Start and Grow a Successful Car Sharing (Turo, Getaround, HyreCar, Uber Carshare) Side-Hustle – Alex Witherow of Car Rental University

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 53:20)


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Alex Witherow of Car Rental University shares his years of experience with Car Sharing business – tips on starting and growing a profitable car-sharing side-hustle, scaling the business, and valuable insights on avoiding common pitfalls.

Episode Summary

Alex Witherow shares his insights and experiences in the car rental industry, from starting with just five cars in NYC for Uber drivers to expanding to consulting, partnerships with car-sharing platforms like Get around, and a focus on clean mobility like electric vehicles. With advice on platforms, insurance considerations, scaling up, increasing revenue, and exit strategies, Witherow emphasizes the importance of dual-use cars, proper market research, pricing competitiveness, and learning from failures to succeed in car sharing. Excited about the industry’s future, Witherow offers consulting services, programs, and product recommendations for aspiring entrepreneurs in the car rental space.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, Alex Witherow discusses his journey in the car rental space, starting with buying five cars in New York City to rent out to Uber drivers after holding a Taxi Limousine Commission license. Transitioning from running an Airbnb operation to car rentals, Witherow saw an opportunity in asset sharing and pivoted into the car rental business. He explains how he moved his operation to Jersey City to work with New Jersey drivers and joined pilot programs with car-sharing platforms like Getaround. Witherow shares his experiences with running cars on various platforms and highlights the profitability he found in the car-sharing industry.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, the speaker discusses their journey in the car rental business, starting with private rentals for Uber drivers and expanding to creating online courses, consultations, and eventually joining a private equity firm to lead operations for a Mobility Ventures company. They emphasize the company’s focus on clean mobility and converting fleets to electric vehicles to incentivize Uber drivers. The speaker shares insights on the potential for electric Uber fleets and discusses the nuances that make this car rental business unique, bridging environmental concerns with operational efficiency and driver incentives. They hint at a system they’ve developed to simplify the adoption of electric vehicles by Uber drivers and express interest in the evolving landscape of car rentals, including the shift towards electric vehicles in the industry.
  • 00:10:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Sequence,” the speaker discusses the differences between using Turo and Getaround as platforms for renting out personal vehicles. Uber driving is profitable but comes with complications and potential liability, making Turo a more complex option for newbies. Getaround, on the other hand, offers more flexibility in terms of car types and is more convenient for urbanites. The clientele for Getaround is typically more high-end and expects a better experience, while Turo’s renters may be less forgiving of car conditions. The ratings system is also easier on Getaround. The speaker emphasizes that potential car-sharing business owners need to consider their finances, lifestyle choices, and the specific demands of each platform before making a decision.
  • 00:15:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Sequence,” the speaker discusses the challenges of investing in car rental services, specifically with the platform Turo. He advises against dropping a large sum of money on a high-end car and renting it out for a small return. Instead, he suggests financing or leasing a car and understanding the financial implications, such as increased mileage and potential accidents. The speaker shares his personal experience of starting small with affordable cars and renting them out to Uber drivers for cash flow positivity. He also mentions the difficulty of obtaining financing for car sharing and the industry’s lack of capital infusion as major hindrances to its growth. Despite these challenges, the speaker remains optimistic and encourages those interested in the business to start small and learn the ropes.
  • 00:20:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Sequence,” the speaker discusses the importance of a car having dual use cases for success in the car sharing business. He recommends cars like the Honda Accord for their appeal to both vacation renters and Uber drivers. The speaker also advises against relying on only one car sharing platform and emphasizes the importance of knowing the right market and platform for optimal utilization. For someone looking to make their car cash flow positive, the speaker suggests making availability flexible and being competitive with pricing.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, the speaker discusses various strategies for increasing revenue and scaling up a car rental business using platforms like Turo and Uber. They suggest leveraging Google Maps to attract more customers, adjusting pricing on Turo, and potentially advertising. Additionally, they address the challenges of expanding a fleet, such as finding parking spaces and managing resources like insurance and operations. The speaker highlights the importance of considering financing, insurance, and operational systems when scaling up to multiple vehicles, drawing insights from larger fleet operators in the peer-to-peer hosting industry.
  • 00:30:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Sequence,” the speaker discusses the insurance considerations for those looking to rent out cars on Turo. For a single car used exclusively for renting, a Period X policy is recommended. However, for those using their car for personal use and renting it out on weekends, a normal personal insurance plan is sufficient. The situation becomes more complex when Uber drivers are involved, as liability becomes a factor. The speaker notes that insuring a fleet of cars, particularly five or more, becomes easier as mid-level and large insurance carriers become more willing to work with larger pools of vehicles. Other aspects of growing a car rental business include having systems in place for cleaning and repairs, acquiring capital, and finding good locations for high traffic and easy accessibility.
  • 00:35:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Sequence,” the speaker discusses strategies for successful car rental businesses on platforms like Turo and Getaround. He advises putting cars in tier one or two zip codes for optimal location, using creative solutions for parking, and understanding the nuances of specific car models and platforms. The speaker also emphasizes the importance of long-term renters for consistent income and diversifying between long- and short-term rentals depending on the time of year. He acknowledges the capital-intensive nature of the business but believes it can still be profitable with the right knowledge and strategies.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the exit strategy for car rental businesses and advises that cars typically indicate when they’re ready to be replaced, either through frequent breakdowns or accidents. Emphasizing the importance of viewing the business as an asset for generating income, he suggests that emotional attachment to the cars may not be suitable for rental services like Turo. Despite now having a job, he continues to operate his YouTube channel and consult with entrepreneurs, believing that car sharing can lead to significant monthly earnings. He mentions working with a variety of clients, including those new to car sharing and larger fleet companies looking to scale their operations.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, the speaker discusses his current focus on expanding Kyus Mobility Ventures’ car rental business, which involves reducing expenses and gaining knowledge about insurance solutions to avoid overinsurance. He also offers consulting services, programs on scaling a fleet on Getaround and building Uber driver systems, and a private chat for operators. The speaker is excited about the future of robot taxis on Tesla’s self-driving network and recommends rental HQ software and Fleet IO for productivity in the rental industry.
  • 00:50:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Sequence,” the speaker discusses several businesses and entrepreneurs that he admires, including Nvidia and Elon Musk, and shares his experiences in the e-commerce and car industries. He emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes and failing fast, and encourages young entrepreneurs to take risks and keep moving forward. The speaker also mentions his personal experiences with car theft and the importance of using GPS trackers and kill switches for security.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Alex Witherow of Car Rental University

