Turo is an American peer-to-peer car-sharing company based in San Francisco, California. Since its establishment in 2010, Turo has been a disruptor in the traditional car rental industry, offering an alternative to big-name companies like Hertz and Avis. Much like what Airbnb did for vacation rentals, Turo allows car owners to rent out their vehicles to travelers in need of a set of wheels.
The company’s growth in the car-sharing market is nothing short of impressive. Shortly after its founding in Boston, Turo launched in San Francisco and has since expanded to more than 7,500 cities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of 2022, it has more than 1.3 million active guests and over 161,000 active registered cars on its platform.
Turo was incorporated as RelayRides but rebranded to Turo in 2015 to reflect its expanded offerings from short-term to long-term rentals. In Jan 2022, it filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). From the prospectus filed with the SEC, its net revenue for 2021 was $330.483 million, up from $107.819 million in 2020. Its net loss also increased from $51.73 million in 2020 to $129.274 million in 2021.
Since its founding, Turo has raised $502.6 million in 13 rounds of funding from 31 investors. Its latest round of funding was on April 1, 2022, raising $35.2 million in an unknown venture round.
While profitability is still a ways off for Turo, we see a company determined to grow its top line and build a competitive advantage in the car-sharing market. In this Turo competitors analysis, we examine the company’s closest rivals and their strategies for success. We’ll also touch on Turo’s business model and growth strategy.
Bottom Line Up Front
Turo operates in a burgeoning industry with a business model that is still being perfected. Its closest competitors are Getaround, Zipcar, Uber Rentals, Lyft Rentals, and The Hertz Corporation. Competing in such as diversified market requires a well-oiled marketing machine, and Turo seems to have that in place. Its main competitive advantage is its large network of cars and car owners.
List of Turo Competitors
Turo’s Business Model and Growth Strategy
Turo operates a two-sided marketplace that matches car owners (hosts) with travelers (guests) needing a rental vehicle. Peer-to-peer car sharing is a relatively new model, and Turo is one of the first companies to really capitalize on it. Pioneering a new transportation category unlocks many first-mover advantages, including early brand awareness and an extensive network of hosts and guests.
This model also gives Turo a huge competitive advantage in terms of costs. Unlike traditional car rental companies that need to purchase and maintain a fleet of vehicles, Turo relies on its community of hosts to provide the cars. This model drastically reduces overhead costs, allowing Turo to offer lower prices than its competitors.
Turo generates revenue from fees charged to hosts and guests for using the platform. These fees consist of marketplace fees and value-added service fees. The company uses a revenue-sharing model, taking a percentage of each transaction. It uses this revenue to cover the costs of customer support, insurance, fraud protection, processing fees, taxes, host reimbursement, and other value-added services.
Turo’s growth strategy involves expanding its car-sharing community to new geographies and continuing to build out its value proposition for hosts and guests. The company intends to continue investing in technology to make it easier for hosts to list their vehicles and automate pricing. Moreover, Turo is looking into strategic partnerships and acquisitions to expand its offerings further.
Turo Competitors Analysis
Initially, the confines of the law regarded Turo as a car rental company. However, in June 2022, a California Appellate Court found that Turo is not a rental company but an online platform that connects car owners with people who want to rent them, much like Airbnb. So, when analyzing Turo’s competitors, we’ll look at both the traditional rental companies and the newer P2P car-sharing companies.
In fact, some of these established car rental companies are also turning to the sharing economy and adopting a similar business model. Below is a detailed analysis of Turo’s most notable competitors.
Getaround is an American car-sharing company founded in 2009. The company operates a platform that connects car owners with people who need to rent a vehicle. Like Turo, its peer-to-peer revenue model eliminates the need to maintain a fleet of cars, resulting in lower customer prices. Getaround has its headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Getaround and Turo were founded around the same time. They enjoy the same first-mover advantages in the P2P car-sharing space. Moreover, both companies use a revenue-sharing model, taking a percentage of each transaction. Because of these similarities, Getaround is one of Turo’s closest competitors.
