Our top pick: AmeriFreight has low prices, a $35 military discount, and more than 15 years of experience shipping vehicles for service members.
The Best Car Shipping Companies for a Military Move
How military car shipping works
The military typically requires you to pay for shipping a privately owned vehicle (POV) each time you receive a new permanent change of station (PCS) within the Continental United States (CONUS). Sometimes, the military reimburses for travel expenses.1 However, in many cases, military members prefer to ship their POVs. In those cases, you want to find a car shipping company with military POV transport expertise like the five companies on this list.
Move.org’s military car shipping guide breaks down everything you need to know about PCSing with your POV.
What should you look for in a military car shipping company?
- Military car shipping expertise. Look for a company with some web presence that shows it’s well-versed in military needs and has a track record of helping military personnel with their auto shipments.
- Low prices. Stretch out your paycheck from Uncle Sam by finding a military vehicle shipping service that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. (The average POV shipping cost is about $1,190.)
- Military discount. Any military car transport company worth its salt will have deals for active duty service members. Try to find a military discount worth at least $35.
- Customer reviews. Check out a few review sites and look for a military auto transport company with an overall rating at least as high as the industry average (4.6 out of 5 stars).
Pull up a site like Yelp with lots of reviews and search for terms such as “military” or “POV.” You’ll instantly be able to see which other service members have left car shipping reviews.
AmeriFreight is our number one military car shipping company. It can save you about $250 on the average shipment, gets rave customer reviews, and even has extra insurance coverage. Not to mention it also conducts background checks on all of its drivers so that you can have peace of mind while your vehicle is in transit. AmeriFreight’s $35 military discount is a bit low. However, much of your savings are already built into a price that’s about 20% lower than the industry average.
Overall, we haven’t found a better company to ship your car if you need to move for a military assignment. There are other companies that cater more to service members, but none of them have the same combination of benefits that matter most to the military community: low prices, safe drivers, and a long history of positive customer reviews.
What sets AmeriFreight apart?
AmeriFreight has the lowest prices of any military auto transport company we’ve seen. For any given shipment, the company can shave about 20% off your car shipping quote. In dollars and cents, you save about $250 that you can put toward hiring professional movers or renting a moving truck.
AmeriFreight military car shipping prices
AmeriFreight average open transport cost
Amount below industry average
Data as of 5/20/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Average cost is calculated by comparing shipping costs for three vehicle sizes across nine distances of more than 600 miles.
Exceptional carrier vetting
AmeriFreight puts each of its drivers (called carriers) through a rigorous vetting process. It starts by narrowing down over 10,000 options to the top 5%. Then it verifies that the carrier has all of the necessary licenses, registrations, and authorizations to ship along your route. It also confirms that each driver has basic liability insurance.
But the company goes one step further. AmeriFreight maintains an in-house database for every carrier used in the company’s 16-year history. When a customer reports back that a driver was excellent, . When a customer complains of a bad experience, AmeriFreight factors that into the carrier’s grade. Anytime a driver’s quality begins to slip, AmeriFreight removes them from its list of potential drivers.
AmeriFreight ensures that your driver is the cream of the crop.
Gap coverage (up to $2,000)
AmeriFreight’s gap coverage sets it apart from many other military car shipping companies. While every driver must carry basic liability insurance, that’s not always enough to cover your expenses. Sometimes the damages extend beyond the insurance amount, or else the policy doesn’t cover them. For example, many policies cover only damage that occurs during transport—meaning you’re out of luck if your POV gets banged up while it’s being loaded onto the truck.
Sadly, there isn’t a single set of rules that easily define what’s covered and what isn’t. That’s why we recommend you carefully read your policy’s terms and conditions.
AmeriFreight knows insurance is a pain for the typical customer, including the military one. So, it offers an additional policy that’s referred to as gap coverage. For $50–$100, you get extra insurance with two key benefits:
- Extra money. You typically need to file a claim with your own insurance for anything not covered by the carrier’s policy. AmeriFreight kicks in up to $2,000 toward your insurance deductible if the carrier’s insurance won’t pay.
