Drive Across the USA with Auto Driveaway Cars

Driveaway across the U.S.A.
Drive away across the U.S.A.

Drive Away Across the U.S.A. — Even If You Don’t Own a Car!

By Marie Javins

Jack Kerouac. Neal Cassady. Bonnie, Clyde, Thelma, Louise — and you: all dazzled by the romance of the cross-country road trip.

There is no better way to get a feel for the expansive size of North America, no better way to see the diversity in culture and climate of the different regions of the US and Canada than a cross-country road trip. How about a driveaway car trip?

But the ultimate road trip requires one essential and expensive item — a car. Preferably one that won’t break down and leave you stranded in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Driveaway cars are a way to get you out on the road even if you can’t afford to buy a car yourself.

DO NOT CALL GoNOMAD, visit ProfessionalDrivers.com or IDriveYourCar.com.

There are a few drive away agencies in North America that will give you a free car, a tank of gas, and a planned route to your destination. In other words, a “driveaway.”

You must give the car back at the end, and you can’t damage it or paint it psychedelic in an attempt to add the “Beat” flavor to your road trip, but with some luck, your borrowed auto will have gotten you safely from point A to point B.

What is a “Driveaway”

“Driveaway” companies match drivers with cars. The car owner pays an auto transport agency to move his or her vehicle. Sometimes the owner is moving across the country, flying ahead after having stuffed your new wheels with household goods. But often, the car belongs to a large corporation that provides cars for its employees.

Airline Miles and Points: Going to Cooler Places for Less

The corporations relocate company cars from one office to another, dependent upon staff needs. Most driveaway cars are fairly new, empty, and in good condition. Don’t expect a convertible sports car — you’ll probably get a medium-sized family vehicle. Many driveaways go from one major city to another.

Drive away cars.....drive across country for someone else.
Driveaway cars…..drive someone else’s car across the country.

If your goal is to get from Boston to a small town near San Francisco, you can probably get a driveway to SF and take a bus the rest of the way.

In the fall and early winter, there are usually lots of driveways from the northeast to Florida.

Be flexible about cities for departure and arrival, and leave yourself lots of time, as there’s no guarantee that a driveaway to your chosen destination will be available when you need it.

The Driveaway Rules

While it is okay to be an unkempt backpacker, all drivers must:

  • be licensed (non-US citizens need an international license and passport)
  • be over 23 (no exceptions!)
  • have a clean driving record
  • leave a $300-$400 deposit
  • pay for fuel after the first free tank

You are assigned a set number of days and a route. Adhere to it or risk your deposit. Some agents will negotiate — they understand that travelers want to see the sights along the way. There are varying regulations about the number of hours you can drive per day, and some companies don’t allow you to drive after dark. Flagrant contract violations are not recommended, but many travelers have reported slightly bending the rules.

If you want to spend a lot of time in one place, consider getting two separate driveaways. A traveler could, for example, drive one car from Philadelphia to Chicago, stay a week, and drive a second car from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Before You Leave: Carefully Check the Car

Before merrily driving the car off of the lot, inspect it closely. Mark any visible imperfections on the form supplied by the driveaway company. Look at the car from various angles — often you can’t see a “ding” from straight on.

Iran's car fleet is very old, it's difficult to get new parts because of sanctions. Driveaway cars
Iran’s car fleet is very old, it’s difficult to get new parts because of sanctions. You can’t drive these cars across the US either. Max Hartshorne photo.

Delivering Your Vehicle to its Destination

After your epic overland journey ends, it will be time to surrender your faithful sedan to the person who owns all the home furnishings stuffed in the trunk.

At the border of China and Mongolia, some of the classic cars in the race await their turn to cross.
At the border of China and Mongolia, some of the classic cars in the race await their turn to cross.

Call ahead to make sure the owner will be home — you can’t just leave the car and put the keys in the mailbox. You need a signature to get your deposit back from the nearest driveaway office (it will be a check, not cash, and you can also trust them to send it back).

Clean the car before delivery, vacuuming out the remnants of roadside meals, if necessary. Hopefully, the pleased owner will offer to drive you to a train or bus station.

Don’t count on this, however. Research your return to public transport, carry a few taxi phone numbers, and leave your luggage in a locker at the nearest train/bus station.

That way, if the owner looks at the travel clothes you’ve been wearing for three days, grabs a bottle of Lysol and heads for his vehicle, you’ll be ready to get on the road again — without your trusted Pontiac.

The classic cars that are such a symbol of Cuba are mostly used for taxis for tourists.
The classic cars that are such a symbol of Cuba are mostly used for taxis for tourists.

What Happens if I Damage the Car?

If you damage the car or are at fault in an accident, insurance will cover the car, but you will probably lose your deposit.

