With the season of road trips in full force and the country experiencing a car rental shortage, many people are looking for alternative ways to access a vehicle.
Step forward Turo, the car sharing platform that connects local vehicle owners with a bustling community of travellers looking for the perfect car, SUV, minivan, or electric vehicle for their next adventure. The company launched in Canada in 2016 and has expanded over the years with listings in most provinces coast-to-coast — from BC to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Turo hosts come from all walks of life and are passionate about the platform’s ability to help boost their income.
Take Francois Pigeon in Calgary. His curiosity about Turo began when he realized becoming a host could help offset some of the monthly payments for the Tesla he’s always dreamed of owning.
He began hosting his Tesla Model 3 on Turo in August 2021. In the past year, he and his wife Cathy have used all their Turo earnings to fund the purchase of his Tesla fleet — currently, they’re at eight — and growing the business.
“I invested about $35K for my first Tesla — now I’ve invested approximately $150K and my return is about 20%,” he tells Daily Hive.
Pigeon says he is 99% booked for this summer and he projects that he will make between $80K and $100K in the next four months.
“I put all the profits back into the business to continue to grow it and ensure anyone visiting Calgary has the option to choose an electric vehicle for their travels,” he says.
Pigeon chose Tesla for his entire portfolio of vehicles “for the WOW factor.” He says, “They are not just an electric car, but a computer on wheels. Guests who book my vehicles want the full experience and many even book as an extended test drive before they purchase one of their own.”
He “absolutely” recommends becoming a Turo host — a quick, free, and simple process that allows you to keep 75% of the trip price.
He also mentions that the summer is the best time to get started as a new host, as there are many people still looking for vehicles.
“I love meeting new people — locals and tourists alike — and hearing about their experience with one of my Tesla vehicles. I am able to offer a service that goes way beyond a traditional rental car company and guests love the experience,” says Francois.
To anyone considering becoming a host, he recommends doing it “with passion and enthusiasm.”
It’s important to remember that “customer service on Turo always comes first,” according to Pigeon. “You want to make sure that you can answer questions in a timely fashion and provide information on the car, especially [for] those who are new to electric vehicles. Ensuring that you have a clean and reliable vehicle for your guests is also important, so they get a great experience.”
The insurance and vehicle protection offered by Turo puts Pigeon’s mind at ease as guests book his cars. As a result, he feels “very comfortable giving my cars to Turo guests.” “Guests are very respectful of the vehicles and trust is built into the experience.”
“It’s a great feeling to be a part of someone’s vacation and make their experience positive,” he says. “Turo also has a great host community where you can team up to offer wicked service or even just ask for advice.”
Turo’s New Host Earnings Guarantee means Calgary hosts can simply sign up, list their car(s) before August 31, host their car(s) for 45 days within 90 days of signing up, and earn a guaranteed $3.5K. If you make less than $3.5K, Turo will pay them the difference (terms apply).