posted on December 4th, 2014

Turo member Kirsten Anderson was looking for a real car-sharing experience. She wanted to maintain the kind of independence that comes with owning your own vehicle, without having to shoulder all the financial costs that can entail.

After an unsuccessful attempt with another car-sharing company, Kirsten turned to Turo. Now, she’s making as much as $150 a month and sees great potential.

Deciding to rent her vehicle

Sharing a car ties in well with Kirsten’s principles and lifestyle. She explains, “I was a bike commuter for years (and in multiple countries – India and Japan). When I moved back to Portland, I continued bike commuting. Three and a half years ago, I went out on a date — we both showed up on bikes and have since gone on many bike dates! … Two years ago I was thrilled to have my partner and his kids move in. But I was also terrified and felt the need to have some independence, so I decided it was time for a car.”

She wanted owning a car to make financial and environmental sense. “I was still going to bike to work, but I needed to be able to do my own thing from time to time and I also needed to start transporting three other people occasionally. However, I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be using it often… So I bought a car knowing I wanted to rent it.”

On top of renting her car out, Kirsten is a Master Recycler by the City of Portland. “I try to be an early adopter and set a good example for family, friends and co-workers when it comes to resource sharing, recycling, composting, etc. I love the concept of peer-to-peer car-sharing and want to make it work in Portland and beyond.”

How Turo is contributing to her future

Kirsten and her boyfriend got engaged just in August of this year. On top of saving for a house, they’re saving for their wedding. “Even if we do something small and ask our friends and family to help out, a wedding is really expensive. With a wedding on the horizon, we have extra motivation to rent the car and save money because it’s time to get our own place and make it official. Turo is going to help with that.”

For now, Kirsten has a laser focus on how she will use the extra monthly income. “All the extra cash we make on Turo will go towards our wedding. We are hoping we can make enough to celebrate in 2016.”

Going above and beyond

While Kirsten has taken a few of Turo’s owner marketing tips — such as setting up a Facebook page and asking her family and friends to “like” it — she has mainly focused on offering a stellar customer experience in order to boost future trips.

“I work with each renter on a case-by-case basis. One renter needed an airport pickup. Another renter needed an early pickup. Renters have also been super flexible and have worked around my work schedule.”

She’s even in the process of putting together a “Welcome to Portland” book, where travelers can find brochures to popular places, information about the car, and a place to leave comments/notes about their trip. This, along with an emergency kit, a picnic set, and chains, are available in the vehicle at all times. She also makes a child booster seat available at no extra charge.

Kirsten is happy to share resources, and by doing so she’s found a way to partly fund her future wedding. If you’re looking for a car to rent in Portland, Oregon, be sure to check out Kirsten’s 2002 Volkswagen Passat.

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.