posted on April 24th, 2018

Why David should always fight back against Goliath

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a larger article. Read the full piece on Andre’s LinkedIn or Medium.

Life isn’t fair. So your mother told you when you were growing up, and the older you get, the more you realize her sage words are all too true. But you also realize the profound importance of fighting back against injustices. Competition is what makes business exciting — everyone’s always jockeying to be the first, the biggest, the brightest. But when the gloves come off and the punches fly, you realize that businesses don’t always play fairly.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the biggest car rental company in the world, has been waging a multi-front war against Turo for over two years now, using misleading legislative tactics that show that they’re in to fight dirty. Their narrative equates Turo hosts with corporate car rental companies and asserts that hosts should be taxed and regulated as such. Enterprise has been aggressively perpetuating this story in state capitol halls around the US, using their sizable clout to tax, regulate, and bully Turo out of existence.

A peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace, Turo connects people who need a car with folks who have one to spare. It empowers people to offset the costs of these expensive assets, while creating a collaborative community and creating unparalleled choice for consumers, since our “fleet” is a vast network of privately owned vehicles — from daily drivers to exotic head-turners.

As the Washington Post recently reported, incumbent bully Enterprise is threatened by Turo as an innovative alternative to their aging business model. They’re fighting their battle for relevance with their deep pockets and political influence rather than where it counts — by improving the consumer experience and innovating to keep up.

What’s going on

The most significant volley in their war of attrition came from the city of San Francisco, who, lobbied by Enterprise, recently sued Turo claiming that we were dodging regulatory fees at San Francisco International Airport, despite California legislation clearly differentiating peer-to-peer car sharing from car rental, and many olive-branch efforts by Turo to collaborate with SFO on a fair permitting regime. Turo responded to these baseless claims assertively, counter-suing the city of San Francisco for unlawful and unconstitutional practices.

The most recent attack has been in Maryland, where Enterprise and its mouthpiece, the American Car Rental Association, have pushed legislation that would define peer-to-peer car sharing hosts as rental car companies, thus imposing the same permitting and fee structures on both parties…

Andre is the Turo CEO and a true car enthusiast. After many years in the consumer web space, he combines his passion for cars, technology, and the environment each day at Turo as he works to put the world’s one billion cars to better use.