Skip to main content
7 answers
8
Asked 2647 views

Should I start working on getting a car before joining the military?

How useful is having a car while serving active duty in the military?

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

8

7 answers


2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jesse’s Answer

Hi,

1. First part of your service is training and at the mercy of the military. You will dictated where and when to go. Once you pass Basic Military Training, you aren’t allowed to go far anywhere and Usually cannot leave base for a few months (different for each branch) and if you do, you have curfew anyways.

2. Since every base where they conduct basic military training (Great Lakes, Lackland AFB, MCRD San Diego/Lejeune, various Army forts) have been doing this for a long time, they have buses and transportation systems on base to get you where you need to go.

3. Most people wait till they are done with tech training/secondary training schools until they get to their permanent base because it usually costs $1000+ to ship your car anywhere or you get orders overseas and now you wasted money

OR you can be the most popular person, drive people everywhere because they want to mooch of you since they don’t have a car and never offer gas money.

4. Or you can wait till you get to your base and I know you didn’t ask but….

Do not, do not, please do not buy a car you really really want right away. Lots of people try to impress their friends who don’t care about your car to be frank and you end up stuck in debt when you should be investing into saving money, your federal retirement fund etc.

Get a car you can tolerate driving, gets you to A to B and when you start promoting, making more money, THEN get your car.

Not insulting your intelligence if you already knew this but sooooo many young people make that mistake.

But yes, later after being patient, smart with your money, it’s worth it so you can travel, make life long. memories, go see your family etc if they’re not too far.

Hope this helps.

Jesse Beltran, USAF
2
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Patrick’s Answer

Do not purchase a car prior to enlistment. You will not be permitted to drive during basic training and will have limited permission to leave the area during your AIT phase. It will likely be several months before you would even have the option to drive, and if you are stationed overseas the cost of shipping a car would be very expensive vs buying a cheap car when you arrive and settle in at your deployment location.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Eric’s Answer

Hello Marco,

It would be to your convenience if you obtain a car prior to service and it would make you be perceived and more reliable by not having to rely on others. On that note, if your first duty station is overseas, being active duty entitles you to free government storage for your possessions, to include your vehicle. Personally, I bought my first car after my navy apprenticeship school and during my navy continuing school and folks in my immediate chain of command taught me how to drive, giving me the same advice that I am passing along to you.


Respectfully,
Eric Hopkins, MHA, RMA
HM2(FMF), USN
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Dexter’s Answer

Depend on how and where you are going for training. if you are on your own you can be allowed to drive to each of your training, assignments. Seen it in person. the right question will get the right answers. don't be intimidated by the recruiters you are volunteering, so get what you want not what they persuade you into. SO... if you are single and have no bills yea get one if you are going to get a car note. set it up to auto pay, pay extra on the principal balance and by the time you get ready to drive it you will have positive equity,n a better place to buy and definitely a great credit score

Dexter recommends the following next steps:

decide if you are going to go cash or note
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Mark’s Answer

Don't purchase a car until you at least until you get to your first duty station and you won't be allowed to even have one. 2nd, the most cost efficiently during my time in was to purchase a used car from someone on the base leaving. I had quite a few very good used cars and paid on the average $500 each and usually was able to sell it for close to that when I left. Don't ship overseas, you can usually get better deals in country and depending on where you're stationed you may not even need one or can even have one. I did 2 tours in Korea before being in five years and at the time there was if you were allowed a vehicle you had to be a E-6 to have one. I Germany I bought a German version of a Toyota Celica for $2200 dollars with 60,000 km on it with 2 complete sets of tires (summer & winter). At the time Toyota's had a very low resale value in the German Economy and when I left I sold it to an American for $1800. I put 120,000 Km on it with nothing but gas and oil changes. Save your money for your retirement or major purchases such as a house. It's hard to say as I do love cars, but, they're basically needed to get from point A to B. They are a depreciating asset, nothing more.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Robert’s Answer

Hi Marco, to start out it would be tough with your basic training location and school for your specialty afterword. If you are looking at joining the reserve or national guard that could help since you could possibly be working locally when not doing your weekend duty and other assignments needed. Plus if you join and the branch is offering a signup bonus that could be the way to get your car you want after.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Marco,

Let's Talk About Cars and Military Life

Deciding to join the military is a life-altering choice that affects many aspects of your life, including how you get around. The idea of buying a car before enlisting might seem appealing, but it's important to think about the pros and cons of owning a car while on active duty. This guide will help you understand the role of a car in military life, taking into account factors like ease of movement, comfort, and the financial impact.

Ease of Movement and Comfort

Owning a car while in the military can make getting around easier and more convenient. Military life often involves moving to different bases or posts, which can mean daily commutes or exploring new places in your spare time. Having your own car gives you more control over when and where you go, compared to depending on public transport or military-provided shuttles.

However, remember that the military does offer transport options for official duties, like base shuttles and government vehicles for specific jobs. Plus, some bases even have their own public transport systems, which can lessen the need for a personal car.

Thinking About Your Wallet

Buying a car before enlisting can have a big impact on your finances. New cars are usually expensive, and you also have to think about insurance and regular maintenance costs. Plus, being deployed or moving can make owning a car tricky. For example, storing a car while you're deployed or selling it before you move can be a hassle and cost a lot of money.

On the flip side, waiting to buy a car until after you've enlisted might be better for your bank account. Some military programs, like the Military Star Card or USAA programs, offer discounts or special financing for service members. Plus, being in the military can mean a steady paycheck and stable living situation, which can make managing car-related costs easier.

Cars During Basic Training and Deployments

Keep in mind that during basic training, you're not allowed to have a personal car on base. So, buying a car before enlisting might not be helpful in this case. Also, when you're deployed, you might not be able to bring your car because of limited storage or unsafe conditions where you're going. In these cases, you'd need to figure out a different way to get around.

Wrapping Up

In short, owning a car while on active duty can make getting around easier and more comfortable, but it can also be a big financial commitment. It's important to think about these things carefully before deciding whether to buy a car before enlisting. Waiting until after you've enlisted might be better for your wallet and fit better with the demands and rules of military life.

Stay safe and blessed!
James Constantine Frangos.
0