Driveaway auto transport services are not like other transport services you are used to seeing. Most auto transport companies use fleets of trucks and trailers to haul vehicles from destination to destination. Full-service auto transport will include another option that most don’t think about, driveaway auto services. Driveaway auto services are when a professional driver physically drives your car where it needs to go. What this means is that your car will be operated on the open road by someone other than you and not on a trailer.
The Pros and Cons of Using Driveaway Auto Transport
Just like any other auto transport service, there are pros and cons involved when using a driveaway transport service. You will have to weigh out the options to find what transport service will benefit your particular situation the best. For some, a driveaway service may be just what will benefit their specific situation and budget the most, and for others, they will need a different method of transport.
What are the pros of using driveaway services?
Much like using other shipping services, driveaway services have their own set of pros. This type of service won’t work for every kind of vehicle or every type of situation, but it does offer a unique solution for possible complications.
- Faster shipping and a more definite time frame
- As a part of your contract, your vehicle will be picked up from a designated location that is agreed upon by you and the driving company. Once the driver picks up your car, they will begin their journey to the final transport location. Because this type of service is offered one on one, you can get a more definitive time frame as to when your vehicle will arrive. The driver of the vehicle has one responsibility after getting the keys of your vehicle from you, and that is to get your vehicle to its destination quickly and safely.
- Regardless of the destination, door-to-door delivery is available
- In some situations, certain auto transport services cannot offer door-to-door delivery due to narrow roads or another terrain that a semi-truck can’t safely navigate through. Because the driver is driving your car, it will be possible for them to navigate any of the roads that they may encounter. The ability to handle all kinds of roads makes it possible for them to deliver the vehicle to your doorstep, no matter where it is located.
- Possible transport for personal items
- Some personal drivers who provide driveaway transport may offer the option of letting you transport personal items in the vehicle while they drive it. Often, this will include pets as well. It would be something you would have to discuss with the transport company and the driver who will be driving your vehicle. Utilizing this option could help you cut down on transport costs of shipping a pet or lighten a load of a moving truck with your personal belongings on it.
What are the cons of using driveaway services?
The cons are what you would expect when you have a professional driving it for you from one location to another. The nice thing about using a professional driver to drive your car, chances are high they have done it for a while. Here is what you can expect to not look forward to:
- The costs associated could end up being more expensive
- Some companies will say that a driveaway option is cheaper than using a trailer for transport, and others will say that it is more experience. A lot of it will depend on the individual factors of the trip. Some trips may be shorter than others, which means the amount will be cheaper, but as you will come to find out, most specialized services are often more expensive.
- More wear and tear is possible for your vehicle
- Because your car is not riding atop a trailer, there is a lot more possibility that it will get more wear and tear from the roads during the transport of it. Granted, an open carrier would expose it to the same elements, items like your tires would be untouched during an open transport type of situation.
- Miles will accrue
- Anytime your car is driven, miles add up. As miles add up on your vehicle, there will be mechanical maintenance that has to be completed. So if you are due an oil change close to transport, chances are highly likely you will need to have the oil changed after the driver transports your car. You may want to do a quick maintenance check before the driver takes possession of your car so that you can ensure it is completely safe for the trip, especially if it is a cross country trip.
Tips for Using Driveaway Services
Before you hand your car keys over to someone who will drive your vehicle for an extended period of time, you might want to gather some additional information not only about the driver but the professional auto transport company they work for as well. Doing your due diligence before allowing someone else to drive your vehicle can mean the difference between your car getting where it needs to go safely.
Document the Condition of Your Vehicle
The condition of your vehicle before handing it off to a professional driver should be documented. The company that the driver works for may have some kind of paperwork that resembles a Bill of Lading for you to sign. This will break down any damages like scratches and dents that were on your vehicle before the driver took possession of it.
Some people will take photographs of their vehicle before transport so that they have a before and after comparison in case an insurance claim has to be filed. It is easier to have proof if there is damage than to have damage and no proof.
