Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shipping your car overseas

There are only a handful of locations in the U.S. that you can take your car to be shipped on the military's dime. The military will pay to have only one car shipped overseas. Luckily, the closes one for us is only 2.5 hours away. During PCS season, which are the months of April-August, they say to plan on it taking 60 days from drop off date to arrival in the new country. Thus we are dropping our car off next week to ensure we have our car waiting for us in Germany mid July.

Renting a car overseas is extremely expensive and they say it is far more worth it to have a rental car stateside than once you get overseas. Luckily we have another car we will use but then hurry and try to sell before we move...that will be fun! I hate that we have to sell our second car b/c it has been such a good car to us. Apparantly though older BMW's are a dime a dozen in Germany and you can get them for a few grand. Top Gun is very excited about this!

To rent a car overseas you have to have a temporary International Driver's License and you can obtain one through AAA for $15. This is different than the actual country's driver's license you will need to get once there.

For example, Top Gun will go to the education office on base before we move to Germany and set up everything so that when we get to Germany he just has to go on base there, watch an hour video, and then he'll get his German license. As the spouse though we have to go through the country to obtain one and can't do anything util we get there.

Oh and to actually pick up your car that you had shipped you will have to already have the German license and car insurance.


  1. You should be able to get your USAREUR Driver's License on base after passing a written test (fairly difficult compared to tests here in the states). Here's a helpful link:

    Make sure you study!

    Also, the International Driver's License offered by AAA is NOT required. If you have a valid U.S. Driver's License that will suffice until you get your USAREUR Driver's License. There definitely is a time limit on the validity of your stateside license, so I'd get the license ASAP.

    Good luck, and keep up the blog posts!

    -18 years living at various bases in Germany

  2. Thanks!! We never actually rented a car but was just TOLD this so I am so grateful you clarified it. We use our AAA license when we drive in other countries besides Germany though so I guess it wasn't a complete waste to have.