The Auto Train with a new car

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Dakota 400

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I have qualms about booking Auto Train with a new car during my return home from Florida this Winter.

I'd appreciate learning others thoughts about my concern. Thank you.
 

cocojacoby

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May 13, 2014
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Yeah, what is your concern? You think us Auto Train passengers all drive crappy old cars?
 

bratkinson

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One idea would be to take pictures of your car in the waiting line at Auto Train. That way, if it comes out at the destination with any unexpected scrapes or dents, you have proof of when and where the damage must have occurred.

But, as anyone who ever bought a new car knows, someday, somewhere, far sooner than expected, the first dings will occur! Whether it's the first week or two or even a month or so, they WILL happen. That's one of the advantages of driving an older car. I don't care if I get another ding or two, or three. I even have a can of custom matched paint to fix them!
 

dlagrua

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Not sure if they still do it but last time on the Autotrain an Amtrak employee took videos around all of the cars when you dropped them off. If you are that concerned you can take the video yourself but I would believe that problems are rare.
 

RichieRich

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Not sure if they still do it but last time on the Autotrain an Amtrak employee took videos around all of the cars when you dropped them off..
Absolutely still do. And they point out things when filming that I've never noticed! There are those people that falsely claim damage for a pre-existing condition...should be charged with fraud. I've taken classic cars down to shows in FL with no problem. Why is it their biggest guy loading my 55 Tbird? LOL LOL
 

Dakota 400

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There is a video on YouTube of an employee doing exactly that.
Absolutely still do. And they point out things when filming that I've never noticed! There are those people that falsely claim damage for a pre-existing condition...should be charged with fraud. I've taken classic cars down to shows in FL with no problem. Why is it their biggest guy loading my 55 Tbird? LOL LOL
One idea would be to take pictures of your car in the waiting line at Auto Train. That way, if it comes out at the destination with any unexpected scrapes or dents, you have proof of when and where the damage must have occurred.

But, as anyone who ever bought a new car knows, someday, somewhere, far sooner than expected, the first dings will occur! Whether it's the first week or two or even a month or so, they WILL happen. That's one of the advantages of driving an older car. I don't care if I get another ding or two, or three. I even have a can of custom matched paint to fix them!
I have seen that video and am glad that Amtrak is still doing that.

Thanks bratkinson for the suggesting of taking photos of the car after arrival at the Auto Train terminal.
 

mmatarella

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Mar 26, 2014
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I have been using the Auto Train since before Amtrak ran it dozens of trips and never experienced any damage. That said walk around and examine it before you drive off.
 

seat38a

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I have just taken delivery of the most expensive car that I have ever owned. Keeping it in the best condition without dings, etc. is what I am hoping to do.
Totally understand your feeling. Obviously some people haven't bought a brand spanking new car before or they have no qualms about getting dings and dents before the first payment.

My parents bought a new Lexus and I bought a new car. We did a road trip to Texas and back with intermediate stops along the way this past August. Lets just say neither one of us were volunteering our cars for the trip. I rented a Camry at Hertz for the trip, since we were still in the honeymoon phase of the purchase and would rather throw our own bodies in front of the car to protect it. :D

Lets just say, I did things to that Camry that I would never do to my own car. :D
 

F900ElCapitan

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I have qualms about booking Auto Train with a new car during my return home from Florida this Winter.

I'd appreciate learning others thoughts about my concern. Thank you.
Ha! I thought you were talking about the upcoming Cross Country Cafe cars joining the Auto Train! :p
 

Devil's Advocate

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I have just taken delivery of the most expensive car that I have ever owned. Keeping it in the best condition without dings, etc. is what I am hoping to do.
If it's really that important to you then you might as well leave it at home and keep it away from public streets. Trained and insured Amtrak staff would seem to be the least of your worries.

Obviously some people haven't bought a brand spanking new car before or they have no qualms about getting dings and dents before the first payment.
Every car I've ever owned was purchased brand new. The key is to not drive something so expensive that damaging it keeps you up at night.
 

seat38a

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I have just taken delivery of the most expensive car that I have ever owned. Keeping it in the best condition without dings, etc. is what I am hoping to do.
Not sure if the Auto Train lets you choose where they load your car like shippers do when you have your car moved by road. When you pay to have your car shipped cross country, you pay more to have your car on the top rack since it eliminates the chances of road debris and corrosive fluids dripping on your paint from the car above. I'd be more worried about whats dripping onto your new car more than it getting dinged up.
 

seat38a

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One idea would be to take pictures of your car in the waiting line at Auto Train. That way, if it comes out at the destination with any unexpected scrapes or dents, you have proof of when and where the damage must have occurred.

But, as anyone who ever bought a new car knows, someday, somewhere, far sooner than expected, the first dings will occur! Whether it's the first week or two or even a month or so, they WILL happen. That's one of the advantages of driving an older car. I don't care if I get another ding or two, or three. I even have a can of custom matched paint to fix them!
Not sure how Amtrak would handle it, but my previous car was hit my the mailman. His supervisor came out to the scene and they took full responsibility for it since the mailman hit a parked car in my driveway. Well they dragged it along for 2 years and then claimed statue of limitation had run out for compensation from the Federal Government and said that I could still sue them in federal court. All nicely sent via certified mail. :rolleyes:

Last year, I got a notice for a parking ticket for a car I no longer own from a city many counties way from me. To contest it, I had to send proof that the car was sold and the DMV no longer considered me responsible for the car. Well, they cashed the check and then sent me a letter explaining that proof of sale and notice from the DMV wasn't enough and that they were going to keep the money as fine paid. Also in the letter, it explained that if I didn't agree with it I could file a civil complaint in court which would cost $400.00 dollars to contest a $69.00 parking ticket.
:rolleyes::rolleyes: Not sure any amount of picture taking would expedite compensation when going up against a government entity.
 
