As costs continue to rise, many are looking for a side hustle to make some extra cash, and some have been turning to their personal cars.

Chanel Pearson began renting out her 2015 Toyota Corolla through the website Turo.com about a month ago. The service works similar to Airbnb, but for cars.

"I had overheard a lot of conversations of people saying their relatives were trying to come into town. They could not find a rental car anywhere," said Pearson, a Halifax resident.

Now, her vehicle is nearly all booked for summer.

"I had a request within one minute of posting it," she said. "I had a request probably every five minutes within the first hour of posting it and that continued on for the first whole week. My phone was blowing up."

One interested person was Liz Wagman, who is living in Halifax but does not have a car. She says she wanted to explore Cape Breton for the Canada Day weekend.

The trouble was however, rental cars were all booked, which led her to connect with Pearson online.

"Chanel had some great reviews. The car, the photos of the car looked like it was in pretty good condition," Wagman said. "But like with everything, Airbnb or Facebook marketplace you gotta put a little bit of trust in people."

The vice president and head of Turo Canada, Cedric Mathieu, said the company has been running in Nova Scotia since 2019, and about a month and a half ago it launched in New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador.

"We've seen more than 2,000 trips being booked within the first month of the launch," Mathieu said.

Vehicles signing with Turo have to be less than 12-years-old, have fewer than 200,000 kilometres, and must go through an inspection.

The insurance is covered by Turo's commercial policy.

"As soon as you hand your keys to the traveller it's the Turo-provided insurance that will be the acting insurance on the trip that will cover the car and the guest for the duration of the trip," said Mathieu.

Pearson said she had to switch insurance companies in order to be able to use her car this way.

"Unfortunately, the insurance I had would not accept me renting out my car, which is unfortunate because I feel that it’s something Nova Scotia needs with the lack of rentals," she said.

She knows there are pros and cons to renting out her personal car, but she's had a good experience so far and believes she’s helping the economy.

"I've had maybe 20, 30 maybe 40 requests just to rent to my car for people who wouldn't have been able to come to Nova Scotia otherwise," she said.

Correction:

This article is a corrected version. The previous version said cars signing with Turo needed to have fewer than 200 kilometres to be eligible. Cars actually only need to have fewer than 200,000 kilometres to be eligible.