Turo (car rental)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from RelayRides)
Jump to: navigation, search
Industry Car sharing
Founded 2009 (2009)
Boston, Massachusetts
Founder Shelby Clark
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Area served
Nationwide in the US
Key people
Shelby Clark (Founder) & (Chief Community Officer), Andre Haddad (CEO)
Services Car sharing, car rentals, cars, car sharing
Number of employees
Website https://turo.com/

Turo is a peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace. It allows private car-owners to rent out their vehicles via an online interface.[1]

Car owners can set their own prices, and the company takes 25%.[2] The service launched in Boston in summer 2010,[3] in late 2010 it expanded to San Francisco,[4] and in March 2012 it launched nationwide in the US. It has received $52.5M in funding from Canaan Partners,[5] August Capital, Google Ventures,[6] Shasta Ventures, and Trinity Ventures.[7]

The peer-to-peer carsharing concept of Turo was inspired by similar online marketplaces such as Airbnb and eBay. Founder Shelby Clark proposed a peer-to-peer model because "we already have this massive resource in our communities" of underutilized vehicles.[8][9] He added, "It’s for the community, by the community."[9] The peer-to-peer setup also results in reduced rental costs as compared to car sharing services.[8][10]

While the company originally focused on short-term, hourly car rentals, over time the company witnessed the vast majority of its growth being driven by longer duration rentals of 1 day or more. In 2013, Turo discontinued support for hourly pricing of car rentals and turned its focus to long duration rentals.[11]

How it works[edit]

Unlike traditional car rental services, Turo neither owns the vehicles nor maintains them. Rather, they are offering a platform for car owners and renters to connect generating scalability and lower pricing."[12] They provide a platform that tracks the cars and matches prospective borrowers to car owners.[13]

People who wish to profit from their cars while they're not being used can register the cars online to be borrowed by other Turo members.[1]

To make the car available, a car owner that has signed up for Turo signs onto the network and states the time and place where the car will be available.[13] A member who wishes to borrow a car will reserve a specific time slot for the car online,[14] and pays for the amount of time they signed up for.[15] Hidden fees are added.

Renters are required to pick up the car at the owner's home or pay a delivery fee set by the owner. A additional fee is also charged if the owner has to pick up the car. Delivery/pickup is optional for the owner, and not offered by many. Car owners determine how far in advance the car must be booked, which ranges from three hours to one week. Most owners prefer the long-term arrangements, so bids for the minimum times may be rejected. The owner has 8 hours to respond to a rental request, at which point the bid expires. It can take several days to book a car. The late fee if the car is not turned in on time is $50 per hour with a $200 maximum.

Furthermore, since the cars are privately owned their maintenance is unpredictable. The owner doesn't promise perfect working order and no roadside assistance is available. You might rent what seems to be a snazzy Jaguar in the picture, but when you pick it up, it has a screw for a windshield-wiper lever, and a transmission problem where the car kicks and drags when shifting gears.[16]

Below is the schedule of late fees and other fines from off their website at URL https://support.turo.com/hc/en-us/articles/203990780-Fees-Fines.

  • Additional mileage 75 cents a mile
  • Late fee $70/hour
  • Cleaning/pet/smoking fee up to $250

"Late fees are described on our fees and fines page, and begin to accrue the minute that the car is late. They are billed in increments of an hour (i.e., if the car is 15 minutes late, the renter is responsible for the first hour's late fee, and not 1/4 of that late fee). In the event of very substantial lateness, additional fines may be assessed." (https://support.turo.com/hc/en-us/articles/203990710-Late-Return-Policy

There is also a cancellation fee. See https://turo.com/policies/cancellation.

If you cancel less than a day before the trip, Turo keeps 100% of the pre-booked rental price. If you cancel less than a week before the trip, Turo keeps 10% of the price. Therefore, if you book late—say the day or week before—then change your mind immediately, you will suffer the late fee.


Turo partners with insurance companies to provide a $1 million liability insurance to every owner for the rental period,[17] and performs basic background checks of vehicle registration and safety, as well as renters’ driving records.

Turo offers insurance packages to renters to cover damage to vehicles. Turo is not a licensed rental car company, and therefore credit cards typically do not extend their usual rental car damage insurance to rentals through the Turo marketplace.

Turo's insurance packages offer deductibles of $500 or $2500. This compares to zero deductible coverage offered through most credit card companies for cars rented from licensed rental companies. Damage to a rental vehicle obtained through Turo, which is not a licensed rental company, is therefore likely to cost more than damage to a car rented with a major credit card. However, you should note with this "credit card coverage" many do not include loss of use expenses, (covers the rental company for lost earnings while vehicle is being repaired and can't be rented) and it also may not provide the deposit the rental company may charge while they seek reimbursement from the credit card company. Sometimes this charge can be $5,000.

