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The Ultimate Guide to Military Car Shipping

Posted on 04/23/2021

Jump to:
Military Car Shipping 101
How military car shipping works
Shipping your car versus selling it
Can I ship an actual military vehicle?
Preparing for your shipment
 
military-car-shipping-roadrunner

 

Military Car Shipping 101

 
Military members can end up changing scenery fairly often. The most common reason for a military member to move is called a permanent change of station or PCS for short. During a PCS a military member has to uproot themselves and their entire family. If they have more than one car, that means at least one car will need to be shipped if the family wants to travel together during the move.
 
The military will usually pay to ship one vehicle for them, but if you are a military member moving for a PCS and you would like to fly rather than drive, you will end up footing the bill to ship any additional vehicles you have after the first one.
 

How military car shipping works

 
It will generally work the same as any other auto shipment: choose a company, book your shipment, prepare for your car to get picked up, have your car picked up and inspected by the driver, and get your car shipped and delivered.
 
It is very likely that the driver will not be allowed to drop your car off on base. The driver will likely need to drop the car off at the gate or somewhere close by. So, be sure you go over that with your car shipping company and your driver BEFORE the shipment occurs. You will also need to figure this out with your commanding officer beforehand as well.
 

Shipping your car versus selling it

 
Shipping your car to your new base will obviously not be your only option. You can also sell your car and buy a new one or use public transport, rentals and/or ride shares. The main differences will be convenience as well as price.
 
When you sell an old car or trade it in, the value will likely be at least five thousand dollars less than any new or used car that you will end up buying unless you purchase a much older and lower quality vehicle which will likely put your safety at risk. If you go the route of selling then buying, you could end up being out over twenty thousand dollars or more.
 
If you and you family choose to sell your car and decide alternative transportation options might be better than having a car, you should consider convenience but still should also consider long-term cost. Specifically, constantly using rideshares or renting a car will add up plus it will be a serious inconvenience in comparison to having your own vehicle. Ride shares and public transport involve wait times and typically are a one-stop option.
 
Also consider that the average ride share trip cost a little over thirteen dollars in 2015. Adjusting slightly for inflation, let’s assume the average trip costs about fifteen dollars per trip (without tipping at all). If you take two rideshare trips a day at this price every day of the year, it will cost you over ten thousand dollars for the year. Shipping your car will likely cost eight to ten times less than this, and that is a one-time expense not an annual one.
 

Can I ship an actual military vehicle?

 
This is another question you should direct to each auto transport company you talk to. However, smaller military vehicles like jeeps should be fine to ship with most companies. Larger ones, like Humvees could be up to the discretion of each individual company. Although, many companies do offer oversized vehicle shipping which includes things like tractors and RVs.
 

Preparing for your shipment

 
Preparing for your car shipment during a PCS move will be quite easy and will allow you to focus on the rest of your move. Once you have your vehicle shipment booked, your preparation will consist of getting your car cleaned, removing personal items, and making arrangements to be present for both the pickup and delivery windows of your shipment.
 
The only thing you will likely need to do more than a few days earlier than your scheduled pickup date is to make the arrangements necessary to have yourself or someone that you trust over the age of eighteen available to give the keys over to your auto transport driver when they arrive. Typically, your pickup window will be a period of about two days. During this time your driver can arrive at any point, but they will call ahead before they do so. The point is that you or someone else with valid identification over eighteen years old needs to be with your car for that period so they can give the keys over.
 
As far as getting the car cleaned and removing personal items, those are exactly as they sound and can be done the day before your pickup window if you please. The reason for having to get your car cleaned is that your auto transport driver will need to conduct a visual inspection for preexisting damage for insurance purposes. If your car is dirty, this will take much longer and will delay the start of your shipment. In terms of removing personal items from your vehicle, the reason is as simple as the fact that any personal item such as sunglasses which are damaged or lost during the shipment will not be covered by the insurance.

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The Ultimate Guide to Military Car Shipping

Posted on 04/23/2021

Jump to:
Military Car Shipping 101
How military car shipping works
Shipping your car versus selling it
Can I ship an actual military vehicle?
Preparing for your shipment
 
military-car-shipping-roadrunner

 

Military Car Shipping 101

 
Military members can end up changing scenery fairly often. The most common reason for a military member to move is called a permanent change of station or PCS for short. During a PCS a military member has to uproot themselves and their entire family. If they have more than one car, that means at least one car will need to be shipped if the family wants to travel together during the move.
 
The military will usually pay to ship one vehicle for them, but if you are a military member moving for a PCS and you would like to fly rather than drive, you will end up footing the bill to ship any additional vehicles you have after the first one.
 

How military car shipping works

 
It will generally work the same as any other auto shipment: choose a company, book your shipment, prepare for your car to get picked up, have your car picked up and inspected by the driver, and get your car shipped and delivered.
 
