We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program
For many years, renting a car has been kind of a hassle. The only way to do it was through car rental agencies like Hertz or Enterprise, and the costs could be pretty prohibitive, especially for long-term or one-way rentals.
Fortunately, now that we’re living in a golden age of apps, renting a car is no longer as complex. Apps like Turo allow people to share their vehicles with each other rather than going through an expensive agency. While these apps aren’t perfect for all rental situations, they can alleviate many issues of getting a rental car.
If you’re interested in using an app car rental service, we’ve compiled a list of the top car rental apps available. Whether you’re looking to rent a car for the weekend or for several weeks, these apps like Turo can help you get what you need from local owners. Let’s dive in and see what they have to offer.
What is Turo?
Turo is one of the best car rental apps, thanks partly to its massive network of hosts and dedicated customer service team. Turo operates in most major cities around the country, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, and many more. Turo also allows users to choose the type of car they’d like to rent. For example, if you’re interested in luxury cars, you can sort your search by brands like Rolls-Royce, Tesla, and Ferrari. However, if you want a more economical rental car, Turo offers standard vehicles too.
Because Turo is a simple and efficient way to rent cars, many competitors exist in this space. Also, since Turo is one of the most well-known car rental apps, we wanted to look at what else is available.
Top Apps Like Turo
For the most part, the best car rental apps allow you to find vehicles near you for short-term rentals. While you can potentially rent cars for more than a day, the options become limited because you’re working with hosts, not a rental fleet. So, depending on your specific needs, you might have to use multiple apps to get what you want.
Also, some apps cater to particular situations or car rental types. For example, Gig Car Share is designed for people who need to work or run errands within a specific “home zone.” Comparatively, other apps are more geared toward vacation rentals. So, review each of the apps and determine which one sounds ideal for your next trip.
Rating: 4.7 stars
As the top-rated car rental app, SIXT has quite a few features and benefits to offer. This app crosses traditional car rental companies and peer-to-peer sharing services. On the one hand, you can rent vehicles for extended periods thanks to the SIXT monthly subscription model. For example, let’s say you’re working in a new town for a few months before returning home.
Or, perhaps you’re traveling for several weeks at a time. You can keep the same car for the entire period and save money by purchasing a subscription.
If you prefer to rent a car from a fleet, SIXT maintains its own cars, much like a traditional agency. However, if you want to work with local car owners, you can opt for the sharing service instead. Currently, this option is only available in Germany and the Netherlands, so if you’re in the US, you’re out of luck. That said, you can partner with ride-sharing services like Lyft no matter where you are.
- Pros: Reliable service, flexible options, and car rental company benefits.
- Cons: More expensive than other P2P rental car apps, you can’t rent from individual owners to save money.
I rented a car from SIXT on vacation in Maui. The process was simple, straightforward, and fast. My only complaint was that their app didn’t work well.
Rating: 4 stars
Unlike apps like Turo and SIXT, ZipCar is designed as an app for those who don’t have a car but need one regularly for different purposes. You need to apply and set up a monthly membership to get started. Even if you’re not renting a car in a given month, you still have to pay, which can seem unnecessary. However, the benefits of becoming a member are pretty impressive, including:
- Free Gas – You’ll receive a ZipCard to fill the tank whenever necessary.
- Roadside Assistance – Whether you’re in an accident or get a flat tire, you can reach someone 24 hours a day.
- 180 Free Miles Daily – If you drive more than that, you’ll pay per mile, so ZipCar isn’t ideal for long-distance driving.
- Insurance – Even if you have your own car insurance, ZipCar offers its own policy that protects you for every trip.
Overall, ZipCar works well if you’re trying to run errands or maintain a vehicle without the high costs of insurance, gas, and parking. It’s a new car renting method geared toward business owners, students, and eco-friendly people who want to limit their car usage whenever possible.
- Pros: Free gas and roadside assistance are provided with a membership, and you can pick up and drop off cars practically anywhere in your home location.
- Cons: You must pay for a membership to use the service, and it’s not designed for long-distance trips or vacations.
