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If you're an active military member and need to have your privately owned vehicle (POV) shipped because of a transfer or active-duty deployment, you’ll need to find an auto transport company that specializes in military car shipping.

A permanent change of station (PCS) order on short notice can be overwhelming, but this guide will lead you through the military car shipping process to make it a stress-free experience.

We’ll also recommend the best car shipping companies for military vehicle transport, as many provide discounts and services for members of the armed forces. If you’re ready to get free, no-obligation quotes from leading military car shipping providers, begin the process below.

 

In this article:

Overview Of Military Car Shipping

As members of the armed forces, those in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps are often called to relocate to new bases and duty stations. This can be quite the hassle, as military families need to find new homes and learn how to ship a car to their new address.

PCS moves peak during the summer months, so you’ll see an increase in military car shipping during this time. If you’ve received an assignment and would like to bring your vehicle along, make sure you know the choices for car transport.

Listed below are the two most common options for military relocations:

  • Personally procured move (PPM): Formerly known as the do-it-yourself-move (DIYM), the government reimburses military personnel for packing and moving their belongings themselves. Soldiers who opt for this will have to personally handle all details such as scheduling military car shipping and turning in their vehicle at the nearest vehicle processing center (VPC).
  • Government-issued transport company: With this option, the government will cover the cost of one POV transport and will require the military to make car shipping arrangements on your behalf. If you don’t want to handle the PCS process all on your own, government-issued transport would be best suited for you.

The military will cover and authorize military members’ international car shipping needs, but if you are looking for particular services such as a guaranteed pickup date or dropoff location, then a personally procured move might be better for your needs.


How Much Does Military Car Shipping Cost?

Shipping rates for military car transport vary, but they usually cost between $0.40 and $1 per mile depending on distance. It’s worth keeping in mind that prices per mile decrease as the overall distance of the move increases.

Here are a few quotes from Montway Auto Transport for military car shipping between bases across the United States. These examples are based on an operable 2017 Chevrolet Camaro shipped using open transport.

Car Shipping Route Distance Cost
Fort Jackson, S.C., to Fort Hamilton, N.Y. 588 miles $689
Fort McCoy, Wis., to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. 432 miles $839
Fort Polk, La., to Fort Detrick, Md. 1,060 miles $1,019
Fort Carson, Colo., to Fort Gordon, Ga. 1,315 miles $1,129
Fort Sill, Okla., to Carlisle Barracks, Pa. 1,222 miles $1,259
Fort Huachuca, Ariz., to Redstone Arsenal, Ala. 1,386 miles $1,339
Fort Devens, Mass., to Fort Hood, Texas 1,634 miles $1,589
Fort Knox, Ky., to Fort Irwin, Calif. 1,707 miles $1,649
Fort Lee, Va., to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 4,839 miles $2,949
 

What Affects The Cost Of Military Car Shipping?

Even if the government is paying to move your POV, it’s worth knowing the various factors that affect military car shipping costs. For example, overseas transport via cargo ship will cost more than car transport across the continental United States (CONUS), and enclosed car shipping can often cost up to 50 percent more than open car shipping.

There are many other factors to consider, such as:

  • Dropoff and delivery locations: The longer the distance between the dropoff and pickup addresses, the more you’ll have to pay for military car shipping but the less per mile.
  • Time of year: If you are shipping your POV to an area with harsh winter weather, this can delay your shipment. Also, be aware that peak times for military car shipping such as the summer months may leave you with limited services and options.
  • Gas prices: Fuel costs can affect how much you’ll pay for car shipping because companies will generally pass fuel price increases over to customers.

Though you may want to ship personal items or household goods in your vehicle in pursuit of cheap car shipping, the practice is discouraged and in many cases prohibited by auto transport companies.


How Do I Ship A Car To A Military Base?

If you serve in the armed forces, you can either have the government handle your car shipping affairs or you can book your own military car shipping services through a company with exclusive discounts.

You should have all details of your next military assignment together before booking a transport, including the location, date, and time frame of your shipment. Make sure to also have:

  • Vehicle details (year, make, model, and identification number)
  • Car insurance policy details
  • Photo identification (driver’s license or passport)
  • Proof of vehicle operability
  • Proof of vehicle ownership (vehicle registration or legal title)
  • PCS order documentation

During this process, you can get car shipping quotes online from several military auto transport companies to see how much you’ll end up paying. To help you shop around for a quote, we have recommended a few of the top companies to consider for military car shipping.


Recommended Providers For Military Car Shipping

For superb service and value on military car shipping, we suggest looking into Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, and AmeriFreight. These companies are all well respected in the auto shipping industry and receive outstanding marks from customers.

Montway Auto Transport: Best Overall

As our top car shipping choice, Montway Auto Transport is popular among both active members of the military and veterans.The company offers safe and reliable military car shipping nationwide and across the world, with discounts available for veterans, reserves, and even military dependents.

Montway Auto Transport works with over 15,000 carriers to connect military members to shippers best suited for PPMs. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.48-star average customer rating, we rank Montway Auto Transport as the Best Overall choice.

If you’re interested in learning more about this car shipping company, check out our Montway Auto Transport review and get an instant quote below.

 

Sherpa Auto Transport: Best For Locked-In Prices

Sherpa Auto Transport is one of the most trusted companies for military car shipping, as it offers some of the industry’s best shipping services at discount rates for active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel.

You also don’t have to worry about price fluctuations due to Sherpa Auto Transport’s Price Lock Promise, which keeps customers’ rates the same once a quote has been accepted. We give Sherpa Auto Transport 4.5 out of 5.0 stars for its reputation and top-notch customer service standards, which make it a great choice for service members and their families.

You can check out our Sherpa Auto Transport review for more details about its services, or you can get a free quote from the company below.

 

AmeriFreight: Best Discounts

As one of the top auto transport companies in the industry, AmeriFreight works with over 10,000 carriers to deliver military car shipping services such as door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping, enclosed shipping, expedited shipping, and transport for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and RVs.

The company holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB and has been a dependable choice since 2004. Each member of the military who uses AmeriFreight gets a $35 discount when booking, as well as an early bird discount for sign-ups under 48 hours after receiving an initial quote.

You can learn more about this provider by checking out our AmeriFreight review and getting a free, online quote below.

 

FAQ: Military Car Shipping

Will the military ship my car overseas?

Yes, one privately owned vehicle can be shipped at no charge for military personnel assigned to active duty anywhere outside of the continental United States (OCONUS).

Will the government pay to ship my POV?

The government will fully pay to ship one privately owned vehicle if you receive PCS orders to anywhere outside of the continental U.S. as an active-duty military member.

How long does military car shipping take?

The car shipping process varies in length depending on your origin and destination, but it usually takes between one to 10 days. Transit times are longer for coast-to-coast military car shipping, so it would be wise to book early if you need to ship your vehicle across the country.

How many days does the military give you to move?

Currently, military members can check in up to 30 days prior to their report date and up to 20 days afterward. To give military families more time to move, PCS orders have to be sent out at least 120 days before the scheduled report date.


Methodology

In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of car shipping companies to formulate rankings of the best transporters. Providers receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Reputation: Shippers with a history of strong business practices and endorsements from experts receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Cost: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of shipping routes, distances, and vehicles. Companies with lower prices and many discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Services: This rating is based on types of auto transport services available, insurance coverage, and the ability to guarantee pick-up and dropoff dates.
  • Customer Experience: We comb through customer reviews and perform our own shopper analysis to get a sense of the responsiveness and helpfulness of each car transporter.