Any active military member is required to move at least once every few years. When a service member gets a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) travel order, they can be relocated to anywhere in the country, whether it’s inside the continental U.S. (CONUS) or outside the contiguous U.S. (OCONUS), like Alaska and Hawaii.
PCS moves can be overwhelming and very stressful for the entire family. When you get a PCS order, there are many things you need to think about. One of the most important details is how to transport your military vehicle. Fortunately, various door-to-door car transportation services can help you relocate your military vehicle across the country.
If you’ve received your first PCS order and are unsure how to transport your military vehicle, you’ve come to the right place. This article will cover how door-to-door car transport works when transferring military vehicles. We’ll also discuss some benefits of hiring a door-to-door transport service when receiving a PCS order.
You Got Your First PCS Order – Now What?
Every year, over 400,000 members of the military receive a PCS order. As opposed to temporary duty assignments, PCS orders are long-term, requiring the relocation of the active-duty military member and their immediate family members.
When you receive a PCS order, you have two options: a personally procured move and a household goods shipment.
If you choose the first option, you’ll have to pack up and move by yourself, but you will receive reimbursements from the military. In military lingo, this is referred to as a “do-it-yourself move” or a “DIY move.” The latter option means that the military will handle the packing and transportation. If you opt for the household goods shipment option, you must register on the MilitaryOneSource website.
However, where does your military vehicle fit in all of these regulations?
After being assigned to a new duty station, military members are entitled to a special discount for shipping their privately owned vehicle (POV). The U.S. Department of Defense covers the expenses for shipping one privately owned vehicle. This rule applies to members of the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard.
The guidelines for door-to-door auto transport services for military members may differ. Firstly, the government will only cover the moving expenses for one POV. If the family has two or more privately owned vehicles, they will have to pay for the transportation expenses of other vehicles.
Secondly, the U.S. Department of Defense covers the cost of transporting a military vehicle from an OCONUS (outside contiguous) base to a CONUS (continental) base or vice versa. So, for example, if you’re being relocated from California to Alaska, or vice versa, the government will pay for the move. On the other hand, if you’re relocating from one CONUS base to another, the transportation costs will have to come out of your pocket.
You must meet many other requirements to be granted CONUS-CONUS funding from the government. For example, you must be married for the military to reimburse you. Even if you are married, you and your spouse must travel together (your children too). This also means the entire family must relocate, not just one member. If you don’t meet just one of these standards, you won’t be able to move your military vehicle for free.
Suppose you have a medical condition or a personal issue preventing you from driving to your new CONUS base. In that case, you can reach out to your local transportation office to request military installation solutions. This option is also available for service members who don’t have enough time to get to their new base before their report-in date.
Even though the military doesn’t ship vehicles for free in most cases, active-duty service members are eligible for certain discounts. However, you will still have to pay for the shipping. This is where door-to-door car shipping companies come in.
How Does Door-to-Door Transportation for Military Vehicles Work?
Military vehicle shipping works just like standard automobile relocation, except only military members are entitled to it. To be more precise, door-to-door auto shipping companies offer discounts to active-duty members of the armed forces who have received a PCS order. Some military vehicle transportation companies are available for both active and retired army members.
Most military vehicle transportation companies offer door-to-door services and charge by the mile. The average transportation expenses vary depending on the company, but you can find affordable shipping solutions for $0.60 per mile. A door-to-door car carrying company specializing in military vehicle transfer can move any drivable vehicle, no matter its size.
Naturally, the further you travel, the more money you will have to set aside for the shipping fee. Other factors, like the make and model of the vehicle, and the time needed for the transportation, can also impact the total price. Even the time of the year can increase the price. Try to avoid relocating in summer when moving companies charge the most for the transport fees.
The size of the vehicle can also dictate the price. Some companies offer different prices for open carrier transports and enclosed carrier transports.
Make sure the vehicle moving company you hire ships to your future military base, as well as the state. You should choose a door-to-door car transport companythat ships to both CONUS and OCONUS bases if you receive a PCS order for Hawaii or Alaska.
Once you find the right door-to-door car service to transport your military vehicle, make sure you’re eligible for their discount. To arrange a transportation service with the company, you will be required to provide your military ID, proof of insurance, and all the necessary information regarding your vehicle.
Of course, you need to be the legal owner of the vehicle. Not just the military vehicle owner has to be deemed eligible, but the vehicle as well. Most car transportation companies will not ship vehicles that contain any types of hazardous materials.
