There are companies that provide a service by delivering other
people's cars. These companies are known as "driveaway companies".
The people who drive the cars are mostly leisure travelers, who pay
for their own gas but effectively get a "free" car to transport
themselves to their destination.
The driveaway company will attempt to match drivers to cars. They will
set limits on the routes to be taken, and an overall mileage limit, so
there won't be any opportunity to do significant side-trips - but
you'll be able to sightsee attractions that are close to your line of
There will also be an allotted time, for example it might be eight to
ten days from New York to Los Angeles. Most driveaway companies work
on a maximum daily distance of around 400 miles, which seems
compatible with your desired trip duration, and most quote a minimum
age of 21 so you should be OK there.
You will be driving a car belonging to someone who is willing to pay
to have it moved - so it's quite possible you will be driving a
prestige car such as a BMW or Lexus.
The driveaway concept is well-described at this page from Independent Traveler:
Several companies offering driveaways are listed on the above page.
More companies can be found in the Yellow Pages, under headings such
as "Autos, Driveaway" and "Automobile Transporters" (although only
some of the latter do driveaways, so do ask about this first when you
A good site to start with is The Auto Driveaway Co:
Auto Driveaway Co
They have an online list of available vehicles
although it's only updated weekly so you really need to make specific
enquiries to see if they can meet your needs. Their site also includes
an online driver application form.
Even if there is no direct car available, you may find that you can
complete your journey by doing two separate driveaways, with one
starting where the other finishes.
For further information, there is a detailed article in the St Petersburg Times:
Travel for free in a driveaway car
Auto Driveaways (USA & Canada) FAQ
Driveaway in Someone Else's Car
Auto Driveaway ? Truckaway
(click the "Drivers" link near the bottom right)
Google Search Strategy:
"distance from new york to seattle"
The above query did not yield the answer I was looking for, so I also
tried it (successfully) at Ask Jeeves:
distance from new york to seattle