Purchase channel dealerships
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CAR DEALS GUIDE
Finding a good deal when buying a car
Purchase channel: Dealerships
When buying a car, dealerships are the easiest, most straightforward channel to navigate, but also frequently yield the shallowest potential discount opportunities. Buying a car at a discount is one of the most important factors to get a return on your investment when sharing the car on Turo.
In this guide, you'll learn about the impact of a discount on three-year gross profit, the different types of dealerships, the pros and cons of each, and best practices for negotiating the best price.
Created September 2020 Provided for general informational purposes only for audiences in the US and may not reflect the most up-to-date information. This guide contains links to third-party websites. Such links are provided for convenience only; Turo does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. The contents of this guide are provided "as-is"; no representations are made that the content is complete or error-free. Turo disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this guide.
THE IMPACT OF A GOOD DISCOUNT
The depth of discount can have a substantial impact on 3-year ROI
Getting a discount on the initial price paid for a car is one of the most important factors in becoming profitable as a Turo host. Hosts who purchase at a discount often see stronger profit margins over a three-year period.
Dealerships, while the most approachable and traditional of car buying channels, yield the slimmest opportunity for a discount and are not recommended for hosts looking to become profitable sharing their car on Turo.
Example A: Host purchases a vehicle for roughly $26,000 with no or with very little discount. After sharing the car on Turo for three years and selling the vehicle, the host earns roughly $15,000.*
Example B: Host purchases the same vehicle with a 15% discount. After sharing the car on Turo for three years and then selling the vehicle, the host earns roughly $19,000.*
* Actual figures may vary, estimated based 74% utilization rate with a 2019 Toyota RAV4 in the Los Angeles market, and rounded to the nearest thousand. See the sample balance sheet in the appendix for more on the methodology.
$20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5,000
3 year return
Ways to purchase a vehicle
Retailers of new or used cars based on contract with a manufacturer or
Certified pre-owned dealerships
Used car dealerships (non CPO)
Online platforms that connect buyers and
Used car aggregators (highest potential ROI)
New car aggregators
Online platforms that connect buyers and
Personal listing websites (highest potential ROI)
Auction houses that offer below market rate for
Dealer-only auctions (highest potential ROI)
Police & towing garage auctions
The easiest, most approachable channel for buying a vehicle, licensed dealerships typically sell cars for full manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP). To get any sort of discount, the buyer would need to negotiate.
Certified pre-owned (CPO) dealerships
Sometimes located on the same lot as a licensed dealership, CPO dealerships typically have newer model-year inventory that comes with warranty (the industry average is a 7-year, 100,000-mile warranty). Similar to licensed dealerships, the buyer would need to negotiate to get a discount.
Used car dealerships
Used car dealerships are non-manufacturer-licensed dealerships that sell used vehicles, often at deeper discounts than CPO dealerships. There are national used car chains such as CarMax, and local used car dealers in most large metro areas. Unlike CPO dealerships, however, vehicles bought from used car dealers typically don't come with a CPO warranty, and thus should be more rigorously inspected.
Look out for depreciation!
Keep in mind! Buying a car brand new means you'll take the highest depreciation hit, so consider used options to get a higher return on your investment. In many cases, a one- or two-year-old vehicle (in great condition) will earn similar daily rates on Turo, while saving 10% to 20% in purchase price and improving a host's three year return on investment significantly.
Check the title & mileage!
Make sure to buy only vehicles with a clean title, as vehicles with salvage or branded titles are not allowed on Turo. Also check the mileage before purchasing -- if it's already clocked more than 130,000 miles, you won't be able to share it on Turo per the terms of service.
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