It is very likely that the driver will not be allowed to drop your car off on base. The driver will likely need to drop the car off at the gate or somewhere close by. So, be sure you go over that with your car shipping company and your driver BEFORE the shipment occurs. You will also need to figure this out with your commanding officer beforehand as well.
 

Shipping your car versus selling it

 
Shipping your car to your new base will obviously not be your only option. You can also sell your car and buy a new one or use public transport, rentals and/or ride shares. The main differences will be convenience as well as price.
 
When you sell an old car or trade it in, the value will likely be at least five thousand dollars less than any new or used car that you will end up buying unless you purchase a much older and lower quality vehicle which will likely put your safety at risk. If you go the route of selling then buying, you could end up being out over twenty thousand dollars or more.
 
If you and you family choose to sell your car and decide alternative transportation options might be better than having a car, you should consider convenience but still should also consider long-term cost. Specifically, constantly using rideshares or renting a car will add up plus it will be a serious inconvenience in comparison to having your own vehicle. Ride shares and public transport involve wait times and typically are a one-stop option.
 
Also consider that the average ride share trip cost a little over thirteen dollars in 2015. Adjusting slightly for inflation, let’s assume the average trip costs about fifteen dollars per trip (without tipping at all). If you take two rideshare trips a day at this price every day of the year, it will cost you over ten thousand dollars for the year. Shipping your car will likely cost eight to ten times less than this, and that is a one-time expense not an annual one.
 

Can I ship an actual military vehicle?

 
This is another question you should direct to each auto transport company you talk to. However, smaller military vehicles like jeeps should be fine to ship with most companies. Larger ones, like Humvees could be up to the discretion of each individual company. Although, many companies do offer oversized vehicle shipping which includes things like tractors and RVs.
 

Preparing for your shipment

 
Preparing for your car shipment during a PCS move will be quite easy and will allow you to focus on the rest of your move. Once you have your vehicle shipment booked, your preparation will consist of getting your car cleaned, removing personal items, and making arrangements to be present for both the pickup and delivery windows of your shipment.
 
The only thing you will likely need to do more than a few days earlier than your scheduled pickup date is to make the arrangements necessary to have yourself or someone that you trust over the age of eighteen available to give the keys over to your auto transport driver when they arrive. Typically, your pickup window will be a period of about two days. During this time your driver can arrive at any point, but they will call ahead before they do so. The point is that you or someone else with valid identification over eighteen years old needs to be with your car for that period so they can give the keys over.
 
As far as getting the car cleaned and removing personal items, those are exactly as they sound and can be done the day before your pickup window if you please. The reason for having to get your car cleaned is that your auto transport driver will need to conduct a visual inspection for preexisting damage for insurance purposes. If your car is dirty, this will take much longer and will delay the start of your shipment. In terms of removing personal items from your vehicle, the reason is as simple as the fact that any personal item such as sunglasses which are damaged or lost during the shipment will not be covered by the insurance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the vehicle shipping process.


When determining your car shipping cost, there are a few factors that we take into account in order to provide you with an accurate price quote. The mileage between the origin and destination is the biggest factor that contributes to your total rate. In addition to the distance of your relocation, another factor is the type and condition of the vehicle being shipped. The final factor is the date that your vehicle will be ready for transport. There are also additional options, such as enclosed carrier and top-load service that can be added to your shipment at the time of booking for a higher level of service. Read more about how much it costs to ship a car.

To get a quote for shipping your vehicle, you can either use our instant online car shipping quote calculator or you can call (888) 422-7584 to receive a quote from one of our car transport pricing specialists. In order for us to calculate your quote we will need to know the location you are shipping from and to, the type of vehicle you would like to ship, and the date your vehicle will be ready.

The transit time for your shipment is based mostly on the mileage between the pickup and delivery location. Generally, every five hundred miles will add one day to the transit time - so for a 1,000 mile transport, the transit time would be 2-3 days. Check out our estimated transit times for a detailed view of approximate delivery times.

Yes, online tracking is available to you 24 hours a day and is updated in real time. Upon scheduling your shipment, you will receive a unique booking number that will allow you to track the status of your shipment online. Your tracking portal will also give you the ability to live chat with a shipping agent that can answer any questions you may have regarding the status of your shipment.

All shipments include basic liability coverage during transit. Comprehensive insurance options are available for an elevated level of shipment coverage during transit. You will be able to select a level of coverage during the booking process. If you have further questions regarding insurance options give us a call.

We accept all major credit cards, electronic transfer, postal money order, and bank/certified check for the deposit or full pre-payment of your shipment. If a balance is due upon delivery, it can be paid directly to the driver and can be paid in either cash, bank/certified check, or postal money order.

