military car shipping

Military Car Shipping: Why Military Vehicle Car Transport Could Work For You

For military personnel facing a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), the logistics of relocating can be daunting. Among the many considerations is determining the best way to transport your personal vehicle to your new duty station. 

This is where professional military car shipping services can prove invaluable. This article will explore the process, benefits, and key factors to consider when utilizing vehicle transport services during a military move.

car shipping

The Power of Agoyu

Before we get into military car shipping, let’s talk about how Agoyu can help you ship your car. Agoyu’s artificial intelligence can connect you with the most qualified car shippers in your local area. 

All you need to do is take a picture of your vehicle, upload it to Agoyu with some information about where you’re shipping to and from, and the Agoyu technology will provide you with instant quotes from the most qualified movers. 

What Is Military Car Shipping?

Military car shipping, also known as vehicle relocation or auto transport, refers to the process of shipping a privately-owned vehicle (POV) from one location to another. This service is particularly beneficial for military members who are being reassigned to a new base, either domestically or overseas. 

Rather than driving the vehicle themselves, which can be time-consuming and potentially dangerous over long distances, military personnel can entrust their vehicle to specialized auto transport companies.

How Does Military Car Shipping Work?

There are typically two primary methods of military vehicle shipping: open auto transport and enclosed auto transport.

Open auto transport is the more common and cost-effective option. In this method, vehicles are loaded onto a large, open-air car carrier truck, secured with specialized equipment, and transported along with other vehicles to their destination. 

While exposed to the elements during transit, reputable military auto transport companies take precautions to protect vehicles from damage.

Enclosed auto transport, on the other hand, offers a higher level of protection for vehicles and is helpful for shipping your car across the country

In this method, cars are loaded into an enclosed trailer or container, shielding them from road debris, weather conditions, and potential theft or vandalism. This option is more expensive but may be preferable for those shipping valuable, classic, or luxury vehicles.

If you need to ship your car overseas, an additional process known as Reorder Vehicle Reentry (ROVR) may be required. This involves inspecting and preparing the vehicle to meet the import regulations and safety standards of the receiving country, ensuring a smooth and compliant entry.

Is Military PCS Vehicle Shipping Different Than Typical Military Car Shipping?

While the fundamental process of military car shipping is similar for both PCS and non-PCS moves, there are a few key differences to note.

During a PCS move, the Department of Defense typically covers a portion or all of the costs associated with shipping a POV, subject to certain weight and size limitations. The specific reimbursement policies and procedures may vary between different branches of the military and should be confirmed with the appropriate transportation office.

Additionally, military PCS vehicle shipping often has priority over non-military shipments, as the military aims to facilitate timely and efficient relocations for its personnel. This can potentially result in faster transit times and better availability of transport services during peak moving seasons.

Cost of Military Car Shipping

The cost of military car shipping can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the distance traveled, the method of transport (open or enclosed), any additional services required (such as door-to-door delivery), and the specific auto transport company chosen.

On average, shipping a standard-sized vehicle across the continental United States via open auto transport can cost between $500 and $1,700. Longer distances or shipments to or from Hawaii, Alaska, or overseas locations will typically incur higher costs.

Many reputable auto transport companies offer military discounts or special pricing for PCS moves, recognizing the unique challenges and frequent relocations faced by service members. It’s advisable to obtain multiple quotes from different providers and inquire about any applicable discounts or promotions.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Military Car Shipping

Before entrusting your vehicle to an auto transport company for military moving, it’s essential to properly prepare it for shipment. Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Clean the vehicle: Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle to ensure it’s in presentable condition for the auto transport company’s inspection. This will also help you identify any existing scratches, dents, or damage before shipping.
  • Disable alarms and remove personal items: Disarm any security systems or alarms that could be triggered during transport, and remove all personal belongings from the vehicle. Most auto transport companies prohibit leaving valuable items inside the car during shipment.
  • Check fluid levels and tire pressure: Top up any necessary fluids, such as engine oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid, and ensure that your tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure levels.
  • Note any existing damage: Carefully inspect your vehicle and document any pre-existing scratches, dents, or other damage. Take detailed photos or videos for reference, and share this information with the auto transport company to establish the condition of your vehicle before shipping.
  • Provide accurate information: When booking your shipment, provide the auto transport company with accurate details about your vehicle, including the make, model, year, and any special requirements or modifications that may affect the shipping process.
  • Disable the parking brake: Release the parking brake and ensure the transmission is in park (for automatic vehicles) or in gear (for manual transmissions) before handing over your vehicle for transport.
  • Remove external accessories: If possible, remove any external accessories, such as roof racks, bike racks, or luggage carriers, as these items can become damaged or lost during transit.

