Electronic toll tag (CA FasTrak)?
Yes. For your convenience, the car has a California FasTrak toll tag that allows you to use the FasTrak lanes for passing/using bridge toll plazas, express lanes and garages (e.g., SFO) without stopping to pay. It's a great time saver during congestions. After your trip is over, I will check my FasTrak account and request reimbursement via Turo's reimbursement feature. Very simple.
The toll tag is in the middle compartment beside the driver's seat. Please take it out before using. Even if you forget to take it out and the car passes a toll device, FasTrak authorities will use the license plate to charge to the FasTrak account. So no penalties.
Why do you rent your (obviously expensive and almost brand new) car out?
Believe me, this is actually one of the most frequently asked questions for me.
1. Once you've driven the car, you will agree with me that a Tesla car is more of a computer with wheels than a car with a computer. As other tech products, its technology will become obsolete faster and hence it will depreciate faster than regular cars. In other words, as the pricing of a regular used car is based on both age and miles driven, the pricing of a Tesla will be hinged more on age than mileage. This actually happened to my previous EV, a Nissan Leaf, when I sold it after 5 years and 60k miles.
Adding to it that it's a quite expensive buy to begin with, renting it out on Turo will help mitigate the depreciation issue to a certain degree.
2. I embrace the sharing economy.
3. I believe that replacing fossil fuel based vehicle to EVs can help solve a lot of problems we have today. Allowing Turo renters to experience a Tesla is a simple way to help achieve that goal. I'm glad to say that a few of my past renters already placed an order of their own Tesla after their trip with mine.
Are you flexible with mileage? What's the cost for extra miles driven over the reserved limit?
Unfortunately no. For the reason I stated in Q. #2, the Turo revenue is mainly to make up for the faster-than-normal depreciation rate of EVs. So each mile counts.
Mileage over the reservation limit will be charged at $1.50 per mile. At the end of your reservation this will appear as double mileage charges due to the standard $0.75 charge on Turo being inadequate for this vehicle class.
What are the charging options?
There are several options, listed below in order of usefulness.
1. Tesla Superchargers. These are the high voltage charging stations that can charge the car from 0 to full within one hour. In most scenarios within 30 to 40 minutes. They are usually located close to shopping/dining, so you don't have to wait in the car most of time.
Use app: "Superchargers for Tesla" to locate the superchargers. An alternative app is "Plugshare". It has other EV chargers as well. You can filter out the other chargers by selecting Tesla Supercharger only.
Superchargers are free to use for this car. However, if the charging is done but the car is still connected, Tesla the company will charge me an idling fee. It's usually not a lot. But if this is incurred, the charge will be passed along to you via Turo reimbursements.
2. Regular 110 Volt power outlet. This is to charge at a house or other parking facilities with a regular 110 Volt outlet. This is slow charging for sure. But charging overnight can get you enough range to get to the next supercharger. The car is equipped with the following accessories (all in the frunk) for this purpose:
- Tesla charging cord
- 110 Volt outlet adapter (to be connected to the plug on the charging cord)
- Extension cable (if outlet is too far for the charging cord)
Please note that occasionally a 110 Volt outlet doesn't work, probably because of low amperage. In that case, the LED lights on the charging cord and the Model X charge port will turn red. No use to try multiple time. You will have to find an alternative outlet.
3. Household 220 Volt power outlet for dryers. If you have access to one, for example when a garage has a dryer in it, this will be faster than the #2 option. There's another adapter in the same accessory bag for this. However, the extension cable won't work.
4. 220 Volt EV Plug (J1772; public or household). Most common EV charging standard. The car has a J1772 adapter that can be used on those chargers. Please note:
- The Tesla charging cord is not needed. You just connect the adapter to the plug from the charging station.
- Normally these charging stations are not free. Without a membership card, you can usually contact the charging network and do a one time charging.
Please note: The car is not equipped with the adapter for the 440 Volt Fast Charging stations (CHAdeMO DCFC).
The car has the following accessories. We go through them during pick-up and drop-off. Please make sure to return items to its place after use.
In the middle compartment next to the driver's seat:
- FasTrak toll tag
In the compartment facing the front passenger's seat:
- Car registration
- Turo insurance card
- Regular insurance card
In the frunk:
- Charging accessory bag, including
- Power extension cable
- Bike rack
- Car seat protectors (x2)
Does the car have a ski rack?
No. But the skis or snowboards can be fit in the car if you don't have a lot of people.
Does the car have a bike rack?
Yes. The rack is in the frunk and needs to be installed if needed. Please note that the installation is not very intuitive and there are some small parts. So install it yourself only if you did it before. Otherwise, you can go to a Tesla service center and have the technicians there show you how to do it. Please uninstall the rack before returning the car.
Can I install car seats?
Yes. The seats on the second and third rows have hooks to install car seats. When installing car seats, please make sure to use the seat protector. There are two in the frunk.
How to use the third row seats?
To get in and out of the third row, please use the button on the seat back to move the 2nd row seats forward and back.
To fold down the third row seats to create a larger cargo space, press on the small black round button on top of the seats (not very obvious). The head-rest will lower. You can then push the seat down.
What if there's an accident?
Please follow common traffic incident procedures: calling the police, taking photos, and if involving another vehicle exchanging with the other driver photos of license and insurance card.
The car is fully insured with Turo with no deductibles. Please call Turo immediately and follow their instructions.
Do I have to return the car charged?
Not if you return to the S.F. location. If there's another renter who will pick up the car soon after your drop-off, I'd expect to have it at least half charged, because we won't have time to charge the car for the next renter.
Yes if you return to the SFO Turo Valet location. We expect about 90% charged (or about 200 miles).
Can I have access to the car controls (climate, charging, location, etc.) via the Tesla owner's app?
Not if you are an existing Tesla owner with a Tesla account. In which case I can request Tesla to provide temporary account access to the car for the duration of the rental. Advanced notice is required.