I rent out my car on Turo and now it pays for itself. Here's how I got started and stay booked.

I rent out my car on Turo and now it pays for itself. Here's how I got started and stay booked.
Courtesy of Nate Matos
  • Nate Matos is a Turo host based in Miami.
  • He started by renting his own car on the platform, then bought a second vehicle just for renting.

This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with Nate Matos, a Turo host based in Miami. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I decided to become a Turo host after listening to Earn Your Leisure, a financial education podcast, about two years ago.

The podcast brings on a lot of guests to speak about different aspects of business, finance, and entrepreneurship, and I saw an episode with someone who was sharing his experience with Turo car rentals.

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I watched that video 4 or 5 times trying to figure out if it was feasible for me

I was living in Albuquerque at the time. Then, when I moved to Miami, I felt like Turo made more sense for me. Eventually, after doing a lot more research and talking with my girlfriend about it, I decided to put my car up on the platform to see how it did.

I was debating buying a separate car just for Turo, but I didn't want to buy it and have things not work out, so I decided to use my primary vehicle.


I created an account on Turo, and the next day I got a booking

I had put it up for a low price and I was nervous. It was booked for three days, and I had no tracking device on the car. It also freaked me out that the renter pulled up in a beat-up Mercedes with the bumper missing. I didn't want that to happen to my car.

I didn't want to give him my keys, but I did. He brought the car back in one piece fully functioning, so I decided to keep doing it.

Since then, it's been a really good experience.

After some successful bookings, I decided to buy a Mercedes just for Turo

I was able to cover the cost of my two cars and the insurance, plus a little bit of profit. I'm now looking at purchasing another car to put on the Turo platform.

If you can have a nice car that pays for itself, why wouldn't you want to do that? When I make money on top of having multiple cars, it feels like a bonus.


Right now, my car makes approximately $800 a month, but it's made up to $1,200. My car payment with insurance is $680, so there's a good amount of profit.

Even in slow months, you can find ways to make more money

You can provide different extras with your car — like prepaid fuel, beach towels, chargers, or unlimited miles — that can help you increase your rate. However, I don't recommend offering unlimited miles unless you have an economy car. I once had someone take my car all the way up to Washington, DC.

Offering unlimited mileage is an easy way to get trips, but once you have what Turo calls an "All-Star Host" rating — which I did at around the three-month mark — you can get a lot of bookings without it. Or, if you want, you can offer it at a really high cost.

There are host designations that help you make more money, too

To become an All-Star Host, you need 10 trips with high reviews, and you need to have a 90% trip-acceptance rate and a 95% response rate that shows you're responding to potential customers. You also have to fulfill the bookings and not cancel on people.

The next level is a Power Host, which has similar requirements except you have to have more cars on the platform and have to have earned $9,000 or more in the past three months.


I did make some mistakes on Turo initially

For example, at first, I had both of my cars on Turo. I found that it drove down my profit margin a lot.

I had insured the cars through my personal insurance, since I would be driving the cars for personal use when they weren't rented, which was expensive. I just recently switched to a commercial insurance policy.

Most of the people who rent my car take care of it

They're spending $650 to $700 on the rental, and I've found that when people are spending a lot of money on something, they take care of it. I've even had people be considerate enough to pay me upfront for toll roads they've taken.

Sadly, that's not always the case. I've had people leave their items in my car and return it dirty. One time, I even caught someone smoking in it. I was able to prove it because of photos they posted on social media that showed them sitting on my car hood and smoking.

Overall, I like Turo, but I've had trouble with their customer service

Sometimes I'm talking to people on the phone, and they'll just hang up. I'm in multiple Facebook groups as well that have shared similar stories.


I also like those groups because you can gain insights into what other people are doing and what's working for them. You can also help others out and give them tips that might help with any issues they're facing.

It's a great community, and it makes me look forward to continuing on the platform.

Editor's note: A spokesperson for Turo provided this statement: We're sorry this host's experience fell short of our high standards. Every concern is valuable to us, and our quality assurance/reporting teams are dedicated to continuous improvement for exceptional Turo experiences. We prioritize the safety of our hosts' belongings with a strict No Smoking Policy and encourage honest feedback through our two-way rating system. The vast majority of delightful experiences offered by our community are reflected in our industry-leading Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score and BBB rating, surpassing those of traditional rental car companies.