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seat38a

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That explains that last Camry rental from Hertz!:D
LOL. Yeah we hiked down to Phantom Ranch and back plus did other stops along the way there and back which did not have paved roads or were covered in gravel, hence not wanting to take new cars. Scratched up the Camry pretty good on gravel. We drove all the way to Amarillo Texas to have steak dinner at The Big Texan Steak Ranch before heading back west. And no I did not do the 72oz steak challenge. :D

Our waitress looked at us like we were crazy when I told her that we drove from California for 1 night in Amarillo TX just for the steak and to see Cadillac Ranch before heading back. :D The two cowboys going around the tables singing and playing guitars for tips thought it was hilarious. Both old men followed girls out to California and had their hearts broken before heading back home to Texas in their younger years. They sang On The Road Again for our table in honor of our road trip and I parted with a $10.00 bill for the song and conversation.
 

Acela150

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I have just taken delivery of the most expensive car that I have ever owned. Keeping it in the best condition without dings, etc. is what I am hoping to do.
Are we talking a new Honda? Or a New BMW? The definition of "the most expensive car I've owned" is broad.

Needless to say the contractors who load and unload the cars take video of each and every car before they even move it. I believe that was stated above.

I read that and got a chuckle out of some of the words used. I've never heard the word "collusion" used so much since the current Presidential Administration took over. LOL!
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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I have just taken delivery of the most expensive car that I have ever owned. Keeping it in the best condition without dings, etc. is what I am hoping to do.
Since such things bother you so intensely, possibly you should have delayed your most expensive purchase, until after your trip?

The reality is, that some where, some time, some thing is going to happen to this car. It could be while you are driving it, or someone else. :eek:
 

Dakota 400

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Every car I've ever owned was purchased brand[/QUOTE]
The key is to not drive something so expensive that damaging it keeps you up at night.
It won't keep me up at night, but I would like to keep it in the best condition possible for the longest period of time.
 

Dakota 400

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Are we talking a new Honda? Or a New BMW? The definition of "the most expensive car I've owned" is broad.
A 2020 Buick Envision with a MSRP somewhat North of $48,000. (I didn't pay nearly that amount, of course.)
 

Dakota 400

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Since such things bother you so intensely, possibly you should have delayed your most expensive purchase, until after your trip?

The reality is, that some where, some time, some thing is going to happen to this car. It could be while you are driving it, or someone else. :eek:

To answer your question: No. I intend to spend quite some time in Florida this Winter and my 2009 LaCrosse has had 4 expensive issues that required repair. One more expensive repair is needed (which impacted my trade-in value; no surprise) and one more possible repair that the service people say need to be done, but of which I am skeptical. All of this since late May. I have been told by many of my friends that "when something major starts to happen with a car, it probably will be a cascade of events". That's my experience.

I'm realistic, I know that something is more likely to happen than not. But, I want to try to be proactive in protecting this investment. A poster mentioned about the possibility of some fluids dripping onto the car if the car is on a lower car carrier rack on the Auto Train. I have purchased a protection plan that will repair such damage if such should happen.

I was an owner of a car that suffered big time acid rain damage in the late '60's and early '70's. Never want to go through the hassles of getting that situation resolved in my favor!
 
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seat38a

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Many of my friends worked as parking valet in college at hotels and shopping malls (It's a CA thing). I was told that this is typical modus operandi for any business that involves touching your car. Fillers and rubbing compound was their weapon of deceit. Sounds like the Amtrak people tried the same trick and failed to get away with it. The whole idea is to get the driver to drive away without noticing at which point they are SOL since it could have happened anywhere outside of the lot. Its not uncommon at Valet only places for the drivers to tip $20 and tell the valet he or she will park their cars themselves. My friend who owns a Porsche is one of them. Won't let any valet touch his car. Its also typical for some valets to refuse to park expensive cars and have the owner do it themselves. Saw this happen with a McLaren couple of months ago at a valet only restaurant in LA.
 
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Dakota 400

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Many of my friends worked as parking valet in college at hotels and shopping malls (It's a CA thing). I was told that this is typical modus operandi for any business that involves touching your car. Fillers and rubbing compound was their weapon of deceit. Sounds like the Amtrak people tried the same trick and failed to get away with it. The whole idea is to get the driver to drive away without noticing at which point they are SOL since it could have happened anywhere outside of the lot. Its not uncommon at Valet only places for the drivers to tip $20 and tell the valet he or she will park their cars themselves. My friend who owns a Porsche is one of them. Won't let any valet touch his car. Its also typical for some valets to refuse to park expensive cars and have the owner do it themselves. Saw this happen with a McLaren couple of months ago at a valet only restaurant in LA.
seat38a, thank you for your post. Something to think about as I consider what to do.
 
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