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Little Known Turo

We are in the dawning of the shared economy.  

Who knows where it's headed but it seems to have started with Airbnb, Couchsurfing, Uber and Lyft and blossomed from there.

The idea behind the shared economy is that people, willing to share their couch, their room, their house or their car can do so directly to a consumer in need.  In some situations, the word, "share" is taken literally meaning you (as the borrower) and the owner (as the host) are using the item or space concurrently.  

This can get mighty cozy in situations such as crashing on a sofa.  And there's no getting around sharing a car if the owner is the one giving you a ride.

But it can be more broadly defined in situations where the owner let's you have complete use of their home or car while they vacate the premises.

Of course, the idea behind the shared economy was originally designed to do just that; share what you already have.  But just like any new industry, the industrious find was to capitalize on the idea and the shared economy has expanded to people buying or investing in things specifically to "share" them to earn a living.  That's neither good nor bad but be aware that it exists.

What makes this new model of business so successful, aside from price, is the ease of use through apps on phones.  For example, if you need a cab, rather than looking up cab companies numbers and calling around, an app on your phone lets you summon the nearest Uber driver and it even gives you an estimate of what it will cost.  Both of those features tend to lower anxiety and make people more comfortable to participate in the exchange.

Whether it's vacation rental or driving folks around, the shared economy is giving the traditional economy a run for its money.  Hotels and taxi companies are lobbying their legislators to make it more difficult for ordinary people to make money sharing their stuff.

So, you know you can rent a room or get a ride.  But did you know there was an app for renting a car from a private party.  The better known of these is  Turo puts you in touch with individuals who usually have a more interesting vehicle than seen with the rental companies.  The owners will often pick you up at the airport, saving you from having to stand in line at the counter.  And generally speaking, you may get a better rate.

Are you coming to the Big Island soon?  Traveling to the mainland this Fall?  You may want to give a try.  

Car in cover photo can be rented in Hilo on

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