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Travel Turo, the Airbnb of cars, helps make travel more affordable

03:50  01 april  2017
03:50  01 april  2017 Source:   nydailynews.com

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Skip the rental car counter and book the perfect car for your next adventure. Cancel for free up to 24 hours before your trip starts. Because life happens and it helps to be Unlock the next level of car sharing convenience with Turo Go — find, book, and unlock cars on demand, right from the Turo app.

Founded in 2009, Turo is a car rental marketplace where you can rent any car you want, wherever you want I was an early adopter of Airbnb since I was looking for ways to save money when I travel . Turo will allow me to save even more money and if I so desire, I can rent out my car to make money.

Mohammad Sadat, who helps run Ritz Rent-A-Car in Inglewood, California with his father, takes a photo inside one of his rental cars. - Kyle Campbell © Provided by New York Daily News Mohammad Sadat, who helps run Ritz Rent-A-Car in Inglewood, California with his father, takes a photo inside one of his rental cars. - Kyle Campbell

After landing at Los Angeles International Airport and deactivating airplane mode, the first message that chimed through to my phone was not from the uncle who would host me for the week or the younger brother who arrived a day earlier.

It was a stranger known only to me by his online avatar who, despite not knowing me from the next white dude in a Detroit Tigers snapback, was waiting to hand me the keys to his car for the duration of my trip.

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Turo has been billed as the ' Airbnb for cars ,' connecting regular car owners with people looking to rent. "We want more and more people to realize that they have at their disposal a platform that can change the economics of car ownership," Turo CEO Andre Haddad told USA Today in September.

This is my Turo Car Rental Review. ✅ Want tips to help you put more money in your pocket and Biblical principles on how to handle it? How I make 0+ per month Passive Income on Turo .com - Продолжительность: 12:30 Return on Investment 103 199 просмотров.

Instead of turning to a traditional rental company for my short-term transportation needs, I was using an upstart service called Turo, which is best explained as Airbnb for cars. Through it, owners can turn their vehicles into passive income while guests get to trade in the headache of corporate procedure for a unique, more cordial renting experience.

Nifty and thrifty

17 Countries Where the U.S. Dollar Is Strong: <p>Do you think you can’t afford a <span href=vacation to an exotic location abroad? Sometimes a trip to a foreign land for a week can easily cost you less than a weekend at an Airbnb-rented apartment in a big city in the United States. The following list, arranged in no particular order, is based on information by The Economist’s 2017 Big Mac Index; Europe Backpackers Index, which is aimed at budget travelers; Travelzoo’s 2017 Wow Deal Destinations; and Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.

" src="/upload/images/real/2017/04/01/17-countries-where-the-u-s-dollar-is-strong-p-do-you-think-you-can-t-afford-a-a-href-http-www-theact_61220_.jpg?content=1" /> 17 Countries Where the U.S. Dollar Is Strong Set up as an online market place on which renters can specify what type, make and year vehicle they want, Turo allows users to get an extended test drive in a vehicle they’re thinking about buying; it offers lavish rentals for those looking to, let’s say, stunt at their best friend’s wedding, and it even helps enthusiasts afford cars they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

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Turo , the Airbnb of cars , allows private car owners to rent out their vehicles either online or via a mobile app. Turo CEO Andre Haddad” says that business is booming and that people renting their cars for short durations are making as much as ,000 a year. Not surprisingly, rental companies hate

A new car rental app, Turo has been called the Airbnb of car rentals. It allows people to rent their Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are a few of our favorite services to help save money while traveling . Turo charges a far more reasonable fee to drivers between 21 and 25 renting a vehicle through the platform.

However, most importantly, it offers significantly better rates than the likes of Enterprise or Hertz thanks to its low overhead costs.

“Our customers save an average of 35 percent versus traditional rental companies,” Turo spokesman Steve Webb said. “On Turo, these are private individuals renting out their cars, these people own the asset and they’re not paying for an army of people standing at desks managing these fleets. We don’t have brick and mortar kiosks in airports and downtowns.”

With luxury sports cars, European compacts, dozens of open-top Jeeps and a handful of classic rides preserved by the dry desert climate, Turo’s L.A. market has no shortage of tempting rental options. However, for the sake of comparison, I was confined to selecting a midsize sedan from either the 2016 or 2017 model years, the likes of which one might find on a standard rental lot.