Minor mechanical repairs are paid for by the driver, who is reimbursed by the owner. For major repairs, the driveaway company must be consulted, and the owner pays upfront.

Where Do I Get a Driveaway Car?

For local agencies, check the Yellow Pages under “Auto Transporters.” But your best bet is to go through a national company such as SGT Auto Transport.

Please DO NOT CONTACT GoNOMAD.COM ABOUT DRIVEAWAYS.

We do not list them nor can we help you book them.

See links above to answer your questions.

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56 thoughts on “Drive Across the USA with Auto Driveaway Cars

  1. This passage explains “driveaway” services that offer a free car, gas, and planned route in exchange for driving someone else’s car long distance.

    Here’s a breakdown:

    Companies match drivers with cars that need to be relocated.
    Cars are usually in good condition, but don’t expect luxury vehicles.
    You get a free car, gas for the initial tank, and a planned route.
    You must be over 23, have a clean driving record, and leave a deposit.
    Follow the assigned route and timeline or risk losing your deposit.
    Some flexibility in route and schedule might be possible.

  2. It highlights an exciting opportunity for those who aspire to embark on cross-country road trips but may not have the means to own a car. Thanks!

    1. I was a driver for this service. Went from Srom San Diego to Detroit area. And another time from Los Angeles to Boston area and then to Daytona Beach and then to Dallas, TX and from Dallas, TX, back home. Very good vacation traveling.

  3. i am a retired over the road truckdriver and am looking to drive a vehicle from western ny state to the tampa fl area … thank you…

  4. Hello My husband, daughter and I are looking to drive from Seattle on the 13th of August down to San Francisco on the 23/24th August. My husband is an exceptional driver and we would love to see more of this amazing country (We are originally Australian, now living in NY). And would love to help someone out if they need their car transported while we do it.

  5. Hi, I am looking to road trip across America, from Texas to NYC. I am a 25 Y/O female with a spotless driving license. If anyone is in need of a vehicle transporter, please get in touch! I would love to drive your car.

  6. Hello! My boyfriend and I are looking to drive from either New York to San Francisco or San Francisco to New York sometime in July. We are very flexible with time and dates. Both have a clean driving record and are very safe. If you have a car that needs to be driven this route please let me know!

    1. hate to say, the auto driveaway people no longer let regular people drive these cars now they use only professional drivers. Try posting to Craig’s list on either end.

      1. YOUR COMPANY SUCK’S BIG TIME.
        FREEKEN MONEY HOGS. YOU HAVE TO BE DUMMEST DIVER TO HIRE WITH YOUR FIRM. CLEAN YOUR OWN DAM CARS, AND THE CUSTOMER, ALWAYS COVERS ALL COST CLUDING INS. COVERAGE ON THE DRIVER, AND VEHICLE, IN
        HOTEL, AND FOOD…..YOU ARE TRYING TO STAB THE CLIENT, AND THE DRVERS….CROOKS.
        .I DROVE FOR YOUR FIRM IN 70′, IT WAS A PLESENT EXPERINCE. JUST BECAUSE THE DRIVER DRIVES THE CLIENTS CAR, FOR YOUR FRIM, DOESNT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO HOLD THEM RESPONSIBLE.. ITS YOUR DAMD FIRM. AND THAT CRAP ABOUT A $DEPOSIT IS BULLCRAP. TEXT ME BACK IF YOU THINK IT WOULD BE WORTH YOUR TIME..I, DOUT IT.

  7. My wife and I are looking at the possibilities to drive another individuals car from Louisville area to SF Bay area in early May. We are both in excellent health, with clean driving records, no criminal record, excellent credit and prior military career. pls let us know your opportunities.

  8. I am in Chicago visiting and planning on returning to Los Angeles mid January 2021. I have a flight booked, but thought a drive might be a good way to reduce my exposure to COVID. Let me know if you need a vehicle driven (manual or automatic) to the Los Angeles area.

  9. I’ve found someone to drive my mom’s car to Florida but now I’m looking for a sample contract. Does anyone have one they are willing to share?

  10. i am looking for a car to drive from the charlotte north carolina area to california, los angeles area. i could also drive to austin, texas.
    curtis

  11. Hello
    I’m Emanuele, I have to move to LA by June 25th , I currently live in NYC .

    I’ll like to drive a cross country and I’ll be happy to bring someone’s car to LA in 3-4 days down to California.

    Please let me know if anyone is interested it the offer and from there we can get over details.
    Thank you
    Ciao

  12. The pictures of your cars are beautiful, and am drooling already. I hope that I would see more of this when next do I visit your site. Please keep the good work, thanks for creating this site.

  13. Very helpful and Great information,we appreciate advising especially coming from a professional.
    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

    1. 10/20/2021 @ 11:00 am I was informed to be in NYC from Orlando Florida, by 11/01/2021 morning. Looking for a way to get there before Nov. if possible. Willing to drive your car there for you.