[00:00:08] Introduction to Treptalks
[00:00:52] Correct Pronunciation of Last Name
[00:01:26] Alex’s Involvement in Startups
[00:02:40] Transition from Airbnb to Car Rentals
[00:03:41] Insight into Car Rental Industry
[00:05:55] Partnership with Kairos Capital Resources
[00:06:30] Kairos Mobility Ventures and EV Focus
[00:08:23] Discussion on Hertz’s Electric Car Sell-off
[00:13:52] Starting on Turo
[00:14:58] Capital Intensive Nature of the Business
[00:15:56] Financing and Cash Flow Positivity
[00:16:52] Understanding Mileage and Market Variations
[00:18:13] Challenges with Financing and Leasing
[00:19:42] Importance of Maintenance and Car Choice
[00:20:56] Dual Use Case for Car Selection
[00:22:11] Knowing Different Car Share Platforms and Markets
[00:27:41] Ways to Manipulate Business Components
[00:28:25] Challenges of Scaling a Car Rental Business
[00:29:16] Components of Scaling: Financing, Insurance, Operations
[00:30:14] Understanding Insurance for Rental Cars
[00:31:34] Insurance Considerations for Growing Fleet Size
[00:34:31] Importance of Location and Parking
[00:36:00] Creative Solutions for Parking Challenges
[00:37:33] Considerations for Starting a Car Rental Business
[00:40:27] When to Replace a Rented Car
[00:41:00] The Lifespan of Rental Cars
[00:41:38] Impact of Drivers on Rental Cars
[00:42:04] Emotional Attachment to Rental Cars
[00:43:00] Moving on Emotionally from Rental Cars
[00:43:26] Alex’s Current Ventures
[00:44:00] Helping Entrepreneurs in the Car Sharing Business
[00:48:16] Rapid Fire Questions: Insights from Alex

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi)
  2. An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: RoboTaxi by Tesla)
  3. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend/Productivity Tip. (Response: Rental HQ Software, Flevio )
  4. A startup or business (in ecommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things. (Response: NVIDIA)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or businessperson whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Elon Musk)
  6. One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships.
  7. Best business advice you ever received (Response:  Fail Fast)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey there entrepreneurs, my name is Sushant and welcome to Treptalks. This is the show where I interview successful e commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.

And today I’m really excited to welcome Alex Witherow to the show. Alex is the founder of Car Rental University. Car rental university helps anyone start a side hustle or a full on car rental company, renting cars out for money. And today I’m going to ask Alex a few questions about his entrepreneurial journey and some of the strategies and tactics that he has used to start and grow his business.

So Alex, thank you so much for joining me today at Treptalks. I really appreciate your time.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Thanks for having me. Great to be here.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Sorry, I forgot to ask about your the correct pronunciation of your last name So, I don’t know if I butchered If I [00:01:00] butchered it or if it was no you

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: got it. It’s Alex Witherow.

So, uh, you know, it’s a very very English name

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Cool. Cool. So I know, you know just before we started you were sharing that, you know, your YouTube channel and car rental University That’s cool That’s kind of your side hustle, but, uh, you’re now involved in the, um, in, in some sort of a startup. Um, so do you want to share a little bit about, uh, all the things that you do?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yeah. Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll kind of give you, uh, uh, uh, the trajectory of my journey, um, in the car rental space. Um, so if you’ve been following my YouTube channel from, uh, which started about two and a half years ago, um, you know, that I’ve been in the car rental space and running rentals. Since 2016, I originally I used to live in New York City.

I bought five cars up in the New York City area. I rented them out to Uber drivers. The reason why I did this is because [00:02:00] I actually had a taxi and limousine commission license. I was a licensed taxi driver in New York City for about eight months. And the reason I got out of it is because I saw the rental companies making so much money renting cars to Uber drivers.

And I thought, well, I’d rather be on that side of the fence than the, than the driving side. Um, so, uh, so I started, um, You know, I started, um, a car rental business, had about five cars, uh, pretty early on rented them out to Uber drivers. Um, the whole idea of asset share was relatively new at the time.

Really the reason I pivoted into cars is because I used to run an Airbnb operation in Manhattan. They had about three or four, um, apartments, but they outlawed Airbnb in New York city. But I loved the whole idea of asset share. I love the passivity of it. And so I didn’t really want to [00:03:00] give up that lifestyle.

Um, and obviously when you live in New York city, everything’s very expensive. So you have to keep finding ways to make money somehow. And, um, so after Airbnb got outlawed, basically I moved from apartments to cars and. You know, I saw the amount. I mean, I remember seeing tower rentals in Long Island City.

There’s a line down the block of Uber drivers in line waiting to rent TLC plated cars. And I thought to myself, well, man, all I need is just crumbs off the table of this industry and I can make myself a very nice living. And that’s basically what I did. You know, I, I didn’t really want to deal with the TLC system.

So I moved my operation into Jersey city. Um, uh, probably that was by 2017, 2018. Um, and so I was mainly working with New Jersey drivers. Um, so I wasn’t working with TLC drivers. So if you’re from the New York city area, you probably understand that delineation. [00:04:00] Um, so, you know, I mean, obviously, so from there, this was very early in the game, car sharing game.

This was You know, Turo was around, but I mean, this is back back when Turo was relay rides. Uh, this was very kind of pre get around, get around was, was going in San Francisco, but, um, I did join their, um, their pilot program in summer of 2020. In north Jersey. Um, so, um, I actually found their system really effective and solid and very profitable right off the bat.

That’s a, it was a solid, uh, pilot run, I would say. Um, and you know, so I, I’ve, I’ve had experience, you know, running cars on all platforms, higher. I’ve known higher, I’ve been familiar with higher cars since probably 2017. Um, I’ve done, you know, Turo some since, uh, probably 2021 or so. And, uh, I’ve, you know, I’ve done get around since 2020.

Um, [00:05:00] and so I have, I’ve had exposure to pretty much every car share platform. Uh, I started in this business as doing private rentals, mainly doing long term private rentals to Uber drivers. So that is, I very much developed my own proprietary system on how to do rentals to, uh, drivers. Um, you know, two and a half years ago, I started my YouTube channel, uh, and an aligned, uh, consulting business.

I developed a few courses online about how to start fleets on getaround, how to start fleets on private rentals. Obviously I do quite a few consultations even to this day, um, and then, you know, probably, uh, I want to say back in, as of, um, this past November, December, um, I sold a share, a minority share of my YouTube channel to a private equity firm called Kairos Capital Resources.

