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Hello everyone! It’s been a few months since my last post. I had a bit of a hectic summer but I’m hoping to get back to regular posts now. It’s been about a year now since I’ve had a regular job. I’ve been subsisting on a few different side hustles and my newest side hustle has been renting my car out via Turo (get $25 off your first Turo rental with my referral link). I’d like to share my experience thus far with you and why I think this applies to frequent travelers.
Turo is like Airbnb but for cars instead of housing. It’s a car rental marketplace where travelers can rent any car they want directly from a community of local car owners throughout the US, Canada & UK for as much as 30% less than traditional car rental agencies. Obviously, this applies to frequent travelers who need to rent a car wherever their destination is. However, I believe it can also apply to frequent travelers who are leaving their personal vehicle behind when traveling. Why not make some passive income renting your vehicle out to others while you are out of town?
Before I describe my experience, I want to share some numbers with you. I made $570 in the month of September alone and it was only rented for 1 day at the beginning of the month while I was in town and 5 days while I was visiting a friend in France and taking a road trip through Italy to Switzerland. By renting my car out for 6 days in September, I made more than what my car payment costs! My car was rented only 4 days in August and I made $189. So far in October, it’s been rented for 5 days and I’ve made over $200! The majority of the time that my car has been rented has been while I was out of town.
Listing my car on Turo was very easy! I uploaded a few pictures, entered the basic information about my car: year, make, model, features, proof of registration, etc. You can either use the automatic pricing feature that Turo provides or you can set your own price by the day. You can set each day at a different price. I usually set Friday-Sunday about $10/day higher than I do for Monday-Thursday. I also set my price below Turo’s price for the days when I’ll be out of town to increase the chances of it being rented. You can decide how many miles are allowed per day, whether you’ll charge a fee to deliver the car to the airport, the location of the car if delivery is not an option, and even how much advance notice you need. Just like Airbnb, you can choose whether someone can instantly book your car or if you want to approve booking requests.
The question of insurance may come to mind for many of you. Turo has 3 protection plans that you can choose from. I chose the Standard plan but you can change your plan whenever you want.
- Earn 85% of the trip price
- $1 million liability insurance
- $3,000 max out-of-pocket cost** for covered damage to your car*
- Earn 75% of the trip price
- $1 million liability insurance
- Zero out-of-pocket costs for covered damage to your car*
- Replacement car during repair
- Earn 65% of the trip price
- Everything included in the Standard protection plan
- +Covers exterior wear & tear
- +Covers loss of rental income
* & ** Turo has some fine print here so be sure to read it should you choose to list your car.
Another option is to decline insurance and provide your own rental insurance. You earn 90% of the trip price with this option.
Naturally since this is my own personal vehicle and not just an extra car that I don’t personally use, I was nervous about my first Turo rental. I decided to only accept someone’s request if they had a 5-star rating with at least 2 previous trip ratings. A very nice woman rented it for just 1 day and it couldn’t have been a better experience. When she dropped the car off, she gave me a hug and some advice knowing that I was new at this. Since then, my car has been rented 5 more times over the past 2 months and I’ve made a total of $970! I should mention that $312 of that was because the renter who had my car while I was in Europe went over the allotted mileage by 1,500 miles. Even if I were to not count that extra mileage charge, I would have made $658 in 2 months which almost covers both car payments for those months and I only went without a car for 5 days. The other 8 days I was out of town and wouldn’t have been using my car anyway.
One piece of advice that I will offer is to take very detailed pics of the inside and outside of the car and attach those photos to the trip in the app before you hand over the keys. I have yet to submit a damage claim but I didn’t learn how crucial those photos were to a claim until after my 4th or 5th rental trip. Turo does not do a good job of making that obvious to the vehicle owner.
I hope this encourages some of you to make some passive income while traveling. Check out Turo for your next car rental. Thanks for reading!