Wish to start a car rental business like Turo, make a perfect car rental business plan first.

The world of transportation is undergoing a massive transformation, thanks to the sharing economy. 

Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental platform, has revolutionized the way people access vehicles, creating opportunities for both car owners and travelers. 

If you’re considering venturing into this thriving market, a well-structured business model is essential. 

In this article, we’ll explore how to design a car rental business plan with the help of BMC which is a business model canvas for your car rental business like Turo.

    Let’s start designing the 9-element car rental business model. Firstly, you have to start by,

    Identifying Your Customer Segment

    Identifying and understanding your customer segments is a crucial step in designing a car rental business plan. 

    Each customer segment has its own unique needs, preferences, and motivations, and tailoring your services to cater to these segments can significantly enhance your business’s profitability and customer satisfaction. 

    Let’s delve deeper into each of these primary customer segments:


    Characteristics: Travelers can include tourists, business travelers, or individuals relocating temporarily to a new area. They are often in need of a reliable and convenient mode of transportation during their stay.

    Unique Needs:

    1. Convenience: Travelers typically look for hassle-free rental experiences. Providing options like airport pickup and drop-off can be a big selling point.
    2. Variety of Vehicles: Offering a diverse fleet, including economy cars, SUVs, and luxury vehicles, can cater to different travel needs and budgets.
    3. Insurance and Safety: Travelers often prioritize safety and may require clear information on insurance coverage and emergency assistance.

    Local Residents

    Characteristics: Local residents may need rental cars for various reasons, such as commuting to work, running errands, or as a backup option.

    Unique Needs:

    1. Affordability: Local residents are often price-sensitive, so offering competitive rates and promotions can attract their business.
    2. Flexibility: Providing hourly or short-term rental options can cater to the needs of those who only require a car for a few hours.
    3. Convenience: Simplifying the booking and pickup process can make it easier for local residents to access your services regularly.

    Car Owners

    Characteristics: Car owners are individuals who want to earn extra income by renting out their own vehicles on the Turo platform.

    Unique Needs:

    1. Easy Listing Process: Make it straightforward for car owners to list their vehicles on your platform. Throughout the process provide guidance and support.
    2. Transparent Earnings: Clearly communicate how much car owners can earn and what expenses they should anticipate (e.g., maintenance, insurance).
    3. Trust and Safety: Implement robust screening processes for renters and provide insurance coverage to reassure car owners about the safety of their vehicles.

    To gain a deeper understanding of these customer segments, you can conduct market research, collect customer feedback, and analyze booking data. 

    This information will help you refine your marketing strategies, improve customer service, and optimize your fleet to meet the specific needs of each group.

    The second element in the car rental business plan is to craft a unique value proposition.

    Crafting A Unique Value Proposition

    Creating compelling value propositions is essential for attracting customers to your car rental business.

    These value propositions set you apart from competitors and communicate the unique benefits of using your platform.

    So you have to be careful when creating a value proposition for your car rental business plan.
    Let’s expand on the value propositions you can offer,

    Convenient and Cost-effective Rentals

    Convenience: Your Turo business can offer a hassle-free and user-friendly platform for renting vehicles. Highlight the simplicity of the booking process, whether it’s a quick pickup at the airport or a nearby location, making it effortless for customers to access a vehicle when they need it.

    Affordability: Stress the affordability of your rentals compared to traditional car rental services. Showcase competitive pricing, transparent fees, and cost-saving options like hourly or daily rental rates, enticing both budget-conscious travelers and local residents looking for cost-effective transportation solutions.

    Diverse Vehicle Selection

    Variety: Emphasize the extensive selection of vehicles available on your platform. Mention that you cater to diverse customer needs, ranging from compact economy cars for solo travelers to spacious luxury SUVs for families or those seeking a premium experience. By offering a wide range of vehicle types and brands, you ensure that customers can find the perfect vehicle for their specific requirements.

    Quality: Highlight the well-maintained and high-quality nature of the vehicles in your fleet. Discuss your commitment to regular inspections and maintenance to provide safe and reliable transportation options for your customers.

    Income Generation for Car Owners

    Easy Earning: Showcase how car owners can effortlessly generate income by listing their idle vehicles on your platform. Describe the straightforward process of listing a car, setting rental rates, and managing bookings. Mention any support or guidance you offer to car owners, such as insurance coverage and customer vetting.

