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You've recently heard of Turo and might be wondering how they compare to other rental services because you just booked your vacation, and it's time to figure out how to get around while you're exploring your dream destination in the United States. So, is Turo cheaper than renting a car?

Turo appears to be cheaper than conventional renting agencies. However, guests must create an account and pass the verification stage before calculating the additional fees at checkout. When the extra fees are added to the base price, Turo prices can potentially exceed rental agency prices. 

Turo is similar to a regular car rental service because they let you rent a car to suit your specific needs. Where the difference comes in is who you're renting the car from; standard renting services have a fleet of vehicles, whereas Turo uses a peer-to-peer approach. Read on as we explore how this approach can influence renting prices. 

Turo Vs. Renting 

Exploring on your vacation is just one scenario where you might find yourself in need of transportation. Students who don't have cars and want to visit home over the weekends can use Turo. Or rent an exotic car to arrive in style at Homecoming. Of course, standard renting services cater to the same clients, so how is Turo different? 

What Are The Main Differences Between Turo And Renting? 

While price is arguably the biggest deciding factor in most transactions, service features can sometimes convince consumers to lean one way or another, regardless of how much more – or less – it costs compared to similar services.  Let's look at what makes Turo different from conventional car renting and if you'll be saving some hard-earned money. 

The first thing that sets them apart is that with Turo, you (the guest) rent the car from the owner (the host). This is one of the essential aspects that influence the pricing of Turo rentals because the host can set a price or go with Turo's recommendations. 

Returning a vehicle to a different location is not essential to all renters, but Turo won't be the best option if you have a different end destination in mind. Still, it sure does come in handy when you have no other choice but to drop the car at another location – and sometimes people are willing to pay a little extra for this convenience. 

People have come to rely on secure bookings from rental agencies because they have a fleet of vehicles. The chance that you'll be left without a ride because of some issue with the car or a double booking is on the slim side. 

Because Turo doesn't have a fleet of economic options, guests are encouraged – where possible – to book economy class cars in advance. It appears that the lack of more affordable rated vehicles is a common problem in specific areas. 

Here are the top rental features and how they differ from Turo. 

Feature TuroRentals
Return to a different location? NoYes
Rewards programs?YesYes
Options to suit all budgets? YesYes
Insurance? YesYes
Effortless online booking? YesYes
Roadside assistance? YesYes
Reliable bookings? Varies Yes
Free cancellation? VariesT's & C's
Early return refund? NoNo

Potential renters should take a good read through Turo's cancellation policy before making any bookings. Turo provides free cancellation if you cancel a booking twenty-four hours before the start date; this is for bookings made more than twenty-five hours before the trip. 

However, you only have an hour to cancel your reservation if you made the booking twenty-four hours (or less) before the trip. After the free cancellation time expires, guests can be subjected to fees depending on the circumstances of the cancelation. 

Rental agencies typically have a set penalty fee for cancellations within twenty-four hours of the trip date. With Turo, you risk paying half and sometimes even the total rental price if you cancel outside the free period. 

Another draw-back with the rent-from-owner aspect is that if the host cancels just before your trip is about to start, you're left in the lurch if there are no other Turo cars available. 

Is It Cheaper To Rent A Car With Turo? 

With some insight into what influences the renting prices, we can compare Turo prices with two popular agencies in the United States and establish if the peer-to-peer method is cheaper than renting from a fleet. 

(Based on the pricing of a Toyota Corolla from Laguardia Airport, New York, US, during November 2021 for ages 26 and above.)

Turo 

Trip price: $40

Trip fees: are calculated as a percentage of the trip price upon check out and, according to Turo, depend on factors such as the value of the car, lead time of the booking, trip duration, etc.

Protection Plan: This depends on the type of plan you purchase. At the top-level protection, there is a minimum charge of $14 per day. You can always opt to forgo protection. 

Taxes: Depends on the US state. 

Unlimited miles included (Some hosts have a limit on mileage, once you exceed the distance, the hosts set the price per additional mile. It can be $0.20 per extra mile) 

Delivery charges: depends on the host or where the car needs to be delivered. 

Total estimate: $40 +

To get the total, you need to have an account with Turo before you can check out. And apart from the vague calculations on the website before you proceed to confirm the booking, some commercial hosts may charge additional fees outside Turo. 

Rental agencies 

With some rental agencies, you can save up to 35% if you book and pay for the rental simultaneously. Also, keep in mind that you pay more when you return the vehicle to another location. Additionally, prices are also a lot higher if you book during peak times in December. 

Agency One 

Base rate  $53.09

Concession Recovery Fee (11.11%) $5.90

Concession Recovery Fee Surcharge – 0.50/day

Taxes $12.42

Unlimited miles included

Total estimate: $71.91 +

Agency Two 

Base rate $56.99

Car rental sales tax (12.0%) $ 6.84

Sales tax (8.875%) $ 5.05

Unlimited miles included

Total Estimate $ 68.88 +

Conclusion

Turo has a lot of “hidden” costs that are only calculated if you have an account and once you select the vehicle and check out. At a glance, it may be cheaper than rental services. But when all the costs add up, there might not be such a big difference between conventional car renting and Turo's peer-to-peer method. 

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