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Coast to coast - free rental car!

Last post 03-16-2011 1:17 PM by Mike Leco. 7 replies.
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  • 01-16-2010 11:01 PM

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    Coast to coast - free rental car!

    Sounds like a scam haha..  I bought a car, it's in Arizona.. and I'm in DE.  I have called some auto-shippers and decided they are too expensive and a bit sleazy.. I am still thinking I will drive the car here myself but then I had an interesting idea..  theres GOTTA be someone interested in driving across the USA (Phoenix to Delaware) in a classic luxury exotic automobile. I'll pay for the fuel.

    Don't get too excited, this is a 1994 model costing less than 15k.  Not in the 'awesome' catagory but It'll turn heads for sure.  It has a small back seat, but 2 people probably is the limit.

    The discussion here is, how exactly to go about being comfortable with prospective drivers? Credit check? Letters of recommendation? Employer and family member contact? Security deposit?  I could almost start a website for prospective clients and drivers and simply match them up after prospective drivers are "cleared".  Free trips for drivers, low-cost transport for clients.  What does anyone think?

    All a driver needs to do is get themselves to Phoenix. I'll get you home and pay for the fuel.. you cover the hotels.  I'm only 30% serious about this but the discussion should be fun.  I bet auto-shippers would burn me down though.

     

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  • 01-18-2010 2:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!


    This is almost like an urban legend come true. 

    Many people in Europe and other countries have heard the story about someone willing to give them a free car to drive across the USA.  I always tell them that this is not a very common occurance.  Anyone that wants to transport a car across the USA, would normally pay a shipper, that has insurance and a reputation to take the car for them.  If they get someone to drive the car, they are faced with the dilemna, of how to I know I can trust the driver before I give him my car?  and, Will my insurance cover the damage if he wrecks my car or perhaps wrecks someone else's car and causes injury?

    There are a few companies that arrange such shipping of autos.  They apparantly find drivers and insure them before they take someones car across the country.  I believe they charge the car owner some fee for doing this.  If you use them, then the question becomes, can I trust this company?

    Before you hand your car keys to some stranger, you must consider, what happens if this person, causes an automobile accident in Kansas City, robs a bank in Chicago or commits an act of terrorism in Cincinnatti?  Can I be held responsible?

  • 01-18-2010 8:49 PM In reply to

    • Espen
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    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!

    There are many services like the one you describe around the world.

    In the U.S. the most common one is Auto Driveaway http://www.autodriveaway.com .

    In New Zealand and Australia there is Transfercar http://www.transfercar.co.nz / http://www.transfercar.com.au

     

    -Espen

  • 01-18-2010 10:16 PM In reply to

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    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!

    Thanks for the sobering comments.. yeah for sure there is more risk than if you used a shipper.  When I found this site I immediately thought of the type of people I've run in to who did tours across country.. and hikers and mountain climbers etc.. every one I've run into (maybe 10 or 12 not a lot) I would trust to make a trip like this with the same potential for problems as I may have driving myself. 

    That said, no this isn't that ideal world and no you don't really know a person after meeting them for a couple hours.  It was fun to think about.  900-1200 bucks for an open carrier, verses making someone's vacation dreams come true.. I think I had visions of being a goodguy and saving 50% of that cost.  What I decided to do is grab a buddy and take the trip myself!  Phoenix to Delaware.  Any suggestions for stop-offs??

    Thanks again 

     

  • 01-18-2010 11:12 PM In reply to

    • Espen
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    • Joined on 01-19-2010
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    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!

    I wouldn't discard it as a utopian concept. What you describe is classic "crowd sourcing", a business model based on trustbetween crowds of people helping each other out to create a win-win scenario.

    Take CouchSurfing http://www.couchsurfing.org/ for example. Their concept is that people who have a spare couch or bed share it with people who need accomodation, completely bypassing traditional accomodation industries. With the appropriate security and trust mechanisms this service now boosts over 1 million users in 230 countries.

    In the same way you can have a model facilitating car owners and potential drivers relocating cars accross the U.S. With the right trust mechanisms (references from previous relocations, credit card deposits etc.) you can easily provide a win-win scenario for car transportation.

    I operate a simillar service in New Zealand and Australia, called Transfercar ( http://transfercar.co.nz - mentioned in the post above). We mainly target the rental car industry but a small percentage of our car suppliers are private individuals wanting to move a single car. Of course with private cars you need to consider how to write a contract and hand over they keys (rental operators have branches and standard contracts) but it is absolutely possible.

    If you are interested in doing something like this I am allways happy to help.

     -Espen 

  • 01-19-2010 12:22 AM In reply to

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    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!

    Thank you Espen, one more of my ideas that already exists haha. Nice.  Thanks for the offer.. I'll stick to coming up with ideas and never following through with them.. the day-job is too much fun  Smile 

     Now that I've settled on transporting it myself, I wonder if I should try to find passengers that need a looong taxi ride!  After learning the new term, I see it still applies to my situation in that now I could use a paying rider for mutual benefeit. hmm..

    When you start crowdsourcing dot com (oops, exists!  how about crowdBay?),  use something closer to a craigslist format, rather than a priceline format.. I can't get priceline to run bug-free for more than one click so I went directly to Continental's site.  Say byebye to money, Priceline.

     

  • 03-08-2011 5:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!

    Did you find someone to drive your car? When did you want to have this done?
  • 03-16-2011 1:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Coast to coast - free rental car!

    I think you already thought of the most common problems that make this method of shipment difficult.  As the owner of a car, how do you know that you are entrusting your vehicle to a responsible, sober driver that is not a drunk, a car thief or a terrorist?  What about insurance on the vehicle?  Will your insurance cover it while being driven by another driver?

    There are a few companies that already offer car shipment by using volunteer drivers.  I don't know what they do to screen the potential drivers or how they handle the insurance issues.

    There has been a lot of talk on the Internet about getting free use of a car while transporting it across country for someone else.  Unfortunately, it is not a very common practice for the reasons mentioned above.

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