Turo for car rental?

I have been researching ways to make it affordable for my family to fly to drop my younger daughter off at college the first time. Our original plan had been to cut costs by driving, but its a 28 hour drive each way, and would come only three weeks after another drive of 19 hours each way. I am worried that I am going to way burn us all out before the girls start school.

I have found a cheap airbnb to bring the lodging cost down from a hotel. I have found cheap airline tickets. What was the real place I get stuck was on the car rental- prices have gone absolutely insane for car rentals, if you can find one. I saw someone once mention Turo on here, and I googled. They’re actually about 1/5 the price of a roughly equal rental from the big chains. The price makes it feasible, but I’m worried because I don’t know anyone who has used them, and because if I have to take on their insurance it eats a good chunk of the savings. That said, my car insurance and credit card company both cover me in rental cars- I’ve always been told to decline the car company’s coverages. Turo is not technically a rental car, though; it’s a ride-share company.

I’ve tried searching with no clear answers, and I figure my next step is to call our company, but I was wondering if anyone has any insights or experiences. If driving from home ends up the only affordable way to go, that is ok and I will do it… but I am not looking forward to it and won’t if I don’t have to.

Used them many time for high end vehicles when traveling. My Amex covers insurance.

Did you verify that with Amex or assume? In my search I came across a number of people who thought they were covered by their rental cars but were not- and they didn’t figure it out until after an accident. We don’t have an Amex, so the specificity is moot- I’m just curious if you knew or assumed.

Yes, this particular card covers just about everything. My USAA auto insurance also covers me.

Thank you. I just had a very unsatisfying call with USAA that basically boiled down to they couldn’t tell me if I would be covered or not (by my credit card, yes covered by my insurance).

Can I PM you something that might help with a rental car rate? Significantly

Sure, but I’ve searched everywhere.

I ran the numbers for a week in Seattle and it’s almost half the normal cost. PM sent.

Also, if anyone makes a car reservation, go to auto slash.com and enter the info for your reservation. It will track it and if the price goes down it will send a notification.


I used Turo once to rent an ancient beater manual, to teach my son to drive stick on. You have no recourse if the person backs out.

But I was having a discussion with my son about this. He happens to have chosen a school less than two hours away from us. One of us will drop him off at college, give him a hug, and leave. But he said that if it had been somewhere he needed to fly to, of course he would have gone by himself!

Can’t you remember that all you wanted was to get to college and for your parents to LEAVE? You want to start meeting all the people on your floor, go to the dining hall together, talk, talk, talk. You do NOT want a prolonged goodbye with your parents.

So considering the tremendous cost and inconvenience of traveling with her, why not just ship the bedding if necessary, or buy new online and have it delivered there, and have her fly there on her own with two suitcases, a carry on, and a small backpack? I mean, we’re not talking a 9 year old here. She can take an uber to the campus.

Every person/family is different. I wanted to get away from my family so badly that I moved out at 16, so I definitely understand the need to get away. My kids and I have a different relationship. While they would accept maturely if they had to do this alone, it’s not what they would want, and it wouldn’t be ideal for anyone in our family. My older daughter, while very close to me, is more independent- she’s been off traveling on her own since she was 14 and she found the means with her scholarship. My younger daughter would love if we lived near enough to her college for her to commute, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she lived with us after college too. I would never presume that’s what is right for us is right for anyone else, and vice versa.


We thought this with our oldest son since it’s how it happened when we went to college in the dark ages.

Turns out many schools (including all three of my boys’ schools) have a bit of an orientation now where they expect parents to stay. We didn’t realize that with my oldest, so left after dropping him off as we had planned. He was one of the only ones without at least one parent and it made him feel quite unloved. Other, rather “toxic” folks stepped in.

Our relationship is only now starting to return to where it was when we left. He was high school class of 2010.

If I could change one thing about the past with him we’d have definitely stayed for orientation - though I fully respect if other students are different - just don’t assume they are because “that’s what we did when we went to college.” Things change. Many kids don’t like being the outlier if the culture has parent’s sticking around.