- Extra time. Most car shipping insurance policies require you to identify damage immediately upon delivery. It can be uncomfortable to look for dings and dents while the driver looks over your shoulder. It’s also challenging to see things like paint scratches at nighttime or in the rain. AmeriFreight gives you 48 hours to identify any potential damage, so you don’t feel rushed.
AmeriFreight’s gap coverage gives you 48 hours to identify potential damage to your vehicle, like paint scratches or windshield chips.
Want the best military car shipping company?
Montway Auto Transport—GPS Tracking
Montway has the best GPS tracking we’ve ever seen. While most drivers won’t voluntarily enable their GPS units because they don’t like being tracked, Montway searched high and low to find 300 of the nation’s largest GPS-enabled carriers. The company also has low prices and a military discount that even your kids can use. Our only complaints are that Montway doesn’t have guaranteed quotes (few companies do), and its website has an annoying pop-up ad. Put it all together, and you’ll rarely find a car transport company that understands the military community better than Montway.
What sets Montway Auto Transport apart?
Montway is one of the nation’s leading military transport companies when it comes to GPS tracking. The same technology that tracks battlefield movements and guides precision missiles can also be used to locate your car during transport.
There’s just one problem: drivers typically don’t turn on their GPS trackers (it's optional). As a result, most car shipping companies don’t offer GPS tracking. It’s simply too much work to track down the drivers willing to broadcast their location 24 hours a day.
But Montway isn't like most companies. Its agents field thousands of calls each day with customers who want to know where their vehicles are. To boost the odds of giving you an answer, Montway has formed partnerships with 300 of the largest GPS-enabled carriers in the country. It has the best GPS tracking availability we’ve seen—hands down.
Military shipping expertise
It makes sense that service members want an auto transport company with POV military shipping expertise—and that’s what you get with Montway. Unfortunately, there’s no way to track exactly how many service members Montway has served. But there are four things about Montway that illustrate how the company caters to the armed forces community:
- Company history. Montway has been in the car shipping biz for 15 years. That’s not saying a lot if you’re talking about manufacturing companies like Ford or Chevy. But the auto transportation industry isn’t like that. It’s not uncommon for a company to pop up in January and be out of business by December. Few companies have been around as long as Montway Auto Transport.
- Total shipments. Montway Auto Transport has delivered nearly 750,000 vehicles in its 15-year history. That shakes out to around 140 loads per day—or as much as some companies do in a month. As one of the most prolific car shippers in the country, it makes sense that Montway has helped a fair share of military clients.
- Military-specific information online. Montway’s website has some of the best information on military car shipping we’ve seen. Many transport companies throw a couple of military acronyms onto their website and call it a day. Montway, on the other hand, knows its audience. It breaks down the POV shipping process for military newbies and goes into depth for those PCSing for the fifth or sixth time.
- Expansive military discount. Montway offers a military discount of up to $50. Unlike many transport companies that restrict the savings to active duty personnel, Montway takes care of veterans and military families. Its PCS vehicle shipping deals can be used by just about anyone with military affiliation:
- Active duty service members
- Military dependents
- National Guard
Check out our list of the best moving companies with military discounts. You could save loads of cash on professional movers, rental trucks, and moving containers.
Guaranteed pickup dates
Montway’s guaranteed pickup dates are a big deal for military personnel. Most military car shipping companies give you an estimated pickup date. It helps them keep their ducks in a row and account for unexpected delays like weather, traffic, and even sick drivers. But it's a problem for you if you’re PCSing and must be out of town by a specific date. Suppose the military PCS vehicle shipping company hasn’t arrived before you leave for your next base. In that case, you’re stuck leaving your car behind or trying to find a friend who can help at the last minute.
You never have those problems with Montway Auto Transport. If Montway says it will pick up your vehicle by the time you leave town on the 15th, let’s say, you don’t have to worry about the driver showing up after you’ve already left.
