Tuesday, March 28, 2006

purely hypothetical

Take note:
If you are moving from car-dependent California to car-INdependent New York, sell your car. Unless you happen to have a super cool car like a Mini Cooper that was custom built just for you.

Of course, your super duper Mini Cooper might have less snow on it.

But, you could use the money, and the car will only cost you more in NY. For example, your car insurance might triple. And you might not be able to move the car across the street and back all the time, so you'll get any number of parking tickets at $45 each. On the other hand, you might be able to move the car, but the only spot is near a fire hydrant. Even though it looks like there is enough room to fit your tiny car there, you will still get a tcket. These ones are about $120 each. It might take you a few times to realize that if the only spot is anywhere near a hydrant, just leave it on the wrong side of the street. It's cheaper.

So, you might decide that since you love your little car with all of your car-heart, it should live in California with your parents. You're sad because you will miss your car, but it's true that you never use it. If you did use it, you would have to pay even more money to have it repaired after the horrible NY roads break a tire rim. Take comfort that even though you won't use your car now, it will be in good hands and you can use it again in a few years (not to mention when you go back to visit).

Step 3: Getting your car BACK across the country

Sure, taking the month off & driving across the country is fun. But it's expensive. Plus, you have a job now. Said job won't even let you have a whole week off when your friend comes to visit, so you very highly doubt that they'll give you even a couple weeks to drive 3000 miles and fly home. You don't want to do that anyway. It would be incredibly boring by yourself, as there is no way you boyfriend can leave law school with finals coming up.

You might start asking your friends & relatives to come visit you, and then drive the Mini back. None of your friends seem too enthused about the idea, for many of the reasons listed above. Or, they are lazy and don't want to learn to drive a stick-shift. This is just as well because you don't want a first-time-stick-user driving your special car for 3000 miles.

Then you might be at your wits' end, so you start investigating car-transport companies. You might find one that is about half the price of the closest competitor (still $800 though). So you may proceed to make arrangements. Your dad should ask for time off from work so he can drive to the bay area and get your car. However, you also might accidentally stumble upon a website dedicated to the ratings of car transport companies. You look yours up and see nothing that is reassuring. There might be horrible horrible reviews, and an average of 0 out of 5 stars. "Average" might mean "every time."

Now you might start freaking out. Your insurance policy ends soon, and you probably don't want to continue paying almost as much as your monthly car payment just for basic coverage every month. So you decide to go with the highest rated companies. You might not be shocked that the price is now $1100 for the cheapest. You narrow it down to this and another company that is $100 more.

You might email both companies for quotes and additional information. The cheaper one might answer all of your emails within minutes, but they might also only have one-line answers like "the driver will call you." You might ask them to expand their answers, but they won't. At this point you may find that you hate them. You also might find that the slightly more expensive company is really nice. Even though they take a couple of days to answer your questions, they might answer them fully and completely, even giving you additional information that you hadn't thought to ask. You might really like this company, but you might also really need that extra $100.

You might try several combinations of places and people so that your car can make it home. You also might find that none of these combinations really works for anybody. An instance is possible that it would cost a lot more money. It could be that at least two people would have to miss work, and one of those people just started her job so she really should have perfect attendance. It might be that the other person would not have a definite window of work-missing time. These could all cause problems.

Then one morning on the way to work, after looking at your beloved Scootey, you might realize an option you had been overlooking. This option might just be the key to your car's CA freedom. Why don't you have the car shipped to your in-laws? In theory, this could solve all of your problems:
They live in a major city, so the price would remain low ("low"). Someone would be home all the time to receive the car. Nobody would miss any work or drive hundreds of miles. And, as an added bonus, they might give you a little help with the paying of it. (You're not going to ask for it, or even expect it, but you know that they've been known to do things like this in the past.)

So you might ask for quotes to the new city from the same companies you were already considering. The more expensive one might be the exact same price. You may have expected this. But the other company, that you already might hate, could send you the following sequence of emails:
1) We'll send you a quote soon!
2) We already gave you a quote.
3) Here's your quote! (same price as before)
4) Here's the actual price. ($50 more expensive)

Being a smart cookie, you will probably notice that now the company you like is only $50 more than the one you hate. You might figure that $50 you can splurge. So you might go ahead and place your order. Of course, you might have yet to notify the future recipients of your car that they have been thus elected. But, you also might be so tired of the whole ordeal that you would like to wash your hands of it. And, you might find that you write a blog about it. You might mean this blog to be short and to the point, but find that this is impossible.


eve said...

Cars in NY are for pussies and cocksuckers. PS I sent my parents an e-mail soliciting sponsorship. Don't know if it'll work.

Mandy said...

i'll drive your car to fresno for free on may 12. seriously.

super des said...

fine. we'll see about that.

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