Military PCS car shipping: Everything you need to know

Military PCS car shipping

When you're serving in the military, you and your family can receive a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) or CONUS (Continental United States) order at any time. While it might be very exciting, you might also feel a certain amount of trepidation. Not only have you got to think about moving all your personal belongings, there’s also the issue of military PCS vehicle shipping to arrange. 

On a positive note, the US Armed Forces sometimes covers the cost of shipping one family car, especially if it’s overseas. However, it can be quite a rigmarole, and there are policies and restrictions to follow. What happens if you've got more than one car, as is often the case? It’s all down to you to find the best car shipping company for military members. This article is going to give you all the information you need to make sure your military PCS car shipping experience is a positive one. 

Your entitlements when you receive a PCS

Members of the military who receive a PCS are entitled to certain concessions. They are entitled to claim the cost of transporting your POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) under certain circumstances. For example, when there's not enough time to drive, the owner is medically unable to drive or has a homeport change.

There are also instances when a DoD civilian employee can transport their vehicle at no cost.

POV transportation is also covered when a military service member retires or is separated. 

Service members and DoD employees should contact their local personal property office if they plan to ship a POV to a new duty station. Address additional questions concerning POV entitlements or shipping rates to the customer’s respective Service as follows:

  • Army: usarmy.ria.asc.list.oco-personal-property@mail.mil 
  • Air Force: ppahq.ppec.customerservice@us.af.mil 
  • Navy: householdgoods@navy.mil
  • Marines: usmcpersonalproperty@usmc.mil 
  • Coast Guard:  HQS-DG-LST-CG-1332-TRAVEL@uscg.mil

The option of a PPM

When you receive a PCS order, there are two options for the transportation of your belongings, including your car. The first is to use military contracted carriers, and the other is to make the arrangements yourself. You might have to hire a truck and drive your belongings to your new location and organize the moving of your car.

For a good number of military personnel, opting into a PPM program (Personally Procured Move), also known as the DIY move, is the obvious choice. The benefits of choosing this route include:

  • Minimizing the risk of loss or damage to your household goods
  • You can move at a time that’s convenient for you and your family
  • You control every aspect of your relocation
  • You might feel a little more motivated to declutter
  • You could be reimbursed the cost of your relocation, provided you're able to produce the right paperwork and receipts

PCS moves often involve long distances, which means driving your car is not the best option. Fortunately, military PCS vehicle shipping is affordable, especially if you’re an active duty service member, retired or reserve professional. Any expenses can be reimbursed under the PPM program. 

Tips for choosing the best car shipping company for military members

Military PCS car shipping

If you’re considering military PCS car shipping your POV between CONUS duty stations, here are some useful tips

Selecting your military PCS vehicle shipping company

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a military PCS car shipping company. Do you, for example, want an open or covered car transport? Would you like to have door-to-door, or base-to-base delivery? If you’re new to shipping your POV, the options can be overwhelming. 

Start by asking in a forum or military spouse Facebook group for recommendations. This kind of research will save you lots of time. Visit some of the top auto transport review sites and read some customer feedback. Armed with some recommendations you can narrow down your choices to 3 or 4 auto transport companies other service members have used and been happy with the experience.

Shipping vehicles to and from a military base is a little bit different than to and from a civilian home. Different rules and regulations apply and the best car shipping company for military members will have experience shipping cars to and from such secure locations as military bases and duty stations. SGT Auto Transport has many years experience and knows just what is required.   

Getting military car shipping rates

Before selecting the best shipping company for military members, you’ll need to get an idea of their military car shipping rates. Most auto transport companies provide instant quotes for free. Here at SGT Auto Transport we provide an online instant quote calculator. You can also contact our dedicated shipping advisors by phone, Live Chat, or email. 

Knowing how much military PCS car shipping costs is important. Relocating because of a PCS move can be very expensive, so you’ll need to keep the cost as low as possible. The cost to ship a car from duty station to duty station will vary. How much you’ll have to pay depends on several factors. These include the size, make, and model of the vehicle, pick-up and delivery locations, how far the vehicle has to travel, and whether the vehicle is in good running order. Another factor is the time of year. You’ll pay less for transport in an open carrier and more if you want your car transported in an enclosed truck. 

When comparing military car shipping rates make sure you check what’s included in the price. Is it all-inclusive? Will you have to pay extra for insurance coverage? A military discount may be available, so make sure you ask. 

You need to follow the carrier’s rules

Auto transport companies have their own rules and guidelines for shipping vehicles. You may need to empty your car completely and clean it both inside and outside before shipping. Other companies will let you put some belongings in the trunk of your vehicle. You may need to show a copy of your orders. Military spouses may need to show a Power of Attorney authorizing shipment of the car. They may require additional insurance to cover any damage during the transportation process. You may have to pay the driver in cash or with certified funds. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’ll save you a lot of headache when the day comes to ship your POV, if you’ve got all the important details of the service. 

How long does military PCS vehicle shipping take?

How long it’ll take before your vehicle arrives depends on the route your vehicle is traveling. You’ll be able to get a ballpark timeline when you make your booking, but that is very much an estimate. 

There are many options that can make the shipping process quicker, such as guaranteed pick-up date and express shipping. A guaranteed pick-up service means your vehicle will start its journey when it’s most convenient for you. Express shipping is an option if time is of the essence and you need your vehicle shipped as quickly as possible.

Check military PCS vehicle shipping experience

This is a crucial element if you want the shipping process to be a smooth one. Check the auto transport company has experience providing military vehicle transport, and are aware of the requirements when picking up and delivering vehicles at a duty station. An experienced military car shipping company will also be more sympathetic to your needs and understand the stress you’re under.

If you’ve got any questions about our military PCS car shipping service pick up the phone and call (864) 546-5038. Our experienced shipping advisors will be more than happy to provide the answers. You can also communicate via email or by using our Live Chat service.

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