posted on August 6, 2020

Turo host Louis T.’s cars are paying for themselves

Louis has always been a Camaro guy, but having a family of five means putting practicality and living expenses first. Luckily, Louis discovered Turo and decided to try this car sharing thing, and now, with the money he makes from hosting, he’s been able to cover car payments for two vehicles and pay off student loans — all while serving in the US Coast Guard.

“I had a Camaro for my first car and my dad had Camaros growing up — we were a big Chevy family,” said Louis. “I traded my first Camaro in for a Z28 convertible, and while I was in machinery technician school I upgraded the exhaust and did some cool engine stuff.”

Louis is 12 years into his career in the Coast Guard, and has served in places all over the map — from Maine to Northern California, Massachusetts, and even Bahrain. Right now he lives in Annapolis, Maryland, where he is a Machinery Technician on a Cutter (named “CHOCK”) that patrols the Chesapeake Bay. They do maritime law enforcement, safety education, and inspections, and in the winter when parts of the Chesapeake freeze, the cutter cuts through the ice to create safe passages for civilian and commercial craft.

For a few years, Louis got to enjoy his powerful Camaro Z28 on the coastal highways of California. Then, at about the same time, his wife became pregnant with their first and he got orders to move to Boston. “So the Camaro had to go.” He traded it in for a Ram truck, but he’s “missed the Camaro ever since then.”

While stationed in Boston, Louis saw an officer drive on base with a Dodge Hellcat. “I thought, ‘wow, that’s a real nice car for a commissioned officer’.” The next day, that same officer drove on base in a Jaguar. Louis approached the officer, who told him he was a Turo host and that “it was working so well for him that he was able to pay off his car and get another one!” (The officer, All-Star Host Alex P., has since moved to Miami and is still going strong)

“And it got my brain going. So I talked with my wife and showed her how I could afford a new car through Turo.”

“My wife said she had no problems with me getting a Camaro that pays for itself.”

Side hustle paying off

Sure enough, when they moved to Maryland, Louis bought a 2017 Camaro convertible specifically to share on Turo. “The most nerve-wracking part of this was just going out and buying the vehicle, not knowing if it was going to work,” said Louis. But he thought if it worked for Alex up in Boston, it had to work for him in Annapolis, too.

“The car started getting booked within the first month. And after the first few trips it picked up even more.” Louis listed his Dodge Ram soon after, which has also been a success. “We’ve been able to make it work really well, even with me working full-time with the Coast Guard and her as a full-time ICU nurse.” Annapolis’ proximity to both Baltimore and Washington means Louis can serve travelers coming through two major transportation hubs, and sometimes he even recruits his fellow Coasties to deliver cars to guests while he’s busy.

“We’ve doubled up on car payments and paid off my wife’s student loans.”

“With the extra money from Turo, we’ve doubled up on car payments and paid off my wife’s student loans from her first bachelor’s,” said Louis. Louis and his wife, who have three boys, are now using their extra earnings to pay off Louis’s student loans, as the Camaro and Ram are paying for themselves.

While they already had two family cars, Louis wanted to use Turo to get a Camaro and recapture those feelings he had in his younger days. “I figured, when it’s out on trips it’s making money, and when it’s not out I can have fun and enjoy it.” Louis’ Camaro is an RS, meaning it has a 335-hp V6 — plenty peppy for his needs at the moment. But he did say that sometime in the future, he and his wife would be looking into upgrading to a Supersport, because you can’t go wrong with a little more American muscle under the hood.

“I didn’t think I’d have a sports car again until my kids were out of the house and I was retired.”


Ready to start your car sharing journey? See how much you could earn with the Turo Carculator, and list your car on Turo.

Steven is an avid car guy and content maker at Turo. Between Golden State Warriors games he can be found getting lost somewhere in California.