Yes, you do need a pickup truck

Truck stuff

Trucks: where would we be without them? No move-in would be complete, no special delivery could happen, and no proper tailgate party could throw down without a pickup truck. Trucks enable us to do more by carrying more of whatever there is to haul — whether that’s pizza, pet supplies, or a pool table.

In many ways, trucks and American culture are closely intertwined. Both possess an air of capability, bravado, and rugged adventurousness. The USA is a do-it-all, be-it-all nation, and for whichever aspect of that culture there is to celebrate, there’s a truck to showcase it. With modern trucks’ diversity there’s almost no need for luxurious sedans or sleek sports cars — trucks offer everything those can, plus a bed in the back.

 

Big boys

For example, look at the luxury focus of the GMC Sierra Denali. It has many of the same features premium sedans do. A massive chrome grille, huge wheels, and LED running lights all add eye-catching bling. Technology is among the best too: the latest Sierra Denali 1500 has an available carbon fiber bed, three-by-seven inch heads-up display, and HD side-view cameras to make parking the beast a breeze.

Gregory’s 2016 Ford F-150 King Ranch (Denver, CO)

Sam’s 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LTZ (Austin, TX)

Wissam’s 2018 Toyota Tundra 1794 (Mansfield, MA)

Ford’s King Ranch trim level, available on the F-150 and F-350, provides what must be the most luxurious interior in any American vehicle. Supple embossed and stitched leather abounds, with acres of wood grain veneers around the cabin. All this plus the massive cabin mean occupants will never be uncomfortable.

Looking for something with more oomph? The Dodge Ram SRT-10 set the benchmark for sporty trucks, packing a 500 horsepower V10 pulled straight from the Viper — not to mention an available six-speed manual transmission. It’s far from lightweight, but as long as the steering wheel is pointed straight, it’ll haul a lot more than cargo.

Valumotiv’s 2017 Dodge Ram Rebel (Santa Ana, CA)

Sean’s 2018 Ford Raptor (Denver, CO)

But the most impressive sport truck today is the mighty Ford SVT Raptor. This is a machine bred from desert racing and built to dominate on any surface. Advanced Fox suspension, a locking differential, underbody skid plates, and beefy tires make it ready for hard trails, but it’s known to be a hoot on pavement too. The Raptor has serious presence — it rides several inches wider and higher than the F-150 it’s based on, making it so large that it needs government-mandated running lights in the grille, like a semi. Wherever it’s rolling, the V8 in the first-gen Raptor and twin-turbo V6 in the current-gen make it speedy despite its heft.

 

Chicken Tax

Now, if there’s one thing American trucks have in common, it’s that they’re big — really big. That’s good for cargo-carrying potential, but less so for drivers who want to haul some stuff and still have a vehicle that’s decent on city streets. Small trucks are common in the rest of the world, so why not in the United States? The answer is in the Chicken Tax.

Yes, the Chicken Tax. A leftover from a 1960s-era trade war imposed by President Lyndon Johnson, the Chicken Tax applies a 25% tariff on imported light-duty trucks. This makes it prohibitively expensive for foreign automakers to bring smaller trucks to the U.S., where they’d essentially offer less capacity at the same or greater price than larger, American made pickups.

 

Jared’s 2017 GMC Canyon Denali (Riverton, UT)

Some OEMs have found creative ways to circumvent the tariff. Mercedes was known to manufacture their Sprinter van (technically classified as a light truck) in a ready-to-build parts kit in Germany, then ship it to South Carolina for American workers to assemble, thereby skirting the Chicken Tax. It goes to show the inane ramifications of automotive trade tariffs, and how they ultimately limit consumers’ freedom of choice.

Still, there are solid options for trucks that aren’t gargantuan in size. The Toyota Tacoma is a classic, and the Chevy Colorado is a relative newcomer. They’re compact enough for cities, but each is available with multiple bed lengths, and in Raptor-esque off road trim with the Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2. The segment is growing, too: Ford has announced they’re bringing back the Ranger, and even Hyundai is rumored to be working on something to compete.

David’s 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 (Wheat Ridge, CO)

Richard’s 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD (Beaverton, OR)

LUSO’s 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO (San Diego, CA)

Sports cars are fun, and luxury whips are nice, but when it comes down to it a vehicle’s top functions are practicality, capability, and durability. With the increasing range of trucks on the market, there’s an option to suit any driver’s needs. Ask yourself: if you could only have one vehicle to drive every day for the rest of your life, would it be anything less than a truck?

Since we’re now more than halfway through 2018, it’s a good time to dive into our data from the last 12 months, and offer you some insights on the latest trends and what to expect in the second half of the year.

