14 Military Vehicles Civilians Can Legally Own


Military automobiles have long captivated the imagination of fans. Be it powerful jeeps or imposing tanks, these cars are more accessible than you might think. Here are 15 service vehicles civilians can legally own, offering a unique blend of history, functionality, and sheer presence.

Jeep Willys MB

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Revered for its versatility and reliable performance, the iconic Jeep Willys MB, developed during World War II, remains a beloved symbol of hardy durability. Aficionados appreciate its historical significance and enjoy the challenge of maintaining and driving this vintage auto; thus, many of these cars have found second lives as restored classics on civilian roads.

Humvee (HMMWV)


The Humvee, a staple in the U.S. army, is now available to civilians through surplus auctions. Its solid frame and exceptional off-road capabilities make it a favorite for adventurous drivers who seek to conquer tough terrains. The Humvee’s spacious interior and modular design also allow for various customizations, enhancing its appeal to collectors.

AM General M35

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This beast is a two-and-a-half-ton truck extensively used from the 1950s onward due to its durability and impressive load capacity. The M35’s sound construction and reliable performance have cemented its status as a valuable addition to any collection of service automobiles.

Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer


The Pinzgauer is a high-mobility all-terrain vehicle originally designed for the Austrian troops. Prized for its off-road prowess and unique structure, it can easily navigate the most challenging terrains. The Pinzgauer’s versatility has made it popular among off-road fanatics and those who appreciate its distinctive European engineering.

Land Rover Defender


Many retired military Defenders have been restored for civilian use, offering a blend of practicality and historical charm. Owners appreciate its legendary reliability and the ease with which it can be altered to suit various needs, from farming to adventuring.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

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This vehicle is a versatile workhorse employed by various service forces. The Unimog’s ability to handle diverse terrains and conditions has earned it a loyal following among fans who value performance and engineering excellence.

Oshkosh L-ATV


The Oshkosh L-ATV, a newer military car, is starting to appear in the civilian market. Its advanced suspension and armor make it a unique and powerful automobile that stands out among other service collectibles. As an exemplification of modern engineering, the L-ATV offers a glimpse into the future of military vehicle layout while providing exceptional performance for civilian use.

Ferret Scout Car


Used during the Cold War, the Ferret Scout Car is a small, armored auto offering a fascinating history. Collectors value the Ferret for its compact size, historical significance, and the challenge of maintaining such a specialized auto. It’s also surprisingly agile for an armored car, making it an exciting but practical addition to any garage.


Thomas Vogt/Wikimedia

The M151 MUTT (Military Utility Tactical Truck) served the U.S. Army from the 1950s to the 1980s, and its simple mechanics and incredible performance have ensured its place in enthusiasts’ and historians’ hearts. The truck’s lightweight chassis and versatility make it a collector’s favorite, particularly for those interested in Cold War-era military history. 

FV432 Armored Personnel Carrier

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This is a British armored personnel carrier that offers a substantial level of protection and mobility. Civilians can own these rugged machines, often used for historical reenactments or private collections. 

M113 Armored Personnel Carrier

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The M113 is another widely used armored personnel carrier known for its adaptability and widespread use by defense forces worldwide. These automobiles are in civilian hands today, often serving as centerpieces in service auto collections. 

Dodge WC Series


The Dodge WC series of defense trucks was extensively used during World War II, serving in numerous roles from troop transport to reconnaissance. Due to their historical significance and hardiness, military buffs highly seek these cars. Restoring and maintaining these trucks offers a tangible connection to the past and a rewarding hobby for history buffs.


Tomás Del Coro/Wikimedia

Known as the “Jimmy” or “Deuce and a Half,” the GMC CCKW was the backbone of Allied logistical operations during World War II. The CCKW’s hardy construction and ability to handle heavy loads make it a valuable collector asset. Thanks to these features, it remains popular among service vehicle enthusiasts for its historical importance and practical look.

Renault FT Tank

Paul Hermans/Wikipedia 

The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles like the BAE Caiman are designed to withstand explosive devices. The Caiman’s advanced engineering and formidable presence make it a standout pick for collectors and enthusiasts of modern military technology. Luckily, some have entered the civilian market, appealing to those looking for extreme protection and off-road capabilities. 

Written by Bruno P