Nissan is launching a pilot program with car-sharing service Turo to let consumers kick the tires and get to know its vehicles in more depth than traditionally possible via test drives at the dealership. It’s offering $300 in bonus cash to eligible participants toward the purchase of a new or certified pre-owned vehicle within six months of the test drive.
The Nissan Experience Test Drive launches in three test markets: Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and a 12-county region of northern New Jersey. Bookings are made through a dedicated Nissan landing page on Turo, where users can browse available current or late-model Nissans for use by the hour or over multiple days.
Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing service that works similarly to Airbnb. Owners can list their vehicle and its availability, with the ability to set their own daily rate, set different prices for certain days or use an automatic pricing feature. They’re then notified when someone requests or books it. The owner then coordinates a time and location to meet the guest and is entrusted to check their license, perform a walk-around inspection of the vehicle, check the fuel and mileage, and hand over the keys. Vehicles are covered with up to $1 million in liability insurance, protection against damage and theft and 24-7 roadside assistance.
Guests are responsible for replacing the gas they used and meeting the owner to drop off the car when they’re done with it. They also pay a trip fee that is a variable percentage of the trip price that is calculated at checkout before submitting a request.
A quick search using Los Angeles as the location turned up a range of daily rates, from $21 for a Nissan Versa and $44 for a battery-electric Leaf, rising to $55 for a Quest minivan and $132 for a 2017 GT-R. Nissan says participating dealerships are also supplying vehicles for the pilot.
Nissan says the program will help it learn about how peer-to-peer car sharing can influence car buying in the future, especially by millennials. The pilot runs through June 2020.