Once you decide on the right car transport solution, someone from the military vehicle relocation company will come to your address and prepare your vehicle for the move. You won’t be required to drive it to another location. All the transportation requirements will be handled, and by the time you settle in your new home, your military vehicle will be waiting for you at your new address or the base.
What Are the Benefits of Using Door-to-Door Car Shipping Companies?
Moving can be extremely stressful to anyone, let alone armed forces members who have enough on their plate. No matter how many PCS orders you have received, packing up all your belongings and moving across the country with very little notice is never easy. Particularly when there are so many other things you need to think about, such as your new home, unpacking all your belongings, and adjusting to the new environment.
While it’s true that you can just sit in your car and drive to your new designated location, not all military members have this option. This especially applies to those military members relocating from a CONUS to an OCONUS base or vice versa. Even if you have to move from one state to another, driving across the could take days.
In fact, if you have to drive from one coast to the other, it will take at least one week. Not only does such a journey take a long time, but it could be dangerous if you aren’t concentrating along the way. Not to mention how much money you would spend on the entire process.
Instead of handling the entire moving process yourself, leaving your military vehicle to experienced movers is a better payoff. Military-approved door-to-door car transportation services specialize in moving vehicles for government agencies, so they know how to transport any car make and model.
What’s more, they’re equipped with car carriers that are large enough to transport military vehicles. If your POV is a large SUV, regular carriers might not be able to transport it. In comparison, moving companies that work with military members have the right resources and equipment for such a task. In other words, you’ll be able to leave your military vehicle to someone you can actually trust.
Since many military vehicle transportation companies are available, most offer competitive rates. You’ll be able to find one that fits into your budget, and you’ll save a lot of money on not having to move the vehicle yourself.
Door-to-door auto transport companies make the moving experience stress-free, quick, and easy so that you can focus on other, more important things. They understand the unique needs of transporting military vehicles and can handle a wide variety of shipment types. Military vehicle transportation companies have enough experience to determine the best and fastest route to the destination. They’ll know how to get the car from point A to point B in the most efficient way.
How to Choose the Best Door-to-Door Vehicle Transport Company?
Keep in mind that themilitary must approve the door-to-door car carrying and transportation company you choose. If you’re not sure where to start, the military will give you a list of approved door-to-door car shipping companies to one that meets all your needs.
The best door-to-door car shipping companies can ship your military vehicle to any major city in the U.S. They also offer vehicle shipping services to locations outside the contiguous U.S., like Hawaii.
Expert military vehicle transportation companies also offer other types of moving services for armed forces members. Military movers can help you pack your belongings and transport them directly to your new address, no matter how far away. If you wish to keep some of your belongings in a storage unit, military transportation companies offer storage services, whether it’s temporary or permanent. Finally, they can help you unpack all your things to get you settled in your new home as effortlessly as possible.
Note that not all military vehicle transportation companies offer a door-to-door transport service. Some companies will just move your military vehicle to your new base, while others will deliver your vehicle directly to your new home address. However, door-to-door delivery is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal delivery.
Another factor to consider when choosing a door-to-door auto shipping company is whether it’s insured. If you select an insured company or one that works with insured car carriers, you will have peace of mind, knowing they will handle your vehicle with care. What’s more, they will make sure to deliver your military vehicle to the destination safely and on time.
To make sure that you’ve hired the best door-to-door vehicle transport company, check whether it’s accredited by or a member of these organizations:
- American Automobile Association (AAA)
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Some companies will charge additional fees (for example, fuel or delivery fees), so make sure to check. You can also ask for a quote so that the military car shipping company will give you a general idea about your moving expenses, and you’ll know what to expect. The best thing you can do is go through the customer service ratings for each military vehicle transport company.
Let Door-to-Door Car Transportation Services Help You Move
Every active-duty military member has received a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) at some point in their service. However, just because relocating is a standard part of the job, it doesn’t mean it gets easier over time. That’s why service members should take advantage of benefits and discounts offered by the U.S. Department of Defense and door-to-door car service and transportation companies specializing in moving military vehicles.
Whether you received a PCS order for another continental state or an overseas state, Military Car Shipping offers numerous affordable relocation solutions created especially for members of the military and their immediate family members. With over 30 years of experience, we are ready to aid any armed forces member with our military car shipping services. If you are interested in our car relocation services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to get a free quote.