posted on October 12th, 2017

If you’re going to San Francisco…

Whether it’s a hassle-free ride around town or a jaunt to one of the many beautiful getaway destinations, the best adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area are most often enjoyed from behind the wheel. With hundreds of thousands of trips that have generated millions of dollars in earnings for local hosts, the City by the Bay is one of Turo’s top markets and also home to Turo HQ.

As we prepare to celebrate the market’s success with our best hosts at tonight’s community party, we’ve prepared a breakdown of the market to take you on a deep dive of the Bay.

Tony’s Volkswagen Golf GTI

Something nice at the right price

Unsurprisingly, the higher end cars in the Luxury and Upscale categories garner the most attention among travelers. Together, listings in these two categories comprise about 44% of all listing views. Tesla, BMW, and Porsche are the most commonly searched makes and are sought after about twice as much as other popular makes in their category, such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi. While a fashionable ride is certainly alluring, practicality ultimately gets your listing in the most amount of search results. The two most commonly used search filters this year have been “sort by price” and “view by map”.

David’s Tesla Model S

Since more than half of all renters in the market are out-of-town travelers, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the surrounding cities, such as Millbrae and San Bruno, receive the most amount of bookings. The area still has a very solid base of local travelers, however, which make transit-rich locales, like the SoMa and downtown areas of San Francisco that are less dependent on car ownership, particularly popular as well. When a maximum price filter is applied the most common price points all tend to be under $100 per day, with $30, $50, and $40 selected the most, respectively.

Striking gold

Given the amount of searches that are price sensitive, it should come as no surprise that the compact/subcompact daily driver cars end up actually getting booked at about twice the rate of those in the higher-end categories. Toyota is by far the most booked make, however BMW is the second most booked make and is the only make to be among both the most searched and most booked. Cars that warrant a higher daily price, most notably Tesla and Porsche, are still able to earn just as much or more than your typical Prius with just a fraction of the rental days. Across all categories, sedans are the most booked, but higher capacity vehicles like SUVs and trucks still account for over a quarter of all booked trips so far this year and should increase as we enter the holiday season.

Kent’s BMW Z4

So what’s a host to do if they aren’t in the market for a new car just yet? If you can’t move your car to a hotspot location near an airport or public transit hubs, consider offering delivery. More than a third of all trips in the area are booked with delivery.

Trip types and seasonality  

Peak season in the area occurs when the weather starts to warm up in the warmer months (some quite foggy in San Francisco proper) from July through October. Host earnings during this peak season are nearly double that of quieter months at the beginning of the year from January through March. With the almost even split of locals and out of town drivers, the average trip length of 3.31 days this year is slightly below Turo’s national average.

Christian’s Volvo V60

Top hosts  

These top veteran hosts have had travelers leaving their hearts in San Francisco for years and are still among the most active in the area.

  1. Hosting since 2013, Nikola C., has more trips under his belt than any other owner in the area! His affordable daily driver cars are based in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco where he just added a brand new BMW that is eagerly awaiting its first trip!
  2. Finance guy by day and car enthusiast 24/7, Kent L. started with one unassuming Honda Accord and has since built up a beautiful collection of luxury cars over the years.
  3. Based in the East Bay, Kevin C. and his gearhead friends want to share the cars they love in a city near you, all of which have been personally photographed by Kevin himself.
  4. As the owner of WD Garage in Fremont, Zoeb knows a thing or two about cars and is on his way to hosting his 2,000th trip any day now.
  5. Joining the Turo community just over a year ago, Lance Z. has amassed his own personal fleet of affordably priced cars all over the city.


Hosting their first trip within the last year, these owners are already making waves in the Bay.  

  1. Full-time student Zach G. is a very *smart* guy that has hosted over 700 trips since starting in February of this year.
  2. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Junjian also joined the Turo community this past February and has since expanded all over the Peninsula.
  3. Janet and her husband love cars and it certainly shows with their perfect five-star rating and glowing reviews.

Want *s’more* good insight?

We hope you’ll swing by tonight’s community party to connect with other local hosts and gain even more valuable insights. If you haven’t had the chance to register to attend yet, be sure to do so while there’s still space available!


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).