posted on April 27th, 2017

Saving his Camaro & saving the day

While we love stories about business-minded Turo champions like Osama B. , stories that tug on the heartstrings and showcase real bootstrapped triumph have just as much splash. Take Ryan M., a young geologist living in Alberta.

Stumbling on tough times

“I’ve gone through a lot in the last year,” Ryan recalls. Just about a year ago, he was laid off from his job in the oil and gas industry during a downturn and was out of a job for several months. Eagerly hunting for new opportunities in a depressed industry, he still had monthly car payments for his beloved Chevrolet Camaro, and the responsibility was starting to bear down on his back account. “I thought about selling it,” he notes, “and then I heard about Turo and decided, what do I have to lose?” So he kept the car and tried listing it on Turo.

Ryan & his Camaro in Toronto. Photo credit: Andrew Green

With a warm, bright Canadian summer stretching out before him and a flashy car with enough vroom to tackle the epic nearby landscapes, Ryan was able to earn enough with his Camaro on Turo to make his monthly payments. Speaking to Global News last July, Ryan reports that “it’s bringing in about $600 a month, so that more or less covers the cost of the car, and being laid off, any extra bit helps.”

There were, admittedly, some psychological barriers he had to overcome before putting up his car for rent: “When you first sign up, you get a little nervous [handing your keys over to a stranger],” he recalls. “But then you get used to it, so why not keep doing it?” Renting out his Camaro — the first car he ever bought and “just a fun car to drive” — all through the summer high season empowered Ryan both to coast a few months without a job and afford to keep his beloved bright yellow Camaro.

Photo credit: Andrew Green

In the sharing groove

After a successful first summer on Turo, Ryan celebrated another success — scoring an awesome new job at a civil engineering firm in Calgary. Ready to dive back into fulltime work, and with Alberta’s winter materializing around him, Ryan hung up his Camaro’s keys and stashed his sunny sidekick in storage for the season.

Emerging from winter gainfully employed and ready to relist, he pulled the Camaro out of hibernation just a few weeks ago. “I don’t have as much availability [to rent it out] now as I did when I was unemployed,” he notes, “but I’m definitely going to keep it listed on Turo.”

His business was bustling so why not keep it going even when times aren’t as tough? Last summer, he found that a lot of local Calgary neighbors ended up renting it for little weekend getaways to the nearby Rockies, Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper — all just about an hour away from Calgary, Ryan reports. “The first time I drove down there, I was just staring out the windshield in awe of how massive the mountains were,” he recalls. And then there’s the Calgary Stampede coming up in July, which Ryan brands as “the best week of the year” in Calgary — “the whole city is just in party mode,” he says.

Insofar as succeeding on Turo is concerned, “just give it a try!” Ryan advises. “It’s kind of odd the first time, but then you get used to it. You meet nice people, and you just try to support them,” he says, citing good customer service and providing delightful extras — like a quick Calgary tour or an all-access “Discover Canada 150” pass in honor of the country’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration this year — as keys to his success on the marketplace.

The morals of the story

The morals of Ryan’s story are twofold. For one, think outside the box. Even when times get tough, emerging economy platforms like Turo offer unconventional opportunities to earn some honest income with existing investments. For another, you don’t have to be a sharing economy maverick to succeed. Ryan rents out his car according to his schedule, so he can succeed at his fulltime job while still enjoying the extra income that his Turo lifestyle affords him.

If you find yourself in Calgary this summer, conquer the Canadian Rockies and rent Ryan’s bumblebee-yellow Camaro, and be sure to check the Calgary Stampede off your travel bucket list in July.

Megan is the copywriter and content tsarina at Turo. She lives to wander near and far, never met a beach (or dog) she didn’t like, and loves to talk postmodern lit and theory to anyone who’ll listen.