Rent Jeep to Airbnb Guests to Climb Hill

111 Replies

I am about to close on a Airbnb property with a very steep and winding road, and was wondering if it would be a good idea to rent a jeep wrangler out to guests who do not have a 4WD? 

I would not be using the jeep often, and thought about parking it at the base of the hill with a lockbox.

Has anyone else done something like this, or thought about it? 

Thanks.

With Turo, safeguards are in place. I could simply restrict it to those who stay at my property, and pay my cleaners a bit more to take pictures and gauge its condition after the booking if it was used by the guest. 

Originally posted by @Kyler J Sloan :

@John Underwood What about through Turo?

 That should limit your risk. Your guests will have to rent it to have the insurance through Turo. 

How do you keep other people from renting it?

Who is going to make sure it is full of gas and clean after each use?

Maybe do work to your driveway to make it more usable? Concrete driveway?

You can accept or deny people on Turo, as with Airbnb. So, I guess that I would make sure that the names for the guest and car rental request match up. If I get a poor rating in Turo because I reject everyone else, that is fine -- I only intend to use Turo as auxilary to Airbnb. 

The drive is short, so I can easily fill it on each weekend or every other weekend, when I am by (this is a house-hack STR). I would like to eventually improve the condition of the road, but this seems like a good temporary solution to increase bookings throughout the winter months.

@Kyler J Sloan I like the idea and applaud you for getting creative. I would not do this simply because the return is not worth the risk and hassle. How much would you charge guests to use the Jeep to get up and down a driveway? $10? I assume if they make it close to the Airbnb they have a car that is appropriate for the area, so they don't need the Jeep outside of the Airbnb. 

Just make sure you describe the road and suggest 4WD in your description and include pictures. 

@Jon Kelly I intend to do what you mentioned. I have to get a new vehicle anyway, but travel for work most of the time; might as well make some use of it. 

@Luke Carl I would love to know the reason. If none is given, then I guess I will learn by trial and error. If you have special insight (which you probably do, if anyone on here does), I suppose that it will be revealed with time. 

No. No. No. The liability and added hassles are not worth it. And yes I know about Turo. It's one more thing on your plate that is already gonna be full. Just state in your property description that there is a steep driveway and let the guest figure it out. These people are not babies and don't need to have their hands held....

Hands held? If someone does not have a 4x4, they cannot rent the place. By providing it, they can. This is the issue -- increasing occupancy. 

Are you getting a great wonderful deal on the purchase? You just dramatically dropped your potential rental pool.  Vacancy rate you're using in your numbers is going to be much higher with that limitation. You might be forcing the purchase to get into str's but trying to house hack at the same times plus car hack just sounds like an unnecessary hassle. 

Well, you apparently have your mind made up, because in spite of the opinions that you got here on BP, you are going ahead anyway it seems.

Do you know what happens when a steep hill gets wet and you try to run it? If the back wheels slide out to one side, you need to gun the engine....if you stop the vehicle will roll. I've been off-roading for about 40 years, and have actually been in this situation....it can get nasty real quick. I guess you're ok with an inexperienced Jeep driver ending up at the bottom of your driveway in an upside-down Jeep....

And yeah, as @Nancy Bachety notes, you are buying a property that requires a 4x4 to access it...? 

But you seem to be one of these people we get on here that already have their minds made up.....and when the nice experienced folks don't give you the answer you want, you argue with them.....

So..... enjoy your new house and the steep driveway.....

@Bruce Woodruff It is not that I have "made up my mind", but that you did not say anything to change it. If I were not still mulling this over, why post? No, the driveway does not require a 4x4; I have a front wheel drive car that made it up easily. I just like the idea of giving guests the option of having a 4x4 cheep with chains strapped to spare the driveway and grant access to those with questionable means of transportation (such as a 2-wheel drive with back drives). The hill does not need to be "impossible" for a guest to climb to make them uncomfortable enough to book elsewhere. 

The insurance on the Turo app would pay for dramatic damages such as the one you described. By the way, who here is "hand-holding"? -- You are the one making claims regarding what the guest can and cannot handle. 

