A Guide About Shipping Your Car During A Military Move

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Relocating during a military move is a challenging task, especially when it comes to transporting your most valuable assets, like your car. With numerous regulations, acronyms, and processes to understand, the task can seem daunting. However, with the right knowledge and assistance, shipping your car during a military move can be a seamless experience.

This guide aims to provide comprehensive insights into the process, ensuring that you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. Whether you’re a seasoned service member familiar with relocations or a newbie just getting your first posting, this guide will be your go-to resource for all things related to shipping your car during a military move.

Understanding Military Car Shipping Acronyms

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Navigating the world of military car shipping can be a maze of jargon and acronyms. For military members and their families, understanding these terms is crucial to ensure a smooth shipping process.

1. What is a POV (Privately Owned Vehicle)?

A privately owned vehicle, commonly referred to as POV, is a vehicle owned by military personnel or their families. These vehicles are often the primary mode of transportation for military families, making their safe and efficient transport crucial during relocations.

The military car shipping process for a POV is designed to be as streamlined as possible. With the right knowledge and preparation, shipping one’s privately owned vehicle can be a hassle-free experience, ensuring that military families have one less thing to worry about during their move.

2. Decoding CONUS (Continental United States) and OCONUS (Outside Continental United States)

CONUS refers to the Continental United States, essentially the 48 contiguous states. On the other hand, OCONUS encompasses locations outside of this region, including Alaska, Hawaii, and overseas duty stations.

For military members, understanding the distinction between CONUS and OCONUS is vital. The military car shipping services differ based on the destination, with OCONUS shipments often requiring additional paperwork and considerations, especially when shipping a car overseas.

3. PCS (Permanent Change of Station) Explained

A Permanent Change of Station, or PCS, is a formal order for a service member to move to a new duty station. This can be within the CONUS region or to an OCONUS location.

Every military PCS vehicle shipping process begins with these orders. They dictate the terms of the move, including entitlements and allowances. For military personnel, understanding their PCS orders is the first step in ensuring a smooth car shipping experience.

4. The Role of the TO (Transportation Office)

The Transportation Office, or TO, plays a pivotal role in the military car shipping process. They are the primary point of contact for all logistics related to the move.

Working closely with the TO ensures that military members are well-informed about the nuances of shipping their vehicles. From understanding the best military auto transport company options to getting insights into potential delays, the TO is an invaluable resource for military families on the move.

5. PDS (Permanent Duty Station) and Its Importance

A Permanent Duty Station, abbreviated as PDS, is the assigned location where a service member is currently stationed or will be stationed post-move.

Knowing one’s PDS is crucial for military car shipping. It determines the destination for the vehicle, and in cases of overseas PDS, additional considerations like customs clearance come into play. For military families, ensuring their car reaches their new duty station safely and on time is of utmost importance.

Preparing for Your Car Shipment

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The process of preparing for car shipping during a military move involves several steps. From understanding entitlements to choosing the right military car shipping company, each phase is crucial for a hassle-free experience.

1. Getting Your Military Orders

Before any military ship can take place, service members must receive their official orders. These orders provide clarity on the move’s specifics, including the destination and timeline.

Once the orders are in hand, the next step is to liaise with the Transportation Office. They provide insights into the military car shipping process, ensuring that military personnel and their families are well-prepared for the move. With the right guidance, even shipping a car overseas can be a straightforward process.

2. Meeting With TO Counselors

TO counselors are experts in the logistics of military moves. They provide invaluable advice and support, ensuring that the car shipping process is as smooth as possible.

Engaging with TO counselors early in the process can provide clarity on various aspects of the move. From understanding potential backlogs at the new duty station to getting insights into entitlements, these counselors are a treasure trove of information. For military families, their guidance can make the difference between a stressful move and a seamless transition.

3. Understanding Backlogs and Delays

In the world of military car shipping, delays can sometimes be inevitable. Whether it’s due to a backlog at the new duty station or unforeseen circumstances, understanding potential delays is crucial.

By liaising with the TO and the chosen military car shipping company, military members can get a realistic picture of potential delays. This allows them to plan accordingly, ensuring that they have alternative transportation options in place if needed.

4. Evaluating the Costs of Overseas Shipping

Shipping a car overseas can be a costly affair. However, for military personnel, there are often entitlements and allowances that can offset these costs.

Understanding the costs involved and the financial support available is crucial. Whether it’s a military discount offered by the car shipping company or government-funded allowances, being well-informed can result in significant savings for military families.

5. Deciding to Ship or Sell Your Car

Sometimes, the costs and logistics of shipping a car, especially overseas, can be overwhelming. In such cases, military members might consider selling their vehicles instead.

