posted on March 9, 2016

Owners frequently ask us which makes and models generate the most revenue on Turo. A seemingly simple question, with a varied and complicated answer. The fact of the matter is, the best cars and most lucrative listings are successful for a variety of reasons — from geographical relevance to the owner’s attentiveness and the quality of their listing — so there’s no one-and-done answer.

Our analytics team has, however, delved into the intricacies of each major US city to glean insights on the most popular vehicles in the highest demand, that could perhaps inform owners’ purchasing decisions as they ponder growing their Turo business.

It should be noted that part of the appeal of a marketplace like Turo, however, is the uniqueness of our inventory. We encourage owners to dig into market trends and insights, but also to diversify their investments to cultivate a well-rounded inventory of diverse vehicles.

Most in-demand car types by city


While these forecasts have several extenuating factors (including the responsiveness of the owners and the small sample size that may explain the spikes in utilization for certain car types), we observed the following trends:


Recommendation: City cars. Upscale small city cars and “Everyday drivers”, which includes subcompact, compact, and midsize cars (like Vlad’s Honda Fit), are all in high demand.


Recommendation: Compact crossovers & wagons. Travelers love a car they can use both in the city and for a weekend outdoors, especially if it’s winter-ready, like Graham’s Subaru Outback.


Recommendation: Small city cars. Upscale subcompact and everyday subcompact and compact cars, like Mike’s Hyundai Elantra and Michael’s Ford Focus, are frequently searched in the Windy City.


Recommendation: City cars. Midsize and compact cars are often booked in Dallas, including Fisseha’s Toyota Camry.


Recommendation: Outdoor adventure cars. Wagons, upscale compact crossovers, and midsize SUVs are very popular in the the Mile High City, and even more so if they come equipped with a bike rack, ski rack, or snow tires. Zach’s Subaru Outback or Robert’s Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class are gold-star examples.


Recommendation: Performance SUVs, crossovers, and convertibles. Performance SUVs are the superstars, but travelers also love convertible sports cars like Lena’s Mini Cooper or Porsche Boxster to soak in that warm tropical sun.


Recommendation: Small city cars. Subcompact and upscale subcompact cars, like Charles’ Toyota Prius  or Court’s Mini Cooper, are in high demand in Space City.


Recommendation: Roadsters & sports cars. Travelers love compact roadsters and midsize and full-size sport (preferably convertibles) like Mario’s BMW M4, Sardor’s Ford Mustang, and interestingly, Jeeps, like Ekaterina’s Jeep Wrangler.


Recommendation: Upscale roadsters. Travelers want to see and be seen when they’re visiting Miami — they love a good convertible, like Jonathan’s BMW Z4.


Recommendation: Countryside & family friendly cars. Travelers are fleeing the city for the country in space wagons and compact crossovers, like Ben’s Mini Cooper Countryman.


Recommendation: Performance crossovers or SUVs. Desert visitors like to tackle the great outdoors in something hearty and roomy like James’ Land Rover Range Rover Sport.


Recommendation: Roomy cars. Wagons & space wagons like Dennis’ Honda Element are not only well suited to families and groups, but also can accommodate surfboards and other outdoor gear.


Recommendation: Upscale or hybrid small cars. Upscale compact roadster, upscale subcompact, and hybrid compact cars (like Kent’s BMW Z4 and Edwin’s Mini Cooper Roadster) are hot tickets in the Bay Area.


Recommendation: Minivans, vans, & SUVs. Roomier vehicles, like Mike’s Volkswagen Vanagon, are in high demand to explore the lush state parks Washington has to offer.


Recommendation: Upscale compact crossovers or SUVs. Travelers like a comfortable crossover for a weekend away like Moses’ Nissan Pathfinder or Nadya’s Mercedes Benz GLA Class, but also love a city car for poking around the district.

Quality always wins

At the end of the day, the quality of the listing matters more than the type of car listed. Having beautiful photos and stellar reviews for your top-notch customer service helps your listing stand out in search results, and offering delivery or being instantly bookable will make your listing even more irresistible.

Claire is a data scientist at Turo and is always up for a road trip. She's always curious to experiment with new cars but her heart belongs to the classics.