SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – The art of the side hustle, like Uber, Lyft or even Airbnb, has a new digital friend called Turo - the car sharing app.
Turo is a car sharing service that allows users to book any car they want, wherever they want it. Users are able to choose from a selection of nearby cars, while hosts earn extra money to offset the costs of car ownership.
Angelina Rich loves to drive her Jeep Wrangler and so do other people.
Her Jeep is one of 350,000 cars listed on the app Turo. The app allows users to list their cars or trucks for rent. Customers then log-in and find the ride that fits their taste and trip.
For Rich it was a game changer. “I wanted to start my own jewelry line and having Turo allowed me to do that. Having supplementary income allowed me to stay home and focus on my brand.”
Rich said Turo covers theft and all physical damage. To be safe, she said she carries her own insurance as well.
As the one renting out her car, she can set the price, but she allows Turo to instead set the price. “They do their own pricing based on a number of factors and for me that is just easier,” she said.
The app, however, is upsetting the one-to-one industry. According to the Washington Post, the American Car Rental Association has lobbied for regulations on Turo and similar apps.
In a statement to News 8, the association said:
The American Car Rental Association does not oppose any company or mode of mobility services. We embrace and nurture innovation within our industry. ACRA currently counts several peer-to-peer companies among its members, and has invited Turo and others to join ACRA (see link below for more on this).
ACRA’s position with respect to peer-to-peer services is simple: If you are in the business of renting cars, then you have to play by the same rules as everyone else.
Rental car laws and fees have been put in place to ensure consumer safety, support municipalities and state infrastructure, and help fund airport operations. For example, ACRA members supported and now comply with federal legislation that sets forth specific procedures for ensuring that consumers do not drive away with a rental car that is subject to an open safety recall. P2P operators currently operating offer no protections of any kind with respect to automobile recalls, meaning consumers can unknowingly rent a car with a potentially dangerous safety problem.
Laws regarding liability for accidents, property damage, personal injury, etc., for rental car companies are well-established, creating transparency into who is responsible for what in the event that something goes wrong. By positioning themselves as technology companies, and not car rental businesses, leading P2P operators are skirting laws intended to cover the kinds of car rental transactions that are the core of their business model. By refusing to comply with laws to ensure customer safety, or collect the taxes and fees that are required by rental car businesses, municipalities and state governments are forced to pass new legislation to ensure that the law is applied fairly. Without this, P2P operators can offer cars for rent at lower prices and higher risks compared with traditional car sharing and rental services.
In the meantime, those like Rich that list their cars or trucks on Turo will continue to do so. Turo said she sees no problem with people taking her Jeep all around. Her only rule is that they bring it back.
Visit the Turo Calculator to see how much you can make with your car. It is determined on your car, demand and location.