    1. Need to return to Philadelphia to finish moving to Texas. Looking for a vehicle to drive from Austin or Dallas TX area to Philadelphia/NJ/NY area around November 30th – December 20th. Licensed and insured 64 Y/O Male, spotless driving record, no accidents in over 500,000+ miles, non smoker, non drinker, US Navy Veteran.

      Please let me know. I can drive anything from a small car to a non CDL required truck.

      Thanks

      Tom

  14. Hi there, I am planning to drive from Seattle (end of August) to Chicago (ultimate arrival date September 4th). If anyone needs their car to be driven that direction, contact me and let’s talk! Thanks Gábor

    1. Hi, we’re two responsible guys, able and ready to bring a car from NYC to LA in mid august or LA to NYC late August. Thanx! Jake.

  15. HI there! I am planning to drive from Northern US (Quebec, Ontario, NY, VT, NH, or PA out of Canada)(1st week July) to Az, Nv, or Ca. If anyone needs their car to be driven that direction, contact me and let’s talk! Thanks Scott

  16. Hi Kimie,

    I’m headed from Western Mass to Seattle soon. I’d be able to drive your car. Would you be available to pay for gas. If you could help with a train ticket to and from the drop off points that would be ideal.

    I have a clean driving record and plenty of experience driving cross-country.

    I hope all of your logistics are going well!
    email me at any time
    shgregory.vaipl@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    Shawn

  17. A veteran who has VA loan entitlement wouldn’t be extending this benefit to anyone else, but he or she could look to have the new spouse as a co-borrower on a new VA loan. You can talk with a Veterans United loan specialist in more detail call or WhatsApp (431) 300-7649

  18. Hi I’m interested in a one-time drive from New Orleans to Minneapolis at the end of June. If there is a need for your car to be transported on this route, do let me know. Thanks

  19. I’m not completely understanding…Do drivers get paid per mile, or per day, or at all? Are all expenses, except the first tank of gas, on the driver? Do most drivers get another driving job to return home, or is it necessary to use other transportation, such as a bus or flying? Are those expenses the responsibility of the driver, or are they reimbursed? Are most people doing this for experience of the drive, or do they actually make money? Can a couple do this, or are only singles allowed?

  20. Is anyone traveling from AZ to NC? Do you want a free car for your travel?

    We have a owner who wants to transport their car from AZ to NC. If you are traveling you get a free car!! You can even get paid for your travel. Visit eFravel.com and bid on it. Good luck,

  21. Hi Tony,

    eFravel has some cars that the owners want to transport from east coast and midwest to the west coast in June. Not sure if that timing would work for you.

    You can also register as a driver and put in your request in eFravel. We will do an active search for people who want to transport their car in your route and try to match up with you.

    Please visit http://www.efravel.com

    1. Hi Jason,

      My name is Shawn. That route would work well for me. Ideal timing for me would be to leave around the 18th of this month.
      Could you cover gas? I’m able to cover my room and food costs etc.

      Ultimately I’m headed up to Seattle. If you could help with a train ticket north after delivering the car, that would be ideal.
      I have a clean driving record and plenty of experience with cross-country driving.

      Thanks !
      Contact me any time.
      shgregory.vaipl@gmail.com

  22. I would love, love, love! To get started right away! I am a recently semi- retired empty nester and am ready for a change!

  23. Hi Edward,
    Can you go to http://www.efravel.com, register as a driver and post your requirements. We will try to find a vehicle for you, Are you willing to drive from San Jose to Atlanta. We can try to find a car for you. Good Luck.

  24. I called the 800 number but only got voice mail & no option to speak with a live person.
    I’m always suspicious of these unprofessional practices, like doing business with someone who only has a PO Box for an address.
    Is this a real company?

  25. Hello,
    My name is Purnima Kotiya and my husband Jayesh Kotiya. We are Cary, NC residents since last 35 years. We are seniors with a clean driving records.

    1. Hi Purnima,

      We have a car listing in efravel.com that needs to be transported from Rayleigh to Spokane. See if you are interested.
      Good luck.

  26. I am a used car dealer in DeBary FL. I need transportation to Richmond VA. in the next 5 days but would like to forgo the deposit requirement! 70 years old clean driving record X OTR Driver 3 million miles in my life time Was a 18 wheeler over the road instuctor And gave road tests ! Droce a couple drive aways before with out deposit Thx Jim

  27. Im very interested I have over 23 years experience as a limousine driver and 3 years of uber driver I’m very professional when I delivered the car to my client I will be in a suit I have a great driving record I’m almost 50 and I have drove every car you imagine I also drove 50% celebrates you seen on the tv have a blessed day

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