Moving to a great distance or being a retiree looking to spend their summer in Southern areas means traveling a long distance. Many people don’t have time or other resources to drive such a long distance, so they look for a transportation service for their car. There are a few options on the market to get your car from A to B, and which one is best for you depends a lot on the circumstances, and on your own preferences.
Let’s see how two of these services compare and what you should choose when breaking them down to a few crucial parameters.
The auto transport services we will compare are auto transport brokers and driveaway services. Two different approaches to solving your problem, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of your own final decision, make sure you browse reputable and transparent service providers.
What is an Auto Transport Broker?
A broker who offers quotes for auto transport services is a specialized service provider who might or might not offer the said service themselves. Mainly, auto transport brokers are hired to check prospects on the market, find the best price available, or maybe the best quality for money, and keep in touch with them and the end client, mediating the relationship.
Auto transport broker is a service that works with auto carriers who transport vehicles via trailer pulled by a truck, transported on ferries, trains, and so on.
What Is a Driveaway Service?
Driveaway is a service in which a professional driver picks up your car and drives it to the destination. The fees and conditions of the transport vary from one company to another, so it’s important to discuss the price in detail before the trip and get all the useful information about the driver and the insurance they carry. Some drivers provide this service as a source of income, while others are using this service as a means to get to a destination themselves.
Auto Transport Broker Vs. Driveaway Service: What to Look for?
Hiring a driveaway service is usually cheaper than using trailers for transport. But, while the trailer loads your car and keeps it safe throughout the whole trip, driving it to the destination will inevitably add some wear and tear, which can mean future additional costs for trips to the mechanic.
Driving it on long distances or even across the country also adds to the mileage, which can mean a lower resale value for your car, if you ever plan on getting rid of it.
But, if your current trip is absolutely necessary and done on a budget, hiring a driveaway service can get the job done for the money you have, and solve your problem.
- Verifying the Legitimacy of the Company
When browsing for an auto transport service, there will be some research involved. Auto transport brokers will search for the lowest price and the best offer. They will also make sure that the companies they work with are insured and licensed. When hiring a driveaway service, you need to do the research yourself.
Still, driveaway services are still preferable to getting a relative or a friend to drive your car for you, as their drivers are experienced and also carry enough insurance coverage in case something happens.
Another thing to mention is that many driveaway drivers are not actually professional drivers, while trailer drivers are. Driveaway companies screen their independent collaborators, making sure they have had their license for long enough, that they have clean driving records and good references. This is still less reliable than hiring a trailer driver who actually does it for a living.
- Online Accessibility
When searching for an auto transport service, finding a broker is easier than finding a carrier. Brokers are generally better at communicating with their customers and will have a bigger online presence than regional, independent carriers. This way, you can check the reviews a broker has, and read testimonies about the experience of previous customers.
Independent auto transport carriers are often harder to find, and you would have to know someone who can recommend a company based on their own experience. Luckily, small local businesses are also starting to take online marketing more seriously, investing in their Google profiles and being more accessible to the public.
Driveaway services or independent professional drivers can also be found online quite easily, as they are often students or
- Duration of the Trip
In terms of speed, a driveaway service will almost always deliver your car faster than an auto transport service, simply because the driver only has to deliver one vehicle, while a trailer driver will have to deliver multiple ones. Auto transport companies have complicated logistic conditions they depend on, and this might cause some delays to your transport.
For example, if a trailer is not filled to a high enough percentage of its capacity, it’s not feasible for it to move anymore. You might have to wait for more cars to be carried by the transporter before the trip begins.
A professional driver will deliver your car as quickly as they can, while still keeping the trip safe.
- Door to Door Delivery
Whether you need your car to be delivered at your door or not, it’s a decision that depends on your own preferences and circumstances. When hiring an auto transport service, you can opt for door-to-door delivery, as long as the trailer truck fits on your street. Sometimes, an employee can bring your car to your door after the vehicles were unloaded at a delivery point.
When hiring a driveaway service, you will get your car exactly where you need it to be, without any extra costs, as door-to-door delivery is implied.
- Transportation of Extra Luggage
Depending on the purpose of the trip, you might need extra luggage to be transported as well. When moving across the country, you might need to load your truck with your belongings, and this is possible with a driveaway service. When hiring an auto transport service, there is a limit to how much stuff you can have in your car, and sometimes you are even required to strip the car of any accessories like electronic devices, fresheners, or loose objects in the car.
This is an advantage for a driveaway service, because it not only allows you to carry luggage in your car while it’s driven to the destination, but you can also join the driver and do the trip yourself.
- Wear and Tear
As mentioned before, a disadvantage of having your car driven to the destination is that it will add wear and tear, plus the risk of accidents is bigger. You have to be prepared for such outcomes and make sure you have auto insurance, the driver is insured, and that they have enough experience behind the wheel before being responsible for your car.
Over to You
In conclusion, whether an auto transport broker or a driveaway service is best for you depends on your own circumstances and priorities. It’s important to make an informed decision and to do the proper research before you let a company deliver your car.
Either way, make sure to take photos of your car prior to the trip, have it cleaned and emptied of valuable objects, and check the driver’s or the company’s insurance coverage. Once you have a shortlist of reputable service providers, you can make a confident decision based on your own needs.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.