posted on November 19, 2020

It goes without saying that 2020 will be one to remember.

We entered the year like any other — excited about furthering our mission to put the UK’s 38 million cars to better use, strengthen communities, and create bigger adventures. In short, we did just that — just not necessarily in the way we might’ve expected.

In our second year in the UK, the Turo community stands stronger than ever, with over 220,000 members and more than 12,500 listed cars in 535 towns and cities across the UK. From Edinburgh to Exeter, the ability to share vehicles with people in your community has proved more popular (and more necessary) than ever before.

Choosing freedom

In a place where public transport is king, it might seem surprising that London is the fastest growing city for Turo — ever! The capital is a city with lower-than-average car ownership, which means Turo is a viable alternative to having your own four wheels, giving guests the freedom of car ownership without the commitment. In fact, London is now Turo’s second biggest market globally, second only to LA

We’re proud of the meaningful impact we’ve been able to have on people’s lives, particularly as we enter a recession. The average Turo host takes home £574 a month from sharing their car on Turo, and this year will see some of our highest earning hosts earn up to 3.5x the national average salary.

In the past few months, we’ve also seen bookings more than triple in volume compared to this time last year. It’s amazing to see the demand for car-sharing pick up as people look for safe and convenient alternatives to public transport.

We’re always hard at work to ensure that everyone’s experience with Turo is seamless and safe from start to finish. Our team in the UK continues to grow, with our fantastic Customer Support team doubling in size, meaning there’s more help on hand when you need us. We’ve also seen the number of Turo Go-enabled cars climb since we launched it in 2019. Guests can now make the whole trip easier — and contactless — by taking advantage of remote unlocking technology.

Becoming a household name

You might’ve seen us around town a few times this year. From partnering with homegrown tech companies (and homescreen faves) Citymapper, Revolut, to major brands like American Express to help make discovering the perfect car even easier. We also launched our brand new outdoor advertising campaign across London’s iconic red buses, a major milestone for the business. With plenty of people choosing to stay closer to home this summer, we also found ourselves featured in Time Out and Secret London as they highlighted dreamy UK staycation destinations reachable by car. COVID-conscious travellers from the continent also benefited, too — Turo is the only car sharing marketplace in the UK that accepts all international license holders, meaning even more travelers could travel safely to locations that were otherwise out of reach.

COVID-conscious travel

As lockdown began in spring, the majority of the population stayed in. We, understandably, saw a dip in the number of trips being taken. However, it wasn’t entirely quiet on that front. With keyworkers across the country now needed more than ever, they themselves needed a safer way to reach the people they served. Public transport was running on limited service, or sometimes not at all, which meant that many frontline workers turned to Turo as an alternative. Hosts across the country saw this as an opportunity to help out, offering exclusive discounts to keyworkers to enable them to travel around safely and more affordably.

During this period and beyond, we’ve worked closely with our community to ensure every trip is as safe as possible. We updated our policies and standards, making it a requirement for all hosts to clean and disinfect their cars before each trip. We also offer up thorough ongoing training to our host community, so they’re armed with the skills needed to prepare for safe trips. Not only that, we’ve distributed NHS-approved cleaning equipment to hosts across London to make it easier for everyone to stay safe.

The journey continues

As we approach the end of the year, I’d like to thank each and every one of you who’ve built the Turo community in the UK and helped us reach our second birthday. From launch to the current day, the only way has been up. There’s been so many standout moments from this year, but I’m especially proud and grateful for the way our community come together during the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that, we have and will continue to bounce back even stronger, enabling keyworkers to get to work safely, and travellers to go on local, rather than long-haul, adventures. I’m excited to see what the next year has in store for us, and I hope you are too.

Xavier is the UK Director at Turo. He stays on the go and is always on the hunt for the best road trips Europe has to offer.