Daniela Hoyos, 31, from London, first saw the “potential” in car sharing after a friend rented a car so they could go hiking in the countryside.
After some research, she signed up for the car-sharing marketplace Turo in October last year.
She bought a Mercedes GLA automatic, and hoped she would raise enough money from the rental bookings to pay for it.
Bookings have picked up since she first joined, and the income has covered her monthly car repayments as well as insurance, with some money still left over.
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Daniela also uses her car to go to work
“At the moment, essentially I’m driving a free car,” Daniela told GB News, explaining she simply marks the car as unavailable if she needs to use it on a particular day.
“It’s great. It is covering the monthly cost on top of giving me an additional £300.”
Daniela, who also uses the car to go to work, has earned around £1,500 in just over two months by renting it out, earning an average of £750-£800 a month.
She aims to have the car rented for 12 to 15 days of the month and will use it the rest of the time.
“You do need to dedicate some time to getting the car ready – cleaned, washed, topped up with fuel. You can do that in an hour or two.”
She explained there is also time needed to meet the client for a check-in, but pointed out there is an option to do a remote check-in via the app.
“In general, I’ve been able to manage my side business plus my normal work. It is manageable. You just have to be quite organised, making sure as soon as the car is returned you do your part. Don’t leave it to the last minute.”
So far, 85 per cent of her bookings have been visitors from the US who are holidaying in the UK.
Daniela offers an airport pick-up and drop-off service for customers who are visiting from abroad.
She said: “That’s when it takes a bit more time because you have to drive all the way to the airport, so you have to make arrangements, but you do get paid for that. I just have to organise myself on the days that the car is being dropped off.”
Daniela went the extra mile to take professional pictures of her car, and now she’s experienced some car-sharing success, she is hoping to expand her business.
She said: “Now that I’ve seen the potential and seen the success with my own car, I definitely do want to have the opportunity to expand – to buy another car and then eventually grow it into a fleet. There is great potential to earn and I think it can definitely turn into a full-time income. Hopefully this year I can maybe buy another car or two.”
Daniela hopes to buy another car later this year to expand her fleet
GETTY | TURO
Daniela says she definitely recommends car-sharing to others and shared some top tips for car owners looking to earn money from their car.
“You have to have good customer service,” she said, stressing the importance of replying to messages, “being helpful”, and answering questions potential customers may have.
She also suggests investing in professional photographs of the car. “When you go on the website, you can tell the difference between someone who has taken their own pictures and someone who has gone a bit of an extra mile to take professional pictures.
“I would also say people need to be organised. It really helps. You have to be on top of any invoices that may come, like the congestion charge, or maintenance. You have to be sure that your car is safe to drive.”
In the event a driver ended up incurring charges, such as driving in a bus lane during the rental period, everything is documented, Daniela said.
“Just two days ago I received a speeding letter, from during the time one of my guests was driving it,” she explained. “All I did was take a photo of it, upload it via the app, and it’s been taken care of.
“It gives you that peace of mind.”