9 min 5 sec

Man Buys Tesla, Rents It Out to Cover Monthly Payments

When an Ontario man finds himself dreaming of a car he can’t afford, he buys it anyway—then rents it out half the time to earn an extra $15,000 in 2017.
Family International Reselling Sharing Economy

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What It's About

A family takes a unique detour to owning the car of their dreams.

Business Model
Skills Required
Organization & Coordination
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

According to Mike, if you want to succeed on Turo—or any other platform really—you must figure out how to stand out from the crowd. For Mike and Rachel, their unique selling proposition was their Tesla X. With falcon-wing doors, the vehicle is unmistakably a Tesla and never fails to grab attention. It also helps that there are people who are drawn to the appeal of an electric car.

Fun Fact

By their estimates, Mike and Rachel spent approximately 156 hours working actively on renting out their Tesla in 2017 and earned $15,346. If you do the math (not my strong suit, of course), that works out to $98 an hour for driving and cleaning their Tesla X, which is quite a decent return on your time—especially if you love your electric vehicle and are already invested in keeping it in good condition!

Notes from Chris

Episode 513
When Tesla announced the Model 3 sedan in 2016, Mike Greiner and his wife, Rachel, eagerly made a reservation. Living in Canada, near Toronto, both of them were extremely excited and couldn’t wait to get their hands on the Model 3. However, they realized that with another child on the way, they would need a larger family-sized vehicle.

While they could afford prices starting at $35,000 for the Model 3, the large Tesla X would cost almost 5 times that amount at $165,000. Since it was way outside of their price range, it seemed that their dream of owning a Tesla vehicle would have to be stashed away in the metaphysical garage...

But all of that changed when Mike took a business trip to California in June 2016. During the weekend of his trip, Mike decided to rent a vehicle and chanced upon the car rental platform known as Turo. Not only did he get to experience the thrill of driving a Tesla for the first time, the experience of renting through Turo was also remarkably convenient, with prices lower than those offered by other car rental agencies.

It was then that Mike wondered if this would be a creative way in which he could finance the purchase of a Tesla X. Having always been entrepreneurial, Rachel didn’t take much convincing and was quick to hop in the passenger seat with this idea. They then headed down to the local car dealership for a test drive. Satisfied with their experience, they placed an order and received their car two months later. By the end of 2016, they had successfully listed their Tesla on Turo.

During the first few weeks, the Greiners weren’t able to get any rentals, and they wondered if they’d made a big mistake. However, things quickly picked up as spring had rolled around.

Over the next few months, demand increased as the warmer weather made driving more appealing. As a premium car, they could ask for up to $200 CAD every day. With that strong demand, they were able to rent it out for 15 to 20 days a month, which significantly helped with the monthly payment for the car. This made up for the colder days of the year, where there were a lot less renters who were interested in driving a car.

Given that this tricked-out Tesla X costs $165,000, you’re probably thinking that this idea is out of reach for yourself. That’s what Rachel and Mike thought too, but they figured out a way to lower the cost and mitigate their risk.

They made a $10K downpayment and opted for the longest allowable financing term of 8 years, which put their monthly payments at $1,850. It helped that they received $3,000 back from government incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle. But it’s the side hustle that they ran which made this purchase possible: with this business generating at least $1,250/month, that covers at least two-thirds of their monthly installment. It made purchasing a Tesla possible for a family which thought it was out of reach.

Side hustles can seem risky and intimidating, especially when the costs were as hefty as those borne by Mike and Rachel. But if you’re ever at a junction where you’re unsure of whether something would work, don’t be afraid to test drive your idea. Like Mike and Rachel, you might discover that there is a green light and you’re all set to go.


  • Rent My Tesla: Learn more about this creative, problem-solving couple (and their sweet ride), over on their website!

  • Turo: The rent by owner platform that Mike and Rachel used to to pay their monthly car payment
  • Squarespace: The website building platform that Mike and Rachel used to create their website for Rent My Tesla

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If you want to succeed on Turo—or platform for that matter—you must figure out how to stand out from the crowd."
—Mike Greiner #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau