Renting on Turo - FINALLY my story.

Renting on Turo - FINALLY my story.

So some of you older timers know Ive been teasing a cautionary tale about renting your tesla on turo.
Well, I didnt want to post anything until I was paid by insurance. I dont say nice things about the experience.

Anyway, here is my story about renting my Tesla on turo, and why I would never do it again, and perhaps may help someone else in the future.

Warning, it is LONG. Its a story, not just a quick "dont do it". So if you dont want to invest the time you can probably skip the top part if you want.

anyway. happy to answer questions as they arise.


socaldave | May 18, 2018

Nice write-up. Cautionary tale is right!! I was 99.3% sure I'd never let my car our via a ride-share/rental service like Turo - now I'm 100%!

Shock | May 18, 2018

I clicked the link. 20 minutes to read it?! But, I committed.

1) You haven't written in many years, but it didn't come off that way. Very readable.

2) Based on what little I know of Turo (not legal in New York) I wouldn't rent a car on it. I know people don't treat rental cars terribly well. I think most of them are treated half decently because people on vacation or business are renting them to get around. But people who are essentially joyriding another's vehicle--sometimes a pretty fast one--are not going to treat it well. If Turo was available around here I would immediately rent a Mustang GT and proceed to spend the next 24 hours melting its tires.

3) Four months is terrible. Glad it worked out for you, it really could have gone much worse.

4) I see Turo a little bit like how I see Uber. People are selling the equity in their cars for quick cash in ways they may not immediately appreciate via extra depreciation or wear and tear.

dingsheng.li1987 | May 18, 2018

I just joined Turo and made my first rental yesterday with my Model 3. Luckily, weather here now is nice and the gentleman had a deposit on the Model S all the way back in 2012 and his only other trip on Turo was with a Model S. I think my car is in capable hands. Still, as I used Turo's automatic pricing, my car was listed just $59 a day. Of course I bumped it up after finding out. But for this 3 day rental trip I will be getting a grand $155. Not worth it.

spuzzz123 | May 19, 2018

Well written it’s a good read even though it’s long. Thanks for the warning on Turo. I had considered it with the same rationale you used.

Interesting that you prefer your model 3 to the s. I’ve never even sat in an s but I’m curious now.

Did I also read that you can jeopardize a warranty by using it for commercial purposes?

ebmcs03 | May 19, 2018

Good read. Not that I would ever let anyone drive my car. I won’t even valet my cars.

I’m glad it worked out for you in the end. But it’s not worth it. Scratches. Dirty. Accidents. And the headache that comes after.

People beat the crap out of rentals. I know I drive them more rough than my car. Im a very caring person with others property too. But I know a co worker who says he never lets a rental car tires not scream for dear life on every corner or stop. And I’ve seen it. Beats the crap out of it.

So ya. I never let anyone drive my cars. Especially strangers.

ravisundaramam | May 19, 2018

That site wants me to log in to read. Wont read it.

ebmcs03 | May 19, 2018

No log in required for me

jsanford | May 19, 2018

My brother-in-law’s girlfriend rented her new car on Turo and a renter stole it. It was recovered from her driveway, and she tore up the interior with cigarette burns, slashes, so badly the car was totaled. Apparently this was a habit on the part of the renter, with standard rental agencies as well.

jsanford | May 19, 2018

Also, I love this quote, enough that I want to get it on a needlepoint for my office at work: “The more people you bring to the table, the more blame there is to go around.”

nathangdeeds | May 19, 2018

Thanks for posting your experience, reminds me of some of the early Airbnb stories that were out there, at least Airbnb stepped up their policies and coverage to protect the property owners.

It doesn't seem like Turo is taking that approach, it sounds like you learned some valuable lessons and got very lucky with the outcome. Thanks for sharing!

jjgunn | May 19, 2018

After reading this story, the only way to rent your Tesla via Turo is charge a $10k security deposit.

Anyone want to rent a Tesla now?

Dsmtesla | May 19, 2018

LIterally the only reason I published this story is to save someone else the hassle. If I can prevent one nightmare scenario, its worth it.

Dsmtesla | May 19, 2018

Also, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people renting their teslas on turo and im sure the vast majority have good experiences which is awesome, im happy for them.
However, I think about it this way. If i rent the car 50 times, at 100 bucks per day thats $5,000 profit, GREAT. however every time you rent, the probability of an accident increases. I figure you would need to get to 100+ rentals at 100$ a day to get back the diminished value of one major accident. Its a casino some win, most will lose over time. Turo and insurance companies arent in business to lose money

Frank99 | May 19, 2018

Thanks for the info, Dsmtesla. I've considered renting my Model 3, but this certainly gives me pause. Even if I were to be able to get diminished value coverage, the hassles of dealing with an accident are unlikely to be reimbursed - if you've spent 100 hours over the last 4 months trying to get things straightened out, who's gonna pay you for those?

KP in NPT | May 19, 2018

Thank you for your story Dsmtelsa. We would not rent ours, and this is a good reminder why. Even if it isn't their fault, the insurance hassle isn't worth it. It's another thing if you were driving.

CST | May 19, 2018

Dsmtelsa - very pleasant read, and I really like your writing style!

Dsmtesla | May 20, 2018

Thank you... not sure what that style is, kinda just vomiting on paper. :)

SO | May 20, 2018

Just remember, many people have been watching videos about the performance of a Tesla for years now. When those people rent a Tesla, they will want to experience that. No way would I ever rent out my Tesla.

