Today Turo—formerly known as RelayRides—is rolling out its peer-to-peer car rental service in Canada, the company's first international market. When RelayRides launched in 2010, it focused on hourly car rentals, like Zipcar. Now Turo competes with traditional car rental companies, by serving airports and offering multi-day rentals. As CEO Andre Haddad told me:
"[RelayRides] was pioneered at a time when taxis were very expensive and very hard to find. Fast-forward to 2016: With the abundance of ride-sharing and ride-hailing services out there, the rationale for renting a car for an hour or two hours is less and less obvious for most people."
In Uber's vision of the future, car ownership—and rentals—plummet as autonomous vehicles, operated through services like Uber, provide transportation. Turo is betting that even when cars drive themselves, there will be times when people want their own personal bubbles to drive them around instead of relying on such a service. "We're not going to go from one model of full car ownership and no sharing to 100% sharing," Haddad said. "It doesn't make sense for all consumers." SK