App that allows you to rent out your own car is now available in Kansas City

Posted at 7:49 AM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 09:29:44-05

LEAWOOD, Kan. -- Ian Larson always dreamed of owning a Tesla. Once he finally got the prized electric car, he didn't think he'd be renting it to complete strangers. 

"Everybody has the same question: How do give your car to a stranger?" Larson said. "It is tough the first time. You get used to it though. You have to change your mindset about your vehicle; think of it more as an asset, instead of your baby."

Making money is also a motivating factor. Since September, Larson has used an app called Turo to rent his vehicles. It started in California and is now available in Kansas City. 

The app connects people who need a car with people who are willing to rent theirs. Turo touts its prices are up to 35 percent cheaper than traditional rental agencies. 

Larson said each month he earns double what he owes on the car payment on his second car (Jeep Grand Cherokee), just by renting out his vehicles. 

"Once I started making money off the Jeep in particular, it was easier to be like, 'You know what, I can let it go for the right price,'" Larson said. 
He said he's only had one bad experience where a renter smoked in his car, which he prohibits. 

"It definitely opens up a can of worms for the insurance industry, but it's the wave of the future," explained insurance agent Tom DeMasters. 

He said insurance companies will have to adapt policies to better serve these types of rentals. Currently, most personal insurance policies do not cover money-making endeavors. 

"So, if you're renting it for money, that will exclude it from coverage," the Westport-based agent pointed out. 

Turo does offer insurance to car owners and car renters. DeMasters recommends you purchase the company's insurance to cover yourself from any liability. 

Turo's options range in price and coverage. You can also decline insurance. 

Although some locals like taking the Tesla for a weekend spin, Larson said he mostly rents to business travelers.