Shocker: we like cars. Raising a family, unlocking leisure, simplifying errands and commuting are all great reasons to own one. But for all the ways owning a car is celebrated, it’s easy to forget that it isn’t always feasible.
For one, a car is a big-ticket purchase that’s not a given. For another, owning a car is a nice idea that can turn into a logistical headache for those who frequently travel or live in a parking-challenged city.
That’s the conundrum a lot of us at Shift face in our personal lives: we’re bought in on the idea of car ownership, but aren’t necessarily sold on the reality of owning one. To explore our options, several of us have recently turned to Turo.
What is Turo?
Turo is like AirBnb for your car. List your car on Turo and make it available to rent. When you’re not using it, people who need wheels can pay you a daily fee to rent it. For introducing owner and renter and providing insurance between them, Turo takes a cut of the deal.
What about Zipcar/Lyft/Uber?
They’re all great. We use them all the time. But they are costly in the long run and don’t allow you to actually own the car like Turo does.
Several of us at Shift use Turo to manage (and offset the costs of) car ownership, but none of us use it like our SF Assistant GM Kevin does. Kevin has taken Turo to the next level, so we sat down with him for a Q&A about the service.
Q&A with Shift’s resident Turo guru, Kevin
Let’s get it out there—what cars have you listed on Turo?
A Jeep Wrangler, a Porsche 911, and an Audi R8.
Those are some no joke cars. How did you get started with Turo?
Back in 2015, a seller listed an Audi R8 on Shift at a really good price. I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to own the car Tony Stark drives and basically blew all the money I had on a down payment.
Then I learned about Turo but didn’t initially consider it because I thought renting my most prized possession to a stranger was crazy. But the monthly payments on an R8 are not exactly insignificant, so I decided to give it a shot.
How’d it go?
Awesome. I put a high daily price out there not expecting anyone to bite, but a few people approached me in the first month alone. Some people used it for a photo shoot, there was a wedding, a few others just wanted to check it out. I made an unexpectedly large sum through Turo that year and I’ve been hooked ever since.
So you basically got paid a lot of money to own an R8. I’m guessing that’s why you got the 911?
Yeah, I realized that Turo opened up a path to some of the passion cars in my life that I wouldn’t be able to own otherwise. I’ve since developed a minor habit of keeping an eye on what sellers are listing on Shift with Turo in mind.
Who would you recommend Turo to?
Anyone who is on the fence about buying a car and is looking for more flexibility. People who are looking to offset the costs of a car. Also, people who would otherwise often rent a car multiple times a month—they’ll save a ton on rentals and they can rent it out to others when they’re not using the car.