PROTECTING ECONOMIC LIVELIHOOD AND CONSUMER CHOICE IN COLORADO

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car is coming for the wallets and the freedom of the citizens of Colorado. Using their deep pockets and army of lobbyists, they’ve been pressuring state legislators to regulate peer-to-peer car sharing out of existence. This isn’t the first place Enterprise has tried to introduce legislation that would make it impossible for Colorado families to earn extra income from their idle cars through car-sharing marketplaces, and it won’t be the last.

What is Enterprise so afraid of?

Enterprise claims that an individual in Littleton or a family in Boulder offering their extra cars for use should be regulated the same way as the rental car industry as a whole: same rules and taxes for corporations, yet without the benefits that behemoths like them garner. Conveniently, when they argue that it’s unfair that Turo hosts don’t pay the same taxes they do, they fail to mention the $3.2 billion annually they receive in state sales tax breaks.

If Enterprise has their way in Colorado, car sharing will effectively be pushed out of the state, limiting yet another opportunity for entrepreneurial Colorodans to make extra income while reducing the number of cars on the road.  

Turo has been able to grow across the country, and the globe, by offering something Enterprise won’t: consumer choice, flexible prices, top-notch service, and economic freedom. It’s clear that the long lines, paltry selection, and confusing policies Enterprise offers can’t compete with the new era of choice and freedom Turo hosts are offering. Enterprise is scared, and fighting dirty.

Playing both sides

With a history of buying companies and shutting them down, Enterprise’s playbook promotes anti-competitive consolidation within the rental car industry. Time after time, they look to destroy future competition before occupying that space themselves. Want further proof?  Enterprise recently applied for trademarks for “car sharing” and “car share” -- concepts they claim to vehemently oppose state by state, while quietly amassing the resources to promote at a future date. These tactics stifle innovation and hurt individuals.

And while they are applying for trademarks for ‘car sharing’ they are inciting their army of lobbyists to argue that by the peer-to-peer car sharing community using the word ‘rent’ they are car rental companies. While Enterprise’s argument is misguided and desperate, we must dispel it. The vast majority of Turo hosts are using the marketplace to offset the cost of owning a car. These are Coloradans who have paid their vehicle’s sales tax - a tax that Enterprise avoids paying due to corporate loopholes - while also paying federal, state and local income tax on their car sharing earnings.

How we’re fighting back, and how you can join us

Last month, we worked with Colorado legislators Senator Ray Scott and Senator Kerry Donovan to introduce legislation that would establish appropriate regulations for the peer-to-peer car sharing industry. The bill, SB19-090, creates insurance requirements and industry-leading consumer protections for peer-to-peer car sharing platforms like Turo. Leaders like Senators Scott and Donovan are working for Coloradans to create both economic opportunity and appropriate consumer protections.

Take Action: Join OpenRoad, contact your representative, and protect consumer choice in Colorado!

This piece was originally posted on February 15, 2019.

March 3, 2019 update:

We’re happy to announce that SB19-090, Colorado’s peer-to-peer car sharing act, passed the Senate with significant bi-partisan support and a final vote count of 25-10. This is a major step forward; however, our work is far from over. Next, we’ll continue to work very closely with members in the House of Representatives to review and craft the legislation in the most peer-to-peer friendly way. As always, we’ll continue to advocate for our hosts and represent their interests in this landmark piece of legislation. Please reach out to your state representative and urge him or her to support SB19-090!!