How people began to replace their cars with phones

For many the future of transport will mean less ownership but far more access to vehicles than ever before. We spoke to Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo, a global leader in the peer-to-peer car-sharing space with 10 million users and 350,000 vehicles within its network, to find out how he sees things playing out.

How big is the peer-to-peer car-sharing market now and how big do you see it becoming over the next 10 years?

Peer-to-peer car sharing is a massive opportunity. Over the next few years, fewer people will own a car. They will replace their car with their phone. Their phone will connect them with a variety of mobility networks that will provide them with the right kind of vehicle with the right experience. Turo and peer-to-peer car sharing will be one of these networks that people will depend upon for their weekend and longer trips.

Half of our users joined in 2018, which is a clear indication of how peer-to-peer car-sharing is becoming more mainstream. We’re excited to continue expanding into additional international markets and work towards our mission of putting the world’s 1.2 billion cars to better use.

What barriers need to be overcome for more people to take part in car-sharing?

The main obstacle peer-to-peer car sharing must overcome is trust. We work with leading insurers in the UK, US, Germany and Canada to provide a trustworthy car sharing platform. Those who own or lease a 2008 or newer vehicle can list it on the sharing app and once it is pre-approved by Turo they’re covered by Allianz. For drivers, it offers flexibility and convenience with a platform that mimics modern dating apps, with customers choosing the car to fit the occasion or trip.

Read: Is it time to ban cars from cities?

Do you see the increased popularity of car sharing ultimately reducing the numbers of cars sold and cars on the roads?

Yes, as car sharing and other mobility options become more mainstream, personal car ownership will decrease. Cars typically sit idle for about 95 per cent of the time, so Turo allows the cars consumers already own to get more use while offsetting the cost of car ownership.

What are the environmental benefits of car-sharing?

Car sharing lowers the number of new cars that need to be manufactured as it allows people to access a car when they need one and use public transportation when they don’t. Turo is also providing an affordable opportunity for guests to reduce their carbon footprint by having electric vehicles and hybrids available to book.

Are there certain types of journeys that you see people frequently using car-sharing for?

Turo provides the opportunity for people to get out of the city and take a road trip to the country in an affordable, personalised way. Guests can choose the exact car they want, from an incredible selection of cars - more than 850 makes and models - whether it be a classic car or a deluxe car, and can even have the car delivered to them at the start of their trip.

The main types of journeys we have seen through our platform are weekend trips, many of which are coming out of the city for a short break. The other main use is for business travel and we’ve started implementing some product tools to help choose the best car for business travellers.

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