We have some friends (Frank and Lillian) who have been spending their winters in Florida for the past 10 years. They still spend summers in New Jersey with the kids and grandkids.
Last year, they confided that the journey seemed to be getting tougher. They take turns driving, but they are both in their 80s and don’t see well at night. With the short days of winter and driving conditions, which seem to get worse every year . . . they are starting to investigate options of shipping besides driving their car south and back north, south and back again.
We’ve known them since their son started using our services a few years back. So we sat down to talk it over.
Magic Car- Pets
We agreed that while they need the car in Florida, it makes no sense for them to drive 1500 miles each way. Beside the wear-and-tear on their 6-year-old Lexus, it costs money for them to stay in a motel, buy gas, pay for tolls, and eat in restaurants. They arrive in a somewhat exhausted state (and we’re not referring to the great state of Florida).
Of course they wanted to know the shipping cost of the car. Like many of us who remember the Great Depression (or the Great Recession) they are careful about money.
When we gave them a quote, they were pleasantly surprised. « We spend almost that much on the road and that doesn’t include the mileage we’re putting on the car, » said Frank.
They have a Yorkshire terrier, but they said that, these days, the airlines will allow small dogs in crates to be shipped in the passenger section. Suddenly, flying seemed a lot more attractive.
Pay The Toll, Do The Math
Lillian had calculated the cost of driving, and they agreed that it made financial sense to have the car delivered by open transport.
How about the logistics, she asked. Where would the car be picked up? Where would it be delivered to them? When could they expect delivery? Would the car be insured?
We explained that the car would be picked up at their home and would be delivered to a location near their home, if not their home. They have friends, of course, in both places who would be happy to drop them off at the designated time.
We told them to examine the car carefully before it is shipped, and note any scratches, dents or or damages. Our vehicles are fully insured so if any damage occurs on the journey, it would be covered.
We also advised them to remove all accessories such as GPS devices, luggage racks or garage openers. The car should contain at least half a tank of gas and should be checked to make sure it has sufficient fluids for windshield wipers, as well as oil and water.
Because auto transport carriers are often not allowed in residential neighborhoods, we could arrange to have the car delivered to the closest large parking lot. In Frank and Lillian’s case, this would be the Home Depot just around the block from their home.
The couple seemed reassured by what they learned about open carrier auto transport and seasonal transport of automobiles. In fact, they turned to each other at the end of the conversation and said, simultaneously, « Why wait? Let’s have the car shipped home. »
So the story ended with our friends making arrangements to have their faithful Lexus waiting in the driveway when they arrived home in April— as they have done in each shoulder season since then.
Don’t you love being able to help people? It’s what we do.