Running any kind of physical peer-to-peer business right now, given the current state of the world, is basically impossible. The risks are just too high, and the interest is too low. That’s why we weren’t especially surprised to see that an announcement the company made on Thursday.is shutting down the peer-to-peer portion of its business in Germany, according to
“So what, that’s Germany, and I live in Flavortown, USA!” you may be saying to yourself out loud. Well, when you consider that Germany is weathering the coronavirus outbreak a bit better than we are here, it makes it seem likely that could spell the end of Turo’s peer-to-peer business here too — though, in its announcement re: Germany, the company’s CEO Andre Haddad says that isn’t the case. We’re not convinced, though.
“We remain fully committed to supporting our peer-to-peer marketplaces in the US, Canada, and UK, and when these unprecedented times are behind us, our hosts and guests will need Turo more than ever for income generation and affordable transportation to reconnect with loved ones,” said Haddad, in a statement.
Now, while the peer-to-peer business (aka where you directly rent a car from another person on Turo) is dying in Deutschland, the company will continue to operate with its commercial partners to offer car rentals from dedicated small rental companies that can be more easily made to enforce cleaning standards.
If this decision does make its way to the US, what impact will it have? Well, unless you’re planning on flying to, probably not a ton. It seems reasonable that Turo will keep the commercial customers on here too, and that those customers may start to specialize in the weirdo cars that draw many enthusiasts to the platform in the first place.
For customers in Germany that have already booked cars, if the end date of the rental is anytime after Tuesday April 14 at 11 p.m. CEST, then your rental is kaput, and you’re getting refunded. If you’ve got a car on loan now and the rental ends before Tuesday night, then “smoke ’em if you got ’em,” as they say.