Turo rental cars is a mobile app platform that has existed for some time. Like Airbnb, the app allows consumers to reserve and rent a vehicle from local owners, and all transactions are completed within the app. 

When visiting Lanai, I waited too long and could not rent a Jeep on the island, and that's when Turo came in for the rescue. After renting with Turo, I wrote this article to discuss booking and maximizing savings when renting with the Turo platform based on my experience. 

How to Book and Maximize Turo Rental Cars in 2023
Photo Credit: Turo
Table of Contents  [show/hide]

    What Is Turo and How Does It Work?

    Turo is a mobile app platform allowing you (the guest) to book a rental car from people (the hosts) instead of traditional car rentals from companies such as AVIS, BUDGET, Hertz Rent-a-Car, DOLLAR, etc.

    If you are familiar with Airbnb, the concept of Turo car rental is very similar. Instead of renting accommodation from the locals, you rent their cars for your driving needs. This is a great way to support local people too!

    One of the convenient ways to book through Turo is the ability to have the car drop off for you where you want to pick it up and where you want to drop it off after the trip. You can communicate that directly with the car owner, all through the app. 

    Through the Turo app:
    • You can search for car availability in the area you want. 
    • You can review the car information, conditions, and descriptions. 
    • You can read the reviews of the car owner you rent the car from. 
    • You can have the car dropped off at your desired location at a specific time. Some offer this service free, while some have an additional charge. 
    • You can also buy optional insurance offered by Turo (more below).
    • You can book a rental car all through the app, which has free cancellation. 
    • You can communicate directly with the car owner through text messaging. 

    How to Book Turo Rental Car?

    Booking with Turo rental car requires the Turo app:
    • Download the Turo app from the app store. 
    • You can sign up for a Turo account through the app or online at turo.com
    • Open the app and log into your account successfully. 
    • Search for the city, airport, address, hotel, and trip dates. 
    • Browse through available rentals and read the descriptions, mileage, insurance, cancellation policy, etc. 
      • Review the mileage carefully because some Turo hosts do not offer unlimited miles. The same thing to whether you can drive the car off-road or not. 
    • Tap Continue to review all the fees associated with the rental before booking the trip. 
      • Turo charges Trip Fee per day, which will be added to the final cost breakdown. 
      • The Delivery Fee, if applicable. Some offer free drop-off/pick-up, while others charge a fee. You provide that information under Extras on the same cost breakdown screen. 
      • Sales taxes will also be added to the final cost breakdown. 

    Your credit card is immediately charged after you make a reservation in the Turo app. While this type of transaction is prepaid, the booking is fully refundable. In other words, if you cancel your booking, Turo will refund the money to the credit card. 

    Turo's Free Cancellation Policy

    As mentioned above, Turo bookings are fully refundable. While your booking is prepaid, your card is charged immediately after booking, and you can get your money back should you cancel the booking. It's all stated on the platform before you book. Something like this:

    Free cancellation. Full refundable before [date and time].

    Turo Insurance For Renters

    Accidents can happen, and that's why you must have insurance that can cover you as a driver of someone else's car, the renter. 
    • You should always check with your primary car insurance company if you are covered when you drive a rental car, specifically with Turo. 
    • Secondly, use a credit card with insurance on rental cars and ensure it covers Turo. 
    • Last but not least, Turo also offers insurance options that you can look into. 

    Turo platform has add-on features, such as liability insurance, automatically added to the final renting cost. You can decline it, and the insurance fee will be removed. However, I strongly suggest you consider this carefully. 

    You must ensure insurance matters before booking with Turo as a renter. The Turo platform is fairly new, and almost all car insurance and credit card companies will not insure any damages and accidents occurred when you rent with Turo. Therefore, consider purchasing the insurance offered directly by Turo. If the cost becomes too high, renting with traditional rental car companies is better. 

    Turo uses a third party to offer liability insurance for renters. Below is a reference to give you an idea of what Turo insurance covers you as a renter when you purchase the plan: 
    • Standard
      • The fee varies based on the market. 
      • $500 max out-of-pocket for vehicle damage or theft
      • State minimum liability insurance
    • Minimum
      • The fee varies based on the market
      • $3,000 max out-of-pocket for vehicle damage or theft
      • State minimum liability insurance
    • Direct Link to Turo Insurance For Renters

    Can You Book Multiple Turo For The Same Day? 

    No. You cannot have multiple Turo bookings on the same day. 

    Maximizing Turo With Amex offers 

    From time to time, Amex does have an Amex offer available for Turo. For example:
    • Get a one-time $30 statement credit using your enrolled eligible card to spend a minimum of $150 on one or more purchases online at turo.com by xx/xx/xxxx date. 

    The good news with Amex Offers is that once you add the offer to your Amex card, you can charge the Turo fees to the Amex card immediately because all Turo bookings are paid immediately after booking despite free cancellation. Therefore, you do not need to wait to receive the Amex Offers credit after you complete renting the car, which can be when your Amex offer may expire. 

    Maximizing Turo With Capital One

    Now through May 16, 2023, cardmembers of specific Capital One credit cards can earn bonus miles when they use the Capital One card as a method of payment for Turo:

    • Capital One Venture X Credit Card earns 10x bonus miles
    • Capital One Venture Credit Card earns 5x bonus miles

    It's still being determined if the partnership between Capital One and Turo will be extended after May 16, 2023. See the press release here

    Maximizing Turo With Delta SkyMiles

    Turo and Delta Air Lines also have a partnership, allowing you to earn 500 bonus SkyMiles on each trip you book and take with Turo. 

    To take advantage of this benefit, you must link your Turo and Delta SkyMiles accounts first before booking and completing any trips you take on Turo.