If you’re like most people, your car sits idle, gathering dust, over 90% of the time.
Say you commute an hour each way to work — that’s only 1/12th of the day, or a little over 8% usage.
And any extra hours you add outside your daily commute are usually more than balanced out by weekends and idle time during, say, long vacations.
Any way you slice it, you aren’t getting the most out of your car. You’re paying $20,000 for every $2,000 worth of actual use.
What a waste.
The millennial solution to this is to ditch the car and use Uber or Lyft instead.
But that can get expensive pretty fast. And — like renting a house instead of owning one — you’re just throwing your money down a hole.
I know owning a car often feels the same way. It loses an insane amount of value the second you drive it off the lot.
Every time you go to the mechanic, you seem to come out $800 lighter without anything to show for it. And every few days your car demands another expensive feeding at the gas trough.
But I’ve got good news.
There’s a way to make better use of your car. Not only to capture its full value but to actually turn it into a profit machine.
And you can get started in as little as 10 minutes…
All thanks to a relatively new company called Turo.
Get Paid by Your Car
Turo has often been called the Airbnb of automobiles. Because that’s exactly what it is. It allows you to rent out your car when you’re not using it. The same way you can rent out a spare bedroom on Airbnb.
It takes very little time to set up your car on the platform — around 10 minutes. (Though devoting a little extra effort to create some flattering photos will pay off down the line.)
You decide when your car is available… where it can be picked up… and the price it rents at as well.
Turo offers dynamic pricing — which generally aims to rent your car out at the highest possible price, at a usage rate around one out of every three days.
But fiddling with the rate might make more sense… If you want a workhorse that’s rented out 90% of the time, you can drop the per diem price a bit and make a lot more money. Or if you only want to rent your car when you’re out of town, you can charge higher holiday rates and discourage rentals at other times.
However you want to use the system — it works.
Search online and you’ll find plenty of success stories. Depending on what car you’re renting out, where you are and how often your car is available, you can make anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to over $1,000 every month.
That’s net — after counting up expenses.
You will need to have regular car insurance for your vehicle, but you can go with the cheapest possible option. That’s because Turo has commercial insurance on every vehicle they list — good up to $1 million of coverage.
And — after a bumpy start to the program — Turo has become known for fast, fair payments whenever there’s damage to deal with.
And Turo is gaining in popularity — quickly.
It’s cheaper (and often more convenient) than using a traditional rental company. So it’s little wonder that a growing number of people are choosing Turo over traditional rental companies — the same way Airbnb is pummeling hotels around the globe.
Renting your car out on Turo simply makes sense. It turns one thing that blows a hole in your budget into a moneymaker.
But some people are still resistant…
Avoid the Personal and Build an Empire
Your car is a very personal space. For some of us, it’s the only space that’s truly our own — not shared with co-workers, family members or random strangers.
I keep my gym bag in my trunk at all times, so I’m ready to sweat whenever I’ve got a free block of time. You can’t do that if your car could be rented out at any moment.
That’s why a lot of people don’t treat Turo as a way to get more use out of a main car. Instead, they treat it as a way to build a rental fleet.
Because — and I can’t stress this enough — making money on Turo is so easy and so fast that you can pay off the entire cost of a car in less than six months.
So it may make sense to buy a car — preferably a lightly used one, instead of a beater or one with the new-car smell — to use as rental vehicle.
Then take the profits and use them to purchase your next vehicle. And so on.
If you’re serious about it, you could quickly build up a fleet of 10-plus vehicles in a couple years…
A fleet that could bring you a six-figure income.
To reach that level, you’ll have to add a few perks — like car delivery (which often really means splurging for a Lyft to your car) or working out a deal with a centralized garage to house multiple vehicles.
But considering you can add a sizable income stream with a few hours of work every week, that extra mile is certainly worth it.
You can use Turo’s Carculator right now to see what sort of income you could expect from your car… or what kind of car will deliver the best income stream. (Hint: It rhymes with Weep Jangler.)
The sharing economy has proven a wrecking ball to the old ways of doing business already.
Look for Turo to be the next wave of this revolution.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
P.S. The sharing economy keeps growing… And it signals a dramatic future divide in the economic fortunes of people. Are you going to be a renter — or an owner? I know which side is going to be the one making money down the road. But it’s still a scary leap for some people. Have you had a great (or bad) experience in the sharing economy? Do you like the ease of never owning anything — or the income that comes from lending out your property? Let us know at email@example.com.
Ryan Cole is the editor-in-chief of Unconventional Wealth. He’s been covering the alternative investment space for nearly a decade and writing about finance and investment for almost 20 years.
Ryan has walked the walk for years, living a very unconventional life. He’s led snowmobile tours through the mountains of Colorado, settled in Japan for five...