Hey everyone — It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Side Jam interview, but here’s a new and interesting one for you. Do you have a car that you maybe only use part time? Do you travel for work, or even work from home?
If your vehicle spends its days sitting in your garage, then you may want to look into car sharing. With peer to peer car sharing platforms, you can make money by renting your vehicle to others.
Meet Justin, who makes money on the side by successfully renting out his vehicles. He uses the car sharing website Turo to list his cars and find customers who are interested in renting them short term.
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And now, here is more about Justin:
My name is Justin and my side hustle is car share hosting. I’m currently renting my personal vehicles on the Turo platform.
Professionally, my work involves financial investments on behalf of a major asset manager and mutual fund company. I work from my apartment and travel quite a bit. Because of that, I’ve decided I can’t have assets sitting idle! And that’s where car share hosting comes in —
Tell us more about this car sharing Side Jam:
I’ve found success renting vehicles to guests on Turo, the world’s largest peer to peer car sharing platform.
I currently have 1.5 vehicles on the platform. One vehicle is listed full time. The other is mostly on the weekends when I don’t need it for work.
What made you decide to delve into the car sharing business?
I love cars and also enjoy working with people.
On average, how much time do you think you spend per month being a car share host?
I’d say I dedicate roughly 10 hours a month. Listing the vehicle isn’t that involved. But most of what I have to do is cleaning the cars — vacuuming, exterior wash, interior cleaning, etc.
I’ll also spend some time moving the cars around to avoid city parking violations, and will occasionally deliver a vehicle to a premium guest.
In addition, I spend time communicating with guests to ensure they have an optimal experience. And I also try to optimize my profile page on the Turo website (pricing, availability, profile details, extras offered, etc.).
What types of vehicles tend to be more popular car share rentals? (luxury, SUV, JEEP, convertible, etc.)
Depends on the market. Turo blogs about their ‘market insights’ here.
For example, there’s a host that caters to super-rich folks flying private into Tahoe for skiing. He rents Mercedes G-Wagons, Land Rovers, etc.
Other hosts have a strategy where they buy cheap Toyota Yaris’. Turo isn’t a big fan of that strategy because it can provide a less than stellar customer experience.
In general, how profitable has car sharing been for you?
I’ve made approximately $2,000 in profit over the last month.
What type of research or learning curve is required for car sharing?
It’s not difficult to learn at all. Most people with a regular 9 to 5 job can participate in this side hustle.
What tips would you have for someone who wants to get started with car sharing?
You should focus on the guest experience and try to generate stellar 5-star reviews. Everything else will follow.
Here are some ways to offer amazing customer service with car sharing:
* Great communication. A first time guest might have plenty of questions, so be ready to answer them in detail, if necessary.
A seamless reservation ends with stress-free parking so communicating on that aspect is big. Especially if you live in a big city where parking comes at a premium.
* Clean and safe vehicles. I pride myself in offering super clean and well-maintained vehicles. Clients want to know they can trust who they’re renting from, and don’t want to have to worry about the day-to-day issues.
* Unique and special extras. From wireless hotspots to post-trip cleaning packages. Extras are additional services that guests can purchase directly from the hosts. Offering these special perks show you’re willing to go above and beyond for the customer.
* Be accommodating. Travel plans change. I always try to accept time and location changes. Be flexible, and you will be rewarded for your efforts.
Other Things to Know
The Turo vehicle requirements are available here. There are no salvage or ‘branded’ titles allowed.
Keep in mind, as a car sharing host, you can choose to decline specific guests. On the guest profile page you can view past host reviews, a connected Facebook account, amount of previous Turo trips, and even the date they joined Turo.
Overall, what have you learned from the car share hosting process?
Many skills, including providing exceptional ‘WOW – customer service’. Also, that good photography is the most important factor (a detailed profile page is second).
I’ve also used my learnings to build a website where I blog about my car sharing experience (first-hand), as well as coach others with their entry into car sharing.
Is car sharing something you will continue doing? Why or why not?
Yes, I continue to be active. This is my only side hustle outside my full-time job.
Thank you Justin ! Where can my readers find you online?
You can reach me through my website, https://justcarshare.com
The Wrap Up
This was such an interesting Side Jam to learn more about. Especially for those who don’t drive a lot. For example, I work from home and have often wondered if I need a vehicle whatsoever. After all, it mostly just sits in the garage, losing value daily.
But then I think — having a way to get around is a necessity. Because you never know when you’ll need to get somewhere like a dentist’s office or veterinarian. So if you own a car that doesn’t get driven frequently, you can potentially make a few bucks by car sharing it with others.
Thank you again to Justin for taking part in this series. I really appreciate your expertise and willingness to share what you’ve learned!
What do you think — Would you trust a stranger with any of your vehicles? What if the process was backed by a legitimate business, so there would be less worry on your end?
If you don’t use your car a lot, do you think this is a good way to make extra money on the side?
Have you ever rented a vehicle from a car sharing program? How was that experience?
I’d love to know your thoughts — Hit me up in the Comments!
Missed my previous Side Jam interviews? Click on the Related Posts below —