Car Games and Apps

Turo encourages P2P car-sharing hosts to aid LA fire relief

The private car rental app is allowing users in evacuated areas to borrow cars for free.

A woman involved in a traffic accident waits to get towed beside a wall of flames on the 101 highway during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, California on December 6, 2017. 

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

The hills in and around Los Angeles are once again ablaze, and as a result, many residents have lost their vehicles to the conflagration. But Turo wants to help, and it wants its customers to pitch in.

To aid evacuation efforts, P2P car-sharing service Turo has allowed vehicle owners to rent their cars out for free while also waiving its customary trip fee. Renters will still be responsible for paying for one of several "Protection Packages" associated with a rental so that all parties are covered against damage. Evacuees in need of a vehicle can email Turo at disasterrelief@turo.com to be directly connected with an appropriate host.

Turo, which tweeted about its relief program Dec. 7, has made a name for itself by offering the chance to rent interesting cars on the cheap from private citizens, serving as the Airbnb of the automotive world. Turo has been growing rapidly thanks to substantial cash infusions and the acquisition of other ride-hailing services such as Daimler's Croove.

This move to assist with disaster relief could prove incredibly welcome, though it should be noted that based on Turo's notice to its hosts, they will not be remunerated in any way for their acts of kindness. Still, it can be argued that karma has its benefits and it's nice to see a company taking these kinds of steps.

Managing relief efforts in a relatively small geographical area with a population greater than most of the states in the US is proving incredibly tricky, and currently, firefighters have the blazes only partially contained. Roadshow would like to encourage those interested in donating money, time or supplies to fire relief efforts for the Thomas, Creek, Rye and Skirball fires to visit the CBS Local page for more information here.