Um, and they asked me to join their team to run operations [00:06:00] for what is called now Kairos Mobility Ventures. Um, and so, um, we have, uh, set up operations in Boston and, uh, I run the Boston team and, you know, I’m in charge of the nationwide rollout from an operations standpoint.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And is this, uh, Kairos Mobility Ventures, is this really just a Um, a full fledged car rental business, or is this some sort of like a digital component to a car rental?

Uh, yeah.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: So that’s a great question. Um, I would say there are some, it is a car rental business, but there are some nuances that make it, I would say, unique. Um, so obviously we are, uh, a clean mobility focused company. We are, you know, an EV first company. We are, Uh, the, the gas fleets that we do run or in our coasting program, we are planning to convert over to electric vehicles.

So there certainly is a, you know, a, [00:07:00] uh, an environmental element, uh, to this venture. Um, you know, and I think really the real opportunity is making it very I’ve developed a system and I won’t go too much into it yet, but I’ve developed a system that will make it. Uh, very simple and easy for uber drivers to want to use electric vehicles to drive for uber, whether they’re going, you know, 8 to 12 hours a day.

Um, you know, there are some, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I know uber drivers very well. I’ve dealt with them for many, many years. Every time I sit in an Uber, I have a conversation with the driver about something, because I always want to pick their brains on what they’re thinking about different topics and what it’s like to drive.

And, you know, I was previously a driver as well in New York city. So, um, you know, uh, in, in my own opinion, um, I think there is a way to really make, uh, to really. Make uber fleets, uh, totally electric, um, and a way in which that [00:08:00] will really incentivize drivers to get on board with it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, you know electric is an interesting topic and Um, maybe i’ll go into it a little bit later Because I know there was recently I was reading some news from hertz Which is, uh, the car rental company, obviously, and they were selling all their entire electric Huge sell off, yep.

Because it was Huge sell off. Yeah. So, so maybe, maybe we’ll talk about it a little bit later, but it’s interesting. I have a lot of

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: opinions about that, so I’m happy to talk about it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. I mean, um, Yeah. I’m sure you’ve thought through the profitability and, you know, the whole business model of that. So, uh, you know, we’ll, we’ll chat about it, but I’m interested to know, you know, you, obviously, I’m in Canada and, you know, the car sharing, uh, landscape in Canada is more limited than, than the U.

S. Of course, you named quite a different, quite a few different players, Turo, get around, hire car, uh, so forth. In Canada, there’s, I think there’s only [00:09:00] Turo and then I think Uber car share is now just coming up. Um, so there’s definitely different kind of business models and you said that you were focused more on sharing or renting your car to Uber drivers.

But obviously, Turo is a slightly different model. And, you know, when I look at Uber car share, it’s, uh, it’s a little bit different way of renting it out. Um, what, you know, if somebody is trying to create a, just a side hustle versus like, you know, create a full, full fledged business, like which, which business model is, you know, you would recommend.

Um, is it, is it better to go after other drivers?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Um, so I, this, I’m going to say, I’m going to give you an answer that’s going to be a little frustrating to your audience, but I’m going to say it totally depends. Um, depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have. It depends on what kind of cars you want to buy.

Depends if you want to do luxury, depends if you want to do non [00:10:00] luxury or economy cars. Uh, exotics is a whole different game. Um, depends on how profitable you wanna be, depends on how much liability you’re willing to absorb from an insurance standpoint. Um, Uber drivers are very lucrative. Everyone knows that, but, um, uh, Uber drivers are also a headache.

Um, so it is a. It’s a system that I’ve spent many years perfecting and developing, uh, safeguards to kind of keep, you know, be able to ride the dragon effectively, so to speak. But, um, it, I always say to people, you don’t want to deal with Uber drivers right off the bat if you’re new to this, because it’s a very complicated, uh, system.

However, if you’re new to this, you just want to kind of dip your toe in the water. I mean, I think that Turo and Getaround are very safe ways to start. That’s where I would direct a newbie. Um, You know, Turo gives a lot of flexibility in terms of how to run fleets. Um, I would [00:11:00] say You know, you can take cash cars and cheap cars and do well with them on Turo.

You can take more luxury cars on Turo. You can do exotics on Turo. So there’s a lot of flexibility in the type of car, in my opinion, get around is better suited for economy vehicles. Um, and you really just have to understand the clientele that comes to get around in Turo. So, you know, Turo’s renters are typically a little more high end, um, they expect a little more of a, a better experience that when you pick, when they pick up that car, they want it.

Very squeaky clean, no blades of grass on the carpet, you know, everything wiped down, gas full, no, you know, maintenance lights on. Um, they wanted kind of the same condition in which they would get it if they were picking up a car from Hertz or Enterprise, right? Whereas, you know, getaround renters, uh, getaround gives you a little more, um, I would say, Convenience in terms of typically being able to pick up a car in the downtown area in the [00:12:00] city.

So if you are someone who lives in New York City or San Francisco or Boston and you already live in an urban center and you just need a car for a day or for a weekend, the get around is very convenient and it’s really more designed for urbanites. Um, and so I think that, um, you know, and they just kind of want something that moves, if there’s like, you know, a piece of trash in the console, that’s like, it’s not a big deal.

The most, you know, get around, uh, renters. So the, the ratings system, I would say is a little easier on get around a little more hands off. Uh, whereas the rating system is a lot tougher on Turo, but, um, you know, I mean, there’s, everyone kind of has to find what they really like, and what is their style, uh, I mean, if you go on YouTube, um, I can, I can show you, you know, a hundred different Turo channels.

Um, but I’ve never really wanted to make my YouTube channel about Turo, frankly, cause I’m not a huge Turo guy. I mean, [00:13:00] I’m just, it’s just never really been my favorite platform. I find the clientele kind of annoying. Um, I like the passivity of get around, uh, but I know that get around is, is more of a regional player.

I mean, it’s definitely, obviously from a, from a company revenue standpoint, it’s a fraction of what Turo is. And it’s really more designed for downtown areas and major cities. So really depends on where you live, depends on how much money you have to put down on cars, how, you know, your credit, and do you want to have one to two cars, do you want to have five to 10 cars, all this, there’s a lot of components that you have to think about.

