posted on October 19th, 2016

The Teslamonials

Teslas are more than just cars. They’re fully electric, loaded with tech, and full of features that make the term “driving” seem inadequate. This might explain their cult following, which includes serious, longtime auto fanatics, EV-lovers, and Tesla purists — all of whom bring a level of enthusiasm that no other electric vehicles even begin to approach.

Because of the investment required to take these darlings home, Teslas might not come to mind as popular cars to rent out and share with other people. And yet, Turo has a substantial network of owners renting their Teslas all over the US. So we caught up with some Tesla owners in our community to find out why they love their Teslas and what inspires them to rent them on Turo.

Joe’s Tesla Model S in Takoma Park, MD

Why the love?

Sure, these cars are entirely electric, which is an enormous draw for most owners. But the extraordinary performance of Tesla models, is what has drivers bewitched.

“The great thing about a Tesla is that it does SO many things better than a normal car, that the eco-friendly part is just icing on the cake,” raves Steve S.

“Where Tesla gets it right and everyone else has so far gotten it wrong,” Darren G. asserts, “is you do not have to sacrifice anything in terms of performance, technology, or features [in an eco-friendly car]. As a matter of fact it’s far superior in almost every way to any car with an internal combustion engine.”

Andre’s Tesla Model X in Hillsborough, CA

Teslas pay for themselves

When it comes to renting Teslas on Turo, for most owners, it just makes financial sense. Some of them wouldn’t be able to afford their Tesla if they didn’t rent it out. Plus the steady buzz around these cars creates a solid stream of interested renters.

Shawn’s Tesla Model in Kahului, HI

According to Brent G., “My car payment is $1,200 per month and renting out my Tesla nets me around $1,150 per month. So it’s like driving it for $50 per month – the lowest cost of any car I have ever owned. For that, I get to drive it about 40% of the time.”

As Ryan C. adds, “The Tesla has no real maintenance and an infinite mile warranty on the powertrain for eight years.” Ryan reports that in what felt like a joke, he called up his bank to see if they would approve a $70,000 loan to buy a Tesla to rent on Turo. He was certainly concerned about taking on the debt, but, he says, “I started renting it out and, lo and behold, I roughly have a free Tesla that I get to drive about a week or so a month.”

Akash’s Tesla Model X in Sunnyvale, CA

Sharing the experience

And then there’s the awesome factor. “Why not rent it? I’m all about sharing the best car ever made,” Steve S. exalts. Nobody wants to keep the thrill of a Tesla to themselves.

Tin V., who rents his Tesla “to share the most amazing driving experience with the world,” has even rented his car to members with terminal illnesses, who wanted to the chance to drive a Tesla in their lifetimes.

Leon F. is grateful that Turo gives him the opportunity “to meet new people to talk about Tesla with, and pay for my car at the same time.” He adds that, “the community has taken care of my car as well as or better than I would myself.”

Safir’s Tesla Model S in LA

For owners like Darren G., it’s not just the Tesla experience, but making real connections that inspire him. “I rent to people from all different walks of life. From China, London, Australia, locals from California, people who planned to place an order and wanted an extended test drive. I even had two Fortune 500 companies rent it for their conventions,” he explains. “One of my favorite things is meeting all these fascinating people, some of whom I even developed friendships with long after they returned the car. My experience with travelers that have rented on Turo really made me fall in love with Turo.”

The lesson may be that the complete experience of owning a Tesla hasn’t been fully achieved until the joy of driving one has been shared with as many people as possible. That’s a sentiment well-suited for Turo. So if you’re ready to submit to the contagious Tesla tickle, take your pick.

Kamala Puligandla is a writer and an editorial assistant at Turo. She is always on the hunt for a strange story, a great snack, and the perfect outdoor spot to consume them.