Looking for GPS tracking and guaranteed pickup dates?
American Auto Shipping—Guaranteed prices
American Auto Shipping’s guaranteed prices can save you hundreds of dollars. While other companies sometimes raise their rates after giving you a quote, American Auto Shipping doesn’t. The auto transport company’s carriers also offer military discounts that range from about $25–$100 (the website’s discount info is confusing). Put it all together, and you can sometimes get lower rates with American Auto Shipping than most other companies.
What sets American Auto Shipping apart?
American Auto Shipping’s guaranteed quotes mean that you never have to worry about your price going up. It’s a feature that can save you hundreds of dollars. Most car shipping companies give you an initial estimate—or a best guess of how much a driver will charge. Truth be told, your final price could be anywhere from 25–50% higher than your initial quote. That means a $1,000 quote could turn out to be closer to $1,250 or even $1,500.
You don’t have that problem with American Auto Shipping. A $1,000 quote means a $1,000 final price.
The only real downside is that the initial quote can seem high compared to other companies. Because American Auto Shipping doesn’t suck you in with an unrealistic low price, its initial rates are about 20% higher than the industry average. But since it won’t jack up your rate, your final price can be less than what you’d pay one of its competitors.
American Auto Shipping doesn’t charge a deposit. You can cancel your reservation for free if you find a lower price somewhere else.
Instant online quotes
American Auto Shipping makes it convenient for members of the armed forces to shop for auto transport service quotes. Many companies require you to call for an estimate, meaning you need to carve out a spare 10–15 minutes to get a price. And since we recommend you get quotes from a few different companies, you’re looking at upwards of an hour. That’s too much time when you’re already busy packing for your move, filling out your PCS paperwork, and dealing with the stress of leaving your home for a new military base.
With American Auto Shipping, all you have to do is go online and enter a few key details about your destination, vehicle, and move date. You can usually get a fully guaranteed quote in less than two minutes.
$500 damage-free guarantee
Car shipping accidents are rare, but American Auto Shipping has a damage-free guarantee that can set your mind at ease when it’s time to PCS. Every car shipper must carry basic liability insurance. But the terms and conditions often place limits on what’s covered. For example, your coverage might not include potential POV damage. In that case, you have to go through your personal insurance.
If you end up needing to file a claim, American Auto Shipping will pay up to $500 of your insurance deductible. That’s a massive amount of money—and it doesn’t cost you a cent. American Auto Shipping is so confident in the quality of its drivers that it throws in the extra coverage for free.
American Auto Shipping increases your odds of a damage-free delivery by using only the top 2% of auto transport drivers.
Like the idea of guaranteed prices, convenient quotes, and safe drivers?
uShip lets you search for your POV shipper online. It’s a big time saver. Rather than repeatedly waiting on hold, you can log on to the website at your convenience. uShip also has a military discount worth about $60 and is available in all 50 states. You can’t get guaranteed quotes, and the customer service is a bit slow. But other than that, uShip is the epitome of convenience.
What sets uShip apart?
Shop online (and out of the country)
One of uShip’s best features is the ability to shop online. Many car shipping companies require you to call for quotes. Not only do you have to deal with customer service reps, but you also have to camp out on hold. If you gather several different quotes, it can take an hour or more to get initial estimates.
uShip lets you do all of that online in minutes. Simply create a free uShip account, fill in some basic info about your destination, date, and vehicle, and then wait for car shippers to email you with bids. You can do everything you need in a fraction of the time other companies require. Plus, you don’t have to deal with robotic phone trees or gamble on reaching friendly customer service reps.
You can even do your shopping from outside of the country. So if you’re PCSing to an international base, you don’t have to match time zones for a phone call or pay long-distance fees. All you need is an internet connection.
Waived booking fee
uShip waives the first booking fee (typically around $60) for all service members thanks to a partnership with the ID.me’s identity verification website. You can verify your military status in one of four ways:
- Confirm your USAA membership. The most popular option is to verify your identity using your existing United Services Automobile Association (USAA) account. To qualify for this option, you must be a USAA member (and the primary account holder) and be eligible to purchase Property & Casualty Insurance through USAA.