Dsmtesla | May 21, 2018

Yeah this one was actually the opposite . im 90% certain he let off the pedal on icey roads and the regen braking made him slide out in to the other lane. Just happened to be the last thing I told them before they left...

EVolution | May 21, 2018

really informative

that 20 min read just saved me 4 months of waste of time

lilbean | May 21, 2018

In @georgehawley's words: "Sometimes I don't even let myself drive it".

EVolution | May 21, 2018

@lilbean | May 21, 2018
In @georgehawley's words: "Sometimes I don't even let myself drive it".

He lists it on Turo and rents it to himself on his bad days

lilbean | May 21, 2018


martinbogo | May 21, 2018

Well written, and a great read.

Look, don't use these share-rental companies. No matter which you pick, you're going to be catch-22'ed no matter if it's a little damage, or a lot.

It's just not worth it.

ColoDriver | May 21, 2018

Good story Dsmtesla.

I rented a Model 3 on Turo and took very good car of the car because I didn't want to wreck a new car with 1800 miles on the clock (Thanks for the rental Steve!) But I kept thinking that I won't rent mine out when I finally get it. After reading about your experience, I certainly won't be renting it, or loaning it, in fact don't even look at it.

Dsmtesla | May 21, 2018

Thanks for reading guys/gals its up to like 1500 views, which is pretty crazy...
That said, I love the service from a RENTERS perspective. ZERO liability... LIke i said in the story, I rented a very cool volcano orange Mini in Maui last year and it was the perfect car for that small island, It served us well. As a person renting your car, especially a tesla (given the cost of parts, time to acquire, time to fix) its just not worth it.

Rutrow | May 22, 2018

You've convinced me not to rent my Model 3 on Turo and to use Dingman's in Omaha should I ever wreck it.

(BTW, and don't take it as a verbiage baton, you have 2 "Strike 3"'s)

ebmcs03 | July 20, 2018

I will rent on Turo and buy myself 20 Tesla’s!

hicham | November 7, 2018

I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you, and thank you so much for this note. Since I live between 2 countries, I thought about renting my Model X on Turo, but I was reluctant, until I found your note.
I always thought renting your car out is like giving your girlfriend to someone else :)
Thanks again! All the best

ODWms | November 7, 2018

I’ve never been a person who nonchalantly gives his car to other people to drive, period. Never did it, even as a teen with my first car. So the idea of renting my car to others has always been kinda crazy to me. The inevitable damage, whether dents or dings or scratches are GOING to happen. Not if, but when if you do it long enough.

Additionally, there ARE liability issues, no matter what anyone will tell you. Someone, God forbid, hurts or kills another person driving the car, YOU are the owner of the vehicle. The driver will get sued. And you will too. Even if nothing ever happens, this one possibility is enough for me to never do it.

I cannot imagine what people are thinking. So not worth it.

guinnesman | November 7, 2018

Sorry to hear about your loss and experience but I kinda lost sympathy when you said you let someone take your car in such cold, snowy and icy conditions. I mean, really? Had you "listened to your gut" none of this would have ever happened.

I've been renting two cars on Turo for a while now. Nothing fancy, a 2010 Kia Soul and a 2014 Toyota Corolla, which rent for $30 and $35/day respectively. Both cars average about $700/mo each in income for me. Not a bad little side business.

Of course over the years both cars have become quite scratched up and curb rash on all the wheels but neither car was perfect to begin with. There have been some minor accidents but nothing that wasn't resolved quickly by either Turo or the renter.

The key to listing an expensive car for rent on Turo will be to be EXTREMELY picky, something the OP obviously didn't do. I pretty much take all comers for the above mentioned cars, but I won't for my Model 3.

So yes, in spite of the OP's cautionary tale I've recently listed my P3D for rent on Turo, for $165/day. At that price I would expect a different class of renter than for the other cars, and as I mentioned I will be extremely picky and not even consider anyone under the age of 25 no matter what.

So far I have bookings for two separate 1 day rentals. First guy is a father of four in town for business. He has driven his neighbor's model S on numerous occasions and is considering to buy a model 3. Will basically just be driving from the hotel to his work and back.

Second guy will be in town on vacation with his parents. He has one on order, and has driven and rented one on numerous occasions with excellent owner reviews on Turo. He wants the car one day for some sightseeing and to try and convince his folks to buy one primarily for all the safety features. He also paid an additional $75 for unlimited mileage for the day. With his parents in the car I don't think he's going to be driving too crazy, lol.

Sure I will probably feel a little anxious when the car is rented but no risk, no reward. That will be about $320 in income for just two days without the car. Goes a long way towards making the car payment. And fortunately here in sunny SoCal weather is never an issue. But if we do ever get rain in the forecast I will promptly make the car unavailable for those days.

I guess it just depends on your toleration for risk. There is a horror story to be told regarding any type of activity, but 99.9% of the time there are no issues. Use Uber much? Most people do in spite of plenty of reports about drivers assaulting their passengers. A plane recently crashed into the ocean, are people going to stop flying?

For me I'm willing to take the risk. I'm retired, and my whole retirement plan is the "sharing economy", lol. Renting cars on Turo as well as a room in my house on Airbnb has proved to be both lucrative and a rewarding experience in many other ways. Right now I could go to about six different countries and stay with a friend I've met through them staying at my place, how cool is that?

Carl Thompson | November 7, 2018


If you are still around I read your story and I'm glad things worked out for you. As you said it could have been much worse!