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Does The Military Ship Your Car for Free


As a member of the military, you need to get used to moving around. However, when it comes to relocating, there’s a lot more involved than moving your belongings from point A to point B. What can you do about your car, for example? It’s going to be much more convenient if you can take it with you but will the military pay to ship your car?

There are a few things you need to know if you want to take your car with you when you relocate. This post will clear up any confusion and answer that all-important question: “Does the military pay for car shipping?”

Understanding the military jargon

Before we start looking at the process of shipping your car, there are some acronyms you need to be familiar with.

  • CONUS: Continental United States
  • OCONUS: Outside Continental United States 
  • PCS: Permanent Change of Station
  • PDS: Permanent Duty Station
  • POV: Privately Owned Vehicle
  • TO: Transportation Office 

With the jargon out of the way, it’s time to consider the process of shipping your car when you’re in the military.

The most common options for military relocations

  • Personally procured move (PPM): This was previously known as the do-it-yourself move. Military personnel are responsible for packing and moving their belongings, but the government reimburses the cost. 
  • Government-issued transport company: With this option, the government typically covers the cost of one POV transport and the military makes the car shipping arrangements on your behalf. 

The military will cover and authorize military members' international car shipping needs, but if you want a specific service such as guaranteed pick-up date, a personally procured move may suit your needs better.  

Get your orders and talk to your transportation office

Before you can start thinking about making any car shipping decisions, you've first got to receive your orders. Your active duty orders determine what you’re entitled to and whether the military ships your car for free. 

It’s a good idea to meet with Transportation Office counselors as they will know the most up-to-date information and the ins and outs of losing and gaining installations. 

For example, there may be a backlog at your new base which means your vehicle might not arrive in time for you to report at your PDS. In such cases, they may be able to offer advice on applying for government funds not normally available for CONUS moves.

See if you’re eligible for POV entitlements

It makes sense to take advantage of any financial help available, in particular, money that the federal government is willing to put towards your PCS. 

Military personnel are usually able to ship one POV OCONUS and it will be paid for by the government. However, to qualify for CONUS-CONUS funding, you have to own a second vehicle.

The following requirements apply:

  • CONUS-CONUS POV entitlement only applies to HHG moves. To find out more, you should check the Military Joint Travel Regulations, under a section entitled, HHG Transportation Related to Categories of Travel. 
  • Money is only available if you have two cars. You can only ship one car for free if you’re transferring overseas.
  • There must be more than one driver in the family and according to the TO, the drivers have to be married. 
  • Another requirement is that members of the family must travel together. In other words, everyone loads into the first car and the second vehicle is shipped at the same time. 

As you might expect, there may be exceptions to the rules. The best way to check that you are eligible for available funding is to talk with your TO.   

Find a military car shipping company

If you qualify for government funding, you can leave all the logistics in the hands of the military. For those who don’t qualify, you’re responsible for the cost and also have the responsibility of finding a military auto transport company of your own. 

We’re pleased to inform you that SGT Auto Transport has been successfully shipping vehicles for members of the military for many years. If you want to know how much it will cost to ship your car, use our instant quote calculator. 

Get your quote today!

If you want to know more about shipping your car when you’re in the military, our shipping advisors are always available to help. Speak with them directly by calling (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat

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