These are the kinds of things I talk with people about all the time. So like when I talk with someone about who wants to get into this business, I really customize a plan. Based on their finances and based on their lifestyle choices.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: To me, it, uh, you know, and you know, I think I shared a little bit that I started on Turo just sharing one car right [00:14:00] now, and I started maybe a month, a month and a half ago.

And my experience has been that this is definitely a capital intensive business. You know, of course you, you need to have a car front. Um, and, and it’s also to a certain extent is a resource intensive, like, you know, at least. Renting your car on Turo, you, as you said, you know, you want to make sure that your car is clean.

So after every trip, you know, you need to figure out a system to clean the car. And then I also find like, you know, you know, the clientele, it’s, um, it’s a hit or miss, you know, somebody, somebody can treat your car like complete garbage and other people can, you know, treat it a little bit better. Better. I know Turo is good, um, in terms of claims process and so forth, but, you know, if somebody, let’s say, is thinking of starting a Turo business and this, you know, they spend like buying a new 35, 40, 40 grand car.

Um, you know, the [00:15:00] value of the car in one year will be very low and, and the earnings, I, I don’t think there’s going to be a huge, uh, return on, on that investment. So, um, that seemed like a bit of, um, challenge. I mean, what has been your experience and how do you kind of navigate your client? Yeah. So I, I

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: wouldn’t, yeah, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t go out and just drop 40, 000 on a And then just, you know, rent it out for a thousand bucks a month, you know, to get, I mean, that doesn’t make sense.

So, um, and, and I think that’s kind of what’s criticism of Turo is, is that a lot of people do that. And that’s just the wrong way to handle it. Uh, first of all, I would, you know, I mean, if you can, if you can finance a car, then finance it, you know, um, basically, I mean, how I started in this industry, obviously the lending.

That it was that it is now. Um, but at the time, I mean, [00:16:00] I was putting, you know, a thousand bucks down on a card and, you know, just. It had about a 400 monthly payment on the Honda Accords and renting those out to Uber drivers. So, I mean, I was cash flow positive within three weeks. Um, you know, and so, um, you know, and obviously, you know, when you’re renting out to an Uber driver, it is a kind of situation where You know, you’re you’re dealing with a lot more mileage.

Um, you know, Uber drivers on average probably drive about 5000 miles a month. It depends on the city you’re in. Um, when I was up in New York City, it’s a much more condensed city. So it’s not as bad mileage wise. And actually, the drivers in New York are very good. I mean, New York City is the 36th least accident prone city in the nation.

Whereas when I moved down to Atlanta, you Atlanta is the sixth most accident prone city in the nation. So, um, I had [00:17:00] multiple accidents and crashes, uh, when I got to Atlanta with my, with my fleet. But, um, you know, I, I think it’s the kind of thing where you have to really understand the finances of this, uh, you have to, you know, and some people want to buy, you know, they want to buy, I’ll put cash down on cars and just make it back.

And then some people don’t. So, um, my general feeling is, you know, if you could borrow, then do it, you know, cause it’ll, it’ll make you cashflow positive, or if you can lease. Um, I think that’s the better way to go for my taste, but you know, I mean, if you had, um, you know, 20, 000 just to kind of use, um, I would probably start off with maybe buying, you know, two cheaper, 10, 000 cars, um, you know, maybe like a used Prius or Camry or something like that.

And then, you know, get out there and just start renting those for cash, uh, and then just making the profit. And then you can tack on loans [00:18:00] later. But I mean, I think in this business, you will have to deal with some component of loans. Um, that’s really what is, I would say, holding this industry back in general is the lack of capital infusion.

Now that said, I mean, if you’re, you’re someone that knows this business very well. Um, You know, technically speaking, you cannot use an auto loan for car sharing. I mean, that’s, um, that has been, um, you know, made known, um, that’s starting to change a little like BMW now is offering, uh, leases and loans that go towards car share.

But this is still something that getting financing for car sharing is a very difficult thing still. A lot of, a lot of hosts are using cars that are on leases, um, and are technically violating their lease by putting it on car share or, you know, I mean, this is like super common in the industry. I hate to say it, but it [00:19:00] just is.

Because people are just not going to throw down 80, 000 on a car, just for car share. It’s just not going to happen. So, and I would say this is one of the main issues that has, um, really impeded the growth of this industry. It’s just a lack of capital. Um, and, and hosts and fleets are not able to grow quickly.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s, that’s very interesting. I mean, it’s, it’s almost like, you know, you are betting on the car because, you know, mechanically, if the car, you know, you get a car and, you know, people are driving, different kind of people are driving it and the car decides to, I mean, there’s, there’s obviously maintenance issues that you have to deal with.

You know, you still have to change the, change the oil. You still have to do all the maintenance things. You know, if something starts to sound, then you have to obviously look at it. Um, But you mentioned, you know, uh, some Toyota cars. Do you have a preference for, like, if somebody [00:20:00] is going into car sharing, obviously Toyota, Honda, probably from a reliability perspective are better choices than, you know, something like Ford or, you know, So do you have any recommendations for, you know?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yeah, I always say you gotta have, so my big thing, the really kind of the thing that I talk about on my channel quite a bit is the car has to have dual use case. So it has to be something that would want to be used by vacation, uh, retail renters, you know, so if somebody just pulls into your town and wants to rent a car for a couple of days for vacation, it has to have appeal from that standpoint.

And I would say it also needs to have appeal to an Uber driver. And so if you, if a car has dual use case, the car will always rent. It will always, always rent. You’ll never have an issue. So like, for example, I’ve always been a big fan of Honda Accords. Um, you know, when I was in Atlanta, my Honda Accords were on get around on a pretty regular basis.

They were in the drive with Uber program on get around. They got rented on [00:21:00] that quite a bit. They got rented just for by retail, you know, renters quite a bit. But if I ever had a problem, if it started getting slow, you know, throughout November, December, January, uh, which is pretty common in the car sharing industry, I would give it to an Uber driver for three or four months.

Um, and in that scenario, then you can start pulling for four 50 a week and you’ve got, you know, all of a sudden, uh, Uber season is very high during winter months and you’ve got a cashflow solution that’s going to be way better than, you know, what you would make on get around or Turo during the winter.

So I always say too, that you ha you cannot go into this business only understanding one car share platform. And that is a huge mistake everyone makes. They come into this business, they throw way too much cash down on cars and they only know how to use Turo. And if that is your scenario, you’re going to lose money.

