Car-sharing firm Getaround to pay D.C. $950K for operating without a license

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WASHINGTON — Getaround Inc. will pay $950,000 to Washington, D.C., and revise its business practices after allegedly misrepresenting the benefits and nature of its car sharing services and failed to pay city sales taxes, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine said Friday.

The San Francisco-based company had operated without a license in DC, Racine said in a statement, adding Getaround will pay restitution to car owners who experienced theft or damage to vehicles listed on the platform.

Customers can use Getaround to rent vehicles by the hour or day from individual owners who make vehicles available through the Getaround platform. Getaround did not immediately comment.

Car-sharing services in Washington are subject to a 10.25 percent sales tax.

“Gig economy companies must abide by the same rules as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. They must provide clear and accurate information to consumers, especially about the safety of their services, and they must pay their fair share of taxes like everyone else does,” Racine said.

Racine’s office began investigating Getaround in early 2020 after it received reports of an increase in auto thefts of cars listed on the Getaround platform.

Racine said the settlement resolves allegations Getaround misled consumers “by using phony owner profiles for fleet cars actually owned by Getaround.”

Getaround also agreed to “maintain written policies to ensure timely investigation and resolution of user complaints regarding damage or theft to vehicles on the Getaround platform.”

In October, Getaround raised $140 million in additional venture capital funding. The company has raised a total of nearly $600 million since it was founded more than ten years ago and in previous rounds was valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Getaround operates in over 100 U.S. cities and more than 850 cities worldwide.

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