There are approximately 23 million cars on the road in Canada and a recent survey by car-sharing platform Turo revealed that many of them sit idle most of the time.
“So many people have a car and the fact that they spend so much money on their car, but at the end of the day, this asset is vastly underutilized,” said Cédric Mathieu, vice-president of Turo Canada.
Turo has been around for about five years in Canada and is called the Airbnb of carsharing. Its survey of car owners found that 83% of Canadians own or lease a vehicle, but those vehicles sit idle 95% of the time.
The survey also looked at the cost of owning a vehicle and found that the annual cost of owning a car, not including gas, maintenance and other expenses, is $4,937 per year. nationally and just over $5,249 in Ontario.
Turo says 1.2 million Canadians have signed up to rent more than 55,000 cars through its platform on its app and website. Customers can rent a vehicle from a private owner often cheaper than a traditional rental company or rent a luxury vehicle for a special occasion.
Mathieu says that vehicle owners who want to become hosts on the Turo platform can rent their cars to generate income with a vehicle that may sit idle in their driveway anyway.
“It’s really a platform that connects car owners who have a car but don’t use it all the time with people who need one,” Mathieu said.
Tamer Gargour from North York doesn’t own a car and sometimes needs one for a long time and said he finds it easier to rent one from another car owner through the platform.
“I never had time to invest in a car full time and I used it (Turo) regularly every month. I used it for a year and a half non-stop,” Gargour said.
Turo has insurance, which can help protect both renters and hosts who provide their cars. The company says it’s an option for those who need a vehicle occasionally, but don’t want the cost of ownership.
“Our mission at Turo paves the way for a future where there are fewer cars on the road, but where those cars are accessible to more people,” said Mathieu.
Renting your personal car to strangers may not be for everyone, but Mathieu said the concept is gaining momentum with more users and hosts in Canada who rent their car earn on average. nearly $800 a month.