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5 RENTAL CAR FIRMS BEING SUED FOR AGE DISCRIMINATION

Five rental car companies are being sued by state Attorney General G. Oliver Koppell over age discrimination, he said Wednesday.

He accused the Hertz Corp., National Car Rental System, Budget Rent A Car, Alamo Rent-A-Car, and Ameri-Car of refusing to rent to licensed drivers between the ages of 18 and 25.

Koppell said he delayed for two weeks threatened suits against four other rental companies while they consider their responses to charges of discrimination he made two weeks ago.

Those companies are Avis Rent A Car System, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Systems.

The lawsuits, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, seek to bar the companies from refusing to rent to younger drivers when insurance coverage is available for young drivers.

The rental companies claim that no insurance is available to them in the voluntary insurance market if they rent to younger drivers.

Koppell said the state Insurance Department has supported his claim that insurance is available for rentals to young drivers through New York's assigned risk plan.

"It is also the Attorney General's position that it is both permissible and feasible for the companies to pass on to the consumer any additional charge for Assigned Risk insurance coverage," his office said in a prepared statement.

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