Yesterday, a tech-savvy friend of mine introduced me to a new service called Turo: a rental service that offers people the ability to rent a variety of local cars or, conversely, make their own car available for rent. Of course a background check and the required insurance helps ease the strain of lending a car to a stranger, but the laid-back vibe of it all, the wide array of cars available, and the chance to make some money from renting is appealing enough to get plenty of people onboard. However, I'm not sure the potential earnings justify the potential nightmare.
Unfortunately, renting out a sports car comes with its own slew of problems, as this Cayman owner learned the hard way. One renter claims to have lost control of his Cayman on a dirt road, slid into a bush, and incurred thousands of dollars in damage. While the interaction between both parties was civil—chalk some of that up to the service's background checks—the incident still highlights the potential for agony.
Is renting a cherished car out to even a vetted stranger something Porsche owners would be comfortable with?
There's no denying the appeal of sampling a slew of different sports cars for a long weekend or a trip through the country, but it's hard to believe that every renter would treat a sports car with the same respect an owner would.
In my opinion, if you want someone to treat your car like a Camry, rent out a Camry. Turo does not seem like a great service for people who are emotionally attached to their cars, but I could be wrong. Is there a chance people will become more considerate of other's belongings as we move toward more of a sharing economy, particularly in the denser urban areas? Call me a cynic, but I'm not so sure. This same guy actually did it again, after his first bad experience, and surprise, it didn't work out so well...