Drive-Away Companies – the Lesser-Known Car Transporter Services
A drive-away company is a car transporter that employs professionals to physically drive your car from one destination to another. An alternative to placing an ad in the paper or choosing a company that transports numerous vehicles at a time, a drive-away services offers certain advantages.
Finding the Right Company
If you are unable to obtain recommendations from friends, family or personal acquaintances, search company websites and reviews on the Internet.
Start by finding sites that are easy to navigate, up-to-date and look professional. If a company is unable to take the effort to maintain a user-friendly website, they probably aren’t worth your time.
Most companies offer an easy to use Vehicle Shipping service that provides an initial estimate by entering the start/end locations and desired dates. The drive-away car transporter services should be able to accommodate almost any request.
Brokers versus Employers
Also check to see if the company employs its own drivers or serves as a broker – a go-between you and the driver. Many broker services have satisfied customers, but cannot provide the same assurances as a company with its own drivers.
If you consider a broker company, make sure to find out how they match you with a driver. Possible questions you might also ask:
- Do they use the services of a reputable company or place an ad in the paper?
- Have they used the company or person before or will this be a random driver?
- What qualifications do they demand of drivers?
- Do they run safety and background checks?
To decide if a “middleman” is right for you: ask questions, search company reviews, call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and, most importantly, follow your gut.
Research moving companies that employ drivers in the same manner and take advantage of the knowledge they have about their employees. Ask about the experience of the driver assigned to you. If they’ve had infractions, little experience, never taken a driver safety course – any factor that makes you uncomfortable with he/she driving your car – ask for different driver or look for alternative car transporter services.
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Paying a company or individual to drive you car will have certain expenses that differ from an auto-transporter that moves your car on another vehicle.
Part of your fee will go toward the driver’s travel expenses – he/she may need to travel to meet you, return home or both. Some companies require an initial deposit to reserve a driver, location and date – non-refundable if you cancel or change the move details.
Most companies will provide an estimate of total fuel costs, but gas fluctuations as well as requiring extra gas to account for unexpected trip delays such as detours, construction, accidents or inclement weather, may increase or decrease your final car shipping rates.
You need to make sure your car is in good working order and prepare for climate differences such as adding anti-freeze or coolant. This is not only for the convenience and safety of the person driving your car, but ensures your car is all set upon arrival.
Most drive-away services allow you to keep personal items in the back and trunk of your car, though you should always be wary of leaving valuables. Antennas, bike racks and spare tires can all remain on the car.
Drive-away services are a viable car transporter option to consider when moving. Car moving companies may offer a choice of trailer or driver, only driver services or merely serve as a go-between. Whatever your preference, you should understand the terms of agreement and feel confident in the person and manner your car will be transported.