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It’s no secret that military service members love their lifted trucks, Ford Mustangs, and motorcycles for their “personally-owned vehicles,” or POVs. However, some of the cars that active duty personnel in the U.S. military prioritize might come as a bit of a surprise. Check out a handful of the most popular makes and models that those in uniform seem to collect.

A blue 2023 Toyota Camry shows off its front-end styling, a fascia popular among U.S. military personnel seeking vehicles.
2023 Toyota Camry | Toyota

While jokes and stereotypes point to the young enlisted servicemember going into massive debt for a late-model Dodge Challenger, the truth is a picture of sensibility. 

  • Ford F-150
  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Jeep Wrangler

When you think about it, some of these typical rides make sense for young and more seasoned servicemembers alike. For instance, the military can have little patience for absence or lateness. As a result, if personnel are expected to muster on the beach for exercises, a lowered Chevrolet Camaro isn’t an excuse for missing out. 

Moreover, some collateral duties call for specialized gear. Fitting a “full battle rattle” gear setup on a motorcycle isn’t fun or easy, trust me. Conversely, a sensible car like a Toyota Camry can easily swallow up a military kit and start reliably. Finally, not every active duty servicemember is a car enthusiast; many simply don’t care about a flashy ride. 

The Ford F-150 isn’t just a sales juggernaut for civilians; military personnel buy it, too

The Ford F-150 is one of the best-selling American vehicles of all time. It would make sense, then, that U.S. servicemembers would also vie toward the Blue Oval staple. Of course, a hiked-up pickup truck with four-wheel drive is a sensible way of driving on installations with challenging terrain.  

Is a Toyota Camry a good car for a young enlisted person?

While a Ford Mustang might be enticing for a young enlistee, the Toyota Camry is one of the most popular cars among U.S. military servicemembers, per We Are The Mighty. The Camry was the best-selling car in America from 1997 to 2019, offering military personnel dependability, affordability, and efficiency.  

How much is a new Honda Accord?

The 2023 Honda Accord is one of the most popular vehicle choices for U.S. military members, with its refined styling and affordability.
2023 Honda Accord | Honda

A new 2023 Honda Accord starts at $28,390, slightly pricier but still comparable to the Toyota Camry. Moreover, like the Camry, the midsize Accord has plenty of cargo capacity, seating for five, and plenty of affordable used options. 

As a result, the Accord is a close competitor for the attention of civilian and active-duty buyers alike. 

Given that the Jeep’s origins are steeped in military tradition, it makes sense that the Wrangler would be a popular choice for current servicemembers. Furthermore, the Wrangler’s versatility extends beyond top-off, doors-off cruising on the California coast. A Wrangler with ground clearance and four-wheel drive is a capable POV. 

Does the military give you a car?

Despite some misinformation on the subject, no, the U.S. military will not give you a car for enlisting or commissioning. However, active duty servicemembers often have little difficulty getting vehicle loans (sometimes predatory). Still, no branch of service will issue or award a POV. 

Still, single servicemembers’ base lodging and cafeteria-styling dining facilitate savings that would otherwise go to rent, mortgage, or groceries. As a result, some enlisted military personnel can earmark more of their take-home income for a vehicle purchase. Of course, if a car is your impetus for military service, you might be better off finding a career elsewhere.

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