Like that’s just the reality of the game. So you have to know all the plays in the playbook and you have to understand [00:22:00] how each one, when it’s appropriate to use which each car share platform. Um, and so that’s what I would say is a very important component in this business.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, I think that, I think that’s a, that’s definitely an essential advice because, um, you know, It, it probably also depends on what city, uh, what region you are in, because it’s small.

And so your utilization is going to be low. And so you have to, if you want to do this as like a business as your main thing, um, you definitely need to be in the right market. You need to know the different platforms and so forth to really get the utilization rate high. Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: on my YouTube channel, I.

At the beginning of every video, I say download my PDF, which comes with what’s called the CarShare growth guide. Um, and that gives literally a breakdown of city by city, which CarShare platform is strongest by zip code. And this is very important information, [00:23:00] uh, because if you’re in Dallas, or if you are in Los Angeles, or especially like San Diego, Like get around is not going to be effective in those in like San Diego, it’s it’s decent in L.

A. And it’s barely weak in Dallas. But if you’re in Dallas, Turo is fantastic. Um, you know, um, so different markets, you know, for example, I’m in Miami, there’s barely any get around in Miami, whereas Turo is pretty strong here. So, um, it really just depends on which market you are in.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So I am in Toronto and I live in pretty much like pretty within the city.

Uh, so I’m, I’m definitely in, uh, within the Toronto city. And you’re in

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: one of the pilot cities for Uber Car Share.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I’m sorry?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: You’re in one of the pilot cities for Uber Car Share.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, I’m in Toronto. Definitely. There’s a few million people here. It’s a crowded city. Um, but I mean, I guess my question would be [00:24:00] if you were telling me like, you know, uh, I, I put like a 2016, uh, so what I did was, you know, I, I got a car.

Um, so I, I purchased the car, which I think is good value for the price, you know, looks nice red color, 2016, uh, Nissan Altima. It’s a sedan. Um, And, uh, and I financed it. Right. So on a personal name, so, so, um, and I’m trying to get it cashflow positive. I mean, it is cashflow positive now, but, uh, but still how, you know, I don’t think my utilization rate is great.

Like what, what would you recommend to me, someone like me, um, I mean, the only way I have figured out, so I’ve made my availability, you know, anytime basically, and, but. I find that if I have to get my car rented on a consistent basis, I really have to play on the car, on the price. What do you know? Any other tricks of the trade?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Well, [00:25:00] I would say, you know, um, it’s a couple things. So, you know, and I assume you’re in Toronto, you’re running this on Turo, is that correct?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Turo, yes.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Okay, so I don’t think there’s a getaround in Toronto, is that correct?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: There isn’t, no. There’s Uber car

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: shares. Yeah, yeah, Uber car shares new. So you could try it on Uber car share.

I know that they’ve had somewhat of a slow rollout just because they’re trying to calibrate still who they want to let and not let rent the cars. So I know that’s still kind of a little slow going. Um, but you know, I would say that in your situation, um, a couple of things you can do, I mean, You can, what I always say to people is you can always just, um, if you go to imapping.

com, you can create, uh, like a Google maps, um, link for your cars. So if you want to, you can basically put a Google map link. [00:26:00] To your car that says like car rental business or car rental, uh, whatever, you know, so if people go searching for car rentals on Google maps, they’ll find your car as the way to rent.

You just put in your Turo link in there and they can book your car straight through Turo straight off of Google maps. That’s a very easy thing to do. I’m not telling you that’s going to change your revenue overnight, but you know, I will tell you that it certainly could give you a 10 to 15 percent bump, you know.

Um, you know, another thing is, um, you know, I would say that in that scenario, um, you know, you can also, if you really want to, you always have the option to pump some, a little advertising money behind it. Um, that sort of thing. Um, obviously it has to make sense to make, you know, You know, money, uh, with regards to, you know, uh, putting that money in, obviously you want to get more money back, you know, uh, that’s one option as well, if you want to keep it on Turo.

Obviously, as you said, you know, the, uh, playing [00:27:00] on the prices is the most obvious, uh, option you have on Turo. And then, you know, I mean, if you want to learn how to deal with Uber drivers, uh, that’s another way. Deal with it. It’s. If you find a long-term renter on an Uber who’s a, who’s a driver in the city, just wants to use your car as for Uber Eats or, you know, uh, Uber for, uh, uh, passengers, uh, that is an option as well.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, I think, I think that’s great advice. I, I think basically what you’re saying is in addition to the, the traffic. Turo is bringing to my car. I can basically go out and, and, and try to get more eyeballs. Yeah, there are, there are

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: ways to manipulate that component. Um, which most people that’s not really talked about that often in this industry, but you know, you, you know, when you talk with like the enterprise account managers that get around or whatnot, I mean, that’s kind of what they do with their large clients.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Let’s, let’s chat a little bit about scaling the [00:28:00] business, right? So somebody like me that has kind of, you know, I’m learning the ropes and I’m learning the pitfalls. I’m learning the, you know, uh, the claims process, the insurance aspect of things, all those things. Um, I think the biggest, the biggest challenge that, that I’m like, even if I go out and buy another car, let’s say, figure out, you know, I get another SUV, let’s say, um, the big challenge for me is where do I park it?

Right. Like if I want to, Uh, uh, you know, grow my fleet. Uh, I think that’s, that’s a big question. Where, where do I park it? And of course, you know, every, every time you buy a new car, you still have to pay insurance, you still have to. So there’s definitely a resource component to that, the cost. What do you suggest someone who like, how do you, how does one go from.

renting out or sharing one car to sharing, let’s say, five cars.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Well, I say, I mean, look, I mean, there’s, there’s scaling and there’s scaling, right? So I, I, I’m friends with some of the largest [00:29:00] fleet operators in the peer to peer hosting space in the country. Um, you know, a gentleman in Las Vegas is about 210 cars. Um, I know, you know, a couple of guys, you know, a couple of my clients have 25, 30, 50 cars, you know, a couple around there.

You know, I mean, I think from so there’s a couple of components to this, right? There’s the financing component, there’s the insurance component, um, There is, uh, the systems operations component, right? Just, you know, keeping the car was properly clean, um, keeping it all organized. That’s basically what I deal with currently, uh, for Kyra’s mobility, as we are, you know, playing a scale up to a couple hundred cars and, you know, in a matter of four or five months.

So I, you know, I will say this, you know, from, I’ll talk about insurance from an insurance standpoint, um, It just kind of depends how you want to what you want to [00:30:00] do what the game plan is So if you’re just putting the cars on toro, that’s that’s not too difficult from an insurance standpoint because really all you need is to cover the car while the car is just Sitting in the parking lot as soon as a renter gets into that car.

