- Background on Military Relocation
- Military Entitlements for Car Shipping
- How to Arrange Car Shipping
- Choosing a Reliable Car Shipping Company
- Cost Factors and Saving Tips
When it comes to military relocation, one question often arises: does the military ship your car? The simple answer is yes, but there are certain conditions and protocols that apply. The process of military PCS vehicle shipping generally falls under the responsibility of the military member being relocated. However, the military provides specific allowances and resources to aid in this process. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on this topic for military personnel and their families.
Background on Military Relocation
Military relocations, often referred to as Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or Temporary Duty (TDY) moves, are a common part of life for military members and their families. These moves can occur every few years and involve relocating to a new duty station, sometimes even overseas.
Such relocations often necessitate the transportation of personal belongings, including vehicles. For military personnel, the prospect of moving a car from one location to another can be daunting, especially when the move is cross-country or international. This is where the concept of military car shipping comes into play.
Car shipping is a process that involves transporting a vehicle via truck, ship, or even plane from one location to another. It's a service that has become increasingly crucial for military members undergoing a PCS or TDY move, providing them with a convenient and hassle-free way to have their vehicle waiting for them at their new duty station.
However, while the military does facilitate and partially subsidize this process, it's important to note that the responsibility of organizing the car shipping generally falls on the individual military member. The military does provide resources and guidelines to help in this process, ensuring that military personnel can navigate this aspect of their relocation with ease.
Military Entitlements for Car Shipping
When it comes to military car shipping, the U.S. Department of Defense offers certain entitlements to assist military members. These entitlements are designed to cover some of the costs associated with shipping a car during a PCS move.
Specifically, for overseas PCS moves, military personnel are typically entitled to ship one privately owned vehicle (POV) at the government's expense. This applies to locations where the use of personal vehicles is deemed practical and appropriate. For domestic PCS moves within the continental U.S., the military does not typically cover the cost of car shipping, and the responsibility falls on the military member.
It's important to note that these entitlements come with certain restrictions. For instance, the vehicle must be owned by the military member or their dependent and be for personal use. Any costs related to shipping additional vehicles or oversized vehicles will fall on the military member.
In addition to these entitlements, many military auto transport companies offer military discounts, further reducing the cost of car shipping for military families. These discounts can vary between companies, so it's worth shopping around to find the best deal.
Understanding these entitlements and how to take advantage of them is an essential part of planning a military relocation. With the right knowledge and preparation, military personnel can make the process of shipping their car to their new duty station as smooth and cost-effective as possible.
How to Arrange Car Shipping
Arranging a car shipping during a military relocation might seem complicated, but with the right information and planning, it can be a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Contact your transportation office: Your first step should be to contact the transportation office at your current duty station. They will provide you with the necessary guidance on the process of military PCS vehicle shipping and help you understand your entitlements.
- Choose a military auto transport company: Look for a reputable company that specializes in military car shipping. Ensure they offer a military discount and have a good track record of handling military shipments.
- Prepare your vehicle: Before shipping, remove all personal items from your car. Ensure it's in good working condition - check the battery, tires, and fluid levels. Document any existing damage with photographs for reference.
- Understand your insurance coverage: Most car shipping companies provide insurance during transport. Make sure to understand the coverage details, and consider additional insurance if necessary.
- Schedule your shipment: Coordinate with the shipping company to schedule pickup and delivery dates. Keep in mind that the exact dates may depend on factors like distance and shipping method.
Choosing a Reliable Car Shipping Company
Selecting a reliable military car shipping company is crucial. A reputable company will have experience with military relocations and understand the unique needs and challenges of service members. When choosing a company, consider the following factors:
- Experience and Reputation: Look for companies that are well-established in the industry and have positive reviews from past customers.
- Military Discount: Many companies offer discounts to military personnel. Ask about these discounts and how you can avail them.
- Insurance Coverage: Check what level of insurance coverage the company provides during transport.
- Customer Service: A good company will have responsive customer service that can answer your questions and address your concerns promptly.
Cost Factors and Saving Tips
The cost of car shipping can vary depending on several factors, including the distance of the move, the size of the vehicle, and the time of year. However, there are ways to save money:
- Military Discount: As mentioned previously, many shipping companies offer military discounts. Be sure to ask about this when getting a quote.
- Early Booking: Booking your shipment well in advance can often secure you a better rate.
- Compare Quotes: Get quotes from multiple companies to ensure you're getting the best price.
- Off-Peak Season: If possible, try to schedule your shipment during off-peak seasons when demand is lower.
In conclusion, while the military does facilitate and provide entitlements for car shipping during PCS moves, the responsibility largely falls on the service member. With careful planning and the right resources, military personnel can navigate this process smoothly and ensure their vehicle arrives safely at their new duty station.