Drive-away service is an auto transport option when you don't have the time drive yourself or you are looking to save some money to move your car from point A to Point B.
Most major U.S. and Canadian cities are serviced by one or more "auto transport drive-away" companies that make it their business to match up drivers with cars. The drivers are looking for transportation between two points and the vehicle owners need their vehicle transported between those same two points. The vehicles, which are typically late-model automatics, need to be moved due to corporate or seasonal relocations, military transfers or something similar. The owners either don't want to drive or don't have the time, and having the car driven by a stranger is substantially less expensive than shipping it.
How It Works
Auto Transport Drive-away companies make their money by charging a service fee to the vehicle owners, so there is usually no fee charged to drivers. That means that in return for delivering the vehicle, the driver gets free transportation. You simply provide a cash deposit (around $300 U.S.), which will be refunded once you deliver the car in good condition at the scheduled destination. Further, provided you deal with a reputable company, the vehicle is fully insured at little or no expense to you. Thus, your only expenses are fuel and incidentals along the way, which can be shared if you make the trip with a friend. Most auto transport driveaway companies even offer the first tank of gasoline for free or provide a fuel allowance.
You and the driveaway company agree on the route and mileage allowance ahead of time, and you are expected to deliver the car to its owner by the date specified in your agreement. There are penalties and possible insurance consequences if you stray from the agreement. However, it is expected that you will want to do some sightseeing along the way, and the system is designed to allow that kind of flexibility.
Apart from your suitcase and a pair of sunglasses, all you need to get on the road is a valid driver's license (you must be at least 21), a good driving record, a road map and perhaps a guidebook to direct you to the sights along the way. Joining an Auto Club before you leave is always a good idea, too.
With a little ingenuity and a healthy dose of spontaneity, you can make almost any North American road trip possible. And you won't be the only one behind the wheel of a stranger's car. In 2000 alone, Auto Driveaway Co.-one of the largest drive-away service providers-helped more than 30,000 North American travelers get behind the wheel and drive-away into the sunset.