Getting back to New York
April 2017 Update - BRING TURO BACK TO NEW YORK:
Turo continues to press the New York state legislature to pass legislation that would allow Turo to offer peer-to-peer car sharing in the state. Unfortunately, incumbent actors in the form of rental car companies, like Enterprise Holdings and Hertz, are also applying pressure to the policymakers in Albany to create a nearly impossible regulatory framework for the peer-to-peer car sharing industry.
Despite these headwinds, Turo’s Government Relations team remains engaged, promoting the benefits of peer-to-peer car sharing to state legislators. We are facing steep opposition but are not giving up the fight for innovation and opportunity in the Empire State.
Given the unique nature of the insurance statute in New York, car sharing marketplaces that offer insurance protection to their users cannot operate there. Turo has spent the last few years fighting for a change to New York law. Despite widespread bipartisan support for the legislation, the New York state legislature refused to bring the bill for a vote in June 2016.
We believe the citizens of and travelers to New York are disadvantaged when car sharing marketplaces are not allowed to operate. New York residents and visitors are denied the value and selection that car sharing marketplaces offer, and New York car owners are unable to offset the high cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle in New York without peer-to-peer car sharing.
New Yorkers have not been able to use peer-to-peer car sharing since 2013, when a disagreement with the Department of Financial Services resulted in Turo discontinuing the platform statewide. Many New York community groups have expressed their strong support for peer-to-peer car sharing in New York, but we think we can show even more support for the innovation champions in Albany who are leading this effort.
Please visit this page again soon — we will be asking New Yorkers to help us contact their elected representatives to thank them for their leadership and to show support for their efforts. Click here to sign up for updates from OpenRoad and stay tuned!
Incumbent efforts to reduce competition
April 2017 Update - EXISTING REGULATORY SCHEMES MAY NOT FIT OUR PLATFORM BUSINESS:
Legislative actions that threaten Turo and our customer’s ability to use the platform for peer-to-peer car sharing have dramatically increased in 2017.
In Maryland this year, both the House of Delegates and the State Senate saw legislation introduced that would require peer-to-peer car sharing companies to comply with a long list of regulatory obligations designed for the traditional rental car industry. Turo’s Government Relations team blocked the legislation for this legislative session, but expect to enter into a longer discussion with the legislature about the proper regulatory framework for peer-to-peer car sharing in Maryland.
Turo proactively contacted policymakers in California, Missouri, Florida, and New York about these efforts by rental car competitors to wrongly regulate the business as a traditional rental car business. But we are facing a steep uphill battle against better funded and connected opposition.
We expect to see an increase in these efforts by rental car company competitors like Enterprise Holdings Inc. and the American Car Rental Association in upcoming state legislative sessions for the next few years. As a sharing economy platform business that connects car owners and renters, it isn’t surprising to see incumbent businesses seek to stretch legacy regulations designed to protect consumers in order to inhibit innovation or competition. Turo opposes indiscriminate regulation whose real outcomes would reduce choice and innovation for consumers and severely restrict true competition in the marketplace.
PROTECTING MICRO ENTREPRENEURS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS:
Turo provides a $1 million liability policy to protect car owners and their cars during a Turo reservation. The car is also protected against physical damage, up to the actual cash value of the vehicle. The protections Turo offers its customers are typically significantly greater than what most car owners might purchase for their personal coverage. Turo opposes legislation that would force innovation-limiting additional insurance requirements onto the platform.
WE ARE A PLATFORM BUSINESS:
Turo is a sharing economy-style platform that connects car owners and renters who negotiate between themselves delivery, timing, price and a host of individual requests amongst themselves. Because Turo is only the platform where these discussions occur, we are not liable for any actions of our customers. Seeking to apply this liability to Turo is inappropriate, as Turo has protection under existing law U.S.C. § 230. Turo opposes any legislation that would inhibit these protections under federal law.
Trust & safety
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March 2017 – TechNet’s first Arizona Lobby Day
Turo was delighted to join a dozen TechNet companies in Phoenix for the first Arizona Lobby Day. Advocating for HB 2440, a bill which would encourage the state of Arizona to use new economy substitutes for their state fleet of cars, the Government Relations team was proud to share with a range of legislators news about Turo’s growing presence in Scottsdale.
A highlight of the day was TechNet companies, including Turo, being recognized from the floor of the state legislature.
March 2017 – Turo testifies before Maryland state legislature
On March 3, Turo joined the Internet Association in testifying against HB 1520, a bill which would require peer-to-peer car sharing companies to comply with a range of regulations intended for traditional car rental. Despite vigorous and dramatic testimony from Enterprise Holdings and American Car Rental Association, the committee decided against taking action on the bill.
The issue was raised again in the Senate Finance Committee on March 7, and again Turo’s message of innovation and opportunity resonated. However, the Finance Committee’s previous experience crafting regulatory frameworks for other sharing economy businesses in the ride sharing and home sharing space, has inspired them to act similarly for car sharing. While the Senate bill SB 1056 did not progress further in this legislative session, the Committee Chair expressed desire to work further on this issue over the summer interim period.
Turo will continue to fight to preserve the ability of our hosts and travelers to use the platform to share a car within an appropriate regulatory framework.
February 2017 – Michelle Peacock addresses sharing economy issues at New York App Economy on a February 8 panel discussion presented by TechNet and the Progressive Policy Institute
Turo’s Vice President and Head of Government Relations, Michelle Peacock, joined a panel with representatives from SmartUp, CA Technologies, PPI and moderated by Rachel Haot, from 1776, in New York City. An interactive discussion among the panelists and attendees was robust, and covered a range of topics highlighting the tremendous growth of app-based businesses and the impacts on the New York area. Peacock emphasized the challenges for Turo with respect to New York, citing the need to modernize the insurance regulations to allow for peer-to-peer car sharing.
February 2017 – Turo joins TechNet at California Lobby Day in Sacramento
On February 6-7, Turo joined dozens of technology companies on visits to the California state capitol to discuss many issues facing the technology sector. With many technology-themed topics on the table, Turo’s Government Relations team raised the importance of protecting platform businesses from regulations intended to apply to the traditional incumbent players.
January 2017 – Turo visits state capitols; brings message of innovation and opportunity
Turo Government Relations team met with legislators in Tallahassee, FL and Jefferson City, MO to update them about Turo’s presence in those states and to explain how the company’s platform helps connect car owners and travelers.