It goes on to toro’s insurance So in that scenario, they have a policy was called period X. Uh, I, I recommend ABIs, uh, period X policy. It just covers when the car is sitting. Um, if you are using that car in a dual use case scenario where, you know, maybe that car is the first little car that you use for yourself, you know, you maybe use it to commute, but you want to rent it out on the weekends.

Um, in that scenario, I would say just get a normal personal insurance plan and You know, when you use that car on Turo, if there’s an issue with the car while it’s on Turo, just just file the claim through Turo. Um, you don’t need to file the claim through personal insurance in that scenario, but, you know, so there’s a lot of different kind of scenarios [00:31:00] and use cases of, of when, how to ensure how to calibrate insurance to your specific situation, right?

Mm-Hmm, . So I would say that, you know, getting up to five cars, I mean, it’s really, um, you know, the insurance gets. Insurance gets a lot easier. I would say when you get up to 25 cars and more, because at that point, the mid level and large carriers of insurance are much more, uh, willing to play with you and, and, you know, ensure a large fleet because they have a large pool that, that, you know, diversifies the risk.

Um, they’re not really interested that, that, that level of insurance is not really interested in working with someone who has under 25 cars. Hmm. Um, You know, so if you’re just trying to do five or 10 cars, the insurance situation is a little tricky. If the cars are just on Turo or get around, you know, the insurance is not that hard.

You pretty much just put them on that, you know, period X policy. Um, and that usually will cover them [00:32:00] because that’s, that’s the policy design just for car share. Um, but, you know, if you want to introduce drivers into the equation, if you want, I mean, like, you know, there’s a lot of ways that this can, this kind of.

Position can go, it gets a little more, you know, tricky when that component and liability is added into the equation. Um, but like I said, you know, it’s, um, it’s the kind of thing where you’re just going to, you know, 5 cars from an insurance standpoint is not too difficult, um, from an operation standpoint, I always say this as soon as you have 2 cars, go get, you know, a cleaner on TaskRabbit.

com and, you know, And just have someone on on speed dial that can go clean cars and just tell them to go clean the car whenever you need to have it cleaned. Right. So you always want to have kind of systems in place. There’s there’s mobile mechanics in every city. Um, you can find a mobile mechanic on Google.

They’ll come out, they’ll change your batteries, tires, do oil [00:33:00] changes. They’ll do it right on the spot for your car. So that’s, that’s, you know, a resource you definitely want to take advantage of. You never, ever, ever want to take your car to the dealership to get like repairs done. I mean, they’re going to charge you double the markup is just unbelievable.

So for sure, you know, they’re, you know, you want to have kind of a, you know, And certainly find a good shop that because on occasion you’re going to have to, you know, find these things and have these repairs done and you want to have somebody you trust. Um, and then obviously the capital acquisition is to grow is a component.

Like, how good is your credit? How much cash do you have? You know, can you leverage the cars that you have initially and use that cash flow to buy more cars? That’s always, I think, I think it is ideal to own cars outright, you know, with cash. So if you can position yourself in a way where you’re getting those cars with cash, that’s ideal.

Uh, but you really can’t [00:34:00] scale in this business without some level of loans and financing. It’s just impossible.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure. Uh, what about just the, um, you know, location and just the parking aspect of it? I mean, I think, uh, in, in Toronto, I’m in a good location. I’m, I’m getting, you know, bookings consistently, but I think if I find another location, if I, you know, for my second car, I would want to have it somewhere close to the airport because I think that’s a good location and it can be, you know, something that’s easily accessible.

I mean, yeah. Have you played with something, you know, if somebody has five cars to have them at five different locations that are considered to be high traffic or more lucrative in terms of, you know, where somebody would want to have this kind of a thing. How do you go about doing that?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yeah. So this business is very, it’s very location sensitive.

Um, you know, and that’s half the battle is figuring out where to put the car so that it rents well. Right. Um, if [00:35:00] you’re, Doing Turo, Turo is a very airport centric app, so. You know, most Turo hosts will say, Hey, you’ve got to have a lot of your fleet over by the airport. Uh, it’s a pretty common, you know, comment from Turo hosts.

Uh, if you’re, if you’re working with someone who’s pretty heavy deep and get around, get around hosts will always tell you, you gotta have your cars in the downtown area. Like that’s, you know, uh, get around does have a tool. That’s a location zip code tool that basically you plug in the, you know, the zip code you’re interested.

And putting the car in and it’ll tell you, like, how good of a location that is, whether it’s a tier 1, 4, or tier 5 zip code. So, I always say, if you’re doing that with getaround, you don’t want to really, you don’t put your cars in anything other than tier 1 or tier 2 zip codes. Um, and, uh, But, you know, there’s Spot Hero.

Spot Hero is a company that will find you parking spots. Um, you can rent, you know, Uber Car Share has a partnership with them. Uh, I [00:36:00] know there’s been promotions through Spot Hero with Uber Car Share to get discounts on parking spots. Um, there’s just a lot of creative ways to deal with parking. When I was in New York, I mean, look, I used to do this in New York City and North Jersey.

I mean, that’s a horrible area for parking. So. Part of the reason I like long term Uber drivers and Uber renters is because they take the car home to their house at night. Um, so I don’t have to deal with parking. So that’s one way to solve parking. Um, another thing is, you know, there are very creative ways you can do this.

I used to, you know, Be friends with the, the local manager at the, you know, Safeway or grocery store and say, Hey, what if I pay you like a hundred bucks a month? And can I drop my cars in your lot? And you don’t call the tow company. He said, yes. So, I mean, I mean, look like you have to get creative in this business.

It’s not always cut and dry yet. I mean, like I hate to say it, but sometimes you got to pay people off. So, Uh, when I was dealing with, [00:37:00] um, you know, rentals up in New York City and New Jersey, it’s kind of a very common kind of situation. But, um, you know, so there’s, there’s solutions. Um, you just, you have to be creative.

You have to think out of the box. But I don’t settle for a 300 parking spot each month. That makes no sense. You gotta be more creative than that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Correct. Correct. I mean, that brings me to my next question. You know, I mean, to me, it, it seems like this is a very capital intensive and, you know, um, overhead cost intensive kind of a business.

So, um, Do you recommend somebody get into this kind of like a car rental business unless like you’re that’s, you know, you want to make that yeah, it’s,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: it’s totally it’s still it is. I mean, look, I mean, it’s getting more popular. The margins are compressing as is true with any industry, but. It’s still profitable.

