MirrorTrip


Overview

When I travel somewhere new, I like to take in everything. The best way I find to do this is to drive; you can set your own schedule, and stop anywhere that speaks to you. The best way to do this of course is one-way, so you can take in new sights everyday. I've had some great trips this way; last summer I rented a car and drove 4,000km through the south of France, and the south of Spain & the summer before that - from LA to Vancouver BC, stopping over in Yosemite, San Francisco, Napa Valley, the Red Woods, and the Oregon coast.

As I approach my final destination of Vancouver BC, I can almost still taste that Napa cab sav - yet I find myself doing something that goes against all better judgment: stopping in Seattle, trading the comfort of my air conditioned rental car for a bus, and spending 8 hours to complete what would otherwise be a 2 hour drive to Vancouver. Not because I'm crazy; or crazy cheap; but because I realize the value of a dollar & don't think its worth $1200 for a 2 hour drive (could have hired a limo I guess..!). This is typical in the rental car industry, especially when travelling long distances, or crossing state or international borders. While its summed up pretty well here, the basic gist is that rental car companies have to keep their fleet balanced and need to have cars returned to their home office, and to do this they need to pass the cost onto you for vehicle relocation. Until now, there hasn't been any way around this...

The Solution

I was driving through Europe this summer, completing my arbitrary loop back to Madrid so that I could avoid the drop-off fees; and the in-efficiency of it all was starting to sink in. I thought to myself, wow - wouldn't it be great if we could have just driven down from France, hugging the Mediterranean, taking in a new beach every day; however thought this would be prohibitively expensive based on my LA-Van experience the previous summer. Then the concept hit me. What if there was a website that put you in contact with other people looking to do the same trip in reverse, making the trip into a round trip in the eyes of the rental car company. This is the essence of MirrorTrip: a car rental website that securely connects you to people with similar travel plans, turning one-way trips into a round trip so that both parties can avoid drop-off fees.

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