Unfortunately, the military usually won’t reimburse you for shipping your POV within the continental US. There are some exceptions, so the Department of Defense recommends you reach out to your personal property office if you need financial help getting your car shipped.1
If you contact the office but they can’t help you, don’t despair. There are plenty of auto transport companies that offer discounts to active-duty military members. While these companies won’t ship your car to your new service station for free, their discounts can knock between $35 and $100 off the final cost of your transport service.
That said, auto transportation is pretty expensive, especially for long-distance moves. For cross-country moves, we’ve found that auto transportation can cost anywhere from $600 and $2,000 depending on distance, vehicle type, seasonality, and a handful of other factors.
So if you’re shipping your POV across the continental US, these military discounts probably won’t make a huge difference to your budget. They’re certainly better than paying full price though.
Even if you’re unsure whether you can afford auto transportation services, we recommend contacting one or two of these companies anyway. It never hurts to get a free quote, and then you’ll know exactly what your service would cost.
If there just isn’t room in your budget for auto shipment, even with a military discount, you do have another option. You could always drive your POV to your new service station. While you’ll still need to pay for hotels, gas, and food for your road trip, you can save hundreds by driving instead of shipping your car.
In fact, the government might even help you pay your way if you drive. According to the Department of Defense, military members who drive their cars to their new service stations can be “reimbursed for mileage and some travel costs.”2
In addition to cost, you should also consider how long the trip will take. If you need to report at your new base across the country in just a few days, you may not have enough time to drive your car. If this is the case, we recommend calling your personal property office for assistance.