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Turo app lets you rent cars, list your own vehicle to make extra cash

Rental car companies dealing with shortages
Posted at 6:03 AM, Apr 07, 2021

If you’re having trouble finding a rental car, there is another option. Essentially, you get the keys to someone else’s car to drive around town or you can list your own car to make some quick cash.

"We just got our bags from baggage and then walked outside and he was sitting right here,” says one traveler, who is among many finding ways around the traditional car rental model.

Renting from a person, instead of a company, is something that is gaining popularity as there is a shortage of rental cars across the country.

"All the people at our hotel were talking about how expensive the cars were this week. We were like, ‘well, we actually found this company,’ and they were like, ‘what's it called?’”

Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace. Through an app, you select a car of choice in the area, the dates, and then you are set.

"We’ve never seen anything like this. The business is booming,” says Andrew Mok, the Chief Marketing Officer of Turo.

Mok says they are getting new customers every day. Data on the company shows in the week ending March 21, they grew week-over-week sales by almost 60%, according to Second Measure.

"There's a lack of supply everywhere so why not leverage the existing cars that are on the road and the existing cars that people already own?” says Mok.

Many car rental companies were forced to decrease their fleet during the pandemic. Now, they are trying to build them back up. Although, even people living locally can’t find a car.

"I don't have a car. Rental cars are just impossible to get these days,” says Richard Schmitz, a Scottsdale resident.

Turo hosts are taking advantage of that by turning the app into a second source of income.

“We made, I think, like $10,000 in the month of March,” says Efrain Villagomez, a Turo host.

He and his wife own Right Choice Auto Sales. Before selling their vehicles, they are prepping them to put on the Turo marketplace. They hope to make up for the money they lost out on during the pandemic.

“We do a lot of cash sales as well and that stopped completely. It was hurting us,” says Villagomez.

The transaction is not always easy. You and the host must decide on a location for pick-up and drop-off, which could be a hassle. For the most part, that is not a deal-breaker.

"To me, it sounded like the Airbnb of car rentals,” says Anthony Sarandrea, a Scottsdale resident.

If you’re worried about the person renting your vehicle making a dent or scratch, the company says you are covered by insurance.

To learn more, head to the Turo website.