Business Policies and Procedures Manual
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University employees may be authorized to use rental cars in either of the following cases:
- A motor pool vehicle or other state transportation is not available.
- The use of a rental car is more economical than other conveyances and necessary for accomplishment of WSU business.
The University must be able to justify each use of a rental car. The alternatives to using a rental car may not be as convenient or attractively advertised; therefore, good judgment and discretion must be used when approving rental car use.
There are circumstances which may require the unanticipated use of a rental car (see Unanticipated Use).
Incidental Personal Use
If personal use of the rental vehicle is more than incidental, the traveler is to keep track of personal time a rental vehicle is used. The traveler deducts the dollar amount of personal use from any amount owed the traveler. If the traveler charged the rental car expense on a rental car credit card, the traveler reimburses the University for the personal use by routing a check to Travel Services. The check must include the reference number of the applicable Expense Report submitted in Workday. (See BPPM 95.20 and the Workday Create Expense Report reference guide.) The traveler is to make the check out to Washington State University. (SAAM 10.50.35.e)
The preferred sources for rental cars are Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental at a state contract rate, which includes full insurance coverage for collision/loss or damage. This coverage is often referred to as a loss damage waiver in rental agreements (see Insurance Coverage).
Enterprise Rent-A-Car and/or National Car Rental are located at the main terminal at most airports. Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental provide rental services at most domestic locations.
The corporate contract number is available on the Travel Services website. A WSU network ID is required to log in and obtain the contract number.
Important! To avoid fraudulent use of the corporate discount, do not share the contract ID number with anyone who does not need it for official WSU business travel.
Use of the State Corporate Discount/Contract ID number for personal business is strictly prohibited. (SAAM 10.50.35)
Before First Rental
To obtain state contract rates and other benefits, Travel Services advises employees to enroll in the National/Enterprise Emerald Club prior to making rental car reservations. Contact Travel Services for information on how to enroll.
See Reservations below.
Refer to Travel Services for further information.
Other Rental Firms
The traveler may rent vehicles from any other rental firm in any of the following cases:
- Rates are lower than Enterprise Rent-A-Car/National Car Rental’s rates (including insurance).
- Vehicles are more readily available.
- Rental from the other firm is more efficient.
When renting from another firm, request the corporate rate. (University personnel should be prepared to display University identification cards when requesting the corporate rate.) See Non-Contract Rentals.
The department determines whether or not to purchase loss damage waiver coverage (collision insurance) when renting a vehicle through a company not included in the state’s rental car contract. If the department does not obtain this coverage, the department may be liable for damage to the rental car.
If the department does not obtain liability coverage for a rental vehicle, the Washington Self-Insurance Liability Fund provides excess coverage for third-party liability claims, but does not cover damage to the vehicle. The department is responsible for all repair costs for a rented vehicle if loss damage waiver coverage is not acquired on the vehicle.
When need for a rental car could not have been anticipated, reimbursement for the cost of the rental car, plus the cost of collision insurance, may be allowed, provided:
- It is clear that the need could not have reasonably been anticipated, and no feasible alternative existed as evidenced by a statement in the Memo field on the Expense Report submitted in Workday. (See BPPM 95.20 and the Workday Create Expense Report reference guide.)
- A copy of the rental agreement is attached to the Expense Report. (Also attach any gas receipts over $50, if gas is not included in the rental agreement.)
Paying for Rental Cars
University departments and travelers use the following methods, as appropriate, to rent automobiles.
University Travel Charge Card
A University traveler holding a University travel charge card (see BPPM 95.03) may use the card to rent cars from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental for official business. The traveler seeks reimbursement on the Expense Report submitted in Workday after the trip.
The University travel charge card includes full comprehensive and collision damage insurance coverage for rental cars. If the traveler pays for the rental car with the University travel charge card, they are to decline the loss damage waiver insurance.
A traveler may use their own personal resources to purchase the use of a rental car (see also Unanticipated Use above).
If the traveler pays for the rental car with their personal resources, and does not rent from Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental, they should purchase the loss damage waiver insurance offered by rental car company. Important! Unless full insurance is purchased, renters may be held personally liable for any loss or damage that occurs to the rental vehicle.
The traveler may use any method for reserving rental cars as long as it is cost effective and efficient. Make reservations in any of the following ways:
- Directly with the rental firm at the pick up point.
- By telephone to Enterprise Rent-A-Car reservations at 1-800-261-7331; or National Car Rental reservations at 1-877-222-9058.
