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Car-sharing network Turo expands service in UK

Turo the peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace sometimes referred to as the ‘Airbnb of cars’ — is expanding to the UK. And this time, everyday car owners can actually use it.

The San Francisco-based company expanded to the UK once before in 2016. But at the time, the Turo platform was only offered to small rental car companiesunder its commercial host program. Now, anyone who owns or leases a 2008 model-year or newer vehicle can list it on the Turo app. The company’s insurance partner Allianz covers all vehicles rented by its pre-approved users.

Turo first launched in 2009 as Relay Rides and rebranded with a new name in 2015. Since then, the company has expanded to new markets, including Canada and Germany. Turo now has 8 million users, a third of whom were added this year, according to the company.

The UK is the company’s most-searched-for destination outside North America, according to Turo CEO Andre Haddad, who added that British guests in the U.S. and Canada represent its largest portion of international travelers. “This makes us confident that now is the right time to expand here,” Haddad said in a statement.

Turo markets itself to car owners as a way to earn extra money and cover the cost of owning their vehicle. Although some of its customers have turned into power users, people who own a fleet of vehicles that are listed on Turo. The average trip on Turo earns an owner £130 ($170, according to the company.

Turo has received over $205 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, August Capital, Shasta Venture and Google Ventures, among others. The company closed a $104 million Series D roundearlier this year, which included investment from Sumitomo Corporation and American Express Ventures.

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