For the men and women who serve in the armed forces, car ownership can be a necessity. This is more so because military personnel is often on the move and thus need reliable transportation to get them from place to place.
From registration to taxes, insurance, and maintenance, however, the processes and costs associated with owning a car can sometimes be a real challenge, especially if you’re away from home for long periods of time.
Fortunately, there are a variety of car ownership entitlements available for military personnel that can help them save money and easily acquire the vehicle of their needs. If you serve in the military, here are some car ownership entitlements you may appreciate knowing.
Military Car Allowance
One of the most significant benefits is the military car allowance, also called the military automobile grant. While it’s mostly provided to veterans by the Department of Veteran Affairs, service members with a service-related disability may also qualify for the grant.
This allowance is basically designed to help military personnel meet the cost of owning and operating a car. Depending on your rank, the allowance can cover up to 100% of the cost of owning a car, including taxes, registration, and insurance.
It can be of huge help for those who serve/d in the military but may not have the means to pay for these necessary expenses upfront.
Military Motor Pool
If you’re a service member, you are also entitled to the military’s motor pool. The motor pool is a fleet of cars that are available to military personnel to use, albeit temporarily while on active duty.
The cars in the military motor pool are usually well-maintained, but that’s not all. They also come with insurance and other necessary costs covered, so that service members do not have to worry about them.
Car Purchase Discounts
This is perhaps the biggest perk of being in the military as far as car ownership is concerned. As a service member, you will likely have access to various special discounts on car purchases.
It might not be an entitlement per se, but most car manufacturers offer discounts to military personnel on new and used vehicles, making it easier to get a good deal on a reliable car.
For serving members, the Military Car Sales Program (MCSP) can be a great place to get exclusive discounts on new cars, trucks, and SUVs from select manufacturers. Discounts are based on a percentage of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and may vary by manufacturer.
If you are ex-military and need a new ride, you may also be entitled to use the Veterans Discount Program for your purchase. This program provides a flat discount of up to $500 on the purchase of a new vehicle from participating dealerships.
Some of these programs are available to all active duty personnel, veterans, retirees, and their families. And while most of them are usually restricted to certain models, they can be a great way to save money on a car purchase, and your discount can even be applied to the cost of financing.
Loans and Financing Options
Another great perk of being an active or former service member is that you may be eligible for a number of affordable car financing options. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), for example, offers affordable veteran car loans as well as car financing and cash grants to military personnel on active duty.
This also includes options for military servicemen and women on PCS or temporary assignments overseas. As revealed on Military Autosource’s online page about cars for sale at Fort Buchanan, many banks and lending institutions also offer car financing solutions to active members of the military on select models.
It gets even better since under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), active duty service members can have their interest rates on vehicle loans reduced to a maximum of 6%. This is designed to make car loans more affordable and payments more manageable.
Military Personnel Serving Overseas
Military personnel serving overseas are eligible for certain car ownership entitlements that are designed to help them own and maintain their vehicles while they are away from home. These entitlements may include reduced registration costs, tax exemptions, temporary registration extensions, reduced car insurance, car-buying grants, and financing.
Moreover, service members on overseas assignments may also be entitled to transporting at least one privately owned vehicle to their new duty station. In this case, the government takes care of shipping and other associated costs, including registration, taxes, and insurance.
This can be a great way to avoid purchasing a new car every time you are assigned to a different station abroad. Overall, car ownership for military personnel can be a challenge, but there are several entitlements that can help make it easier.
From the military car allowance to the military motor pool, special car purchase discounts, and car financing, these benefits can help make car ownership more affordable and accessible to military personnel. Whether you’re looking for a new or used car, taking advantage of these entitlements can help make car ownership a smooth ride.