How To Buy a Military Vehicle on

Of all the questions I get asked, this is one of the most common.  Honestly, its one of the reasons that prompted me to create this website… that and insomnia.  I have purchased many vehicles from over the years and this is a compilation of what I have learned.  This guide is based on my personal experiences and experiences may vary.  

Should I buy from

The FIRST question you must ask yourself is “SHOULD I BUY A MILITARY VEHICLE ON GOVPLANET.COM?”  You have the option of buying a vehicle from or you could buy from a private individual who has already gone through the process.   I cannot determine which option is best for your situation.  All I can do is provide the advantages and disadvantages of each along with my experiences so you can make an informed decision so lets start there.


      • They have a wide selection of vehicles that come up every week.  The selection and quantity varies from week to week.
      • If you are patient and diligent, you can sometimes pickup a deal (as long as it doesn’t need any major repairs).


      • While there are pictures available, you are buying sight unseen and don’t know what they don’t show you.  I once purchased a HMMWV without the front drivetrain which was conveniently excluded from any pictures.  I was able to get a partial refund back, but it paled in comparison the cost and time involved with tracking down the needed parts.  Additionally, unless you are very familiar with what you are looking at, you may not know what is missing.  Something as simple as a GlowPlug Controller (aka Smart Start) could cost over $900 depending on availability.
      • You don’t know what problems you may be buying into.  Even if it is “running”, it could have major issues that simply cannot be uncovered in the GovPlanet evaluation.
      • You will pay fees and taxes (possibly twice) on top of the auction price.
      • After paying immediately, you may be waiting a LOOONG time before you can drive your truck.  Times vary and you MAY get lucky.  It has taken me from 2 weeks to 8 months to get permission to pick up a vehicle.  Once that happens, it has taken from 4 weeks to 6 months (and still waiting) to get the SF-97 which I use to obtain a title.  See the process outline and my experienced wait times below for more information.
      • After you get your truck, you have to go through your state’s process to get it tagged.  For some states this is relatively easy.  For my state it requires some paperwork (see below) and then it has taken me anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months (when it once got stuck in la-la land) to be issued by the state.
      • After you obtain approval to pickup the vehicle, you have to get it home.  You do NOT want to drive it home.  While some have done so successfully, that is rare and not something I would ever recommend.  These vehicles may have been sitting in a field for years before you picked it up.  You don’t know what fluids have water or other contaminants and you could do significant damage (to the truck or yourself) by driving it home without first inspecting it thoroughly.
      • If there is any breakdown in the process, including payment, EUC approval, pickup, and obtaining the SF-97, has one of the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENTS I have ever encountered anywhere in my life.  I have horror stories that I am still going through as I write this.  (See Horror Stories) Unfortunately, no one else is releasing them unless you buy them from a private seller.

So, if you are mechanically inclined, aren’t intimidated by a challenge, are willing to potentially shell out a lot more money for unknown issues, and have the patience of a saint to deal with, then proceed below.

How do I buy a vehicle from