Buying a car as a military family comes with a specific set of conditions. It needs to be affordable and it has to satisfy your family’s needs now and in the future. This is true if you are expecting to PCS to an overseas military base in the future. If this is your situation, it’s time to research car buying OCONUS in general and Military AutoSource (MAS) in particular.
Since many military families are two-car households, they are faced with a decision: How will I get around OCONUS? Will we ship both vehicles and pay the out-of-pocket costs, sell a vehicle stateside, or store it until you return to a CONUS installation? For families who sell or store, you’re likely to need to evaluate vehicle purchasing choices at OCONUS installations.
If the prospect of purchasing a vehicle on the economy in a country where you might not speak the language or know the laws doesn’t sound promising, maybe you should check out something a little closer to your installation. For those who want to purchase an American-made vehicle, your best choice is to explore Military AutoSource (MAS). MAS is embedded in over 50 OCONUS locations and sells US-spec vehicles. Here’s how MAS works and how you and your family can benefit from purchasing your vehicle with them.
What is Military AutoSource (MAS)?
MAS has OCONUS locations both on installations and on the economy to help accommodate the fluid schedules of service members and their families. Additionally, there are MAS locations embedded in installations throughout the United States.
MAS takes the guesswork out of purchasing a vehicle. Through its decades-long commitment to the military community, MAS is the top choice for many service members who need to buy a vehicle. Besides being the exclusive overseas military distributor for several leading vehicle manufacturers, MAS also stocks motorcycles, ATVs and off-road vehicles.
Vehicle brands offering military discounts through MAS include:
On the MAS website, search functions allow you to explore vehicle choices and select specific delivery locations. Pre-owned vehicles are available for purchase, or you can build your own custom vehicle, and have it delivered. Shop by brand, body style, price or explore searches related to your particular lifestyle.
MAS offers worldwide warranty coverage, which is incredibly useful if your next duty station is going to be OCONUS.
Who is Eligible?
To purchase a vehicle from MAS, you need to be a member of the US military or a civilian component (DoD or government contractor). US military members must be on active duty or stationed overseas during a TDY for more than 30 days. Members of the diplomatic community are also eligible to purchase vehicles at MAS locations.
What Services Does MAS Offer?
MAS is unique because it is supportive not just through the buying process but also when it comes time to ship your vehicle back to a CONUS location. They pride themselves on offering real-time customer service across all time zones.
In addition to worldwide warranty coverage, MAS has a dedicated team to help coordinate with host-nation mechanics and service stations. You’ll spend less time searching for a reputable mechanic, and you can rest assured MAS has vetted all of their recommended service stations.
MAS is also an authorized contractor for AAFES and NEXCOM, which means all you need to do is head to your installation and take a look at the vehicles available for purchase.
MAS has on-base pricing regulated and audited by the Department of Defense, so you get a competitive price across all locations. That means the price of a truck at one installation will be in line with the price of a truck somewhere else. No matter where you go, you’ll get the same price. MAS offers a price-match guarantee as well on all US-based deliveries. If you find a lower price on the same vehicle, they’ll match the price.
MAS is the sole vehicle provider for U.S. military stationed overseas, and this appointment comes directly from their manufacturer partners. You’re purchasing directly from the factory and eliminating the headaches that you might experience by purchasing at a dealership.
When you use your Military STAR Card to make your down payment on a new vehicle purchased at MAS, you’re eligible for a 2.999% interest rate for 12 months.
MAS Benefits the Military Community
You can purchase with confidence, knowing that a portion of every vehicle sale is donated to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs at installations where MAS dealerships are embedded. This has resulted in millions of dollars of contributions to help improve the quality of life programming for members of the military community.
Working in tandem with USAA, MAS is committed to making the vehicle buying process as simple as possible. USAA offers a program powered by TrueCar called the USAA Car Buying Service, making it easy to buy a car at a prearranged price to avoid having to haggle with dealerships. Before you head to MAS, it’s worth your time to give USAA and TrueCar a call to make the process even simpler.
MAS is also dedicated to giving back to the military community and regularly participates in and sponsors events. Additionally, the Warrior Specialty Vehicle Program designs and builds custom military-edition vehicles that are available for sale.
Buying a vehicle while stationed OCONUS doesn’t have to be difficult when you choose MAS as your retailer. Find the closest location to you here.
Is Military AutoSource My Only Option?
No. Companies like BMW and Volvo offer lucrative deals and promising discounts for service members, generally with low to no taxes and free shipping to some OCONUS locations. The deals are good, but they’re limited to only Volvo and BMW models so be sure to do your homework.
And if buying a new car isn’t in your budget, do not panic. Many military installations OCONUS have a rotating inventory of used cars sold by other military members. These cars are usually “beaters” and may or may not be as reliable as a car purchased through an approved dealer. But they can get the job done. Just be sure to get the vehicle inspected before buying any used vehicle.