Is Turo the Airbnb of carsharing companies in North America?

If you were planning on taking a road trip this summer, you might be put off by soaring prices at gas stations.

Where it used to be much cheaper to drive across the province, residents can fly to Kelowna from Vancouver for less than a full tank of gas. It’s not uncommon now to see one-way fares under CAD $50 on shorter routes and some across Canada for less than $100.

Nor are gas prices cheaper south of the border. As such, renting a car at your destination is no longer as affordable as it once was.

Rental car prices hit record highs during the pandemic, up 38.6% in February 2022 from February 2020, according to a NerdWallet analysis of consumer price index inflation data in the United States. United States.

If you decide to rent a car, prices can vary greatly depending on the rental company, whether you rent at the airport or downtown, and how far in advance you book.

But now there are a few car-sharing companies that could be an affordable solution when traditional deals charge sky-high prices.

Turo offers an alternative to car rental in North America

San Francisco-based Turo Inc. launched in Vancouver just after the pandemic hit in June 2020. The company describes itself as the “world’s largest peer-to-peer car-sharing platform” and serves many cities around the world. ‘North America.

The company began operations in Canada in 2016 and is active in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. It flies to many popular destinations in the United States and Canada such as Los Angeles, Honolulu, New Jersey, Montreal, New York, San Diego, and Toronto.

Customers can browse a range of different vehicles for rent, ranging from classics to luxury vehicles, vans to trucks, convertibles to sports cars, and everything in between.

The peer-to-peer concept offers car owners a way to earn money, earn an average of US$620 per month, according to the car-sharing platform. Hosts list their cars for free and set their own price and availability schedule.

Owners will be paid by direct deposit within three days of each trip and will earn 75% of total revenue, unless they opt out of company protection to use their own rental insurance.

Turo’s protection plan covers hosts for up to $2 million in liability insurance provided by its insurance partner Economical, or ICBC in British Columbia

How to book a car?

To reserve a vehicle, customers choose a location and enter their travel date to browse thousands of cars shared by local hosts. They can also filter by price, allowing them to browse options from $10 to $250 per day; they also don’t have to wait for a host’s approval to reserve a vehicle.

A true à la carte service, customers can use many filters, including filtering for vehicles with Apple CarPlay, bike racks, child seats, heated seats, pets and more.

After selecting a vehicle, they choose an insurance policy and greet their host. Many owners offer delivery to custom locations or popular points of interest such as airports, train stations, and hotels.

How are health measures applied during the pandemic?

Owners should clean and disinfect car interiors, paying more attention to “all frequently touched ‘hot spots’ like door handles, center consoles, steering wheels, knobs and switches, and seat belts. security,” according to Turo’s website.

The company has strengthened its cleaning policy to ensure safety. They also have a few contactless options to maintain physical distancing and peace of mind while checking in. However, if you must meet, the company encourages you to minimize contact during check-in and check-out.

Customers can cancel free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of the trip, in accordance with Turo’s conditions. flexible cancellation policy.

With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press.

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