Policy: 201.D Vehicle Rental and Gas
Statement of PolicyA rental vehicle may be used when it is the most cost-effective means of transportation available for UW business. The vehicle rented should be reasonable in terms of size and type, depending on the number of passengers and/or cargo being transported. In order to ensure secondary insurance coverage by the university, all UW-Madison employees, students and authorized agents of the university must be approved by UW-Madison Risk Management prior to operating a vehicle for university business, regardless of whether a personal, Fleet, DOA or rental vehicle is used. Non-employee drivers need only be authorized if they intend to use a Fleet/DOA vehicle.
Note: UW – Madison Facilities Planning and Management’s Fleet Vehicles should be used when practical and available.
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.
The University has two vehicle rental contracts which travelers are required to use whenever possible. If it is necessary to rent a vehicle 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), the traveler will be reimbursed provided he/she includes justification for the non-contract purchase with their reimbursement request. Full contract details can be found at UWTravelWIse under “Discounts.”
- Big Ten Contracts: Use of the National and Enterprise Big Ten contracts is required for UW employees, graduate students, guests and consultants over 21 years of age traveling on University paid business. All authorized University employees may use the contract for personal use, including insurance coverage.
- State of Wisconsin/WSCA contracts: These secondary contracts are to be used by authorized student drivers traveling on University funded business. Hertz, through WSCA, is also available within the Concur booking tool.
- 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: Travelers can contact Fox World Travel directly at
Toll-Free: 866-230-8787 or 920-230-6467 to reserve a vehicle. Contract vehicle rental rates are automatically applied when reservations are made through Fox World Travel.
- Contract Car Rental Agencies: Travelers must reference the UW contract codes available within UW TravelWIse under “Discounts/Contract Car Rentals” when booking online or via phone directly with the rental agency.
Note: Orbitz is not in compliance with State of Wisconsin sales tax collection requirements and must not be used for booking business-related travel.
Whenever possible, travelers should utilize university purchasing cards or the personal-liability My Corporate Card to pay for UW-Madison business-related vehicle rentals. The purchasing card may also be used to pay for gasoline for rental vehicles.
Note: Required documentation should be retained in the payment mechanism files. When entering University Prepaid Expenses in e-Reimbursement, an additional copy of the expense receipt is not required in the receipt packet.
Vehicle Rental: Include the original vehicle rental agreement. The receipt must indicate the following:
- Traveler’s name
- Rental date(s)
- Vendor name
- Amount paid
- Form of payment
Vehicle Classes: 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: All Purchasing Travel Card gasoline purchases, regardless of the amount, and all gasoline purchases greater than $25 made with personal funds, must be supported by a receipt.
- For Domestic Rentals: The contract vendor rates include collision damage waiver and liability 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 and liability insurance. Travelers should review contract vendor rental information specific to the location on the UWTravelWIse website at https://uw.foxworldtravel.com/pages/discountsCars1.php 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 covers 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.
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 unless unusual circumstances outside of the traveler’s control prevented the individual from adhering to this requirement.
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.
Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.
Divisional Business Offices may contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.