    Transparent Earnings: Assure car owners that they can expect transparency in earnings. Provide them with tools and reports that help them track their rental income, understand expenses, and maximize their profit potential. Transparency builds trust and encourages more car owners to participate in your rental program.

    Also, you need to integrate your value proposition into your marketing material. 

    Providing a unique and compelling value proposition is a key component of your business’s success.

    By now according to the car rental business plan, you have segmented your customers, and crafted value propositions. 

    But, how are you going to reach your value proposition to your customers there comes the channel.

    Channel To Connect Customer

    Next to the value proposition, the third element in the car rental business plan is 

    1. How will you communicate with your customers?
    2. How are you going to reach your value proposition to your customers?

    Online Platform (Website and Mobile App)

    Developing a user-friendly online platform, comprising both a website and a mobile application, is fundamental to the success of your rental business. 

    This online car rental software should be designed with the customer in mind, ensuring ease of navigation and a seamless booking experience. 

    Also, you need to provide tools for customers to manage their bookings, including options for modifications and cancellations, all accessible at their fingertips.

    Social Media Marketing

    Utilizing social media platforms for marketing is an excellent way to increase your brand’s visibility and engage with your target audience. 

    Craft compelling content that showcases your rental properties, highlighting their unique features and benefits. Create and maintain active profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, tailoring your content to each platform’s strengths. 

    Partnerships with Travel Agencies and Hotels

    Collaborating with travel agencies and hotels can significantly expand your reach in the travel industry. 

    Establish mutually beneficial partnerships that enable you to cross-promote services. For instance, travel agencies can recommend your rentals to their clients, and in return, you can offer special deals or packages exclusively to their customers. 

    Similarly, partnerships with hotels can involve providing special rates to their guests in exchange for referrals. These relationships can enhance your credibility and attract a steady flow of potential customers.

    Referral Programs

    Implementing referral programs is an effective way to incentivize your existing users to bring in new customers. 

    Create a structured program that rewards users for referring friends and family to your platform. This could include discounts on future bookings, cash rewards, or other valuable perks. 

    Ensure that the referral process is easy to use, allowing users to share their unique referral codes or links easily. 

    Regularly track and reward successful referrals to encourage continued participation and foster a sense of loyalty among your user base.

    Nurturing Customer Relationships

    Nurturing customer relationships is a fundamental aspect of any successful business, and it’s particularly important in industries like rental services where trust and satisfaction play a pivotal role. 

    Customer Support

    Exceptional customer support is a cornerstone of customer relationship management. 

    So, how to offer responsive customer support?

    1. Multichannel Support: Be available through various channels, including chat, email, and phone. Different customers have different preferences, so offering multiple communication options ensures you can assist them in their preferred way.
    2. Well-Trained Support Team: Invest in training your support team to be knowledgeable, empathetic, and solution-oriented. They should have a deep understanding of your rental offerings and policies to provide accurate information.

    Ratings and Reviews

    Encouraging users to leave feedback and reviews can be a powerful tool for building trust among future renters. Here’s how to make the most of ratings and reviews:

    1. User-Friendly Review Platform: Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing a user-friendly and accessible review platform on your website or app. Consider sending follow-up emails requesting feedback after a rental experience.
    2. Highlight Positive Feedback: Showcase positive reviews and testimonials prominently on your website or marketing materials. Positive feedback acts as social proof and can influence potential renters.

    Building customer relationships involves creating a seamless self-service platform, offering responsive and multichannel customer support, and leveraging ratings and reviews to build trust and credibility in your rental business. 

    These efforts not only enhance the customer experience but also contribute to customer retention and long-term success.

    Key Resource For Your Car Rental Business

    The fourth element of your car rental business plan is the key resource.

    When it comes to running a Turo like car rental business, your key resources are the backbone of your operations. 

    These resources are what enable you to provide excellent service, build trust with customers, and generate revenue. 

    Let’s delve deeper into the four critical key resources that are essential to the success of your car rental business:

    Technology Platform

    Your technology platform, comprising a robust rental business website and mobile app, is the digital storefront and operational hub of your Turo car rental business. Here’s why it’s crucial:

    Seamless User Experience: A user-friendly, responsive website and app make it easy for customers to browse, book, and manage their rentals. This convenience is a major draw for users.

