How to Make Extra Money Renting Out Your Car

Photo by Jack Frog / Shutterstock.com

Tired of working to pay off your car while it sits parked most of the time?

Consider putting your entrepreneurial spirit in gear and driving some cash your way by renting out your car to neighbors and strangers via the internet.

One of the most interesting new options for this is Turo, a service touted as the Airbnb of cars that is available in many U.S. cities and several Canadian provinces.

To list your car on Turo, post some photos of it and fill in a calendar of when and where the car is available. Set your price and parameters, such as daily mileage limits. Turo says you’ll receive instant notification when someone requests or books your car. Then you can confirm or decline the trip immediately and contact the traveler if you have any questions.

Turo also explains that once your car is booked, you coordinate where and when you’ll meet your guest. You check that they have a valid driver’s license, walk them around the car, check the fuel and mileage, and “send them off on their adventure.” In addition, Turo provides you with $1 million in liability insurance.

Turo pays you by direct deposit within five days. According to the company:

“You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection package you choose. If you have commercial rental insurance to cover you, your car and your customers and would like to waive vehicle protection provided via Turo, you earn 90% of the trip price.”

The bottom line

So just how much money can you make by listing your car on Turo? Well, a quick look at recent listings for available Turo rentals in Seattle provides some insight. A 2015 Honda CR-V is listed for $50 per day. A range of 65% to 85% of that price is $32.50 to $42.50.

Other cars listed in the Emerald City include a 2009 Ford Ranger for $35 a day and a 2016 BMW X5 eDrive for $99 a day.

Founded in San Francisco in 2009 as RelayRides, the company went national in 2012 and in 2015 rebranded itself as Turo.

Turo now operates in at least 30 major cities including Atlanta, Miami, Boston, San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Turo says vehicles listed in the U.S. must:

  • Have fewer than 130,000 miles
  • Have a clean title (e.g., not a “branded” or “salvage”)
  • Never have been declared a total loss
  • Have a fair market value of up to $150,000

That doesn’t mean you can’t rent out your classic car. Turo says specialty cars must be older than model year 1990, with a market value of up to $85,000. “The car must be in excellent condition (both mechanical and physical) and have all seat belts in safe, working condition,” says the company. Any specialty car is subject to additional review.

Owners have encountered problems, but Turo says it provides support. In one case reported by ConsumerAffairs, an Arizona man rented his Dodge Caravan to a woman who said she was taking it out of town to a church convention.

After failing to return the minivan on time and later dodging the Dodge owner’s calls, she eventually came clean: She’d turned the minivan over to her son, who was caught driving on a suspended license. Police impounded the minivan, and a judge initially would not recognize peer-to-peer car rentals as legitimate.

The company said it covered the owner’s expenses, including paying for a rental while his car was in lockup.

What money-making sharing ideas do you have? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Geof Wheelwright contributed to this post.

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