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.  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.  In addition to receiving driver authorization, successful completion of Van Training is required prior to renting 12-15 passenger vans.  Non-employee drivers need only be authorized if they intend to use a Fleet vehicle.

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 has two vehicle rental contracts which travelers are required to use.  For rental locations not served by contract or in situations where vehicles are not available, a non-contract vendor may be used.  University staff are responsible for informing non-employees of the rental requirements and, either reserving the vehicle on the non-employee’s behalf, or informing them of the contract information.  Full contract details can be found on UWTravelWIse (Policies & Procedures > Procedures & Operational Standards > Car Rentals).

  • Big Ten Contracts:  The Big Ten contract with Enterprise and National is required for employee and non-employee travelers who meet the minimum driving age of 21.  Use of the National and Enterprise Big Ten contracts is required for UW employees, graduate students, guests and consultants 21 years of age or older traveling on University paid business.  All authorized University employees may use the contract for personal use, including insurance coverage.
  • WSCA contractThe WSCA contract with Enterprise, National and Hertz is required for employees and students between the ages of 18-20 and is a secondary option for drivers 21 and over when the Big Ten contract vendors do not have vehicles available. 

Note: 12-15 passenger vans are not part of the Big Ten or WSCA vehicle rental contracts. While the University rental vehicle supplies may have 12-15 passenger vans available, they are not covered under contract pricing or insurances.

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 any of 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.
  •  Contract Car Rental Agencies:When reserving a vehicle directly with the rental agency, travelers must provide the UW contract codes (available in the vehicle rental contracts: Big Ten, WSCA).

Note: Orbitz is not in compliance with State of Wisconsin sales tax collection requirements and must not be used for booking business-related travel.

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 university purchasing travel card or the personal-liability My Corporate Card to pay for UW-Madison business-related vehicle rentals.  The Purchasing Travel Card may also be used to pay for gasoline for rental vehicles.

Receipt/Documentation Requirements

  • Vehicle Rental: Vehicle rentals must be supported by a business purpose and the original vehicle rental agreement.

    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.

Insurance

  • 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), insurance must be purchased and will be reimbursed. Please note: In some international locations, the term “collision damage” may not be used. In these instances, travelers are required to purchase all waivers/insurance offered by the rental agency that cover any type of damage to the vehicle (e.g. windshield damage insurance, vehicle theft insurance, dust and ash insurance). 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.

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 authorized drivers must be eligible to drive for University business and meet the other requirements of this policy.

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, 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.

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

Contacts
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.