Think Auto Airbnb: App Helps You Rent Your Car When Not in Use

BOSTON (CBS) — When Ashley Hunter moved to Boston from North Carolina, she decided to leave her car behind. “This is my first time in a big city, so I’m going to take public transportation,” she said.

She works remotely, so she doesn’t need a car to commute and she loves the money she’s saving. But when she has meetings for work or wants to go somewhere, she misses having a car.

That’s when Ashley thought there must be a car rental service that fits her needs. “I went to Google and searched ‘Airbnb for cars’,” she explained.

turo2 Think Auto Airbnb: App Helps You Rent Your Car When Not in Use

An advertisement on Turo, a website where you can rent cars (WBZ-TV)

She found Turo, a company that matches people who need a car with those who have one to spare. People like Maggie Thurber of Medford who discovered Turo on vacation with her husband and four kids. “It was so easy. We were like we could do this,” she explained. When Maggie and her husband got home from vacation, they decided to buy a car just so they could rent it out on Turo. It’s a mid-size Ford sedan and is rented nearly every day. “In June, this car was rented 27 out of the 30 days,” she said.

Rental fees vary depending on the car. You can get a Nissan Sentra for $20 a day, or you can splurge and get a Maserati for $128.

Maggie rents her car for $50 dollars a day and says she has already covered the cost of buying the car.

turo car airbnb Think Auto Airbnb: App Helps You Rent Your Car When Not in Use

Turo website for renting cars (WBZ-TV)

There are some logistical issues, like what Maggie does with her 4 kids when a renter wants the car delivered to Logan Airport.

For Ashley getting a car has been easy for her and the owner. “Some of them have a remote control so they can unlock it from wherever they are,” she said.

The tricky part here is the insurance. Turo offers a number of options, but experts we talked to said owners and renters should check with their insurance company before trying any car-sharing service.

More from Breana Pitts
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