Exotic car rental companies make money

car sharingCar rental companies face digital competition

Paul has two Teslas. He pays the bank $ 3,700 a month for this. According to his own information, Paul takes out a large part of the loan installment. Namely, by renting the two cars for ten days a month via a car sharing platform.

Turo and Getaround are the names of two companies that give traditional car rental companies such as Hertz or Avis in the US a real headache. Similar to Airbnb for apartments or rooms, an app on the smartphone is sufficient, says Turo communications director Steve Webb:

"The car is automatically insured, in the US it's Liberty Mutual, in Germany it's Allianz."

Six new photos before each rental

Turo suggests the home rental company how much they could charge for their car per day. However, he himself decides on the price and how many kilometers a tenant can drive in total with the car. In order for everything to be fair and just, the landlord must upload at least six photos of their car before each new transaction.

"You can do this via the app. You have to document the condition of the vehicle, the mileage and the level of the tank."

Turo has also been available in Germany since the beginning of the year. Stuttgart-based Daimler AG is one of the largest investors in the Californian start-up. The Daimler Group already owns the short-term rental company Car2go. It is mainly present in metropolitan areas. The automaker wants to win new buyers with its entry into Turo. The idea: If you couldn't afford a C-Class in the past, maybe you can if you "sublet" the car for a few days a month, says Webb.

"If you share your Mercedes three times a month, it costs you as much as a Prius. Who doesn't want to own a luxury car? That's exactly what we want to make easier."

The airport is the crux of the matter

Turo is growing: It has 200,000 members and together they offer around 300,000 vehicles on the platform. From the classic car to the electric speedster to the Italian luxury car. These cars can hardly be found at Avis or Hertz. Steve Webb from Turo in San Francisco says prices are on average 35 percent below those of classic car rental companies.

"For example, you want to go to Lake Tahoe for the weekend. Wouldn't it be nice if you parked your rental car right in front of your door? It's just very convenient. Or you open the app and see, for example, that on the same Street someone rented his Audi with leather upholstery. "

Turo and competitor Getaround score points in terms of "convenience". There is no paperwork. That happens in the app. Only those who arrive at the airport and need a rental car should have a harder time. Turo is therefore experimenting with a central parking lot at Los Angeles and San Francisco airports.

"Our staff will then take care of the handover of the car for a fee. We want to offer this in other cities as well. It is not yet clear which ones these are."

Paul, who rents his two Teslas on the car sharing platform, advises: If you want to rent particularly exotic cars, you should do so at least two weeks in advance.