How can I determine how much gas to put in the car at the end of my trip?
The best barometer is simply using the "miles to empty" number on the trip computer. The car's default setting is to display it on the trip computer screen located between the speedometer and tachometer. It will typically show between 250 and 300 miles remaining in the tank at the time you pick it up. If you've been driving a mix of city and highway driving, you can assume gas mileage of roughly 25 miles per gallon.
To illustrate by example, let's say the gauge is showing 300 miles to empty when you pick it up and 100 miles left when you go to fill it up. You should add eight gallons of gas (premium, of course!) using the following math: 300 - 100 divided by 25 mpg (or (300-100) / 25), which equals 8. And to double-check your math: 25 times 8 equals 200.
Finally, if you're off by a few miles, don't worry about it! (That said, don't take "a few" too liberally: I mean 10 miles, not 100!)
How do I operate the __________?
In case I didn't explain it when you picked up the car: in the front-right door pocket you'll find a quick how-to guide about how to operate the car's main functions, along with its complete owners manual in case you need to know something not covered in the quickie guide.
How flexible are you with extra mileage / fuel / late returns?
Again, it's a matter of degrees. A few miles over or returning the vehicle 10 minutes late isn't a big deal. Going 30 miles over or returning it half-empty is another. I'm admittedly kinda strict with mileage because one of my earliest renters drove over 600 miles during a 48-hour rental, without informing me beforehand. I feel like that kind of thing is an abuse of the the basic principles behind Turo, given that travelers and hosts alike rate each other and the system operates to a significant degree on trust.
Note: I would very much appreciate a heads-up if you're going to be returning the car more than 30 minutes late, since there may be someone renting the vehicle immediately after you.
I somehow ended up on a toll road that doesn't accept cash! Help!
No worries. :-) Most of the Austin area's newer toll road are set up that way. I try to remember to mention it when showing a traveler the vehicle's features, but if I forget, I have a TxTag sticker on the windshield near the rear-view mirror. It's basically the same thing as the E-Z Pass found on tollways on the East Coast (as well as the DFW-area TollTag and Houston-area EZ TAG). Feel free to use toll roads all you want; I can simply add your toll charges up at the end of your trip and put in a reimbursement request for them. (I can also give you an itemized list of individual toll charges if you need it for something like work purposes.)
Oh no! I got a parking ticket! What do I do?
Again, no worries: I'll pay it and request reimbursement from you through Turo. Just as a heads-up: Austin's metered parking is both confusing and differs from how most other cities do it. Nearly all street-parking spots in downtown Austin and near the UT campus are metered. The newer ones offer payment via credit card at a kiosk, and there should be at least one kiosk per block. (The handful of remaining older ones only take coins, alas.) The two MOST IMPORTANT things to remember:
1. Austin has "zoned" street parking. While you can park up to six hours in some areas, in others it might be as little as an hour. There should be a sign above the parking-sticker kiosk indicating the maximum number of hours you can park.
2. I realize this is kinda ridiculous, but metered parking is active in downtown Austin until midnight most nights of the week. At the same time, many parking kiosks only allow you to buy three hours' worth of parking. This, obviously, presents a problem if you arrive around 7pm and have plans to go out to dinner and then maybe grab drinks. Unfortunately your only options are going back to feed the meter, or simply parking in one of the paid lots found throughout downtown (which include surface parking as well as garage parking).
3. Finally, some spots allow parking during daytime hours, but become valet-parking zones around 5:30pm. DO NOT PARK THERE if there's ANY chance you won't be out of there by 5:30! The valet companies can AND LIKELY WILL have the car towed, which will likely require a $250-$300 charge to get the car out of the very-inconveniently located impound lot on the southern edge of town. I would strongly suggest checking and double-checking the parking rules on any given block whenever you park the car!