(WSVN) - It seems like a cool new idea: When you aren’t using your car, you rent it out to other people for easy cash. A company even promises if something happens to your car, their insurance covers you, but then it didn’t, and that’s why one South Florida man called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
It caught Andrew’s eye.
A website telling you that when you aren’t using your car, rent it out to someone else.
Andrew Jimenez, car was stolen: “From owner to renter, and you can make extra money.”
The company is called Turo.
On their website they say, “Let your car work for you,” that they are big in several cities like Miami, that you have “peace of mind” because they have a $1 million insurance policy in case something happens to your car.
Andrew Jimenez: “Very easy, very simple, but there is always more to it.”
Andrew found there was more to it in February when a fellow named Junior went through Turo to rent Andrew’s Lexus IS 200.
Andrew Jimenez: “I verified. Normally, you check the driver’s license. It is the person matching the Turo website that says he is approved to drive.”
But since it’s South Florida, everything that could go wrong did.
Junior didn’t return the car when he was supposed to.
He said he had rented it for his cousin Bubba, who didn’t have a driver’s license.
Bubba said he then loaned it to a guy he only knew as Sucky.
Also, Andrew was told his car was in an accident.
Andrew Jimenez: “It’s a nightmare. It sounds like a movie, but no, it’s real life.”
And now, the friend Bubba gave the car to, Sucky, can’t be found.
Patrick Fraser: “Nobody seems to know? Or they just won’t tell you?”
Andrew Jimenez: “They probably won’t tell me. They gotta know who it is.”
The car was reported stolen to police, and Turo hired a private investigator.
Andrew Jimenez: “Can’t find it either.”
Andrew’s car insurance refused to pay because you can’t rent your vehicle for commercial purposes, and then Turo said their $1 million insurance policy won’t cover Andrew’s vehicle either.
Andrew Jimenez: “Because they state that no one under 21 is allowed to rent, they are stating that I am the one that is supposed to do the verification.”
Andrew counters Junior used his mother’s account, changed the driver’s name to his name and was approved by Turo to rent the car.
Andrew Jimenez: “I’m trusting a big corporation.”
A lot of finger pointing. Howard, since a 19-year-old doesn’t have the money, who has to pay for the stolen car?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News Legal Expert: “This is a close call, but legally, I believe it’s Turo because they provide the renter, and they approved the renter, and Andrew relied on Turo. The fact that the kid used his mother’s account in his name is not Andrew’s responsibility. It’s Turo’s.”
A Turo spokesman said they felt bad for Andrew, and that’s why they spent thousands on a private investigator to try to find the car.
But he added, “Turo requires each host to verify that their guest has a current, valid driver’s license that matches the name and date of birth provided on the Turo app at check-in.”
In this case, Turo said it was Junior’s mother’s name on the check-in app, and Andrew didn’t catch that.
Andrew said that’s because he didn’t get that information at check-in — just this that showed Junior as the verified driver.
Turo also pointed out Andrew did not make sure Junior was over 21, and that was “grounds for denying the claim.”
Howard Finkelstein: “When you rent your car through Turo, you agree if there is a dispute, you go binding arbitration. Turo then pays the arbitrator to listen to both sides and decide who is right. That’s Andrew’s only option now.”
Andrew rented his car for $79 a day. If he doesn’t win in arbitration, he’ll owe the bank $29,000 for it, and even if he wins, he is done with the rental business.
Andrew Jimenez: “Never again. I wouldn’t even rent a bicycle.”
Police are trying to find the white Lexus with body damage on the right side.
If you have seen it, let us know, and we will let you know how Andrew does in arbitration with Turo.
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