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This carsharing company is helping veterans turn unused vehicles into cash

Blair Shiff

Nearly two-thirds of veterans say they faced difficulty when transitioning into civilian life, according to Military.com.

But one carsharing company decided to give veterans, whether retired or not, an opportunity to thrive financially and keep the flexibility they need.

Turo, which was founded in 2010, is a peer-to-peer carsharing company that allows people with vehicles to connect with others who need to borrow a car. Think of Airbnb, but for transportation.

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"We have built an amazing app that allows car owners to share their cars when they're not using them with their neighbors or any travelers that are visiting their town," Turo CEO Andrew Haddad told FOX Business.

Sarah Lawery knows firsthand how Turo can help veterans. She joined the military at the age of 19 but was medically discharged.

"It's definitely a rocky transition coming out of the military," Lawery told FOX Business. "I did get medically discharged, so, for a while, I couldn't go back to work."

She found herself quickly without a mission and without a way to earn a living. So, she turned to Turo.

Why does this benefit veterans?

Veterans who are serving overseas often have an unused car sitting at home, sometimes for more than a year, according to Haddad.

"We found that the ability to turn your car into an asset that can generate earnings and that can pay for its cost obviously resonates with everyone, but, in particular, it resonates with veterans and their families," Haddad said.

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Turo said around one fifth of its hosts are veterans.

"We're super proud to play a small role in making the veteran experience a little bit easier and financially a little bit less challenging for the veterans and their families," Haddad said.

How much can a host make?

Haddad told FOX Business the hosts earned an average of at least $500 in 2018.

"It can really be a significant opportunity for people to pay back their car loans or just reduce, in general, their costs of car ownership," Haddad said.

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Lawery said she makes enough hosting her two cars on Turo that she doesn't need another job, which she's excited about.

"I know if I was at a regular job, from going to my job, coming home and having to be a mom, I'd be so exhausted," Lawery said. "I wouldn't be able to do my artistry."

What's the availability like?

According to Haddad, Turo has access to 300 million cars in the United States and about 1.5 billion around the world.

"Most of these cars are idle the vast majority of the time," Haddad said. "It's an amazing opportunity for every car owner to monetize their car when they're not using it."

What if someone crashes your car?

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Haddad said Turo has partnered with Liberty Mutual in the United States and other insurance companies around the world to provide "great coverage, both on liability and comprehensive physical damage coverage to both hosts and guests."

"I've had people who have damaged my car, and Turo has paid for all the damage," Lawery said. "I have paid nothing out of pocket for any damage that has happened on it."

Haddad said Turo pays for the policy itself, so it is not an added cost to the host or customer.

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