October 3, 2017 9:51 pm
Updated: October 3, 2017 10:25 pm

Car renting service hits speed bump in B.C.

A company that is an “Airbnb” for vehicles is having a hard time starting up in B.C., despite the fact that it’s already running in several other Canadian cities. Nadia Stewart reports.

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It’s like Airbnb but for your vehicle.

And even though Turo, which allows you to rent our your car when you’re not using it, is successful in other Canadian cities, they’re being held to stricter conditions in B.C.

Toronto and Montreal are Turo’s two biggest markets and the company has more than 6,500 cars across Canada.

While that number is growing everyday, getting those numbers to grow in B.C. comes with some roadblocks.

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“We knew this was a challenging market. But at the same time, this is a market that’s very natural for Turo,” said Turo Canada director Cedric Mathieu.

The service allows car owners to register their vehicles online and make them available for short-term rentals for others.

The thinking, according to Turo, is rather than having a car sit idle, it could be a moneymaker.

“[People’s cars are] something that’s quite intimate, so it takes some change of perspective to actually trust in the platform that we provide. But that’s why the insurance is key,” Mathieu said.

Turo falls in the category of peer-to-peer car sharing but the challenge for them — insurance — is the same as for other companies.

In other provinces, a special add-on product was created to accommodate owners. But in B.C., the only option was to go commercial.

It is a familiar story in B.C., with legislation often lagging behind innovation.

“We’re going to work really hard as of now with the legislators and regulators to make sure we can make a similar insurance product to be able to bring Turo to all individual private car owners in British Columbia,” Mathieu said.

Currently Turo is working with independent car rental companies to offer a comparable experience. They hope to offer the full service soon.

~ with files from Nadia Stewart

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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