Since its founding in 2009, Getaround has raised $568 million from notable investors, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, Menlo Ventures, and SPARX Group. In June 2019, the company acquired Nabobil.no, a Norwegian P2P car-sharing platform, for $12 million. Getaround also acquired Drivy, a French P2P car-sharing company, in April 2019 for $300 million. These acquisitions are part of Getaround’s plan to expand its international footprint.
Competitively, we believe both companies are in a position to be successful in the P2P car-sharing space. Like Turo, Getaround announced its plans to go public. However, unlike Turo, the company made a deal with InterPrivate II Acquisition Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, in May 2022. The deal will see a combined equity value of $1.2 billion.
Getaround’s main competitive advantage is its relationships with large, established automakers. In 2016, the company partnered with Toyota to pilot a car-sharing program in San Francisco. The two companies expanded the program to Seattle in 2017 and Chicago in 2018. Under the program, Toyota uses Getaround’s platform to list its vehicles for rent.
2. Uber Rentals
Uber is a leading ride-hailing and food delivery company. The company’s app connects drivers with passengers who need a ride. Uber also operates a platform that allows people to request a rental car from a nearby fleet of vehicles. This service, known as Uber Rentals, is available in select markets.
While Uber’s core business is ride-hailing, the company has invested in other areas, such as food delivery and self-driving vehicles. Car rentals are another area of focus for the company. In 2016, Uber launched a car-sharing service called Uber Rentals. The service allows people to request a rental car from a nearby fleet of vehicles.
Uber’s entry into the car-sharing space poses a threat to Turo. The company has a large user base and is quickly expanding its Uber Rentals service. In addition, Uber has a significant competitive advantage in terms of funding. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised $25.2 billion in more than 33 rounds. In FY 2021, Uber Technologies had $17.455 billion in net revenues, up 56.7% from 2020.
Turo competes with Uber Rentals because both companies offer a car-sharing service. However, there are some key differences between the two services. Turo focuses mainly on the peer-to-peer market, while Uber offers rentals through third-party providers like Hertz and Avis. Although Turo has a smaller user base than Uber’s larger ride-hailing platform, we believe Turo is far better for renting cars.
Zipcar is a car-sharing service founded in 2000 by Robin Chase and Antje Danielson. It operates a membership-based car-sharing network in urban areas and college campuses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Austria. In 2013, Avis Budget Group acquired Zipcar for $491 million.
Zipcar’s business model is quite different from that of Turo. Unlike Turo, which allows individuals to list their vehicles for rent, Zipcar owns a fleet of vehicles that members can reserve. Its reservations are by the minute, hour, or day. Members pay an annual or monthly fee and an hourly rate when they use a Zipcar.
As of 2019, Zipcar had a fleet of over 12,000 cars. The company hasn’t released recent figures for its members; however, in 2016, it announced that it has over one million members. As a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Zipcar has the scale and resources to compete with Turo. Avis doesn’t segment its revenues by Zipcar, but its total revenue was $9.313 billion in 2021, up 72.4% from 2020.
Zipcar stands out among other car rental companies because its embedded technologies make car sharing smoother and more frictionless. For example, it has RFID readers that let members unlock cars without using a key or fob. It also has a kill switch on every car, allowing the company to remotely disable a car if it’s stolen.
4. Lyft Rentals
Lyft is a leading ride-hailing company that offers various services, including Lyft Rentals. Like Uber rentals, Lyft Rentals is a car-sharing service that allows people to request a rental car from a nearby fleet of vehicles. It’s available in select markets and only for personal use (i.e., you can’t use it for business purposes).
Lyft debuted its car rental business in 2019, operating mainly in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles. After a few months of testing, the company expanded its offering to five more markets. Unfortunately, Lyft Rentals didn’t gain much traction. Combined with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that Lyft was discontinuing renting its fleet of cars to consumers.