- Online through the Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Rental Car reservations websites.
Select Sign In / Join;
Click on Add Emerald Club; then
Log in with Emerald Club member number and password.
|National Car Rental
Select Sign In / Enroll; then
Log in with Emerald Club member number and password.
When making reservations with Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental, provide the Corporate Discount/Contract ID number or log in with an Emerald Club member number to ensure proper billing. See State Contract.
The state contract requires that Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental provide a vehicle if reservations are made at least 24 hours in advance.
Vans and mini-vans may be rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, subject to availability.
One-Way Drop Charges
Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental require at least a seven-day advance reservation for rentals not returned to the point of origin.
One-way drop charges for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental are as follows:
Charge Per Mile
Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental do not assess drop charges for one-way rentals, either direction, between the following pairs of cities:
- Seattle and Olympia
- Spokane and Pullman
- Portland and Eugene
- Port Angeles and Seattle
Checking Out and Using the Rental Car
A rental car agreement is prepared by the agency clerk.
Contract Rentals (Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental)
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental contract includes comprehensive and collision, bodily injury, and property damage liability coverage. Do not request any additional insurance coverage when renting from Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental.
The rental company is required to include bodily injury and property damage liability coverage for the rental vehicle. Usually, the rental company does not provide comprehensive and collision coverage for damage to the rented vehicle.
Renters should obtain full comprehensive and collision coverage from the rental company if the rental is not being paid for using a University travel charge card. Important! Unless full insurance is purchased, renters may be held personally liable for any loss or damage that occurs to the rental vehicle.
The cost center or program, using the appropriate fund worktag, pays for the comprehensive and collision coverage.
Show a valid driver’s license and provide a home address.
Under the terms of the state contract, drivers must be at least 18 years of age to avoid additional fees.
Only passengers related to the official business of the travel are permitted to ride in cars rented by the University. If the traveler makes a personal decision to transport an unofficial passenger, the state of Washington does not provide excess liability protection to the unofficial passenger in the event of an accident. (SAAM 10.50.35.c)
Under the state contract the rental vehicle may not be used in any of the following circumstances:
- By a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or any prohibited drugs.
- For any illegal purpose.
- To push or tow another vehicle.
- To carry passengers or property for hire.
- In a test, race, or contest.
- By an unlicensed driver.
- By a person other than an authorized driver.
- Outside the continental United States, except where such use is specifically authorized by the rental agreement.
- Across international boundaries unless specifically authorized at the time of rental.
- Off paved, graded, or maintained roads or driveways, except when Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental has agreed to this in writing beforehand.
- By a driver who allows more passengers to occupy the vehicle than there are seatbelts or who does not require all passengers to comply with applicable seatbelt and child restraint laws.
Be sure the gas tank is full. Do not accept a rental car with a partially empty gas tank.
The traveler should fill the gas tank before returning the vehicle in order to avoid additional charges.
To obtain reimbursement for gas purchased for rental cars, return the receipts to WSU with the Expense Report.
State Contract Servicing Policy
Paid in full by the car rental agency.
Paid in full by the car rental agency (includes starting and tire changing).
Reimbursement by the car rental agency for other such services is allowed if the service is included in the rental agreement.
In Case of Accident
Refer to SPPM 7.20 for WSU reporting requirements.
- Don’t leave the scene.
- It is recommended that the police are summoned in the event of any accident, especially if there are any injuries and/or damage to any vehicle or property that exceeds $50.00.
- Record the facts of the accident on the form provided in the rental jacket.
- Call the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental office immediately to report the accident.
- Make a full written report at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental office.
- If, after the above steps have been completed, it becomes necessary to contact Enterprise Rent-A-Car or National Car Rental for further assistance, telephone a customer service representative at 1-800-264-6350 (Enterprise) or 1-800-468-3334 (National).
Revisions: Jan. 2021 (Rev. 560); Feb. 2020 (Rev. 542); Mar. 2013 (Rev. 411); Dec. 2004 (Rev. 252); Aug. 1999 (Rev. 147); Sept. 1998 (Rev. 126); July 1996 (Rev. 100); July 1992 (Rev. 89); July 1988 (Rev. 71); Mar. 1988 (Rev. 70); Mar. 1987 (Rev. 66); Mar. 1984 (Rev. 55); Sept. 1983 (Rev. 53); June 1983 (Rev. 52); Dec. 1979 (Rev. 37); Mar. 1979 (Rev. 31).