Turo's peer-to-peer carshare service sees strong growth in BC

Sep 18 2020, 9:13 am

Turo is reporting strong growth in British Columbia, after launching its peer-to-peer car sharing platform in the province three months ago.

The company says it is seeing an average week-over-week growth rate of 16% for the number of trips booked.

Approximately 75,000 BC residents are signed up on the platform — up from 65,000 in the middle of June. There are now 600 cars available for booking, an increase from 200 cars at the time of launch.

The average trip booked is three-and-a-half days, with car owners making an average of $1,300 sharing their personal vehicles on Turo. The utilization rates on cars are among the highest in the country, just behind Toronto but ahead of the historical markets of Montreal and Calgary.

“BC has traditionally lagged a little behind when it came to transportation/mobility networks but this year the province has become one of the fastest growing and evolving markets in the country, opening a new chapter for mobility in BC,” said Cedric Mathieu, the vice-president and head of Turo Canada, in an email to Daily Hive Urbanized.

“People want to have easy and convenient access to cars and what we’ve seen just this year is that pent up demand for more options, which was amplified by the pandemic, a fear of public transportation and a surge in local travel… We’re still very new in the BC market but adoption rates have been impressive so far.”

Unlike traditional carshare services, Turo’s business model depends on personal vehicle owners being “hosts” for their service, which reduces the structural and operating costs for the company as it does not have to own and maintain a fleet.

According to Turo, BC residents spend on average $7,700 per year on their cars while using them less than 4% of the time. With this low utility rate from personal trips, there is an opportunity for owners to make new money on an asset they already own.

The company offers $2 million liability insurance coverage by ICBC, and against physical damage up to the full value of the car, with no deductible for the host and no impact on their personal insurance premiums.

Turo hosts are responsible for the enhanced cleansing and sanitization of their vehicles after each use.

The company says it performs extensive screening of users that verify their identity, age, driver’s licence validity, and other risks. All trips come with 24/7 roadside assistance and customer support. The business model also means users have a wide range of unique cars and car types to choose from.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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