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Vehicle Use Policy

The vehicles in the department fleet are a shared resource for the entire department. Each operator will take responsibility for keeping the vehicles in good working condition (i.e., treat them as you would want your own car treated) as well as clean and presentable. Debris, project equipment, and personal items will not be left in department vehicles. The appearance of our vehicles represents the image the public will have of us. 

Priority use for department vehicles shall be for those activities that require the services of the specialized vehicles in our fleet (e.g., towing of boats and trailers, hauling of heavy or bulky field equipment, use of 4-wheel drive for access to remote field sites) and if vehicles from  Fleet Services are not available. University Fleet Services vehicles should be used for routine commuting to and from field sites, attending meetings, or other activities where special vehicles are not required. Research projects should be designed and budgeted to accommodate use of Fleet Services or rental vehicles, unless the particular needs of a project demand use of a specialized vehicle. Vehicles (vans) for transporting students to field sites may be reserved from University Fleet Services. Disregard for department and Motor Pool vehicle policies and procedures will result in disciplinary action by the department head and/or the Fleet Services director.

All routine service or repairs to a departmental vehicle must be scheduled through Jeff Wingate the department vehicle coordinator. Individuals should not request services of or deliver department vehicles to any vehicle service center without prior authorization.

In order to use a departmental vehicle, the operator must reserve one from the vehicle coordinator in room 106. The operator must be identified, the project number listed, and the time period during which the vehicle will be in use so that others may plan for its use. On the date of the reservation, get the vehicle log book, keys, and credit cards from the coordinator. Upon return to campus, the principal investigator must sign the mileage log, and the log book, keys, and gas and credit card receipts must be returned to the vehicle coordinator - do not transfer keys to another user unless s/he has a signed vehicle mileage log. Do not keep the receipts in the vehicles. Please put the year, model, fund #, and license number on the receipt and sign it. This is for auditing purposes. The credit cards are for gas for department vehicles only.

Operators of department vehicles are responsible for checking that the vehicles are in proper operating condition and meet all requirements for travel on the Commonwealth's roads prior to departure from campus. This includes 1) verifying that the registration, accident loss forms, and other essential papers are located in the vehicle's glove box and 2) checking to be sure that fluids (fuel, oil, coolant, power steering) are at proper levels and basic equipment (e.g., tires, lights, etc.) is operational. Where vehicles fail to meet minimum operation condition, details of the defect(s) should be conveyed immediately to Terri Waid for service and/or correction. 

The operator of a department vehicle is responsible for properly recording its use on the mileage log found in each vehicle log book. This includes entering the date of use, destination, beginning and ending odometer readings, total mileage, account number or project to which the accumulated mileage will be charged, and operator name. Entries for all fuel fill-ups and repairs also will be logged on the form. This individual is responsible for the entries to a new log sheet located in the log book for the next user and the book returned to the vehicle coordinator.

All departmental vehicles must be parked and locked in the long-term parking slots at the Boat Shed or Aquaculture. Vehicles should be fully fueled and ready for the next user. The Cheatham lot is restricted to short term parking only (i.e., day use or overnight when departure before 8:00 a.m. the following day is anticipated). 

The Rate of Charge mileage fees assessed for use of department vehicles currently is $0.52 per mile. Fleet Services vehicles are charged at a fixed rate per day or half-day, depending on vehicle size. Consequently, they typically are less costly for long trips. The State Insurance Program provides coverage, less $1000.00 deductible. For more informations, consult the Office of Insurance and Risk Management policy guidelines.

  • Need to rent a vehicle? Check with Fleet Services first!
  • The use of State-owned vehicles, or state-contract Enterprise vehicles, is generally preferred over the use of personal vehicles.
  • If the traveler is a university employee, the traveler should decline the rental car insurance when traveling inside the territorial United States, in Canada, or in Puerto Rico because the university provides a self-insured automobile plan for employees. 
  •  If the traveler is not a university or state employee, the traveler should accept the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance and Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) Insurance offered by rental car agencies. 
  • Detailed receipt must be attached to the voucher and a statement explaining the necessity for such rental should be listed on your voucher. 
  • It is the traveler’s responsibility to refuel a rental car prior to returning it to the agency. Decline all up-front-fuel charges.