    Efficient Operations: Your platform streamlines rental processes, from car listings to payment processing. It enables efficient communication between car owners and renters.

    Fleet of Rental Vehicles

    The quality and variety of your rental fleet significantly impact your business’s attractiveness to potential renters.

    Diversity: A diverse range of vehicles, from economy cars to luxury vehicles, caters to a broader customer base. It allows you to serve a variety of needs, from everyday transportation to special occasions.

    Maintenance: Ensuring your fleet is well-maintained and in excellent condition is essential for customer satisfaction and safety.

    Scalability: Depending on demand, you can scale your fleet by acquiring more vehicles or partnering with additional car owners.

    Marketing and Branding

    Effective marketing and branding efforts are essential for attracting and retaining customers.

    Brand Identity: Building a strong brand identity creates trust and recognition. It sets you apart in a competitive market.

    Customer Retention: Ongoing marketing efforts and branding help retain existing customers and encourage repeat business.

    Competitive Advantage: A well-branded and marketed Turo business can gain a competitive edge over others.

    Customer Support Team

    In the peer-to-peer car rental industry, providing exceptional customer support is vital. 

    So, why your customer support team is a key resource:

    Trust and Confidence: Knowing they can get help when needed builds trust and confidence in your platform.

    Conflict Resolution: In case of disputes or complications, your support team can help mediate and find solutions.

    These key resources are the foundational elements of your car rental business. 

    Investing in a strong technology platform, a well-maintained fleet, effective marketing and branding strategies, and providing great customer support are key to attracting users. 

    Also, it fosters trust and ultimately drives the success of your venture in the competitive peer-to-peer car rental industry.

    Key Activities Of Your Car Rental Business

    Starting a car rental business like Turo isn’t just about connecting car owners with renters; it’s about executing a well-orchestrated set of activities that ensure a smooth and profitable operation. 

    Platform Development and Maintenance

    Your online platform, consisting of the website and mobile app, is the foundation of your business. Regular updates and enhancements are crucial to keep up with evolving user expectations and technological advancements.

    Ensure that the platform is user-friendly, with an intuitive interface that simplifies the booking and rental process.

    Implement robust security measures to protect user data and transactions. Security breaches can erode trust quickly.

    Vehicle Acquisition, Maintenance, and Inspection

    Acquiring a diverse and well-maintained fleet is essential. You can either purchase vehicles or partner with individual car owners or fleet owners.

    Regular vehicle maintenance is non-negotiable. Safety and reliability are paramount, so create a schedule for routine maintenance and address issues promptly.

    Perform thorough safety inspections before and after each rental to ensure the vehicles are in top condition.

    Marketing and Customer Acquisition

    Develop marketing strategies and campaigns to attract your target audience, including travelers, locals, and potential car owners.

    Leverage digital marketing channels, such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, to maximize your online visibility.

    Implement customer retention strategies to keep users coming back. Consider loyalty programs or special offers for repeat customers.

    Setting and Managing Pricing and Policies

    Conduct market research to determine competitive pricing for your rentals. Ensure your rates are attractive to both car owners and renters.

    Communicate pricing and policies to all users. Transparency builds trust and reduces disputes.

    Stay up-to-date with local and national regulations related to car rentals. Compliance is crucial to avoid legal issues.

    Key Partners To Your Car Rental Business

    The seventh and most important element in the car rental business plan is finding key partners for your business.

    Individual Car Owners

    Collaborating with individual car owners allows your business to access a wide variety of vehicles.

    This partnership can involve creating an easy onboarding process for car owners, where they can list their vehicles on your platform for rental. 

    In return, car owners can earn income from their idle vehicles, making it a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    Fleet Operators

    Partnering with fleet operators, such as rental car companies or corporate fleets, can significantly expand your vehicle inventory. 

    Fleet operators often have a surplus of vehicles that may not be in use at all times, and they can benefit from additional revenue streams by renting them out through your platform. 

    This partnership can also involve bulk deals and long-term contracts to ensure a stable supply of vehicles.

    Insurance Providers

    Collaborating with insurance providers is essential for offering renters comprehensive coverage options.

    This partnership can include negotiating special insurance packages tailored to your platform’s users. 

    For example, you could offer options like collision coverage, liability insurance, or even insurance for specialty vehicles.

