Know the rules of private car rental before you leave

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If you are looking for a cheaper car rental, how about renting from a private person?

Carsharing companies are growing, but you need to know the rules because they are not always the same as the traditional car rental companies.

Amy was in Boston for her daughter’s hockey game when her rental car died.

“I turned it around and it didn’t start,” Amy says. So she called roadside assistance.

“The first thing I asked was, ‘are there any fees?” Amy said she was told there would be no fees, so she continued.

With most car rental companies, you would expect emergency service to be included.

But Amy rented from Turo, one of the growing carsharing companies.

Turo and others came up with a much cheaper means of rental as traditional car rental prices skyrocketed.

And while prices are dropping now, Amy says she got a good deal by paying $ 313 for what she says would have cost over $ 500.

These companies may offer cheaper prices, but they also offer a different set of rules.

Mileage is usually unlimited with most major car rental companies. But with Turo, it’s up to the owner.

Amy got 800 miles included and would pay per mile after that.

When it comes to roadside assistance, most large companies offer the basics for free. With Turo, assistance comes if a landlord or tenant obtains a Turo protection plan.

Amy’s mechanic confirmed her diagnosis.

“Yeah, your battery is dead, I’ll just give you a thumbs up,” she said of meeting the mechanic.

And while Amy says she was told there would be no charge, there wasn’t.

“The next morning I got an alert on my app: you owe $ 70,” she says.

Amy let me know and went to Turo.

They say they take security very seriously.

Turo says they have “strict requirements on the vehicles listed” and that the car Amy’s leased is “currently restricted” until it is inspected.

As for roadside assistance charges, they didn’t comment, but we did find details in their policy.

This is something Amy says she was told after questioning the $ 70 fee.

“Well, there’s no charge to send someone to you, but there’s a charge to blow up your car,” she said.

Turo emailed Amy to let her know that they were looking into her problem.

They apologized for her frustration with the situation and Turo refunded Amy the $ 70.

She says her persistence was more about being told there would be no accusation, than the accusation itself.

Thanks to Turo for coming.

If you go for peer-to-peer car rental, know exactly what you’re getting.

Ask the owner about a protection plan and get what is covered in writing.

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