Sometime in our life, we might be caught in a situation when we need to move our vehicles over long destination and we cannot do it on our own.  We are then prompted with two choices of to whom we should entrust our valued cars.  Should we hire a car shipping company or allow an auto driveaway company to do the job? In car transportation services, both can bring your vehicles to expected destination but how they do it is the true difference.  Our deepest understanding of the nature of each type service in terms of manner of delivery, savings, pickup and delivery time, who drives your car and car safety, should make it easier for us to come up with a better and wiser decision, for our car transportation needs.

Auto Driveaway vs. Car Shipping Service


A car shipping company, like Autoline, specializes in door-to-door personal car shipments of any type and size of cars, SUVs or vans, including RV/ oversized vehicles and specialized vehicles, anywhere across the United States.   Depending on your specific needs and specifications, car shipping companies can offer different shipment types (open or enclosed or enclosed trailer services) to carry your car to any destination you choose along with other cars.

In auto driveways service, your car will be literally driven away a random individual contracted by the company.  As a standard operating service they will pick your car on an agree place and date.  It will be kept by their office until they find a driver who is travelling to the same place you would like your vehicle to be.


Looking at its face value, an auto driveway is more economical as compared with auto shipping service.  But looking at a deeper level, there is not much significant difference.

Terms and conditions vary in different auto driveaway companies.  Normally you will be charged according to the distance the vehicle will run.  You don’t pay for the personal expense and fuel of the driver. However, in rare cases wherein it would be repaired along the way, the cost will be added to your bill.  Another hidden cost you should take note of, is the depreciation of your car’s value.  Your tires will be worn out so as your engine, oil and other fluids. You will also see huge millage added to your dashboard since it will be driven for long distances.   High millage significantly affects the resale value of your car.

Auto shipping companies on the other hand, will charge you based on the quote and contract you agreed upon including its insurance. There are no other hidden costs.   The price of car transportation may be higher but your car’s value remains the same from the moment you hand over the keys up to the time it is delivered to its destination, no matter the distances.   If you prefer an auto shipping service, it is always most advisable to look for a reliable company that offers the lowest rate.

Pickup and Delivery Times

The delivery time frames of both auto driveaway and auto shipping companies both rely on different variables such as weather, point of origin and destination, time of the year and others.  Both services normally estimate travel time is one day for every 300 miles.

For auto driveaway companies, their variability in the time frame is between the date of pick up and the time the company secured a driver who will travel the same destination.   Determining the exact timetable of delivery is often an issue, but some auto driveway service play in the average of 2 to 4 weeks from the time order is registered.   Companies with bigger resources and pool of potential drivers can deliver as early.  Another concern with the predictability of delivery time is that any driveway driver is free to go wherever they way to go and stop whenever they want to stop.  They may not always take the shortest and most direct route to reach their destination.

Auto transport companies work with large carrier networks which makes it easy for them to establish a specific time frame of delivery.  From the date of the requests pick-up date, your car is attended within 3 days.  Auto shipping companies, allow you to select the service type you need and its process given the priority to pick by the first available truck.   Your car will be assigned to a carrier and you will receive a dispatch notice as quickly within 24 hours, together with the information about the pick- up and delivery date.

Some auto shipping companies also offer Fast-Trac Service  for those who have a specific pick up date and delivery times to meet.

Who Delivers Your Car?

In auto shipping companies, your vehicle will carried by a car hauler or an enclosed trailer depending on your specification.  All auto shipping companies hire only professional car hauler drivers who must have a valid “A” CDL or Commercial Driver’s License. At least 3 years experience of driving with tractor-trailer equipment is often a requirement to be a competent operator of the company’s auto transporters.  Maintaining a professional attitude and image at all times is also required, and they must be mechanically inclined to check the over- all condition of their truck before and during travel.  Auto shipping companies also require an acceptable Motor Vehicle Report from the drivers.   Often, graduate from technical schools that certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) are preferred.  This would ensure that the drivers are knowledgeable of the industry standards and Federal Highway Administration regulations.

To be a qualified driver for driveway service companies, one must have a valid driver’s license and must have an acceptable Motor Vehicle Report attained at a local DMV.   Drivers who have a reckless driving charge or similar records, within the last 3 years are immediately disqualified for this program.  Business and personal references of drivers are reviewed upon request.   Some companies require drivers to post a $350 deposit with their office upon departure and refunded only after acceptable delivery of the vehicle.  Since auto driveway drivers are not monitored by the company, they are free to go wherever they way to go and stop whenever they want to stop.  They may not always take the shortest and most direct route to reach their destination which adds to the difficulty of predicting delivery timing.

Car Safety

Cars riding in enclosed trailers provided by auto shipping companies enjoy the highest safety and security from road hazards as it travels long distances.   You cannot enjoy this when you hire an auto driveaway company.

In terms of safety, we can also look at the data released from a survey conducted in recent year  by Great Britain; Vehicles involved in reported accidents by vehicle type.  If we compare the number of accidents reported between cars and heavy goods vehicles, data shows that there are 236,923 accidents (or 96.19%) reported for cars,  while in heavy goods vehicles recorded only 9,040 accidents (or 3.81%).  If our calculation is correct, this should tell us that a car driven on the same route is 25 times more likely to be involved in accidents as compared to a car carried by a big car hauler or trailer.

A Matter of Trust and Confidence

Choosing the best alternative for your auto transporting needs, whether its auto driveaway service and auto transport, is really a question of who holds our trust and confidence better.  The decision may also vary with the unique circumstances of every individual needing to transport vehicles over long distances.

Considering a vehicle is the second biggest purchase of an average person in his lifetime, should he really hand over his car key to total strangers?