- Check military service records. Enter any date during which you served in the military. Be sure to use the same name listed on your military records. For example, if you served under your maiden name, that’s the name you’ll want to put on the form.
- Use a .mil email address. Once you fill out some basic information, ID.me can send a confirmation link to your .mil email address. Use this option only if you have immediate access to your military account.
- Upload military documentation. Upload a digital copy of your DD214, NGB form 22, Leave & Earnings Statement, Veteran Health Identification Card, or Veteran Identification Card. Just be aware that ID.me doesn’t accept Common Access Cards for verification purposes.
ID.me lets you verify your military status through one of four options, after which uShip will waive your first booking fee (typically about $60).
Once ID.me verifies your military status, you also qualify for many military discounts from other companies that don’t have anything to do with car shipping. Check out just a small sample of participating companies that have special deals for the military community:
- Caesar’s Palace
- Under Armour
uShip’s military discount applies to active duty military personnel and veterans. National Guard, Reserves, retirees, military spouses, and immediate military family members also qualify.
Pick your price
uShip is an excellent option for service members who want control over price. While most car shipping companies give you a single estimate, uShip allows you to sort through every bid. It’s complete transparency that empowers you to find low-cost carriers with high customer satisfaction ratings (uShip lets you pick both your price and driver).
For example, we asked uShip carriers to bid on a shipment for a midsize sedan. We got dozens of responses that followed the same format in the screenshot below. uShip showed us each carrier’s price. It also gave additional information like total cars shipped, what percentage of customers would use the company again, and how long the transporter has been on uShip.
uShip allows you to see the price submitted by every carrier interested in your shipment, along with details like total cars shipped and average satisfaction rating.
In this case, we can see that Montway has the highest price ($579), but that it has also shipped the most vehicles (23,315). About 94% of customers would use the company again, putting Montway between SGT Auto Transport (93%) and Tempus Logix (95%).
If we valued price above everything else, we’d select Tempus Logix’s $529 bid. Or, if we wanted a company with lots of experience, we’d choose Montway since it’s shipped nearly four times as many POVs as the other two carriers combined.
uShip’s flexibility is incredible. Its online marketplace shows you all of the information you need to make a decision and then lets you make the call.
Like the convenience of shopping online?
Sherpa Auto Transport—$100 military discount
Sherpa Auto Transport has the best military discount in the business. It takes $100 off the price for every service member. The transport company also guarantees your quote up to $300, which is only one of many things that customers love about Sherpa. On the downside, it can be inconvenient. You must call for a quote, and its online chat feature is really just a low-IQ bot. Your choice comes down to price and quality versus convenience. If it’s worth 10 minutes on the phone, Sherpa could end up saving you hundreds of dollars.
What sets Sherpa Auto Transport apart
$100 military discount
Sherpa has the best vehicle shipping military discount we’ve seen. And unlike some other transportation companies, the savings aren’t carrier-dependent (or the luck of the draw). As a service member, you get $100 off your POV shipment no matter which driver gets assigned.
Don’t panic if you can’t find the discount on Sherpa’s website. It’s not there. For whatever reason, Sherpa doesn’t mention the military discount despite it being the best in the business. But the rep we talked to said all you have to do is mention that you’re in the military, and you’ll get the discount (these are the kinds of money-saving tips that Move.org specializes in).
Price Lock Promise
Sherpa Auto Transport guarantees your car shipping price up to $300. That means if it quotes you $1,000, but the carrier ends up charging $1,300, Sherpa eats the extra cost rather than passing it down to you.
That’s a pretty big deal. Many car shipping prices rise anywhere from 25–50% after your initial quote. But Sherpa customers rarely have to worry about sticker shock, thanks to the company’s $300 guarantee. It adds up to some of the lowest final prices in the industry.