 

Seasonality

As any experienced host knows, business fluctuates heavily over the course of the year, with most bookings occurring in the second half of the year, during July, August, and December. The summer and winter holiday seasons send more guests on trips, and the average trip length increases in the summer months too, jumping up by a couple of days. All of which means hosts are likely to earn 10% more than their January earnings during these busy months.

If you haven’t already seen a summer lift, check out our summer hosting tips to see how your cars can attract even more guests.

 

Dream searching

We know Turo is an excellent place to book a car, but we’ve also learned that it’s a great place to daydream. The most-searched car makes in the US over the past 12 months tell us that guests come to Turo to fulfill their fantasy of driving off into the sunset in your swanky cars.

Many guests do end up booking the flashy, classy cars that reeled them in, but the most-booked car categories reveal that the majority of guests go with the more versatile and affordable options, primarily compact & subcompact vehicles and SUVs & pickups.

Bells & whistles

This spring we enabled hosts to add Extras to their listings, so you could offer guests more convenience with add-ons like prepaid refueling, unlimited miles, and child safety seats, plus awesome accessories to spice up the trip like beach and camping gear. Cars that offer Extras can earn up to 5% more.

TOP 10 MOST BOOKED EXTRAS

  1. Post-trip cleaning
  2. Unlimited miles
  3. Child safety seat
  4. Prepaid refuel
  5. Portable GPS
  6. Phone mount
  7. Prepaid EV recharge
  8. Cooler
  9. Beach gear
  10. Portable WiFi hotspot

 

You’ve accepted your first trip request, now what?

If you’re new to hosting on Turo, and a guest has just booked your car for the first time, congratulations! You’re already on your way to becoming a five-star host. For now, it’s normal to be a little nervous — as with most things, sharing your car on Turo gets easier with practice. So we’re here to walk you through hosting your first trip to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Any time a guest books your car, sends you a message, or makes any changes to their trip, you will be notified via the app. The app also guides you through the process when you’re checking your guests in and out of trips. But you should be comfortable and feel confident all along the way. Follow these steps and your first trip as a Turo host will be a breeze.

 

1. Communicate with your guest

Once a guest has booked your car, you’ll get a text notifying you of the request or booking, depending on if you have Book Instantly turned on (if you’ve opted out of SMS messaging for the app, you won’t receive these texts). Send your guest a message to welcome them and confirm the start time of the trip. Make sure to give any special instructions on getting to your meeting point, whether it’s your home, workplace, or a nearby neutral site you’ve agreed upon. If you’re meeting your guest at the airport, find out when they’re scheduled to land and plan accordingly.

2. Prepare your car

Check that everything with your vehicle is in good working order and no warning lights are on (tire pressure, oil level, etc.). Make sure it’s clean on the inside and outside — it’s a good idea to vacuum the carpets and give the exterior a quick rinse so that your vehicle is at its squeaky-clean best for your guest. A little effort here goes a long way.

3. Take good pre-trip photos

Take photos to document your vehicle’s condition before the trip starts. You can take the pre-trip photos within 24 hours of check-in, so you can do this step before meeting your guest to speed things along. The Trip photos feature in the Turo app will guide you through the process, or simply upload your photos to the Trip photos section of the trip.

Take clear, well-lit photos of your vehicle from all angles, including the interior, capturing any pre-existing damage or wear. With the ignition on, take a photo of the gauge cluster to record your vehicle’s pre-trip mileage and fuel level — you’ll need this to determine how far your guest drives and confirm you’re delivering the car with a full tank. The app requires you upload six photos, but we recommend taking as many as possible, within reason. There’s no such thing as too many Trip photos.

Not only are pre-trip photos mandatory to begin the trip, they are essential in ensuring you’re covered in the event of an issue before, during, or after a trip. Anything that isn’t documented in a photograph will not be eligible for coverage, so it’s important to make sure even small details like side mirrors and the lower front bumper are clearly visible.

4. Be on time

From two hours before the trip starts, you’ll have the option to share your location with your guest in the trip details tab. When it’s time for your guest to pick up your vehicle, be at the agreed-upon location on time. The Turo app will guide you through the entire check-in process for your convenience. Note that even if you’ve already uploaded the pre-trip photos, your guest may choose to upload their own photos just in case.

Walk your guest through any features of your car that may need explaining and answer any questions they might have. Advise them on things like what fuel grade to use when filling up, how to connect to Bluetooth, or how to use the navigation system.

