Car-sharing platform Turo eyes move to Manitoba

Canada’s largest car-sharing marketplace is looking to roll into Manitoba.

Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental company, said it is in early talks with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to create a coverage option to allow expansion into our province.

“It might be a long process, and we’re just at the first step of that process,” explained Turo Canada head and vice president Cedric Mathieu.

MPI told CTV News Winnipeg in an emailed statement they have already engaged with Turo representative and “participated in preliminary discussions to identify potential products and opportunities going forward.”

Mathieu said the company was first launched in 2016, with an aim to make better use of Canada’s roughly 35 million cars.

“These cars are vastly underutilized. They sit idle roughly 95 per cent of the time,” he said.

“Our mission is to put these cars to better use and really create a future where there are fewer cars on the road, but accessed by more people.”

How it works – users sign up either online or through the Turo app. They search a location and date, and browse cars available through local ‘hosts’ – the term used for the vehicle’s owners.

After booking a vehicle, users can have it delivered or picked up from the host.

Hosts can set their own prices or have the app automatically adjust the price. Hosts keep 75 per cent of the trip price, with the remaining 25 per cent going back to Turo.

Mathieu said the service is a great way for car owners to generate another source of income from an asset they already own.

“It’s expensive to own a car these days between the parking, the insurance, the maintenance of the car. Hosts can get meaningful revenue from their cars, and that’s something that’s been very appealing for car owners,” Mathieu explained.

Since its launch in 2016, Turo has expanded into eight provinces in Canada, as well as into the United States and Europe.

Mathieu said he doesn’t know when Turo could launch in Manitoba, adding it is dependent on how high a priority it becomes for the provincial government and MPI.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to find ways to streamline the process, but the timeline is not clearly defined yet.” 

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