Alumni Stories – TransferCar

Rental car companies around the world face the ongoing, and expensive, challenge of getting their vehicles from a drop-off destination back to home base. With the birth of TransferCar, an online relocation service that provides free one-way rental cars to flexible travellers, this problem has been solved.

Before the birth of TransferCar, rental car companies faced high relocation fees from transport companies. Additionally, they often had to wait until the number of cars in one location made it cost effective to bring them back to base. TransferCar helps rental car firms in the United States, Australia and New Zealand secure relocation drivers, significantly reducing the cost of transferring their cars between branches.

TransferCar was co-founded in 2008 by the University of Auckland’s Brian Karlson, an academic and programme director working in the fields of business and bioscience. Before their official launch, the idea was entered into Spark(Velocity) $10K challenge in 2007 and emerged as one of the winners. From there, the company was able to attract an investor in the project.

TransferCar uses a database to quickly source flexible drivers who can meet the relocation needs of rental car companies. Since 2010, TransferCar has provided around 2,600 free trips in rental cars and campervans to flexible travellers across New Zealand. A fee is charged for each relocation that TransferCar facilitates.