Turo, the world’s largest peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace, has today launched its Summer Road Trip Report, uncovering the latest trends shaping Australia’s car sharing industry and travellers’ road trip behaviour.
Combining its own booking and search data with research commissioned by Turo, the report has revealed despite rising cost-of-living, a weakening Australian dollar, and inflated airfare prices, Aussies are opting to splurge on the little luxuries with more luxury and larger cars to elevate their driving holidays.
Steering away from traditional car rentals, Turo has seen five times more interest in searches for people movers and SUVs like the Honda Odyssey, Audi Q2 and Jeep Wrangler. As well as two and a half times more interest in luxury cars like Porsche 718 and BMW 5 Series.
Here are Turo’s other top travel predictions this summer holiday:
Investing in local communities rather than international airliners
“Despite mounting cost-of-living pressures, many Australians are finding respite in travelling after a tough economic year. However, with high airfares predicted throughout the summer, many are looking at holidays closer to home instead of travelling further afield. The uptake of people using Turo to enhance their experience with a unique vehicle has been immense, and growth in demand leads to greater income opportunities for hosts, so travellers can feel good about their investment into the community,” says Tim Rossanis, Managing Director of Turo Australia.
Hosts who list their vehicles on car sharing platforms may offer local restaurant recommendations and must-see destinations to their guests, adding an extraordinary personal touch that is distinct from other commoditized transportation options. This is perfect for the 54% of Aussies who will embark on a driving holiday to experience a new or a unique adventure and 38% who want to explore nature’s wonders and places along the way this summer.
Smaller, local destinations will thrive
"Local destinations like Byron Bay are anticipated to experience a busy summer."
A 51% increase in the number of Aussies looking for vehicles in that area is expected. Hobart and Brisbane have also seen a 35% and 19% increase in searches from the winter to summer months respectively.
1 Consumer behaviour study conducted by YouGov between 1 and 4 September 2023. The sample comprised of a nationally representative sample of 1,008 Australians aged 21 years old and above who have ever gone on a driving holiday/road trip.
2 These findings are based on the share of search sessions on Turo’s platform (searches performed in March and April 2023 for May to August 2023 travel, versus searches performed in September and October 2023 for November 2023 to March 2024 travel).
Aussies are also looking to beat the heat by going coastal, with nearly four in five nominating the coastal drive as their favourite type of road trip. This is followed by a drive in the national park/in the bush (54%), outback driving (34%), long stretches of road/highway (33%), steep and winding road in the mountains (25%) and city driving (14%).
More travellers will go green this summer
Sustainability remains top of mind for many travellers this summer with one in five (20%) Aussies noting that they’re interested in testing out an EV for their next trip. Turo has seen ten times more interest in searches for a more diverse range of green vehicle options such as the Jaguar I-PACE and Kia EV6, and three times greater interest in more affordable options like the Nissan Leaf.
However, more work needs to be done in this space as the lack of charging options remains the main roadblock for many, with 80% of travellers noting the lack of charging options as their most common concern in taking an EV for a road trip, followed by the fear around range anxiety (74%).
Aussies are increasingly turning to car sharing as a way to try out EVs and get familiar with how they’re used and test the waters for buying. In fact, electric vehicles made up 8% of Turo’s active listings and vehicles fueled by alternative energy sources accounted for 14% of Turo’s overall gross booking value in 2022.
Increasing quest for comfort as travellers spend 25% of their trip in the car
Over the past 12 months, Aussies spent on average two and a half days, or a quarter (25.67%) of their domestic trip, in a road vehicle. A proof that when it comes to rental cars and road trips, Aussies are prioritising space and comfort. Travellers most commonly say plenty of space for luggage (59%), and plenty of legroom (53%) are the most important car features for a road trip, followed by built-in GPS for easier navigation (41%) and in-car technology for a more enjoyable drive (39%).
Spending smart remains top of mind
“Our research shows that 38% of Australians are unhappy with hidden costs that come with peak travel season. It’s important to know all of the costs that are associated with a booking, something many of the traditional incumbents can make hard. Travellers looking to make their dollar go further should book early, looking out for long rental discounts, and remember travel bookings around big sale periods like Black Friday,” says Rossanis.
Guests looking to book a vehicle can sign up by visiting https://turo.com/au/en today.
Turo is the world’s largest car sharing marketplace where guests can book any car they want, wherever they want it, from a vibrant community of trusted hosts. Whether they’re flying in from afar or looking for a car down the street, searching for a rugged truck or something smooth and swanky for a once-in-a-lifetime event, guests can take the wheel of the perfect car for any occasion, while hosts can take the wheel of their futures by sharing their underutilised personal vehicles or building an accessible, flexible, and scalable car sharing business from the ground up. Turo is home to a supportive and collaborative community that shares thousands of vehicles across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.