Affordable Travel with Turo: Our Family’s First Experience

Are you tired of expensive rental car companies eating up your vacation budget? Our family had a recent trip to Southern California planned and we decided to expand our travel technology reviews and try Turo! In this review, we’ll share our first-time experience with Turo, a car-sharing app that will become a standard part of our affordable travel planning. Let’s dive in!

Turo booking
A 2022 Nissan Altima with a perfect host rating seemed like the perfect car to test out Turo.

A Brief History of Turo: Empowering Travelers Worldwide

Turo, the brainchild of entrepreneur Shelby Clark, originated from a simple yet powerful idea to create a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform. Launched in 2010, Turo quickly gained popularity, transforming the traditional car rental landscape. With its user-friendly interface and innovative concept, Turo has become a go-to choice for travelers seeking flexibility, convenience, and cost savings.

How Turo Works: An Easy and Seamless Process

Using Turo is pretty straightforward. Just download the app, sign up, and start exploring an extensive selection of vehicles available for rent. You’ll find everything from compact cars to spacious SUVs, each listing accompanied by detailed descriptions, photos, and user reviews.

Turo rating
The ability to see ratings for a wide variety of vehicles and host topics really helps set your mind at ease.

Our Family’s Experience: A Game-Changer for Affordable Travel

When we booked our trip, we were thrilled to try Turo as an alternative to traditional rental car companies. From the moment we picked up our Turo vehicle, we knew this was going to change how we travel. The car was impeccably clean and well-maintained, meeting all our family’s needs.

Cost Savings: A Win-Win Situation

One of the biggest advantages of using Turo is the significant cost savings. We were pleasantly surprised by the reasonable rates compared to traditional rental companies. We just spent a week in Colorado and the car rental from a traditional establishment was the most expensive part of our trip! By connecting directly with car owners, Turo eliminates overhead costs, offering more affordable options for travelers. I know prices will vary by region, time of year, and demand, our costs were 1/2 the price of the traditional rental car company. With the money saved, we were able to allocate our travel budget to other exciting activities during our trip.

Turo booking fees
At the time of our booking, you can see it was an affordable alternative to the standard rental car companies. This was the price before adding car insurance.

Picking your drop-off & pick-up times & location.

The trickiest aspect of the Turo experience is setting up appropriate pick-up and drop-off times. Since we didn’t need a car on our first day, we didn’t look for a car near the airport. I ended up picking a car with a pick-up location about 15 minutes from our house. As a result, I needed to Uber to and from the designated pick-up and drop-off location.

Next time we use Turo, we will pick a location at or near the airport.

Safety and Peace of Mind: Turo’s Trust and Safety Measures

Turo did a great job ensuring peace of mind by implementing rigorous safety measures. Each host and vehicle undergoes a thorough screening process, including driver’s license verification and vehicle eligibility checks. Turo offered car insurance as well as other standards like “bring it back empty”. Turo’s 24/7 customer support adds an extra layer of security and assistance throughout the trip.

Picking the right host/car

For our first rental with Turo, we chose a 5-star rated host with a newer car. We didn’t want the experience potentially dampened by a vehicle issue or a less-than-stellar host. It was great, our host was super chill, and when we needed to change our drop-off time, he accommodated us without any issues.

Vehicle inspection & expectations

When you pick up and drop off the vehicle, you are supposed to take pictures of the exterior and interior of the car and uploaded them through the app. We didn’t do that, but it is recommended to ensure you’re not liable for any damages that already exist.

Turo full size rental
Taking pictures of the vehicle and uploading them to the Turo app ensures you are not liable for any preexisting issues.

I didn’t notice that the gas tank was only a quarter tank full. Not a big deal, I planned on bringing it back at the same level, but since the host was so accommodating, I brought it back to him with a full tank.

A little surprised the car was on a quarter tank, but I planned on returning it near the same level.

Tips for renting with Turo

  • Pick a top-rated host. You don’t want to complicate your experience with an unreasonable host. Steer clear of low ratings. The only exception would be someone new to hosting with little experience. However, I’m not sure I’d want to be their first guest.
  • Pick a host with a drop-off/pick-up location convenient to your travel plans.
  • Plan your pick-up and drop-off times well in advance. If you’re coming in on a flight, make sure you have enough padding to handle checked bag pick-up and all the other potential snags that can slow you down and make you late. If your flight gets delayed you are encouraged to message your host via the Turo app. If the host can’t accommodate you, Turo has a number to call to help you get a replacement vehicle. You can find out more about managing flight delays and get their hotline number from Turo’s Managing Flight Delays and Cancelations web page.

Turo has been a remarkable discovery for our family, improving one of the most costly aspects of our family trips. With its user-friendly app, extensive vehicle selection, and cost savings, Turo proves to be a game-changer in the world of travel tech and apps. Whether you’re embarking on a family vacation or a solo adventure, Turo offers an excellent alternative to traditional car rental companies. Embrace the Turo experience and unlock a world of affordable and flexible travel possibilities!