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Thread: Options on DD vehicle transport from East to West

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Options on DD vehicle transport from East to West

    Options on vehicle transport from East to West


    My son is going to be working in CA for 4-5 months this fall and obviously wants to have transport while he is there


    The initial thought is to transport his VW Touareg via some sort of Auto Transport Co from ATL to San Fran at $xxx. Combine that with CA gas prices on a 16 mpg vehicle and the return trip and it's an expensive proposition, so we are looking at options.


    Opt. 1 Buy a cheap, good mpg car here, and ship it there and back.
    Opt. 2 buy a cheap, good mpg car there and sell it before he leaves. Maybe even a Carmax car
    Opt. 3 public transport to work and rent a car/ use Zip car at weekends (He is outdoorsy so will want to go hiking, climbing etc )

    Opt. 4 - Drive Treg or cheap car from ATL SF himself


    I looked at the Amtrak Autotrain but it seems to be east coast only.





    Anyone have any other out-of-the-box suggestions?
    Dermot
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  2. #2
    Nothing witty here lest it offend
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Posts:    915

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangermouse View Post
    Options on vehicle transport from East to West


    My son is going to be working in CA for 4-5 months this fall and obviously wants to have transport while he is there


    The initial thought is to transport his VW Touareg via some sort of Auto Transport Co from ATL to San Fran at $xxx. Combine that with CA gas prices on a 16 mpg vehicle and the return trip and it's an expensive proposition, so we are looking at options.


    Opt. 1 Buy a cheap, good mpg car here, and ship it there and back.
    Opt. 2 buy a cheap, good mpg car there and sell it before he leaves. Maybe even a Carmax car
    Opt. 3 public transport to work and rent a car/ use Zip car at weekends (He is outdoorsy so will want to go hiking, climbing etc )

    Opt. 4 - Drive Treg or cheap car from ATL SF himself


    I looked at the Amtrak Autotrain but it seems to be east coast only.





    Anyone have any other out-of-the-box suggestions?
    Whenever I found myself in this situation, I flew to my destination, bought the best first gen Miata I could get on C/L for the money, (Say, $3,500) and then drove it back home and sold it.

    The problem is in CA is that you will likely be buying an older car that might not pass smog. Temp tags?

  3. #3
    Mr. Pickles-mobile Shep's Avatar
    Join Date:  Sep 2011

    Location:  Middleburg Heights, OH

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    Two family road trips spaced 4-5 months apart? Maybe I'm missing something, but what's wrong with driving his car to CA for the 4-5 months he's there then back again when he's done? It just seems wasteful to spend money on a transport when it's already fully drivable and he is himself going to live there upon arrival.

    16 MPG isn't great, sure, but is it worth a brand new car over? If it is, then naturally the question becomes why is he working at all? If the costs are sunk into transportation and his time in CA isn't profitable then why go? I certainly hope it's furthering his career at the least, but a job is only good if it pays you enough to put food on the table (DMC NW is going through this now even).

    If you get a new car, good luck working out all the kinks in the car before he leaves, you're looking at sunk costs no matter how you view it. Buying and selling cars months apart is going to lose you on depreciation and mostly on short time on ownership. People question why it's only been five months since you bought it that you're selling and that's a "buyer's beware" even on here.

    For me personally, even if it did advance my career, I don't think I'd do it. If I'm losing money, that's placing a bet that I do not want to make. But I am assuming a lot here and I hope transportation isn't a "make or break" thing (I still wouldn't risk it if something that minor was though).
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