Rating: 3.9 stars
Free2Move is both a car rental app and a car-sharing service. If you’re trying to rent a car for a vacation or to get from one place to another, you can choose from the app’s massive fleet. However, if you’re looking for fast and local rental cars, you can take advantage of the sharing service.
One thing we like about Free2Move is that it has a fully flexible drop-off location. When reserving a vehicle, you’ll see what’s around you and have up to 30 minutes to get to the car. Once you’re finished, you lock it via the app, and you’re done.
This option is far more convenient since you don’t have to return to the pickup location. For example, if you get a car near the airport, you don’t have to go back to get a taxi or Uber home.
Another feature of Free2Move is that you can reserve parking spots. This option is useful when you travel since you can leave your car at an airport or train station for your trip. Knowing that your spot is reserved means you can have peace of mind while you’re away and that your vehicle will be ready and waiting for you when you get back.
- Pros: Easy-to-use software, available car sharing, rental services, and parking space rentals.
- Cons: Most services are widely available in Europe, not the United States. Free2Move is only in a few major cities.
Rating: 3.6 stars
This app is truly a peer-to-peer method to rent a car. Instead of working with a company that has a fleet of vehicles, Getaround works as a go-between for owners and riders.
Because of its setup, you can rent a car whenever you need it or put your own vehicle up for rental. So, if you’re looking to make extra cash and don’t need your car for a while, you can list it on Getaround.
One downside of these kinds of rental vehicles is that they run the gamut from exotic cars to older used ones.
So, the quality and handling can vary from one owner to the next. Also, getting a car on demand can be tricky if you’re in an area with few owners. The primary benefit, however, is the affordable prices because you’re not paying for the overhead of a regular rental agency.
- Pros: Affordable pricing and easy-to-use software. Trip insurance is also active during your drive. Car ownership also means you can rent your car to other people.
- Cons: Vehicle quality and availability can vary from one city to the next. Insurance doesn’t cover incidents while you’re not driving.
Enterprise Car Share
Rating: 4.3 stars
If you’ve rented a car the traditional way, you should be familiar with Enterprise Rent a Car. This service is by the same company but focuses on car sharing instead of renting a fleet vehicle. Enterprise car share is designed for small businesses but can also work for individuals. For example, if you need a car for your job and don’t have one of your own, you can rent through Enterprise.
Because a massive company, the quality back this service and the availability of cars are extensive. Also, you don’t have to worry about insurance because you’re protected from start to finish. Also, you can rent by the hour, day, week, or month, depending on your needs.
- Pros: Reliable and high-quality vehicles.
- Cons: Must maintain a monthly membership, and this service is designed for businesses, not consumers.
Gig Car Share
Rating: 3.8 stars
Although this app is not the most highly-rated option for rental cars, it is backed by the American Automobile Association, so it has a decent pedigree. Gig Car Share is another local rental app focused on providing vehicles for those who may not own one.
You can pick up and drop off cars in specific “home zones,” offering better flexibility than other car rental services.
Gig Car Share is another monthly subscription app, but it’s free to sign up for. As with ZipCar, you get built-in fuel, insurance, and roadside assistance. However, you only pay for these services when renting a car, rather than as part of your membership.
Gig Car Share is only available in the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento, and Seattle. So, if you live outside these cities, you’re out of luck.
- Pros: Free membership that includes fuel, insurance, and roadside help.
- Cons: Only available in a few cities, the costs are not as affordable as other apps.
How to Choose a Car Rental App
The concept may seem a bit odd if you’ve never used peer-to-peer sharing apps before. After all, when renting a car from a stranger, how can you be sure it’s safe and reliable? Here are some things to look for when choosing other car rental apps to provide yourself with some peace of mind.
Pay Attention to User Reviews
Customer reviews are often a reliable way to determine the authenticity of a specific app or service. That said, not everyone’s experience will be the same, so it’s imperative to read through many reviews before making judgments.
