As many hosts look minimize time commitment and maximize fleet efficiency, we thought it would be great opportunity to expand our Turo blog with an interview segment.
As previously mentioned, one of the leading car-sharing automation platforms, StreetSmarts, shut down. In our search for alternatives, the Buive team stumbled across CarSync. Not only did we find their software superior to other competitors, we were shocked to discover they charged zero fees. We recently reached out to their team to discuss analytics and overall advice for both novice and veteran Turo hosts.
Why was CarSync created?
CarSync is the result of a collaboration between two friends: a Facebook senior software engineer and a Turo power host based in San Francisco. The idea was to automate repetitive tasks that consumed so much of every host’s time. And what started as an interesting side project has turned into a thriving platform used by thousands of Turo hosts across the U.S.
How big is the CarSync team?
We are a small team of six; mainly consisting of software engineers aspiring to innovate the mobility space.
Has CarSync seen a rise in users since the shutdown of Streetsmarts.io?
It’s not a secret that a lot of hosts had already been using both platforms, and as SS had been experiencing issues for some time, a number of their users had transitioned before the official shutdown. So, we didn’t experience a sharp rise — instead, there was a strong growth throughout the entire 2021. Nevertheless, it was emotional to see them close, and we tried to do our best to help hosts with the transition.
Does CarSync plan on staying free-of-charge for the foreseeable future?
For the benefit of the hosts and car sharing in general, we’d like for the CarSync services to remain free for as long as possible. We see it as a way to contribute to the growth of this market.
As CarSync is backed by investors, we are fortunate to be able to do that.
Does CarSync accept suggestions for future updates?
The suggestions are more than welcome!
After all, it is largely thanks to hosts’ feedback and ideas that CarSync has become what it is today. We find their suggestions invaluable and would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude and encourage them to continue to share their ideas.
How has COVID impacted the carshare market according to your metrics?
Fortunately for us, the initial decline that we saw in 2020 was more than made up in 2021.
During the lockdown, the traditional car rental companies were forced to sell a huge chunk of their fleets. With the global microchip shortage, regrowing a fleet became a challenge. These factors have helped boost the P2P car sharing market.
The number of vehicles listed on car sharing platforms skyrocketed in 2021. There was an explosive growth of listed cars in all the markets, and the average monthly earnings per car rose across the board! As a consequence, the Turo market is now significantly above the pre-pandemic levels.
For those new to car sharing, what are some of the best CarSync features potential hosts could utilize?
Automations. Automate the main pain points - messages and tolls. The benefits are manifold - you gain back your precious time while your car sharing business remains a prosperous side hustle.
And, let’s not forget the analytics. Knowing your market and competition is crucial when starting a business.
Which states tend to have the highest utilization rate? Which tends to have the lowest?
If we look at the last two months, Hawaii had the highest utilization rate, the average of 65%, while South Dakota had the lowest - a bit below 20%.
Generally, California and Florida tend to be the markets with steady or rising demand.
Any additional information you could provide to both aspiring and veteran Turo hosts?
We usually tell our customers that they can experience the full benefits of CarSync once they’ve grown their fleet to five vehicles. Scale your car sharing business, but don’t let it become an overwhelming nine to five job. Automation is the key to making it as passive as possible.
Special thanks again to the CarSync team for taking the time to answer our questions. You can stay up-do-date and connect with their company below:
Note: All recommendations & advice provided should not be taken for gospel. Turo T&S change continuously; due diligence is required for proper Turo Fleet Management.