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Spaceballs

Overseas PCS and your cars

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More than likely I'll be heading overseas in the near future. Is it worth taking your car with you? I've heard through the grapevine that your car will get dinged up in the 3 months it takes to get there and then you have to deal with converting it to meet the host country's regulations. Then when you go back to the states I assume you have to undo the modifications you had done? The roads are also smaller than here in the states, so would a midsize sedan do ok on their roads? TIA.

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Just a midsize sedan, not sure where exactly yet. I've heard Japan plays a lot of games with you and makes you modify your car a lot. I haven't heard much about Europe yet.

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1 hour ago, Spaceballs said:

Just a midsize sedan, not sure where exactly yet. I've heard Japan plays a lot of games with you and makes you modify your car a lot. I haven't heard much about Europe yet.

I can tell you that in Germany you don’t have to do much if any modifications to your car. Now jolly ol England you will have to do some mods to it. When we sent both of our cars over nothing happened to them as for dents and dings, but I’ve had friends who have lost their cars due to fires on the transport boat coming back. As for Japan i wouldn’t even bother taking it over. 

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3 minutes ago, Spaceballs said:

Thanks crag. That's good to know. Any advice on Italy?

Sorry don’t know much about Italy other than they drive like maniacs there. You could check out aviano’s official page to see what they have listed for newcomers. 

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It depends on what you're driving. If you drive an 03 civic its probably not worth it to ship it, wait for it, and pick it up at a port and have to drive it across a country and put on 1400 miles. A buddy of mine came to Ramstein and bought a 2014 M3 through American Military Car Sales (might have been called Pentagon, not entirely sure now) and got a kick ass deal. He had it for two years as his daily (including the occasional autobahn shenanigans) got stationed back stateside, and sold it for an extra 8K after having his fun. I'm not too sure if they hook up the military folk as much as they used too but its almost always better then local dealers.

Getting stationed overseas is an awesome experience, and having reliable means of transportation to go skiing in the alps, hiking in switzerland, riverboat gambling trips, or whatever you're into, is a must.

Also yes, in Italy everyone drives like that one scene in family guy...

Italian drivers

Also, parking in the EU if you drive a Honda Odyssey or F150 is a great way to get your car scratched-UBAR, and basically tells everyone hey I'm an american, feel free to steal my GPS.

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Thanks crag. That's good to know. Any advice on Italy?

No issues in Italy. No mods required, SUV and smaller will do 90% of roads.

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The only dings I got on our cars during our three overseas assignments were all gotten on base...

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18 hours ago, Spaceballs said:

Thanks crag. That's good to know. Any advice on Italy?

Buy a Harley when you get there, on base.

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Regardless of where you end up going, few people seem to realize that (at least a few years ago when I shipped one) the travel to/from the port to drop off and pick up your car is a duty day.  Not leave, not permissive, just straight up tell your CC where you're going and you go during the work week like you were going to work.  You file a travel voucher and you get ROUND TRIP mileage to the closest port.  When I've done it, the round trip mileage more than covered whatever cheap one way ticket I could find for the other half.  I don't think you get per diem, but it's also been a while so check out the travel reg.

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Definitely do not bring to Japan...plenty of cheaper cars to buy when you get there.  You get one car storage paid for in the US..keep the one you want, sell any others. And you do not have to use the govt storage places, you can use a private one if you want. 

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pretty sure there's still a rule that you can't bring a car to Japan unless it was built in 1976 or earlier (though the cutoff year might have changed)...

  • Upvote 1

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Plus the care and feeding of your 2-3 year rental car is a big part of the Japan experience.  You wouldn't want to miss out.

 

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Do not bring it to Japan.  I bought a $1000 cheapo Japanese car that lasted 5 years.  Only used to to get from on base housing to work and back.  Taxis and trains are amazing in Japan.  Also, if you drive off base, the roads and parking lots are tiny, very hard to fit the bigger American cars.

Edited by dream big

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2 on not bringing it to Japan. Cars are dirt cheap on Okinawa and the salt spray will start to devour it unless you wash it a ton and have a garage. I live on base and when I wake up and walk to my car after a windy night it's covered in salt crust. Used car dealers will sell you a decent car for 3k with a 2 year bumper to bumper warranty. I got both  ours in the lemon lot, but it's hit or miss. Tons of selection in PCS season, but it dries up off season.  

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Moving back to the lower 48 from Alaska, we drove one car and shipped one car, a 7 year old Mazda 626.  A couple months later, we drive from Shaw to Charleston to pick it up and actually walk right past it.  Didn't even recognize it.  The hood, trunk, and roof had numerous dents, crush areas, and lots of rust.  Fortunately, no glass was broken so water inside the car wasn't a issue.  I can only guess they threw chains OVER the car  and tightened them to chain it down.  Insurance paid to have it fixed. 

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Depends on what you have and where you are going, like everyone else said. Having done Germany and Japan I would probably take what I had to Germany, and probably not bring anything to Japan.

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