There are many reasons to hire an auto transport company for your move. You may have to fly out to your destination right away, the distance may be longer than you wish to drive, or perhaps you are opting to rent a truck to haul your belongings and will be unable to drive your own car to your destination.
There are several ways to ship your vehicle domestically--by trailer, by rail, and by driveaway service. When considering which the best choice is for you, there are several factors to keep in mind. A driveaway service is often the quickest and cheapest method, but there are several disadvantages to think about as well.
If you are on a tight budget, using a driveaway service is typically cheaper than truck transport. The company will charge you a flat rate, with fuel costs either included in the quote or added as a separate charge. You may also be permitted to load some of your belongings into your vehicle during a driveaway transport, unlike car shipping which prohibits personal items from remaining in the vehicle while it is being hauled. This can save you money on your moving bill if you have a lighter shipment to transport on the moving trailer. However, it is not advised to leave any valuables in your vehicle during driveaway service, since the company will likely not be liable for damages or theft of personal property.
Driveaway service is usually more prompt than auto shipping, because the vehicle is making one direct trip to your destination. With truck transport, your vehicle is loaded onto a truck that is hauling multiple cars along the trip. This can cause delays if the company is waiting for a minimum amount of cars to ship, since it is economically optimal to coordinate as many deliveries as possible along one route.
When using a car shipper, your vehicle is loaded onto a truck and sustains no wear and tear to the engine. With a driveaway service, your car will not only accumulate the extra mileage, but may end up needing services such as oil or fluid changes once you arrive. Additionally, if the hired driver experiences any car trouble along the way, you will wind up paying for the repairs (and not from your choice of mechanic) and possible hotel stays for the driver. If you have a long way to travel and an aging vehicle, driveaway service may not be the optimal choice.
If you have an especially valuable car, you should also opt for truck transport-- particularly an enclosed trailer to protect your car from inclement weather and other damage.
Not Professional Drivers
Those operating the vehicles in driveaway services are often not professional drivers. They are usually not paid for their services, but are simply travelers seeking free transportation. They opt to drive the customer's vehicle rather than a costly rental car, and often even receive reimbursement for fuel. On the other hand, drivers operating auto transport trailers are licensed and professional drivers, trained to ensure your vehicle's safe arrival.
However, while driveaway service drivers are not professionals, they are still screened by the company before sliding behind the wheel. They must have clean driving records, provide references, and be over the age of 21. Of course, this doesn't completely eliminate the chance of an accident or driver error resulting in damage to your vehicle. Plus, since the driver is not being paid and has no fear of job loss, he or she may be careless with your car. Even if your vehicle arrives in one piece, unsightly stains from spills or cigarette burns would be an unpleasant surprise.
- Document the vehicle's condition. Be sure to document and take photos of your vehicle before transport in case of any damage occurring on the road. If your car is delivered with scratches, dents, or other damage, you want to able to prove that it was not pre-existing.
- Inquire about insurance. Not all companies offer the same coverage. Ask about the company's liability policy before hire--you want to ensure that they offer adequate coverage by carefully reviewing the agreement. You should be protected from damage to your own vehicle as well as damage to others and their property so you are not forced to put a claim on your own insurance.
- For more information about auto transport, check out some of our helpful guides. Learn about some common problems that occur during auto transport, questions to ask your auto mover, the licensing requirements for auto shippers, and all about the different kinds of auto transport if you decide a driveaway service might not be for you.
- Get quotes from several reliable and professional auto movers in your area by filling out our fast and easy quote form right here at Movers.com!