If you have received orders to be stationed at an overseas military base, shipping your personal vehicle can help make the transition easier.

However, there are some important things to know to ensure a smooth shipping process. This guide provides tips and insights into the key steps involved when shipping a car to a military installation abroad.

Checking Vehicle Eligibility

The first step is to verify that your vehicle can even be shipped overseas. Most military transportation offices have restrictions on the size, age and condition of privately owned vehicles (POVs) allowed on bases. You’ll need to get your vehicle inspected to ensure it meets all eligibility criteria. Things like rust, damage, leaks and emissions tests may need to be passed.

Vehicle age is also a common restriction with most bases only allowing POVs 15 years old or newer. You’ll need your orders and inspection paperwork complete before the transportation office will approve your shipment. Working with your transportation advisor early is key to sorting out any vehicle issues upfront.

Cost Comparison of Shipping Options

With your vehicle cleared for shipment, you’ll need to research your transport cost choices. Surface shipping by boat is usually the most affordable method, taking 4-6 weeks, but air and expedited options are faster. Create a table comparing the main options like below:

Method Average Cost Transit Time
Surface $1000-$2000 4-6 weeks
Air $3000-$5000 1-2 weeks
Expedited/Door to Door $5000+ 5-10 days

Get firm quotes from shipping companies to budget costs appropriately. Expedited options make sense if timing is critical, while surface may suffice if you have more flexibility. Ask about any additional fees like port storage too.

Booking and Preparing Your Vehicle – Shipping a Vehicle

Once you’ve selected a shipper and transportation method, it’s time to finalize booking and ready your vehicle. Your shipper will need key details like pickup/delivery addresses, desired travel dates and any special requirements. Thoroughly clean and detail the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Remove any loose items, mount a gas tank lock to prevent fuel theft and leave only a quarter tank of fuel for weight and safety reasons. Properly prepare, drain and seal all fluid reservoirs as well. Your shipper can advise further on preparation needs. Get your vehicle crated or containerized based on transport type selected too.

Shipping Documents and Customs Regulations

Pay attention to the shipping and import documentation process, as paperwork errors can delay your arrival. Provide a copy of your orders, power of attorney forms, bill of lading and title/registration to your shipper. Research any host country import duty, tax or other requirements your personal shipment must meet too.

Some military installations have agreements waiving duties for POV shipments. Confirm this with your destination installation transportation office. Acquire necessary carnets, certification forms or import bonds to expedite customs clearance upon international arrival as well.

Tracking Your Shipment and Delivery Coordination – Shipping a Vehicle

Stay in contact with your shipper throughout the process. They should provide shipment tracking details and estimated delivery windows once your vehicle is onboard. Coordinate delivery logistics with your destination installation transportation office too for customs clearance assistance and base access approvals.

Have all necessary documentation on hand for a smooth handover from your shipper to the military. This includes confirming deliveries adhere to your installation’s business hours and that someone is available to receive the vehicle. Proper planning ensures your long-awaited reunion with your personal car!

Shipping a vehicle overseas requires thorough preparation and coordinated effort. But taking the time to understand requirements, compare options and ready paperwork upfront helps minimize complications down the line. With diligent organization and trusted transportation partners, you can confidently transport your POV to your new duty station abroad.