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Adventurous Car Rentals

I recently took an Uber to a neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The driver asked me the purpose of my trip. I told him I was picking up a rental car from someone I met briefly online. His eyes widened, and the conversation continued.

Driver: How did you meet this person?

Me: Through a website called, Turo. It’s similar to Airbnb, but for cars.

Driver: Really?! Is it legit?

Me: I hope so! This is my first time using Turo. [We arrive at the address.] There it is. It’s the BMW in that driveway and they said the keys would be on the front tire.

Driver: I have to ask, are you stealing this car? I don’t want to be an accessory to a crime!

After reassuring him that I paid for the rental, he relaxed and even offered to wait for me to make sure the car started.

Other than narrowly escaping an Uber driver calling the police on me, I had a great first experience with Turo. I highly recommend it as an alternative to a car rental company. Turo allows you to rent directly from a car owner and communicate with the owner as needed. You’re able to purchase insurance (premium or basic) through Turo at the time of your rental. The cost for the rental and insurance can be between 20-50% lower than the cost of an economy car from a rental company. Turo renters often give weekly and monthly discounts. And some renters offer free delivery to/from your location.

The only downside of Turo is that you can’t accumulate airline miles like you can through car rental companies (e.g., Hertz, Budget, etc.). While I typically collect airline miles as much as possible, the cost of Turo outweighed the benefits of miles this time around.