- Shipping a Car to Alaska for Military Personnel
- Choosing a Reliable Car Shipping Company
- Necessary Documentation
- Special Procedures and Regulations
- Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipment
- The Process of Shipping a Car to Alaska
- Booking the Shipment
- Preparing Your Vehicle
- Pick-Up and Delivery
- Costs of Shipping a Car to Alaska
- Military Discounts for Car Shipping
- Understanding Military Discounts
- How to Avail Military Discounts
- Companies Offering Military Discounts
- Maximizing Your Savings
Shipping a car to Alaska can be a challenging task, especially for military members who are relocating due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) order. Understanding the process and choosing a reliable military car shipping service can alleviate much of the stress associated with this task. As part of the military's commitment to helping its personnel, there are specific procedures and allowances in place to assist in the transport of privately owned vehicles (POVs) to new duty stations, including those in Alaska. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to help military members navigate the intricacies of shipping a car to Alaska.
Shipping a Car to Alaska for Military Personnel
Choosing a Reliable Car Shipping Company
Selecting a trustworthy military auto transport company is the first step in the process. Look for a company that specializes in military car shipping services and has extensive experience handling such shipments. A company that understands the unique needs and challenges faced by military personnel during a PCS move can provide valuable support. Look for companies that have positive reviews, particularly from other military members. Ensure they offer services like door-to-door delivery and options for shipping a car overseas if necessary.
Before you can ship your vehicle, you'll need to gather the necessary documentation. This typically includes military orders indicating your new duty station, proof of ownership of the vehicle, and proof of insurance. The specific documents required may vary depending on the car shipping company you choose. It's advisable to check with the company beforehand to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork ready. Additionally, some companies may require a power of attorney if the military member is not available to drop off or pick up the vehicle.
Special Procedures and Regulations
Military personnel are entitled to ship one privately owned vehicle (POV) at the government's expense when they receive a PCS order. This benefit applies to all branches of the military, including the Air Force. The vehicle must meet certain size and weight restrictions, and personal items cannot be shipped inside the vehicle.
Several car shipping companies offer military discounts as a way of thanking military members for their service. These discounts can significantly reduce the cost of shipping a car, so it's worth asking about them when you're getting quotes.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipment
Properly preparing your vehicle for shipment can help ensure a smooth shipping process. The vehicle should be clean, both inside and out, and all personal items should be removed. The fuel tank should be no more than one-quarter full. Alarms should be disabled, and any loose parts or specialty items, like spoilers or fog lights, should be secured or removed. Check the vehicle's tire pressure and fluid levels, and make sure the battery is fully charged. Document the condition of the vehicle before shipping, taking photographs of any existing damage. This will be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim for damage that occurs during shipping.
The Process of Shipping a Car to Alaska
Shipping a vehicle to Alaska as a service member involves a series of steps, each crucial to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process.
Booking the Shipment
Once you've chosen a reliable car transport company that specializes in military PCS vehicle shipping, the next step is booking the shipment. You'll need to provide necessary details such as the pick-up and delivery locations, the type of vehicle you're shipping, and your desired shipping dates. It's crucial to book your shipment well in advance, especially if you're moving during the busy summer months when many military families are executing PCS moves.
Preparing Your Vehicle
As previously mentioned, preparing your vehicle for shipment is an essential step. Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle, leave only a quarter tank of fuel, and ensure the vehicle is clean and in good working condition. Any specialty items or loose parts should be secured or removed. Don't forget to document the vehicle's condition before shipping, including taking photographs of any existing damage. This can be crucial if you need to file an insurance claim for damage that occurs during transit.
Pick-Up and Delivery
On the day of pick-up, the auto shipping company will inspect your vehicle, noting its condition on a Bill of Lading, which you should review and sign. The company will then load your vehicle onto the carrier and begin the journey to Alaska.
Upon arrival at your new duty station, another inspection will take place to check for any damage that might have occurred during transit. Make sure to compare the vehicle's condition with the Bill of Lading from the pick-up inspection. If you notice any new damage, report it immediately to the car shipping company.
Costs of Shipping a Car to Alaska
The cost of shipping a car to Alaska can vary depending on several factors, including the distance of the shipment, the size and weight of the vehicle, and the time of year. According to recent data, military car shipping usually costs between $0.40 and $1 per mile, with longer shipping routes generally having lower per-mile rates.
As a service member, you're entitled to ship one privately owned vehicle (POV) at the government's expense when you receive a PCS order. This benefit can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses for car shipment. Additionally, many car shipping companies offer military discounts, which can further reduce the cost.
If you need to ship additional vehicles, you'll have to cover these costs. It's wise to budget around $1000 to $2500 per vehicle for this purpose. Remember to get quotes from several companies to ensure you're getting the best price. But don't base your decision solely on cost; the reputation and reliability of the car transport company are equally important.
Keep in mind that while the military might cover the cost of shipping your car, they typically won't cover the cost of shipping personal belongings inside the vehicle. So, it's essential to remove all personal items before the vehicle is picked up for shipment.
Military Discounts for Car Shipping
Understanding Military Discounts
Military discounts are a token of appreciation and respect for the brave service members who protect our nation. Many businesses, including car shipping companies, offer special discounts for military personnel. These discounts can help to significantly reduce the cost of getting a vehicle shipped, especially when relocating to a new duty station.
How to Avail Military Discounts
To avail of a military discount, you will typically need to provide proof of your military service. This could be a military ID, a VA card, or a DD Form 214. Once you've verified your military status, the discount will be applied to your shipping quote. It's always advisable to ask about military discounts when contacting car shipping companies for quotes.
Companies Offering Military Discounts
Several car shipping companies are known for their military discounts. These include top brands that have a strong reputation for providing reliable and high-quality services to military customers. They understand the unique needs of military families during relocation and strive to make the process as smooth as possible.
When researching car shipping companies, look for those that explicitly state they offer military discounts. Don't hesitate to reach out to these companies directly to learn more about their military discount policies and how you can benefit from them.
Maximizing Your Savings
Besides availing of military discounts, there are other ways to maximize your savings when shipping a vehicle. For instance, you might choose to ship your car during the off-peak season when demand is lower, and prices are more competitive. Additionally, consider terminal-to-terminal shipping, which can be cheaper than door-to-door shipping. However, remember to balance cost with convenience and the safety of your vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the military ship vehicles for free?
Yes, the military typically covers the cost of shipping one privately owned vehicle for service members who are relocating due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) order. However, any additional vehicles would need to be shipped at the service member's expense.
What is the process for getting my vehicle shipped to a new duty station?
Once you've received your PCS orders, you can contact a reliable car shipping company that specializes in military relocations. They will guide you through the process, which includes booking the shipment, preparing your vehicle for shipping, and arranging for pick-up and delivery.
Do car shipping companies offer military discounts?
Yes, many car shipping companies offer military discounts as a token of appreciation for the sacrifices made by our service members. These discounts can significantly reduce the cost of shipping a vehicle, especially when relocating to a new duty station.
How can I maximize my savings when shipping a vehicle?
Apart from availing of military discounts, consider shipping your vehicle during the off-peak season when prices are more competitive. Also, terminal-to-terminal shipping can be cheaper than door-to-door shipping, although it may be less convenient.
What should I do if my vehicle is damaged during shipping?
If your vehicle is damaged during shipping, report it immediately to the car shipping company. You should have documented the condition of your vehicle before shipping, and this will be crucial when filing an insurance claim. Most reputable car shipping companies offer insurance coverage for damages that occur during transit.