My New Favorite Side Hustle: Turo

One of my favorite activities is reading and daydreaming about ways to make extra income on the side. For example, I’m ramping up my selling of excess stuff (you know how much I love stuff) on Ebay. Last week alone I made $120 from selling such stuff! One person’s trash is another person’s treasure…

Anyway, a few years ago I read about a new company called Relay Rides that matched vehicle owners with people who needed a car rental in a certain area. Given that we live in a summer tourist destination, I decided to give it a try. Well, a few weeks later, we had rented out our third vehicle to a family who summers in Maine from Dubai. That summer we made about $1,000 by renting it out.

Let me take a step back. We are currently a three vehicle family. Yes, not very frugal at all. See, my husband loves the lake and loves being on it. So, in 2007 we bought a boat and that has been his pride and joy and main source of happiness in the summer. But, in order to get the boat to the lake, we have to have a SUV to tow it. When I was commuting about an hour each way to work, there was no way I was going to do so in a SUV with terrible gas mileage, so we kept our 2007 Honda Accord as our second commuting vehicle.

When I left my corporate job 18 months ago, our Accord had about 175,000 miles on it. And it was working perfectly fine, passing inspections, and just needing regular maintenance. We thought about selling it since I no longer needed a commuting vehicle. However, Kelly Blue Book said that we’d only get $1,500 to $2,000 for it. It had more value to us than that so we decided that we’d drive it into the ground and once it died, I’d then drive the SUV around town. The Accord is still going strong at 184,000 miles, just passed another inspection, and is perfect for what I use it for.

That means that the SUV is parked, taking up space at our house most of the time. The only time we use it is during the summer when we’re taking the boat to the lake. I had forgotten to update a few things on the Relay Rides website a while back which meant that our SUV had fallen off of the rental list. Well, a few weeks ago I got an email stating that Relay Rides is now “Turo.” That email reminded me of the money that we had made renting it before so I spent the few minutes updating our information and within a few days, we were contacted about renting it through the New Year! We’d be making about $700 for that timeframe.

I quickly confirmed the rental, and this past Saturday we made sure that the oil was changed and that all was well with the vehicle before setting out to meet the renter on Sunday morning. Sunday morning came and my husband was off to fill it with gas when he realized that one of the tires was completely flat. Crap! We were supposed to be renting the car in a couple of hours and we couldn’t even get it out of the garage. Luckily our neighbor and friend had a air compressor that pumped the sucker up to where my husband was able to drive it to the tire store. Long story short, the valve stem was broken and after that was replaced, we were good to go!

We met with the renter about 5 miles from our house, went over the vehicle dings which I’ve imparted on it over the years, and she was off! We’ll pick it back up from her once we’re back from our Australian expedition and we’ll be about $700 richer. So far, our experience with Turo (formerly Relay Rides) has been great. The process is super easy and they have an insurance policy to cover any damage that occurs while the renter has possession of the vehicle.

But not everyone has an extra vehicle that they are able to rent out on the side. Because of my husband’s love of the water and our boat in particular, we have held onto our third vehicle. Once the Accord is gone, we’ll no longer have that third vehicle to rent. But renting out vehicles isn’t the only way to make side income from your possessions. Airbnb, valued at around $25 billion, is based upon just that – renting out space that you do not need.

We finished off our basement a while back and it’s now basically a full functioning apartment, minus a stove. Given that we live in a tourist town, we’re giving serious consideration to renting that space out in the summer to tourists. We’re at the lake a good part of the summer anyway so it would be a pretty easy way to make a little extra money without too much extra work. Even renting out bicycles or beach gear could work. It just depends on what the demand might be where you live.

The bottom line is that there are so many ways to make side income out there. It could be as simple as bringing your child’s clothes to a consignment shop or selling items from around your home on Ebay. With a little creativity and thought, you’ll be making extra income in no time. And with the holidays right around the corner, that extra could come in handy!

What about you? What are your favorite side hustles?

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Our Frugal Life

One Comment

  1. I’ve actually thought about renting our car during the day. Not sure if it would work since I don’t live in a tourist area at all. We are going down to a one-car family now. One of my family members actually needs a car and I have one I don’t need. Plus, we both work together on the blog at home. We just don’t need two cars anymore.

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