Three years ago, Joelle P. decided it was time for a change. After a visit to Seattle, in which she was utterly enchanted, she and her husband made a big move from Lafayette, IN to Seattle, WA. They rented a U-Haul, weathered a crazy blizzard in the middle of April, and got settled into their new life. “We unpacked everything into this tiny, little studio apartment. It was definitely cramped, but we loved it!” Joelle says.
The next step was to get a car. Neither of them needed a car much during the week, but Joelle says they got their Honda Fit with the idea that they’d be taking it out of town on the weekends. However, they started to notice that even on weekends the car was spending a lot of idle time in their driveway. That’s when they decided to list the car on Turo. Joelle and her husband had first used Turo as travelers on a trip to Hawaii. “We rented a white Jeep for the beach,” Joelle recalls.
If you can’t tell from a brief glimpse — though the bright purple exterior gives you a little hint— there’s something special about Joelle’s Honda Fit. First, there’s its name, Jazz Hands! Does it sing? Does it dance? Not quite. “It was originally the name of our sailboat that we had in Indiana,” Joelle tells me. “We really wanted to bring it with us, but if you can imagine, it’s fairly hard to bring a sailboat halfway across the country.” Now that they had a new vessel to ferry them on voyages, it seemed reasonable to give it the same monicker. When I pushed her on the relationship of the name to the car, Joelle laughs. “I don’t know, my husband came up with it. I think it popped out because the car is purple.”
The special thing about Jazz Hands! is that it’s very beloved to Turo travelers in Seattle. This enthusiasm might be related to the Northwest Forest Pass that Joelle lends to guests, or to the fact that she allows people to bring pets in the car. The fact is that Joelle is a little puzzled by the car’s success herself, but she’s willing to hazard some guesses. “I personally think it’s a fairly fun car. It’s more fun to drive than a Prius, less squishy on the accelerator,” she begins.
“I’ve always been surprised with people who rent my car, how happy they are. People are on vacation for one thing, and I’m punctual so they don’t have to wait at the airport or go on a shuttle somewhere. I think it’s the combo of a little purple car, the name, they’re generally on vacation, and I try to communicate really well.” Many of Joelle’s renters are first time Turo users so she makes an effort to communicate frequently and make the process as clear as possible. “That, and I smile at them and say hi,” Joelle concludes.
If you’re planning to rent Jazz Hands! in Seattle, be sure to book early, it’s been reserved for nearly all of August. And Seattle-ites, keep in mind that Joelle is a fan of one day rentals as well. “Because they’re usually locals and I like to build a community.”
Joelle also wants to encourage all renters to make use of the forest pass — “people don’t take enough advantage of all the permits to go hiking” — and finally, she also has one insider tip: Bhy Kracke Park in Queen Anne. “It has a great view of the city at night, and it’s at the very top of a hill, so it’s great to have a car, otherwise you have to walk. If you want to go inside the Space Needle that’s great, but if you want to actually see the entire Space Needle, this is the place to view it.”
So consider Jazz Hands! for your next adventure. Maybe you’ll be able to explain the magic.