Military Personnel:

Analysis of Major Rental Car Policies

NSIAD-92-214: Published: Jun 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed major U.S. automobile rental companies' policies to determine whether their policies restricted rentals to military personnel because of age.

GAO found that: (1) the 10 largest rental car agencies generally have policies restricting automobile rentals to individuals under 25 years of age; (2) rental car agencies' have minimum age requirements primarily because the risks of liability and damage to or theft of vehicles are higher with younger drivers; (3) some rental car agencies will rent to customers as young as 21 if they have a major credit card and can demonstrate that they are financially responsible; (4) some rental outlets operating under the corporate umbrella of the automobile rental corporation may not always be owned by the corporation itself, but by a licensee of the corporation; (5) all rental car companies had policies allowing automobile rental to government employees age 18 or older and on official government business; (6) rental car policies for military personnel not travelling on orders are the same as rental policies for the general public; (7) many car rental companies offer lower rates for military personnel and special discounts to the extended families of injured service personnel, for military personnel who served in Operation Desert Storm.