Yes, there must be someone present to release and accept the vehicle, provide keys to the driver and sign the initial and final inspection reports. This person can be anyone over the age of 18 that you trust with releasing or accepting your vehicle.

You may transport personal belongings in your car, as long as their total weight does not exceed 100 pounds and they are stored in the trunk or back seat (below the window line). Please keep in mind that personal belongings are not covered by insurance if they are reported as damaged or missing.

To get a quote for shipping your vehicle, you can either use our instant online car shipping quote calculator above or you can call (888) 422-7584 to receive a quote from one of our car transport pricing specialists. In order for us to calculate your quote we will need to know the location you are shipping from and to, the type of vehicle you would like to ship, and the date your vehicle will be ready.

The further in advance you schedule your shipment, the more likely we will be able to meet the time requirements you desire. For best results, we suggest scheduling your transport at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance. Expedited shipping options are available in order to accomodate shipments that require . You can always give us a call and ask one of our car shipping experts what your options are in terms of the schedule for your car transport.

The driver will get the car transporter as close to your door as he can legally and safely get. In most cases, the driver will be able to pickup and deliver directly at your door. Some cities may have restrictions on large trucks that prohibit them from driving into residential areas. Auto transport trucks are large and need lots of room to maneuver and turn around, so if access to the pickup or delivery location is restricted by narrow streets, low-hanging trees or tight turns, the driver may ask that you meet at a location nearby with a large parking lot, such as a grocery store.

Open transport is the most common car shipping method. There are two types of open-air transporters. The Majority of shipments are be made with 8-10 car carriers. Smaller carriers which hold 2-3 cars are used for shorter more local moves. There is broader network of carrier availability for open-air carriers since they are used more often. We suggest choosing enclosed shipping methods when shipping classic, luxury or exotic vehicles. Enclosed transporters guarantee maximum protection from exposure to any open-air elements on the road. We suggest booking your enclosed transport in advance since there is limited carrier availability. Read more about the difference between open and enclosed transport

RoadRunner Auto Transport specializes in shipping all types of vehicles such as sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, minivans, oversized vehicles, antiques, classic cars, motorcycles, construction vehicles, inoperable cars and boats. If you are not sure whether or not we can ship your vehicle, you can give us a call to find out what we can do for you.

You should have about a quarter of a tank of gas in your car at the time of shipment. This leaves enough for the car to be loaded and unloaded but doesn't add much additional weight.

The Bill of Lading is a very important document used by car shipping companies that documents any pre-existing damage on the vehicle during the time of pickup. It also serves as a record of your contact info and the official agreement for transport. If you want to file any insurance claim regarding your shipment you will need the Bill of Lading.

Top load service is when your car is placed on the higher deck or level of an open auto transport trailer. This is considered to be preferable to the bottom load because the cars on the lower deck are at risk of possibly having fluid from the cars above leak on them.

Make sure your car has been completely cleaned, both inside and outside. This is particularly important because this will help the driver conduct their inspection in order to assess any pre-existing damage on your vehicle. You will also want to make there are no additional personal items in the vehicle unless you intend to ship those with the vehicle (remember those items must total less than 100 pounds combined and be kept below the window-line of the vehicle). Be sure to inform the driver of any special circumstances concerning the vehicle. Finally, make sure there is a quarter tank of gas in the car at the time it is picked up for shipment. Visit our car shipping checklist to make sure you are prepared for your vehicle shipment.

Yes, we can ship vehicles that are in non-running/inoperable condition. When inoperable cars are shipped, a special auto carrier is required that makes use of a winch which is connected to your car and slowly and safely pulls your vehicle onto the carrier. There is an additional fee for inpoerable vehicles because of the special equipment and extra work involved with securing the vehicle onto the transporter. You can select the inoperable option on the online booking form or inform your shipping agent if you make your reservation by phone so that the proper arrangements can be made to accomodate a non-running vehicle.

We offer open car shipping and enclosed car shipping services. Open car shipping is used much more frequently and is the type of auto transport that you see on the highway where carriers are hauling vehicles on two decks that are exposed. Enclosed car shipping is when your vehicle is shipped in a trailer which has walls and a roof, they look like a larger version of a regular eighteen-wheeler. This method is recommended for luxury, exotic or classic cars.

Door-to-door car transport is the full service delivery of your vehicle directly from the door at the pickup location to the door at the delivery location. Our drivers do their best to get as close as physically and legally possible to the pickup and delivery locations, but in certain instances there may be restrictions preventing them from being able to safely reach your door. Our transporters need ample space to maneuver and load/unload your vehicle. If your street is too narrow, or if there are hazards such as low lining trees or power lines, drivers may ask that you meet them at a location nearby where they can safely load or unload your vehicle, such as a large parking lot or shopping center nearby.