Car sharing business is tried and Turo

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

IMAGINE being part of a car sharing business that you can turn into a side-business or hustle.

That’s the promise of Turo, a global car sharing marketplace that offers utes, hybrids, sports cars, vans and electric vehicles (EVs).

Tim Rossanis, Turo Australia's managing director, said guests can book any selection of vehicles on the platform, which is still relatively new to Australia.

“It’s powered by a community of hosts who place their vehicles on the platform to share them and monetizing the assets that would otherwise sit idle in their driveways – sometimes 90 percent of the time – monetizing them and turning them into a small business,” Mr Rossanis told Talking Business.

“They can share their cars and provide a new mobility option for people to get around town.” 

Mr Rossanis said the amount of business hosts would receive from Turo varied from host to host. It depends on how available their cars will be, and how many cars they will have to offer. They also get to set their own price.

“For us, it’s very much about giving people flexibility to run their side-hustle or business in the way they see fit,” Mr Rossanis said.

“Some people treat it as a side hustle, so you will have hosts with one or two cars and they’ll have one booking every couple of days, or a couple of bookings a week, and it’s just a good way of offsetting the cost of car ownership,” he said.

“Then we have what we call business hosts and professional hosts who have more than two, sometimes 10 vehicles in their fleet, renting those cars out on Turo. That’s where it’s a legitimate business where people can be making tens of thousands of dollars.

“In the US, we have hosts who are clearing millions of dollars a year who have significant operations. It’s creating an additional way of monetizing an asset that might otherwise be owned by a big traditional car rental conglomerate and instead shifting the benefit of that asset to the local community.”

Small Aussie car rental operators utilise global network

Mr Rossanis said there were many small car rental operators in Australia who had their own websites and were driving traffic to their pages, using Turo to take advantage of the network effect of a global platform attracting the international travellers coming to Australia.

He said the fact that Turo was built as a community enterprise meant it offered customers more hospitality than car rental companies.

“You might have to go into a shuttle and you (often) wait in line for 20 minutes for your turn and they give you the keys to the car, but it’s not the car you booked. You booked an economy vehicle but they don’t have any left so they gave you a compact vehicle,” Mr Rossanis said.

“That’s very different to the hospitality of Turo where the host, who runs that business, might drop the car at the gate. So as you exit the airport, you have the car pull up. They hand you the keys, check your driver’s licence, take some photos of the car and that’s it,” Mr Rossanis said.

“And the host, they live in the location where you’re travelling. They can give you advice about the destination where you’re travelling (to). It’s just much more hospitable.”


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at



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