I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t profitable. So, you know, you just look, there’s, there’s [00:38:00] a, but like I said, you got to know all the tricks in the playbook. You got to understand this business very well to get to do it. For example, you brought up Hertz before Hertz was taking brand new Teslas and trying to just rent them on a day rate.

That’s not, that’s not going to work. And I’m not surprised to see that they, you know, sold them all off. Like if you’re going to do Tesla model threes. You got to use those with Uber drivers because that’s where the margin is the sweetest and it’s gotta be a used Tesla. Uh, like you can’t, you know, you can’t do a brand new Tesla.

The economics don’t make sense. So, I mean, there, you have like, there, there is nuance to this that I feel like a lot of people just don’t understand. And even, even hurts. Um, so they’re not, you know, they’re not immune to screwing up. So. Um, I think that you have to understand that certain types of cars and certain models are, are optimal for certain platforms.

And, you know, in terms of. [00:39:00] Like I said, like I’ve always kind of built a large portion of my business around long term Uber drivers because the money is so good, right? It’s like, it’s like if you have a real estate portfolio and you have long term renters in a property, like it’s just going to pay, it’s going to pay well and it’s going to pay consistently over time.

But you also do have the option to do like a short term Airbnb type thing with properties. It’s the same exact mindset. So I like, personally, I like to diversify between the two, uh, depending on the time of year. Um, you know, we’re obviously right now coming into summer months. Uh, this is a great time of year on Turo and, you know, get around where you’re going to get those day rates around 70 to a hundred dollars per day.

Uh, so, you know, this is kind of the time of year where nobody’s, you know, really stressed about getting bookings. But, um, you know, I mean, you just have to understand that just, just running this business on Turo or just running this business on Getaround, you’re not going to last the long run in it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, for sure.

And there is, there’s definitely a bit [00:40:00] of a learning curve, right, to, to learn all those tricks of the trade and learn all the Absolutely. And

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: this, I would say this business, it’s deceptively more complex than it looks from the outside.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure. I’ve learned that. Um, what is the exit strategy? Like someone who’s doing, let’s say You know, two, two to five cars on two row, let’s say, uh, on a, on a small scale, right?

Um, do you recommend that the car that they are Um, renting out, uh, you know, if, if it has run its course, let’s say, you know, they have, uh, rented it out and, you know, the car is now 200, 000 kilometers, 250, 000 kilometers or something like that. Do you recommend that they, at what point should someone sell that car and, and basically replace it with another one?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Um, well, I, I would say the car will tell you when it’s done.

[00:41:00] So either it’s breaking down all the time, or somebody totals it, one or the other will happen first. So you, you, honestly, you really, you know, you really don’t have to think too much about this. Uh, because at some point the car basically tells you when it’s done. Um, eventually, you know, you, you rent out a car.

I mean, honestly, if you rent out a car for five years to renters, If it lasts five years, I mean, round of applause to that car because usually they’re totaled by then.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. And then it’s not even about the car, right? It’s, it’s, it’s really about the driver. There’s like different types of drivers. Some, some are good, some are bad, some are horrible.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yeah. So eventually someone’s going to crash the car. I mean, that’s kind of the thing you have to understand is that you have to go into this business with the mindset that you are buying an asset to produce cash. So, you know, if you, if you’re putting your beloved Jetta up on Turo and then somebody crashes it, like bad idea, you know, like, If [00:42:00] you have an emotional attachment to this car, like don’t rent it out on car share.

I mean, unfortunately. Yeah. So I mean, these cars get beat up on occasion. It is better on Turo. Turo’s clientele takes pretty good care of cars, I would say. But if you venture out into get around or hire a car or, you know, you know, especially if you give it to an Uber driver, there’s going to be issues.

There’s going to be scrapes, cuts, you know, people are going to blow out tires. I mean, look, I, I, I mean, I’ve probably been through 25 planes throughout my career, uh, with cars. And, uh, I mean, this is just part of the, you know, you get, it gets hit, you get it fixed, you move on, you keep going. But if that’s going to affect you emotionally, you know, you have to really kind of think about, think about this and change your paradigm with this business.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s, that’s the first lesson that I learned. Absolutely. No, that’s the first lesson everyone learns.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: You gotta send that car down the [00:43:00] river and then let it go emotionally because, trust me, it’s gonna get, it’s gonna take a tits.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure, for sure. Um, I think I’m positive right now. Yeah. So, yeah. Um, well, that’s, this is, this is great, uh, information.

Thank you for sharing all of this. Um, uh, what’s, uh, so, um, I mean, you’re, you’re, it seems like you’re now, you have a job. So are you still doing your own thing on the side or you’re? Yep.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yep. I’ve got it all. I run it all still. So I still run the YouTube channel, obviously. Um, I still do consultations. I still work with new entrepreneurs.

Um, I’ve always, for myself, I’ve always felt very, uh, strongly that this is a business that can take you literally from nothing and at least get you into a place where you’re making eight to 10 grand a month. Um, that was my experience. Um, you know, and so I feel very strongly that. You know, when I work with people in this [00:44:00] business, like I really try to help them to give them very clear answers on how to make money.

Um, and you know, obviously. You know, I’ve worked with a variety of, I probably have, you know, over a hundred clients at this point. Um, and it’s the sort of thing where, you know, a lot of people I work with are relatively new to car sharing. Like yourself. Um, I do work with some of the larger players on occasion.

You know, some of my clients are large exotics companies or, you know, larger fleets, uh, who are kind of trying to figure out how to scale and take their operations level to the, you know, to the next level. But. Um, yeah, so I, I still certainly, I still run the YouTube channel. Uh, I’m not, I wouldn’t say I, I’m not as focused now on developing e commerce products as I used to be.

Um, and so that was a big focus of mine, probably back in 2022, 2023. Um, at this point, obviously I’m building out a large fleet. Uh, we’re launching in [00:45:00] Boston. Uh, we already did launch in Boston, but we’re trying to get up to about 50 cars in the next two months. Um, and so. So, you know, I mean, that’s, uh, that’s really my focus right now.

So yes, to, to, to answer your question, I do have a proper job now. And I, uh, have, I’m on the executive, uh, team with Kairos Mobility Ventures.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Um, yeah, I mean, this is great conversation. Like, it’s, I think, you know, my thoughts on this is that this is, um, if someone is starting out and wants to learn business, I think this is a good way.

