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4 Reasons it's More Cost Effective to Ship Your Car During PCS Moves

by Lizann Lightfoot - March 28th, 2023

4 Reasons it's More Cost Effective to Ship Your Car During PCS Moves

This article was written in collaboration with our friends at ACI Transport, who offer military discounts on shipping a vehicle during a PCS move.

You're PCSing, and you need to figure out a way to get your vehicles from your current location to the next duty station. Good news: the military will reimburse mileage for one vehicle and several days of hotel stays for your PCS, depending on the distance between the two duty stations.

But here's the problem: that travel claim only covers one car, and you have to go through the stress and effort of driving it yourself--packed with kids, pets, house plants, and all your valuables--across the country. Many military families have two vehicles, and worry about the danger of driving them both such long distances. Flat tires, highway accidents, road fatigue, and whining toddlers can make a PCS move dangerous. And costly.

That's why many military families choose to ship a vehicle when they PCS. If you ship a car when you move, you'll pay a professional company to deliver it to the new location for you. It's transported on a trailer, so you aren't putting wear and tear on your tires, or extra mileage on your engine.

Is shipping a car the right choice for your next PCS? Keep reading to find out!

4 Reasons to ship your car during PCS moves

Save time by shipping a vehicle

When you receive PCS orders, the military will pay travel and lodging for a specific number of days, based on the distance between the two assignments. You get one day of travel for the first 400 miles, then an extra day for every 350 miles after that. But if you want to stop anywhere along the way, or drive less than 6-7 hours a day every day of your move, then you'll pay out of pocket every extra night you are in a hotel.

If you drive your car for long distances, you may need to take days off that you don't have available. Shipping your vehicle would provide you with extra time to concentrate on other crucial tasks related to relocating from one base to another.

Save money when you PCS

Opting to transport your vehicle from one state to another can be a cost-effective choice. Many people assume that employing a transport company to move their vehicle is a pricey affair. However, this is not entirely accurate. With thorough research, one can obtain reasonable prices that enable substantial savings.

Driving your car from one state to another comes with unexpected expenses that you should consider. Depending on the distance, it could take you several days to reach your destination. Consequently, you will have to account for additional costs such as food, lodging, and fuel. These extra costs can quickly accumulate, potentially exceeding your budget. Besides these expenses, you should also take into account the repair and maintenance costs for your car. Long-distance driving can put a strain on your vehicle, resulting in extra expenses such as repairs, oil changes, or tire rotations. Shipping your car eliminates all of these costs and reduces a significant amount of stress.

Read more here about the car shipping process during a PCS move.

Shipping a car is a PCS convenience

Using professional car shipping services can make relocating your vehicle from one place to another a hassle-free experience. Instead of dealing with the stress of driving long distances yourself, you can entrust a reliable company to handle the transportation for you. This allows you to focus on other important tasks while the experts take care of the hard work.

Reputable car shipping companies have the expertise to manage the entire process, ensuring your car is safely transported and delivered in excellent condition. In case of any damage, most companies take full responsibility and have insurance coverage, providing you with peace of mind throughout the process.

Read or watch to learn the benefits of shipping a car in our interview with ACI Transport here.

Safety and peace of mind when you ship your car

Driving your car long distances may require extended hours behind the wheel, which increases the risk of fatigue-related accidents. To avoid this danger, consider using the services of a professional car shipping company. They can transport your car safely and minimize the risk of accidents. When selecting a car shipping company, it's important to choose one that is insured and offers protection for your vehicle. The company should have insurance options available, so be sure to ask about what is covered and what happens in case of any damages or theft during transit.

It's recommended to select a reputable transportation company that takes full responsibility for moving your car. This way, if there are any damages or loss of your vehicle during transit, the transportation company will have you covered. On the other hand, if you choose to drive the car yourself, any damages incurred will be your responsibility and at your own expense.

However you decide to move to your next duty station, we hope you'll research your options and make the choice that is the best fit for your family. PCS moves are already stressful, but shipping a vehicle can be one less thing for you to worry about when you move your military family.

Lizann Lightfoot

Lizann Lightfoot

Lizann Lightfoot, the "Seasoned Spouse" is a professional writer and speaker for the military community. After two decades with her service member, her family has been through 7 deployments and 6 PCS moves. Lizann has raised 5 children and published several books for military families. Her most recent book is "Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses" published Sept 2021 by Elva Resa. You can find Lizann's articles and resources at