Rental car alternatives than can save you money or even make you some money

ByHeather Grubola and Nydia Han WPVI logo
Monday, May 20, 2024
Rental car alternatives than can save you money
If you are planning to rent a car this summer, there may be more options than you think and it could save you lots of money.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer and for many families, that means vacation. If your trip will include a rental car, we have a story you have to see.

There is a company offering low rates for fancy cars for customers, but folks can also make money by renting out their own vehicles. It's like an Airbnb for cars.

"I'm a five star power host," said Paul Lopez III of West Philadelphia.

Lopez doesn't rent out his house. He rents out his vehicles.

"I put it on the platform and it just took off. I mean, it was getting bookings after bookings."

Lopez is a host on Turo, which claims to be the world's largest peer to peer car sharing marketplace.

"Over 1,500 makes and models that travelers can book from local hosts," said Albert Mangahas of Turo. "We're really revolutionizing this idea of car rental."

We decided to take Turo for a spin. We searched for a vehicle for a one-week rental in Los Angeles from August 26th through September 2nd.

Among a long list of options is a BMW i4 for $64 a day, an Audi Q8 for $54 a day and a Toyota RAV4 for $37 a day.

"You want an SUV, you want a luxury car, you want an exotic car - they have it," said Lopez.

One of the better deals we found is a 2022 Kia K5, a midsize sedan, for $35 a day, for a total of $340.66 for the week.

If you're looking for a traditional car rental, you can do that with websites like AutoSlash, which is a free platform that promises to find the cheapest possible price on a car rental - even applying coupons and discount codes for you.

For a mid-size car the same week in Los Angeles, that was $340 on Turo, Midway is $372 for the week, Fox is $374. Budget is $605 and Thrity car rental is $641.

And Lopez said Turo has benefits beyond price.

"I think it's the convenience," he said.

No more shuttling to the car rental location or waiting in line.

"This is a key guard lockbox," said Lopez.

You can get a Turo vehicle delivered right to you and you can do contactless pick-up any time The customer just uploads a picture of their license and a selfie. As long as those match what Turo has on file, the car is theirs.

"I send them a code, they drop the box, put the code in open the door and they're outta here," said Lopez.

Lopez said it isn't just people on vacation who rent his car. It's also people whose car is in the shop or people who don't own vehicles, but need one just for a day to run errands.

One more thing: As far as insurance Turo does cover every trip for the customer and the host.

And just how much money you can make? Lopez makes an average of about $820 per month, per car he rents out.