Shipping your car when you are relocated as part of your military service can be slightly different than when you ship your car as a civilian. You might never have been in the position to keep your current car and have it shipped to your new location while you were serving. If you are able to move your car with you to your new location where you will be serving, you will need to know how the process works.
Shipping a car over a long distance is a complex process that requires careful consideration. It is always helpful to be well-informed before starting the process. Military car shipping can help you relocate your car quickly and easily but there are some things you need to know before you choose this method.
If you are ready to learn more about military car shipping, you need to read on!
Not Every Company Offers Military Vehicle Shipping Services
You will need to know that not every car shipping company offers military shipping services. If you need to have your car picked up at a military base location or if you are trying to ship to a military base in another country, you need to ask if the company that you are thinking of working with can take care of this need. Just asking this question will rule out companies that cannot take care of you on this basis.
Once you have found a company that does offer this kind of service, you might still be limited to certain base locations or the company might not be able to help you ship your car to another military base in another country. These are all good questions to ask when shopping for the right shipping company for your needs.
What Do the Acronyms Mean?
Shipping a car when you are in the military requires that you understand a lot of different acronyms. This is a big part of military life in general and these acronyms follow you into the car shipping reality as well.
- CONUS – Continental United States
- OCNUS – Outside Continental United States
- PCS – Permanent Change of Station
- PDS – Permanent Duty Station
- POV- Privately Owned Vehicle
- TO- Transportation Office
All of these acronyms might come into play when you are planning to move your car to your new location while you are in the military so you will need to be prepared to see them and know what they mean.
Steps to Shipping a Car When you Are in the Military
There are some steps that must be followed to arrange for your car to be shipped when you are an active duty member. You will need to take care that you follow these steps as you are navigating the car shipping process. Surprises to do with the shipping process can be very difficult to attend to when you have a set date that you need to report to your new post and you will want to avoid this kind of trouble at all costs.
1. Get Your Orders
The first step of this process is always getting your orders. You will know when to relocate and the entitlements that you might qualify for once you have your orders. You will need to take your orders to meet with your TO counselor to try to plan your shipping needs right away.
There can be delays that you might not know about that are due to backlogs and you might need your TO to assist in getting the funds that the government might be able to provide for your move. Not all moves will qualify for these funds and this is where your TO can help.
2. See if You Can Get POV Entitlements
The federal government can help with your move-in some cases. You might be able to ship one POV CONUS at government expense. In a lot of cases, this is not available for CONUS moves, but there are exceptions. PCSing CONUS is often not covered but it is always worth verifying if you can get this extra help with your move.
POV shipping might be covered if you are not physically able to drive, if you do not have time to report to your PDS, or if there is a change to the ship’s homeport for those who are serving aboard a Naval vessel. Your TO should be able to help with all of these questions. Your TO should also be able to see if you qualify for CONUS-CONUS POV entitlements of any kind.
3. Select a Car Shipping Company That Works With Military Members
If you do qualify for government funding, the military will handle the logistics of your car’s shipping needs for you. If that is not something that is available to you, you will need to find a military shipping company to work with on your own. As stated before, not every company can work with military members and you will need to find out that detail before you ask about anything else to do with your shipping needs.
There are many companies that can cover your car’s shipping needs. Nevertheless, you’ll want to make sure to look at military discounts, where they can deliver. Also, ask whether you’ll be able to arrange a drop-off and understand any type of unique considerations involved. Transfers from one base to another are often entirely on the whim of the military. Moreover, shipping companies are accustomed to doing this type of transportation with service personnel and they can handle unique requests.
Some Tips and Tricks for Transporting Your Car to Your Military Assignment
There are some ways that you can make your military shipping process less frustrating and worrisome. These tips and tricks can come in very handy when you are in a hurry to make a decision. Especially if you are not sure which of the companies that you have spoken with will be the right fit for your needs.
· Take Advantage of Your TO
This is often the best way to make sure that your shipping experience is easy and painless and they have an inside track on details that you will not be privy to about your move. TO help can also alleviate some considerations that might impact where you can pick up or drop off your car for shipping and issues related to overseas moves that can involve lots of governmental paperwork and customs and import taxes and processes.
Using the help of your TO is very beneficial, so do not do it alone if you don’t need to. The TO will be more knowledgeable about shipping than you. This is why waste time trying to figure it out on your own? Getting your shipping arranged properly will save you time and hassle down the road.
· Take Care of Recalls
One of the benefits of using POV shipping assistance is that you cannot have any open recalls on your vehicle for the government to cover. Before arranging shipments to your new service location, remember everything you might need for your vehicle.
You will want to make sure you take care of small things like a factory recall for a taillight. There is no tolerance for open recalls and POV shipping that is covered by the government. Make sure you have all of your documentation on hand to prove that you took care of all recalls.
· Use Word of Mouth
If you know someone who has had good luck with a shipping company when they moved to a new base, you can use this information to help make an informed decision. Word of mouth is a good way to find quality shipping services. You probably do know other people who have used these services before. This can be a great help if you’re new to moving and haven’t owned a car before.
· Plan for Delays
Car shipping when you are moving your vehicle to a military base can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Delays and issues with documentation and arrival dates can be quite common. Try to be patient with these issues and be pleasantly surprised if you do not run into them. If you have been in the service for a while, you are probably fairly familiar with the delays that can arise when relocating and your car shipping process can be impacted in the same way.
· Look Into Moving Grants
You might not be able to get assistance from the government with your car relocation. Nevertheless, you may be able to qualify for other grants. There are many other grants and financing programs that can help with your moving expenses in general. This can make it much easier to bear the cost of moving your vehicle yourself. Professional movers and other people who may need to be involved in your move may also offer military discounts that you need to ask about to help cover your costs.
Military Auto Transport FAQ
Is ETS shipping covered?
Be aware that if you have an ETS designation (Expiration- Term of Service), you will not get help with the costs of shipping your car. Your shipping will have to come from your own pocket if this is your designation. This can come as a bit of a surprise in some cases, so be aware of this limitation.
Can You Get a Rental Car?
If your car is not arriving at your new base as expected, you may receive rental car coverage. Some rental car companies will give you a free rental if your POV does not arrive within two weeks. If your car arrives late and it is difficult to work at the base, please contact the TO.
There are military shipping companies that offer this service as part of each contract. You can decide to work with them if this is a concern of yours. Bases in places like Hawaii can be very difficult to get to work every day without driving a private car. This is the type of transfer that may require a rental car due to the delayed arrival of the POV.
Military Auto Shipping Can be Fairly Easy to Arrange
If you are concerned about getting your car transferred to your new location after you are reassigned, this information will make a significant difference in your whole shipping experience. There are many inquiries concerning your military shipping needs that your TO can address. Moreso, being informed of the process of shipping your car when in the military is good to avoid confusion.
If you exercise some advance planning by reaching out to your TO as soon as you have your orders and make sure that you have looked into recalls and other issues that might lead to problems relocating your car, you should have a smooth shipping experience. Make sure that you are prepared to be patient with the process of getting your car delivered to you. Also, look into rental car coverage if you are worried about getting to work on your new base.
Shipping your car when you are in the military can be easy if you know what your options are.