When you receive a permanent change of station (PCS), you’ll need to figure out how to transport your privately owned vehicle (POV) to your new base. Luckily, most car shipping companies understand military car shipping needs and can help transport your POV to your next station.
This guide will walk you through the military auto transport process. We’ll go over options for military relocations and what costs to expect.
In This Review:
Overview of Military Car Shipping
Active-duty military personnel are often assigned to new duty stations and bases. The relocation orders can come fairly suddenly, creating a bit of a hassle. On top of finding a new home, a military family has to transport their POVs to a new address.
In some cases, it makes sense to drive your POV to the new location. But if you have to report for duty before completing your move, it may be best to use an auto transport company to ship your car.
Military Car Shipping Process
There are several steps to take when determining how to ship your car to your new permanent duty station (PDS):
Get Your Orders and Gather Materials
You need to get your relocation orders first. Once you know where you’re going, you can talk to your Transportation Office counselors (TOs) to figure out what you may qualify for.
If you’re being transferred outside the continental United States (OCONUS), the government will pay for your vehicle transport. However, if you’re being transferred to another military base in the continental United States (CONUS), you’ll have to foot the bill for POV shipping.
Once you have your orders, gather the following information to have it handy.
- Vehicle details (year, make, model, VIN, and proof of operability)
- Proof of vehicle ownership (registration or title)
- Car insurance policy records
- A driver’s license or passport
- PCS order documentation
Check for POV Entitlements
There’s only so much money the government will allocate to your PCS, so take full advantage. To qualify for reimbursement for a POV shipment within the CONUS, you must:
- Be married. The Department of Defense requires two drivers, and they must be married to each other.
- Have more than one POV. To be eligible for military PCS vehicle shipping reimbursements in the CONUS, service members must have two or more POVs.
- Travel together. Everyone in the family must ride in the same vehicle – not fly.
Find a Military Car Shipping Company
If you qualify for funding, the government will handle all the details and logistics of your transport. If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for finding a company that specializes in military car transport. Most car shipping companies provide military car shipping services. In addition, Sherpa Auto Transport and others offer shipping discounts for members of the military.
Once you find car transport services that meet your needs, use each company’s website tool or shipping calculator to receive free quotes. You can then compare quotes to help you choose a provider.
How Much Does Military Car Shipping Cost?
Because car shipping rates fluctuate based on a number of factors, it’s hard to say exactly what military car shipping costs. Most companies provide tools for getting car shipping quotes online, allowing you to enter information about your vehicle and your shipping needs.
Here’s what you might pay per mile to ship a car with Sherpa Auto Transport:
|Price per Mile
|0 to 500 miles
|$1.32 to $2.75
|501 to 1,000 miles
|$0.88 to $1.55
|1,001 to 1,500 miles
|$0.70 to $1.23
|1,501 to 2,000 miles
|$0.60 to $1
|2,001 to 2,500 miles
|$0.53 to $0.84
|$0.48 to $0.74
In general, the longer the shipping distance, the less you’ll pay per mile. However, shipment details, market conditions, and other factors will affect your price.
Factors that Affect Military Car Shipping Costs
Several things influence car shipping costs, including:
- Time of year: The number of PCS moves peaks during the summer, which, along with January, is when demand for car shipping is at its highest. Moves during these times of year are more expensive.
- Vehicle size: Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, are costlier to ship than sedans or compact cars.
- Time frame: Most vehicle shipping companies offer expedited shipping, but short-notice transport usually costs significantly more than those booked in advance.
- Shipping distance: Long-distance and cross-country shipments cost less per mile but more overall than shorter-distance transports.
- Delivery method: Terminal-to-terminal delivery is less expensive than door-to-door shipping since pickup and drop-off locations are centralized, usually in major cities.
- Transport type: Enclosed auto transport is more expensive than open carrier transport.
- Gas prices: If the cost of fuel increases, so does the cost of car shipping.
Why You Should Choose Sherpa Auto Transport
Sherpa Auto Transport has a stellar reputation in the auto transport industry. We hold an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as well as an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars in the BBB’s customer reviews. We also provide stress-free auto shipping for members of the armed forces by offering a military discount.
Price Lock Promise
Through our Price Lock Promise, Sherpa Auto Transport offers our customers locked-in pricing. This means that if the quoted price isn’t enough to get a carrier for the shipment, Sherpa will cover up to $300 of the difference to help secure transport and preserve your peace of mind.
Military Auto Transport FAQs
Will the military pay to ship my car to Hawaii?
Because Hawaii is OCONUS, the military should cover the expense of shipping your car. However, it’s always best to contact your TO, as restrictions may apply.
Does the military pay for car shipping?
The military will ship your POV OCONUS for free. If your PCS is in the CONUS, you can only qualify for reimbursement if you’re shipping two POVs.
How long does it take to ship a car through the military?
Transit times vary, but it generally takes between one and 14 days to ship a POV. Most car carriers travel about 500 miles per day.