How to Cut down Car Ownership Cost with the Turo App

  • Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing company started in 2010 that helps users rent out their car 
  • The total cost of owning a Toyota Camry is $5,164 per year
  • A Toyota Camry is estimated to generate $4,680 per year
  • A Turo fleet of Toyota Camry means that you lose around $500 per year per car 

Turo is an App that Helps Users Rent Out Their Spare Car

Turo is an app that helps people make extra money. It is a peer-to-peer car-sharing company that started in 2010. The company offers a platform where owners can rent their cars out. Customers reserve a specific time for your car on the app and pick up the car themselves. Although the company takes 10 to 35% of your earning, it is still better to earn something with your car than nothing at all. Therefore, let us test the Turo app out with an example.  

Toyota Camry Is Perfect for Turo Since It Is Reliable and Affordable

For our example, I wanted to get the most out of our car. We need a car model that is affordable, durable, and popular. Simply put we need an affordable car from brands like Toyota, Honda, or Nissan. Luxury cars are not going to work.

Luxury cars depreciate more per mile than commercial cars. Also, luxury cars are expensive, and you are unlikely to ever recoup the purchase price of your car with Turo. For example, BMW’s 10-year cost of ownership cost is $17,800, while Toyota’s cost is only $5,500. Interestingly enough, a 2019 Lamborghini Huracan can cost $14,500 per year!

Total Cost of Owning a Toyota Camry Per Month

Interest and Loan Payment$219
Tax and Fee$3.4

Total Cost 


Although the car brand doesn’t define the cost of individual car models from that brand, it does give us a general idea of how much you are likely to spend on maintenance. As an example, the BMW 328i cost $15,600 to maintain for 10 years. On the other hand, a Toyota Camry cost $4,700 to maintain for 10 years. Thus we will continue with the Camry for our example.

How Much Do We Make From Turo?

We can figure out our earning potential from a Camry on the official Turo website. The site allows you to analyze how much you will earn per day and the number of days that your car is likely rented out per month.

I found out a 2014 Toyota Camry, with a cost of $12,000, will earn $30 per day and is booked 13 days per month in the Washington, DC area. In total, you can expect to earn $390 per month and $4,680 more per year by using the Turo app.

Now let’s take a look at the total cost of owning a Toyota Camry, which includes things like the loan, insurance, repair, taxes and fees, and the maintenance cost we mentioned earlier.

An auto loan for $12,541 at 3.11% would cost you roughly $219 per month for 60 months. Therefore, the real cost of owning a Toyota Camry is $5,164 per year. Now can you imagine the cost of owning a Lambo?  I am sure it is a lot. Check out our other post about it here.

In other words, the Turo app can only help you offset most of our cost of ownership. You are still expected to pay only around $40.4 for owning your Camry each month.

That is to say, there is a secret that car manufacturers hate to admit; car ownership keeps you poor. We all know Toyotas are cheap cars, yet most of us are still surprised at its true cost of ownership. I know I was surprised.

Should I Build a Turo Fleet? No, You Would Lose $50 per Car per Year If Everything Goes Perfect

On the surface, this seems like a good idea. However, our analysis shows that you actually would end up losing money. Each car you include in your fleet would cost you $50 more each year. For instance, I have read posts about people buying fleets of used cars to rent them out on Turo. Bad idea. You are lucky to breakeven if everything goes right. Your downsides are high compared to your upsides.

So I can only advise people to only rent out a car on Turo if they have a spare car. Do not buy a car to rent out on Turo, thinking this is a quick way to get rich because you won’t. Likewise, I have never met a Turo millionaire and probably never will.

Leave a Reply