
Cleaning the car is my biggest expense and time suck. Having durable and easy-to-clean floor mats makes this process so much easier. I use Tesmanian mats in my cars and they are great. The majority of the time I am just hosing them down and wiping them dry.
Is Turo Car Rental For You?
Once again, these are some of the more particular lessons learned from hosting on the Turo car rental app. They are still good to be aware of if you are considering signing up as it will help determine what type of host you will be.
I think Turo makes sense in my original scenario of no longer having a commute and casually renting out my car. It also makes sense for those grinding out rentals without any sort of tie to the vehicle. With the claim against my first car and now that I have a fleet, I am somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios. I think this is the year where I will choose which side of the fence I am on, or get off the app completely. Stay tuned.
Till then, if you’re interested in just how much you can make renting your car on Turo, check out my earnings report!
Looking to rent my car on Turo? Click here!
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.