@Nancy Bachety The purchase price is higher than I would like as compared to the appraised value, but should pay off in the long run. There are 15 acres, and the back end of the land is at the crest of a mountain upon which I would later like to build a large cabin with 360 degree mountain views (about 4000 ft elevation). 

When saying "if someone does not have a 4x4, they cannot rent the place", I should have added that this is because I am making a rule of it. If I don't, the occasional spin-outs will likely create ruts over time, as guests come up and down the hill. 

By requiring a 4 wheel drive, I might be able to keep my occupancy up while preserving the driveway. 

I'm still thinking it over. 

"It is not that I have "made up my mind", but that you did not say anything to change it."

It would seem that you know best....I'm sure you'll be fine.

Good luck with your new place.....

@Kyler J Sloan I'm not so sure about the rental jeep idea, as it does add more leg work, cost and liability (even using Turo). I also assume most people that don't have 4x4 or experience wouldn't want to chance it. That, I think, is your marketing piece on the property! It's unashamedly not for everyone! I want to check the property out just reading this thread, I'm sure you'll get some outdoor/adventure crowd that will love it. Now I'm not totally sure about the dollar and cents, but trust your numbers and have fun with it! Take some great pictures, and join all the outdoor/camping/nature groups you can and advertise it. 

I would like to understand -- how is liability a greater issue in this case than if I were to both rent my car on Turo and rent my house on Airbnb? -- Are you advising me to do neither? -- what risk am I taking by doing both that I am not taking by doing one or the other? 

@Kyler J Sloan try and remove yourself from the emotion of the decision. 

Would you advise a close friend to rent out a Jeep for an AirBnB that required 4 wheel drive?

In my experience, the best investments are simple and easy to manage. I'm wrong dozens of times every day but it seems like this situation has too many variables. Find another property - you won't regret it.

I can just see an inexperienced driver leaving it in 4wd and driving down a smooth asphalt highway. I messed up my transfer case jumping my Jeep over some embankments. It's not that difficult to change the transfer case, but it's a pain. Maybe just keep a spare t-case at the STR along with tools and a floor jack.

Seriously though dude....you asked and got all NO for an answer. Are you going to keep at it until we all change our minds so you can be happy? You obviously want to do this, it's obviously a dumb idea. But go ahead.

@Bruce Woodruff Have something better to do with your time? At least a few have not set their minds dogmatically against it. How about you read the comments before making the only statement in the forum which could be called "dumb". 

I'll let you know how it goes. Here's a bit of foresight for someone apparently incapable of generating it: it will work just fine. 

@Will Gaston @Justin Phillips  I appreciate the advice. 

The way I am looking at it, the products would be entirely distinct -- If the jeep is rented on Turo, and the house on Airbnb, how do the issues become conflated legally? If something happens with the jeep, as the examples given here, I would handle it just as another Turo host would. Should we avoid hosting jeeps at all cost, because an experienced driver does something inadvisable with it on rugged terrain? -- Well, that would imply that we should avoid renting jeeps anywhere near rugged terrain.

Please let me know what I am missing -- where does the greater risk of liability arise? 

Also, I am willing to be a bit more active getting started, and do not mind that this lacks the passivity of an ideal investment. At this point, I am willing to do more work; at a later point, I can pave the driveway. 

I am also in need of a new vehicle, and will need either a truck or jeep soon anyway. Considering this, and the fact that I travel for work and cannot use it most of the time -- why not monetize it by using it to increase bookings? 

Lastly, although the cabin is in the mountains, it is 30 minutes away from a moderately large city, whose population consists of many people who lack 4WD. If I make it a rule that a 4WD is required, these people could still come up here if I offer a discounted rate on a Turo jeep (say, $10 more than cleaners charge for cleaning it and taking pictures). A large portion of people who will be looking to book here are trying to get out of the city. 

I'm mostly just funnin' with ya at this point. I would never wish for anyone to fail, esp someone willing to take the risks and go for it like us. I sincerely hope your plan (whatever you decide on) works great for you. Prove us wrong and I'll be happy.

Check back in and update us........Good luck.