FREDERICK COUNTY, MD - Frederick County has entered the car rental business. Commissioners have instituted a policy allowing certain non-county government agencies to borrow from the county's fleet of vehicles, trailers and construction equipment, according to

Eligible agencies include Frederick Community College, the Board of Education, municipalities, and state agencies based in Frederick, including the Health Department and the Department of Social Services.

Frederick County commissioners unanimously recently approved the policy. There is no cost to the county. 

Under the policy, the vehicles can be rented for special purposes at a cost that includes the price of fuel.

"For the daily rental of vehicles, the costs range from 44 cents per mile for a compact car to 60 cents per mile for a 15-passenger van," Austin S. Abraham, director of the county's Management Services, wrote in an e-mail to The Gazette. "This cost includes fuel."

To rent a vehicle, a request form must be obtained from Frederick County Fleet Services. Proof of insurance must also be provided.

The rental fleet has 16 vehicles, which includes sedans, pickup trucks, passenger vans and cargo vans.

Prior to the new policy, the county occasionally received requests from non-government agencies to rent a vehicle, said Pat Hannah, director of the county's Fleet Services.

"We receive maybe two or three such requests a year, usually for use of a 12- or 15-passenger van," Hannah said.

The county believes the new policy will foster "good relations" with other agencies.