Juggling household goods, pets, kids and multiple cars on a cross country road trip to get to your next installation can be an overwhelming prospect. Take some of the stress out of your PCS by shipping your vehicle on a CONUS move!
Choosing A Transporter
1. Know what you need
There are a range of different options when it comes to how to move your car from one duty station to another. With a little research, you can figure out the best fit before beginning your search for a transporter – potentially saving time and money. You could opt for a closed or open carrier (an open carrier is the typical semi transport where cars are visible on the trailer). Closed carriers transport fewer vehicles on each trip so the cost is typically higher. Additionally, you will choose between door to door delivery and terminal to terminal delivery. When the government pays for OCONUS auto transport, it is a terminal to terminal system where the service member is responsible for getting the car to and from the terminal. With a door to door delivery, the carrier service picks up and drops off from your location of choice. This is more expensive but could save travel time and expenses if your duty station is in a more rural location.
2. Verify DOT & MC Numbers
It is vital that when researching potential carriers and considering their quotes that you also find and verify their DOT and MC numbers to ensure they are properly licensed. When search for Transporters using uShip.com’s listing service, the numbers are displayed in each carrier’s profile.
3. Know insurance details
Most personal auto policies do not provide coverage for a vehicle during shipment. It is best to be prepared and educate yourself about the various types of insurance held by the companies you are considering as your carrier. While there is a minimum required level of insurance for licensed carriers, the exact amount and extent will vary somewhat. A reputable carrier should have no problem furnishing proof of insurance and explaining the coverage.
Preparing For the Trip
1. Prepare the car for shipment
Before shipment, your vehicle should be free of drips and leaks. You will also want to repair any damage to windshield wipers and other external parts that are compromised in any way. If the vehicle is damaged in any way, you will want to let your carrier know that before they arrive so they can plan accordingly. The car should also be empty of belongings. You will want to have one car by itself ready to go with the car. To make the inspection easier, a quick rise or trip through the car wash before drop off is helpful!
2. Thorough inspection
Before your car is loaded onto the transport, the driver and you will complete a thorough inspection to detail the condition of the car on the Bill of Lading. It is vital that the car is clean enough that are able to clearly see and record any scrapes or dings and the over all condition of the car. Snapping a few pictures of the outside, interior and odometer would be a good idea as well. At the receiving end, you will be expected to do a similar inspection – good documentation makes it tremendously easier to recoup expenses if there is any damage to your vehicle.
3. Pick up and drop off plans
Keep in my that cross country transport is typically done via semi trucks that may not be able to access your residential neighborhood. Plan ahead and have a back up location at a large shopping center or similar parking lot for pick up and drop off. If you live on your installation in military housing, the transport companies will typically ask for you to load or unload off post.
Learn more about your next PCS move
We want to know:
Have you ever shipped your car during a PCS? Was there a PCS that driving two vehicles was a nightmare?