Uh, there is a bit of an upfront cost, but I think this is a, it teaches you about business. You understand what does a business look like that has, um, high overheads that has high, um, um, high, high resource, uh, costs and, and so forth. And, and you,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: yeah, you have

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: to,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: like, you have to really just, I mean, you know, [00:46:00] you have to really.

Cut the expenses as much as possible in every single way that you can, like, like I said, if you’re paying 300 for parking too much, like, that’s ridiculous, you know, if you’re going to do a financing agreement, you know, if you’re financing agreements at 900, 900 or 1000 a month too much, it’s, it’s just not, you know, it’s just not going to make sense.

You’ve got to keep that, that financing agreement as low as possible, you know, ideally four or five, 600 a month. Um, you know, there are, you have to educate yourself about all the insurance solutions because in my experience, 70 percent of my consulting calls are people who have overinsured their car and they’re overpaying on insurance.

So I typically say people, thousands of dollars just on a conversation about insurance. Uh, you know, and so that’s, that’s, that’s a real big issue in this, uh, industry is the lack of knowledge about insurance.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure. Well, uh, great, great conversation. If anybody wants to get in [00:47:00] touch with you for your consultation or, you know, um, for, um, uh, advice or anything like that, um, uh, besides consultations, like what other products, uh, or services do you offer?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yeah. So I have a, uh, I have a program, uh, all about how to scale fleet on get around. Uh, it’s called get around A to Z from start to scale. I have a program all about how to build out, um, uh, systems and for Uber drivers and how to, uh, create long term private rental agreements. That’s called the private, uh, agreement playbook.

Obviously I do consultations. I have a private chat. It’s honestly super, lots of great operators are on there. We have about 40 guys. Um, it’s only nine bucks a month, um, to be on the private chat. Lots of great, we have great discussions. You learn tons on there. Um, if you go to just car rental, you. com, you’ll find all my information there.

And obviously car rental university is on YouTube.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, definitely. You have some great [00:48:00] YouTube videos as well. Well, Alex, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. Um, I’m going to ask you some rapid fire questions as well. Uh, I usually do. Okay. Um, so I’m going to ask you a few questions that you have to answer them in a, in like a word or a sentence or so.

So the first one is, okay, do you have any, uh, book recommendations for entrepreneurs?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Uh, I love a hundred million offers by Alex Formosi.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Um, any product or idea that you are excited about in the current e commerce, auto industry, uh, you know, uh, digital industry? Yeah, um, the

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: robo, the RoboTaxi network on Tesla.

Yeah, I’m so excited about it. I think it’s gonna be so cool.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: RoboTaxi network. So when they, when,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: when they base, Yeah. Yeah. So basically when, um, once NHTSA approves, um, self driving vehicles, um, and which is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration with the U. S. [00:49:00] government, uh, once that is approved by the government, um, Tesla already has, you know, a system set up where you can take your Tesla and just kind of put it out on the robo taxi network and it’ll rent itself out for, you know, use.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, that’s, that’s an interesting topic because I think the future may be 20 years down the road when, you know, electric vehicles and the whole AI system of, you know, self self driving and so forth is really built out and the infrastructure is built out. Um, I don’t think there will be car renting. I think, you know, it’s like a few companies really just owning these fleets.

Yeah, I think

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: it’ll be, I think it’ll still be around. I think it’s just going to look a little different.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, we have to see, uh, any productivity tool or software or productivity tip that you would recommend?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Um, for rentals, I always say rental HQ software is pretty good. I would also recommend taking a look at Flevio.

[00:50:00] That’s fleet IO. Um, I think both of those platforms are solid for fleet management.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: I didn’t know

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: about

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: them.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Another startup or business that you think is currently doing great things, it can be auto related, it could be anything else as well.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Um, well, I’m a little biased to our business, but, um, that’s a startup that’s doing pretty well.

But, um, yeah, I mean, I, I think that, um, I don’t know. I mean, I, I’ve kind of tracked NVIDIA pretty closely. I think they’re doing really interesting things in the AI space and, you know, so, um, I’m certainly interested to what they do in the future.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, NVIDIA had such a such a growth in the last year. It’s, uh, it’s crazy.

Yeah, yeah. Um, a peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: I, I really like Elon Musk. Uh, I also really like Alex Hormozi, uh, as he mentioned. Uh, I [00:51:00] think they’re both really great, uh, entrepreneurs and, uh, obviously Elon is in the car space. Thanks. Scrimozzi is more in the e commerce space.

So, you know, I mean, most people don’t talk. I mean, I don’t really talk about this a lot, but I had to learn a lot about e commerce through Carbuncle University, um, which most people obviously know me as a car guy, which I am, but I also know a lot about e commerce as well, which I had to learn quietly, uh, to monetize my YouTube channel.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure. I mean, It’s all about marketing at the end of the day, I think. And then, yeah.

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: Yeah. And sales finals and all that good stuff, you know? Yeah.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Final question. What is the best business advice that you have ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: I would say fail fast. Um, you’re gonna, you’re gonna fail.

You’re gonna screw up. Just do it fast and move on and don’t like cry about it. Like, you know, I mean, it’s just gonna, you’re [00:52:00] gonna make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I always say this to younger guys. I’m like, look, like, if you’re going to be an entrepreneur in your twenties, like just get out there, try things, um, make those mistakes, learn my first two years in the rental business.

I mean, you wouldn’t believe some of the stories. It was such a disaster at times. I had multiple cars stolen. This is before we had GPS trackers. Uh, I do take pride in the fact that I stole my cars back, but, um, I mean, it’s, you know, I mean, there’s a lot of, whenever you start any business, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong.

Just, you know, understand that things are gonna go wrong. It’s never pretty, but just keep moving forward.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, definitely. That’s, that’s a great advice. And, uh, I, I also, um, recommend GPS trackers for cars. Definitely

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: recommend GPS trackers.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah,

Alex Witherow of Car Rental University: that technology didn’t come about until about six years ago.

Um, so unfortunately when I first started, we didn’t really have that technology, but, uh, I would definitely recommend, uh, kill switches and [00:53:00] GPS.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure, for sure. Well, Alex, those were all the questions that I had. I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with sharing for your advice and, uh, yeah, wish you all the very best in your, uh, new role and, uh, also your businesses.

Thank you. You as well.

Also, get inspired to Create a Profitable Online Business with $5K/MONTH – BUILDING A NATURAL SKINCARE BRAND IN AUSTRALIA – MEL YOUNG OF FLOWERDALE VALLEY

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