Rent Your Car, Make Money: New Website Claims To Be ‘Airbnb For Cars’

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s like Airbnb for cars.

Car owners can rent their wheels to travelers through a site called Turo.

Owners report making money, while users say it’s saving them cash. So how does it work?

Eric Patenaude bought a new SUV and wondered if he could use his older one to make money versus selling it.

He found his answer.

“I Googled Airbnb for cars thinking I could rent it and I found Turo,” he said.

He signed up for Turo, the service that allows regular people to rent out their cars.

“You tell them what your year and make of your car is, you upload photos of your car and then you enter basic things in like your availability,” Patenaude said.

You can select the make, model and price of your choice.

“I’ve got a car, I’m not using it constantly and if someone will pay me to use my car and I’ll make some money on it it’s kind of a no-brainer,” Patenaude said.

He’ll drive the customer back to his home, where they’ll do a walkthrough Then, he hands over the keys.

Reno and his wife opted for this kind of rental on an excursion around the state.

“It’s cheaper for one thing, you have personal contact with the person that owns it,” Reno said.

He even haggled the price.

“This is saving me over $100 over the nine days,” Reno said.

“We feel we are at the forefront of the way people are looking at their possessions,” Turo Spokesman Steven Webb said.

Webb said the service works especially well for those looking for a modification, like a bike or ski rack and he says there are protections in place for owners and renters.

“We feel we provide a marketplace that is safer than the general marketplace in transportation and the way that we do that is by providing an insurance policy through Liberty Mutual, screening both travelers and hosts to make sure they’re safe and to provide two-way ratings and roadside assistance,” Webb said.

So far, Patenaude says it’s working in his favor.

“I average something about $25-40 of profit per day,” Patenaude said. “I think the thing I like about it is, it’s business that allows someone like me, to let someone rent and I make a little money and they get a little cheaper deal so it kind of works both ways.”

Turo offers different levels of insurance for the car owner, which determines what cut Turo gets.

The owner keeps between 65 and 85 percent of the price.

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