Turo bets Vegas tourists will drive rental program







Di Scipio: Boost for car buyers

Companies launching businesses are on the hunt for perfect test markets to try out their concepts. For Turo, the big tourism draw of Las Vegas has made it an ideal location to experiment with peer-to-peer car rentals.

Many Turo guests travel to Las Vegas from other areas of Nevada or a surrounding state and rent cars for three or four days, said Christin Di Scipio, Turo’s communications coordinator.

And the program helps Las Vegas car owners buy aspiration vehicles they might not otherwise be able to afford, by providing rebates and offering a way to offset costs by renting out the car.

“This is something we feel really passionate about that will help people that want to get these nicer cars,” said Di Scipio. “The way they can do that is through Turo, and we would love to help them finance their cars in partnership with dealers.”

Pilot plan

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services launched the pilot with Turo and Fletcher Jones Automotive Group in December after its parent company, Daimler Financial Services, announced an investment in Turo three months earlier.

The pilot, at Fletcher Jones Imports Las Vegas and Mercedes-Benz of Henderson near Las Vegas, allows vehicle owners, who Turo calls hosts, to rent their vehicles to other Turo users, called guests.

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Turo has more than 4 million hosts and guests combined.

During the pilot, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services will give finance and lease customers who register for Turo $500 off eligible vehicles (Mercedes-Benz C class, CLA, E class, GLA, GLC and GLE).

“We are excited to be participating in the pilot and to be able to look for opportunities as dealers in this new type of business,” said Fletcher Jones III, COO of the dealership group.

Expansion

So far, the Fletcher Jones Las Vegas stores are the only dealerships partnering with Turo, but Turo aims to expand to other dealerships.

Hosts can set their own price; those who rent their vehicles one week per month typically earn $625 before paying Turo and their insurance fees. Hosts can choose from three types of Liberty Mutual insurance plans. On average, 25 percent of a host’s earnings go toward insurance fees, said Di Scipio.

Many Tesla Model X hosts, she said, have offset the cost of their vehicles by renting them out for nine days per month. Renting the car pads owners’ monthly payments, and in some cases gives them more incentive to buy the vehicle, she said.

Croove rebrand

Croove, Daimler’s peer-to-peer car-sharing platform in Germany, will be rebranded as Turo in the German market within the next year, Daimler said in its September statement announcing its investment in Turo.

The pilot with Fletcher Jones is Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ first collaborative effort with Turo after it invested in September, said Craig Walters, general manager of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

“With the significant investment by Daimler, our team is committed to growing our presence in the car sharing market and learning how users respond to our products,” said Walters.

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