A U.S. company that has adapted the Airbnb Inc. home rental concept to the automobile is expanding into Canada.
San Francisco-based Turo said on Tuesday it is making its first foray outside the United States with the launch of operations in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec and plans to eventually go national.
The company, founded in 2009 as RelayRides, allows car owners to rent out their vehicles to strangers. Turo plays up the notion that owners can make some serious cash – the average active U.S. member makes $600 (U.S.) per month, according to the company – while renters can choose from a panoply of makes and models, including vintage and luxury cars such as the Tesla Model S.
“This is a significant milestone in our history; our first international launch and the opportunity to make car ownership in Canada more accessible and inject value, convenience and personality into travel,” Turo chief executive officer Andre Haddad said.
In Canada, Turo has an agreement with Intact Financial Corp. for insurance coverage through its two biggest brands, Intact Insurance and belairdirect.
It said it is working to get other Canadian insurers to allow their policy holders to rent out their cars.
The rates offered are generally 30-per-cent lower than those available from the legacy car-rental firms, the company said.
Users and car owners must pass a screening process set up by the company.
Turo says it operates in over 2,500 cities and 300 airports in North America and has more than one million rental days under its belt.