5. Verify your guest’s driver’s license

As a host, you must confirm the identity of your guest and the validity of their driver’s license before the trip starts. When you ask to see their license, make sure their name matches the name on the trip, the photo matches the person presenting you the license, and it is not expired. Typically, Turo only accepts permanent licenses, but a valid, active temporary license is acceptable. Passports and other forms of photo ID are not acceptable in place of a driver’s license — Turo guests must be licensed to drive a motor vehicle and have a valid license with them.

Licenses from other states or countries are perfectly acceptable. Please remember, discrimination of any kind is not tolerated in the Turo community, and hosts may not decline or cancel reservations based on race, religion, ethnicity, age, nationality, or any other factors stated in our Nondiscrimination policy. If you’re not confident about your guest’s identity or the validity of their license, do not hand over your keys. Contact Customer Support during business hours with any doubts or questions, but please be mindful of your guest’s time.

6. Be responsive during the trip

As a general rule, it’s important to be as responsive and clear as possible when communicating with guests at all times. If your guest has a question during their trip, they may message you through the Turo app. Hosts and guests are also able to see each other’s phone numbers in the trip’s information on your dashboard — double check that your guest is able to locate your number so that they can contact you directly.

7. Finish strong

When it’s time for your guest to return the vehicle, be on time and communicate clearly just as you did before the trip. The app will remind your guest of when they need to return the car, but it’s always a good idea to send them a message to confirm the place and time. Starting one hour before the trip ends, you’ll again have the option to share your location to help your guest find you.

When your guest has returned your car, the Turo app will prompt you to take more pictures to document the condition after the trip. Capture anything that looks different than it did before the trip — again, anything that isn’t documented in photographs will not be eligible for coverage. Take a picture to record the new mileage reading and fuel level. If your tank is not full or your guest went over their mileage limit, you can request reimbursements for gas and additional miles through the reimbursement tool.

You can also use the reimbursement tool to request reimbursements for tickets and tolls up to 90 days after the trip ends, as well as for cleaning and smoking fees up to $50. Make sure you take photos of anything that requires a reimbursement so that it can be seen by your guest and verified by Turo Customer Support.

Lastly, don’t forget to give your guest a rating and review! The app will prompt your guest to write a review for you as well. Please be honest — neither you nor your guest will see each other’s reviews until both are submitted. Reviews are an important part of how our community builds trust and are extremely helpful for your future guests.

Turo market guide: Miami

Tonight’s Miami community party will be a celebration of the five-star hosts still bringing the heat in what has become one of our most dynamic markets. The number of trips booked in our Miami market has more than doubled for the last three years in a row. As chronicled in last year’s market guide, this hat trick growth landed Magic City among Turo’s largest markets for the very first time. Now a matured Turo market in its prime, local hosts are earning more than ever before, with the average host consistently bringing in more than $1,000 every month.

 

What Miami area guests want hasn’t changed too much from last year, but their tastes have become more apparent. More searches this year filtered for a particular type of car with attractive conveniences than in past years when price point was the most popular filter. Unsurprisingly, upscale cars like BMW and Mercedes-Benz are particularly sought-after, but this year the demand for more practical luxuries has emerged.

Given the market’s strong share of out-of-town guests, conveniences like delivery (now requested in 23% of all searches) make navigating a foreign city much easier. In fact, listings in the Miami market that offer delivery, instant book, and unlimited mileage together appear in just as many (if not more) searches filtered for those optional services as searches filtered for specific vehicle classes or types. So, offering more convenience services unlocks great potential for hosts to earn more.

The large amount of international visitors booking cars in Miami has translated into overwhelmingly strong performance for iconic American cars like the Mustang and Wrangler, which fit these travelers’ notions of quintessential American adventure. Locals, however, still make up the largest share of guests in Miami. In a market that is already saturated with Mustangs and Wranglers, demand for vehicles from the most searched-for makes remains relatively untapped.

The latter half of South Florida’s peak season will typically be local hosts’ most lucrative months. However, with a stronger share of local bookings this past year, even off-peak months like July were strong. While local guests might have driven the average trip length down from previous years, most trips are booked on weekends when demand is particularly high. This makes for average trip prices that are higher than Miami has ever seen — higher than you’ll find in most markets.

 

 

Many times, when we plan our trip, we do not take into account our method of transportation and spend more money than planned for taxi services, public transportation or private transportation. You can choose the option that suits the needs of your trip and let us offer you the best IXOTIC Motor Worx Car Rental Service experience.

We offer excellent discounts and special holiday offers. Forget about spending long hours trying to find the ideal service or the late paperwork that many companies require to deliver a car to you.

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