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Avoid These Mistakes When Shipping Your Car During PCS Moves

by Lizann Lightfoot - March 31st, 2023

Avoid These Mistakes When Shipping Your Car During PCS Moves

This article is sponsored by ACI Transport, who offers a discount to military families shipping a vehicle during PCS moves.

Military families have choices when they PCS, especially when it comes to transporting your vehicles. The military only pays a mileage reimbursement for one vehicle. So if you own more than one vehicle, you can drive all your vehicles in a road trip caravan to your next duty station. Or, you can drive the family in one, and ship your other car to your new location.

If you choose to ship your vehicle when you PCS, you have choices about which auto transport companies to use. But be careful! Not all companies are created equally. It's important to take the time a research a company to make sure they have the proper credentials before you pay any deposits.

Here are some things to watch out for when hiring an auto transport company for your next PCS move.

Avoid these mistakes when shipping your car

Before handing over your car keys to any shipping company, make sure you think about these tips, and avoid any companies that don't meet professional requirements.

Mistake #1: Not doing research

You'll find plenty of ads online for car shipping companies, but they don't all offer the same service or quality. Thorough research plays a pivotal role in securing top-notch services at reasonable prices, particularly when it comes to shipping your car.

To ensure that you make an informed decision, it is essential to delve into the background of the companies you are considering. This means conversing with former clients and examining online reviews to gain a better understanding of what to anticipate. Use trustworthy platforms such as the Better Business Bureau can provide valuable insight into their reputation and performance.

Mistake #2: No service providers insurance

This is a red flag. Because there's always a chance your vehicle could get damaged during transport, any reputable company will have adequate insurance coverage.

To ensure a stress-free auto transportation experience, enlist the services of a reputable and established company that offers comprehensive insurance coverage. A reliable company should readily provide you with a copy of their carrier's insurance policy. This will give you the assurance that your vehicle is adequately protected.

Mistake #3: Forgetting to prep your vehicle

Before transporting the vehicle, it is crucial to prepare it properly. This involves washing the vehicle and documenting its condition thoroughly before it gets picked up. To ensure a safe journey, it is important to reduce the amount of fuel in the tank, remove all personal belongings from the car, and take photographs of the vehicle to compare its condition upon arrival.

Read more tips here to prep your car for a PCS move.

Mistake #4: Not being available for pickup and delivery

Being physically present or having someone you trust present during the pickup and delivery of your vehicle is crucial. Once you have received your car, it is highly recommended to inspect it thoroughly and identify any new issues that may have arisen during the transportation process. If you notice any damages, it is essential to take photos of the vehicle before and after transportation and provide them to the transportation company as evidence. Make sure to file a claim with the company promptly to ensure that any issues are addressed and resolved.

Mistake #5: Not asking questions

When you have found a suitable auto transportation company, don't hesitate to inquire about any details you may have. Ask all pertinent questions to gain a better understanding of the shipment process. Research the company's reputation and experience to determine if you will receive top-notch service.

Using a shipping company to relocate your car to another state can give you peace of mind, as professionals will handle the task. It is essential to conduct thorough research, confirm all expenses upfront, and be aware that low prices may not guarantee quality service. By doing so, you can have a hassle-free and budget-friendly car shipping experience.

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