For example, if only one negative review mentions something specific, it might not be a common issue. Also, pay attention to whether the app’s service team responds to reviews or not. If there are many responses from the company, it shows engagement and involvement. The brand is willing to fix issues and ensure happier customers.
Look for Insurance
Before getting in a rental car, you must ensure you’re covered by insurance. The best rental apps will have their own insurance policies protecting you and the host if something happens. Also, remember that anything could go wrong while you’re on the road. Even if you’re the most cautious driver, other people could hit your vehicle while parked.
You need to make sure that you’re not on the hook for any incidents that happen. If you’re at fault, that’s a different situation, but if someone else hits the rental car, you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for anything. Insurance is even more vital if you’re renting a luxury car because repairs could be extra costly.
Consider Your Car Rental Needs
Are you visiting a new city and looking to rent a car while you’re there? Or, do you not have a vehicle and need one to run errands around town? There are many reasons to look for car rental deals, and each situation is unique. Some apps are perfect for local drives, while others allow more flexibility with trip distances and durations.
For example, what if you want to travel outside town for a night? What if you want to extend your trip by a couple of days? These questions could impact your experience since you’re working with individual car owners. Most apps will have a FAQ section to address these issues, but you may need to reach out directly to get answers.
What Kind of Car Do You Want?
Apps like Turo specialize in offering luxury car rentals, while others focus on economical vehicles (i.e., Toyota and Honda). If you’re looking for something flashy and expensive, you must ensure that the app offers it. Conversely, if you’re not trying to get luxury cars, there’s no reason to download an app that features pricey rentals.
Pick Up and Drop Off Location
One of the advantages of working with car rental companies like Hertz is that you can drop off your vehicle at different locations. For example, you might pick up the car at a rental office in town and drop it off at the airport (or vice versa).
With car rental apps, you often have to return the vehicle to the same location where you got it. Again, since you’re working with car owners, most of them aren’t able to travel to pick up their vehicle from wherever you left it.
That said, some apps will have a “home zone,” allowing you some flexibility in where you can drop off and pick up. So, remember before downloading an app or starting a new rental period. s
The best apps like Turo will enable you to reach a customer service representative if there’s an issue. For example, if you get into a collision late at night, you don’t want to have to wait until regular business hours to speak to someone. Also, be sure you can talk to a real person, not a chatbot or email service. You need immediate assistance when there’s an emergency with your rental car. Otherwise, a relatively minor incident could become a massive headache pretty quickly.
FAQs About Apps Like Turo
We’ve covered a lot of information about peer-to-peer ride-sharing and car rental apps. However, you may still have questions about these programs and what they offer. Here are some frequently asked questions that can hopefully provide some unique insight.
Is Turo Cheaper Than Getaround?
Both companies offer similar services at similar prices. However, Getaround seems to be a bit cheaper, depending on your usage rates.
Are Car Sharing Apps Like Turo Safe?
Yes, Turo is a safe and reliable car rental company. Before downloading and using any app, you should verify the publisher and look at user reviews. All of the apps listed here are safe and not scams.
Does Uber own Turo?
While both apps allow peer-to-peer ride sharing, they’re not the same. Turo is owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC), while Uber is its own enterprise with no parent company holding it. Uber has also not announced any plans to purchase Turo shortly.
How Do Apps Like Turo Make Money?
As with most peer-to-peer sharing services, these apps make money by taking a percentage of each transaction or charging fees to users. The more people using the app, the lower the costs (in theory) because the company can make more by charging less.
Do Apps Like Turo Include Insurance?
Yes, the best car rental apps will offer their own insurance plans for every rental. However, if you already have car insurance for your personal vehicle, you should be covered by your existing policy as well. So, either way, you should have coverage when driving a rental car through one of these apps.
The Bottom Line
Renting a car has never been easier, and you can access a wide range of vehicles from many different countries. Apps like Turo empower you to rent cars for various needs or situations, and the best car rental apps are reliable, secure, and easy to use. Once you start utilizing these car rental services, you’ll wonder why you have ever worked with an agency.