QOTD: Would You Turo, on Either Side?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
qotd would you turo on either side

I learned something today that made me almost physically ill: Have you ever flown in or out of SFO, the wacky San Francisco Airport with its wacky fake TSA that takes bribes to let cocaine come through the screening process? Did you rent a car? And did you take that crappy-ass AirTrain that basically goes all around the Bay Area before dropping you off at the rental car facility approximately 42 minutes after you got on the thing?

Did you know that SFO charges eighteen dollars a ride for the AirTrain? They aren’t charging you; they are charging the rental companies, who pay eighteen bucks per contract for an “AirTrain fee” in addition to an amazing amount of other surcharges. No wonder it’s such a nightmare getting a car at SFO.

Of course, you don’t have to rent a car. You could take an Uber, or you could “rent” through Turo. The mandarins of San Francisco don’t like that, so they are taking Turo to court. That in and of itself is pretty much enough incentive for me to use Turo the next time I fly there. Whatever the Government of San Francisco is for, I’m probably against.

How about you? Would you Turo? And would you rent your own car through Turo?

Our own Bark M did a Turo rental a while back and proclaimed himself to be eminently satisfied. But I wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze on the owners’ side. And I wonder if anybody’s cracked the code to making money with Turo on a car that they didn’t already own, the way the Prius C has become a deliberate Uber purchase lately.

Let me know your thoughts, opinions, and AirTrain-related complaints in the space provided below.

[Image capture: Turo.com]

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4 of 85 comments
  • Oldowl Oldowl on Jan 27, 2018

    I've used Turo (formerly Relay Rides) three times, all with pick up at the Denver airport. Vehicles: an older Jeep Liberty, a year-old Subaru Forester Turbo, and a nearly new Jeep Renegade. All experiences were good to excellent. Vehicles were chosen for 4-wheel drive with the possibility each time of running into the combination of snow or ice at significant altitude. I doubt I could find a conventional rental with such particular vehicles guaranteed. Also, if you are planning to buy a vehicle a Turo rental can provide more experience than an ordinary test drive.

    • See 1 previous
    • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jan 27, 2018

      It would be nice if you could use Turo to rent something with winter tires for that situation. I'd take anything with Hakka9s!

  • Trackratmk1 Trackratmk1 on Jan 28, 2018

    I run a small 3 car rental company in the summer time and essentially use Turo for advertising. I had several rentals go out using the platform. They take 35% of every rental unless you prove you’ve got legit commercial/fleet insurance like I do. Then it’s only a 10% cut. At 35%, they do cover your insurance but DO NOT tell your personal auto policy you’re renting out. There have been nightmares about this, including instances where neither Turo nor the individual’s policy paid out, leaving the owner holding the bag. Turo is not worth it renting out a personal new car. Most cities you will not cover the depreciation. It does NOT scale well to expensive fleets. I’ve done the math. If your goal is to offset some costs of owning a fancy car, great, you’ll love it. However between your insurance, storage costs, car payment, depreciation, cleaning, and maintenance you’re rarely breaking even. Factor in the time you need to be available, and the annoyances and stress of having someone taking your car and doing god knows what with it, you realize why most people list their car for a few months then take it off the service.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?