This letter originally appeared on The American Car Rental Association's website on June 29. It has been reproduced below with permission.
The American Car Rental Association actively encourages peer-to-peer (P2P) operators to join ACRA. Here’s why we think this is a good idea:
- Regulation is an unavoidable fact of life: any service that provides cars to consumers, whether called rental or sharing, and regardless of technology used or length of transaction, will eventually be subject to regulations, including airport fees, excise taxes, traffic congestion regulations, rate disclosure requirements, and safety precautions.
- How do we know this? Airports have to fund their operations, state and municipal governments have grown dependent on transportation taxes, cities increasingly struggle with congestion, and consumer rights groups — who have tremendous political clout — will not allow business to operate in a way that misleads consumers, or jeopardizes their safety.
Speaking with one voice: ACRA’s membership roster is comprised of hundreds of car rental and carsharing companies, some large, some small, some who own their fleets and others who don’t. We compete with each other, sometimes fiercely, but when it comes to ACRA we work together for sound public policy, and making sure the inevitable regulations take our concerns into account. Small neighborhood “mom-and-pop” businesses work arm-in-arm with major brands within ACRA and we have repeatedly found our diversity gives us both credibility and authority when dealing with governments, manufacturers, and the public. This has never been more important as we manage a rapidly changing vehicle technology and transportation infrastructure.
Our hope is that P2P operators will consider joining ACRA in our ongoing effort to help shape these important and long-term public-policy issues, and strengthen all of our voices by doing so.