Most of us in the UK enjoy some time off during the summer. If you regularly hire a car when you go away for a break, chances are you’ll know all too well that dealing with car rental companies is one of the least pleasant fixtures of the holiday experience.
It doesn’t need to be this way. At least that’s according to MyTripCar, a European startup launched in 2015 in Spain and a Wayra accelerator alumni. The company hopes to seriously shake up the car rental industry, currently valued at a whopping £48 billion.
The founding team comprises COO Alberto Verdoy Mañes who worked at Goldcar earlier in his career, CEO Fernando Almenara who has led a series of startups previously, and Julia Martinez, who leads on communications. The company, headquartered in Alicante, now has over 20 staff.
“People often find they are held to ransom by car rental companies. They are screwing up people’s holidays,” MyTripCar’s marketing lead Giles Bones says.
It’s a sentiment many of us can relate to, with experiences of paying for stuff you don’t recall booking, being stung for insurance at the airport desk, or being inexplicably charged a few extra euros, months after your holiday. It’s so much work to uncover the reasons behind these costs, many people just give up and pay up, resentfully.
Anger at existing industry practices led the founders to launch MyTripCar. It has a simple website that shows consumers all costs that will be charged to their card from the start, with no hidden fees.
“There are so many scams and abuse tactics out there. Other comparison sites end up costing a lot. They push their own insurance and try to sell you extras. There’s little information and no transparency,” Bones says.
MyTripCar says it is the only car rental comparison site in the world that doesn’t sell insurance. It is certainly far more transparent and easier to book than any of its competitors, and includes the queue time so customers know how long they will wait to pick up their vehicle.
Perhaps the proof of the concept is in its growth: at just two years old MyTripCar has raised 1.6 million euros from two funding rounds. It is already in 40 countries covering over 1,600 pick-up locations. The startup is also set to expand beyond Europe to Australia and the US soon.
MyTripCar only sells official insurance through approved car providers, which includes big names like Hertz, Thrifty, Enterprise and Sixt.
“Nightmarish car rental is now a thing of the past,” Bones says.