Turo is expanding car-sharing to Australia

Turo, the peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that’s been described as the Airbnb for cars, will expand to Australia before the end of the year, the company said Tuesday. Local car owners in all major cities, including Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, can join the waitlist on Turo’s website if interested.

This is Turo’s second international expansion this year. In June, Turo expanded to France after acquiring competitor OuiCar, and the company expanded to New York State in a move that aims to cater to post-COVID travel needs. Australia reopened its borders to international travelers in February, and the government has been coaxing a slow and steady tourism recovery. Southern hemisphere summer is fast approaching, and with it hopefully international tourists looking to escape winter and drive around the country in a cheap rental. At the same time, car owners might be inclined to host their vehicles on Turo’s platform and make some extra cash amid continued inflationary pressures.

“We’re excited to provide local hosts with an entrepreneurial opportunity to supplement their income, while helping to meet the increasing demand from both Aussies and international visitors during peak travel season around the country,” said Tim Rossanis, managing director of Turo Australia. Rossanis previously served as Uber’s head of growth in retail and new verticals for the Australia and New Zealand market. 

“Turo plans to put the 20 million registered cars in Australia to better use and expand access for local car owners to a global network of guests,” said Rossanis.

Turo’s network today is mainly in the United States but also includes Canada and the United Kingdom. In total, Turo says it is in over 9,500 cities with over 125,000 active hosts and 250,000 active vehicles on the platform as of June. The company also says its hosts earn an average of $12,030 per year by sharing their cars. 

Turo filed to go public in January this year, but so far has yet to make its debut. The company had no comment for TechCrunch on its IPO, but in a regulatory filing, the company said it expects its operating expenses, and therefore its net losses, to increase substantially in the foreseeable future as Turo acquires new guests and hosts, grows partnerships and expands internationally.