How to Get Government Rental Car Rates

Discounts Available for Both Official and Leisure Travel

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Employees of the US government as well as many state and local governments are entitled to government rental car rates, whether traveling on official business or for personal reasons.  For official US government travel, the rental agreement includes add-ons like liability insurance, underage and additional driver fee waivers, and more.

Although several car rental companies offer leisure travel discounts to government employees, benefits like additional and underage driver fee waivers usually are not included.

Use the information below to help you find US government rental car rates that you can use for your trip.  Sometimes coupons or promo codes are also available that are good for perks like free upgrades – these may be valid for official travel, leisure travel, or both.

For state or local government rental car rates, inquire with your employer as to whether or not they have a discount agreement with any car rental companies.  If your employer is large, like a university or school district, start your inquiries at the human resources office or other department that administers benefits for leisure travel discounts.

You should receive some sort of guidance when booking a vehicle for official travel.  If not, you can call the government, corporate, or small business program of any car rental company and tell them the name of your employer – they can tell you if there is a discount agreement, and, if so, how to access the discount.

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The US government has negotiated reduced rental car rates with every major car rental company, along with the following additional benefits*:

  • Unlimited mileage
  • Free collision damage waiver (CDW) and/or loss damage waiver (LDW)
  • Free liability coverage
  • No underage driver fee for drivers age 18-25
  • No fee for additional drivers
  • No minimum rental period
  • No advance reservation required

* These benefits are included with every government car rental and are available from all rental companies with US government contracts.


Federal Government Rental Car Rates and Benefits for Official Travel

Note: most car rental companies allow you to earn frequent flyer miles on car rentals for official government business.

Method 1:  Get Government Car Rental Discounts Directly from Rental Companies

Some car rental agencies offer government car rental discounts through the use of coupons and/or discount codes, which is usually less painful than booking the rental through the E-Gov Travel Service (see below for more information). You may be asked to present your government ID and proof of official travel when picking up the vehicle.

To ensure you get the US government discount on car rental and the associated benefits, check the rental contract for the mandatory Government Administrative Rate Supplement (GARS) fee of $5.00 per day. If this fee appears, you are covered under the government rental program. If the GARS fee doesn’t appear in the rental agreement, inform the counter agent that you’re traveling on official government business and ask them to make sure you are getting the proper discounted rate and the other benefits noted above.

The following car rental companies offer discounts to federal government employees directly on their websites (or by calling):

  • Alamo Government Discount for Official Travel

    • Stack the following codes (use them simultaneously):
      • Enter GOVBIZ in the contract ID field (if not visible, click “Add Discount Code”).
      • Enter coupon code AU5751ADC for a free single upgrade to the next higher car class.

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Method 2:  Use ETS or Fedtravel

The E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) allows US government travelers to book discounted car rentals and make other travel arrangements.

More information on ETS

You can also use Fedtravel.com to search for and reserve vehicles, but the rates are generally pretty high.  It’s usually much more cost-effective to book directly with the rental companies when possible.

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Important Things to Know About the US Government Car Rental Discount Program

  • Not all locations of an approved car rental company participate in the program.
  • Using a Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) or showing official travel orders does not guarantee you’re renting under the program. Make sure that the GARS fee appears in the rental agreement as described above.
  • Roadside assistance is provided at no additional cost for any mechanical defect with the vehicle. Flat tires, jump starts, and fuel service are not covered unless they are mechanically related.
  • Unauthorized vehicle use is not covered and travelers are responsible for any loss or damage incurred. Unauthorized use is pretty much limited to things you shouldn’t be doing in a rental car anyway, and includes things like illegal use of the vehicle, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, operating the vehicle off-road, pushing another vehicle, using incorrect fuel, etc.
  • Vehicles rented under the program are to be used for official business only. In most cases, this means that friends, family, and even government contractors are not allowed to ride in the vehicle.
  • When you rent a car under the program, the rental company can’t automatically charge you for fuel upon the return of the vehicle without your written consent. You must return the vehicle full of gas; use your judgment as to whether you should pre-purchase the fuel when you pick up the vehicle (usually more expensive than the price per gallon at a gas station).
  • The details of the program are contained in the US Government Car Rental Agreement

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Federal Government Rental Car Rates for Leisure Travel

A number of companies also offer government car rental rates for leisure or other personal, non-business travel. Valid government ID will be required when you pick up the vehicle. Rentals are not subject to the terms of the US Government Car Rental Agreement, meaning that the renter is responsible for additional fees for loss damage waiver (LDW), collision damage waiver (CDW), underage drivers, additional drivers, and the like.

Note: most car rental companies allow you to earn frequent flyer miles on car rentals for personal leisure travel.

  • Alamo Government Discount for Leisure Travel

    • Stack the following codes (use them simultaneously):
      • When renting a car from Alamo, enter GOVRNR in the contract ID field to get the government car rental discount for leisure travel.
      • Enter coupon code AU5751ADC for a free single upgrade to the next higher car class.
  • Avis Government Discount for Leisure Travel

    • For Avis governmeent car rental discounts on personal travel, enter A555084 in the AWD number field when making the reservation.
    • If this field is not visible, check the “I have a discount code” box.
    • This code entitles you to 25% off internet rates.
  • Enterprise Government Discount for Leisure Travel

    • Call 1-800-261-7331 to inquire if the location you wish to rent from offers leisure travel discounts, and to make a reservation.
    • Note: the government leisure travel discount code FGZTA no longer works on the Enterprise website.

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