Turo Market Data
Whether you’re brand to Turo or a seasoned professional with a fleet of 100 cars, performing market research in your specific location can mean the difference between profit and net loss on your investment vehicles.
Just as with any other business, being a profitable Turo host requires understanding the exact pricing, competitors, costs, estimates and taxes in your market to generate the highest income possible.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Turo analytics & research that competitive markets require to maximize your odds of success in starting a profitable Turo business. You may even find this data useful outside of operating a Turo business for related data science purposes.
Car Rental Business Analysis
The most important aspect to running a rental car business is knowing which cars your market demands. Maintaining a fleet of Corvettes in Alaska is not likely to generate any revenue. Not only do you need to know which cars are popular in your area overall, but which cars people are willing to rent instead of buying.
Ownership vs. Rental Demand
For example, many local businesses may find it easier to rent pickup trucks from Turo on a daily basis instead of owning them, so they can dynamically scale with demand. This may not be evident though if you only analyze car ownership data, since many people may not need pickup trucks all days of the year.
Renting cars instead of buying may also be strategic for insurance purposes from a consumer’s point of view - e.g. sports cars that people rarely use also command high insurance premiums, making car sharing a more valuable prospect for these vehicles.
Fleet Selection for Car Owners
Whether you’re a fleet of one or one hundred, knowing the right composition is akin to managing a successful stock portfolio - you need to balance your supply of cars with what the market demands. Check out the following video to see how the United States’ 2nd composes its Turo fleet by total revenue.
But does this mean you should just copy your competitors? As with any business model, it will depend on how you want to position yourself in the market. Do you want to replicate the same cars your competitors offer but compete on pricing? Or do you want to offer cars that other hosts aren’t offering, such as performance or exotic vehicles to maximize your income?
Answering these questions requires a deep understanding of your local city & market to build a sustainable and unique business that can provide the services your competitors can’t
Car Rental Industry
Before analyzing markets in too much depth, it’s beneficial to take a look at the car rental business model as a whole, which has been relatively stagnant until Turo’s sharing economy disrupted what’s possible in a car sharing service.
Turo used its technology to offer something unique to both car renters and car owners, taking valuable market share away from traditional car rental competitors.
Traditional Car Rental Companies
A traditional rental company offers rental vehicles to customers at limited venues, many at airports, and typically operate with a fixed fleet of cars per location. This means that when busy season hits, a car rental company with a fixed fleet size must raise prices.
How Turo Changed the Game
Since Turo flexibly connects car owners with individuals in need of a rental car for the day or week, it can more easily scale with market conditions, especially for hosts who only rent out their vehicle part-time. Just like with Uber surge pricing, when a host sees there is more activity in their area, they can volunteer their vehicle to rent out at incentivized pricing.
Unlike Turo, traditional rental companies can’t elastically scale this way and instead must rely on strategic partnerships with limited competitors instead of tapping into the much larger market of all vehicle owners in a given area.
Furthermore, Turo offers more flexibility to users who aren’t necessarily traveling and may just need the car for a day or so, allowing them to pick up the car or have it delivered to their location. The value proposition here is convenience and flexibility that rental companies can’t match, especially in large urban areas such as San Francisco.
Market Research & Analysis
As with any market for real goods, the car rental business model runs off of supply and demand - understanding this is the basis for having valuable Turo analytics.
Therefore, performing a rigorous market analysis is a great first step to becoming a Turo host or optimizing your existing fleet, but you must always remember that past performance in any market does not guarantee a future results or return on investment!
A good free starting point to estimating how much a vehicle can earn on Turo is through the Turo Carculator - a cleverly named calculator that attempts to estimate how profitable a specific car will be in a given location.
However, keep in mind that Turo generates revenue from hosts & marketplace fees, so they want to encourage as many hosts as possible to join their platform. We suggest taking the calculator’s output with a grain of salt, as they may be prone to over-estimate your potential earnings.
Hyper-Localized Turo Data
Every city and neighborhood has different tastes, preferences & needs when it comes to the car rental business, so what works in one area will not necessarily work in others. Therefore, we highly suggest performing market analysis with the data in your exact neighborhood, town or city - however local you can get while still obtaining a reasonable amount of data.
If there’s a specific company in your market that’s particularly successful, you may want to copy or borrow from their success. The best way to do this is to scrape their exact Turo fleet to see not only what their best selling vehicle is, but also understand the overall composition and their underlying business model.
Make & Model Research
The best vehicle to power your Turo business may be the one that no other company is offering. So it’s important to know which vehicles are selling well in your market and combine this with your intuition to extrapolate which other vehicles your target audience may really want instead.
Turo operates its peer car sharing platform by offering a lot of customizations & add-ons you need to consider in addition to just the car you want to rent out. For example, value added service fees such as delivering to your customer may be worth it in rural areas, but less important in urban areas. It’s important to account for this and see what your competitors are doing while considering your offer.
Scraping Turo Data
Now that we have a basic understanding of the types of questions we should be asking, we can discuss the best way to export this data directly from Turo for your local market & research needs. We’ll discuss a few popular use cases we’ve seen customers use with our scraping services.
You’ll likely want to start by scraping active vehicles from the Turo Search Page for your local market, allowing you to see exactly which vehicles are currently available for rent. Follow the instructions below or check out our Turo Scraping Video Tutorial for a full step-by-step tutorial.
Once you get to the results, be sure to follow the instructions on the HAR File Web Scraper to collect the data - specifically make sure you first right click on the screen and hit “Inspect” before interacting with the Turo data.
Make sure you see the map on the right of your screen; you may need to widen or refresh your browser to ensure the map is visible or move the developer tools pane to the bottom of your browser. Make sure your browser looks like the following screenshot before proceeding.
Now make sure that you check the box on the map labelled “Search for cars as I move the map” and then begin moving the map around so Turo loads its data into your browser (as you’re recording it with developer tools open).
You may also need to click the “Redo search here” button to force Turo to load more data into your browser. Then scroll around the area you want to collect the data for.
Once you’ve browsed the data you want to scrape, click the “Export HAR…” button under the Network tab in developer tools. This will export a HAR file to your computer containing the raw data from Turo in JSON format. Upload that file to the HAR File Web Scraper and look for the response group ending in search then click the “Parse Group” button to see the results and download them as a CSV file.
You’ll be able to open the CSV file in Excel or Google Sheets and get an idea of the car makes & models available in your market.
When browsing through the vehicle data, you’ll probably notice a few “super” Turo hosts who have quite a few listings active. The good news here is that you can dive deeper into each individual host and scrape all of their vehicles as well as get revenue estimates for their fleet. See our video on Scraping a Turo Fleet’s Data for a full step-by-step guide!
When scraping competitor vehicles, you can see the average daily price and the number of trips taken in the scraped data. Simply multiply these two values and you’ll get an estimate of how much revenue the vehicle has taken in over its lifetime. You can also see when the car was first listed, so you can then estimate the revenue per day and calculate your expected return on investment using this information.
In addition to car rentals listed, you may have an interest in scraping the delivery locations. You can follow the steps above in the Search Results section, but after uploading the HAR file, simply look for a HAR file group labeled with “delivery locations” instead of “search” and you’ll be able to see all of the available options in your current market.