Policy: 201.D Vehicle Rental and Gas

Statement of Policy
This policy applies to all employees, students, and non-employees traveling on behalf of the University. When it is determined that a rental vehicle is the most cost-effective means of transportation, use of contract rental vehicle suppliers is required. Vehicle rentals are limited to compact/standard/intermediate vehicle classes unless there is a business need that requires a larger class of vehicle. Employees and students who are required to drive on University sponsored business must be authorized to drive by UW-Madison Risk Management prior to operating personal vehicles, rental vehicles or fleet vehicles. Non-employee drivers (e.g. guest speakers, interview candidates, performers) need only be authorized when approved to use a Fleet vehicle. Use of 12-15 passenger vans is not allowable unless pre-authorized by UW-Madison Risk Management.

Note: Sponsored projects (e.g., fund 144 or 133) are subject to the terms and conditions of the specific award, as well as applicable program guidelines, which may restrict use of funds for certain types of expenses. Please contact the RSP accountant for your award with any questions.

Contract Vendors
The University participates in the Big Ten Alliance contract with Enterprise and National Car Rental. Use of the contract is required for employees and non-employees traveling on UW business who meet the minimum driving age of 18. Authorized drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 are restricted to domestic rentals only. All authorized University employees may use the contract for personal use, NOT including insurance coverage.

When Enterprise or National do not serve the location of travel or when vehicles are not available, Hertz, under the State of Wisconsin WSCA contract may be used. For rental locations not served by contract or in situations where vehicles are not available, a non-contract vendor may be used.

Booking Methods
Employees and students must be prepared to provide UW identification and the University’s tax exempt wallet card to receive contracted rates and tax exemption. Vehicles may be reserved via the following methods:

  • Concur: The contract booking tool is accessible through UW TravelWIse. Contract vehicle rental rates are automatically applied when reservations are made in Concur. 
  • Fox World Travel: To reserve a vehicle, travelers can contact Fox World Travel directly at (866) 230-8787 (toll free) or (920) 230-6467. Contract vehicle rental rates are automatically applied when reservations are made through Fox World Travel.
  • Personal Use: To reserve a vehicle for strictly personal use, please go to https://partners.rentalcar.com/uws/#/non-business-use. Reservations for business trips that include personal use must be made through Fox World Travel or Concur.

Daily Versus Weekly
Vehicle rental reimbursement is limited to the amount directly related to University business. If the traveler opts for a weekly rate because the total cost is less than if rented at the daily rate, the weekly rate amount will be reimbursed; however, if the traveler extends the rental for personal reasons, the weekly rate will be prorated and the only the amount directly related to University business will be reimbursed.

Payment Methods
Whenever possible, travelers should utilize a University purchasing travel card or a personal-liability My Corporate Card to pay for UW-Madison business-related vehicle rentals. Payment for the rental is due upon return of the vehicle and must be paid with a credit card in the driver’s name.

Receipt/Documentation Requirements

  • Vehicle Rental: Vehicle rentals must be supported by a business purpose, the original vehicle rental agreement and the receipt as provided upon vehicle return.

    Note: If a vehicle larger than the Standard/Intermediate class is required, justification must be provided for payment/reimbursement (e.g. three or more passengers, bulky equipment). When determining the number of passengers, only individuals traveling on State/UW business are included in the count. View the Car Rental Industry Codes to determine the type/size of vehicle and additional services rendered, that are typically coded on the car rental agency agreements and/or receipts.
  • Gasoline:  Receipts for gas are required to support payment/reimbursement claims.


  • For Domestic Rentals:The contract vendor rates include collision damage waiver (CDW) and liability (LDW) insurance for all domestic rentals. Travelers should verify the UW’s contract ID number is referenced on the rental agreement to ensure contract rates and coverage. If it is necessary to rent from a non-contract vendor (e.g. no contract vendor is available at a location, the contract vendor at the location does not have vehicles available), collision damage waiver and liability insurance must be purchased and will be reimbursed. Insurance coverage for personal property is considered a personal expense and will not be reimbursed. Questions involving insurance should be directed to the UW - Madison Risk Management Office.
  • For International Rentals: The contract vendor rates for international rentals might not include damage waiver (CDW) and liability (LDW) insurance. Travelers should review contract vendor rental information specific to the location on the UWTravelWIse website (Big Ten, WSCA) to determine if collision damage waiver and liability insurance is included as part of the negotiated vendor agreement. If insurance is not included, or if it is necessary to rent from a non-contract vendor (e.g. no contract vendor is available at a location, the contract vendor at the location does not have vehicles available), all available coverages, insurances and waivers must be fully accepted and purchased (e.g. Collision Damage Waivers/Loss Damage Waivers and full Liability coverages such as Additional Liability Insurance, Liability Insurance Supplement, Supplemental Liability Insurance along with windshield coverage, vehicle theft protection, dust and ash coverage). In these circumstances, additional insurances are payable/reimbursable by the University.

Additional Authorized Drivers
Renters may authorize additional drivers to use rental vehicles during the course of University business travel. Adding additional drivers must be done at the rental outlet upon vehicle pick-up. All additional drivers must be authorized to drive for University business and meet the other requirements of this policy.

Dependent on the vehicle source, non-employee passengers may require prior authorization from Risk Management. Please see below:

Vehicle Source

Non-Employee Passenger Authorization Requirements
UW Fleet, State/WSCA Contract Rental, Non-Contract Rental Vehicle Yes - Contact UW - Madison Risk Management Office to obtain preauthorization.

Big 10 Contract Rental, Personal Vehicle, Agent Vehicle (assigned UW vehicle)


Fueling a Rental Vehicle
The traveler is responsible for fueling the rental vehicle before returning it to the vendor. If the traveler fails to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel, the cost of the vendor refueling the vehicle will not be paid or reimbursed by the University.

Other Equipment and Services
Other equipment and services (e.g. GPS, satellite radio, roadside assistance protection) are not contracted for and will not be paid or reimbursed by the University unless there is an exception granted by the traveler’s Divisional Business Office.

For details on other incidental travel-related expenses, see Policy 201.R - Travel Incidentals

Accident Reporting
It is the responsibility of the driver to immediately report an accident to the following:

  • Police
  • Risk Management
  • Rental vehicle supplier
  • University supervisor/manager or host

Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.

Divisional Business Offices may contact uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.