Technology & Telematics Forum: Peer-to-peer sharing models gaining traction

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By Krista McNamara/Content Channel Director, ABRN & Motor Age

TROY, Mich. — There is a new model challenging the need for vehicle ownership.

Ethan Wilson

Ethan Wilson, senior government relations manager and legal counsel for Turo, presented about the company’s peer-to-peer vehicle sharing model at the 2019 Technology & Telematics Forum, presented by the Automotive Service Association and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Troy, Mich.

Turo’s mission is to put the world’s 1.5 billion cars to better use and to help vehicle owners to create an economic engine out of items that are most likely the most expensive depreciating asset a person buys, Wilson said.

PHOTOS: Technology & Technology Forum:

EVENT FACT: ASA & the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers sponsored Thursday’s cutting-edge event in Troy, Michigan.

Founded in 2010, Turo is a community of vehicle owners, also known as “hosts;” and consumers looking to share these vehicles, or “guests.” Guests can choose from a unique selection of nearby and locally-sourced cars. The company serves more than 5,500 cities across the US, Canada, Germany and the UK.

The model is driven by the ever-rising cost of vehicle loans — with $504 being the average monthly loan payment for vehicle ownership. Turo looks to help change the economies of vehicle ownership and boasts that the average host will earn $625 per month with just 11 monthly booked days.

According to Turo research, 75 percent of hosts use the income to pay down car loans or cover primary vehicle expenses.

The five most popular models that guests seek are the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Prius, BMW 3-Series, Tesla Model S and Mustang.

Wilson also shared that Turo has been working proactively with legislators and regulators on creating peer sharing legislation that protects all parties.

Krista McNamara / Content Channel Director, ABRN & Motor Age

The company offers 24-hour roadside assistance, and has partnered with Liberty Mutual on insurance plans for all hosts and guests.

“We want everyone on the platform to feel safe. A big part of that is the dynamic of peer-to-peer review. You know the vehicle being reviewed is the one you are going to be driving,” Wilson said. And while Turo checks every vehicle for open safety recalls, Wilson said state-to-state laws dictates if the vehicle needs to have a safety inspection.

Those in the audience challenged the company to partner with the automotive industry on performing vehicle inspections and repairs to ensure the cars are safe to drive and repaired correctly.