Making this decision requires careful consideration. While selling might seem like a convenient option, it’s essential to evaluate the costs and challenges of purchasing a new vehicle at the new duty station. For many military families, the comfort and familiarity of their own car can be invaluable, especially in a new and unfamiliar location.

Benefits and Entitlements for Military Car Shipping

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The U.S. military offers various benefits and entitlements to its service members, especially when it comes to relocating. These entitlements can significantly reduce the financial burden of shipping a car during a move, making the process more manageable for military families.

1. Qualifying for POV Entitlements

Entitlements for shipping a privately owned vehicle can vary based on the service member’s rank, duration of service, and the nature of their orders. Typically, military personnel can ship one privately owned vehicle, OCONUS, at the government’s expense.

Understanding these entitlements is crucial. It allows military members to make the most of the financial support available, ensuring that they can transport their vehicles without incurring hefty expenses. Moreover, these entitlements are a testament to the military’s commitment to supporting its members during relocations.

2. The CONUS-CONUS POV Entitlement

The CONUS-CONUS POV entitlement is specific to moves within the Continental United States. It comes with its own set of guidelines and criteria, which military members must meet to qualify.

This entitlement is particularly beneficial for military families with more than one vehicle. By understanding the specifics of this entitlement, military families can make informed decisions, ensuring that they receive the maximum financial support available for their move.

3. Requirements for Receiving Entitlements

To benefit from the various military car shipping entitlements, service members must meet specific requirements. These can range from having a certain rank to the duration of service and the nature of their orders.

Being well-informed about these requirements is essential. It ensures that military members can access the entitlements they qualify for, reducing the financial strain of the move. Moreover, understanding these requirements can also help military families plan their move more efficiently, ensuring that they meet all criteria for financial support.

4. Exceptions and Special Cases

While there are standard guidelines for military car shipping entitlements, there are always exceptions and special cases. Whether it’s due to unique circumstances or specific orders, understanding these exceptions can be crucial for military families.

Engaging with the TO and seeking their guidance can provide clarity on these exceptions. It ensures that military members are well-informed and can make the most of the support available to them.

5. Understanding HHG (Household Goods) Moves

Apart from shipping vehicles, military members often need to transport their household goods during a move. The HHG move process comes with its own set of guidelines and entitlements.

Understanding the HHG move process and its relation to car shipping is essential. It allows military families to coordinate both aspects of their move efficiently, ensuring that their belongings and vehicles reach their new duty station safely and on time.

Choosing the Right Military Car Shipping Company

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Selecting the right military car shipping company is a pivotal decision. With numerous options available, military families must choose a company that offers reliability and affordability and understands the unique needs of military moves.

1. Importance of Research and Reviews

Before settling on a military car shipping company, it’s essential to do thorough research. Reading reviews, seeking recommendations from fellow service members, and comparing quotes can provide valuable insights.

Choosing a company with positive reviews and a track record of serving military members ensures that the car shipping process is smooth and hassle-free. Moreover, a company that understands the intricacies of military moves can offer invaluable support and guidance throughout the process.

2. Top Military Car Shipping Companies

There are several reputable military car shipping companies that cater specifically to the needs of military members. These companies offer competitive rates and military discounts and deeply understand the military car shipping process.

Selecting a top-tier company ensures that military families receive the best service possible. Whether it’s ensuring timely delivery, offering tracking options, or providing military discounts, these companies go the extra mile to support military families during their move.

3. Evaluating Costs and Quotes

Cost is a significant consideration when choosing a military car shipping company. While many companies offer competitive rates, it’s essential to evaluate quotes and understand any additional fees or charges.

Seeking quotes from multiple companies and comparing them can provide a clear picture of the costs involved. Moreover, understanding any military discounts or offers can result in significant savings for military families.

4. Checking for Military Discounts and Offers

Many military car shipping companies offer special discounts and offers for military members. Whether it’s a percentage off the total cost or additional services at no extra charge, these discounts can significantly reduce the financial burden of the move.

Before finalizing a company, it’s essential to inquire about any military discounts or offers. Making the most of these discounts ensures that military families receive the best value for their money.

5. Ensuring Safe and Timely Delivery

The safety and timely delivery of their vehicle are paramount for military families. Choosing a company that prioritizes these aspects ensures that the car reaches its destination in perfect condition and on time.

Engaging with the chosen company, understanding their delivery timelines, and seeking updates throughout the shipping process can provide peace of mind to military families. Knowing that their vehicle is in safe hands and will be delivered as promised allows them to focus on other aspects of their move.

Read More: Why Use Professional Car Shipping for Military Moves

The Actual Process of Shipping Your Car

Shipping a car, especially during a military move, involves several steps. From documentation to preparing the vehicle and tracking its journey, each phase requires careful consideration and planning.