Get the Details on Insurance Coverage
If your driver works for a driveaway company, they will more than likely have to fit a specific set of criteria set forth by the auto transport company. The company should provide some kind of insurance for their driver, but it is possible that it isn’t going to cover as much as you would like. You have a could options available once you know what their limits are for their driver.
Most transport companies offer extended coverages that you can purchase through them for your automobile transport. If you think that it is too expensive, you can always check with your own car insurance company and see what it would cost to temporarily add the professional driver for as long as they will be driving your car.
Verify the Driver
If you don’t use a driving company to find yourself a professional driver, you need to make sure that you do your own research into them. The type of research you should do includes doing a background check into the driver, the driving record of the driver, and possibly looking into any references that they may have. You need to know that this person is going to take care of your car while driving it instead of just throwing your keys into the wind for someone to catch them and drive your car away.
How do I know if driveaway services are right for me?
Auto transport companies offer a variety of services, including the ones that will introduce you to driveaway drivers that can transport your vehicle. Before you jump on board with a driveaway service, make sure that it is what will meet all the needs of your traveling.
If you have an antique car or a luxury car, you may not want to jump to driveaway service. These cars are often worth a lot of money and a transport company will tell you that most owners of vehicles like this opt for an enclosed transport option. These vehicles need a lot of TLC, especially from the elements. You wouldn’t want them to be driven down a freshly asphalted road to get to a destination across the country.
After purchasing a car, especially a new one with low mileage, you definitely would not want to have someone drive it across the country and put thousands of miles on it before you get to enjoy it. You have to think about these situations when you are looking for the kind of transport you want to use.
Once you look at all your options for car transport, you will have to assess the cost of each option and make the decision that is right for your situation. Professional auto transport services can accommodate all kinds of different methods of transport for a vehicle. A lot of people will choose open carrier on a trailer just so they can get a better price, especially when multiple vehicles are shipped at the same time.
Companies like A-1 Auto Transport often try to help their customers. If your vehicle should not utilize the driveaway service, the company should advise you against it. Some vehicles just aren’t good candidates for it. Let the experts help you make the right transport choice.
How do I use a driveaway service?
After you have searched through all of your professional auto transport options, you may end up choosing to go with a professional driveaway service offered by a full-service company. You must understand what the process of driveway service entails to get the most out of the services.
The best option you will have is finding a driveaway driver through a professional auto transport company. Transport companies have a specific set of requirements for the drivers that they hire for driveaway services. Drivers have to be at least 21 years of age to be a driveaway driver for the companies. Rigorous background checks and DMV records are searched, ensuring that drivers are not only free of any criminal charges but also motor vehicle moving violations. Professional transport companies only want to employ the best driveway drivers to represent their companies.
In most circumstances, companies will set a flat rate for a driveaway service based on the hourly rate of the driver, the length of the trip, and the other items like boarding and fuel costs. Once you have received the quote for the service, you will want to compare it to other companies that offer these same types of services. Choosing one company may be a difficult task, but when you find the one that fits, you just know.
The company will let you know how they want you to exchange your car with their driver. Most companies will require you to bring the car to a neutral location where the driveaway driver will get your keys, and the two of you will look over the car and note all preexisting damages that may already exist.
Finding a Name You Can Trust
Moving specialists that have been a staple in the auto transport industry are always evolving to meet their customer’s needs. A-1 Auto Transport is no exception. For over 30 years, the talent and expertise of A-1 Auto Transport have been a pillar in every community they have served, offering multiple automotive and transport options to meet the needs of those around them.
From open carrier transports to enclosed transport services, most transport companies are offering full-service transport options. Customers like to see and hear their options before they make their decision. A lot of companies might also give their opinions that can help customers make informed decisions. A lot of customers need this guidance so that their vehicles don’t sustain damage or loss of value in transit.
A-1 Auto Transport knows how to handle cars from antique to non-running vehicles. We know what it takes to keep vehicles safe in any scenario. We take great pride in our transparency with our customers and the competitive pricing we offer. When you think that driveaway services might be an option for the transport of your vehicle, call A-1 Auto Transport and talk to one of our moving specialists for a quote today.
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.