I started my Turo side hustle in 2021 with one car. Last year, I earned $76,620 in passive income from 7 cars.
Camesha Whitmore is a 31-year-old Turo host in Phoenix.
In 2021, she started a side hustle on the car-rental app hoping to earn passive income.
Last year, she earned $76,620 in passive income from her fleet of seven cars.
This as-told-to essay is based on an interview with Camesha Whitmore, a 31-year-old Turo host in Phoenix who started a side hustle on the car-rental app in 2021.
Turo is a carsharing app that allows people to rent out their cars to customers looking for daily drives or specific vehicles for adventures.
Last year, Whitmore earned $76,620 in income, which Insider verified with documentation. Much of her earnings are passive income because renting out her cars does not require significant ongoing time commitments. Mainly, she responds to messages in the app and ensures the cars are cleaned regularly.
The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I found a business I could start with my Range Rover
I was a senior contract analyst for a medical-device company. My 9-to-5 paid me very well, but I was bored. I looked on YouTube to find ways to create multiple streams of income and watched a multitude of Turo videos.
It is a really good way for me to live out my love for cars while also making additional income. I had a 2021 Range Rover, and once I listed my car it just took off. I was getting bookings left and right.
I thought, if I were to build out an entire fleet and bring in more money, I could scale and quit my 9-to-5. It probably took me about 30 days after I started on Turo when I started to slowly acquire more cars. By April 2022, I purchased four cars in one month, which took me to seven cars.
I'd built good credit, so I financed my cars with loans
I look at these cars as assets, so I would never purchase the car with cash — I would finance them.
I got business loans because I had already built business credit and didn't need the money from Turo to get new cars.
I purchased the cars at the manufacturer's suggested retail price because my timeline is three years. I'm going to only have the car listed for three years, and then I'm either going to trade it out and get the newer model or if that car isn't performing well, I'll probably get something totally different.
If you keep a car on the platform for a long time, you start running into maintenance issues and then you're spending more money on getting the car fixed than you're making.
I set my rates based on my car and time of the week
Prices are based on a ton of variables. For example, I set lower pricing on the weekdays and higher pricing on the weekends. But also, you want to make sure that you are priced well among your competitors.
When I started, I was charging $125 a day on weekends for my Range Rover and between $90 and $95 during the weekdays.
Turo does pricing insights, where they will compare all of the cars in your area that are like yours and tell you the going rate. For people who are new and don't know how to price their cars, it's a really good tool. But as those of us get more experienced with Turo, we find different ways to create our own pricing strategies.
Choose the model of your cars based on the climate and clientele you want to serve
I try to cater to the people who are flying here and want to ride in style — they're traveling here for business or as tourists coming here for a luxury type of vacation.
I also have a few economy vehicles for big families who may want to go to neighboring states like Colorado or California. I have a Bronco and a Palisade, with three-row seats.
When the states are neighboring, there's not much of a difference in popular car models unless there's a climate difference. For example, in Arizona you've got hot, sunny weather and people want to drop the top and let the wind blow their hair.
California has the expensive cars because of the lifestyle, but in Colorado you have a whole different set of cars. You may need Jeeps and Broncos because you're thinking about driving in the snow.
I love to hear guest stories of why they're renting the car. I don't ask, but sometimes they like to tell me when they book. To know that your cars are being used for weddings, proposals, graduations, and major celebrations, it's amazing.
A lot of people honeymoon with my cars. They're like, "We just got married and we want a nice car to drive off into the sunset with."
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