1. Documentation and Paperwork

Before the car shipping process can commence, military members must provide the necessary documentation. This includes their military orders, proof of insurance, and details about the vehicle.

Ensuring that all paperwork is in order and submitted on time is crucial. It ensures that there are no delays in the shipping process and that the vehicle is transported as per the specified timeline.

2. Preparing Your Car for Shipment

Once the documentation is in place, the next step is to prepare the vehicle for shipment. This involves cleaning the car, removing any personal belongings, and ensuring that it’s in drivable condition.

Properly preparing the car ensures that it’s ready for transport and reduces the risk of any damages during the shipping process. Moreover, many military car shipping companies have specific guidelines for vehicle preparation, and adhering to these ensures a smooth shipping process.

3. Tracking and Monitoring Your Car’s Journey

Most reputable military car shipping companies offer tracking options for vehicles in transit. This allows military families to monitor their car’s journey and get real-time updates on its location.

Utilizing these tracking options provides peace of mind to military families. Knowing that their vehicle is on its way and being able to monitor its progress ensures that they are well-informed throughout the shipping process.

4. Receiving Your Car at the New Location

Once the vehicle reaches its destination, the next step is to receive it. This involves inspecting the car for any damages, ensuring that all documentation is in order, and taking possession of the vehicle.

Receiving the car promptly and conducting a thorough inspection ensures that any issues are addressed immediately. Moreover, coordinating with the military car shipping company for the vehicle’s delivery ensures that the process is seamless and hassle-free.

5. Addressing Delays and Issues

While most car shipments go off without a hitch, there can sometimes be delays or issues. Whether it’s due to unforeseen circumstances, logistical challenges, or other factors, addressing these promptly is crucial.

Engaging with the military car shipping company, seeking updates, and understanding the reasons for any delays ensures that military families are well-informed. Moreover, proactive communication can help address any issues, ensuring that the car reaches its destination safely and on time.

What Services Do We Offer at Military Car Shipping?

Navigating the challenges of a military move can be daunting, especially when it comes to transporting your most prized possession – your vehicle. At Military Car Shipping, we specialize in making this process as seamless as possible, ensuring that your car reaches its destination safely, efficiently, and without any hitches.

  • Expertise in Military Moves: With years of experience in serving military members, we understand the unique challenges and requirements of military relocations. Our team is trained to handle all the nuances of military car shipping, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
  • Nationwide and International Coverage: Whether you’re relocating within the continental U.S. or moving overseas, our extensive network ensures that we can ship your car to virtually any location worldwide.
  • Dedicated Support: Our dedicated customer support team is always on hand to answer any queries, provide updates, and ensure that you’re informed throughout the shipping process.
  • Competitive Pricing with Military Discounts: We believe in giving back to those who serve our country. That’s why we offer special military discounts, ensuring that our services are not only top-notch but also affordable.
  • State-of-the-Art Tracking: With our advanced tracking system, you can monitor your vehicle’s journey in real-time, giving you peace of mind.
  • Easy Online Booking: Our user-friendly online platform allows you to get a quote, book your shipment, and track your vehicle, all with just a few clicks.
  • Flexible Pickup and Delivery Options: Whether you prefer door-to-door service or want to drop off and pick up your vehicle at one of our many locations, we offer flexible options to suit your needs.
  • Safety First: We prioritize the safety of your vehicle. Our carriers are equipped with the latest technology to ensure secure transportation, and our drivers are trained to handle vehicles with the utmost care.


Relocating, especially during a military move, comes with its set of challenges. But with Military Car Shipping by your side, transporting your vehicle doesn’t have to be one of them.

Our commitment to excellence, combined with our deep understanding of military relocations, ensures that your car shipping experience is smooth, efficient, and stress-free. So, as you embark on your next adventure, let us handle the logistics of getting your vehicle there safely.

Ready to ship your car with the best? Contact Military Car Shipping today!


How long does the shipping process typically take?

The duration of the shipping process varies based on the distance and the specific route. However, we always strive to deliver your vehicle in the shortest time possible while ensuring its safety.

Can I pack personal items in my car during shipping?

While we prioritize the safety of your vehicle, we recommend not packing personal items in your car during shipping. This ensures the vehicle’s safety and avoids any potential complications during transit.

How is the cost of shipping determined?

The cost of shipping is determined based on several factors, including the distance, type of vehicle, and specific services chosen. We offer competitive pricing and special discounts for military members.

What measures do you take to ensure the safety of my vehicle?

Safety is our top priority. All our carriers are equipped with the latest technology to ensure secure transportation. Additionally, our drivers undergo rigorous training to handle vehicles with utmost care.

Do you offer any guarantees or warranties?

Yes, every vehicle shipped with us is covered by comprehensive insurance. In the unlikely event of any damage, our transparent and efficient claims process ensures prompt resolution.