Excellent customer service
Sherpa prides itself on excellent customer service. We checked nearly a dozen review sites and found that the average customer awards Sherpa Auto Transport a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews often mention how polite Sherpa’s reps are and how clearly they explain the car shipping process.
Here are a few other features that might be behind Sherpa’s high ratings:
- Origin story grounded in customer-first philosophy. Sherpa was formed after its creator had a lousy experience shipping his car. Like any inspired superhero, he took a traumatic experience and used it to create something helpful to others. The company’s entire approach is designed with customer experience in mind.
- Free car wash. Every military member who ships a POV with Sherpa qualifies for a free car wash worth up to $20. Its Clean Car Guarantee is so popular with customers that we’ve started to see other companies offer the same service.
- In-depth carrier vetting. Sherpa doesn’t let just anyone behind the wheel. It carefully analyzes publicly available information to find the best drivers and then narrows down its list even more by analyzing internal statistics. Any driver who doesn’t treat Sherpa’s military clients with a premium level of service gets dropped.
Want to save money with a $100 military discount?
We’ve done the legwork to find the best military car shipping companies:
- AmeriFreight. No one has a better combo of low prices, thoroughly vetted drivers, and happy customer reviews.
- Montway Auto Transport. Montway has partnerships with hundreds of GPS-enabled carriers, so you can always know where your POV is. Its discounts also apply to everyone in the extended military community.
- American Auto Shipping. While other companies often jack up their rates by 25–50%, your initial quote stays the same with American Auto Shipping.
- uShip. No other company can match the convenience of uShip’s online shopping. It also waives your first booking fee (worth about $60).
- Sherpa Auto Transport. Its $100 military discount is about twice as high as the deals offered by most other companies.
Move.org calculates industry averages and identifies pricing trends by following a fourfold research approach:
- Compare quotes. We collected nearly 700 quotes from 10 different companies. The car shipping quotes included prices for a motorcycle, car, SUV, and truck across 11 distances on both open and enclosed transport.
- Mystery shopping. We contacted auto transport companies posing as customers to gather pricing data and learn how the brokers formulate their prices.
- Site visits. We invited several industry leaders to visit our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT, and explain what goes into their pricing. We then compared their answers to information we independently obtained to verify accuracy.
- Annual calendar. We repeat this process every year and save our data so that we can compare trends over time.
- Department of Defense, Move.mil, “Official DOD Customer Moving Portal.” Accessed August 25, 2021.
Military car shipping FAQ
What is a POV in the military?
A POV in the military is a privately owned vehicle. The military applies a POV designation only if vehicles are self-propelled, licensed to travel on public highways, designed to carry passengers, and have four or more wheels.
Does a leased vehicle count as a military POV?
Yes, a leased vehicle counts as a military POV as long as it is on a long-term lease. The military defines a long-term lease as 12 months or longer.
Does the military pay for car shipping?
The military often pays for car shipping outside the continental United States (OCONUS), but not if you’re PCSing within the continental United States (CONUS). Move.org’s Military Car Shipping Guide breaks down additional details.
Can you ship a car when you PCS?
Yes, you can ship a car when you PCS. However, the military typically doesn’t cover the cost of a POV, so it’s worth reading through Move.org’s best military car shipping companies to find the lowest rates.
What is the best car shipping company for military members?
The best car shipping company for military members is AmeriFreight. The military car shipping service has prices about 20% below the industry average, a $35 military discount, and more than 15 years of experience with military moves.
Which companies have a military discount to ship a car?
How much does a military POV shipment cost?
A military POV shipment costs approximately $1,190. Prices range from about $660 to ship a midsize car 750 miles on open transport to around $2,040 to ship a large truck across the country in an enclosed carrier.
What’s the difference between a military equipment shipping company and a military car shipping company?
The difference between a military equipment shipping company and a military car shipping company is what types of vehicles they transport. Military equipment shipping companies focus on items like government humvees and tanks. In contrast, military car shipping companies transport POVs like cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles.
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