Yes, List Your Car on Turo. Here’s Why and How.

9 guidelines on becoming a better, more profitable Turo host

An example of your first photo on Turo. Image by Author on Turo [1]

Table of Contents

What is Turo?

  1. Charging
  2. All-Star Host
  3. Delivery
  4. Long Trips
  5. Awesome Photos
  6. Discounts
  7. Availability
  8. Compliments
  9. Insurance

Summary

References

What is Turo?

Turo [1] is an easy way to make money quickly from providing your car for one day to several months, to local and international travelers. As a Turo host and Data Scientist, I have followed some steps for my own successful car rental business, hopefully, you can benefit from these as well.

With emerging methods to quickly make money off online platforms, Turo is beginning to be at the forefront of self-made, internet/app businesses. Other common platforms consist of YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Airbnb, and Vrbo; now, more than ever before has it been as simple and efficient to be your own boss with your own schedule while continuing to work full-time as well if you choose. However, most of these apps and platforms do still have some sort of control from the hosting service. For example, while YouTube is the leader of content-creation, where you can seemingly get rich fast, it takes around a year to start seeing some income trickling in and you do not get to set how much you charge for your ads.

Turo is different, and the most similar to Airbnb — in that, you set the rules and even the amount of money you will charge your guests per day, but even more accessible as most people have a car over the number of people who own a home. There are some trade-offs, of course. If you are charging your guest $200 for a day, then your car is most likely priced too high, yet you can also make a mistake by charging too little, say $50. Like everything in life, moderation is key.

1. Charging

Charge cheaper the first 10 rides, and be the best host you can be.

It is imperative that you make a great first impression on your guests in this first month or so of your car rental. Setting a cheaper price at first will increase the amount of traffic you get to your car (pun intended).

Once your guest base has been established, you will be able to increase your rate per day by either shooting for the stars, or a better way is to find comparable rentals in your area and price near them. If you have a bonus feature, say you have a kayak on your Jeep, then go ahead and promote that in your car description. Chances are, you are the only person in your region that has this feature, and people will be willing to pay more. You can even list something as small as sunglasses, which will catch the eye of a guest over someone who is not listing features on their car and will show your guests how serious and detailed you are (ultimately making the guest feel happier and safer).

2. All-Star Host

Be an All-Star Host, this qualification takes some time.

To qualify, you will need to have met these key performance metrics:

2 of the 5 performance charts to see how you are tracking. Screenshot by Author on Turo.com [1]

response rate of 95%

acceptance rate of 90%

commitment rate of 95%

five-star ratings — 90%

completed trips — 10

3. Delivery

Offer that you will deliver to your guest at a cost.

You can choose to have guests only come to you, which is more convenient, but if you want to maximize your earnings, you can charge a delivery fee, I would suggest $15 for a small radius around your address (because Lyfting back to your home can start to cost more than the delivery fee).

4. Long Trips

Only allow for trips of 2 days or more to increase base earnings.

If you have too many single-day trips and those guests drive through some mud, you might be going to the car wash before every new trip. Another tip is that you can charge guests when you need to clean your car. I tend to avoid that as I want my guests to have the best experience, but if they are being disrespectful, then I think it is necessary.

5. Awesome Photos

Take awesome photos, but not too awesome.

Guests will most likely think your car is a scam in that you are lying about the integrity of your car when you post stock photos of your ride. Be more personable by taking your own photos that encompass the best aspects of your car in the best light.

Image by Author on Turo[1].

6. Discounts

Offer discounts so guests are more likely to book your rental.

If a guest wants to book your car for a week or longer, offer a discount to get the most guests willing to pick your car for a long trip.

7. Availability

Increase availability.

What you do not want: leaving your calender open with instant book set to on, and you not being able to host your car; it can lead to a decrease in commitment, which will make you ineligible for All-Star Host status. What you do want: (ultimately what is best for you), but keep in mind some people are using Turo for business so although you might want to have your car only available after your work hours, it will decrease considerable traffic. Try to have time slots available for car pickup around the morning hours of 8–10 am. If you have a flexible work schedule, then increase the amount of time for pickup to the whole day, or if you can go home during your lunch break. Weekends are also high demand days, so it is better to have your car available then too. Lastly, look at when guests can book your car, if they only need 1 day, it might be too short for you to be committed, so expanding that to 3 days out, you can be sure that you will be able to be available.

8. Compliments

Listen to your compliments from guests.

When you increase these compliments, which can also be seen as selling factors, the number of people booking your car will likely increase as well.

Compliments. Screenshot by Author on Turo [1]

People love communication and the cool factor is something you can physically improve on (add car features like a bike or kayak) or even list some car attributes that are apart of your car as is (large trunk, sun-roof, etc.).

9. Insurance

Perhaps the riskiest is to choose less encompassing insurance through Turo.

  • Declining insurance will allow keeping 90% of your earnings
  • Turo Basic: 85%
  • Turo Standard: 70%
  • Turo Premium: 65%

More on insurance coverage here[1], and you can talk to your insurance provider for your car to get a better sense of what is the best option.

Summary

To summarize: charge less, then once you have been consistently a great host, you will be considered an All-Star Host, your car will show before others from the algorithm, and you will then be able to justify charging more as your experience is certified to be better than others. Charge for delivery and offer long trips (this is not automatically set in your profile). Pick the best Turo insurance for you (this is on top of your normal car insurance). Improve your compliments by adding to your cool factor and increase your responsiveness to guests. Increase your availability while ensuring full commitment. Take the best and truthful photos of your ride. Lastly, find that sweet spot of charging more per trip; the algorithm automatically will suggest a price to charge, but you can increase during times like holidays, weekends, or local events. All in all, be a great host and treat your guests how you would want to be treated and the earnings will come back to you as you deserve.

References

[1] M.Przybyla, Turo (2020)

Sr/MS Data Scientist. Top Writer in Artificial Intelligence, Technology, & Education. Towards Data Science. Subscribe: https://datascience2.medium.com/subscribe