posted on July 27th, 2017

Making waves in the Windy City

With big city vibes and Midwestern charm, it’s no wonder Chicagoland has become a thriving Turo market. The size of the community and the number of rental days have both more than doubled in the past year. As we prepare for tonight’s community event, we thought we’d break down the ins and outs of the market to help you make sense of how the wind blows in the Windy City.

Andris’s Porsche Panamera

Searching for the finer things (within reach)

Renters in Chicago are most commonly searching for a nicer car that is easily accessible. More than 60% of searches by category are for something “Upscale”, with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla representing the most popular (and most searched) makes. The exact model of these fancier types of cars is only a particular for just 1% of all searches.

If it’s not a nice car that most folks are searching for, it’s a bargain in a particular location. Everyone likes nice things but many travelers still want something within reach in terms of both budget and location. About 13% of searches are filtered for price and the most popular limit is $30 per day. Like most of Turo’s larger urban markets, location is also key for a renter population that skews more local than Turo’s national average of predominantly out-of-town travelers. In the sprawling metropolis of Chicago, 17% of all searches are done by map.

Sungjin’s BMW 5 Series

Which cars are getting booked over dere?

Despite a lot of demand for an upscale ride, more than half of all trips are actually booked in a more approachable daily driver class. Toyotas are by far the most commonly booked car, followed closely behind by Honda and Ford. BMW is the only luxury make to capture more than 5% of booked trips in the area. An opportunity might exist for an upscale car in a prime location that doesn’t necessarily warrant a high daily price. 

Katsy’s Toyota Prius

Trip types and seasonality  

As most locals know, there are two seasons in Chicago: winter and construction. In recent years, Chicago has built up one of Turo’s largest markets for summer travel. Bookings still see an uptick during the winter holidays but owner earnings nearly double from May all the way through September. Last month was the Chicago market’s best month ever and this month is going just as strong.

Since well over half of renters in Chicago are locals, most trips are quick weekend getaways — the average trip length in the last year was 3.2 days, but consistently rises during the later weeks in December when travelers flock home for the holidays.

Chris’s Maserati GranTurismo


Having hosted the most in the area, these are our top owners in the Chicago area.

  1. With a whopping 2,027 trips hosted and counting, Michael of Oates & Perfetti, has still managed to maintain a perfect five-star rating delighting guests with his small fleet of daily drivers in Uptown.  
  2. From Kia to BMW, Georgy’s diverse fleet in East Garfield Park (or delivered to a curbside near you) has hosted over 1,000 trips.
  3. Eric has hosted over 800 trips and delights his guests with free curbside delivery and five-star communication.

Rising stars

Representing the newbies who hosted their first trips less than a year ago, these hosts certainly deserve an honorable mention.

  1. Christiaan could have very well written this market guide himself. His cars — all priced under $30 per day — have quickly racked up 372 trips so far. This car enthusiast and business student knows what he’s doing!
  2. “Luxury vehicles at an affordable price with top notch service” is the secret to David’s early success on the marketplace. Hosting over 300 trips to date, he’s off to a strong start so far.
  3. With her single Chevy, Gabrielle has already hosted 156 trips for travelers that rave about the time she takes to explain the car and stay in close communication with her travelers.

Wait, wait! There’s more!

Want to learn even more about Turo’s Chicago market and meet the rest of the community? Be sure to join us at tonight’s community party!


Chris is the Community Manager at Turo. He’s a proud father to three rescue dogs and has become immune to jet lag in all his travels (or maybe it’s just the coffee).