After a bit of searching, I found a 2016 Honda Accord that cost $34 a day and allowed up to 1,000 miles of driving. Five days of rental and a $17 trip fee brought the cost to $187. An extra $25.50 for the basic protection plan brought the total to $212.50. Upgrading to the premium $1 million liability insurance policy would have cost me $13.60 a day instead of the $5.10 I paid for the state minimum plan, which would have increased the total cost to an even $255.

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" Most travel sites offer teaser rates to rope you in or show you deals that you may not want. You need to spend a lot of time finding a good travel deal to Planning a trip for a group of people — although often more affordable than solo travel — is a little like being assigned group projects in high school.

READ MORE : Airbnb for cars : Turo launches in Canada, lets people rent out their vehicles. The 41-year old Toronto-based sales manager is part of a small but Another U.S.-based car owner wrote on Travel Codex that his car was stolen (and quickly recovered) during a Turo trip on Christmas Day.

(Full disclosure: Turo provided me with a $500 credit to cover the cost of my rental so I could test out the service.)

Meanwhile, to rent a “full-size” sedan—defined as a Nissan Altima or similar size vehicle—from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car at LAX it would cost me roughly $50 a day for unlimited mileage. Add to that a $28.50 airport concession fee, a $10 facility charge, an $8.79 tourism fee, a $5.50 vehicle license recovery fee and $24.46 in sales tax and the total comes to $328.29. Personal accident insurance ranges from $4 to $9 a day and supplemental liability protection is $11.68 per day, so that added peace of mind could run you another $100.

Of course, renting from an Enterprise that isn’t at a major airport avoids some of those tricky taxes and fees. For example, if I rented from the location in South Pasadena where I was staying, the trip would only cost me about $200 before factoring in insurance and the cost of getting across Los Angeles via taxi or Uber/Lyft.

Curbside service

Cost is king, but it isn’t everything. Convenience is also a big factor in the world of vehicle rentals, especially after a six-and-a-half-hour flight across the country. While some use Turo for extended test-drives, particularly of high-end luxury vehicles, most renters are budget-conscious out-of-towners.

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“The vast majority of transactions that occur on Turo are for almost a utilitarian trip experience,” Webb said. “People just looking for a great car to get them from point A to point B on a vacation. The average rental period is five days and these people, in most cases, are traveling.”

Sitting on the LAX tarmac, waiting for the Boeing 767 that transported me over four time zones to complete the final few hundred feet of our journey, I used the Turo app to exchange messages with Mohammad Sadat, the person I’d be renting from. I let him know I’d be late for my scheduled 1:30 p.m. arrival; he assured me it was no problem and he gave me his phone number to call once I got off the plane.

Within a few minutes of leaving the airport, Sadat pulled up in the silver Accord. Some owners charge a premium for such deliveries, typically a flat rate for trips to airports or within a certain radius. Sadat offered free airport runs, which is one of the reasons I picked his Honda.

We drove to a nearby strip mall; he took a few photos of the car, uploaded them instantly to the Turo app and then sent me on my way. All in all, the detour took about 15-20 minutes, which isn’t bad compared to the process of shuttling to the car rental kiosk at the airport and going through all the formalities there.

Quality-wise, my rental car was on par with what I’d expect to get from a large fleet. The interior was clean, covered in cloth and outfitted with standard technology features, though I’m not honestly sure how much of that can be attributed to the fact that the Accord actually came from a professional operation.

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As with Airbnb, owners advertise any special features included in their offering and can use them to drive up their asking price. Meanwhile, renters have the ability to give feedback that is displayed on the owner’s page, so if someone has history of being tardy or has a chronically dirty car, it should be well documented.

A tool for the little guy

Sadat’s family has been in the car rental business for 26 years. Their company, Ritz Rent-A-Car in Inglewood, was one of dozens of mom-and-pop operations contacted by Turo last fall and brought into its fold.

Attracting a younger, more tech-savvy clientele, the type that prefers Airbnb to hotels and is looking to spend less than $40 a day on car rentals, Turo has helped Sadat and his family stay competitive, not only with major rental fleets, but also ride-hailing services such Uber. Last year, Uber surpassed rental cars as the preferred mode of transportation for business travelers and that’s a problem for rental services big and small.

Now these small fleets can fight fire with fire.

