by

posted on December 27th, 2018

2018 was a big, big year for Turo. I know I say that every year, and every year I mean it. But this year really was a banner year for the Turo team, and I’m filled with both pride and gratitude for all that 2018 has brought.

From expanding into two new geographies with our peer-to-peer business, to launching a revolutionary new feature called Turo Go that unlocks on-the-go mobility for guests and creates a hassle free way for hosts to boost their utilization, 2018 was full of firsts. We had more than a few buzzy brand and influencer partnerships, we battled incumbent bullies who tried (and failed) to stifle car sharing innovation with their deep pockets, and we were honored with awards for both our best-in-class customer support and our rich workplace culture. In no particular order, here are the greatest hits of 2018.

Making Turo Go go

After months of hard work and planning, in November, we were thrilled to launch Turo Go, a new feature that lets the Turo community in Los Angeles locate and unlock cars instantly, right from the Turo app. Turo Go helps our hosts earn more with less hassle, and provides an unprecedented level of convenience for guests.

Turo Go was unveiled with rich fanfare, starting with a behind-the-scenes exclusive from TechCrunch, a live announcement during the Automobility LA conference, and practical demonstrations from auto influencers, including perennial favorite Doug DeMuro, who posted a Turo Go video during launch week.

Discover a better way to travel with Turo Go, or, if you’re a host in LA, see how Turo Go can help you boost your Turo business, even while you live your busy life.

Fighting for the right to share cars

On the government relations front, our exceptional GR team spearheaded a valiant effort to defeat legislation that would have killed car sharing in Illinois, closing out the year with Turo winning 14 out of 14 legislative battles against rental car incumbent, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, who has really ratcheted up the anti-Turo vitriol this year.

This strong track record is the result of hard-fought battles, but the fight is nowhere close to being over. The state legislative sessions reconvene in the new year, so the team will need to rally once more to fight the good fight. If car sharing is important to you, I urge you to join Turo OpenRoad, a hub for public policy discussion and advocacy around car sharing. When an issue comes up in your state, you can easily write your representatives to advocate for your right to share cars. It’s clear that constituents’ voices matter to elected representatives, as hundreds of people in the Illinois Turo community came together this fall to fight Enterprise’s anti-car sharing legislation and I’m thrilled to report that we won! We couldn’t have done it without the support of our passionate community, so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Turo goes Hollywood

In brand partnership news, team Turo went a little Hollywood this year. Starting with a partnership with the intrepid law enforcers from the Vermont Highway Patrol, Turo came out with a few videos to support the Super Troopers 2 premiere. The cult-favorite comedy troupe enlightened the world on the appropriate rules of the road in a safety PSA.

Later in the year, we teamed up with NFL stars Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith and Bay Area rap legend E-40 to create a video welcoming the MVPs to the Bay Area. And then, just last month, we debuted a new commercial in partnership with the new movie BUMBLEBEE, with a supporting campaign featuring the BUMBLEBEE-inspired nostalgia collection and a booth at the LA Auto Show featuring the vintage VW Beetle used in the commercial. I was particularly proud of and touched by the commercial creative — it showcased one of the most beautiful things about Turo: the deep emotional connection between people and cars, and the opportunity Turo provides to access the car of your dreams.

Pass the Cayenne: Partnering with Porsche

As a huge Porsche enthusiast, I was thrilled to embark on a wonderful collaboration with Porsche, wherein a group of rockstar Turo hosts (myself included!) got the opportunity to go to the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles for a track day and 3-day training session with Porsche experts. Our cars then got the full Porsche treatment, including an official inspection. The result is the Porsche Host program, where Porsche enthusiasts can book a pristine Porsche vehicle and enjoy the deep brand knowledge imparted by Porsche on these special hosts.

Currently, the Porsche Host program is a pilot program in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but we look forward to expanding it into more US markets in 2019, to provide rich experiences for both hosts and guests in these extraordinary vehicles.

Me and my trusty 911

Delighting customers, taking names

The Turo Operations team was honored and deeply proud to be recognized as the best customer support in the car sharing category of Newsweek’s “Best Customer Service 2019” awards, handily beating out Enterprise CarShare and Maven. Our score was even higher than best-in-class ride hailing and car rental companies, so this recognition really is a deep honor and a testament to the team’s dedication to excellence. As anyone who’s ever called into any customer support center knows, the experience can be difficult — you’re usually already in the throes of some adversity, so the ability of a customer support organization to delight and resolve issues quickly and efficiently is of paramount importance. I couldn’t be more proud of our Operations team for this honor, and I’m proud to see Turo recognized publicly for our customer-first commitment.

While we always strive to maintain that customer-centric, down-to-earth mindset for our external brand, we also strive to cultivate a warm, supportive brand for our employees as well. And so we were again delighted to win not one but two awards for being just a good place to work — we were recognized as one of “2018 Best Places to Work” by the San Francisco Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal, as well as a “2018 Top Workplace” by the Bay Area News Group. It’s always been my goal to create a workplace where people enjoy coming each day, so it’s deeply rewarding not just to bask in the external recognition, but to know that my team is happy and fulfilled.

All eyes on Europe

The year started off with a bang as we launched Turo in Germany! Following the acquisition of Daimler’s Croove and partnering with esteemed insurance provider, Allianz, we said a hearty Guten Tag as we set up shop across Deutschland, which represented our first foray into continental Europe. Later in the year, we launched our peer-to-peer model in the United Kingdom, also in partnership with Allianz, and we’ve already seen great traction on British soil. Car owners are clamoring to share their cars to offset the cost of ownership, and Brits across the country are enjoying the increased access to mobility and better car options.

I can’t wait to see how these fledgling markets mature and grow in the new year!

Neill’s Jaguar XE, London, United Kingdom

Extra cool stuff to share, swanky-as-sin car filters

There were a couple other product launches from 2018 that really stole the show. This spring, we launched Extras, a new feature that lets hosts share other things or services with their guests to enhance the experience and convenience of their trips. From sporting or camping equipment to conveniences like prepaid refueling or unlimited miles, hosts jumped at the opportunity to provide even more value to their guests. I share a toy Tesla as an Extra for my actual Tesla Model 3, though it hasn’t been booked just yet!

In another, more auto enthusiast-focused product feature this year, I was excited for the team to launch Deluxe and Super Deluxe car categories. Culling together the flashiest, most exhilarating cars in the marketplace, Turo guests can now filter by Deluxe Class — exclusive, high-value cars available to guests age 25 and older — or Super Deluxe Class — super exclusive or exotic vehicles, available to guests age 30 and older — to find the car of their dreams. One of the greatest things about Turo is the sheer variety of cars our hosts share with the community, and the Deluxe and Super Deluxe Class filters give the auto enthusiasts of the world an easy way to find and get behind the wheel of these super special cars.

Jeff’s Ferrari F430, San Jose, CA

Onwards!

As the sun sets on 2018, I’m filled with hope and excitement for the promise of the new year. The Turo team is growing bigger and stronger than ever, the robust and impassioned Turo community never ceases to inspire and leave me in awe, and the mobility trends that splash the headlines day after day keep the industry fresh and always on our toes.

I’d like to wish everyone a warm holiday season, and a very happy new year!

Andre is the Turo CEO and a true car enthusiast. After many years in the consumer web space, he combines his passion for cars, technology, and the environment each day at Turo as he works to put the world’s one billion cars to better use.