IF YOU DRIVE THE CAR AFTER THE ORIGINAL END TIME, THE INSURANCE EXPIRES AND YOU ARE DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE. "As a renter, you're only allowed and insured during the time of the booked reservation. Once you keep the vehicle beyond the booked time, you are driving without insurance and accruing late fees."[18]


Shelby Clark founded RelayRides in 2009, along with Harvard Business School classmates Nabeel Al-Kady and Tara Reeves, but the service was first launched in June 2010, in Boston.

In late 2010, RelayRides expanded to San Francisco, CA, where it is now headquartered.

In March 2012, RelayRides launched nationwide in the US.

In 2013, RelayRides partnered with major automaker GM and their OnStar division partnering to enable car renters to unlock GM cars with their mobile phones.[19]

In September 2013, RelayRides announced they would be discontinuing their Onstar technology integration to strategically focus on the fastest growing part of their business, long duration car rentals.[20]

In May 2013, RelayRides acquired Wheelz,[21] one of its competitors.

At about the same time, RelayRIdes was forced to exit New York over claims of false advertising and because Hudson Insurance and RelayRides did not follow state law. .[22]

In June 2014, RelayRides raised $25 Million in funding led by Canaan Partners.

In November 2015 RelayRides rebranded as Turo

Operations in New York State[edit]

In May 2013, the NY Department of Finance issued a scam alert warning consumers that Turo has been misrepresenting insurance coverage for users of its program[23] and issued a cease-and-desist letter ordering Turo to stop operations in New York.[24] Turo complied by immediately suspending operations.[25] After a subsequent investigation, in March 2014, Turo was fined $200,000 by New York state for false advertising, unlicensed insurance activity, and other violations.[26] Turo operations in New York remain suspended.


In November 2015, Turo raises $47-million in Series C funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[27] After the Series C funding round, the company has raised a total of $95 million in funding.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Video - Make money letting others drive your car". CNN.com. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  2. ^ Kirsner, Scott (2010-04-12). "RelayRides: Like Zipcar without the car fleet". Boston.com. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  3. ^ "Car-sharing revs up: Teaming up with the Joneses". The Economist. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  4. ^ Levy, Ari (2011-01-07). "Zipcar competitor RelayRides comes to S.F". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ Lawler, Ryan (2014-06-24). "Car-Sharing Startup RelayRides Raises $25 Million In Funding Led By Canaan Partners". TechCrunch. 
  6. ^ Lynley, Matthew (2010-12-14). "Google Drops Bank in RelayRides to Turn Your Car Into a Zipcar". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Lawler, Ryan (2014-08-12). "RelayRides Adds $10 Million From Trinity And Looks To Expand Peer-To-Peer Airport Rentals". TechCrunch. 
  8. ^ a b Ken Belson (2010-09-10). "Baby, You Can Rent My Car". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  9. ^ a b RelayRides, Out to Be the Community-Powered Zipcar, Hits the Ground With Pilot Rental Program | Xconomy
  10. ^ RelayRides challenges Zipcar, marketing with teams on foot | Cambridge Day
  11. ^ "Long-Duration Rentals Fuel 3X Growth at RelayRides in 2013". http://blog.relayrides.com. Retrieved 15 October 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ "RelayRides launches first peer-to-peer carsharing service". Venturebeat: Interpreting Innovation. 
  13. ^ a b Gansky, Lisa (2010). The Mesh. 
  14. ^ Rogers, Roo, Botsman, Rachel (2010). What's Mine is Yours. 
  15. ^ "How it Works: Borrowers". RelayRides. 
  16. ^ Elaine Luther, private experience with Relay Rides, October 20, 2015. Rented "Willis's Jaguar".
  17. ^ RelayRides. "Insurance". RelayRides. RelayRides. 
  18. ^ [Email from Alexandria of Member Services, Relay Rides support, Oct 21, 08:07 Email from Alexandria of Member Services, Relay Rides support, Oct 21, 08:07] Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "GM + RelayRides". RelayRides. 
  20. ^ "Long Duration Rentals Fuel 3x Growth at RelayRides". RelayRides. 
  21. ^ Lawler, Ryan (2013-05-14). "RelayRides Acquires Wheelz To Boost Inventory And Improve Hardware For Its Peer-To-Peer Car Rentals". TechCrunch. 
  22. ^ "RelayRides + Forbidden". RelayRides. 
  23. ^ "Scam Alert: New York Consumers Should Not Participate in Relay Rides' Online Car-Sharing Program Until Further Notice". New York Department of Financial Services. 
  25. ^ "Suspending New Rentals in NY". RelayRides. 
  27. ^ RelayRides Rebrands As Turo, Raises $47 Million Led By Kleiner, Techcrunch,

External links[edit]