Drive across the U.S.- In a FREE car!
Apr 30, 2000
This is a great bargain I discovered over twenty years ago, when I was a student- but it's still available today. I know because I had the need to try it again last year, and the deal still exists, although changed a bit.
The deal is the Auto-Drive-Away, which is both the name of the franchise, and a description of how it works. Auto-Drive-Away, which is often partnered with a U-Haul or other moving-type franchise, is a service for people who want a car delivered across country, and a service for people who are looking for cheap transportation.
(By the way, I wrote an epinion on this topic about a week ago, but it disappeared from my list of epinions for some reason, so I am re-submitting it. If you read the earlier one, I apologize, but I thought it was a good tip, so here it is again.)
Here's how the Auto-Driveaway works. People with cars to ship schedule their cars with the local service. If you want to drive somewhere, you call in to the local franchise, and ask if they have any cars going to where you want to go. If so, you will be required to fill out some forms (so they can check your driving record) and put down a deposit of three hundred dollars. (I don't think the deposit was that high twenty years ago.)
You then pick up the car on the appointed day, and you get plenty of time to deliver it. For example, I got a car last year in December to be delivered to West Palm Beach, from Washington, DC. They gave me five days to deliver it, which gave me time to enjoy the trip down, and even stop to see some friends along the way. You are allowed about 100 miles over what the direct mileage is, and you get your first full tank of gas free, when you pick up the car.
The cars are generally late model, and usually quite nice. The one I got last year was a Chrysler Concorde, with only 550 miles on it!
My whole trip cost only the price of another tank and a half of gas (about $40) plus my one way plane trip back.
Visit the website of the company at www.autodriveaway.com, for a list of offices and answers to all your questions. You'll have to call your local office to see what is available, once you locate it on the website.
Down side- of course they don't always have a car going where you want to go, when you want to go. Usually, it is seasonal- lot's of cars going from the northeast to Florida in the early winter, the other way in the spring.
If they have a car that needs to go where you are going, and it's a nice car- what a deal!