    A seamless integration with insurers can also provide renters with peace of mind, making them more likely to use your service.

    Payment Processors

    Integrating secure payment processing solutions is crucial to ensure smooth and secure transactions for both car owners and renters. 

    This partnership can involve working with reputable payment gateway providers to implement a payment system that accepts various payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets, and more. 

    The goal is to offer a seamless, user-friendly payment experience while safeguarding sensitive financial information.

    Marketing Affiliates

    Partnering with marketing affiliates is an effective way to expand your customer base.

    These affiliates can promote your car rental platform through various marketing channels, such as social media, blogs, email marketing, or pay-per-click advertising. 

    In return, they can earn a commission for each successful referral or conversion.

    Building a strong network of marketing affiliates can help increase brand visibility and drive user acquisition, especially in the competitive sharing economy market.

    So, we are near to completing the car rental business plan. The last two elements of the business plan will decide your expenses and profit.

    Cost Structure To Exceute The Car Rental Business Plan

    The cost structure of the car rental business plan reflects the necessary investments to operate a seamless and secure platform while driving growth and maintaining customer satisfaction.

    Technology Development and Maintenance

    A significant portion of the budget is allocated to the development and maintenance of your car sharing software.

    This includes expenses for hiring software developers, designers, and IT professionals to ensure that the platform remains user-friendly, secure, and up-to-date with the latest technological advancements.

    Marketing and Advertising Expenses

    Marketing is crucial to attract both car owners and renters to the platform. Expenses are incurred for various marketing activities, such as:

    1. Digital Advertising Running online ads on platforms like Google Ads and social media to reach a wider audience.
    2. Content Creation Developing engaging content, such as blog posts, videos, and social media updates, to promote the platform.
    3. Promotions and Discounts Offering incentives and discounts to attract new users and retain existing ones.
    4. SEO and SEM Optimizing the platform’s online presence to improve search engine rankings and visibility.

    Employee Salaries

    The platform requires a team to manage various aspects of the business. This includes customer support representatives to assist users, marketing professionals to execute campaigns and other essential roles like legal and financial experts. Employee salaries are a significant operational expense.

    Insurance Costs (if providing insurance)

    If the platform offers insurance to users, there will be expenses related to underwriting policies, handling claims, and managing risk. These costs can vary based on the volume of rentals and the types of insurance coverage offered.

    Transaction Processing Fees

    Transaction fees are incurred for processing payments between renters and car owners. These fees might be charged by payment processors like credit card companies or payment gateways.

    Revenue Streams For Profitability

    Revenue streams are the engines driving your car rental business profitability. By offering a range of income sources, you can not only sustain the operations but also foster innovation and growth.

    Rental Fees (Commission from Car Owners)

    This revenue stream is the core of the car rental marketplace business model. The platform charges a commission on each rental transaction between car owners and renters. The commission is typically a percentage of the rental fee. This income can be substantial, especially if the platform attracts a large user base and facilitates frequent transactions.

    Additional Services

    The platform can generate additional revenue by offering supplementary services to both car owners and renters. These services might include:

    1. Insurance Providing rental insurance coverage to protect both car owners and renters in case of accidents or damage during the rental period. The platform can charge a fee for this service.
    2. Vehicle Delivery Offering the option for car owners to have their vehicles delivered to renters or renters to have the rental cars delivered to their location for added convenience, with an associated delivery fee.
    3. Fuel Packages Offering prepaid fuel options, where renters can pay for a full tank of gas upfront or purchase fuel at a discounted rate through the platform. The platform earns a margin on these fuel sales.

    Membership or Subscription Fees

    To encourage customer loyalty and offer premium features, the platform can introduce membership or subscription plans. These plans might include benefits such as discounted rental rates, priority customer support, and access to exclusive vehicles. Members pay a recurring fee, which provides a steady stream of income for the business.

    Understanding and carefully managing these marketplace revenue model and cost elements are essential for the sustainable growth and profitability of the car rental platform. 

    Regular financial analysis and adjustments to pricing, services, and marketing strategies can help optimize the business’s performance.


    Starting a car rental business can be a lucrative venture if you carefully plan and execute your car rental business plan. 

    Use this Business Model Canvas as a foundation for your car rental business plan, and adapt it to your specific market and customer needs. 

    With the right strategy, you can provide value to both travelers and car owners while building a profitable and sustainable business.