The Rise of Car Sharing: Pros and Cons for Rental Owners

Car dealership.Young man receiving car key from saleswoman.

In recent years, the landscape of car rental has undergone a dramatic transformation with the rise of car sharing platforms like Turo. For rental owners and aspiring Turo hosts, this evolution brings both exciting opportunities and challenges. Let’s delve into the world of car sharing and explore the pros and cons that come with being a rental owner in this dynamic market.  Despite what you may see on YouTube from advertising and coaching pros, Carsharing is not for the faint of heart and its certainly not easy money.  There are a lot of factors involved and more people have ended up losing money than building an empire that really works effectively. 

Market Saturation: Opportunities and Challenges One of the biggest advantages of joining the car sharing movement is the vast market exposure it offers. With platforms like Turo, your vehicle becomes accessible to a wide range of potential renters. However, this widespread accessibility can also lead to market saturation, where numerous hosts offer similar cars in the same area. To stand out, it’s crucial to highlight the unique features of your vehicle and provide exceptional customer service.  At Overdrive, I started on Turo with a single car in 2019, there were less than 200 cars in the entire DMV area in the car sharing market.  Today, there are nearly 2000 and more vehicles added every month.  Rental rates have decreased over 50% in the past 12 months alone from the heights during COVID so this can’t be forgotten.  Yet, if you can strike the right balance then there are opportunities to turn a profit. 

Profitability: The Promise and Reality The promise of significant earnings is a draw for many rental owners. However, profitability isn’t always a given. While some hosts generate substantial income, others struggle to cover expenses. Successful hosts understand the importance of pricing their vehicles competitively, factoring in maintenance costs, insurance, and potential downtime. Thorough financial planning is essential to ensure your venture remains financially viable.  As I mentioned above in market saturation, this is a business that is tough.  If you ever wondered why there is not a plethora of local rental car companies that expand into various areas like a lot of other businesses, its because the rental car market margins are not great.  However, with the right approach and guidance there is money to be made.

Co-Host Trust: Navigating Collaboration Collaborating with a trusted co-host can alleviate the workload and expand your reach. However, selecting the right co-host is crucial. Clear communication, shared values, and a reliable partnership are paramount. Thoroughly vet potential co-hosts to ensure your vehicles are in capable hands, and both parties are aligned in their business goals.  We offer co-hosting with Overdrive car rentals and currently over 30% of our fleet are from individual vehicle owners who just want there vehicle to make money for them without the headache of getting into the rental car business.  There are other individuals who are reputable operations as well.  The way I look at it is, that if it is too good to be true then it probably is.  Take the time to read co-hosting agreements, always get contracts in writing and understand that there is a lot of liability have an unknown person driving your property all over the USA. 

Coaching: The Difference Between Success and Losses One of the most significant pitfalls for new hosts is entering the car sharing market without proper guidance. Many hosts learn through trial and error, leading to avoidable mistakes and losses. Investing in coaching or mentorship from experienced hosts can fast-track your understanding of the industry, helping you avoid costly missteps and ensuring a smoother journey to profitability.  Shameless plug here, I run a hosting program for those who are looking to enter this business.   I only, take a maximum of 5 clients at any time and have built a network across the country with some of the largest hosts that exist on Turo with Millions of dollars’ worth of vehicles.  I learned a lot of lessons the hard way and managed to survive as Turo evolved, however, with the market the way it is today, I wouldn’t have survived if I had to learn these lessons the hard way again.  So, finding someone to work with that can help you prevent some of the easy mistakes and prevent you from eating total losses is well worth the money.  I got a lot of advice and coaching when I started up so this is my chance to give back.  

Damage Claims: Navigating the Process In the world of car sharing, the potential for damage to your vehicle is a reality. Handling damage claims can be a daunting task for hosts. Clear documentation of your vehicle’s condition, comprehensive insurance coverage, and a structured process for handling claims are essential. Effective communication with renters and a well-defined procedure can help streamline the claims process and minimize disruptions.  Claims will literally ruin you, I know an individual who messed up a claim on there second trip and ended up paying out of pocket for an 80K vehicle.  That is a financial mistake that could ruin most people, don’t be that person.  Claims are a reality, we have processed over 50 claims in the past 5 years of varying level of severity.  There are a lot of emerging programs coming out that can help new owners but at the end of the day as the insured only you as the owner are looking out for your best interest so understanding these processes, what to do, steps to take and how to mitigate risk it a huge part of success. 

Importance of Systems and Automation Without a proper system in place, many car sharing hosts find themselves overwhelmed by administrative tasks. Automating processes such as check-in, check-out, and vehicle maintenance tracking can save time and improve efficiency. Utilize technology to your advantage and consider software solutions that can help streamline your operations.  Turo has recently made this significantly harder and shut down many automated programs that a lot of hosts used to make their businesses more effective.  However, there are still tools out there.  I balanced building this business and maintaining a full-time career.  This was not easy, but it was possible with automation.  Some tasks are a must, and some should not be automated to help mitigate risk.  This is a must factor to consider for new hosts.

Regulatory and Legal Considerations Navigating the regulatory landscape is vital for car sharing hosts. Compliance with local laws, regulations, and taxation requirements is a non-negotiable aspect of running a successful car sharing business. Ensure you’re well-versed in the legalities of car sharing in your area to avoid potential legal issues.  Turo does a fantastic job handling regulator burden for hosts.  If you want to jump into the world of direct rentals like we do at Overdrive, good luck, the regulator burden goes through the roof!  Taxes, licenses, and more there are definitely some administrative hurdles that are not in any way shape a pro for those renting vehicles. 


  • Make Money From Your Vehicle
  • Buy Vehicles You Normally Wouldn’t Drive
  • Diversified Income
  • Build Business or Personal Credit
  • Overdrive Is Here to Help!



  • Market Saturation
  • Legal Considerations
  • Your Car May Be Damaged
  • Hard To Consistently Be Profitable

In conclusion, the rise of car sharing platforms presents a range of opportunities and challenges for rental owners and Turo hosts. Market saturation, profitability concerns, the importance of a trusted co-host, effective coaching, and systems for automation are all critical factors that can influence the success of your venture. By embracing these considerations and leveraging the insights of experienced hosts, you can navigate the evolving landscape of car sharing and position yourself for sustainable growth and profitability.  You don’t have to do it alone but should you choose to enter the game in this competitive market then best of luck to you! 

By Joshua Carr

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