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Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a topic to view answers to common questions related to the JTR and travel policy. Access more than 800 additional FAQs [login required] in the TraX Knowledge Center.

FAQ | Jan. 3, 2022

Rental Car

If you’ve correctly reserved your vehicle under the program, and GARS appears on the contract, then you are not responsible for loss or damage to the vehicle. The rental car company is required to protect the U.S. Government and its employees against liability for personal injury, death, and property damage arising from the use of the vehicle; however, the traveler or the traveler’s organization may be liable if an incident occurs due to negligence, recklessness, or circumstances unrelated to official business. For a complete accounting of coverage limits and exceptions to coverage, see U.S. Government Rental Car Agreement Section 18.

Per the Joint Travel Regulations, par. 020209, Table 2-8, and the Federal Travel Regulations (§301-10.450(d)), a traveler is not to be reimbursed for purchasing pre-paid refueling options for rental cars. If a traveler cannot refuel completely before returning the vehicle because of safety issues or the location of the closest fueling station, the traveler should discuss their concerns with their authorizing official to obtain authorization or approval for vendor refueling charges.

Participating rental car companies are required to provide travelers with a 24/7 phone number (toll-free or vendor-paid) to call for assistance with 1) towing if the vehicle is damaged (see U.S. Government Rental Car Agreement, paragraph 18.b), 2) assistance with a tire change if the vehicle contains no spare tire, or 3) a battery jumpstart if the battery is defective. All other roadside assistance is elective and the traveler or the traveler’s agency must pay if authorized or approved.

Per the Joint Travel Regulations, par. 020209, Table 2-8, line 16, you may be reimbursed for a toll collection transponder ONLY if your authorizing official has deemed it necessary and has authorized its official use. Administrative fees associated with failure to pay a toll are not reimbursable. It is the traveler’s responsibility to research their official travel location and decide whether to use travel routes that avoid tolls or to seek authorization for the cost of a toll collection transponder.

Per the Joint Travel Regulations, a compact vehicle is the standard size for official travel and travelers should always select a compact car as the vehicle of choice when making a reservation. Your authorizing official may approve a larger vehicle if certain requirements (listed in JTR, par. 020209.A) are met. If a rental company allows you to bypass the counter and go directly to the lot to select a vehicle, you must keep the class reserved unless the company offers an upgrade at no cost because a) they do not have a compact vehicle available, or b) you've earned an upgrade through the Frequent Renter Program.

Government employees should consult their servicing legal offices, as well as their contracting officer’s representative for specific guidance before transporting additional passengers, family members, or anyone not on authorized travel. Vehicles rented by government employees are for travel on official business only. Authorized drivers, if properly licensed, include the renter, and without additional charge, the renter's fellow Government travelers in official travel status while acting within the scope of their employment duties. There is no need to list such additional drivers on the rental agreement.

Use of a rental vehicle is limited to official purposes, including transportation to and from duty sites, lodgings, dining facilities, drugstores, barbershops, places of worship, cleaning establishments, and similar places required for the traveler’s subsistence, health, or comfort. All other personal use of a rental vehicle, reserved under the U.S. Government Rental Car Program, is prohibited. If a traveler takes leave in conjunction with Temporary Duty (TDY), the traveler must return the vehicle they rented for official business before they begin their leave. The vehicle the traveler uses for leave must not be under the same rental agreement used for official business. Rental car companies may extend government rates for leisure travel, but government leisure rates do not include the benefits of the U.S. Government Rental Car Program.

Enterprise, National, and Alamo require travelers to be 21 years of age to participate. All other active participating companies minimum age is 18 years of age.

If the reservation is made as an official government reservation (through DTS/ETS/ETS2 or your Travel Management Company), you will still be eligible for the benefits of renting under the U.S. Frequent Renter’s Program. You may still go online and sign-up but it may require a phone call to the rental car company to match your reservation to the new Frequent Renter Program number to earn the benefits/awards offered by the company.

Yes. You can make your reservation through your Travel Management Company (TMC); however, they do not maintain a list of your frequent renter numbers for future use. You would be responsible for transmitting your frequent renter number to the travel agent each time you make a reservation.

If you require assistance or wish to report a customer service issue, contact the rental car company directly. If issue must be elevated, contact DTMO using the Rental Vehicle Assistance Tool. You may also email DTMO’s car rental team for help with other questions at