By following these steps, you can help ensure a smooth and secure shipping process for your vehicle, minimizing the risk of damage or issues during transport.

Additional Considerations

When utilizing services for car shipping for military purposes, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Insurance Coverage: While auto transport companies provide insurance coverage during transit, it’s advisable to review your personal auto insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage for your vehicle while it’s being shipped.
  • Delivery Options: Many auto transport companies offer different delivery options, such as door-to-door service or terminal-to-terminal delivery. Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the most suitable option.
  • Special Requirements: If you’re shipping a larger vehicle, such as an RV or a vehicle with modifications, be sure to communicate these details to the auto transport company. Additional accommodations or specialized equipment may be required, potentially impacting the overall cost and logistics.
  • Communication and Coordination: Maintain open communication with the auto transport company throughout the shipping process. Provide them with accurate contact information and ensure you’re available to coordinate the pickup and delivery of your vehicle.
  • Temporary Transportation: Depending on the timing of your PCS move and the transit time for your vehicle, you may need to make arrangements for temporary transportation at your new duty station until your personal vehicle arrives. Factor this into your planning and budget if necessary.

Military Car Shipping: FAQs

How far in advance should I book my car shipment?

It’s generally recommended to book your auto transport service at least 4-6 weeks in advance, especially during peak moving seasons (typically between May and August). Early planning allows for better availability and scheduling flexibility, ensuring a smoother relocation process.

Can I leave personal items in my car during shipment?

Most auto transport companies have strict policies regarding personal belongings left in vehicles during transit. 

While small, non-valuable items like floor mats or a basic toolbox may be permitted, larger items or valuables are typically not allowed due to potential damage or liability concerns. It’s best to remove all personal items from your vehicle before shipping.

What if my car gets damaged during transport?

Reputable auto transport companies carry comprehensive insurance coverage to protect vehicles in their care during transit. In the event of any damage, the insurance policy should cover the cost of repairs or provide compensation. 

Be sure to review the specific insurance terms and coverage limits provided by the auto transport company before booking your shipment.

Can I track my car’s progress during shipment?

Yes, most military car shipping companies offer online tracking systems or regular updates to allow customers to monitor the progress of their vehicle shipment. This can provide peace of mind and help you plan for the arrival of your vehicle at your new location.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my shipment?

While auto transport companies generally have cancellation and rescheduling policies in place, the terms and associated fees can vary. 

Many companies understand the unique circumstances of military life and may offer more flexible options for PCS moves. Be sure to review the specific policies and procedures for cancellations or changes before booking your shipment.

Final Thoughts

For military personnel facing a PCS move, professional military car shipping services can alleviate a significant burden and ensure the safe and efficient transport of their personal vehicle. 

By understanding the process, costs, and key considerations, service members can make informed decisions and entrust their vehicles to reputable auto transport companies. 

With proper planning and coordination, military car shipping can be a valuable resource, allowing military personnel to focus on other aspects of their relocation while their vehicle is safely transported to their new duty station.

car shipping

Agoyu’s artificial intelligence can connect you with the most qualified car shippers in your local area. 

All you need to do is take a picture of your vehicle, upload it to Agoyu with some information about where you’re shipping to and from, and the Agoyu technology will provide you with instant quotes from the most qualified movers. 

Agoyu can help you find the best military car shipping companies for your PCS move. When using the Agoyu app, you can compare reviews, costs, and find the companies with some of the biggest discounts. 

Download and try the Agoyu app today to get a free moving quote!

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.