However, that isn’t the end of Lyft Rentals as we know it. The company collaborates with SIXT SE and Hertz Global Holdings, with whom it has 30 rental locations. The company will likely continue working with other large car rental companies to power its Lyft Rentals business. However, this puts it at a disadvantage to Turo, which doesn’t have to rely on third-party providers.
If Lyft wants to catch up to Turo, it must invest in its fleet of vehicles. Lyft had $3.208 billion in total revenue in 2021, up 35.68% from 2020. It hasn’t been profitable for quite some time, making this a difficult task. But, if it can find a way to do so, it could pose a serious threat to Turo.
A 2018 data report from GEP revealed that Hertz was the largest player in the car rental industry, with a 36.1% market share ahead of Enterprise’s 33.2% and Avis’s 26%. Hertz is a publicly-traded company with a long history dating back to 1918. In 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hertz filed for bankruptcy.
However, it managed to emerge from bankruptcy in mid-2021 and is now focused on growing its business. Hertz’s business model is similar to that of traditional car rental companies. It owns a fleet of vehicles that customers can reserve for a fee. It operates mainly at airports but also has locations in urban areas and neighborhoods.
The company operates a fleet of over 12,000 either as corporate-owned or franchisees. In 2020 the company had $5.258 billion in revenues, which was a decline of 46.23% from 2019. In 2021, it bounced back with a revenue increase of 39.52% to $7.3 billion. The fact that Hertz recovered from a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is a testament to its strength as a company.
Hertz is a formidable competitor to Turo. It’s much larger, with a much larger fleet of vehicles. It also has the advantage of being a well-established company with a long history. However, Turo has some advantages over Hertz as well. Turo is a digital-first company, meaning that it was built for the internet age. Adoption within Hertz has been slow, and it’s struggled to keep up with Turo’s innovation.
Turo SWOT Analysis
Below are the primary Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for Turo:
- Strong financial position
- Its business model is asset-light
- A wide selection of vehicles to choose from
- The peer-to-peer car sharing model is convenient and economical
- Simplified process for hosts and guests
- It uses advanced technology
- The company is not profitable
- Turo Go is not available in all markets
- Expensive insurance rates
- The company faces many regulatory challenges
- Turo can improve customer service.
- The company can expand into emerging markets
- Turo can launch new services such as Turo Go
- It can form partnerships with large companies
- The company faces intense competition
- Economic downturns can hurt its business, i.e., the Covid-19 pandemic
- Changing regulations can hurt its business
- The company’s business model is not yet proven
Turo Competitors Analysis (FAQs)
Question: Who is Turo’s biggest competitor?
Answer: Turo’s biggest competitor is Getaround. Getaround operates a similar business model to Turo and has raised more funds than Turo. However, Getaround is not as widely available as Turo and has a smaller selection of vehicles. Both companies filed for an IPO in 2022 and are on their way to becoming public companies.
Question: Is Tesla popular on Turo?
Answer: Tesla is one of the most popular car brands on Turo. Tesla vehicles are in high demand on the platform, and guests are willing to pay a premium to rent them. However, other car brands are also popular on Turo, and there is a wide selection of vehicles.
Question: Is Turo a profitable company?
Answer: Despite increasing revenues yearly, Turo isn’t a profitable company yet. The company invests heavily in growth and has yet to reach profitability. Its net loss for 2020 was $51.73, which increased to $129.274 million in 2021.
Despite the regulatory challenges it faces, Turo has managed to grow rapidly and become a major player in the car-sharing industry. It has a strong financial position and a wide selection of vehicles. However, it is not yet profitable and faces intense competition from companies like Getaround and Hertz.
Other players competing for market share include Uber Rentals, a part of the broader Uber ecosystem, Zipcar, and Lyft Rentals. All three of these companies have well-established and much larger brands. However, each has its challenges.