Our youngest rented a car in Alaska via Turo and it all worked out great.

I noticed our latest credit card update (AmEx) specifically said they would not cover cars rented from non-traditional companies. I think our car insurance company (USAA) does though - with the same deductible we have.

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Ok, clarification from USAA that yes, we are covered under our insurance (as mentioned above) but not a solid answer on the CC front (also USAA). I will try again tomorrow, but I’m leaning toward taking the leap. Even with a very great (and thank you again!) coupon, it’s still half the price of a traditional company.

We all talked about it more on the way home from rehearsals tonight and agree that we will all arrive in California as just burnt toast if we drive- the plan had been to do only one overnight (because hotel costs), same as our back and forth to the east coast a few weeks before- that trip also comes with a side of a daily commute for three weeks that’s over an hour each way. It’s just a lot- and we just drove cross country last summer to move here. And the summer before I was driving between upstate NY and NC . I think I would like to retire from driving for a solid month once my kids are both away in the fall. I will just walk everywhere for awhile. Ha!

We haven’t been through this yet. Thing 1 chose a different route than straight to college. Thing 2 went to a college only 75 min drive away, but this is the child who shoved the parent out the two-year-old’s nursery classroom door (as the other tots were all sobbing with separation anxiety) saying, “Just GO, Daddy!” If there was any kind of parent orientation, I sure didn’t know about it. But my friend said there was one at Penn State three years ago. For her only daughter, she of course was going to it. If she could have moved into the dorm with her daughter, she would have! And she said that mostly it consisted of trying to gently counsel the parents to LET GO! It was on the theme of they are big people now, you have to let go, don’t expect them to call you every day, let them stand on their own two feet, “Just LEAVE, parents!”

Again, every family/person/relationship is different. I speak to my older daughter every day, multiple times a day (often via text, but also phone calls). This is totally her choice and she drives the bus. Her friends have laughed because she will 100% text me in the middle of a party if something strikes her and she wants to. She has said she thinks is a shame that most of her friends aren’t close to their parents, but everyone is who they are.

My younger daughter will not contact me daily- she’s been away for long periods in dorms for ballet intensives, and I heard from her 1-2 times a week unless she needed help with something. That’s who she is and I’m ok with it both of their communication styles. I barely speak to my parents… it’s not a good relationship now and it wasn’t when I was a teenager. Same for my husband. I’ve seen both sides here and I’m rolling with the kids I have in front of me.

But to add, dropping your kids off… talking to them often… it doesn’t mean you aren’t letting them live their lives or babying them, imo. My kids can handle whatever they need to, are quite mature, and one of them loves (really loves) to travel. She has no qualms about traveling to other parts of the world alone… but she still likes to talk to me. I have always been one to say I’m mom first, but we are also friends second. I genuinely like my kids’ personalities and they enjoy mine. For me, I’ll accept the changes that may come in our relationship as they grow further into adulthood, but I’ll also be happy if they stay as close to me as they are now.

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Yeah, the two we went to were nothing like that and they were different from each other. I think different schools do things differently. We learned on our first - at his school they had a whole meal planned with parents among other things. My guy ended up “alone” at his table while the two other students had their parents with them.

We were incredibly close when he was home (and still are with our other two boys). He was our right hand man when he left, leader of many things (chess club, youth group, etc), and after that he ended up aloof even cutting off ties for awhile. Meeting a toxic parent who assured him we were horrid parents because we didn’t do things her way certainly didn’t help. (He didn’t meet her that first day, but not long afterward.)

I think the first is always the guinea pig for parents. Now we pay more attention to things. So much really is different from “our day.”

I put my post in to warn parents so they know there can be differences and then they can use that knowledge as it fits their student.

Ditto! Our “close” boys have traveled the planet alone without qualms. They just like to keep us in their inner loop to share things as we always have with our family. We do the same when we travel without them.

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@milgymfam You can rent a UHaul pickup truck or van for $20/day plus about $.50/mile. You’d have to Uber to UHaul place from airport.