By Buddy Blouin

If you have a personal vehicle and are moving to a new base, the question on your mind, among other related topics, will include how to ship your car to your home. In order to ship your car wherever you are PCSing and not have frustrating surprises, we’re here to help. If you are moving within the same state, you may still run into some logistical problems, but it’s the bigger moves where a simple task becomes all that much more complicated. Below, we’re breaking down what to do when you ship your car to another state.

Suggested read: How To Responsibly Purchase a Vehicle With Your Signing Bonus

How to Ship Your Car to Another State

It doesn’t matter if you’re shipping your car across the country or simply a state or two over, preparation is key. You’ll need to understand your options and how to prepare. Here’s how to ship your car in just a few simple steps:

Step 1: Choose the Method for Shipping Your Car

Shipping your vehicle to another state comes with options. Of course, driving is an option, but logistically, this may not always work. To ship your car, you can choose one of the following methods:

  • Hire an auto transport company. You can choose from open or closed carriers. A closed option is safer for your vehicle but will cost more.
  • You can also choose to hire a professional driver to drive your vehicle to its destination.
  • Haul it yourself behind your moving van.
  • Trains, planes, and boats may also be available, though costs may be high and there may be some extra paperwork involved.

Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle

Once you decide on the method of shipping your car, it’s time to get it ready. This will vary from method to method and company to company, so be sure to communicate with the service you hire and understand the terms and conditions. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Remove as much as you can from your vehicle, specifically, personal belongings, accessories, and gasoline. Not only do some companies require this but the heavier your vehicle, the more you’re going to pay.
  • Be sure to document your vehicle’s condition and mileage before. Should something happen, you and your insurance company will be glad you did.
  • Speaking of, contact your insurance company beforehand to better understand your coverage.
  • Disabling your alarm and filling your tires is also important.

For Military Members

Moving vehicles in the military can have a few additional steps, including scheduling the process. This means you’ll need your orders and meet the specifications of shipping in ordinance with the U.S. Transportation Command’s shipping partner International Auto Logistics (IAL).

You can find the specific guidelines for turning in your vehicle, which may change at any time, and set your appointment online. IAL is also a great resource for shipping your car to Hawaii, as additional steps may be required compared to a move throughout the continental United States.

Related read: Can You Register a Car Without Insurance Post-PCS?

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Your Car?

The cost to ship your car is going to vary depending on many different factors. For example, if you are shipping your car to another state that is only about 200 miles away, you’ll pay less on average than someone moving from Fort Liberty to Naval Base San Diego. Here are a few other factors that affect costs:

  • The weight of your vehicle.
  • Special accommodations.
  • The company you choose to ship your car.
  • Your method of transportation.

Always be sure to shop around for different transportation services that not only meet your shipping needs but also provide you with the best value for your move.

Does the Military Ship Your Car for Free?

Yes, the military will ship your car for free, but just like anything good in life, there are caveats to qualify for this perk:

You can have one privately owned vehicle (POV) when PCSing overseas.

Those moving within the continental United States (CONUS) may also receive free shipment, but only if when they own two vehicles. Furthermore, only one can be shipped for free.

Can You Ship Your Car to Another Country?

If you need to ship your vehicle to another country, you’re going to need to take extra steps to prepare. You can ship your car and even do it for free, but you need to prove that you have the entitlement to do so, have orders to move overseas, can remove your personal belongings, clean the vehicle, and more.

The Defense Personal Property Program can help you better prepare. Remember, the regulations for shipping your vehicle overseas may vary depending on the country or region you are moving to. Overseas shipping outside of government programs can cost several thousands of dollars as well.

Can You Ship Your Car With Stuff In It?

Generally, shipping your car with personal belongings isn’t allowed. You may find car shipping companies that allow you to pack your car but this can lead to extra costs, fines, and carries the risk of damage or theft that you’ll have to pay out of pocket to fix.

Do They Search Your Car When You Ship It?

Shipping your car to a different state, in-state, or out of the country with personal belongings inside needs to be discussed beforehand, especially for military personnel. Searches may occur when you ship your car and it can lead to additional costs if you are not upfront with the transport company beforehand.

Read next: Navigating The VA Loan In Hawaii With Ease




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