“Turo, for us, maybe not so much my dad, but definitely for me and people of my generation, it makes a lot of sense because you don’t have to deal with paperwork or credit card companies or vendors, it’s all right there on the app,” Sadat said. “Turo basically does everything for you other than pick up and drop off the car.

“I don’t think it’s just in car rental, but in general it’s becoming easier to do business because everything is all in one place,” he continued. “Everything today is about platform and I think Turo is becoming a great platform.”

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Webb said most of the owners who make their vehicles available through Turo only list one or two cars, but fleets are steadily becoming more prevalent within the company; not only these co-opted mom-and-pop shops, but also mini-fleets built and managed by individual owners.

When using the service’s app or website, it’s tough to determine whether a user represents an established rental operation or is a 21st century entrepreneur using Turo’s data and technology to his or her advantage, but it’s hard not to notice the repetition of faces when scrolling through listings.

“We see it in every major city we operate in,” Webb said, “a handful of people with microfleets.”

A low profile that’s growing

If Turo is sick of being compared to Airbnb, its leadership hasn’t said so.

I had the chance to meet with the heads of its communications team as well as Chief Executive Andre Haddad back in January and while they acknowledged the similarities, they expressed no ill will toward their fellow San Francisco startup.

Still, if there were some animosity, it wouldn’t be unwarranted. Both companies came into this world around the same time, Airbnb in 2008 and Turo, then known as RelayRides, was established a year later. Since then, the former has become the face of the sharing economy alongside Uber, another San Francisco company founded in 2009 that is, of course, also centered on car sharing.

Although it hasn’t drawn the same attention as those other companies, Turo has established a loyal and growing following, racking up 2.5 million registered users and 121,000 vehicle listings since its inception.

“Shelby Clark, our founder, came up with the idea while attending Harvard Business School,” Webb said. “He was in Boston and he would see these idle cars all around. He thought, ‘Why not make money by renting them out?’”

‘Carring up’

Clark’s ideology has resonated with car owners in the U.S. and Europe from all walks of life. Whether they’ve got a late model Toyota Camry or a Cadillac from the 1970s in their garage, owners of all types of vehicles are drawn to the idea of their cars working to supporting them instead of the other way around.

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However, there is one brand of vehicle seems that’s over-represented on the Turo market place, especially in Southern California: Tesla.

Georgia resident Jeff Cohen is one of numerous Tesla owners who use Turo to help alleviate the hefty cost of owning one of the all-electric luxury cars. He’s been listing his Model S on the site for the past two years and averages $800 a month despite only renting the car out three or four times in that span.

Between his car payment, insurance and maintenance work, Cohen said he sinks about $1,200 into his Model S every month, so all-in-all it only costs him about $400 a month to drive an $85,000 sports car.

Webb said this is a common practice called “carring up,” in which users offset the cost of a vehicle that would normally be outside their price range by pimping it out through Turo a few days a month.

Users can browse cars by price, make and type using Turo. The site even allows searches to be narrowed by location. - Campbell, Kyle © Provided by New York Daily News Users can browse cars by price, make and type using Turo. The site even allows searches to be narrowed by location. - Campbell, Kyle

“I was doing Lyft and Lyft Line,” Cohen said. “I did 50 rides and it was working out to about a dollar a mile. I stopped doing that around December of last year.”

Instead, Cohen just lists the Model S at $199 a day and does just fine. Many of his customers are prospective Tesla buyers who want to get some extended wheel time in the vehicle before plunking down upwards of $100,000 to buy one of their own.

Turo also lets users double check the specifics of future and past trips through its application. - Kyle Campbell © Provided by New York Daily News Turo also lets users double check the specifics of future and past trips through its application. - Kyle Campbell

One renter drove all the way down from north Georgia, near the Tennessee border, to pick up the Model S from Cohen in the Atlanta area then drove it right back up to attend an Elton John concert.

Both Cohen and Sadat noted that drivers tended to be more respectful of the Turo vehicles than the average rental car, in part because of the human-to-human interaction involved that reminds people they aren’t just utilizing a cog in some greater rental machine.

Cohen, who sets an acceleration threshold on his Model S to make sure renters don’t abuse its electric motors and enforces it with a $100 fine, recalls one individual who he caught speeding.

“I said, ‘you know I can see that you were speeding there,’” Cohen said. “He said, ‘Yep, I sure was,’ then handed me a $100 bill right there on the spot.”

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