What is Turo?
Turo is basically the car rental version of AirBNB and Uber. It is a sharing platform that allows you to rent cars from other people. Turo started in 2009 and is now available in 2,000+ cities. Below is a screenshot with some stats from Turo’s website:
I am currently 24 years old, which means I have to pay an underage driver fee (under 25 years old) to rent a car. Different rental car companies charge different rates. I decided to try out Turo because they have a relatively low underage drivers charge. Instead of the $25/day rate that many car rental companies charge for being an underage driver, Turo only charged me $7/day. Not bad.
Searching For Cars
There were several different models and types of cars listed for our Phoenix/Grand Canyon trip. Obviously, newer cars are listed at a higher price. Owners also offer services like meeting you at the airport. These services can be free or cost extra depending on the listing. Since we were flying into and out of Phoenix we chose a car rental that offered free delivery/pickup at the airport. We also wanted a car that offered unlimited mileage since we were driving all the way to the Grand Canyon. We ended up deciding on 2011 Toyota Camry for $35/day.
In total for a three day rental plus underage driver fee, it cost us $136.50. I put the charge on my wife’s Chase Sapphire Preferred thinking that it would be covered under the CSP’s primary car rental insurance. However, be sure to read my update below for details. It turns out Turo does not count as a car rental company for this benefit.
Picking Up the Car
We met up with the owner at the airport hotel we were staying at. She was friendly and professional. We went over some instructions about the car and signed an agreement. My wife asked her how often she uses Turo and the owner mentioned that she had five different cars that they rent out via Turo. It sounded like they basically run their own small car rental business. She left us with the keys and was picked up by someone else. That was it.
Depending on the owner of the car, they may have different drop off and pick up policies. Be sure to read through the description. Some people offer free airport exchanges while other people charge a $20-30 fee.
Dropping Off the Car
The car worked great and we had absolutely no problems. Over the weekend, we drove it roughly 450+ miles. Before dropping the car back off, we filled the car back up with gas. The owner suggested we meet at the PHX Sky Train, which drops you off at the airport. We unloaded our bags, handed over the keys, and headed to the airport. Simple and easy transaction.
Read the Reviews
I would highly suggest reading over the reviews of the different cars that are available to rent. The car we drove had several five star reviews. The one complaint I do have about Turo is their iOS app runs really slowly. On the flip side, at least they have an app. Overall, I was pretty happy with my Turo car rental experience. If you decide to try out Turo, please use my referral link: Turo Referral Link. You’ll get $25 off and I’ll get $25 off.
Update 12/21: Due to a comment from a reader, I decided to investigate whether or not Turo is covered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Auto Rental CDW benefit.
As you can see from Chase’s twitter response, Turo rentals are NOT covered. However, it is coded as travel though and receives 2x UR.