posted on April 25th, 2014

Have you ever fantasized about early retirement? Quitting your day job, kicking back with a book in the afternoon or hitting all the travel spots you’ve been saving up for someday? You’re not the only one, and it might not be as outlandishly impossible as it sounds.  

Take Turo member Scott U., for example, who is on track to retire eight years early in the not-too-distant future. Renting his car through Turo is a key part of the plan to get him into early retirement, and a strategy to sustain him once he’s reached that goal.

In our interview together, he shed some light on his retirement strategy, and the role that Turo plays.

What is your early retirement plan?

Scott is currently 56 years old, and aims to leave his corporate job as soon as possible. Realistically, he’d like to leave in the next year — or by the time he is 58, at the latest. Early retirement to him means traveling more, and having more free time to enjoy his life, which includes activities like hiking, biking, and scuba diving.

It also means he’s had to think of extra ways to develop money streams in support of his early retirement dream. Scott sees Turo as a form of passive income, and it is helping him to both save up now and supplement his future income in retirement years.

How much can you make renting your car on Turo?

After reading an article about the sharing economy that explained “how people were making money by leveraging their current assets,” Scott decided to list his own vehicle. He’s been renting his 2010 Kia Soul (LAX) with Turo since November 2013.

Currently, he brings in a nice side income stream. Scott explains, “The income has been fairly steady, about $300-$400/month on average.  I’m fortunate to live and work very close to the airport as most of my customers are from out of town.”

What is your rental income goal and how will you achieve it?

Scott’s goal is to bring in $500 per month. He’s run the numbers, and knows that his goal is realistic. Scott brings in about $25/day on his Kia Soul, so if he were to rent it out each day for the whole day it would come to about $600 per month. Scott has three cars now, which means he can solely dedicate the Kia Soul to renting on Turo.

Tips for making your own early retirement plans

Scott has seen great returns from his unused vehicle, and says that his vehicle is actually one of the most popular cars in his area right now. In order to stand out from other vehicles, Scott offers extras. For example, he “noticed other people will pick you up at the airport for a fee, and I don’t charge for that. I live close to the airport, and my office is very close. So it’s not a big deal for me. As far as the car itself is concerned, it’s got a sirius satellite radio and people seem to like that a lot.”

A final tip from Scott is to price your car competitively, and even below market price to begin with “in order to generate some business and positive reviews.” Scott explains that once you have those, you can slowly raise your price to a higher level than the competition — as long as you provide good service, a clean car, communicate well, and respond quickly to all requests.

If you are going to be in the LAX area (and especially if you need to be picked up from the airport), be sure to take a spin in Scott’s Kia.

Amanda L. Grossman is a stretcher of paychecks and a post-it note lover. When not blogging at Turo, she's transitioning to her new Mommy-role in Houston where she lives with her husband and two cats.